I cordially invite you to print these three worksheets (or find an old notebook to dedicate to your WWW Life Planning) and join me + two of my clients on an adventure.
1. How do you want to feel?
- Write down your answer.
- Then feel into it even more deeply and re-phrase your answer as an emotion (if it wasn’t already written in that way).
- Go deeper yet — and more specific. As you hold your desired feeling state in mind, what exact sensations do you notice in each part of your body?
Let’s call this constellation of emotions and sensations “That Special Feeling.”
Just imagining That Special Feeling makes life more wonderful.
(I’ll leave it up to you whether or not it’s weird!)
2. What might give you That Special Feeling?
- List times you’ve experienced That Special Feeling — even for a second. Using Worksheet #2, record each situation’s Nine WWW Ingredients:
A. What was happening? What were you doing?
B. How were you doing it? (Examples: on your own, with close direction, under tight deadline, at your own pace, quickly, slowly, spontaneously, after much anticipation, very consciously, in an almost timeless way, once only, repeatedly, etc…)
C. Where? Include the place’s size, lighting, colors, temperature, and view.
D. When? Consider season, time of day, period of life, or cyclical timing.
E. Who was there, if anyone?
F. What objects may have been part of your activity?
G. What content or subject matter was involved?
H. Why were you doing that?
I. Why did you like it?
Each of these traits is a potential clue for your Life Plan.
- Who do you suppose has such an awesome life that they experience something like That Special Feeling A LOT of the time?
Channel those folks, and make up THEIR answers to the Nine WWW Ingredients. It doesn’t matter if you know these people. Consider your idols, historical figures, or even fictional characters. Add each scenario — along with its nine ingredients — to your notebook or Worksheet #2.
- What other scenarios do imagine might give you That Special Feeling?
If you long for some situations that weren’t included in any of the above answers, then list them now (Worksheet #2). Fill in the Nine WWW Ingredients for each.
- Circle any recurring ingredients. Star all ingredients you LOVE, even if they only show up once.
- Now for one of the WEIRDNESSES! Mix and match ingredients from different scenarios: one from Column A, one from Column B, etc… Create as many hybrid-scenarios as you want, paying special attention to your starred and circled ingredients. Add these scenarios to Worksheet #2. (I definitely recommend printing a couple copies of Worksheet #2!)
3. Pick the MOST WONDERFUL scenario that you can imagine.
It may be one you described earlier or one you made up with different combinations of ingredients. This first case is for practice, so don’t even worry about being realistic, caring what others might think, or assessing risk.
- Describe each of the AMAZING 9 WWW Ingredients for this scenario on Worksheet #3.
- For each of the nine ingredients in your MOST WONDERFUL scenario, come up with a measurable unit. You probably noticed there’s a special sub-column on Worksheet #3 where you can jot them down.
Example units of measure:
- minutes or hours
- square feet
- # of some object
- # of certain kinds of people
- # incidences/occurrences/times (of doing something for a particular reason OR in a certain way OR at a certain time OR with certain people)
Start adding THESE special Nine WWW Ingredients to your life NOW.
Yeah — we’re not going to start with figuring out what “steps” will get you to where you want to be. We’re going to start at the end. And we’re going to:
Keep track of what counts.
Use Worksheet #3 (or your own notebook) to tally how much of each special ingredient you fit into every day.
Note that I am not encouraging you to set numeric goals for these ingredients — rather to COUNT and CELEBRATE the ingredients you do experience.
No need to try for some big gigantic push in any area, either. In fact, that might just alarm your built-in *change??!!* alarm. We all have one. Our old primitive brain just doesn’t like any change — even good stuff — so you kind of have to sneak up on it with little tiny improvements to your life.
A few of your comrades in this challenge:
KATE longs for clear, simple, cluttter-free spaces in her home. She’s keeping track of how many kitchen-garbage-bags of stuff she takes to either Goodwill or the garbage. She’s planning to set a bag by the front door, randomly throw things in, and hopefully remove one bag every other day. (I know I said “no goals,” but it’s helpful to see that her plan doesn’t involve one huge sweep of the whole house.) BUT as admirable as this plan is, the act of getting rid of stuff is not necessarily a crazily-WONDERFUL feeling, so I encouraged her to quantify the lovely end state she wants and also record those measurables. For Kate this includes:
- # times she stops — preferably sits — to admire and breathe in the glory of ANY open, organized part of her home for at least a minute. It doesn’t have to be a newly redone space. Or a big one. One nice drawer will do.
- # times she undertakes a project or activity because she’s easily found the necessary stuff and has an open, pleasing place in which to do the activity.
JACK pictures life as a professional artist. He’s going to keep track of:
- # hours painting
- # GOOD tubes of paint and canvases he USES UP (Jack realized he falls prey to that common worry of “wasting materials” and is determined to get over it.)
- # of good tubes of paint and canvases he buys (He brainstormed some ways to find bargains, but even if they don’t work out, Jack vows to buy SOME.)
- # times he talks to gallery owners (whether just saying hi, introducing himself in person, or chatting on the gallery owner’s Facebook page)
- # walks
- # photos he takes
- minutes spent enjoying others’ art
- # conversations with other artists; and finally, and most importantly,
- # times he sells a painting! Jack’s getting very creative with ways to do this. Even if this means selling a piece for $10 at a garage sale or asking another artist to piggyback one of Jack’s paintings in that artist’s street fair booth (for a share of the profit), Jack will get a hit of this intoxicating ingredient.
I invite you to join Kate, Jack, and me in adding wonderful ingredients to our lives AND tallying them up for the next TEN DAYS. Then meet me back here — we’ll see what happens and how that tells us what to do next.
Weird? Yeah. I can’t wait to hear HOW weird:)