Episode 024: Designing Your Future – How Do You Start? [podcast]

You can design a full, rich, meaningful life. We so often get stuck right at the start with that blank piece of paper. Listen for 4 strategies to start designing your future.

Blank Highway road sign.

(c) Think Stock Photos

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – Battening Down
Tune-up Tip – Taming High Blood Pressure the Natural Way
Random Riffs – Sugar, Soap, and Memories
Feature Segment – Designing Your Future: The Idea

Rhythm of Life – Battening Down

I have been taking lessons in the Alexander Technique for almost four years. The technique is a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination.  

The purpose is to allow energy to flow more freely through the body. To not work so hard at such simple things like sitting and standing. I described the feeling after my last lesson as not battened down. Freer. Lighter. Not in constant ‘protect’ mode.

Do you ever find that you are trying to protect yourself from some unseen, unknown enemy? It can manifest itself in different ways for different people, but could be that you:

  • Sit when others are standing
  • Slouch in chair
  • Wear all black to try and blend in with the background
  • Stand near the corner
  • At a meeting don’t sit at the table. Sit against the wall. Don’t say anything.

If you’ve been subconsciously battening down and have created a habit that isn’t serving you well, join me as we hoist our sails and explore uncharted waters toward the Land of Freedom.

Tune-up Tip – Taming High Blood Pressure the Natural Way

High Blood Pressure (aka hypertension) affects approximately 70MM adults (29%) in the USA.  It can lead to heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the US.

And why are we talking about this? Because our health can impact our quality of life. It can slow us down while we’re finding our groove.  What natural options do you have?

  1. Supplements – like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
  2. Exercise – many benefits beyond controlling blood pressure
  3. Diet – power foods

Have any great recipes? Share at kathleenannthompson.com or Facebook page.

Random Riffs – Sugar, Soap, and Memories

Since reading Marie Kondo’s book “the life-changing magic of tidying up”, my mother has been cleaning out the basement. Bags of stuff have gone to the transfer station, a consignment store, or donated.

But she’s also found things we forgot were there. Like my Trip Box from when I was a kid. We took a trip down Memory Lane while I went through the box. Postcards and memorabilia from various trips. Sugar packets with pictures and logos from hotels and restaurants. Little soaps stamped Pan Am, TWA, and the Holiday Inn.

File Aug 17, 8 28 59 PM

What do you collect? Anything interesting, strange, or gross? Let me know in the comments below.

Feature Segment – Designing Your Future: How Do You Start?

The best starting point is to learn to love the life you have now.  Your life is a masterpiece.  Experience + Vision + Stretching create the masterpiece.  Designing your future is not as clear cut as building a building with precise drawings and tools.  So where do you start?

1.  Understand your past

  • Motivators – We talked in Episode 3 about hunting for buried treasure. Figure out what really motivates you, and use that to design your future.
  • Behavior
  • Success and Failures
  • Communication style

2.  Grounded in the present

Life design isn’t about escape to Nirvana. That’s not realistic. It’s about happiness and purpose. “I will be happy when…” never happens. Be happy now. Ground yourself fully in the present. Use as a springboard for designing your future.

  • Beauty in Everyday – Have perspective. Learn to see and appreciate. Don’t stop seeing the beauty around you.
  • Know yourself and your strengths – Part of life design is about developing and using your strengths as much as possible.
  • Gratitude; celebrate now – Not only seeing, but actively being thankful. Celebrating the beautiful moments and being fully present in them. Gratitude -> positivity -> creative thinking and productivity

3.  Imagine the possibilities

You understand the past, are grounded in present, and now what? How do you move from idea to paper?

Start by imagining the possibilities. If you have blank paper, put past and present on the paper. Then start to imagine what next steps might look like. Start small, and let them get bigger.

4.  Explore and Experiment With Potential

Idea -> paper -> real. Push the boundaries of what is possible. Keep doing it. Iterate.

A blank page can’t be fixed. A blank page doesn’t give you anything except the reminder that you’ve got nothing. You need to start filling it up to design your future.

So start. You don’t have to try and finish by next week. For now just commit to start.

The next few episodes will talk more about how to make your life design actually happen. In the meantime, if you get stuck, reach out to me at Kathleen@kathleenannthompson.com. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, and want to pay it forward. Don’t be paralyzed. Just start.

Other Helpful Links:

LifeHacker
Quora

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