“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: ‘Wow! What a ride!’”
How do you live life with passion, on your own terms? How do you get to the place where your days unfold in a way that creates excitement and energizes you? How do you get to the place where you are finally living your dreams, tackling goals and projects you always wanted to do?
The Intentional Life Series will take you there. At the end of Chart Your Own Adventure (part one of this series), you will have six maps that each provide a unique perspective on who you are and where you are going. As you overlay these maps, they will reveal alternate paths open for exploration, aligned with your deepest motivations and desires.
This course contains:
Don’t waste another day wondering if you are missing out, if life has more to offer, if you will ever be able to live on your own terms. If you are bold enough, that journey starts today.
Lesson Two sets up a key analogy that will drive this course, and we’ll use it to explore the current trajectory of our life, and compare it to alternatives, and the motives behind both. You will learn a four-step process you can use to take control of your life.
Lesson Three introduces the concept of using a set of maps both to evaluate where you are, and to better define where you want to go. You’ll explore the first map, the Big Picture, and begin answering the question, “What does it mean to live life intentionally?”
We’ll unravel a few myths in this lesson, including the false dichotomy between success and significance, and the concept of balance. We’ll introduce a couple of maxims:
· You can have anything you want in life, but you can’t have everything.
· “No,” does not necessarily mean “never” – it may simply mean “not now.”
In Lesson Five we’ll lay out an overview of the map of the Seasons of Life. We’ll define the four seasons of Preparation, Production, Provision and Protection, and describe the roles associated with each. This will set us up to explore each of these seasons in detail in the next few lessons.
In Lesson Six we will evaluate the focus and the dominant activities of each season. We will explore how all of our different spheres of relationships relate properly to one another.
Lesson Seven describes the flow of dominant activities that is the heart of the Seasons of Life map. You will end up with an understanding of the responsibilities and obligations associated with each season, and you will feel more confident in your ability to prioritize activities. We’ll define the difference between a circle of concern and a circle of influence, and how to expand that circle of influence appropriately. Here is also where we’ll unravel the success vs. significance false dichotomy and demonstrate how you can obtain both simultaneously.
Lesson Eight is an exercise. Now that you’ve been exposed to the Seasons of Life, this exploration of a “life well lived” will be revealing.
In Lesson Nine we start with productivity author David Allen’s concept of the “High Altitude” view of life. Allen describes layers (as measures of altitude) that include Principles and Values, a 5-Year Perspective, 1-3 Year Goals, Areas of Responsibility, Projects, and Daily Activity. We’ll rearrange these layers based on the Seasons of Life module, and explore how this helps us move from the exercise we completed in Lesson Eight to our daily to-do list.
Michael Jordan, Albert Einstein and Michelangelo had at least one thing in common – they each embodied self mastery. Lesson Ten will explore the concept of and path to self mastery, including an introduction to the three commitments of self-directed education, self-evaluation, and “filling your tank.”
How does Leadership tie into our exploration of living an intentional life? If you embark on the journey of self mastery, you are among a very small percentage of the population willing to demonstrate self-leadership. The activities required for self mastery are the same that form the basis of many of the world’s most effective leaders. Lesson Eleven describes these activities, and provides an exercise designed to help you explore possibilities.
Continuing an exploration of self mastery and self-directed education, Lesson Twelve provides an outline to help you get started, pointing to resources and practices, and describing nine core competencies that you most likely never learned in school but are critical to achieve true success. We’ll also stretch you a bit with a scrutiny of your worldview and personal bias.
In Lesson Thirteen you’ll come away with detailed process for engaging in the last self mastery commitment, Self Evaluation. We’ll explore different layers of self evaluation, and the methods used to effectively undertake the process, including a pair of exercises that will help you explore and identify your DESIGN:
Lesson Fourteen demonstrates how self-management fits into the work environment, particularly if you have a boss, subordinates and peers. You will be surprised where your focus should be! The model presented here will help you more effectively prioritize your time and focus in the work environment, and in other settings where you work with others.
The idea that we can “manage time” is a false hope. What we can manage is Energy. Time ticks on relentlessly, but Energy is more dynamic – it can be drained or renewed, it can be focused, dispersed or squandered, it can be stored or deployed. And Energy can come from various sources. In Lesson Fifteen we’ll tackle another of the myths we unearthed earlier – the concept of Balance vs Rhythm. We’ll explore Focus using President Eisenhower’s decision matrix, and learn the payoff of engaging in Quadrant II activities.
Richard Koch’s famous book (and principle) states that 80% of the payoff of any endeavor comes from 20% of the efforts. In Lesson Sixteen we explore how to leverage this idea, mapped against the Seasons of Life and Decision Matrix, to get the most payoff from your expended energies. You’ll watch a demonstration of the concept of Big Rocks principle, with some suggestions on how to apply it to your own activities. You’ll also learn how to defend against “mission creep,” in order to conserve your energy for purposes that really matter to you.
Goals – kinda like exercise – you know they’re probably good for you, but it’s hard to stick with them. Everybody seems to have a different way of setting goals and tackling them. Lesson Seventeen will demystify them a bit. We’ll explore the difference in task and maintenance goals. We’ll identify a key factor that leads to goals actually being accomplished. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll know how to set goals that are appropriate for you.
Rubber meets the road at the level of your daily activities. Plans are what convert our goals from a wish list to lived experiences. But, I bet you didn’t know that 93% of successful businesses abandon their original set of plans! What’s up with that? How does it apply to you? When plans meet reality, sparks fly. How do we react and adjust? The key fact to remember about those successful businesses is that they had plans. Lesson Eighteen will explore why those plans are important, and how we mesh our plans with the messiness of life as it unfolds.
We explored earlier Stephen Covey’s concept of the Circle of Concern vs. the Circle of Influence.Three of Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People relate directly to how we handle the relationships in our lives.Lesson Nineteen provides some ways to celebrate and maximize the value of this most important aspect of life, and how to set the other aspects of building a life worth living into proper perspective. You’ll come away with some tips for maximizing the “times” you have with the significant people in your life, purposefully deepening other relationships from first to second level, and exploring the richness and value that diversity can bring to you.
What is the difference between a person of strong personality and a person of character? Which would you rather be? Where do either come from? What is the difference between a principle, a value and a virtue? These are significant questions, and an intentional life cannot be lived without understanding the answers. Lesson Twenty will explain the differences, and provide a set of tools for exploring these foundational concepts.
Lesson Twenty One provides an overview of the ground we’ve covered and the maps that have been added to your backpack, leaving you prepared to explore an intentional life. We’ll do a quick review of these maps:
You’ll also get a preview of Course Two in the Intentional Life Series, Seize the Day. This course provides the tactical tools for executing your plans while responding appropriately to the daily deluge of opportunities, ideas and distractions.
Starting as a high-school guidance counselor many moons ago, I have been helping folks get a grip on life for several decades. Over that time, I have devoured hundreds of books and learning programs related to personal development, implementing the core ideas, and filtered out stuff that didn't provide the bang for the buck. I have 6 incredible kids, all of whom have been (or are still being) home schooled. They are probably my single best "test market" for my ideas - and so far, so good! I'm always learning, always adapting, always challenging, always surprised by the journey, and always welcome fellow adventurers.