Designing the life you want

What does your dream life look like? The big, giant, almost fantasy-like, dream you have for your life? What stirs your soul? What fulfills you? What do you yearn for in your life?

These are big questions.  But I am convinced that if you can tie your daily actions, daily to-dos, daily goals to your big dream for your life – you will be more motivated, more inspired, more excited about getting up every day, getting to it, and more able to recover when you encounter set-backs. Because you will be in hot pursuit of something that excites and inspires YOU.

Do you know the answers to these questions? I challenge you to stop right now, take a piece of paper (or open up a blank document on your computer) – set a timer for 20 minutes – and write out the answers. Take pen to paper, or fingers to keys, and write for 20 minutes. (If you don’t know what to write – write the phrase “I know what I want.” over and over until you feel moved to write something else.)

Or take 20 minutes, go to the library or a bookstore, and with pen and paper in hand, wander up and down every section of the store – look at the names of as many books as you can. Visit sections you didn’t know existed…and jot down the titles or sections that seem interesting to you. You’re not here to buy – not yet – you’re on an expedition of self-discovery. You’re looking for ANYthing that piques your interest – no judgments, be curious!

Or grab a stack of magazines – with lots of pictures…and set the timer for 20 minutes. While thinking about the questions above, go thru the magazines and cut out, tear out, any picture that moves you. Do not evaluate or judge (really – you don’t have time! )…just take the pics that call to you and move on. When the timer goes…stop, breathe. And get a piece of poster board and tape or glue. Set the timer again – for 20 minutes. And make a collage. No thinking. Just let your intuition guide you. Go! When the timer goes – you are done!

Put everything aside for a day or 2. Then come back to any or all of the above. What do you see? What are some recurring themes? What appeals to you? Can’t tell? Ask a trusted friend, family member, mentor, or coach – what do THEY see?

Now – once more – what does your dream life look like? The big, giant, almost fantasy-like, dream you have for your life? What stirs your soul? What fulfills you? What is the life you want?

1 comment to Designing the life you want

  • Great advice — and I say that from the other side, the side where I’ve pursued the big, giant, almost fantasy-like dream, and it worked. But it only works if you identify it and then pursue.

    The only thing I’d add is sometimes your critics are a good source of inspiration. I remember a teacher in grad school writing on one of my papers that I was a fabulous writer, but unfortunately, “the qualities that make a great writer rarely make a great scholar.” He meant it as a devastating criticism. For me, it was like my fairy godmother had tapped me with a wand and reminded me of what my real dream had always been, a goal too near and dear to my heart to every really believe in — “you’re supposed to be a writer, not a scholar — get out of grad school and pursue your dream.”

    So it’s great that you’re trying to help people pursue their dreams — and I hope you find all yours coming true.

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Paul Immanuel, CEO & Principal Consultant, Immanuel Consulting Services, LLC