As you work through the What Do You Want To Do With Your Life? program, keep a binder with all the material from the program.
The binder is important for several reasons:
1) It allows you to think on paper. Thinking on paper is absolutely critical to achieving your life plan. When you just plan in your head, you are not able to master all the elements in your life plan. And the result is chaos.
2) It gets you organized. Getting organized is also critical to your life plan. Your life is a major enterprise. It is a “business” that will go on for decades. Your legacy will live on for centuries through the people you influence. When successful entrepreneurs start new businesses, they write organized business plans that are often a hundred pages or more. Your life is an enterprise that demands the same effort and organization.
3) It allows you to integrate ideas. You may have several self-help books where you had to take notes and do exercises. Now the exercises are scattered around your home or office. This only makes you confused. Putting the main exercises and papers in the binder helps consolidate your thoughts and makes your life planning one integrated concept.
4) It helps our mind work better. Our mind is a fantastic tool, but it has its limits. The human brain can only hold a limited number of ideas at any one time. To deal with this limitation, we have formed single abstract concepts that deal with more than one idea at a time.
For example, “food” is an abstract concept consisting of any kind of food, like apples, meat, corn, etc. “Home” is an abstract concept of any cave, house, or shelter. “Safety” is an abstract concept consisting of “no violence,” “a place to call home,” “ability to fend off attack,” etc. As humankind becomes more sophisticated, our concepts become more sophisticated, too. Hence, today the concepts of “peace,” “law and order,” and “the market” are actually very complex abstractions consisting of a huge number of underlying concepts and ideas. This is the way the mind rationalizes all the concepts it can hold.
You have hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas about who you are and what you want to do with your life. Some of these ideas are as simple as “I need to eat.” Others are abstractions like “I want to be safe.” or “I am a deeply spiritual being.”
Even though you have hundreds of concepts about who you are, you are only able to hold a few of them consciously at any one time. We often have conflicting ideas when we think about what we want to do with our lives. We might want a life of adventure, but at the same time may be afraid to take risks. No wonder we are confused and tired. Sometimes, we even just want to scream and escape whenever we think about what we want do with our lives.
So what do we need to do? We need to rationalize our ideas. We need to make enough abstractions about our lives so we can comfortably have a coherent idea about what we want to do within one, two, or three focus points like a “title” for our life. When we are able to do this, we will be able to have peace of mind.
We have to rationalize the thoughts or focus points we will have in our minds whenever we think about what we want to do with our lives.
For example, many people like physical exercise because when you’re doing demanding sports, you must focus all your thoughts on the task at hand. You cannot be solving mathematical or life planning problems when you are intensely playing soccer or skydiving. For many people, this is liberating and it gives them a sense of freedom.
The task at hand replaces conflicting ideas about who we are and what we want to do. But as soon as we stop the exercise, our thoughts come back along with our worries and sorrows. By making a binder containing your life plan, you will be able to narrow down all your ideas about yourself to one concept.
Your thought process will be, “I have a life plan. It is contained within the Life Plan binder I have right here on my shelf. Within it I have gone through my life in detail. I have sorted out the issues. I have analyzed the alternatives and I have made the decision that I will do so and so. I am confident that I am on the right track.”
This is why you need to make and decide on a written plan for your life. In your mind, your plan will be one concept, or one idea. The Life Plan concept is an abstract concept. Therefore, the next step is to manifest this Life Plan concept by putting it all into the binder. This way you can think of something physical (The What Do You Want To Do With Your Life? – Life Plan binder) when you think about your life. Doing this can reduce all your hundreds of ideas, wherein many of them are internally inconsistent. This gives your brain a chance to deal with it.
One good example of something similar would be a concept like “the law.” Within the law are thousands upon thousands of ideas. Many times the ideas are vague and hard to understand; the law is often inconsistent. Yet we can all still relate to the law as one concept.
When we say we “live by the law” or that we are law-abiding citizens, we incorporate all the inaccuracies, the inconsistencies, and the compromises of the law into one concept that we can relate to. When we think about the law we might also think about a physical object, like a book of laws. It would be impossible for us to relate to all the elements of the law one by one. So we rationalize it into one concept.
The Bible and the Koran are other examples wherein an enormous number of ideas are incorporated into one relatable concept as a physical object. We will do the same thing with your life plan. We will make a physical object (the binder) manifest your life plan.
So, this is what you need to do. Get a nice binder — the nicest you can find. On the front of the binder, write in big, bold letters: “[Your Name] – Life Plan.” You will then insert all the pages into your binder. Once you have made the binder, take a good look at it, connect with the object, and create some feelings for it.
This book will be the manifestation of your life plan. The help your brain needs to form the concept of your life plan, and the work you will have to do to arrive at your alternatives are all contained within this binder. Then you can decide what you want to do with your life.
Table of Contents
- About Awareness
- Alternatives: “An Answer”
- An Alternative That We Choose as The Answer – Not an Epiphany
- Dynamic Goals Versus Static Goals
- Happiness: When Are You Happy?
- Pleasure versus Pain
- Positive Mental Attitude
- Smart Goals
- The Method
- The Model
- Volition and Determinism
- What You Want are Feelings
- Who are You?
- You Life Goals
- Your sense of Life
- Your Parents’ Wishes and Hopes for You
- How This Book Came into Being
- The Approach of This Workbook
- The Binder is the Key
- Why the Answer Matters
- Why This Workbook
- Keep Working On It – Refine and Mitigate
- Action Items
- Exercise: Other Influential People
- Exercise: Defining Moments / Turning Points
- Exercise: Defining Moments / Turning Points
- Exercise: Things That Have Given You Pain
- Exercise:Things That Have Given You Pleasure
- Family Legacy
- Exercise: Describe your sense of life
- Exercise: Happiness
- Exercise: Level of Awareness
- Exercise: Philosophy
- Exercise: Role Models and People You Admire
- Exercise: The Major Areas of Your Life
- Exercise: Values
- Exercise: What Are Your Current Goals?
- Exercise: What Do You Give?
- Exercise: You are what you constantly think
- Getting and Receiving
- Giving and Contribution
- Moving Forward
- Your Sense Of Life
- Believing it is Possible
- Creating Your Alternatives
- Exercise: Create the ideal day in the ideal life
- Exercise: How can I give more?
- Exercise: If I could do anything…
- Exercise: Today my father would want me to…
- Exercise: Today my mother would want me to…
- Exercise: Today some significant others would want me to…
- Exercise: Write your own obituary/legacy
- How as a Process, Not as a Recipe
- Personal roles
- Professional roles
- Trap #1: Do something now for just a bit and then tend to the dream
- Trap #2: Acquire money first and then tend to the dream
- Trap #3: Living glamorously; being cool and hip
- Trap #4: Only do what you are good at
- Trap #5: Belief that you can change people or culture
- Trap #6: Guilt
- Trap #7: Keeping your doors open
- Trap #8: Striving for the big goal
- Trap #9: Owning everything
- Trap #10: Stacking commitments
- Trap #11: Going after the sure thing
- Trap #12: Fear of success
- Trap #13: Staying on the wrong track
- Trap #14: Not being ready to make the decision
- Trap #15: Letting a major change paralyze you
- Trap #16: Falling in love with The Question
- Who, Where, Why, What, How and When
- Alternative 1
- Alternative 1:
- Alternative 2
- Alternative 2:
- Alternative 3
- Alternative 4
- Alternative 5
- Alternative Answers to The Question
- Certainty/ Risk/ Likelihood
- Giving, What
- Health, How
- Interests, Why
- Keep Working On It – Refine and Mitigate
- List the Alternatives
- No ONE Answer
- Pain, Why
- Pleasure Why?
- The Checklist
- The cons
- The Defaullt Alternative
- The Default Alternative – Path of Least Resistance:
- The pros
- What Constitutes a Good Answer?
- How I Made My Decision
- About The Author
- Appendix: Authors
- Coin Tossing
- Decision-Making Techniques
- Drifting Into
- Getting Leverage
- Important Elements in Decision-Making
- Leave it Up to Others
- Major Pain
- Make a Contract with Yourself
- Make The Decision – The Commitment To Yourself
- Measured Criteria
- Referring to a Higher Order – Faith
- Self dicipline
- Setting TWo Alternatives Up Against Each Other
- Share It
- The Decision
- The One Question
- The T-chart
- Using a committee
- Which alternative did you decide on for your life plan?