Creating a Future, Part 3: You will not be saved
This is the third installment in a series called Creating Your Future! It is what has worked for me and many others to have a wonderful contributive, joyful lovely life.
In Part One I talked about how cleaning up your past helps you become a more powerful creator in your life.
In Part Two, I shared the importance of knowing and using your wounds and neuroses creatively rather than being victimized by them.
In this newsletter, I want to inspire you to begin the work of creating a vision of your future that calls you forth by writing your Life Purpose Statement.
Freedom from Suffering?
When I ask people, "Would you like to give up the suffering and the satisfactions involved in being neurotic, being trapped in the indulgence of being a victim?" almost everyone says, "Yes."
But the reality is that conscious artistry in the creation of the good life for any individual requires constant centering, constant planning, and constant sharing of what you are about in the world in a clear and connected and non manipulative way.
It also asks us to get over having someone or something else to blame for how life has been and how it goes, something that is often too sweet to give up.
You Will Not Be Saved
We like to be lost in a vague hope that someone is going to rescue us from responsibility for our lives. God or the lottery or some sugar daddy or mama or a rich uncle or an inheritance or some good luck or some wise person or teaching will finally make it all okay, the way Mom or Dad never did.
Maybe if we're lucky, we think (in the back of our minds), somebody will take care of us the way we always should have been taken care of, and we won't actually have to take care of ourselves.
The Difference Between Believers and Creators
Believers have explanations for what went wrong and hope for salvation just ahead.
Creators enjoy consciously going about the work of designing and bringing into being their vision of whatever they want to create.
But Even Plans and Ideas Become Stale Quickly
Because the mind makes things stale fairly quickly, we need to take on the process of continual re-creation as a lifelong, permanent task. We do this by making plans and writing them down and systematically projecting into the future with our imaginations.
Then we do some of the work of the plans and dispense with them like Kleenex, rewrite and dispense with them again, and continue. All of this is done while continually being called forth by the end result of our vision.
Write Your Life Purpose Statement
You will be creating a life purpose statement so you can measure all your life projects against something you have chosen, rather than just reacting.
Don't worry, this is not serious. You can change it anytime. You are the creator of your life, so you can modify, paint over, erase, or destroy the life purpose statement whenever you choose.
Step #1: List fifteen characteristics of your Self.
You may have previously considered some of them to be negative, but you can transform them in developing your life purpose. You may be intelligent, humorous, joyful, driven, slovenly, weird, whatever. Make sure you have fifteen. If you don't know fifteen, make them up. Have some fun.
Step #2: Pick your five favorite personality characteristics.
Do it quickly—don't think too much. Just circle your five favorites of the fifteen characteristics you just listed.
Step #3: Pick 15 ways you enjoy expressing your top 5 characteristics.
Referring loosely to the five favorite personality characteristics you just circled, make a list of fifteen actual behaviors that are ways you enjoy expressing these characteristics. For example, if one of your characteristics was generosity, a behavior you actually perform in the real world that exemplifies generosity could be "feeding the homeless by working in a soup kitchen on Sunday mornings." Other specific behavior examples could be writing, researching, cooking, pottery making, walking, or taking the children on an outing.
Step #4: Pick your top 5 activities from your list. Just as before, pick your top five...
Step #5: Write a vision of the world you want to live in
Write a brief statement (twenty-five words or so) of your vision of an ideal world. Write this vision in the present tense and in terms of how you want it to be rather than how you want it not to be. Begin your statement this way: "An ideal world is one in which…
Step 6: Put it all together
Now you are going to cut and paste your life purpose together. It's easy and fun. Here you go:
“The purpose of my life is to use my (list the five general characteristics you circled), by (list the five specific behaviors) to bring about a world in which (write in your ideal world statement).
Send us your Life Purpose Statement
Complete the life purpose statement and then send it to us! We’ll give you some friendly feedback. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What to do next?
The life purpose statement is only the first step in the process of creating your future which includes specific projects and goals.
The rest of the process is included in Practicing Radical Honesty. Get yourself a copy, or grab the copy you own, and complete your umbrella project.
Brad Blanton, Ph.D. Author of Radical Honesty, Practicing Radical Honesty, The Truthtellers, Radical Parenting and other books