Let’s start with a story first. A group of carmakers from the US went to study the car making process in Japan. In the US, there is a stage where the engineer uses a rubber mallet to fit the doors into the car. The US group kept waiting for this to happen in the Japanese cycle but to their surprise, there was no such process. So, one of them asked their Japanese counterpart about this missing process. He replied sheepishly, “We make sure our doors fit from the start.”
In short Japanese carmakers plan their cars so well that when the finished product arrives, it is perfect. They do detailed planning in advance.
Now, have you planned your life like the carmaking process in a) the US or b) Japan?
Are you playing the violin at a friend’s party now or frustrated that you would like to do so but don’t have time to learn it now?
Are you envious of friends who are lean and trim or upset that you haven’t got a lifestyle diet/exercise habit yet?
These kinds of habits – lifestyle habits take years/decades to build as it is not easy to change ourselves. Change does not happen overnight, but it has to start somewhere. If you are thinking – “This is all well and good, but I should have started ten years ago” – then consider what will you say another ten years down the line.
Firstly, you have to think about your life and where it is headed? If you don’t then you are accepting to drift – there is nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t get upset/frustrated with your choices (or lack thereof) later. For most of us, we do not even think about how we want to live our lives?
Secondly, you have to start the journey to knowing yourself. What do you like? What do you dislike? What qualities do you admire? What are your values? What makes you laugh? What inspires you?
Thirdly, charter a course. Unlike carmaking process, life is a bit more complicated, and hence we have to ready for tons of trial and error, knowing that with each iteration we are understanding more about ourselves and strengthening the muscle to stay put on a course.
Fourth, once you are on the right track – keep repeating the process.
If this sounds REALLY SERIOUS stuff – then yeah! We are talking about your life here! There is no course in university which can teach you this because life is the university in this case. Like everything else starts small – keep a journal once a week, note down what your ideal life means to you? Note down which kind of people you are drawn to naturally. And once you start feeding energy to this process – it will energize you. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I said before it doesn’t matter where you are in your life journey – it’s about what you will be next year.
The idea here is not to plan the life out of your life but to live an intentional life.