No, not that equation! Seriously? I can’t even do that math!
I’m talking about the equation we use to figure out what we want out of life. Think back to when you knew what you wanted to do or what you wanted to be when you “grew up”. What did you say to yourself when you chose a college major or decided what career field you wanted to break in to?
For most of us the conversation went like this:
I want to be a CEO for a ______ type of company before I’m 35.
I want to make my first million dollars as a ________ before I’m forty.
I want to work for the same company and retire at the age of _________.
I’ve got my whole life ahead of me to think about that so I’m not going to think about it now.
It’s too stressful to think about. I’ll never make anything of my life so I’m just not going to plan anything.
Am I right? You’ve had any or all of those conversations with yourself, right?!
That’s because we go about planning our life all wrong! We start with the focus on the wrong thing. If the way we plan our life was a math equation it would look like this:
s = d / t
speed equals distance divided by time
We are solving for speed. Speed, in this equation, means, “how fast can I get there?“, “how long can I procrastinate?” and “how slow can I be so I spend enough time with family and friends?”
Distance, in this equation, is our life goal and destination, if we have one. “I want to be _______.” “I want to do _______.”
Time, in this equation, is at what age we expect we will achieve our goal. “I expect to reach my goals by 35.”
Here is where we go wrong.
We don’t solve the right element in the equation first. So, when we solve for s first, we are really just guessing at the value of d and t. We go with what our parents want for us, or what society expects from us – or some limiting belief we picked up and assigned as an expectation upon ourselves. We are letting the outside world tell us the value of d and t, then we try and figure out how fast we can live up to those expectations. (Or, defiantly, in some cases, we figure out how we can not live up to those expectations. Either way, others are making our goals for us.)
And this can cause us a lot of stress. When we focus on how fast we are reaching our goals, we are putting the pressure on ourselves to create “success” instead of creating a life we love. If we are not making fast enough progress we become overwhelmed and full of anxiety. What if we think we don’t have the resources to work on the future and so we stress and worry and feel guilty for what we won’t have later in life because we think we are going too slow to get there. Or, perhaps we are turnin’ and burnin’ and making things happen fast, but we never see our family or spend time doing things we love?
And, what if our speed changes? Maybe we decide to have a family. What if we have a major health problem? Imagine if the financial markets crash and wipe out our portfolio or our corporation goes bankrupt? YIKES! Disaster! These life hurdles change the speed (s) at which you are building your life. The whole equation is changed and your goals (d) and expectations (t), that you didn’t even create, that you just guessed at or took on because it was what family and society expected from you, have to change and adjust as well.
Guilt. Shame. Stress. Overwhelm. Anxiety. Depression. Self-doubt. Fear. Chaos.
We have the equation wrong.
But, we can get it right.
Not to leave you hanging, but I’m going to teach the right equation and how to work the math at my 2019 Life by Design live workshop in November and December at my office. I’ll offer the class online in January. Make sure to follow the blog to get updated info.
This workshop is going to take you step by step in to figuring out all the pieces of the equation and which element needs to be solved first and why. This equation will work for all your goal planning – not just major life goals, but smaller ones too! I’ll show you how to solve the equation so that even life’s biggest hurdles don’t change the values. Plus, I’ll help you see that you can be living your dream life much quicker than you think.
2019 can be your year! Join me to figure out how! And trust me, the math will be sooo easy! (And you thought you’d never use Algebra after high school!)