Designing Your Lives
Updated: Oct 8, 2018
Yes, that's meant to be plural.
If you're like me you've got a thousand different things you want to do, dozens of career options in front of you and millions of ways to live your life every day competing for your attention. It's called change and choices.
I often feel like multiple versions of myself and it's why every thing I love or do doesn't always seem to make sense. For instance, I love the peace and quite that comes from hours of being on my own, but I crave a connection to others and enjoy spending plenty of time with my friends. Or take my love of all things vintage and my love of bright pops of color and crisp clean white space. We all have multiple lives and we live them every single day.
I've contemplated this issue many times before but never really looked at it in the positive light I should have. I'm happy to report I've found a new perspective on the subject.
I love reading new books especially those with challenges or activities that make me do some serious soul searching, pondering and re-evaluations. Self improvement is something I absolutely adore, not that there's something wrong with me, just that a new way of thinking, behaving and being can create more balance and joy in life.
So last week I began reading Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. It's a great book with clever insight offering a new way to simply look at life....as a designer not just a bystander.
Who doesn't want that right?
Inside is a challenge that I wanted to share with you because maybe right now you feel stuck, maybe you're fighting gravity problems (read more about this in the book), maybe you feel like you're out of options or you're simply unhappy with the way things are going.
Well strap on that thinking cap and get ready for a world of options.
Here's what your gonna do:
Create as many alternative five year life plans as you can come up with. This is the meat and potatoes of the challenge, it's about creating options. "You aren't designing the rest of your life; you are designing what's next. Every possible version of you holds unknows and compromises, each with its own identifiable and unintended consequences". -Designing Your Life
Start with what you are currently doing and grow from there. Make some serious and realistic, with others as wild and spontaneous as you want.
Maybe you want to open a center for children with disabilities or fall off the grid and completely disappear. Have you ever wanted to be a famous movie star or perhaps the president? The possibilities are endless and there's no wrong answers here.
Here's how to do it:
1. Give each life plan a descriptive five to six word title. Example: Goodbye Chains, Hello Freedom and Travel!
2. Finish this sentence for each life plan; in five years I will....
3. Be as descriptive as you can with all of your plans. What will this life look like, feel like? Consider location, personal and noncareer events, your career, what experiences you will gain, skills you will learn, activities you will enjoy, who will be with you, etc.
4. Answer any questions that arise from your life plan. Do I like this? Do I have the time, money, skills, resources, etc. for this? Do I have the confidence to pull this off? Is this plan consistent with me, my lifeview/workview? Can I make a living doing this? Is happiness more important than money? Each life plan will raise it's own set of questions for you to address.
Look at how many options there are for you and your life! Bet you didn't realize all of those possibilities even existed, did you?
This challenge really opened my eyes to everything that's waiting for me. Some of my life plans are a little far-fetched but that doesn't mean with the right attitude and imagination I can't make them into viable options for a life I love.
Here are a few of them...
Serving the Public Under Lock and Key
Goodbye Chains, Hello Freedom and Travel!
Creation is the Key to Happiness
Love, Happiness and the American Dream
A New Life in New Zealand
Sharing Creative Talents with Others
Have fun with this! Let your imagination loose and the possibilities will flow. When you're done I'd love to see what you've come up with.
'til next time,