When we’re children, adults ask us to decide what we want to be when we grow up. When we’re college students, we are asked to decide on a major. And then, there we are, living the adult life, grappling with day-to-day problems, too often avoiding those life-orienting questions and decisions, just allowing the future to unfold in the way that it does.
For any number of reasons we may avoid making plans for our lives. Distraction may rule. Or we may worry that a plan puts an end to joy and spontaneity. Or that a plan is tantamount to joining the Rat Race and missing out on a meaningful life.
Or it could be that we think it is just too pressure-filled, too difficult a task, to sit down and figure out our objectives, our goals, our mission — if you will — and then to put into play a life of our own design. We may think it is smarter to just go with the flow, to just keep up with the trends. However, what public opinion considers to be trendy — the flow — often means just to carry on a “seat-of-the-pants” or a “what’s meant to be will be” approach to life.
But, surprisingly, creating a life of our own design is not only challenging, it is fun — adult fun. Yes, we have to work hard to face the facts, to focus, to project, to prioritize and to lay it all out. The point is: the path to thinking freely and seeing clearly is not odious. All it takes is a brain and, of course, the nerve to take up this path.
This is where I can fit into your life. With the dedicated time and comfortable place of a workshop in which to make a plan, we love and feel at ease with our explorations and with our singular responsibility for our fate. The outside-the-box thinking it takes to explore the vast range and flexibility of our unique promise is exciting. Of course, mine is no ordinary workshop. It is an opportunity to examine your life.
There is great reward to summoning the patience to examine our lives, to see where we’ve been thwarted by circumstance or mindset, to determine what is important to us and to make the decisions and calculations that shape the life we want to live. By reward, I mean it satisfies our aesthetic, emotional and ethical energies because our plan includes not only what we’re responsible for and obligated to do, but also how we will give our nature, our passions, our hopes and our vision their due.
I am holding a Retreat Workshop on June 10-12 in Newport Beach. Please consider joining me.
Arnold Siegel is the founder of Autonomy and Life and the leader of its Retreat Workshops and Advanced Classes.