In other parts of this website, I explained that I have developed the Life Plan simply because I did not find anything that I found usable to assess the quality of my life and where I should head from where I was. It may sound surprising considering the amount of books, methods and systems available, but it just is the way it was. I developed the Life Plan in 2005 for myself and it has delivered much good to me. Sometimes, I am asked to be more specific about what the results have been for me. As I am a private person, I do not like to disclose much. However, I think it is probably good that I give some details about what changed for me since I carried out my own assessment with my method. Thus, you can judge for yourselves. I will not go in too many details, but it should give you enough of a flavor of what to expect from the Life Plan. Here it goes.
The first time I used the Life Plan, two things came out clearly.
Firstly, the direction of my own company was not delivering me enough satisfaction, and I had to rethink what business I wanted to be in. I reflected about it and gave myself time to think thoroughly about what I was passionate about. Focusing on general business management consulting was not all that exciting for me after all. After further reflection, I identified several areas. One was the desire to make people happy, to have fulfilled lives at home as well as at work. Another one was to focus about the future and in particular how our world might look like and how to foresee things to come in order to build a prosperous future. This has resulted in reshaping my company around two main activities. One is the one featured in this website, Objective Happiness, which provides services to individuals and business to enhance happiness and fulfillment to help people set goals that will provide them and their direct environment with increased satisfaction. The other one is The Food Futurist, my other venture, which focuses on foreseeing coming changes in the sector of food and farming, and to help customers develop successful strategies that will meet future needs in these sectors. I have to say that I enjoy these two ventures very much. They are my livelihood. To that extent the conclusions of the Life Plan and the choices I made from them have delivered me quite a bit of satisfaction.
Secondly, the Life Plan showed me that I had a need for an improved personal life. Although, like many people, I did not feel unhappy at all, something was missing, but without the analytical and objective steps that the Life Plan provided me, I simply could not self-analyze myself with enough distance. Not schizophrenic enough, I suppose. Anyway, and joke aside, the result of the assessment made one thing clear. After so many years of being happily single, it appeared I had the need to share my life with someone. I develop my “action plan” and started meeting more people. In 2006, I met an interesting lady, and after seven years of living together, we got married last April. We are both very happy with our life together and, although to some seven years may sound like an eternity to decide to get married, I see the final decision mostly as the natural evolution of something that we both truly believe will last until death do us part. Just like with the Life Plan, decisions are not the result of emotions, pressure of impulse, but they are the rational evolution of what makes the most sense and about which we both feel happy.
Beyond these two major changes, there have been a number of minor ones, but the above makes the main point about how useful my method has been for me.
Since the past summer, we have started a new assessment of our lives with the Life Plan and a number of things that will make us happier have already appeared. It is still work in progress, as it takes times to reflect on the conclusions and to develop the action plan. We have already made a number of decisions that will be carried out in the next couple of years and that will lead us to improve our lives further. Here is another important element of a successful transition: it takes time. There is no reason to throw your life over board to become happier. Just work on a manageable transition. The result will be much better for you.
There you have it: two major areas of my life have changed for the (much) better thanks to my Life Plan. Would I have achieved the same without the Life Plan? Not a chance! And none of the other method I had looked at had taken me anywhere close to that result, either. The Life Plan worked for me. And it will for you, too, if you go through the whole exercise.