Questions To Ask Yourself
In the first instalment of this series, I shared the turning point when I realised that I was living a life designed by others. If you haven’t read that, head here to read it first. If you’ve already read part one, here’s what happened next …
After a few attempts at various jobs and businesses, I realised that I had no direction in life. That although I wanted to be the architect of my life, I didn’t really know what I wanted. This realisation was both daunting and empowering because although I didn’t know what I wanted from life, I was glad that I had finally realised this and was now able to make some changes.
Upon this realisation, I decided that it was time to go back to the drawing board to map out the type of life that I wanted to experience. To do this, I had to spend some time with myself and answer a variety of questions. Questions that would ultimately help me find the answers that I needed, while also giving me direction and purpose.
In wanting to create my ideal life, I needed to understand my abilities, the type of lifestyle that would best suit me, and the type of people that I should focus on surrounding myself with. To do this, I asked myself the following —
In answering these, I found it important to give equal weight to each opposing question so that I’d be better able to maximise that which I want in my life, alongside identifying and eliminating that which I don’t.
Throughout answering these questions, I came to realise that there were key areas of my life that I wanted to focus on and maximise — these being my health, happiness and financial wellbeing. Essentially, the foundations for what I believe is a successful life.
What's important to note is that what each of these means to you could be completely different from what they mean to me. Which is why it's imperative to define these for yourself so that the standard you're aiming for resonates with you, and is enjoyable for you to pursue and sustain.
In most cases, people usually have one to two of these optimised with the others not up to the standard that they want. Personally, my health and happiness are relatively optimised and are easy for me to maintain — making my current focus mastering and optimising my finances. However, when it comes to improving other foundations, I recommend focusing on one at a time. Then only once you have mastered one, where you’re able to keep it running somewhat effortlessly, should you then move on to mastering another.
Now, after I had outlined and understood the type of lifestyle that I wanted to live and the foundations for my life, I then went about identifying the different goals that I had for each core foundation. To do this, I outlined my overarching life goals for ten years into the future. From there, I reverse engineered my goals and outlined what I would need to achieve in the next six months, year, and five years to take me towards the overarching goals that I had set.
In identifying my goals, it was also important for me to keep in mind that life happens and has its own plans for us. Lord knows how many life-changing decisions I’ve made in the past five years alone! So, while I’ve set plans and goals for myself to aim towards, I always like to keep in mind the importance of being both open-minded and malleable. Because while it’s important to set plans and goals, life is such a way that we’re constantly evolving and being given new information — information that could see you change your ideals, goals, and even definitions as you continue to learn and evolve.
Therefore, in somewhat of an attempt to stay malleable and adaptable, I actively allocate time to review both myself and my life regularly. On a macro level, I do this at the end of each quarter where I review the goals I have and haven’t achieved, alongside any changes that need to be made. Also, at the end of each year, where I review the questions outlined above, alongside the goals that I did and didn’t achieve so that I can make the changes necessary for me to move forward.
On a micro level, I also take time to reflect at the end of each day and week where I review the tasks I had set for myself, my abilities to complete those tasks, alongside any changes that need to be made accordingly. That way by reviewing myself, my actions and my goals, I’m easily able to adapt as I grow and as I receive new information.
Now, you might look at this and think — that's quite a bit of work to do. Of which, I completely agree. However, in the grand scheme of things I find it to be a small trade-off in helping me find direction in life, alongside helping me live more in alignment with the type of lifestyle that I’d like to live. While these plans might not turn out exactly as I hope, they have given me direction, while also allowing me to make better decisions that support the plans and ideals that I have for myself and my life.
So, instead of dreaming about the great life, you might live, why not take the time to outline the life you want to live? To plan the steps you will take to get there, and then begin putting those plans into action. You may wake up one day and find yourself a lot closer to your dream life by doing so.
P.s. This is the second instalment of a three-part series called — Life By Design. I'll be sharing 'Part Three’ shortly where we'll focus on how I set my daily routine to maximize my core foundations and help me achieve my goals.