The execution of your life design is based on experiences and reflections on those experiences.
Practice self-awareness, self-evaluation, and self-improvement. If we are aware that our manners – language, behavior, and actions – are measured against our values and principles, we are able to more easily embody the philosophy, leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.
– Frances Hesselbein
Creating the life you desire requires you to understand who you are, what you really want, and how best to get there. To create this understanding requires you to reflect on who you are and what you have done.
To create a designed life requires you to be a student of life.
What are Experiences
Experiences are the events of your life. The sum of all your experiences is your life journey or your life story.
Experiences are important to record as they happen because our memories of experiences change over time. To learn from experiences we require an accurate account of the experiences.
When we remember experiences there is the tendency to bring our current perspective into the memory which skews the memory. Documenting our experiences allows us to see patterns and themes and learn from those patterns and themes.
What are Reflections
Reflections are our evaluations of experiences. It is the reflection and evaluation of experiences that allow you to grow and learn.
Part of a life design practice is looking deeply at the underlying reasons for different experiences.
- Why did I enjoy an experience?
- Who do I need to be to live my life design?
- How does the experience fit with my life design?
- What did I learn from the experience?
- How will this experience change me?
Asking introspective questions and reflecting on what we learn is key to creating the understandings required to design and create a life.
How Experiences Fit Into Your Life Design
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
– George Santayana
Your life experience provides the knowledge required to design a life that is congruent with who you are.
The themes and patterns in your life provide the key for determining what life path will be most effective for creating your dream life. Your themes and patterns will either support your journey or hamper your journey. Determining the life path that takes advantage of themes and patterns will be most effective.
Understanding themes and patterns that need to change is also important. If there are themes and patterns that have held you back, or taken you on the wrong path they will need to be changed. Change requires effort and change requires you to understand how much you have changed. Having clearly documented experiences allows you to see the change and the progress.
If you don’t take into account your past experiences you are basically moving forward blind.
How Reflections Fit Into Your Life Design
The most important thing about a person is that you know who you are and what you want. You should be capable of introspection and evaluate yourself.
– Louis van Gaal
There are no shortcuts in life.
If you want something better for your life it requires effort. The best way of minimizing that effort is clarity.
Clarity in your life design, in what you want in life, gives you the focus and the motivation to move forward.
Clarity in “who you are” allows you to create the most effective plan to move forward.
Clarity in your goals and objectives gives you the focus for pursuing those goals and completing the associated objectives.
Clarity comes from reflecting on your experiences, learning from those experiences, and applying what you have learned to your life design.
Execution and Journaling for Life Design
Sometimes we forget the greatest lessons we have learned.
– Dean Graziosi
Journaling is an excellent practice for documenting your experiences and your reflections on those experiences.
Keeping a journal is a key activity for creating and executing a life design.
Ideally, your journal is digital. A digital journal allows you to not only document your experiences and reflections but also to retrieve what you have journaled. Digital journals allow you to search, sort, and tag your experiences so they can be found when needed.
Part of journaling is a journaling practice that includes regularly reviewing, reflecting, and learning from what you have journaled.
You are the topic, you need to understand yourself and your circumstances to create a life design that works and resonates with you. Everyone is unique and therefore every life design will be unique.
My journal is the place where I bring all this information together to help form my life design. With digital tools these processes are become easier and much more effective.
– Geoff Schroder