Essential Ingredients in the Recipe for a Life You'll be Outrageously Proud of When You Die
What does it take to live a life you’ll be outrageously proud of when you die?
That’s really the question at the heart of this podcast, and this episode is part two of a two-part series aimed at providing a trustworthy answer to that question.
Through my own life experience, conversations with guests on this show, 1-1 coaching partnerships, and The Graveyard Group,
I’ve identified six essential ingredients in the recipe for a life we’ll be outrageously proud of when we die. I call them the Big 6.
Other ingredients are important and useful, for sure, but none appear to me to be as important as these six. Without them, the recipe simply doesn’t work.
In the previous episode, I introduced you to the first three of the Big 6, Courage, Humility, and Truth-telling. In this episode, I’ll introduce you to the second three, Self-permission, Self-responsibility, and Self-knowledge.
There is a logic to the order of the ingredients in this recipe. They build on one another, and each one depends upon the others that precede it. If you haven’t listened to the previous episode yet and you have an additional 8 minutes to spare right now, I recommend tuning in to that episode first before listening to this one.
The Fourth Ingredient: Self-Permission
The fourth essential ingredient in the recipe for a life you’ll be outrageously proud of is Self-permission.
Self-permission is ownership of the reality that I can do what I want, when I want, how I want, where I want, with whom I want.
It is a permission granted to us simply by virtue of our arrival at chronological adulthood, but many chronological adults remain emotional and psychological juveniles because they fail to fully grant themselves this permission. Instead, their thoughts and actions remain heavily and unduly influenced by others, by worn-out worldviews inherited from their family of origin, and by a myriad of other external sources of permission. They remain dependent upon external sources of permission to determine what they think and how they conduct themselves in the world.
Self-permission can be used for good or evil, and everything in between. It isn’t a license to run amok. Nor does it mean tuning out the input of others; it is wise to seek and learn from the counsel and examples of others. Rather, the proper expression of Self-permission simply frees us from dependence upon external sources of permission in order to think and act.
Let me say that again: The proper expression of Self-permission simply frees us from dependence upon external sources of permission in order to think and act.
It also puts the consequences of our thoughts and actions squarely at our feet, a topic we’ll delve into next when we discuss Self-responsibility.
Failure to take full ownership of Self-permission relegates us to living at least in part according to the will and permissions of others. This limits our ability to become the person we were uniquely made to be and live the life we were uniquely made to live because our Path and Purpose are co-opted by others’ will and wishes.
Successfully taking full ownership of Self-permission, however, sets us free to discover who and what we really are and who and what we really can become. We are able to make our unique contribution to the world.
Courage, Humility, and Truth-telling are prerequisites for Self-permission.
Remember, as an adult, you really can do what you want, when you want, how you want, where you want, with whom you want. Use the privilege well.
Tune into Ep. 022, entitled Tune Out to Tune In: Hearing & Heeding Your Inner Voice in a World Full of Noise, to learn how your inner voice can help you add more Self-permission in your own life.
How fully have you embraced Self-permission? In what area of your life can you exercise even more Self-permission?
The Fifth Ingredient: Self-responsibility
The fifth Big 6 ingredient is Self-responsibility.
Self-responsibility is complete ownership of our thoughts, words, and actions and the consequences that result from them. It is “extreme ownership,” to borrow Jocko Willink’s phrase from his book by the same name.
It is the antidote to the insidious and destructive force of victimhood and just about every other manifestation of human dysfunction imaginable.
When we are Self-responsible, we exhibit a willingness to acknowledge and make amends for mistakes. We choose to be solution-focused rather than problem- or blame-focused. We acknowledge that we always have a choice. We point the finger at ourselves first.
Self-responsibility helps us distinguish between what we can and can’t control. It allows us to forge interdependent rather than dependent or co-dependent bonds in relationships because we’re able to establish and maintain healthier boundaries. We neither assume too little or too much responsibility for others. We are 100% responsible for ourselves and appropriately responsible for others.
How have you demonstrated Self-responsibility recently? In what area of your life is more Self-responsibility needed?
The Sixth Ingredient: Self-knowledge
The sixth and final essential ingredient in the recipe for a life you’ll be outrageously proud of when you die is Self-knowledge.
Self-knowledge is an ever-evolving understanding about the kind of human you are–your Nature—and the influence of your Story–or Nurture–upon the person you’ve become.
Together, Nature and Nurture help us discover the person we were made to be and the life we were made to live.
Self-knowledge is made up of both quantitative and qualitative data and information. It is both objectively- and subjectively-derived. Professional assessments and inventories like those that I use with my clients, our own experience, and counsel and feedback from friends, family, mentors, coaches, and mental health professionals are valuable sources of Self-knowledge.
Our pursuit of Self-knowledge depends upon increasing measures of Courage, Humility, Truth-telling, Self-permission, and Self-responsibility. In turn, the Self-knowledge that we gain helps us deploy Courage, Humility, Truth-telling, Self-permission, and Self-responsibility even more effectively.
Deeper Self-knowledge leads to a more enjoyable, meaningful, and productive life. Though its fruits are personally rewarding, we ultimately pursue Self-knowledge in order to better understand how we are uniquely equipped to serve humankind.
Tune in to Ep. 035 of Andrew Petty is Dying, Build Your Personal Owner’s Manual: Understand Yourself Better, Enjoy Yourself More, and Live the Life You Were Made to Live, for more on this topic.
How have you deepened your Self-knowledge recently? In what area of your life is more Self-knowledge needed?
Perfecting the Recipe: Just Add More
There you have it–the 6 essential ingredients in the recipe for a life you’ll be outrageously proud of when you die.
The instructions for this recipe are simple: Just keep adding more.
More cups of Courage. Heaps more Humility. Tons more Truth-telling. More generous scoops of Self-permission, Self-responsibility, and Self-Knowledge.
With this recipe, more is always better.
Each time you add just a little more, you’re investing in a life you’ll be outrageously proud of when you die.
Which ingredient can you begin adding more of today? Because remember: You ARE going to die. But you’re not dead yet. So get after it!
Become a Master Chef in The Graveyard Group
If the Big 6 are essential ingredients in the recipe for a life you’ll be outrageously proud of when you die, then The Graveyard Group is the kitchen in which you become a master chef.
You and your own personal, confidential board of advisors help each other perfect your recipes for amazing lives. The Mortality Mindset is the heat that energizes your work together. Step by step, week by week, you give the things that matter most the attention they deserve now, before it’s too late.
Break free from the status quo, become the person you were made to be, and live the life you were made to live.
Get Unstuck and Create the Life You’ve Always Wanted
I know what it’s like to be stuck. I also know what it takes to get moving again toward the life you’ve always wanted. If you’re stuck, schedule a free coaching session to see if a 1-1 coaching partnership is right for you.
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Welcome! I invite you to browse the archive of past interviews with fascinating people and short, topical solo episodes--all designed to equip you with the mindset and the means to become the person you were made to be and live the life you were made to live with guts, gusto, and abandon. We flip the script by inviting our ancient foe, Death, to become an unlikely ally in our heroic journey to leave it all out on the field of life. Turns out, Mortality might just be the best motivator available--blasting us out of our ambivalence and complacency and toward the fullness of our potential.