Defining Your Road Map To Success
By Chandra Lynn as Published in I Am Entertainment Magazine
Imagine singing in front of an arena full of adoring, screaming fans, and feeling the high that comes from being center stage. Then, imagine going from the stage to your own luxury tour bus and hearing nothing but the hum of wheels on the road and feeling severely lonely and unsatisfied with life. This happened to a friend of mine who called me after a sold-out show.
Despite achieving “legendary rock star” status, he was still not satisfied with his life, even though others perceived it as the kind of success that dreams are made of. Why? For one thing, people define success differently. We may think he has it all, but those things didn’t fulfill his true inner desires and human needs. For many, success is achieving fame and fortune, but for some it’s simply getting through a single day without a drop of alcohol, while others may see success as contributing on a global level by headlining a benefit concert. The truth is that most people really don’t know what would make them deeply satisfied…even when they’ve achieved levels of success that they thought would be enough.
As children, we define what we do and don’t want for our lives based on our role models and experiences while growing up. Every situation gets filed under “Yes, I want that” or “No, I don’t want that”, which creates a subconscious road map for our lives. However, it is full of conflict because we can file multiple things that don’t work together in the same place. For example: my friend determined he wanted to be a touring musician and also wanted a wife and kids, placing him in a double-bind. While on the road, it was hard for him to find a suitable wife, but once he found a wife and had children he was challenged by the amount of touring that was required to be successful because it took him away from his family.
By the time we are adults, its common to feel frustrated by all of the challenges in life, which often leads us to feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. If you feel this way now, it may seem like external circumstances are to blame, but consider the possibility that your conflicts are coming from your own “map”. This is good news because it means that although your current life conditions don’t sync with your map, you can change it. How? Change your life conditions or change your roadmap.
My friend was able to do this successfully by deciding that creating a family and being present with them was more important than touring so he began composing and recording new material in a home studio. If you feel stuck with your current life conditions, change your roadmap with these steps (ideally after doing some physical activity that puts you in an energized, positive state):
1. Think back to yourself as a child and recall any visions you had for your life. Write them out in as much detail as you can. What did you want to be when you grew up? Where did you want to live and in what kind of place? Did you want a romantic partnership and to become a parent?
2. Ask yourself, does your childhood vision match what you want from your adult view of life? If so, why? How does it serve your current needs?
3. If you determine the childhood vision does not serve you anymore, recognize that you need to replace it with a new adult vision based on how much you have grown.
4. To create a new vision, take some time to visualize how you can spend the rest of your life happy with what you have achieved. What do you need to be deeply fulfilled and utterly satisfied?
5. Connect this vision to a higher purpose. Why does this direction make you happy? Who does it serve? What does it tell you about who you are and what you’ve contributed? What do you want to be remembered for?
6. Consider any conflicts that may exist with your current life conditions, and determine which direction will give you a healthier and more successful end result.
7. Write out your new vision based on this new understanding, and be as specific as possible. After this, you will have a fairly clear vision, but you still need a clear roadmap.
When you live by a subconscious road map, it’s like driving from California to New York with only a vague sense of how to get there and why you even wanted to go there in the first place. An effective roadmap involves an integrated plan that is broken down into seven core areas of your life: spirituality, physical body, emotions & meaning, relationships, time, work & career, and finances.
To begin this process, expand your vision to include what you want to achieve in each of these areas; list out the actions you can take in each of the areas to realize your visions; set reasonable expectations for when to achieve them; and start taking action. You don’t have to live your life by default. There are a lot of things you can control to create the level of success that truly meets your needs. Aligning with your higher purpose (why you were created) and creating a healthy life vision and roadmap will send you down the path of living out your highest potential.