Stop living someone else’s life and start your own
Concepts are our common way to develope things — it gives us safety in uncertain times.
What is good or bad about concepts in general?
(Good) We visualize the person we want to become.
(Bad) We are not yet the person — so we can only be happy, when we do progress, but what is with the status quo?
We visualize the life we want to live
Same conflict as with the person we want to become. How can we be truly happy and satisfied?
Goals motivate us to change our life and transform all aspects of our life.
Goals are a contract we do with ourself to stay unhappy, till we reach it.
So there is a lot of self-talk, but that’s a different topic. You can read more about here in „The concept of enough“.
Why concepts fail
Concepts are a common starting point, but not always smart.
Concepts usually have conditions:
- They require experience and knowledge
- Commitment and dealing with pressure
- Consistency and reliability
- Now there is a defined target
Who asks a newcomer to create a concept for them?
No one would.
But it’s socially accepted, when we ask our kids:
What do you want to become when you grow up?
Society pushes us to define a life early
We ask our kids, when it’s still fun.
We ask teenagers, and tell them it’s time to think about.
When school ends, fun is over:
- start an apprenticeship
- go to university
- OK, take a travel — but, this is your last chance
The problem with concepts is, that they do not have to be unique to work.
In general people ask for best practices and people tend to do the same with life. They start with adapting things, that might work for them as well. Everybody does. As a new designer you copy from other designers. As a concepter you duplicate concepts and change names.
And this is how we treat our lifes?
But no matter who the source is — if it’s internet, social media, our family, friends or someone who we respect. And let’s forget, if they tell us the full truth — or just the shiny part. Your parents might love you with all their soul, but they can’t live the life for you. In the best way they stay with you for a lifetime. But after all they share one problem: They are not you.
Finding the right concept is hard
We watch out for people like us who share our culture.
We watch out for success or something that drives us.
We search for ideas that seem logical or natural to us and adapt principles, concepts or goals as a result.
We search for people that we can follow and trust.
To identify a good teacher is already hard: everybody with a good empathy can understand you — this does not mean that the person is a good mentor or that you should follow their advice.
Furthermore every teacher will give you a unique extract, of what he thinks you might need to hear. It will be a unique interepretation. A unique truth, that will never be all you need to learn. You are the only one who can connect the dots.
Start with finding your own principles that you want for your own life:
- What are your ideals?
- What is your relationship for money?
- What is your understanding of happiness?
- How do you feel about family?
- Do you already know what your passion is?
- Can you already say, what your goals are?
- Do you think archiving your current goals will make you happier than you are today?
It’s always hard to find out, how good a concept fits in your life and just a bit easier, when you have already discovered some truth about yourself.
Let’s go one more step back to find out what really drives us, before you try to find answers on questions like that.
From Self-Image to Self-Finding
A self-image is everything we do to maintain an image to the world.
It serves our ego.
You may come across with it as part of your self-visualization.
We proof success.
We add the latest class/skill to our LinkedIn profile.
We demonstrate our superiority.
We like it when others look enviously at our life.
We want to represent everything, that we search for in our mentors or role models. So be careful what you are looking for.
It is an external perspective on ourselves. We seek for happiness in comparison with others and this can take any form:
- status (financial/social)
- we could note everything here
And that’s the tricky part. A home for a family can be a fantastic goals and wonderful playful place, when this come with the right intention. When it’s only for comparison: there will be always the next big thing. You will never know what enough for you means. For the status, it is not worth the money. If you can’t anyhow afford it, you won’t have inner peace and time to enjoy it.
Two questions that might help to evaluate
1st question is: FOR WHOM ARE YOU DOING THAT?
- Is it, to make your [parents] proud?
- Do you want to please your [boss]?
- Do you want to impress [add a name yourself]?
- Is it for your partner?
To be precise: the answer does not have to be you.
But you need the awareness and in the important questions,
it needs to go hand in hand with your purpose in life.
2nd question is: WHY?
We all have a unique view on the world, based on our believes. So which believes manifested in your dreams or goals?
- Why are your believes as they are today?
- Which person do you needed to be for your father? Or your mother?
- What have you done for survival?
- How has life formed you to the person, you are today?
How will you know who you are if you forget who you were?
When we forget where we are coming from.
How should we know which person we want to become?
If we do not know that, what is then the overall objective of having goals?
Understand your own journey
You are not starting from scratch. You have a provable history. How strongly this represents your unique self, is hard to say.
Start from exact where you are:
- What are you thankful for and why?
- What would you do, when there would be no chance of failure?
- Would you do the same things today, when there would be a high chance of failure?
- How would you spend your life if you knew it was the last year of your life?
- What of what you do gives you energy? What consumes your energy?
- What really brings you joy and happiness in every day’s life?
The concept of self-actualization
As an experienced designer, you steal from the greatest muses you can find and make them your own. Do the same with your life. Become active and create. But don’t copy blindly. Test it. Review it. Update it with everything you learn. At best, things will change, and so will you.
Actualization is our way to grow. We update priorities and goals, challenge our lessons and beliefs to become a stronger version of ourself. Actualization is life.