I believe each of us have themes in our life that need to be noticed. We often don’t see or recognize our themes simply because we aren’t listening and we don’t see the clues around us trying to get our attention. Recognizing your life theme is often subtle, but every once in awhile your theme may slap you upside the head to get your attention as a way to guide you to become who you are to become and do what you are suppose to do with your life. Much like a movie, or a play on stage or Broadway, we all have a character that we play and our character represents our authentic self. It represents our life role and the truth of ourselves.
I will give examples of life themes in just a second and will share my theme with you, but first I want you to answer these two questions as best as you can.
- What are the common experiences and situations in your life that often repeat?
- What experiences do you have that seem to share and support an overarching thought or idea and validate a course of action for your life?
“Life themes are repeatable, recognizable experiences communicating to you who you really are and what you are to do with your life.” – Anthony L. Fisher
A life theme is the idea or motivation that drives you throughout your life. It is the answer that you are always “searching” for. The answer to the question of “Why Am I Here”? In a nutshell, it is your search for the “Meaning of Life”.
Don’t be surprised or alarmed if you don’t recognize your life theme. Recognizing your life theme is a process and it’s going to be different for everyone. For me, recognizing my life theme came from a strong desire to “know”. I was enamored with finding an answer. I was seeking it out. If you’re like me, you seek to desire the meaning of your life and you inquire about it and put significant time researching, studying, testing and praying to find the answers.
Knowing your life theme can provide you with significant insight as to who you are, why you react the way you do to certain situations or why you even do particular things. Once you know what your life theme is, it’s much easier to work on attaining your goals and do the work you love to do and were meant to do.
Finding and recognizing your life theme is like you finding a hidden treasure. Your life theme guards you from pursuing activities and putting resources into areas that go contrary to what truly satisfies your soul and supports your efforts. Your life theme also guides you to seek opportunities to confidently move forward in areas that support your theme and truly satisfies your soul.
I’m a lover of books and movies. I read about 20 books a year and watch countless movies a year. Let’s use books and movies as our example on how finding your life theme works. Fiction books and movies are great to use as examples.
As you read your book you will want to identify the moral or theme of the story. What was the hero character (also known as the main character) trying to figure-out? What is the problem he/she is having? What are they trying to solve? Were they trying to figure out their purpose? How to do something? How to overcome their fears or live with courage? Let’s take the movie Lion King for example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqQ2mQV5b0w
Symba (son), didn’t know who he truly was. He didn’t have clarity regarding his identity. He was afraid of stepping into Mufasa’s (his fathers) footsteps as King because he was fearful of his past, intimidated of the responsibilities of kingship and didn’t have the courage to face his demons and internal fears in order to be a great king. However, through time and often repeated circumstances, Nala (the lioness), Rafiki (the baboon) Timon (the meerkat), Pumbaa (the warthog) and Zazu (the hornbill) tried to show Symba that he was the rightful ruler of the kingdom. Symba received many clues pointing to his destiny throughout his childhood and young adult life and was guided by friends, supernatural appointments and experiences guiding him into his authentic rightfully owned position of purpose.
What about your life? Have you been trying to figure out who you are consciously or unconsciously? Are you beginning to listen and see the patterns of your life trying to guide you to your vocation and destiny?
As a young kid and throughout my 20’s, I’ve always prayed and asked God “Why am I here? What is my purpose and the role am I to play in the grand orchestra of humanity?” Through time, God began to reveal to me (through various life experiences) who I am and these experiences are the foundation of who I am today and what I do today.
My overall life themes are leadership, communications and coaching. What am I always trying to achieve? Naturally, I’m trying to achieve a lesson learned in order to create a successful and life-changing result in my life and in the lives of others. Leadership and coaching go hand-in-hand to me and communication is the vehicle that I have been blessed with to connect with people.
I was able to recognize my life theme by observing (through time) what I do, how I do it and how I tend to react to people and situations. For example, if I’m reading a book, I tend to highlight or underline in abundance areas that really resonate with me. Highlighting or underlining is my way to pinpoint what I need to review again so I can apply it to my life and in-turn help others apply it to their life. I’ve also recognized that I seem to always take a leadership approach to a situation and look at life through coachable opportunities and moments. I then ask myself how can I best express myself from what I’ve learned by applying my experience and expertise using various forms of communication. This is typically done through speaking, teaching, developing online courses, creating websites and applying graphic design techniques to my creative work. Often when I speak and coach, I’m speaking from an angle of how-to, improvement and problem solving.
Finding your life theme is different than finding your purpose. A life theme is overarching. A purpose can be and often is a little more specific. However, occasionally they can share similar expressions.
I hope what I shared with you today provides you a roadmap of how to recognize your life theme. If so, send me an email.