Are you a planner; i.e. decide what you want and then develop a plan to achieve it? Or are you an evolver who falls into a life plan as it evolves?
It’s both my belief and experience that planners are more certain to realize what’s most important to them while evolvers are less likely to feel that they made the best use of their time and talents.
I ask this question because I had a lengthy conversation today with a definite “doer” and “planner”. That conversation reinforced what I feel is so important for all of us to remember and I’ll quote her: “I didn’t want to die not having a chance to really live”. In fact, she has been so successful in doing that she keeps reinventing herself and checking off her bucket list of things to do, people to see, and places to explore.
She is unique but she was not born with this “doer” DNA, she did nurture it along the way and had a clear road map of where she wanted to go and how to get there. Very little was left to chance.
You might guess that she’s a baby boomer who never quits and is driven to excel and achieve. That’s absolutely true, but she is a boomer that figured out how to live her life to the fullest and at a very young age. She sold her business at 52 years of age and has been reaping the fruits of her smart work ever since then.
We both agreed that there is an element of evolving in life – learning what’s important and what brings joy by doing and living. But it was clear to me and to her that knowing what you want and clarifying it early on is the key to being able to develop a plan and process for having and living your dream.
As she said, “You need to make sure you can live your dream before you run out of time, and most people don’t factor that into their planning.”
With 63% of the American population giving up the hope that they will ever live the American dream, I’m afraid that they will drop out and become “evolvers” at best. Achievement motivation is built on the belief and hope that we can be successful. When we attribute goal attainment to luck and place the power in events outside of ourselves, we learn to expect failure and let fate choose our rewards.
The spirit and spunk that built this great nation will give way to a sense of futility. Even the doers will suffer as a result.
I’m not sure how we can turn this around but I know what’s needed for our time is a new mythology that we can all believe in and can embrace – one that feels communal, nurturing and possible. Each one of us needs to get in touch with our personal dreams and make a plan with objectives in how to achieve them.