Create a Life Handbook

I’ve been inspired to create a Life Handbook. A life handbook is a personal manual that encompasses your goals and dreams, personal mission, and ideas that you have on your journey of becoming. Often, we get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of the practical means necessary to realize our dreams. By working on a physical expression of my life purpose, I want to increase my ability to accomplish my own potential.

from lds.org
from lds.org

Life is always harder than we envision. As a youth, I thought my life would be a straightforward execution of my goals, with occasional episodes planned by God. That was naive. In reality, I have discarded some of my lesser goals in pursuit of the ones that I found more worthy. Even some of the skills I spent years acquiring have been simply nice nick-knacks on my accomplishment shelf. My life has been a series of days upon days with the detours from God being the better ones. I see how learning one admirable attribute may take a lifetime. I see how there is never enough time to work on the mediocre aspirations, because there is so much out there and so little time. I would like to organize my spiritual life better, to make spiritual growth a priority that won’t get pushed aside by the daily chores. I’m going to create a life handbook about and for myself.

Here’s how to create a Life Handbook. (from Celestine Chua at Personal Excellence.)

Spend a few minutes a day pondering the following list. Begin writing down your thoughts about each. Estimate taking between two weeks to a few months getting a “rough draft”

  1. Your life purpose/vision/mission
  2. Your values
  3. Your strengths
  4. Your improvement areas
  5. Your life adages (I.e. your personal mottos on living a great life. These can be inspirational quotes or personal mottoes.)
  6. Your vision board (Vision boards are visual representation of your goals and dreams. Check out Celestine’s vision board tutorial.)
  7. Your long-term life goals, comprising of five-, three-, and one-year goals
  8. Your short-term life goals, usually a breakdown of your long-term goals
  9. Your action plans to achieve your goals
from lds.org
from lds.org

Continue adding to your book on a regular basis (daily). Add images, reflection, to-do lists, track goals, motivational quotes, etc. Make sure to include any spiritual experiences, promptings, and tender mercies. Back up your document regularly. (I don’t really envision this document being a hard copy at first). Use your document to see a snapshot of your inner self over time. Since I’ve never done this, I’ll have to write more about how it goes. Wish me luck! (I could have started tonight, but wrote this post instead.)

ask-yourself-what-important-quote
Found on bestliving.biz

Update: I told a few of my most-admired friends about my goal. I’ve spent a couple of days thinking about what format I plan to use (excel file) and today I’m starting to create my life handbook. I always have goals I am working on, but I have never thought about writing a comprehensive list down, prioritizing them, and tracking my progress. I’m excited!

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Spiritual Food

Have you ever fasted? Fasting is going without food for a period of time. Usually it is done to increase spirituality. I think the idea is to control your physical cravings in an attempt to feel the spiritual cravings that exist.

spiritual-bread-food-LDS
source lds.org

Do you ever feel spiritual hunger? Usually I am so caught up in daily life that I don’t think about what my spirit feels. That’s one reason God commands us to observe the Sabbath, to give our souls a chance to be fed while our bodies rest. Once in awhile I feel a kind of spiritual longing that I believe is homesickness for heaven. Since I don’t remember what heaven is like, it’s hard to be sure.

I like this scripture found in 2 Nephi that talks about spiritual food.

Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.

Some ideas for feeding our spirits include prayer, meditation, self-evaluation, reading God’s word (AKA scripture), sharing our testimony, and keeping commandments. Here’s a description of spiritual nourishment from President Uchdorf:

The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark, and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us.

When our spirits get malnourished, we experience symptoms like loss of testimony, disobedience to God, unhappiness, and confusion. Elder Neal A Maxwell said, “When spiritual decay occurs, it is almost as if a physical light goes out in the countenance of such individuals.”

I hope to continue feeding my spirit through daily acts of devotion so that some day when the limited perception of mortality is gone, I will be able to see my spirit for what it truly is: a divine individual with unlimited potential for expansion. I hope my spirit will be healthy and vibrant.

girl-smiling-peru-wall-potential-LDS
source lds.org