Does Your Life Roadmap Matter When the World Is Bleak?
People often ask me where I get inspiration for my writing. “Write what you know.” This common advice has served me well. I try to write what I feel in an authentic way. Some of my most popular blog posts started as everyday moments — a quick insight in a team meeting or conversation with a friend. But I have not written anything publicly over the last few weeks. I just could not.
I kept asking myself, "How can I go back to writing about 'business'?" Even the thought of it made me shameful. Those topics seemed inconsequential after the terrorist atrocities in Israel. Every person is born a precious soul. I needed time to process the suffering in the region and the loss of innocent life.
I have often referenced the idea that our work and our life are intrinsically interconnected. So if we are to seek and share hope in the face of despair, there is no sense dividing the two.
I started to see a path forward. Late last week I was reminded of another blog post I wrote when I was not eager to write. It was about how suffering can be a catalyst for deep reflection and motivation — looking at where you started, what you have done, and what you will do to be proud of your actions when you look back. It was titled 4 Steps to Building A Life Roadmap You Are Proud Of.
I suggested that folks create a life roadmap because it is always good to know where you are headed and why. Every successful company has a roadmap. So why not people too? Creating a life roadmap can give you clarity about what you stand for and the actions you will take. This is relevant to both paid professional work and other activities that matter to you.
Yet the idea of a life roadmap may seem at odds with our current reality. We are living and working in challenging times. I was telling a friend this weekend that no one could have imagined the last few years. There has been so much with which to grapple — a global pandemic, dramatic increases in hate speech and crimes, terrifying conflict, and unstable markets have vexed all of us. The scale of it can be unmooring.
I think that a life roadmap is especially important when the world is bleak. It can be a tool for guidance, gratitude, and introspection. Is yours delivering the impact you want?
If you answered yes, then I would challenge that you can do more. Each of us can be a positive force — no matter our role or level of responsibility. Remember that leading a business or a team is a privilege. Trying to serve people well and do what is right is an honor. Your words and actions make a big difference to those who might not yet have found their own purpose.
And if you answered no, then I am excited for you. Because reading this far means that you are self-reflective and hopeful. Reevaluating your life roadmap requires soul searching. You are looking for your true north — or at least a direction for now. Have the courage to keep seeking even if you are not sure exactly where it will take you. You will find help from others on your journey.
Yes, the world can feel bleak at times. But we must live and celebrate one another. Joy is a powerful antidote to just about anything that brings us down — we can hold happiness and pain simultaneously. And when you can align your daily actions with your values and aspirations, you have a much greater chance of holding steady in hard times.
Let's think about the future, set our life roadmaps, and strive to be better versions of ourselves. That work is more important than ever.
It starts with gratitude for the opportunities ahead of us. Many of us are fortunate to wake up in the morning and be able seek out a better tomorrow. I am hopeful for a world where people live more respectfully with widespread prosperity. I will keep writing and sharing my perspective on life and business to that end.
I hope you will join me in realizing that vision and design your own personal roadmap for good. So where are we headed?