The 7 L's for Living a Wonderful Life
Scene from It's A Wonderful Life
For most of my life, I have struggled with remembering words to songs, even ones I have sung thousands of times. And it has been a great source of merriment to my family and close friends. Even my 4-year old granddaughter, Estelle, pointed out my failing the other day when I was singing the second verse to “You Are My Sunshine” and she cried out, “Poppy you’re singing the wrong words!” What is amazing to me is that I can sometimes remember the most obscure facts about people’s lives and yet cannot get the words right on a song I have probably sung many times in my life. To be honest, it is a flaw that really disappoints me as I love to sing and would like to expand my repertoire of music. However, it does help keep me humble and it has prompted me to find some simple frameworks, such as alliteration, to give me greater likelihood of remembering the right words to important concepts in my work.
For example, I developed an early morning ritual that I have written extensively on, called the The 6P’s for Profound and Positive Living in which I use these P words; Purpose-Principles-Priorities-People-Perspective-and Presence as a means to focus, center and ground the beginning of my day. I have recently developed other frameworks using a similar approach and today I wanted to share my newest one that I am calling for now, The 7L’s for Living a Wonderful Life . These 7 L’s, when embraced and practiced, can provide a meaningful approach to deepening one’s self compassion and increasing compassion for others.
The 7 L’s are:
· L1-Love yourself more;
· L2-Listen more;
· L3-Learn more;
· L4-Laugh more;
· L5-Let it go more;
· L6-Lounge more;
· L7-Love others more.
Let me make the case for the first L-Love yourself more. This is not intended to be a pitch for more narcissism in the world. But, speaking from my own experience, so many people I have encountered (to include myself) have or are suffering from tremendous self-loathing and self-criticism and feelings of inadequacy and insignificance. I spent a good portion of my life living with the shame of not being enough - not being good enough - not being smart enough - not being worthy enough. Thankfully, through the support and help of dear friends and my extraordinary wife, Claudia, I have come to see that I am enough and certainly worthy of being loved and of being successful. And yet the years of beating up on myself don’t just disappear and so I find it helpful to remind myself that I am a good man striving to be an even better one and that each day is an opportunity for me to be the best me possible.
Reflecting on the 7 L’s is a great affirmation and reminder to start with self-love in order to build and enrich the relationships of those around you. Love yourself more. Remind yourself that life itself is a gift and that you are a gift to this life and to affirm your own giftedness and unique strengths. There is only one of you in the whole world. It reminds me of the beautiful words that one of the greatest modern-day heroes, Mr. Rogers, who recalled his grandfather saying to him one day, “Fred, you know you made this day a very special day just by being yourself. There’s only one person in the world like you. And I happen to like you just the way you are.” Mr. Rogers reflected on this incredible impact of his Grandfather’s words, “Well talk about good stuff. That just went right into my heart. And it never budged, and I have been able to pass that on.” It certainly is good stuff isn’t it!
As you go about your day what else can you DO to love yourself more. If that sounds a bit selfish, please consider that you can’t give what you don’t have and if you are committed to being your best for all those you serve, support, lead and love, you have to take care of yourself first in order to fully take care of others. What do you know you need to do to be at your best? We all know that actions speak louder than words and so what actions can you take now to revitalize and rejuvenate yourself?