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______
“No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart,
just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now”
I hope by now you’re beginning to see some of the merits of The Lyceum Method over traditional goal-setting.
The Lyceum Method is a strategy for living your best life in the present, to set you on a better trajectory for your future. Goal-setting and future-thinking ignore the present gratitude, contentment, and joys. It ignores the sense of wonder we might enjoy for an unknowable future by hanging expectations out in front of us as the keys to happiness. We see over and over again how this is a false premise. How many depressed millionaires does history need to record before we can acknowledge that reaching a goal is not the gateway to a good life?
If you set a goal to be a millionaire in 5 years, that strategy can go one of two ways: You’ll either succeed or you won’t. But let’s look at what the 5 years are doing to you. You’ll be living for this future accomplishment. If you fail, your disappointment could have devastating effects on you and your relationships. If you succeed, it’s quite possible that you could end up a miserable millionaire. How? Well, you’ve just spent 5 years working toward a single objective, you’ve been practicing discontentment, delayed gratification, and a “work ethic” that has created a sort of martyrdom in you. Suffering has become a virtue.
Now, let’s take a look at the same objective through the personal philosophy of The Lyceum Method. You’ve created a Vision for yourself that might require you to be a millionaire in order to achieve it fully. You have spent 5 years training yourself in Gratitude, developing yourself through Affirmations, and you are Practiced in being the type of person who is living out your Vision. At the end of 5 years, again, you may have one of two outcomes. You might have accomplished the Vision, but now you are a millionaire who has spent all of this time practicing gratitude and contentment. You’ll likely have better relationships because through it all, you’ve acknowledged this gratitude and stayed present for those closest to you (and yourself). And if you’re not a millionaire at the 5-year mark? Well, your Vision has left room for the unknown. Will you have given up on your vision after a daily Practice spanning 5-years? Doubtful. You have left room for a detachment from specific expectations so if it takes another 5-years, no matter. You’re living in a Grateful present, and have spent many hours Practicing to be the type of person you want to be.
I believe that The Lyceum Method can be far more effective than traditional goal-setting, but even if it’s not. Even if it’s slightly less efficient at achieving physical ends, even if I’m wrong about its effectiveness, it seems clear to me that the person you will be in the future, having Practiced The Lyceum Method will be healthier, happier, and enjoy better relationships, even if your Vision never comes fully to pass.
Of course, I do believe it’s an effective Method for achievement. I do think your Vision can come to fruition. I do think you’ll be a better person once you get there.
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.
Collaborate With Me!
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!