Living life kingsize is something many are doing today. That has become a style statement & even more than that, to show the world that one has arrived in life. Beyond proving a point, it proves onerous to keep up the pretenses. After all the trappings of high life, too many people still remain unhappy – very unhappy. That should be surprising, even puzzling, right? Do they know something called life planning?
Many of us go about doing inane things in life; accumulate stuff / relentlessly chase material goals or doggedly pursue corporate careers thinking that these are the things that we really need to do in life. Competing with the Joshis & Sharmas brings no joy… for, when they have moved on, the ones who are competing with them also will have to! That becomes tiresome and saps one’s energy.
What is the point in doing such things? What is the point in having three homes? What is the point of chasing high returns? Why compulsively go for a foreign holiday, update on FB, to show the world one is a high flier? And after having done all this, why is one not feeling on top of the world and instead feeling exhausted & fagged out?
The reason for all this is that they do not have much meaning in the first place. Doing things that are done compulsively, tire you out. Material things are certainly important & they are required for a comfortable life. A good corporate career will help one flower and achieve one’s potential in the activity area chosen. So, there is nothing wrong here – upto a point. Beyond that, it becomes a millstone around the neck as there is no meaning to running like a headless chicken, tiring oneself out. Also, if one is in the corporate career just for the money & is otherwise meaningless, one would find it onerous to continue on that path.
What do we ultimately want? Material riches & other achievements are not giving that sense of purpose, fulfillment or accomplishment.
We all want to do things that we like, have meaning for us, brings joy, pursue our passions & enables us to live life authentically. We want a life which is vibrant, energizes us, that’s intensely fulfilling & allows us to experience a deep sense of accomplishment. It certainly looks like an idle man’s pipe dream, one may say. But, this is indeed a possibility for those who would not settle for anything less.
Life Planning ticks most of the boxes and can bring in purpose, energy & meaning to life
Life Planning engagement allows a person to do some introspection, dive deep & get in touch with what would bring them true happiness, vigor, achievement of their potential and live a life imbued with meaning. If that sounds like voodoo, read on to get the correct perspective.
There is a structured way to go about it. George Kinder was one of the pioneers in the field of Life Planning. In the Kinder method of Life Planning, there are some questions & questionnaires to assist a person to organise their thoughts and imagine a deeply fulfilling life that they would ideally want to live. This will be a starting point for the Life Planner to work with the client.
The Life Planner would follow the process and explore more on the areas highlighted by the client & will be able to get a picture of what really excites the client & the kind of life that will enable them to live a life they always wanted.
The Life Planner, based on his understanding of what truly excites the client & holds true meaning for them, paints the picture of the ideal life that the client would indeed be able to lead. The planner lights the torch of possibilities & helps them visualise a life imbued with meaning which will give them immense satisfaction. This is a wonderful moment for the planner & the client, for they would both be able to see what kind of possibilities exist for the client as a consequence of this work!
This visioning process is very important as many clients are unable to visualise the glorious life they can really live! When the Life Planner paints their future life & the client sees themselves there, the excitement surges & the primal urge to get there builds up. This is important as the transformation could call for a leap of faith, which one would be willing to take, only if the end result is sufficiently exciting.
The Life Planner works further on the client when the client may see obstacles in the path of reaching their cherished goals. The Life Planner will have to keep the flame alive, lest it gets dimmed or put out by the doubts & second thoughts that the clients have. The problem with many is that they just can’t believe that their life can transform to the extent that it’s almost magical!
Once the conviction is established, the Life Planner would work on the numbers and create a financial plan to give shape to the new life that the client now wants to live. The financial plan will consider the finances of the client, along with the new goals and come out with recommendations on what they need to do. These recommendations will need to be implemented so that the plan would produce the desired results.
This leads to complete fulfillment as the Life planner started with what is very important and meaningful for the client, made them see that life unfolding for them, walked them through the potential pitfalls & helped them navigate the white waters of self-doubt. Then the planner creates a financial plan that optimally uses existing resources & produce the desired results for the client. The life planner would keep monitoring the situation and offer counsel to the client so that they continue to stay engaged in the path of a glorious, almost enchanted life that’s immensely satisfying & let’s one look forward to every new day with unalloyed excitement. That’s the Life Planning cycle.
Life planning engagement is transformational. It facilitates one to change gears or even change course to new possibilities & maybe a new life! We only have one life. We owe it to ourselves to live a life that’s vibrant, allows us to reach our potentials & is one wonderful, exciting journey.