How to design a life with purpose and meaning

We all get here eventually.  It’s tied to our inner most being.  It’s who we are.  A desire for direction and purpose and meaning is natural but it’s not foundational to our daily routine.  It’s easy to understand why this wouldn’t be a priority, it’s counter productive if you look at each day in isolation. Taking the time to create the crafted design of your life will never be urgent but it is important.  The truth is, we need a strategy that transcends work, life, and play.  We need to make a large strategy decision for our life that helps give meaning and direction to every choices presented each day.  We need this, it is essential to who we are.

 

Crafted Design

We all suffer from decision fatigue.  Pride would have us believe we are fully in control of our lives and can opine at each moment as presented.  In reality, the 35,000 decisions we make in a day are time consuming, even when subliminal. Understanding hat impact, what if we could  you make half of those decisions up front and take the choice out of your hands? Is there a way to accomplish more of what you want and less of what the world throws at you? What would it take?

The Crafted Design framework breaks down what is essential to you and your desires.  It allows for you to create an overarching strategy for every aspect of your life; simplifying everything. Don’t be fooled though, their is complexity in this simplicity.  The Crafted Design for your life is going to be different than the Crafted Design for my life.  That is the beauty, it brings your unique purpose and desires into perspective and drives repeatable, actionable direction.  You have an opportunity now, will you chose to take it?

Crafted Design Framework

There are 4  aspects to the Crafted Design for your life:

  • Purpose Statement

  • Detailed Mission

  • Grand Design

  • Tactical Strategy

Purpose Statement – Design your state of being

Direct your focus through a single sentence.  Your statement should include the very future you wish to create.  It’s compelling, packed and focused on the future.  The easy part is you have already done this 100 times, you just haven’t focused on capturing it yet. “Focus on where you want to go not on what you fear”.

Detailed Mission – Design your story

Expand your focus with the story of your mission. This is not a mission statement.  The corporate bastardization of a mission statement is sad because it leaves a stigma of a some generic prose that most likely includes the word “synergy”.  You have to tell yourself a compelling story to even think about strategy. Otherwise, you’ll be left in a world of self doubt and frustration.  When you tell someone your mission, you should have a feeling that excites you to your core.

Grand Design – Design your strategies

Refine your mission by creating five, two word strategies.  The Crafted Design framework is lucid and flexible, but don’t delineate from this prescription.  We’ve all heard the Rule of Three, but this gives us a little more breathing room to expand. These are the 5 strategies you will use to accomplish your Purpose and live your Mission.  Once you have your list of 5, expand on them with a sentence for clarity.

Tactical Goals – Design your metrics

Iterative design is the only design guaranteed  to be consistently relevant.  The majority of your design is an overarching view of your life’s design.  You tactical goals will change as you and the world changes around you.  “Without Strategy, Change Is Merely Substitution, Not Evolution” The importance of goals is widely known but without a strong alignment with your Vision, Mission and Strategy, goals are just a glorified to-do list.

Your Tactical Goals should be set at a consistent cadence (yearly, semi-annual, etc.), and should utilize catalytic mechanisms to bring the cycle back to your Purpose Statement. Each goal will roll up under a strategy and, if accomplished, bring you one day closer to realizing your Mission and Purpose.  This is where the rubber meets the road.

Suggestions for writing your Crafted Design

  • Give yourself time – This is not a single day’s activity. Keep your mind open and keep revisiting it.
  • Find a change of location – Find a place to brainstorm that removes you from your normal
  • Think through your values, interests and passions – Really try to capture everything
  • Understand your strengths and skills – Get this down on paper and and be honest
  • Brainstorm – There are various brainstorming methods to use here
  • Document – Whether its paper or Evernote, get this down to share and review

 

A sample – My Crafted Design