In the previous Control Freak post I acknowledged the absurdity of a 10-year container. How it’s an act of faith. One that has, over the last 15 years, helped my husband and I build our business and our life. At first glance, both the idea of a plan and a 10-year timeframe may be intimidating or overwhelming. But taken step-by-step, working from the inside out, you get there.

When mapping out what you want your life to be like, what pleases you is a great focus to keep at the heart of your work, and so it is an ideal place to start. Otherwise you’ll have a plan that has you doing a lot of shit you don’t love doing, stuff that doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things…

What pleases you isn’t fluff. It’s very pragmatic. Basic. How sustainable is a steady diet of stuff that doesn’t please you?

Trust me on this, you can’t depend solely on discipline to achieve long term outcomes. There has to be pleasure.

Pragmatic: When you have more things in your life that please you than displease you, you tend to be more productive.

Productivity plus dreams is powerful. When you incorporate the knowledge of what pleases you into your 10-year plan, when you leverage those native things in your daily routines, then you move in the direction of your dreams.

Conversely, without pleasure, your plan will be a big discipline box of things you’re supposed to do and the things that are supposed to represent success. An intellectualized path that has nothing to do with what you actually love about life. Use caution when applying “should.”

If you don’t know what pleases you, consider what you’re grateful for in your life right now. Gratitude often gives insight into what pleases you.

Gratitude is also one of the most real, in-the-moment ways of knowing where you are. It’s one of the most soulful ways to create optimism for where you want to go. Gratitude grounds you in what is, and motivates you in what could be.

Jot it down. What pleases you? What are you grateful for? It’s a very powerful start.

This practice, of noting what brings you pleasure and gratitude, is the entry point into your vision for your life. That’s where we’ll end, articulating your vision, in a few weeks. While maybe it would seem more reasonable to have you consider your vision first, we are going to work backwards. Uncover the details, the day-to-day bits that give you pleasure, first. They’re the very same things that will tell you how to get where you want to go.

This is the second post in Control Freak, a series on creating a personal 10-year plan. Click here to read the first post.

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