With a small investment of your time, you can begin to improve your life!
You may be an average guy now, or you may not be average at all. Now is your opportunity to find out, to assess how you are living, and to begin to improve your life one step at a time.
In the last two STEPS Journey Blog articles on “Your Average Guy” and “Not Your Average Guy,” you met Carl and Bill, both examples of how some men live their lives. At least one of those guys may seem familiar to you.
By comparing yourself to Carl and Bill using the process below, you can start your journey to living intentionally and moving toward a life of significance.
Score yourself from 0-to-10 based on these guidelines:
In the next section, you will see positive descriptions of 10 areas of your life similar to those in the stories about Carl and Bill. For each of those areas, rate yourself from 0-to-10 based on this scale:
0 = You have many issues in this area, and they create significant problems in your life. Maybe you are in denial and not facing your issues at all. Unfortunately, you are doing nothing to get better.
3 = You resemble Carl from “Your Average Guy.” You have some positive characteristics, but many areas to improve. But, you have scant recognition of your issues and are doing little to get better.
7 = You resemble Bill from “Not Your Average Guy.” You have many very positive characteristics, although you are not perfect. Congratulations, and keep doing your best, one step at a time.
10 = You are perfect in this area. Of course, no one is, so don’t rate yourself a 10. But, if you assess yourself in a truly objective manner, and you are really strong in this area, consider an 8 or 9.
Self-reflection entails asking yourself questions about your values, assessing your strengths and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future. (Robert L. Rosen)
Assess these areas using the scale described above:
Below are the areas you will assess to determine how you can improve your life. For each one, rate yourself from 0-to-10. You will not add these ratings up or create an overall score; you are simply assessing how you are doing in each individual area to show you where you can improve.
1. Being intentional in your life – You think about life in the long-term. You decide what things are most important, and you regularly devote time to those areas, even when they are not urgent.
2. Work and vocation – You strive to be effective and efficient. You work hard and do your best but are not obsessed with accomplishment, and you embody character and faith in your work.
3. Marriage and parenting – You willingly sacrifice for your family because you love them unconditionally. You support your wife and build her up, and you lead and teach your kids well.
4. Friends and relationships – You have friends that you treat them with empathy and kindness. You are authentic and vulnerable with some and share the ups and downs of life together.
5. Habits and hobbies – You use free time thoughtfully, sometimes for fun, but also to develop positive regular habits. You work hard to understand and then eliminate each negative habit.
6. Personal development – You have determined what areas are important enough for you to invest in, and you regularly devote time to read, study, and learn so you continue to grow.
7. Emotional well-being – You know the dangers of addiction (e.g. alcohol and pornography) and compulsive issues (e.g. control and pride) and live one day at a time with serenity and courage.
8. Spiritual growth – You have surrendered your life to God and maintain an active and personal relationship with him. Out of thankfulness for your many blessings, you seek to follow his will.
9. Service to others – You try to be a good example, and you think about serving others in small ways often. Plus, you regularly sacrifice your time and talents in the service of others.
10. Moving toward significance – You seek significance by doing the next right thing each day. You often devote time and energy to things that matter and to causes that are bigger than you.
When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. (Paulo Coelho)
Getting the Most From Your Average Guy Assessment
Now that you are done with Your Average Guy Assessment, how do you feel?
You may feel encouraged, or you may have a new realization that you have work to do in order to begin living intentionally and moving toward a life of significance.
With the assessment fresh on your mind, create a plan to begin improving your life. Pick which of the 10 areas above you will commit to work on and capture a few actions in each area. If you have finally realized it is time to make significant changes in your life, commit to developing a life plan.
When you are done, look over your plan and make a final decision …
Will you do it?
Question: Will you use Your Average Guy Assessment to lay out some life improvement steps?
Action: Adjust your habits and calendar for the next 60 days to align with your commitments.