Posted on December 8th, 2009 by Colin and is posted in Lifestyle Design
Let’s start out with an important life question – When was the last time you really sat down and gave yourself the space to think about who you are, what’s really important to you and what you want from life?
Most of the people I coach rarely sit and assess where they are in life. The ‘knee jerk’ excuse I hear when I ask what prevents them is the big T word – TIME!
It seems the big things like hopes, dreams, plans and ambitions come secondary to life stuff – work to do, meals to cook, friends to see, places to go. In the whirlwind of daily life it’s easy to let life fly by. Making time to think deeply about your vision of the good life is a vital step to having the B.A.L.L.S to realizing those dreams.
A little defining is necessary…
The key words in “Liberate Your Life with a Vision” require some explaining to fully understand their meaning:
The dictionary gives the definition of “The state of not being in confinement or servitude.”
To be liberated is to be unbounded by the status quo. The status quo for most people in the UK is to work hard, strive and struggle all their life, save hard (or build a pension) and then retire to the ‘good life’ in Southern Spain!
But is that what you really want? To work for 40-ish years and start living the good life when you are past your prime? Not if you are a Maverick!
Mavericks, by definition, live unconventional lives; they rebel against the status quo and have no desire to adopt the deferred-life plan.
Mavericks relentlessly question some of the basic assumptions underpinning our daily existence. Assumptions such as having to wait until you retire to enjoy your life, or that you have to be a multi-millionaire to live a rich and lavish existence.
In Sept 2004 the family and I started a year long sabbatical on the tiny Canary Island of Fuerteventura. When we announced our intention to do this, many well-meaning friends advised me not to take a year out because I was at the top of my income earning ability (another assumption) and I might not have a job when I returned! I was told to max out on my income earning ability and instead of taking a year out now, bring retirement forward by a few years. In their eyes that made more sense.
Mavericks are not interested in what make sense. Life is too short!
Like many other Mavericks, I’m only interested in designing a more authentic way of living. I’ve no desire to take my final breath thinking that the second half of my life was full of “should haves” and “could haves.”
I don’t want to be somebody who dies at forty but isn’t buried until eighty. I’ve met many people who only lived for a short time but took a long time to die!
In 2008 – three years after returning from the little island and radically changing our life, a good friend came out to stay with us in Spain. The book he was reading at the time was Tim Ferris ‘The 4 Hour Work Week. Escape The 9-5, Live Anywhere And Join The New Rich.’
I was intrigued by the title and like most people who first pick up the book, I was skeptical (still am!)
Now…I could spend few days writing about the many insights I got from the book (it certainly caused me to raise my personal bar) but I would like to share a nice distinction Tim makes:
“People don’t want to be millionaires – they want to experience what they believe millions can buy. Ski chalets, butlers, and exotic travel often enter the picture. Perhaps rubbing cocoa butter on your belly in a hammock while you listen to the waves rhythmically lapping against the deck of your thatched roof bungalow? Sounds nice.
$1,000, 000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows. The question is then, How can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000?”
Great question! When we took our year sabbatical, we learnt firsthand that you don’t need a million in the bank to live the good life. That year on the island we survived on a fraction of the money we’d lived on in the UK and still lived like Kings and Queens.
To have an uncommon lifestyle you need to challenge and test every assumption that’s imprisoning you from a life unlived.
It’s up to you to decide what your destiny will be and how you are going to reach it. If you don’t decide on the direction you want to go in someone else will certainly decide it for you. My first mentor said to me, “You are either working for an inventor (the media, your company, the government, or society in general) or you are the inventor of your life. It’s your life, take responsibility!”
Life is made up of many facets, and no one facet is more or less important than another. A meaningful life is one of balance. An expanded vision includes your ‘whole life’
Love and relationships, health and wellbeing, professional and work, lifestyle and leisure. There are many ways that people define the good life. Richard Leider, author and coach defines it as, “living in the place you belong, with people you love, while doing the right work on purpose … Purpose is the glue that holds the Good Life together.”
James A. Michener put it like this: “The masters in the art of living make little distinction between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their minds and their bodies, their information, their recreation, their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which; they simply pursue their vision of excellence at whatever they do, leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing.”
Real visioning is a function of your heart not your head. It’s alignment with your authentic essence. It allows you to tap into the deeper aspect of who you are and ‘see’ your future. Real visioning happens when you sit in silence and allow yourself (ego) to dissolve into the something beyond the conscious mind, the historic story to the greater story. It is from this quiet and still place that you can see your life and how it unfolds for the highest good. Carl Jung says that “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” This vision gives your life a reference point to determine if you are on or off-track.
Check out this real life example of Dream to Reality.
Real Life Mavericks
Here is a case study of a family who have liberated their life by living THEIR vision of the good life. Meet the midlife maverick Soultravelers3.
A digital nomadic family who are into their 3rd year of an open ended world tour, blazing a trail for a new way of being in the 21st century! Called “one of the best family travel blogs in cyberspace” by National Geographic Traveler, Soultravelers3 is the initiative of Jeanne D’Arc, Da Vinci and Ms. Mozart – a family of three who nicknamed themselves after some of their heroes.
Here’s what they have to say: “We are a very ordinary family and we are into our third year of an open-ended world tour, living well and traveling to four continents, 29 countries and over 75,000 miles while living on $25K a year! Many are looking at new ways of being in these economic times and we want everyone to know that this is a great way to live. Today it is possible to work and school anywhere! We find it to be much cheaper and more enriching to travel the world than to live at home.”
Create Your Good Life Vision Board
Are you inspired to start designing your life vision?
The outcome of your good life vision board is to show YOU in your ideal life vision. Aristotle observed that “the soul never thinks without a picture” and a Good Life Vision Board is an actual, physical picture of your vision of the good life. It is valuable because it forms a clear, sharp image which can then attract and focus energy into your life vision.
The purpose of Life Vision Boarding is:
- To impress the images of your ideal life on your powerful unconscious mind.
- To help with the visualisation process if that’s something you have difficulty doing.
- To keep you focused on your vision especially if you put it somewhere you can see it.
- To give you the opportunity to ‘see’ your ideal vision in a clear, sharp image as if it was already realised.
Create Your Good Life Vision Board In Four Steps
Following these four incredibly powerful steps will help you attract whatever the ‘good life’ means to you, be it vibrant health, the job you love or greater overall happiness.
Collect pictures from magazines depicting everything you would really love to have in your ideal ‘good life’. Ask yourself: “If I had all the time, money and resources and I could be or have anything at all in life, what would bring me the most happiness?” If you’re in a relationship, I suggest you both independently collect images and have a ‘share’ night. Take it in turns to show and tell. Show your partner the image and tell them why you chose it.
Once you’ve completed the map, visualise and feel it as real in your mind. Project forward to the date you’ve set and create a clear mental image of what the good life looks like for you. Imagine the kind of life that would be ideal for you in every way. Visualize the end result – and only the end result – in your mind’s eye. Get a clear mental picture of it.
Here’s the important piece – as you mentally imagine your perfect future, enjoy the feelings you’d have if you were already living and experiencing the good life right NOW. How would it feel? Feel as if it’s already been achieved. Really soak it up! It should feel like you are radiating bliss from every cell and fiber of your being each time you close your eyes and visualize.
Take a colour picture of you map, print it off and get it laminated so you can carry it around with you.
Spend five to ten minutes of quiet time every day visualising your vision of the good life and feeling the good feelings that are associated with it. The best times to do this are first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Consistency and repetition gives this four step process amazing creative power.
If you are inspired by Vision Boarding, you can get my FREE compete guide to vision boards here: I would love a copy!
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