7 Steps to Identify The Direction Your Life Needs to Take.
Staring at my computer screen.
Confused, overwhelmed, tired…
I sat there, lost in my own thoughts.
I would follow my dream… If I knew what it was.
It’s a pretty big question, right?
What do you want to do with your life?
I Don’t Know What I Want.
It was February of 2012.
I had quit my job, moved to Japan, and was in the pursuit of some crazy dream: to become a ninja.
I was placed in the countryside of Japan. In the countryside there was a lot of rice fields, and zero martial arts dojos.
My job was a joke! My biggest responsibility was “Read this English word Izzy sensei.”
I would stand in front of a classroom with 30 + kids and read English words with my “Native Tongue”.
In short I was a $45,000 tape recorder…
No matter how many ways I try to say it (or spell it!), being a human tape recorder and being a ninja are not synonyms.
You Can’t Start When You Don’t Know Where To Start.
I could have “put off” becoming a ninja, signed my contract for another year.
I could have moved back to America under the guise of “Hey, I gave it a shot.”
Something inside of me wouldn’t let it die.
Instead of running from the question:
What do I want to do with my life?
I faced it head on.
I took personality tests, read books, listened to Educational Audio, and completed various exercises to help give me clarity.
To my shock… it worked.
I would soon take a step I never could have imagined…
Clarity is The Answer.
10 months ago if you would have said
“Izzy what are you going to do?”
I would have smiled and said:
“I don’t know…”
But soon therafter I would follow a series of steps that have forever changed my life.
I took my dream to a level I never imagined possible.
I quit my job in the countryside of Japan and moved to Kyoto.
I found part time work.
I found a new place to live.
I extended my visa for 3 years.
I found an incredible martial ars dojo.
I train extensively in martial arts.
All in a country where I can’t speak the native language.
This was made possible because of one simple thing…
Above all else, if we are going to pursue our dreams we must be clear on what we want.
Once we know what we want, then we can focus on learning the necessary skills to make it happen.
If we don’t know what we want then we can’t get it.
You can’t hit a target you can’t see.
Makes sense, right?
Over these next few weeks I am going to start sharing the exact strategies I have used to discover my dream and then live it.
Today we are going to run through a process that will help you gain clarity.
By the end of this exercise you will learn what you want your life to be like in 5 years.
7 Steps to Figure Out The Direction of Your Life.
Step 1: Grab a stopwatch, a pen, and a lined paper (or open a word document),
Step 2: Set the timer to 10 minutes.
Step 3: Write at the top of the paper 5 Year Vision
Step 4: Write out Your 5 Year Vision (Instructions Below)
As soon as you begin writing start the timer. You have 10 minutes!
You are sitting in the exact spot you are now, wearing the same clothes,, staring at your computer. The only difference is that you are 5 years older and you have achieved all of your dreams!
Write down every sentence in present tense.
The first sentence of your 5 year vision should be:
I am _______ years old (write down how old you will be in 5 years)
All of your dreams have come true. Answer the following questions in your vision:
- What has happened?
- What have you accomplished over these previous 5 years?
- How much money do you make?
- What relationships do you have?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What activities are you involved in?
- How do you impact other people’s lives?
- Where do you work?
- How often do you work?
- How do you feel throughout the day?
- What excites you?
Step 5: Answer the Key Reflection Questions
Look over your 5 year vision and answer these questions.
1. What stuck out to you?
2. What surprised you?
3. Underline the 2 to 3 “most important” sentences. Why are those the most important sentences?
4. If those 2 to 3 “most important sentences” happened, how would that change your life? (Be super specific).
Step 6: Create The Life Changing Visual
Take a Large Piece of Paper and write at the top of it: My Most Important Goal.
Now, look at your 2 to 3 “most important sentences” and summarize it into 1 sentence. This might be difficult – so what :). It’s worth it.
Now, write this 1 sentence underneath where you wrote “My Most Important Goal.”
Place this “Most Important Goal” visual in a place you see everyday. I placed mine in my planner. A client of mine placed it on her mirror. Another person put it on his cars odometer.
All that matter is that you will see it all the time!
Next is the step that brings power to this whole process.
Step 7: Identify and Take the First Step.
Look at your “Most Important Goal”. This is the single most important thing in your life right now! That is crazy powerful.
Here is the thing – if you accomplish this goal it will give you crazy momentum to achieve all other things in your life.
Remember – this is the most important thing in your life. If it truly is the most important thing in your life then nothing should stop you!
Now the focus needs to shift on “How can I make this happen?”
Do not say “I can’t!” People who constantly say “I can’t” live half hearted, mediocre lives, sitting on the sidelines… That’s not a good thing.
It’s possible! It’s simply a question of “How?”
To accomplish anything, it requires a series of steps. To get to step 2 you must first complete step 1… Yeah, okay I know this is really obvious – but I’m making a point, gosh darnet!
Do not worry about step 2! All you need to do is figure out step 1. Identify the very first thing you can do today to move towards your “Most Important Goal”. Then do it!
This doesn’t have to be massive. Maybe you can “Send an email”, “Make a phone call”, “Write 1 Page”, “Take a Run”. The list goes on and on.
Do you see what we are doing here? We are breaking down a big massive goal into small tiny parts.
A 26.2 mile marathon is the accumulation of 10 inch steps… Step, step, step, and eventually you complete a marathon.
A Final Word
Clarity is everything in the pursuit of a dream.
If you aren’t clear on what you want, you can’t make it happen. If you are clear, you can make it happen. [Click to Tweet]
In all of human existence, nobody has ever reached step 2 without first doing step 1… Today, focus on taking step 1.
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