Updated: Oct 11
" We want to impact those around us positively. We want to change the world for the better."
Harmony starts with you. Your life, your needs, and your goals come first. It is not selfish to better understand yourself and your personal goals. Even more, you cannot protect something you have not defined.
You cannot ask yourself why you feel disharmony and find an answer if you don’t know what harmony would be for yourself.
The first step in your work will be self-reflection and creating a personal purpose, vision, and values statement.
Cancer, Introspection and, Harvard.
In 2019 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the coming months were some of the most deeply reflective moments of my life as I faced my mortality. Experiences like these force you to consider what is most important in life. This time of introspection was a gift, as I learned to let go, focus on positivity, and determine what was most important in my life. After recovering from a double mastectomy, I decided to return to school. And not just any school; I wanted to go to Harvard.
I have learned to respond when I get these “sparks” of thought. So, a month after surgery, I applied to Harvard Business School. I was accepted, flew to Boston, and completed a Driving Corporate Strategy certification. I eagerly soaked up the time and opportunity to learn directly from the professors who had written many of the Harvard Business Cases I had studied during my graduate studies.
At the end of the program, our global group of executives met for dinner. A fellow student from South America, Roberto, and I sparked up a conversation. He reflected on setting vision statements to drive alignment and focus on results. The conversation drifted to my recent cancer battle and how it had redefined my thoughts entirely on my future.
I remember sharing a new idea: “I have begun to see my life like a heatmap.”
I explained that I thought of my life like an image of a map on a computer screen, with colors adjusting as I interact with individuals in my life. You can see all those you have impacted with either positively or negatively. They are spread across the map in red, yellow, or bright blue splashes.
On my life heatmap, red signifies that you have hurt someone, been angry, or have unresolved contention. Yellow signifies indifference, ignorance, or a “not my problem” attitude. Blue is where you have had a positive impact leaving a bright, happy, what I like to call “Trina power blue” on the screen.
This is how I see my life now, where I can see the impact of all those I interact with and influence, either positively, negatively, or indifferently.
Roberto grinned, and his eyes lit up. “Yes! I so feel this stirring deep down within me. I want to be able to make an impact, but I haven’t known how to give it focus.”
The majority of people would like to feel impactful in their lives. We want to impact those around us positively. We want to change the world for the better. We seek to give back in time and knowledge, where all our work, passion, and purpose align.
Businesses that clearly understand and communicate their vision and corresponding values more effectively accomplish their goals. We, too, must create our vision, purpose, and value statements, just like the dozens of business cases we had reviewed over the prior months. We had studied numerous vision and value failures, like the infamous Wells Fargo sales fiasco, where the bank fired approximately 5300 employees between 2011 and 2016 due to fraudulent sales. At that moment, it clicked.
When your vision and personal values are not clearly defined, you risk being improperly interpreted by others and influenced by their priorities. Let me repeat this because it’s so important:
When you don't clearly understand your vision and values, others may misunderstand them and try to influence them according to their priorities.
Some may have an inkling of their purpose but need a clear personal vision to guide them. Vision statements help you stay on course.
They help define what success looks like for you, and we develop your vision statement further within the chapters of Orchestrating Life-Work Harmony.
Your purpose is your mission in life. It’s derived by seeking things you are drawn to, giving you energy, and driving you forward. It is used to clarify why you are doing what you are doing and will inform you in making decisions about what you will or will not do.
Tuning Into Your Impact Heat Map
Take time to reflect on those in your life where you can positively impact. Take a few moments to reflect on your interactions with those in your circle of influence, where you are red, yellow, or blue.
Circle the color you feel within each of the relationship areas below.
Harsh, Rude, Anger, Harmful
Careless, Ignore, "Not My Problem"
Caring, Listen, and Positive Impact
Could you extend out any of these areas and list specific people coming to mind where you can shift from red or yellow to blue?
You may want to take a more active role in the community or a non-profit to extend your impact reach, stop the deep red gossip or speaking negatively about a neighbor's son who is struggling and instead reach out to see how you can build a friendship, or engage more with a son or daughter who may be drifting along in yellow haze.
Consider your relationships and how you can shift your impact map. If you like, you can do this on a separate piece of paper to write down a list of names. Then use a colored pencil or marker to highlight each one in whichever colors resonate for you.
You may have “Sindee’s super Sienna” or “Maggie's masterful Magenta.” Make this your own personalized and powerful color impact heat map. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________