Want to figure out the meaning of life? I went from from being completely lost about my purpose in life to finding clarity in 27 minutes by writing a personal vision. It was uncomfortable. It was emotional. It was exhilarating.
Road to My Personal Vision
A little background before we get to the magical, silver bullet, life-changing, epic lifehack of all lifehacks. I know, I know…we all want it right now, but I had to wait 32 years, so you have to wait a few paragraphs . In world where I’m competing with Game of Thrones, Fashion Blogs, 24/7 News, and Steph Curry for attention; a guy has to build a little suspense.
I’ve spent years on a search for a method, path, philosophy, religion; whatever you want to call it. I’ve always loved philosophy and long wondered “What the hell happened to philosophers anyway?”. In my early twenties I found something close to what I’d been looking for in a gigantic dude named Tony Robbins. You know that gigantic dude from the infomercials? If you’re anything like me, your first impulse was to say: “that guy is trying to grab my money one horrendously soundtracked audio cassette at a time”. What I actually found was a truckload of useful advice that truly made a lot of sense.
So I did what any 22-year-old would do, I immediately ignored it and went back to my completely unsatisfying, low-paying job and said that I’d get to it later. Don’t do that!
Even though I had the general information, it just seemed like I already knew what I wanted. I didn’t need to write it down. I wanted to have money, travel, find love, and have a great job. The problem was, that isn’t good enough. Everyone wants those things, but there was nothing about those generalized goals that inspired me. There was nothing personal attached to those things. No emotion. No passion. No thought. More than anything, I had no idea why I wanted any of those things. The hard truth is that even if I had gotten all of those things handed to me on a platter, I wouldn’t have been happier. I still wouldn’t have known what I truly wanted to get out of life.
I didn’t know that there was a way to figure it out in 30 mins. 30 mins for the rest of your life. Please do the exercise below. Invest in yourself. Do it now.
If you’re ready to go right into the exercise, don’t stop the momentum. Get to it!
If you need a little extra push or just want to watch an incredibly powerful example of someone who knows what they want in life click the video below.
Still not ready to go?:
Personal Vision Exercise
There are 100 ways to do this effectively, but the following is the simplest way that I have found. The idea comes from Ari Weinzweig’s brilliant book A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves. The moment I read it, I knew this was simple and useful enough to actually get myself and you going.
Because you’re going to do this right now, I stripped it down even further. Just the basics.
Step 1 – Get Prepped for Success
Set a timer for 30 mins
Get out a blank sheet of paper or clean word document
Turn off anything that might distract you
Step 2 – Get Positive
Take 3 minutes to list anything and everything you can think of that you’re proud of. I don’t care if it is getting out bed this morning. This is all about getting into a positive state of mind.
Step 3 – Imagine That Nothing is Impossible
Boom…I just gave you superpowers. You’re welcome!
Step 4 – Write and Write and Write
With the remaining 25 minutes, describe your ideal day 3 years from now. Start with:
It is (date) and my life is everything I want it to be.
Describe where you will be, what you have accomplished, what it smells like, who you will be with, etc… Most importantly don’t stop until the timer is up. Think of this as a rough draft. Don’t sweat grammar or “getting it right”. Just let the words pour out.
Now that you have your first draft of your vision, read it through and think about how it feels to state all of those things as facts! And just know that you absolutely can and will get there!
Tomorrow, write another draft without looking at your first one and then compare the two. Each draft you will get clearer and clearer about what you really get excited about. Add more passion and more description. Make it as real as possible!
This last part is sometimes the hardest, but it is so, so important! Share it with someone who is extremely supportive. Nothing makes things more real than sharing it with people around you.
If you don’t have someone around you that you feel will be supportive, please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t keep your vision a secret. We’re more than happy to help you with your vision, so please don’t hesitate. If you’re feeling really daring, post your vision in the comments. We have an awesome community at Chillpill, so you’re always in great company.
Finally, stay tuned for a second post on more detailed next steps for making your vision a reality. Until then, focus on creating your vision. Refer to it every day to keep you honest and help guide you through decisions.