Improving Your Story Using Key Life Roles
Everyone has roles they play in life. We are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, employees, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, travelers, citizens, leaders, followers, athletes, coaches, etc. The list goes on to describe dozens of roles we’ll encounter throughout our lives.
However, because there are so many sometimes we feel off balance. We have to prioritize our roles and stay focused. We can narrow these all roles down to 7 Key Life Roles.
These are broad roles that most of us fulfill on a daily basis. But because you’ll pick up new roles in your life as you age, each role has two aspects or sides, like a coin. These 14 roles capture most of the roles you’ll ever fulfill in your life.
- academics: school, college, vocational training, etc
- personal growth: special interests
- vocation/business – careerist, entrepreneur, maker, etc.
- special projects – side-business, hobbyist, experimenter
- budgeting & financing – managing money
- investing & saving – growing money
- intimate/spiritual – very close friends, lovers, spouse, religion, nature, etc.
- friends/network/customers – everyone else you know
- patriot – national citizen, neighbor, resident, patron, etc.
- occupant – homeowner, renter, dweller, roommate, etc.
- travel – domestic or foreign traveler
- fun/entertainment/recreation -thrill-seeker; the great outdoors and indoors
- physical health – runner, bodybuilder, yogi, dieter, breather, sleeper, etc.
- mental health – meditator, cogitator, giver, etc.
Making Your Life Work
The secret to making all of these roles work is to prioritize which of the seven are important in your life right now. In order to do that, you have to think about your goals for the next 90 days, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years. When we start with the end in mind, we can plan backwards to set our priorities.
Sometimes the problem isn’t that we don’t have a firm goal in mind, it’s that we’re stuck trying to attain it. In this case, you should consider a variety of different approaches. You could hire a coach to help you get over any stumbling blocks and keep you accountable. Some people benefit from joining a special interests group where they can share their struggle.
Still, others find that they have no shortage of resources, it’s just that they don’t exactly know what to do with their lives. They need greater direction on what they should be prioritizing.
The answer is within. You need to get in touch with your True North (values, beliefs, passion, and skills) and brainstorm a few new goals. Below are some ideas from my Get Unstuck Workshop:
The Scholar: Your education journey has been a long one, but you know it will serve you well. You are searching for a path that will make you really stick out. Decide to be the foremost expert in your area of study.
The Producer: You’ve made some pretty amazing things in your life that your people have loved. It’s time to up your game and make the next best thing that has your signature style all over it.
The Adventurer: When you realize just how small the world is and how easy it is to travel, you decide that you want to see and visit more places. The world is your oyster.
The Amorist: Finding true love is the ultimate relationship journey. You decide you’re ready for real love. This can be a bumpy road but you know it’s worth it in the end.
The Accountant: Saving money has always been hard, but you know that you want the good things in life. It’s time to make more and save more money. There are a thousand ways to do this and you decide to take one of them.
The Healer: Mental and physical health has always been a priority in life. You decide that you want to be happier and physically healthier than you are right now. It’s time to take a journey to the center of the self.
The Citizen: Being a good citizen of the world and of your own domain is important. You decide to do something big to prove that.
When you know what your priority and goals are, you achieve total clarity in your life. You know exactly what to do with your time and why. The only thing left is to create a good strategy and execute on it every day. If you’re already familiar with the MSE Framework, below is a quick tool to get you started.
For example, if your #1 role was The Scholar:
Putting It All Together
- Understand what the 7 Key Life Roles are and the two aspects of each.
- Prioritize these roles by ranking their importance.
- Focus on two or three of them with the majority of your time until you accomplish each goal. Make sure to spend a little time maintaining the other roles and move them up as each major goal is accomplished.
- Reassess your progress and masterplan every few months.
- Enlist a coach or mentor to keep you accountable, inspired, and successful.