Does this resemble the twists and turns of your life? It looks chaotic, doesn’t it?
My life definitely looked like that up until about 10 years ago (2007), when my awareness expanded and I realized something was seriously wrong. Whose life was I living, anyway” Truthfully, I hadn’t thought anything about life planning yet. I just knew that I hadn’t planned my life very much up to that point. The sad thing is that I was 58 years old in 2007. Yikes! Not much time left! Why didn’t I notice sooner?
Janice Holly Booth explains it this way:
“When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Chances are you thought there was one right choice, one perfect answer. That mindset may explain why many of us are stuck in lives we don’t like, or jobs we downright hate. Truth is, there is no single right path. In fact, we all have multiple lives in us. Being a smart life planner means figuring out what they are.”
Dave Evans says that mid-life is a perfect time (!) to redesign our lives, because we have lived long enough to know better who we really are and how the world really is. It’s NOT too late. It’s never too late. Just don’t waste any more time wallowing in a life that doesn’t include the authentic YOU — who you really are.
Imagine yourself as an interior designer! You look around at the furniture and wall decor that you’ve been looking at for years and realize that you need to seriously update it. Marshall Goldsmith says that we should “see our lives as a problem to be solved” from a designer’s perspective. You need to first identify those aspects of your life that no longer serve you.
But don’t get confused between something that is a problem and something that is a circumstance. If you can’t change it, then it’s a circumstance. Take a look at these four domains in your life:
- Health & Wellness
- Your work in the world
- Your time and money freedom
For each area, ask yourself how you are doing. You might form an image of each one being a separate room in your house. Together they make up the house, but they also have their own separate identities.
Now, create a vision for your life. What is your purpose? Is your current life in alignment with the vision and with your core values? For example, if you are concerned about the environment and have a strong wish to leave the planet a better place for the next generations, a job working for a company that pollutes would not align with your vision and your values.
Dave Evans and his partner, Bill Burnett, authored a book titled, Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. In it they encourage people to develop five mindsets to redesign their lives. They are:
- Be curious
- Try stuff
- Reframe problems
- Remember that life design is a process
- Ask for help
Once you’ve designed your life, you’re not done. In fact, you are never done! Life design is a never-ending process. Ayse Birself, author of Design the Life You Love, says this:
“Today things are changing so fast. The traditional road maps to a good life can’t keep up with the change. This is an incredible challenge. But a challenge is also an opportunity. Why not design our own roadmap, design our own life? A life that is original to us, built on our own values and that look and feels like us. That is our opportunity.”
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Author’s Note: Some of the information in this article is from Life Reimagined LLC