The Unlimited Life Plan  -Determining a Destination 

"At the center of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want."  -Lao Tzu 

You are here at this point because you have some questions in the forefront of your mind.  How do I create the life and career that I want?  Where do I start?  What direction do I take?  I liken it somewhat to taking a vacation, you can't expect to get anywhere without first determining a destination and then using a map to create the directions.  In order to manifest new energy and success in our lives we need to create a detailed image of what if would look like (destination), and then formalize a plan (map).  By understanding and verbalizing specifics we can then create intent and a plan of action to manifest all that we ask for.  This is the most helpful exercise you can do to put yourself on the road to your greatest potential.  Only by asking can we bring into being what we are yearning for...a self directed, empowered, and meaningful life. 

In the past I always had great difficulty with exercises like this one.  I think it was mainly due to a lack of discipline, or a fear of not finishing (this was one of my patterns.)  Or maybe I was afraid to ask for more.  What I found was that this project was the most effective in giving me more focus in my life and career.  I learned to define my wants, and no longer questioned where to go next (okay I did still question things but I had a plan to refer to and bring me back to my goals).  Over a period of weeks I could set a plan of action in motion and check off all the the tasks accomplished.  After a year I looked back and was amazed to find everything checked off.  This process is accomplished with very small steps over a long period of time.  It is common for self-employed people to take on the overwhelming task of establishing a successful career overnight.  This results in feelings of desperation, fear and hopelessness.  We can learn to be gentle with ourselves, to enjoy the process, and the acknowledge our successes at each step along the way.  Follow the path of least resistance, you do not have to take on the entire world to be successful.  A little focusing goes a long way. 

Begin by creating a detailed image of your ideal life.  Put it on paper, make it as full and as decadent as you wish.  Dream big here.  This is your chance to let your imagination conjure up all your innermost desires.  Inside all of us is a picture of where we would be the most fulfilled.  Sometimes it helps to use a model, someone whose life you admire or wish to emulate, (a favourite author who lived in a house by the sea, a travel writer who got paid to travel to exotic places, etc.)  Let that be a starting point for your own passionate journey.  Age is not a factor here.  You can reinvent your life at any time. 

(Use the following questions to help create your ideal life if needed.  Or just start writing stream of consciousness.) 

1.  Where are you living?  What is your home like?  Describe in detail. 

2. What kind of people surround you? 

3.  What are your primary relationships like? 

4.  What are you doing that fulfills your needs emotionally, spiritually, and physically? 

5.  What kind of clothes are you wearing?  (comfort clothes, extravagant fabrics and colours?) 

6.  What is your chosen profession? 

7.  Where are you performing it?  Describe the setting. 

8.  Who do you have working with (for) you? 

9.  Who are your ideal clients?  Describe your relationship with them. 

10.  What do you enjoy the most about your career? 

11.  What is your annual income? 

12.  What do you spend your money on? 

13.  What awards and honors have you acquired?  (Speaking engagements?) 

14.  How are you viewed by your peers? 

15.  How do you view yourself? 

16,  What do your fans and admirers say about you and your work? 

17.  What would you like to contribute to your field?  To your community? 

18.  What do you do for enjoyment (spare time)? 

Keri Smith is a free-lance illustrator and native of Toronto.  A graduate of  O.C.A. she has a wide following of clients in North America and Japan.  She currently resides in a “magic” cottage in Flesherton, painting, illustrating, creating, writing, and living out loud.  Her first children's books will  be released Spring 2001, by Chronicle Books.