6 Steps For Life Direction Discovery
Where there is no vision, the people perishProverbs 28:8
You know, if we are really honest with ourselves, we would admit that success is much, much, more than monetary gains, grand titles, and educational degrees.
And because success means different things for different people, it is important to plan for success by mapping out all the aspects of your life that you wish to be impacted, in powerful ways.
If you were planning a hiking trip into the mountains, you would definitely plan where you wanted to go on your trek, and what tools were necessary for a successful expedition right?
Well, the same principle applies as you work to engineer you success. For you to map out what you consider to be success in your own life, you need to clearly define a few details in the process.
These details are: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack, landmarks, and route.
Let’s begin with…
1. Your Starting Point: Figuring Out Who You Currently Are?
Any map or journey has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now.
Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m Don and I am a 27-year old, bank teller.” But the thing is, the statement tells you nothing about who Don is; it only tells you his present preoccupation – and most of us are guilty of defining ourselves by our occupation.
To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status.
Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses.
Upon introspection, Don realized that he was highly motivated, generous, service-oriented, but impatient. His inclination was in the legal field. Furthermore, he believed that life must serve a purpose, and that wars were destructive to human dignity.
2. Your Destination: Figuring Out A Clear Vision Of Who You Want To Be
“Who do want to be?” this is your vision.
Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view.
If you hardly know yourself, then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Your destination should cover all the aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
Continuing Don’s story, after he defined his beliefs, values, and principles in life, he decided that he wanted to have a life dedicated in serving her fellowmen through the justice system.
3. Your Vehicle: Figuring Out How You Will Get To Your Destination
A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be important to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself.
Based on Don’s personal assessment, he decided that he was suited to become a lawyer, and that he wanted to become one. His chosen vocation was a Lawyer. Describing his vision-mission fully: it was to live a life dedicated to serving her fellow man as a lawyer prosecuting criminals.
4. Your Travel Bag: Figuring Out What You Need For The Journey
Food, drinks, medicines, and other travelling necessities are contained in a bag. Applying this concept to your life mapping process, you also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision.
Given such, there is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present, and what you need to gain along the way.
This two-fold assignment will give you insights on your landmarks or measures of success.
Don realized that he needed to gain professional knowledge and skills in law so that he could become a lawyer. He knew that he always had a a hard time focusing while reading on any subject, so he realized that this was something he wanted to change because researching, reading and interpreting what was read is important to any legal professional.
5. Your Landmarks and Route: Figuring Out Your S.M.A.R.T. objectives
Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track while the route determines the travel time. So, in planning out your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound.
So, you cannot set two major landmarks such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is two years.
Going back to Don as an example, he identified the following landmarks in his life map: completing a bachelor’s degree in law by the age of 30; earning her specialization in criminal law by the age of 33; getting deployed in local prosecutor’s office of his city by the age of 34; and serving as lawyer in crime infested areas by the age of 36.
6. Your Anticipated Turns, Detours, and Potholes: Figuring Out How To Get Around Obstacles
The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and spur-of-the-moment decisions that can make you lose your way. But oftentimes, our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control.
Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes thus; so you must anticipate them and adjust accordingly.