In the beginning of my self development process I wanted to embrace my creativity and the artist living within me . A coach advised me the book the Artist Way from Julia Cameron. The main topic of the book is morning pages.
What are morning pages?
The exercise is to write first thing in the morning 3 pages longhand during 30 minutes . That’s it. It’s simple. You write everything that goes through your mind without holding yourself back. If you want to write “the wall is white”, just write it. The pages are not to be read to anyone or even yourself. Let go of your fears, don’t be scared to be judged, don’t bother to sound good. It doesn’t have to be meaningful. Write down your thoughts and put the words on paper.
How does it work?
When you have thoughts in your brain, they vanish as suddenly as they appear It is not easy to make constructive thinking. We are easily interrupted by some external factors. With morning pages what you write is not just endless words in your head anymore but they exist on a sheet of paper. It allows you to read your life, your opinion and what’s been spinning around in your head but you didn’t pay much attention to it before. Those thoughts are hints that may reveal what you want, who you are and your needs. Haven’t you notice that sometimes you feel blocked with a problem and as soon as you write the problem down, you gain more clarity?
“Morning pages leave no corner of our life unexamined. Our dreams, our hopes, our disappointments, our pains(…). A day at at a time. A page at a time, an issue at a time, we become intimate with ourselves.”
“We connect to our emotions and our intuitions”. – Julia Cameron
Here is a short post to introduce you a useful personality test. In my process of self discovery, I’ve found the test called StrengthsFinder which is used by Facebook and other major companies in their recruitment process.
Usually recruiter asks “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” I’ve always had troubles to discover my strengths. It was not easy for me to answer. I’ve seen many people struggling with it. I was giving random strengths that are suitable in a corporate environment like “I have high expectations, I am serious and well organized”. I believed these were my strengths. But now that I know myself much better. To tell you the truth, I’m not that much organized or serious. I was forcing myself to adopt corporate behaviour.
StrengthsFinder test helps you to discover your strengths that can be used in your corporate life.
The results show your top 5 strength with some tips about how to maximize them in the corporate world. The tips are interesting because some strengths are more valuable in some positions or circumstances. For example, their advice for highly optimistic people is to work close to customers to influence them in a positive way or to use their strengths to set a high mood and a positive attitude in groups.
My results were:
– Optimism (94%)
– Faith (94%)
– Curiosity (94%)
– Salesmanship (88%)
– Innovation (88%)
When I discovered my strength, I thought: Optimism! What kind of a strength is that ?? It’s not an asset.” . I feel that people often react the same way, because they get used to live with their strengths to the point they are not conscious about them anymore. One of my colleagues told me that she would really like to have optimism as her strength. She wouldn’t be so gloomy then all the time.
Looking for who I am
For a long time, I’ve been unsatisfied with my job. That frustration grew deeper and stronger, I was just living my frustration in many aspects of my life. I wanted to change and be more fulfilled by finding my perfect job/career, a job that would fit me and ultimately “make my passion my job”.
The questions behind those goals are:
• What is my perfect career/job ?
• What would be a job that would fit to who I am ?
• How can I make my passions my job ?
• What are my passions?
• What are my dreams?
• What are my strengths/weaknesses?
• What do I want?
• Who am I ?
I didn’t know any of the answers. I had to know myself better to find them.
It turns out that not only I didn’t know what my perfect job was but I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know my strength/my weakness and my dreams. I was surprised to understand I was ignoring myself. I was a stranger to myself. I felt empty not knowing who this person in the mirror was. I’ve spent my whole life along with myself. I realize I didn’t have a clue about who I truly was. I’ve never taken time to step back from myself to have a broader view and analyze. I didn’t have any clarity on myself and my own life.
Other people’s purpose
For many years, I was only caught in the pursuit of goals that was set for me : I must graduate from a great university, I must find a well paid job. The recipe for happiness seemed simple to me : more money, fun friends, big house, good salary, loving spouse, supporting family….I kinda achieved the recipe for happiness but I wasn’t happy as I expected. It wasn’t working for me. I wanted to be fulfilled and more than that I was looking for meaning in my life.
Looking for my true self
This road towards my true self and my passions is incredibly beautiful. I’m discovering myself with brand new and genuine eyes. For too long, I’ve worn some sunglasses. Everything was darker than it really was. I’ve decided to take my glasses off and see with my own eyes. Everything, I do, I did and will do seems so much different.
Those glasses were so dark and I couldn’t see clear. They were heavy on my nose and made me look down at my shoes. They made me believe I couldn’t be great and I couldn’t shine. But that’s not true. It’s not because everybody is wearing sunglasses that I cannot be my true self. What are those sunglasses to me ? They are those negatives thoughts, people’s criticism and fear in general that prevented me to dream and pursue my passions.
Even if it’s hard, even if I’m depressed sometimes , I feel desperate and even if I feel lost, I’m enjoying every moment of the process. I knew that the road would be long so I’d better enjoy it than loathe it. It’s an insecure feeling though.