“Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives.” -Henry David Thoreau
How did I get here?
Is this what I wanted for my life? Is this what I chose? Or am I drifting through life?
Life can be messy. Many of us go long stretches of our lives on autopilot. We sleepwalk through our days.
“It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten-track for ourselves.” -Henry David Thoreau
One of the common traps of living is drifting through life: getting carried along by the current of outside influences, without traction on our deeper aims.
At some point, we stop and take stock, only to find that we’ve been wandering aimlessly.
Even while busy and pressed, we’ve been passive. Or reacting. Or settling.
Given these tendencies, we need to pause and take stock. Begin with questions:
- Are you clear and intentional about a deeper purpose, about upholding your core values, and moving toward a compelling vision of what a good life would be for you, your family, your friends, your colleagues, and your community?
- Are you demonstrating agency? Initiative? Ownership? Responsibility? Action?
- Are you proactive?
If you don’t like the answers to these questions, don’t beat yourself up. The good news is that you’ve now regained your awareness. Go easy on yourself, but commit to taking your life back.
Next, as you think through what to do, avoid the trap of analysis paralysis. You don’t need a perfect plan for how to fix everything.
What you need most of all is to start.
Gregg Vanourek is an award-winning author and entrepreneurial leader who trains, teaches, and speaks on leadership and personal development. Bob Vanourek and Gregg Vanourek are leadership practitioners, teachers, trainers, and award-winning authors. They are co-authors of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations, a winner of the International Book Awards, and called “the best book on leadership since Good to Great.” Take their Leadership Derailers Assessment or Gregg’s Traps Test (Common Traps of Living) or sign up for their newsletter. If you found value in this, please forward it to a friend. Every little bit helps!