Developing Core Principles

My End of Life Party

Pat authenticWho Do I Want To Be?

How do I want to be remembered when I die?

In order to answer these questions I needed to establish what my Core Principles are. They will guide me through the rest of my life. All future decisions about what I choose to do or say will be based on these Principles.

Yes, I had principles but the big problem was that they were not mine. They were instilled in me as a child and which I carried through into adulthood without questioning them. Some of them were good but as I hit my mid 40s and I started to question the way I was living my life I got increasingly uncomfortable.

In reality they were not truly principles but rather a set of rules that were imposed by my parents, older siblings, the church and school.

Having lived a life of fear of authority I tried to live a "good" life terrified of breaking these rules, avoiding conflict at all costs and judged others depending on how they fitted into my narrow minded lifestyle.

The pdfLiving ADDventure® ADHD Coaching Programme introduced this module (My End of Life Party) as the first one of the programme but it is not something that you can do in a day, a week or even a few weeks.

In life we play many roles, wife, mother, sister, friend, aunt, cousin, colleague and boss. What do I want each of these people to say about me when I die? It takes a great deal of reflection about each of these roles that we play. Yes, we might behave more formally in some roles than we do in others. But, at our core what we say and do defines who we are as a person.

By writing down these thoughts a few common words emerge which ultimately give us our Core Principles. This process took me about 6 weeks to come up with my 2 Principles which guide me each day. They are to be Authentic and Ethical. Choosing to be Authentic meant that I could no longer duck conflict which has always been a huge issue for me. I was not being my Authentic self if I just bottled up my anger when I was hurt or felt strongly about something. My ADHD Coaching Programme therefore had to help me find ways to learn to face conflict and deal with it constructively. I have always had a strong sense of right or wrong but I was (and am) no Saint. But I do try to consider more carefully my actions to see how they fit into my decision to be Ethical.

For those with ADHD this is a very powerful process. It makes our lives so much simpler. We don't have to try and remember a lot of rules and analyse how we should follow them. Just having 2 or 3 Principles to guide you each day gives you the confidence to live a more contented life.


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