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Crafting Your Dream: The Define Story in Designing Your Life

Updated: Apr 13

picture of Jeff in front of an art installation of pink cows
An Ideal Day: MoMA in NYC

In a previous post, I shared about Design Your Life (DYL) and explored how it empowers us to be the architects of our own fulfilling future. Now, let's zoom in on the "Define Story" stage - a crucial step in crafting your personal masterpiece.

Why Define Your Story?

Think of your life's vision as a captivating movie trailer. The "Define Story" stage is where you create the synopsis - a clear picture of what your ideal life looks like. This clarity serves as a powerful guidepost, keeping you motivated and focused on the path towards your aspirations.

When I was building my business, and looking to go full time I hired a business coach in 2010 to help me shift gears out of the 9 to 5 and take the leap into pursuing my work - on my terms. I dabbled in this world by having a side hustle for about 6 years before this time. Working with my coach, helped me define and write this story of what life could be like if I leaped. If you are curious to learn more or want a partner to help you define this next phase for you - let's connect. The best part of my experience of working with my coach was that she could 'see' an even bigger vision for me than I allowed myself to see for me. (And this is one of the many aspects I LOVE when I partner and coach with folks!)

Clicks and Hurdles on the Define Journey in Design Your Life

While defining your story can be exhilarating, it can also unveil unexpected hurdles. You might unearth forgotten passions or discover a conflict between work and personal desires. These "clicks" and "hurdles" are valuable. They signal opportunities for growth and refinement.

One of the very first hurdles I encountered when I went out on my own was that fear of "where's the money coming from??" This was the first July of being out on my own. I was at a conference - exhibiting and presenting - spending about $3.000 over the four days to drum up more business. And I only had $500 coming in that month. UGH! In this angst and anxiety time, I couldn't let myself see ahead. In August and October, I already had booked close to $10,000 each month. This was well above what I had been earning in my 9 to 5. For me, uncovering the hurdles and experiencing those "firsts" were really important hurdles to jump over. The result was, that the next July when business was slower (there always has been a downtime in my business over the 10+ years come July) I could cope and deal with it more easily.

Three Prompts to Flesh Out Your Define Story

Ready to bring your vision into sharper focus? Here are three prompts to spark your imagination:

  1. The Ideal Day: Describe your perfect day from sunrise to sunset. What activities bring you joy and fulfillment? Who surrounds you? What conversations or connections are you making? What are you learning or attempting? What's your overall mood or emotional state?

  2. Future Self Interview: Imagine interviewing your future, successful self ten years from now. What wisdom would they share? What goals have they achieved? What lessons have they learned along the way? (This is always a coaching exercise I use with clients to help process the wisdom of The Future Self - sometimes we even give them a Wise-Self Name so that we can call upon them in and out of our future coaching sessions together.)

  3. Life Legacy: What impact do you want to leave on the world? How do you want to be remembered by loved ones and the community? I remember hearing Oprah speak in an interview about "you never really know what your legacy will be" yet allow ourselves time to think and plot this out and also create ideas and actions that we can use to work towards this inspiring life that awaits us.

Embrace the Iterative Process

Remember, the "Define Story" is not set in stone. As you experience life, your vision may evolve. The beauty of DYL lies in its iterative nature. Embrace the journey, refine your story as needed, and keep moving towards a life that truly excites you.

I'll be posting future articles on the DYL process I use with clients. If you'd like to learn more or work one-on-one together let's connect. I'm always open to putting some time on the calendar to share more.

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