Whenever a new structure is being constructed, the first step usually involves an architect who designs a blueprint, which assists as a guide to ensure that the building is successfully created and established. Visualizing and designing plans allows for a deeper understanding and interpretation of each project. Moreover, a world without blueprints would likely result in serious consequences such as operational errors, instability, and unsustainable elements.
We are all architects and, to varying degrees, familiar with blueprints, not necessarily of buildings or structures, but of our life. From a young age, each of us engages in a process of "life design," both consciously as well as being shaped by underlying unconscious influences encountered throughout our journey. Many different perceptions of "who I should be" and "what my life should be like" are programmed through personal choice as well as external drives and expectations from family, siblings, culture, religion, traditions, society and people we interact with on a regular basis.
Let me unpack this for you further through the story of a young man who is a brilliant author, tangled up in the world of finance and corporate chaos. By the age 17, Saeed had repeatedly been bombarded by messages about the importance of being successful, making lots of money, marrying the right girl, having children before the age of 30, living in the perfect home and driving the latest car. So his life's blueprint had been designed to incorporate all these elements as a guide towards an existence he was expected to create. Saeed went to the right university to move closer to these accomplishments and he even landed a job with one of the top five companies in the financial world.
His writing took a back seat and Saeed's work dominated most of his day so without an opportunity to socialize, he wasn't able to meet a suitable young lady to marry. Thirty came and went and many aspects of the original blueprint hadn't been realized. No wonder he started feeling deflated, disappointed and confused about his life direction.
You see, when we design a blueprint for life, it should be regularly revisited, revised and updated or else the less relevant and earlier draft is likely to be dissimilar to reality, creating a sense of failure and disenchantment. Not realizing aspects of your blueprint may not be a sign of failure; it could occur more as a result of responding and adjusting to the multitude of choices and decisions we constantly face.
So what could we do to be more skilled architects of our blueprint and avoid being driven by a redundant/unsuitable life design?
- To begin with, retrieve the original blueprint created years ago. Analyze the different elements and identify which goals were externally or internally driven.
- Identify the unrealistic expectations you may have had at the time and explore how life may have taken you on a different path than originally planned
- Ask yourself what's important to you today? Make a short list of 5 or 6 items, incorporate those elements and create a plan to get there
- Draw in all the other achievements that perhaps were not even sought after long ago or haven't been celebrated since
- Design an updated blueprint which incorporates realistic expectations as well as your vision for the future shaped by both passion and a solid sense of purpose
- Dare to be bolder and more ambitious with the design so that you challenge yourself further and tap into fresh potential
We've all gone through periods where we've set our psychological devices on automatic cruise, without wanting to actually take full control of the steering wheel. Yet with a roadmap in hand, seatbelt fastened and favorite song playing as we enjoy the journey as well as stay mindful about the destination, much more can be attained and triumphed.
Inevitably, hardship and challenges will be part of life's lessons; however, what differentiates people is how they react, respond, recover and revise their blueprint when in a situation where their power of adaptability is tested.