Most people would rather plan their next vacation destination or what they are going to buy during their next trip to the mall rather than their own lives. Many executives, entrepreneurs and business owners would rather build their businesses than devote time and energy into planning their lives.
Planning your life must happen if you want to win at the long game, 20 or 50 years from now. Planning your life is all about finding out who you are as a person, what makes you tick, what your values are and what deeply satisfies your soul.
After my keynote presentation a few weeks back for a sales organization, I had a lengthy conversation with one of the national sales leaders and he expressed his sincere gratitude for the wake-up call I had given him when I was on stage. At first I was unsure what he was referring to, but then he went on to say, “I have worked and planned 30 years to get where I am now and not one hour went towards planning my own life. Everyone from the outside views me as a major success, but something deep inside feels missing.”
This happens because what we think will give us instant gratification, things such as making more money, landing the big promotion, purchasing our dream cars or where we are going to go for the next big vacation means absolutely nothing if we don’t know who we are as a person, what we really want out of life and what our values and priorities are.
The belief that taking the time to plan life and get serious about what’s meaningful is a waste of time will eventually eat you alive and leave you unhappy. You have to get your inner life right before your outer life is right.
Just because you may make a lot of money, have an excellent career or drive a nice car doesn’t mean anything in the long term. It may temporarily put a smile on your face and make you feel good, but without planning your own life first, it will leave you empty and searching for the meaning that has been missing for so long as life continually goes on and the older you get.
Every single one of us needs meaning. Plan your life and then translate that over to building your career. Don't let life pass you by.