It is commonly known that people, when they reach certain age, go through what it is called an “existential crisis”, by realising that they’ve lost interest in what they used to do in life, or that their principal activity has lost the value it once had. We then start asking ourselves what will we do in years to come? How can we find something that will make us happy? How to build a worthy life plan for ourselves as individuals as well as members of a wider society?
It doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to have a crisis in order to meditate and ponder about these things, but, unfortunately, as we are all so immersed in our daily thoughts and activities, we don’t take time to stop and think about our life project and how valid and well aligned it is with what we foresee or want for the rest of our life.
If you want to avoid the existential crisis, have a close look at your current plan, the big picture; and test it against the main 4 pillars of an ideal life project:
Me, me… and only Me
Our life project is only worthy of if it is extraordinarily good for us and ourselves only. No matter what you do, it has to make you feel happy, you have to feel it as an inner compass, and make you feel complete; it must be well aligned with your expectations. Sacrificing our dreams for the sake of others by doing something we hate, we don’t like or we don’t feel fulfilling is not the optimal outcome. All your efforts will eventually collapse by damaging the first main pillar that holds everything: yourself.
Make sure that the first leg of this chair we call project of life it is well screwed. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be times when we’ll have to do things not aligned with this first pillar, but, as a general rule, everything we decide to do with our life has to be, first of all, good for ourselves as individuals.
For example, let’s imagine that you are determined to become a poet as your project of life. If poetry fills you with joy and make you express your sensitivities and inner beauty (even if you write them only for yourself); then your chair has already a strong first leg.
Our Family group
The second pillar of our life project has to do with the compatibility to our closer and dearest group: our family and our kids. When we do what is perfect and valid for ourselves as individuals, we must also seek that this activity or activities embrace our closest ones if we really want this project to be more fulfilling. In our chair analogy, if our second leg, the family, is there, and our life project includes them, it’s compatible and beneficial to them; then we have already secured a good portion of happiness and inner tranquility.
When you share your poetry with your family, and they love it, makes them dream and reflect, makes them have tears of joy, they love what you do and support you in the search of your passion by encouraging you to write more because they benefit from your actions; then your project of life is done. You have the second leg firmly attached to sustain your project.
Our Social Group
The third leg of the chair is our social group, our neighborhood, our city, even our country. If our life project includes this level, it will provide a great service to others and to ourselves. When we do something huge that affects something as big as our city or country, then is when we will begin to receive huge personal benefits according to the life project we have chosen.
As we have mentioned several times, the more value is given to society in any way, the more value we receive back. Obviously, if we create through our work a life project that includes this third leg, our chair will not only be solid, but also extremely comfortable. What about writing and publishing that poetry book in our language so we can express through it and we can reach many people? That would be a life project that would come very close to our ideal. Most of us only have projects that have the 1st or the 2nd leg firmly attached, what’s yours like? Can you add another leg? What if you could add the 4th one and complete your ideal life project?
The ideal project is the one that is already supported by 3 pillars and takes the 4th one: humankind, as the last leg of the chair. All you are, all you do and all you create and share with others benefits our entire planet. This is the last element of an ideal life project, because the more benefits we bring to humankind, the more personal satisfaction and the more benefits we will get back. A life whose actions, whose contribution, whose vision embraces all humanity, is a full life, is the ultimate happiness of feeling useful and complete. He is the poet who translates his books into many languages, that expands and reach many people including the whole planet. If you think you are at this level, congratulations!!!. Your internal compass has guided you well and be sure of feeling fulfilled and blessed in all you do.
And if it is not the case, how many legs has your chair? Don’t you think it’s time to add another one?