Designing Your Best Life
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coaching
I believe that Oprah Winfrey first introduced us to the concept of living our best lives. Maybe someone else came up with the idea before her, but when I think about living my best life, I think of Oprah. The good news is that we can take matters into our own hands and deliberately design our own lives each nd every day.
Consider this. Each day, we make decisions that we think will align with what we want to do, who it is we want to be, or where we want to go, only to find that we may not be living the life we were meant to live or being the authentic self that we are supposed to be.
Studies show that in 2017, only 50 percent of Americans were satisfied with their job. And since the pandemic, I suspect the percentage is even larger. Although these levels are the highest they have been since 2005, the reality is that there is still a significant number of adults out there who are not happy with what it is they do. You may be one of them.
These statistics only shed a tiny bit of light on the bigger story, however. Although half of those surveyed were satisfied with their job, another half of the American population were not happy for various reasons.
Dave Evans and Bill Burnett of Stanford University suggest from their work, including a podast based on their book entitled, Designing Your Life, that for each of us to create our life by design, we must first do a little work to understand if we are where we are supposed to be.
Self-Awareness is Key
Knowing yourself by design requires self-awareness of who you are and creating a plan based on multiple ideas about who you want to be and what it is you want to do on both a professional and personal level. Being self-aware means having a clear perception of your personality, strengths, and motivations along with a keen perception of how others see you.
Willingness to Test Your Theories about Who You Think You Are and Who You Want to Be
We all walk around with an idea of who it is we want to be and the things we want to do, but some of us are not so good at acting on those thoughts. Owning your design requires you to take a chance and test your theories about what your passions are by using "if..then" statements.
For example, opening a physician's practice might make a doctor happier than working shifts in a hospital. Or if one starts that coffee house business they have been dreaming about for the last ten years, it might be far better than working for someone else and building their dreams.
Designing your best life requires you to take action to validate your perceptions about yourself.
Envision Three Scenarios for your Future
Evans and Burnett suggest you consider three ideas for your life before taking the plunge. This action is significant if you have several ideas of what you want to do.
1) First, you should take action to redesign your career or some part of your personal life that allows you to experience the things you enjoy most. This action will enable you to determine if your self-assessment is accurate or if you are moving down the wrong path.
2) Second, determine your alternate life. Imagine what you would do if your current life or job went away and you could no longer work in the role you have been in for years. Is there a different job you would perform? Think of this as your "ultimate job." What is the thing you would do in place of this?
3) Fascination Lifestyle
This third and final approach is perhaps your most accurate life design. What would you do if you did not have any financial concerns? Imagine a world where you did not have to worry about money. You have all the money you will ever need. Now what? What is it that you would do to achieve fulfillment?
Once you envision these three scenarios, your goal should be to reach out to someone who is living the life you aspire to live in one of these three areas. Find out if what you imagine is realistic.
Once you have those discussions or perhaps even experience a day in the life of someone else experiencing your impending design, you have the option to make one of them your own.
Each of these steps in the Designing Your Life approach can help you to establish your life by your design and not someone else's.
What does designing your best life look like? Who would you be? How would your life differ from what it is now? It's up to. you to choose how you want to design your life. Take steps to make your life the best it can be.
Until next time.
Until next time.
As you consider what your best life entails, if it is a new job or career, perhaps we should chat. I might be able to help. My calendar link is at https://teachersintransition.com/calendar.