In basic terms, wholeness is the ability everyone has to utilize all of our strengths, skills and abilities --without limitation -- in order to live our best life and be our best self. While '-ness' represents the quality or degree of something, the Merriam-Webster dictionary provides two definitions for 'whole' that I particularly like. The first is 'constituting the total sum or undiminished entirety' and the second is 'constituting the entirety of a person's nature or development'. As I use the term, wholeness captures the concept of the undiminished entirety of our nature, our best self.

Working on wholeness involves working on the following 5 steps and 8 life elements (described in Step 2). As I often say, these concepts are 'simple', if not always easy to achieve. The important part is to stay focused on the journey towards wholeness.

I find there is a broad framework that needs to be in place in order to create and maintain reserves of anything. I call this framework the 5 Steps to Wholeness and the following items will give you a sense of the richness of each step. I am always reminded of the following marketing phrase when I think of the this framework: Minutes to Learn, a Lifetime to Master.

  1. Accept responsibility for your life.

    Simply put, you can not claim the power to change your life if you do not accept the responsibility for creating the life you are in. Your actions AND/OR beliefs ultimately (and often unconsciously) have a direct bearing on your life today. Don't be someone things happen to or for (victim or child). If you've never thought of life this way before, it can seem like quite a stretch. Yet we all know people who make things happen despite incredible odds. They're no different than you or I, except very often in the way they approach life. You've probably heard the phrase 'mind over matter'. This concept is just an extension of that phrase.

    I'd also like to add that there are some very negative events that most of us would never consciously choose. I believe in accepting responsibility even for those. This is linked to my belief that we are all here for a purpose and the lessons of the first half of our life (and the repeated lessons later on in life) are our unconscious preparation to live our life purpose to the maximum effectiveness. Over and over again, I have seen evidence that once a person gets clarity about their life purpose, we begin to understand the deeper meaning and lesson of those events.

  2. Focus on the Eight Elements

    This step focuses on the 8 life elements that can interfere with creating the life we want. I believe that with enough of the following elements to satisfy our needs and wants, nothing would stop us from reaching our fullest potential, so creating reserves of the following elements is critical to the process. The eight elements are Time, Space, Love, Money, Vitality, Purposeful Action, Strong Sense of Self and Positive Self Regard.

  3. Complete the Past.

    Release the people, places and things that don't affirm who you are today. Finish whatever needs to be finished and make a conscious choice to not finish the rest. Heal what needs to be healed and move forward into today. If you are still talking about something that happened ten years ago, it DID affect you. Write a letter, make a phone call, confront the fear and the pain. Understand that the majority of people who negatively impacted your life by a thoughtless act or words were only doing the best they could at the time. For those few who maliciously and consciously hurt you, recognize their actions were a result of their experiences and beliefs about them and not about you. Don't allow them to continue to hurt you today.

  4. Plan for the Future

    Develop goals, game plans, and ideal qualities of everything you want to create in your life. Use visualization and other techniques to cement the picture firmly in your mind. We recently bought a poster that says "Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction". Having a detailed plan gives that sense of purpose and direction. When you know where you want to go, it's easy to make better decisions in the moment. Having a plan also helps us create a better plan. It's important to remember that plans are living, breathing elements. They are NOT written in stone. By using all the information you get on a daily basis, you are able to tweak and refine your plans as you go.

  5. Live in the present.

    THIS is where it all happens. In each moment, you are presented with choices. Making clear, conscious choices based on all the information you have today is key to living the life you want. You create your life, each moment of each day. You make choices that take you closer or further away from your goals. It's also important to recognize that making clear conscious decisions to not do something is 100% healthier than drifting towards or away from something. (You'll read more about this in this issue's Attraction Principle, "See how perfect the present really is".)

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