Visions, Strategies, Tactics: Planning a Meaningful Life (Part 2)


"If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs." – Tony Gaskins

If you haven't already, I highly suggest reading the first part of this article: Visions, Strategies, Tactics: Planning a Meaningful Life (Part 1).

Location map from iPhone displaying an "Location Not Available" Contact information

Location map from iPhone displaying an "Location Not Available" Contact information

Now that we've established a general understanding of the Visions, Strategies, Tactics we may now discuss their place in the world of self-growth (in the context of work, keep in mind that these concepts can be applied to any aspect of your life). In this article we will outline five personal observations to apply to your own life in order to help you live a more meaningful life:

1. Waiting for The Perfect "Ah-Ha" Moment Will Keep You Waiting! Take Action.

I am absolutely fortunate for the extremely encouraging network of parents, teachers, mentors, family members and friends all throughout my childhood and even up to this day. I am forever grateful for the sense of self confidence that I received as a result of being told that my dreams, no matter how large, were absolutely attainable.

With that being said, the lack of path, plan, or destination was what drove me to utter frustration. Motivation and self-efficacy was never the issue. The inability to pinpoint my exact career path has tormented my soul for years. This growing frustration paralyzed me from taking action towards "feeling things out". I'd grown envious of peers that have picked out their career paths and waited for my own "Ah-Ha!" moment. I've come to realize years later that most of my peers never had one. Unlike myself, they'd just been smart enough to make a decision and to take action.

The Take-Away: Be honest; Be open-minded; ALWAYS explore points of interest wholeheartedly, regardless of society's preconceived notions (If you are one day walking through the supermarket and a specific laundry detergent container catches your eye and you become infatuated with the way that laundry detergent companies market their products, research that fascination until you are blue in the face)

2. There's A Major Difference Between Work and Vision

I've had friends come up to me and ask me why they're so unhappy with their careers (as if I had the answer, as the only one of my friends without a defined career path)

I've learned that some reason for people hating their 9-5 jobs may be attributed to the fact that they are expecting too much satisfaction from these positions. They believe that these two concepts of Work and Vision are one in the same. Although this statement may be true for some, others may view their traditional professions as a means to support their real Vision or Life's Work. It's up to you to distinguish the difference and adjust accordingly.

"Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to be creative, and one to keep you in shape" - Unknown

The Take-Away: Despite popular belief, It is very possible (and actually more common) to work a job that supports your ability to pursue your life's work in your leisure time. If your vision is to one day combine these two, put the work in and you will someday be able to merge the two.

3. Life is a Journey, Not a Destination.

Cliche? Yes.

Truth? Couldn't be farther from it.

In a "I want it now." society, it's easy to see why I had mistaken this for such a long time. You're not going to wake up one day with all the answers. It will never happen. Besides, what kind of fun would that be?

The Take-Away: Life is a marathon not a sprint (I know! How many more cliches can I throw into this article??) Live accordingly.

4. Be True to Yourself - Never Lose Faith in Your Values

Recently, someone close to me has vented their anger and impatience with their own lives. They've shared that they are fed up with the way the world has been treating them.  They have admitted that although they are living their lives in harmony with their own personal values and are happy to be doing so, they are beyond disgruntled with the resistance that they've faced.

We can all empathize with this person. We've all been in places that despite our best efforts we are chewed up and spit out by Life. Never compromise your values in the face of adversity.

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world"- Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi

The Take-Away: I urge this person (YKWYA), and all those reading to confidently live their lives with integrity and according to the values that they have developed regardless of what "the others may say".

5. Wandering is a Disguise for Self-Discovery

To demonstrate this point I've elected to include the following image. This info-graphic brings this statement to life by overlapping the lives of some of societies most influential people of the past century (Mark Cuban being my personal favorite).

Infographic on various successful people and their indirect paths to success, demonstrating their jobs before their success

Take Action: What is your favorite of the five observations? Can you identify with each observation? How will you live your life differently by acknowledging these observations?