Monday, November 1, 2010

designing your life - Part 1

Day in.   Day out.

Clock in.  Clock out.

Tick. Tock.  Tick.  Tock.

Sound familiar?

I was lucky enough to park myself in the Bay of Plenty for a few weeks recently.  One week was with a friend, and two weeks was just myself with my nine-month-old baby.  I completely isolated myself, checking the mobile phone sparingly and spending no more than ten minutes at the internet café up the road during the fortnight. 

Besides the issues raised in my previous post, the reason was simply that I needed to ask myself a few questions:

1. What do I want out of life? 

2. What do I want to do before I die?

And most importantly:

3. What am I going to DO about it?

When you hear about the importance of “Goal Setting”, either your eyes instinctively glaze over or you think:  ‘hmm, yeah I suppose maybe I should do that one day.’  And then you forget about it, right?  I’m with ya.

But then you might have another response, which is:  “Yeah, but I don’t really have any big ambitions.  It’s not like I want to buy a company or stop human trafficking…”  So firstly, let’s clear a few things up:

1.    It doesn’t have to be about money or becoming the mayor (although it can be) – don’t let society (or what you consider popular opinion to be) dictate what success actually means in your life.
2.    It doesn’t have to be a massive ambition or even a noble pursuit!  All it is, is something you want to achieve.  Maybe you just want to be the best darn knitter you can be, or at least good enough to make a ‘reasonably OK’ scarf. 
3.    You can still be spontaneous, it’s not set in stone.  Don’t hold yourself back by thinking if you write down your goals, you’re caging yourself in.  Our ambitions can change as we experience different things.  Remember how back in High School you thought you wanted to become a teacher?  Or you were top of the class at science and therefore you thought you should become a scientist?  In the meantime, direction is GOOD, just go with it.
4.    Don’t be held back by the things out of your control.  For example, just because you “are waiting for Mr Right to come along” and therefore “don’t know when you’ll get married” and “don’t know when you’ll have kids” etc. doesn’t mean you can’t have any other ambitions in your life to work towards.  Revert to point 3 above and be flexible.

So let’s get the words “Goal Setting” out of the way and call it “Designing Your Life” – which is way cooler.  I do love good design after all.

Here's a completely unrelated example of good design:  the Eames Rocker...
Incidentally, one of my goals is to have the designer chair of my choosing one day.

Before I get into Part 2, let me ask you this:

What's holding you back? 

Think about it.


  1. Well i guess if i'm going to be honest there is probably a couple of things holding me back...

    #1 My self esteem.
    I guess i feel like i'm either not good enough or not deserving enough to achieve pure happiness.

    #2 Too Hard Attitude
    I'm like the 90% of people out there who think change or driving for goals is too hard.

  2. Thanks so much for your honesty!

    Gosh, it's heartbreaking for me to see you don't feel like you're good enough.

    It's awesome that you can recognise it though. To acknowledge you have low self esteem means you know in your head you are in fact worthy, but you just don't feel it (well, that's my logic anyway?)

    The absolute truth (I promise you) is you DO deserve to be happy. Having self-worth is NOT being selfish.

    Please email me if you want to talk privately about this, I really don't know much but I do know life is far too short to be unhappy!


I love comments!