Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Designing Your Life

Chapter 3

1. Wayfinding is the ancient art of figuring out where you are going when you don’t actually know your destination. For wayfinding, you need a compass and you need a direction. Not a map - a direction. Think of the American explorers Lewis and Clark. Wayfinding your life is similar. What you can do is pay attention to the clues in front of you, and make your best way forward with the tools you have at hand.

- Where has “wayfinding” proven useful in your life?
- Where has it proven unsuccessful?

2. Flow is engagement on steroids. Flow is that state of being in which time stands still, you’re totally engaged in an activity, and the challenge of that particular activity matches up with your skill— so you’re neither bored because it’s too easy nor anxious because it’s too hard. People describe this state of engagement as “euphoric,” “in the zone,” and “freakin’ awesome.”

- When are you most apt to find yourself in the flow?  Why?

3. After engagement, the second wayfinding clue to look for is energy. Human beings, like all living things, need energy to live and to thrive. Men and women used to spend most of their daily energy on physical tasks. Nowadays, many of us are knowledge workers, and we use our brains to do the heavy lifting. The brain is a very energy-hungry organ. Of the roughly two thousand calories we consume a day, five hundred go to running our brains.

- What ratio of daily energy is physical vs. mental for you? 
- How do you prepare for both of these energy demands?

4. Here’s another key element when you’re wayfinding in life: follow the joy; follow what engages and excites you, what brings you alive. Most people are taught that work is always hard and that we have to suffer through it. If it’s not fun, a lot of your life is going to suck. Now, what makes work fun? It’s not what you might think. It’s not one unending office party. It’s not getting paid a lot of money. It’s not having multiple weeks of paid vacations. Work is fun when you are actually leaning into your strengths and are deeply engaged and energized by what you’re doing.

- Please offer an example of when you’ve experienced such joy.

5. There are two elements to the Good Time Journal:
* Activity Log (where I record where I’m engaged and energized)
* Reflections (where I discover what I am learning)
The Activity Log simply lists your primary activities and how engaged & energized you were by those activities. We recommend that you make Activity Log entries daily, to be sure to capture lots of good information.

- How might this exercise benefit you in surprising ways?

6. After a week or two, when you’ve got a decent body of entries in your Good Time Journal and you’re starting to notice some interesting things, it’s time to zoom in and take the exercise to the next level. Typically, after you start to get the hang of paying more detailed attention to your days, you notice that some of your log entries could be more specific: you need to zoom in to see more clearly. The idea is to try to become as precise as possible; the clearer you are on what is and isn’t working for you, the better you can set your wayfinding direction.

- What will it take for you to look at your life more closely?

7. Your past is waiting to be mined for insights, too— especially your mountaintop moments, or “peak experiences.” Peak experiences in our past— even our long-ago past— can be telling. Take some time to reflect on your memories of past peak work-related experiences and do a Good Time Journal Activity Log and reflection on them to see what you find. Those memories have stuck with you for good reason. You can make a list of those peak experiences, or write them out as a narrative or story.

- What is one major peak experience you can share with others?

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