#70 | Strategic Life Creators Series #1: 3-Step Life Audit

adulting area art autistic autistic adults category happening helping learn life love mind physical role steps strategic suggest young adult May 23, 2022

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Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. by Stephen Covey

Hi. Today's video is the first in a series on strategic life creation. In this series we're going to answer the questions, What do you need to do to encourage you to become a strategic creator? This is step one. 

My inspiration came from a grandmother I touched base with this weekend, who has a 15 year old grandson. He's very computer savvy, also seems to be socially inept and lacks personal hygiene, particularly he soils himself.

"He has resigned that this is the way it's going to always be for him. He has stopped trying or caring." That's her thought.

We just want to keep in mind, what's our end goal here?

What we're trying to do: to encourage, inspire, support our young adults to practice the set of mental tools that help them manage their thoughts, emotions and actions, so that they can achieve goals set by them. For them. That's our goal here and our role in this. Because now that they're getting older, is we have to take the coach position where we encourage them, we warn them of certain things, you know that we think they ought to know about because we want to manage the downside as well. And we are consulted by them. In a consulting role equal to the coach role.

These are borrowed from the British Monarchy essay by Walter Bagehot. I believe is his name. It's actually the roles of Her Majesty the Queen. She encourages, warns and is consulted. She does not legislate behavior. I think it's important for us to keep this in mind.

But here's kind of the frustration, where do we begin with our autistic adults? We love them so much, we just love them down to their toes.

So how do we figure out how to helps them practice more adulting actions?

I recommend doing a three step live. Now this can be done over a period of time. It doesn't always have to do this in one sitting, but it can be depending on the level of cooperation that you're having with your young adult.

We do love talking about ourselves, our wishes and our hopes and our dreams. And that's what you know, our lives are built on those things.

In fact, I'm just looking at my quickly at my pictures because this morning, my kids and I were helping our other son with his gardening and my daughter was eating a fortune cookie from our favorite restaurant. And in the fortune cookie it said,

Dream lofty dreams and as you dream so shall you become.

I just love that because so shall you become as you dream. So here's what we're trying to do is we're trying to inspire our autistic young adult with that vision of who they want to be in the future. By first noticing first what they've already created, and then figuring out what they want next. And then what are the next steps.

So doing this energy audit is comprised of looking at the energy, work and love triad. That's what composes all of our lives. Is energy, work and love.

So, first we start out in the energy domain, when we look at the finance, the food, health that's mental and health that's physical. We just separate those out a little bit.

So those four categories, we want to interview our autistic and say,

  • "Tell me, what are some of your financial dreams? How  much money do you want to make? How much do you want to be able to save? How much do you want to have invested? What have you done now?
  • In the food area where you like to eat while you're able to cook? Do you know how I go to the grocery store?
  • In the mental health area? Have you practiced mindfulness where you learn about the way the observations that you have had of the way that your brain thinks?
  • Physical, this would be the category where the challenges are with her grandson lie. Is it a physical area that's all of our hygiene practices? And there obviously is some kinds of sensory processing difference for her grandson, where he just doesn't understand, or have the same interoception signals that we have, which means that what's happening inside of our body. So it's hard for him to recognize when he does need to go to the bathroom. Or there are some things going on.that is a thought block, maybe or thought, you know, "I don't want to stop doing what I'm doing. So I'm going to keep doing it whether I have to do that or not." So something's happening in that physical domain that needs to be solved.
  • Then you go to work part. What kind of home environment do they want?
  • Do they want a job do they have or have they had?
  • Keeping is a catchphrase for keeping track of all the things that support a life we love like computers and cars and clothing and cell phones.
  • Then we look at the third category which is love, which is what they love to learn. What are they doing to grow and enjoy life more every day? This is actually where video gaming would fall in music. And YouTubing and also the learning category reading books, podcasts, anything where we choose the input that we want in our lives.
  • Relationships is pretty self explanatory and
  • virtues are one of those ways of being that are just most important to us because we really can narrow it down to those five core values that we have. And we do that inside of The Art of Adulting.

So what we want to do is you want us ask them to do a life audit:

  1. What are you doing now? What have you already created? And then what could you be doing in each of those areas. And be specific is you as you can guess in this what could you be doing? Because that's where we start to build the next actions.
  2. And then what is one thing that you could do but are unsure about it, but you could do it it would be really great. So we sort out, figure out ,tease out what's the one thing that turns them on?
  3. And then I suggest that that's the one that we have to work on. Together with our autistic adults.

It may be that our concern are the social difficulties and social awkwardness. It may be that our choice is dealing with the hygiene but the first thing we need to start with is what they are most interested in getting done. That's where we're going to get the leverage. That's where we're going to get their energy and their focus because they are the ones that are going to execute the solution. We have to start with what matters most to them.

So this is the first of a series, at least five videos that I'm going to put out, that is an outline for us just exactly how do we approach this problem?

And I know the next question is going to be what if we encounter resistance?. What is our way in?  This is a really good question, and it's very individual. And it requires a little creativity on our part.

Let me give you a great example. You can watch this if you want on YouTube, or wherever ABC streams their past episodes of The Good Doctor. I have only watched one episode. I'm sorry I wish I have had watched more but I don't watch much TV.  The first episode is when the mentor doctor is being asked by the love interest "how do I find my way in to connect with the good doctor?" And his words are just perfect. "You'll have to find your own way in."  That's because we never know what the window is going to be.

But I'll give you an example of one that worked really well for me this morning. The kids and I were over at their brother's house and on the way back from helping him out with gardening, something came up about finances. Maybe they were thinking about where they were going to live, the two of them at some point. Yeah. What was that going to be like? How are they going to fund it? And I had no idea that was even on their minds. But that was a great opportunity for me to talk to them about well, how are we going to put together your financial plan for the future? You know what?

We talked about some of the supports that they're getting, and he said, "I just want to be poor when I'm 40." I said I know exactly how you're feeling because I remember when I was facing having to have enough money to eventually be able to do something that I really wanted to do as opposed to working for somebody else. It just seemed like an impossible goal but it can be done. So I understand that it seems overwhelming and is unreachable for you.

He said, "Yeah, Mom, I guess you're right."

Then I talked about how the next steps are clear, but there's more steps over the horizon that we can't define. But all we have to do is stay with steps today that we know how to do.

That's why even though this sounds like this whole life audit and figuring out what's the one next thing doesn't seem like it's gonna solve the problem of how do they become a strategic life creator? But if we can just notice what's on their mind and help them with that at the time and really listen and reflect the emotion that we're hearing that we make a connection with them that we can build on when we're trying to do collaborative problem solving together and trying to create collaborative proactive solutions together. And that'll be the next topic of the second video tomorrow. 

So I look forward to doing that for you. And I can't wait to see you inside of the Art of Adulting at Facebook. And if you want to get a transcript of this video, please visit me at this address and I will actually have a worksheet there for you that has all of this outline so you can do a three step life audit with your autistic young adult.

My advice is do it yourself first; it's a great exercise if you can devote a half an hour or 30 minutes to doing this yourself, you will not be sorry.

What we want to do is approach this whole life strategic life creative process from a different perspective. I just want to read a quote from Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

"I suggest that you shift the paradigm of your own involvement in this material from the role of learner to that of teacher (and here we are the teacher coach role.) Take an Inside-out approach and read it with a purpose in mind of sharing or discussing what you learned with someone else within 48 hours after you learn. You will not only better remember what you read or heard, but your perspective will be expanded your understanding deepens and your motivation to apply the material increased."

So well said. So let's do this strategic life creation process ourselves first, and with keeping in mind then we're going to be the coach and we're going to help our autistic adults do it as well.

I hope this is helpful to you and I look forward to seeing you inside The Art of Adulting.

Bye for now.