To avoid a hollow life, don’t just set sail without a rudder and expect to weather the chop:
1. Take the time to figure out your life purpose. What are your natural talents? What can you do for hours on end and wonder where the time went? What do you care most deeply about? If you were to be remembered by those who know you for something, what would that be?
2. Reflect critically on what you want out of your life. What are the main sources of your happiness? What lights you up? When do you feel like your most relaxed, engaged self? What environments do you most enjoy? What about them do you identify with?
3. Consider what you’re willing to invest to get there. Everything comes at a cost, whether direct or indirect. If things were to shift dramatically for you tomorrow, how much would that be worth to you? How much would it be worth, by comparison, to actually achieve your most challenging and compelling goals?
4. Determine how you’ll keep yourself in check. Who will be your trusted confidant to offer you direction and objective feedback? How will you track your progress? How will you know when you’re off track? 5. Construct a road map that helps you reflect on your decisions about how to allocate your time, energy, and talent. When you feel like things aren’t aligning, look at the decisions that have led to this point. Do they mirror your purpose in each of these categories?