“I reached the stage when I needed to see the link between my daily work and my life goals,” explained one person. “For years I had succeeded in reframing activities, even when I was stuck in traffic on the M25."
"Being an ‘achiever’, I always made ‘to do’ lists and got a kick from crossing-off each item. But during my mid-thirties I needed to regain a sense of meaning."
"The first part was relatively simple: defining what I wanted to achieve in life. The second part was more difficult: making the necessary changes. But now I feel that every day I am doing something towards achieving my long term goals.”
Perhaps you have already taken this step. If not, let’s explore how you can pursue it in your own way.
1) You can clarify your life compass.
There are many ways to define your life compass. You may want to begin by tackling one of the many exercises that invite you to clarify your overall life goals. Start from this destination and working backwards, you can then relate your daily actions towards achieving this picture of success.
“That is what I did when I was 39, because it was a good time to take stock,” explained one person. “Looking back, I listed my achievements in life."
"These included having a reasonable sporting career, building our marriage and raising a happy family. Obviously there had been ups-and-downs, especially when caring for our daughter who had a life threatening illness. On the whole, however, my wife and I had been happily blessed."
"Looking forwards, I listed my future aims. Encouraging my family took pride of place, but I also wanted to share my knowledge as a sports coach. I always admired John Wooden, the great basketball coach. His wisdom could be applied to life as well as sports."
"So I planned to run more sports seminars, particularly focusing on the mental side. I also aimed publish a book. Being somebody who likes to set goals, I now feel more on track in my life.”
Different people set their compass in different ways. If you wish, however, try tackling the following exercise that invites you to clarify your life goals.
2) You can clarify how your daily actions connect to your life compass.
“Every day I do something that contributes to achieving my long term aims,” explained one person. “Preferably I do something early in the day. This might be exercising to stay healthy, writing a page for my book, encouraging my wife or whatever."
"It then feels like I am setting the agenda for the day. Otherwise other people’s agendas flood my own and it takes time to get back on course. It takes discipline to set aside time to get some ‘early wins’, but it is highly beneficial. Providing I do this, I feel on course to achieve my long term goals.”
How can you make this happen in your own way? One approach involves three steps. First, to clarify the specific things you can do each day towards achieving your life goals. Second, to set aside the time to do these properly. Third, to actually do them and get a sense of success. Try completing the following sentence.
3) You can keep making the connection between your daily actions and your life compass.
“My challenge was maintaining the big picture,” explained one person. “I began with good intentions, but soon found myself blown off course. So I created some quiet time each Sunday to revisit my life goals."
"Looking ahead, I focused on doing something towards these in the next week. It took time to develop this habit, but it worked. I now get a sense of meaning by doing something each day towards achieving my life goals."
Plato said that Man is: “a being in search of meaning.” This rule applies as much now as then. People who are following their overall life compass often enjoy a sense of meaning. How can you do this in your own way?
Try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe the specific things you can do to see a connection between your daily actions and your long term picture of success. Try completing the following sentence.