What I mean is, you’re not a sailboat without sails, blowing aimlessly around in the wind….so choose a direction! I don’t know that much about sailing (clearly). I do however, (like to think) that I know a little something about choosing a direction.
I like to plan, I really like to navigate the waters of my life and see the places my ship will take me if I steer it in the right direction (okay, I’m done with the boat analogies). Seriously though, I’m not afraid to make decisions, think about what I want, and design my life to look the way I imagine.
Most of us only plan as far as what we want to do this weekend, but it’s time to start planning the life you want in the long run.
Envision the home you want to own, the amount of money you want in the bank, the vacations you want to take, the career you want to be in, the events you want to attend, and the goals you want to achieve.
It’s not like you can just stand around and wish for things like, “Wouldn’t it be great to win a million dollars,” (duh) but actually set realistic goals, make strategic plans. Look at the steps you would need to take. Talk to the people who have what you want, and work your way towards being the person you want to become.
Now I don’t think I can predict the future or imagine every possibility for everything that’s going to happen. I know that life can take some crazy unexpected turns, but I also don’t want to drift around in my 20’s and then start scrambling when I’m 30 to begin taking my life seriously.
I’m not saying that I have it all figured out because… ehm… well, I definitely don’t. I’ve just been thinking a lot about how so often we use our 20’s as the freebie years and don’t take ourselves seriously until we’re totally off-track from where we thought we’d be.
I mean really think about it, maybe you’re toying with different ideas of what you might want, but you never take action. Or maybe you’re saving marriage, kids, that law degree, writing a book, buying a house, in that list of “things I’ll do in my thirties.”
But here’s the thing time sneaks up on you quick. And do you really want to be the kind of thirty year old that is struggling to get their degree, work full-time, meet a good guy, and find their way? If you thought of these things sooner, if you planned better, if you chose a direction, wouldn’t life be a little bit easier?
I’m not saying you can’t do these things when your thirty, of course, you can, but dang that’s a lot of pressure to put on future you!
I mean seriously so much of our suffering later in life comes from poor planning early on. It comes from not knowing what we want, what we need, or who we even are! I mean, how much time are you spending focusing on you, on your future?
Like what are your standards? What is it that you need to do, or accomplish to be happy? What lights your soul on fire, and makes you feel fulfilled? How do you take responsibility for who you’ll be in the future?
The first step in any lifestyle design or goal setting road map is deciding who you want to be and then taking the time to figure that person out. Knowing yourself on the very deepest level. The likes, the dislikes, boundaries, qualms, then settling for nothing less than the standards you’ve set.
If you can’t answer these questions about where you’re going or what you want, are you really even in control of your life? If you spend every day miserable at your job or in your relationship, are you really designing your best life?
The same should go for your goals. If you aren’t working towards them or you have none, what are you living towards? What are you looking forward to?
C’mon, you definitely weren’t put here to be some mediocre version of yourself. So be critical of the past, present, and future. Let it guide the way as proof or what you want, don’t want, and what you need. And ask yourself who am I becoming and does that align with who I want to be?
If you can’t answer these questions about where you’re going or what you want, are you really even in control of your life? If you spend every day miserable at your job or in your relationship, are you really designing your future?
Or are you a sailboat with no sail?