To create a Blue Print of your Life
As we close out a year and prepare to enter a new year, it’s time we focus on our current Life Blueprint. If you’ve not created one then now is the time. It’s kind of hard to build the life we desire without a Life Blueprint to follow.
I’ve read where it’s estimated that only 3% of people ever write down their goals. Personally I believe this is because most of us have failed so many times at reaching them, we’re too embarrassed to write them down. We don’t want to take the chance of facing the same disappointment we did last year, and the year before, and the year before that, when did not turn out like we planned. Now it’s much safer for us just to keep our goals and ambitions tucked safely in the back of our minds.
Well, what we need to think about over the next few days as we enter into a new year it is not goal setting. Instead we need to focus on creating a Life Blueprint.
I firmly believe we’re not created to push ourselves through life, but to be pulled by something so compelling and irresistible that there would be an empty space inside if we don’t follow those longings. Stop and think about it a second. What deep unspoken dream have you not yet achieved? In other words what’s your true purpose? What is it you have always wanted to do, but have been afraid to give it your 100% commitment?
Social Scientists from the beginning of recorded history have all concluded that at the core of all humans is a quest to find purpose and meaning. Yet, year after year we never take the time to truly reach deep inside to create the Life Blueprint that could help us build the fulfilling life we so desire.
For most of us, life is a compromise of a God-given dream. Our situation usually isn’t that life is a complete disappointment. But there’s a haunting feeling that it was meant to be so much more. And in each case the compromise we settle for can be traced directly to a lack of purpose somewhere in our lives.
So as we move forward in creating a Life Blueprint we need to realize that a blueprint is a rough draft… a picture of the end result as seen by the architect. With a Life Blueprint suddenly there’s a place to turn for reference when things are on track, and when it’s time to take the next step. This Life Blueprint will act as a guide for establishing a strong foundation, developing our inner wiring; even tend to some of the cosmetic details.
This Life Blueprint goes far beyond simply learning our purpose. It includes a plan for intentional living in every area of our life. Our Life Blueprint gives us a practical framework for life. It’s a set of plans to organize our life’s priorities and determine specific action steps to make sure we meet the objectives that will create a true sense of fulfillment.
Here’s the basic blueprint, if we complete each of these 8 steps we’ll be well on our way to a year like we’ve not known in a while, if ever. Take the time to write down your answers to the following 8 questions. Review these daily as you create your Life Blueprint.
Passion – What are you passionate about? If money was no object, where would you choose to focus your time and energy?
Giftedness – What special gifts or skills do you have? What are the things you do best? Is there something that comes effortlessly for you while others struggle to keep pace?
Resources – What resources or possessions do you have that can be leveraged? Do you have money, a position of influence, a vehicle, or an education that could be the building block for what you truly want to pursue?
Opportunities – What opportunities are sitting on your doorstep? What opportunities are just over the horizon?
You’re Past – How has your past helped to prepare you for your future? What have you succeeded at? What have you failed at? Have you gained valuable experience that will now be helpful in a similar arena?
Key Environments – Are there certain environments in which you tend to thrive? Is there a certain area of the country that gets your juices flowing? Are there particular people or personality types that make you productive?
Personal/Spiritual Growth – This is the cornerstone of our search for our true purpose. Each of us are trying to find our way on this journey we call life. Well in order to continue going forward, and not around in circles we need to focus on our personal and spiritual growth. What are you currently doing to grow personally and spiritually?
Wise Counsel – If you were to ask the mentors in your life, what would they say you should do? Find someone or several that you respect and trust. People who have already aspired to where you want to go, and who have nothing to win or lose by your decisions, and find out what they did to get where you want to go.
Ok, now we need to look at the top six areas of our life and see where we are strong and where we need to firm up the foundations.
We have to take a real close look at these six areas of our life and figure out how to gain balance. See if we desire to have a life of prosperity, we have to live a life of balance. In our Life Blueprint we need to write down both our personal and professional areas of improvement. What areas do we need to work on? Who do we need to turn for help?
The above exercises are the foundation for helping us to create a Life Blueprint. It is not the end, it’s just the beginning. Over the next few days we will start to see a clear picture of what we truly desire, and how to strive towards it.
Once, we’ve accomplished this step, it’ll be time for us to write in vivid detail what we would call our perfect day;
If time, money, recourses and energy was no object what would your perfect day look like? Where would you live, what type of financial success would you achieve, how would you and your family invest your time?
You may be asking “Why is this so important?” I think the third King of the Hebrews said it best in his writings in the book of Proverbs “Where there is no vision, the people perish… Proverbs 29:18”
We must create a vision that comes from deep in our soul. If we do this, we’ll be light years ahead of those who are trying to accomplish success without a Life Blueprint.
Our vision is what keeps us going when things aren’t going has we planned. It’s what keeps us going when others tell us it’s not worth it. By writing down our vision and keeping it in front of us at all time, we’ll ensure our psychology is focused forward and not hanging out with the dull, disillusioned, negative cry- babies in our life; People who would love for us to stay in the same cesspool of failure that they call home. Yes, these are harsh words, yet if you take a gut check you’ll see I’m right.
Take time right now and create your vision for success. In creating this part of your Life Blueprint, take time to remember these two things.
- Small visions have no power to move our passion. Most people just don’t have a vision that motivates them to act.
- Reasons come first, answers come second. Most people will do more for others than for themselves. Who in your life deserves for you to reach your vision?
Now, you are ready to focus in on the action plan of your Life Blueprint.
- Write on a 3×5 card your Ultimate Vision
- Write on a 3×5 card your Ultimate Purpose
- Write on a 3×5 card The Roles you have to fill daily i.e. “world’s best husband”, “super dad”, “Chief Rainmaker”, “Chief Solutions Officer” name your roles with titles that inspire you to act.
- Write on a 3×5 card the three areas you must focus on daily in order to thrive and live out your ultimate vision and purpose?
- Write on a 3×5 card the recourses you have at hand which will allow you to reach your ultimate vision and ultimate purpose?
- Write on a 3×5 card your 90-day and one year Results/Outcomes
- Write on a 3×5 card your Daily R.P.M. (Results-Focused, Purpose-Driven, Massive-Action-Plan)
Remember in order to create your Life Blueprint you must ask yourself the following questions.
- What result do I want to achieve?
- What is my purpose in achieving this result?
- What specific action must I take in order to achieve this result?
Now, let’s look at the definitions of Results/Outcomes, Purpose, and Action as they pertain to this Life Blueprint guide.
Results/Outcomes – An Outcome is a specific measurable result that you want to achieve. Use words like create, establish, determine, begin, resolve, maintain, or make major progress on.
Purpose – Your purpose gives you the emotional reasons why you want to follow through. When you become associated to why you are doing something, you will create the emotional excitement and “juice” that will give you the drive to create the results. Is your language powerful? Ask yourself “Why do I want to do this? What will it give me and others? How will it make me feel?
Action – Action items are the specific activities that you must complete in order to produce the outcome/results you are committed to. The secret is that you do not need to accomplish every action item on your “to-do” list in order to achieve your desired outcome. Is it something you can take action on today? Be ruthlessly specific: who, what, where, when and how – specifically!
Ok, we have come to the end of this Life Blueprint outline and we’re at a crossroads. Will we take the time needed and invest in creating your Life Blueprint? Or, will we decide to blow it off once again, and continue to allow others to control our outcomes?
Every decision we make carries consequences. The decision we make has the power to create great rewards for our life; or our decision can cause negative consequences that denigrate the quality of our life.
Think of all the experiences you have had in your life and where your life would be today. Would your life be radically different if you had made some different decisions? Even small decisions can have a profound impact when they are measured over the course of several years or decades.
Maturity is anticipating the consequences of your decisions in advance of making them.
Your brain in constantly making three decisions:
- What am I going to focus on?
- What does this mean?
- What am I going to do?
We have to ask ourselves, if decisions have so much power in our lives, why do we tend to put them off?
- Fear – Many of us are afraid of failing or of making the wrong decision. However, the only failure is failing to decide.
- Uncertainty about what the decision is going to mean – The way to get good at making decisions is to make more of them. Then if we make the wrong ones, we’ll learn more quickly and we can use what we’ve learned to make better decisions in the future.
- We feel overwhelmed – In today’s society, we all experience a constant deluge of information – it’s on our e-mails, our voice mail, our cell phones, and our PDA’s. And we are constantly pressured to make decisions based on the information that surrounds us. Often, we simply don’t know where to start. We need a system for making decisions that will cause us to focus on our outcomes and produce the results that will benefit us most in the long run.
So let’s look at four principles for making decisions.
- All important and/or difficult decisions must be made on paper. Don’t do it in your head! This causes a “Looping Process” that makes effective decision making difficult to impossible, and makes us crazy!
- The most important first step in all decision making is to be clear about what you want (your outcome) and why you want it (your purpose). How will you know when you’ve achieved your outcome? What is your evidence procedure?
- Remember, decisions are made based on probability. Rarely will you have the luxury of absolute certainty. All decision making carries some consequences – that’s its power. However, failing to make a timely and intelligent decision can also carry severe consequences to individuals and organizations.
- All decisions making is Value Clarification. Often, you will have several outcomes you want to achieve simultaneously.Therefore, you must be clear about the order of importance of all these outcomes.
Let me suggest six steps that can help you make effective decisions and get you started on creating your Life Blueprint.
- Outcomes – What is the result you are after? Why do you want to achieve it? You must be clear about our outcomes and their order of importance in your life.
- Options – Write down all of your options, including those that initially may sound far-fetched.
- Consequences – What are the upsides and downsides of each option? What do you gain by each option and what could it cost you?
- Evaluate – Weigh the consequences of each option. Review your options and evaluate each of their upsides and downsides.
- What outcomes are affected?
- How important is each upside/downside in terms of meeting your outcomes (on a scale from 0-10)
- What is the probability that the upside/downside will occur (0-100 %?)
- What is the emotional benefit or consequence if this option were to actually happen?
- Mitigate – Review the “downside” consequences for each of your remaining options. Then brainstorm alternative ways to eliminate or reduce the downside.
- Resolve – Based on the most probable consequences, select the option that provides the greatest certainty you will meet your desired outcomes and needs.
- Select your best option and strengthen your resolve to make it work.
- Resolve that no matter what happens, this option will give you a win.
- Design your plan for implementation and then take massive action. You know your outcome – now it’s time to develop an RPM plan for attaining it.
Now if while you are creating your Life Blueprint you run into a situation where you need to solve a problem before you can move forward, here are four simple steps to use.
- Get Resourceful
- Decide that you are going to solve this. Decide to stop focusing on the problem and start focusing on the solution. Most people spend 95% on the problem and 55% on the solution. You must do the opposite.
- Get perspective from others who have successfully dealt with such situations before.
- Remember a tough time in your life when you pulled yourself through. What was it that pulled you through? A belief? An understanding? How can you utilize that resource in this situation?
- Believe that you’re guided as long as you’re doing something for the greater good, and that if you’re committed, there is always a way.
- Define the current situation – You must define the current situation as factually as possible without your “story.” For most of us, there is the actual event and then there is our story about the event. To solve a problem, you must remove yourself from your “story” and simply define the situation as it is.
- Get a clear Vision for what you really want – What do you want to have happen that is different from how it is now? Again, write down exactly how you want this situation to turn out.
- List the resources available to you and any constraints or limitations you may have.
- What are the resources you could utilize to help solve this problem? Who do you know who could help you? What physical resources do you have (i.e., money, time, etc.)? What information is available to you that you are not maximizing?
- What constraints do you have in solving this situation? List only real limitations or parameters to solving this situation. Be sure that they are really constraints and not just limiting beliefs. For example, are you limited to spending a certain amount of money? Is there a time frame by which this must be resolved? Is there a resource that you don’t want to tap into for this particular situation?
Congratulations! We’ve made it to the end of this email! You’re one of the “Few who do” versus “the many who talk.” And, you now have the basis information you need to start creating your Life Blueprint for the new year.
If any of you have any questions please feel free to contact me personally and we’ll chat about your Life Blueprint.
Stand Firm & Never give Up.
Cheers David Nair