Of course, it is because I am finishing up a training on Life Mapping & Discipline, but it occurred to me that the challenge of contentment for many is a struggle between Want and Will. I will exemplify the struggle in a true-life story.
My wife and I decided to put together a vision board for 2016. We did the same 20 years ago, and enjoyed seeing the vision become reality. We were all set to begin. We gathered our magazines, stenciled the title on the board, and sat down for our scheduled time to engage. We stalled without posting anything to the board.
Growth & Outgrowing
When we completed our first board 20 years ago, we were still in college with no kids. It seemed that we wanted so many things–achievements and completions. We were in a position of NOT HAVING so many things that the thought of having those things motivated our work and pursuit of success.
Life is different now after 3 kids, 3 homes, 12 jobs, only 4 cars!, dozens of relationships, and hundreds of projects completed. This next vision, or the continued vision, is not about Wants. We realize that achieving that first board was not about things even though we structured it as wants. It was about our Will to make our own reality. That’s why we stalled in creating a new board. We now understand that it is our will that delivers us to the next level of achievement. That level is not the achievement of things, it is the enjoyment of life’s experiences, engagement in supportive relationships, maintenance of health, and creating a legacy of freedom and intentional choice. What will is what we WILL.
The lesson for you is to complete your vision board. Select not just things, but symbols and representations of what you will become. Then, once the vision is done, add a life map outlining the steps required for achievement. My wife and I don’t have everything we have ever wanted, but we are daily reminded of the impossibility of what we have already achieved. No matter what things you get, trust me. It is the person that you are to the world that really matters—both the small world of your family and the larger world outside your home.
Moving beyond wants is a productive process requiring or resulting in useful lifestyle skills, depending on how you look at it. It requires when you take an approach as a learner practicing. It results when you realize that life is either poor or excellent practice of the skills. The skills are those I selected for the Life Map training: Visioning, Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring, and Discipline.
Visioning illuminates your purpose. It shows you that your interests and preoccupations can be your opportunity. Planning introduces you to goal setting with a systematic approach and an ecological perspective. Scheduling instructs you in the art of combining self-knowledge with time management to structure a lifestyle. Monitoring reveals the value of celebrating small successes as well as the virtue of granulating your plans. Discipline ask you to apply yourself, but also to become aware and utilize your resources to your best advantage.
Your will is what you leave in legacy to the world. Vision a legacy that endures time, traverses distance, and resists decay. The power to get is discipline that you already possess. Yet, your legacy will change the world just for you having been mindful in your existence.