This week we dropped off our son at Boston University, the second child has now left the nest—a bittersweet feeling. I’m a Mom, so I worry, while being excited at the same time for this next phase of his journey. Every time one of these life impacting moments happen to us, we begin to reflect on our own life plans, how the kids are growing up, and soon we too will be empty nesters.
Sunny has this wonderful analogy that he uses about life, it’s like a car. Your life is a journey, and your life car has four tires on it:
- Your Health
- Your Relationships
- Your Career / Professional Growth
- Your Legacy
In total, you have 168 hours per week. And each car tire must be balanced for the life’s journey to be smooth. One tire can have more PSI than the other for a little while, but eventually you will get a flat if you don’t balance your life properly. Then you will need a tow truck, and it’ll be hard to get back on track. Isn’t my Sunster smart? (That’s a rhetorical question.😊)
Based on this analogy, he has created a concept of Life by Design that I want to share with all of you. You see, when he first brought me the Life by Design Framework, or “homework” for lack of a better word, it was New Year’s Day and the last thing I wanted to do was fill out a piece of paper that discussed my future plans. But it was the best thing we could have done. You see, even though we had been married 23 years at the time, we hadn’t really spoken about what we wanted out of the four pillars above in the future. You see, in Sunny’s life plan, you need to think about what you want in the next 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years.
Hmm … that got me thinking.
Sitting and actually writing down my goals and aspirations for myself, my kids, us, our home was, in fact, quite enlightening. If you do it as a couple, it can teach you a lot about the other person, even after 25 years. I didn’t know, at the time, that Sunny wanted to impact 1 million lives in some way, or write a book (which by the way he has done, shameless plug in — grab your copy today on Amazon TALENTPRENEURSHIP by Sunny Kaila). How we impact people, and ourselves, can only happen if we know what we want in our future. I had never thought about it until that day. It seemed like we were living lives, and yes, we all want to be happy, but do we write out EXACTLY what we want?
In 5 years, I would like to be healthy, maybe lose the last 10 pounds those cookies won’t let me lose. I would like all my boys to be in good schools, Shaan will finally be in university. Sahib will hopefully be getting his residency at a good school, and Rohan will be getting his first job as a Cyber Security engineer. My puppy Lily will be older, but still moving well. Maya will have lost the excess 10lbs puppy weight, and we will have celebrated our 25th anniversary with all our family and friends. We will have finished our basement with an awesome gym we all can enjoy. Build IT will be a success and be led by a leader other than me. Our corporate coaching program will be changing lives, and I will have finished writing my first book. I’ll be speaking across the country on the value of effective Leadership training in our organizations. I’ll be a mentor to young women on how to attain the leadership roles they deserve. WHEW… that’s going to be a fun five years. Wait until you see what I had for 10 😊 My kids would get a kick out of it.
You see, I’ve created a vision for it now. I know what I want from my life. Now, I need to create a plan of how to get there. Now that I think back, and when I ask friends, many of us don’t have clarity on what that future is. We don’t know what our health should be like, or what we want in our career, or legacy. We know we want to be healthy, live a long life, see our kids grow up—but what are the specifics? How do you define a good life?
Breaking it down by stages allows us to build actionable goals. If I want to have a leader for Build IT, I need to groom someone, so I need to start looking at my Who’s. If I want to build a gym, I need to start saving. If Shaan is going to a good school, we need to work on his grades and extra curriculars. You see, life doesn’t just happen. We must work for it. If we write down what a successful life is to us, have that vision and clarity, we can then create the plan of how we get there.
This was probably one of the best exercises we have ever done as a couple, and believe me, we have done a lot. We each wrote our answers down separately, and after completing, compared with each other. Now you don’t have to compare if you don’t want to but do write down your vision. We wanted to make sure that we both knew what the other person wanted, so that we could be a positive encouragement and a plus in the other person’s life. This has helped our relationship tremendously as well, since we both now know what the other considers a good life to lead. We even went so far as to share the templates with our teams, and they can complete their own and share if they would like with us. Now, we also know what their vision of success is, and how we can be a positive contributor to it.
I never realized the value of writing down your goals and dreams, but wow, it has really helped me lead a happier and more fulfilled life. I know what is important to me, so I focus on those people or goals that matter. I have focus, and don’t let inconsequential things bother me. I have a life to look forward to and know what steps I need to take in order to make it reality. If you’d like to get a copy of these templates, you can join us at Build IT Live or you can buy the book. Either way, drop my Sunster a note if you think this is valuable information. I just wanted to share with all of you, as a proud wife, and a woman that has a good life ahead of her.
For more content like this, be sure to follow IT By Design on LinkedIn and YouTube, check out our on-demand learning platform, Build IT University, and be sure to register for Build IT LIVE, our 3-day education focused conference, September 18 –20 in Orlando, FL!