Nearly everyone I have ever met, no matter how great their life is, wants more. This is not a bad thing at all, it is desire that pulls us out of bed in the morning and keeps us moving through the day. Some things are easier to change than others. Short-term goals can happen effortlessly when the reward is close and clearly defined. Changing long-term habits, patterns, addictions, etc, is tougher but can be done with a plan in place. One great example of how a plan can pull you through the process is the story of Odysseus and the Sirens.
Odysseus, also known as Ulysses, was the subject of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey, is renowned for his resourcefulness and cunning. The Ulysses contract was a pact that he made with his men as they approached the deadly island of the Sirens. Odysseus rigged the game for success by knowing his limits then making a strategy to overcome them. The pact he made with his men to row past the temptation is the same design for pacts we make with ourselves to row past temptations to rich rewards. Just as with Odysseus, we all face challenges that can be solved with a sound plan. It all starts with an intention, a thought, a strategy. Use the results from the Life Star exercise to install personal policy upgrades with the Ulysses Contract.
It is amazing how powerful desire paired with a clear intention is. The Ulysses Contract bring these forces together in a compact tidy format designed to plant the seeds of the future you, then water them with emotion and tools. Sometimes just filling this out will be enough to get you pointed in the right direction. Other time will take a little longer. Remember, it took many years to define your present-self, be gentle and allow yourself time to re-imagine and re-create your future.
Tips for use
eSmart goal to work on: eSMART goals are: emotionally charged, Specific, Measurable, Acton oriented, Realistic and Timely. Be aware though that most of the time goals change shape as you progress toward them. See book Personal Policy for: 9 Steps to making good eSMART goals. 11 steps to insuring goal success.
I want this because: Describe why this is important to you. Focus on the deeper emotional feeling that pull you toward wanting to change in this direction. List the benefits even small steps forward will bring.
Describe my clear vision of success: The key word here is clear. Paint a picture of your vision of success, what does it feel like, taste like, who will share it with you, what could it lead to?
Policy Affirmations: Affirmations, when used correctly, are a form of prayer that can quickly reprogram your brain and align your intentions with the unified field. At the end of each Personal Policy you will find prayer affirmations suggestions and tips on creating powerful statements for transformation.
Obstacles to be aware of/overcome: Planning for a better life is a logical activity. In daily life the emotional brain is often in control of the unconscious actions and decisions. Become aware of where your best-laid plans might break down. This opens the door to rise above the temptation and pass-through to the new you. Awareness and attention are the keys to success here, along with having a plan to shift thinking into new behaviors. See Toolbox: Life Skill Solutions for ways to increase awareness and make better choices.
Support group(s): It’s natural to want to be a lone-wolf, to go it alone, but this is limiting. To seek support is a virtue. Reach out to realize the magic of interdependence.
Reward: There has to be a reward for goal-seeking to work. It might be something fun, something necessary, or an emotional reward, a sense of accomplishment. Whatever motivates you put it out there then find your way to it. Celebrate.
Signature: Sign and date the agreement with yourself.
To maintain and build: This is where intention transforms to habit through consistency of practice and purpose. Accomplishment builds momentum, success breeds more success. See it, be it.
This pattern is repeated over and over when it comes to self-help methods. We know what we want and get excited about it, but then fail to stick with our goals due to temptation and the force of old habits. I know personally that after reading a personal growth book, going to a seminar or church service I am all fired up and may change for a little while, but seem to always revert back to the old me. The Ulysses Contract is a way to capture the desire to make a change in your life with eSmart goals then put policies in place to get started and keep you moving in the right direction. Just as Odysseus knew there would be a point he would fail without help this tool builds bridges across obstacles, supplies tools to make the journey easier then has you define the rewards that await you.
See Toolbox for free downloads: Life Star | Gratitude Garden | Journey Journal | and more.
See book Personal Policy for more tools and techniques for personal growth.
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