- February 11, 2020
- Posted by: Zander Woodford-Smith
- Category: Uncategorized
The Old Myth and The New Powerful Model
Talking about how to live your best life is a big topic, so I have broken it down into some very simple steps for you that are backed up by research. At the end of this blog I will share with you the B.E.S.T Framework and the four pillars that you need to live an incredible life, but before that I want to share with you…
The one myth people have about living their best life.
It may surprise you but people think that living your best life is about maximising their happiness and success. I’m using the words success and happiness together understanding that many people think those are intertwined. In fact, research shows that people think the key to living your best life is to be happy. The truth is research also shows that is not the case, instead it shows us that…
There is something much more important than happiness…
and I am now about to show you how to start rethinking how you can live your best life possible. The model I am about to share with you will allow you to instead of thinking in a linear fashion of what your life means, start thinking more multi-dimensional. That is so much more important than thinking about happiness.
Let’s do a little experiment to demonstrate:
Ask yourself this: On a scale from 0 to 10
0 being completely sad and unhappy
10 being absolutely ecstatic happiness
how happy are you right now? Think about it for a second.
Most people who think in a linear fashion only need to go a little bit higher on that scale and life will be so much better for them. If they could be at 8, 9 or 10 in their state of happiness all the time, life would be fantastic.
Now here’s the thing – life is not that linear scale. Research shows that there’s something more important than happiness. So here’s my second question for you:
On a scale from 0 to 10
0 being not at all
10 being completely utterly fulfilled with purpose
How much meaning do you have in your life?
If you are not sure about what I mean by this, I am about to share with you the BEST framework, that will show you how to get meaning in just a second. The way I like to use these linear scales is to multiply them with each other, thinking where I am in life out of 100 – 10 x 10. It’s important to take a moment and recognise where you are at, whether you need more meaning in life or whether you are looking for more happiness.
This model actually goes deeper into what we do at Stryv. At Stryv we think about happiness and success as a form of horizontal learning, whereas Meaning on the other hand has to do with Vertical Development. I will show you how it has more to do with Vertical Development as we go onto the B.E.S.T Framework, but just keep that in mind, thinking about your two linear numbers and where you are at in your life right now.
If you want to move the happiness and success it’s more to do with the horizontal learning, while if you want to move meaning it’s more to do with vertical learning. Obviously what you want to do is both. You need both horizontal and vertical development, a combination we focus on at Stryv. There are so many programmes out there that focuses on the horizontal learning only, but we want to focus on the vertical development and the meaning behind it all – because the meaning is much more important than happiness according to research when it comes to living your best life.
The B.E.S.T Framework
There are four pillars that helps you create your best life and helps you find your meaning rather than happiness in life, and these comes from research shared in a TEDx talk by Emily Esfahani. I have changed the wording slightly of these pillars to make it easier for you to remember, and they look like this:
BELONGING – This is about belonging for who you truly are, for yourself and other people. Not just belonging to a company because you are willing to work there. It’s about a deeper sense of belonging, doing something or working with something you are passionate about, or belonging to a group that you really feel a key part of just because of who you are. This is number one and I will share with you towards the end of this blog why vertical development is the key to all of these pillars.
ENGAGED PURPOSE – An engaged or empowering purpose is the second thing you need to find a deeper meaning. We can all say that we have purpose, we can say that our purpose is to make money or to survive, and many people do exactly that. But if we don’t really feel engaged or empowered by that purpose, well then it’s not going to create that much meaning. While Emily only uses the word purpose I think it’s important to differentiate between just having a purpose and actually having and engaged or empowered purpose behind what you are doing.
SELF STORYTELLING – This element actually surprises a lot of people when I speak about it and I do go into more detail about this further in the StryvX programme. This is about the personal narrative we create for our lives. For example – something in my personal narrative that has shifted over the years is that the things that have happened to me when I was younger, instead of allowing myself to be defined by them, looking back on them as bad things that happened to me, I’ve kind of transitioned them into being great gifts that has made me who I am today. I am not defined by those things, they have created a new kind of destiny for me to help others to overcome the same or similar obstacles. We all create a self-narrative and the way that we create it is how we create the meaning of our lives and whether we define our life as the best life possible or not.
TRANSENDENCE – This is where you move to a higher level, a higher being of who you are. You get more connected to things around you, it’s a more spiritual practice. Or if we want to keep it in more scientific terms, we can speak about self-actualisation. There’s all sorts of different lines you can look at but we all transcend, becoming more than who we are now. Becoming bigger than just ourselves is the key.
These are the four pillars of the new model: Belonging, Engaged Purpose, Storytelling and Transendence.
Now why is Vertical Development so important to all that?
Well Vertical Development helps all four of those pillars. As you develop higher, you feel more and more one with more people so you have more possibility to belong to bigger groups, and you actually have bigger groups you can become part of that are more meaningful to you as you now see them as a part of your identity, part of humanity. It not only makes it easier but it makes your life bigger and more fulfilled. An empowered or engaged purpose starts becoming really important if you are looking at something like the Stages model that we have showed you in previous blogs. This is especially showing in the later stages of 3, 4 and 4.5. What you need to know is that as you start making progress on your growth, purpose becomes an important thing, you start to realise what is driving you inside and you understand there’s a context that’s driving that purpose of yours. Your own vertical development starts generating this need for a purpose and as you develop higher you get more of an ability to control and define what that purpose is for you, creating more and more meaning.
When it comes to storytelling, vertical development allows you to see more objectively who you are. All Vertical Development is at its core is levelling up so that you can see what is actually going on. Instead of just being caught up in the anger of the moment, if you practice you may just be able to catch yourself and recognise when you are starting to get angry, allowing yourself to have some control over it. That’s actually all Vertical Development is – that movement from subject to object. In terms of being able redefine your own story – vertical development is key for that because each time you go up a level you see things and have control over things that you didn’t used to.
Eventually you will get to such a high level called that it allows you to create any story or narrative that you want. It’s really exciting to start to dig into that tier! In fact most Stryvers in our group are just below that big breakthrough of being able to really redefine who they are and what they want to be.Transendence is basically the same thing as Vertical Development in the end. The whole point of Vertical Development is transformation and transcendence up the different lines of human consciousness, maturity and values.
So if you want more meaning in your life – because that’s after all better than happiness – follow The B.E.S.T Framework.
The way to hit all four pillars of the framework is of course – through vertical development. I know I keep mentioning it but this is why it is SO important. We’ve already found out that…
Meaning is much more important than happiness
We found out the four things we need in order to have that meaning that is more important than happiness, and we found out the number one process in order to achieve all four of those things. I would love to see comments about what number you guys get when you multiply your two linear numbers as well as which one of those four pillars you need to focus on in order to have more meaning in your life. Comment below!
And finally, before I leave you, just remember this: Don’t be happy – just vertically develop!