Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a PDF version and other notes.
If you’re new to Daily Prompts, you may want to start at the beginning of the series here.
Year______ Month_______Day______Consecutive Practice Days_____Missed Days______
Gratitude: (the free PDF below features lined entries for your journal practice)
Vision: (the free PDF below features lined entries for your journal practice)
Affirmations: (the free PDF below features lined entries for your journal practice)
The Lyceum Method is all about consistent actions that can become habits.
If you’re sitting down to create a Vision and setting goals, mapping out the steps it will take to achieve what you want, the chances of you having the foresight to anticipate all obstacles and know the appropriate steps from the outset is highly unlikely.
However, as a daily practice, this becomes an exercise in relevance. We pause to reflect each morning and ask; “What is the one action I can take today that will bring me closer to my vision?” This not only avoids the need for predicting all future contingencies, but it will also serve to teach you about your work as patterns emerge.
If your answer to this question is the same each day because you’re failing to complete the same task day after day, you might ask yourself, “why?” How else can you go about getting it done? If there is work necessary to achieve your dreams that you don’t want to do, you have a few options—and they are all equally “right” and valid. It’s your choice:
- Just do it anyway and move on.
- Break it down into a smaller, simpler action. Set the bar so low that you can’t help but achieve it!
- Find a way to delegate it to someone who will do a better job or enjoy the work more than you. (This was a huge one for me.)
- Change your strategy for getting to your Vision.
- Change your dream- Maybe you don’t really want now what you wanted when you started this. That’s cool too!
I don’t want to be a rock star. This isn’t because I don’t like the idea of performing on stage. In fact, I have performed on stages and I love it! I just know there’s more work involved in living that life that I don’t want. The parts I don’t want to do outweigh the parts I would enjoy.
It’s important for me to create a vision of the future that I enjoy getting to along the way. I don’t want to create an idealistic utopia for my future that will require me to endure torture to get to it. This is what I think many people are doing when they are trying to practice delayed gratification. As if there’s something noble about doing work you hate. But what if you never get to utopia? It’s likely you won’t. Which means you’ll end up doing work you hate for a future that never comes.
I encourage you to find a vision for your future that requires you to take actions today that you can find enjoyable or at least intrinsically satisfying. I really don’t enjoy marketing my writing for instance. But it’s a task I can work through, knowing that it will allow me the privilege of writing more. If I’m wildly successful one day, I’ll pay someone else to handle all the marketing and social media. But I don’t hate marketing so much that I avoid or dread it. As long as I’m able to write, and find an audience that can receive value from my writing, I can find the intrinsic rewards of marketing along the way.
Making the daily practice of “The Next Action Step” will quickly help you learn what steps you enjoy, which ones are more challenging, and which ones you would rather avoid. This becomes more than a step-by-step process for attaining your goals, this becomes another tool for you to learn about yourself.
Your self-knowledge is far more valuable than any steps-to-success guide.
Action: (the free PDF below features lined entries for your journal practice)
Daily: (The pdf version below contains three lined pages for your daily journal)
The above is an excerpt from the upcoming The Lyceum Course Journal. We will be releasing it here for free as a Daily Prompt blog post. If you would like a physical copy, we will link to it here once it is released.
I realize a daily journal prompt on a blog is a little weird. This is how I would suggest using it: Open your favorite note-taking software such as Evernote, copy and paste this post into it, and write your daily entries there.
Download a PDF version of this post here. Feel free to print it out, or access it through a PDF editor where you can type in your daily entry.
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This post series is a first draft of the future book. If you have suggestions, comments, or see errors, please reach out so that I can make the final product more valuable for you and the rest of the community. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!