Posted by: tiggerproject | May 30, 2012



I used to work in elementary education and a few years ago I attended professional training on curriculum development.  It was there that I was introduced to a book called Understanding by Design, by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.  The concept of the book is simple and logical:  As a teacher, what enduring concepts, ideas or skills do I want my students to learn?  Once I’m clear on the objectives, I can begin planning lessons and learning experiences that help me reach my desired goal.  In other words, I must begin with the end in mind.

Backward design is just as important for your life.  Where do you envision yourself in five, ten or twenty years?  Not to be morbid, but at the very end of your life, how do you wish to be remembered?  What would you like to have created?  What is your personal legacy?  If you’re a parent, what are you modeling for your children?

One of my personal heroes is Tony Robbins.  If I could meet one person before I die, it would be him.  He talks about not dying with “your music still inside of you.”  Everyone has talents and qualities that long to be nourished and fostered.  What “music” is your soul longing to express?  Your optimal life can only be designed by one person: YOU.

It is true that many of us have hopes and dreams that have yet to materialize.  Failed expectations and goals have the ability to generate emotional anguish.  The resulting fear can keep us from opening ourselves up to love or taking risks.  However, living life full-out requires us to risk.  There is no big reward to living a small, safe, unsatisfying life.  Hiding alone at home when you want to make friends or desperately want a partner is cowardly.  Wishing you could change careers or start a business but instead complain endlessly without taking action is spineless as well. Perhaps you are so rigid with your life regimen that you say “no” to experiences that might open you up to some fun.  For example, I have a friend that likes to go to bed at 8pm.  Because she is ruled by her sleep regimen, she declines invitations to socialize with others and then wonders why she doesn’t have more friends.  I’m not saying she’s unhappy with her life, but if we’re being radically honest here, she’s not exactly lighting the world on fire/expanding horizons either.

There will always be circumstances out of our control such as the death of a loved one, crazy weather, elevator breakdowns or the state of the world economy.  However, we can accept responsibility for our own life, attitude and ways of being.  It is up to you to dig deep and envision your life story.  Your age is irrelevant.  It is never too late to reinvent!  My own father lost his job with JP Morgan at age 62.  He didn’t curl up in bed or throw up his hands in resignation. Instead, he started his own financial advisory business which is now thriving! He started doing Crossfit at age 63 and is now (at 65) in the best shape of his life.  It is NEVER too late to begin anew.  Each day is a new opportunity.  Start with the end in mind and envision where you want to go.  Now be fearless and take that one step forward.


Vision_Board_Sept_2010_inprogress (Photo credit: WiseWellWoman)

Activity:  The Vision Board

Perhaps you’ve heard of making a vision board or a vision book?  It’s easy to make one.  Simply cut out pictures and words from magazines that represent you and your life ideals then paste them on a large poster board or in a scrapbook.  Research has proven that visualization and articulation of goals elicits the greatest results.   This powerful process will help you clarify your own values and desires.  Afterwards, keep your vision board somewhere you can see it every day.  Lastly, find someone who will support you in your vision so they can hold you accountable.  If you are lucky enough to have a partner who will a make a vision board with you, the collective energy is even more powerful.

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