Now more than ever in human history do we have the opportunity to deliberately handcraft a life of choice. This is particularly true in developed countries, and this capability continues to spread faster than ever as our world communication systems connect people to a planet-wide community.

As a young woman, my approach to career and life was akin to living by default. I took what came my way. Life was happening to me instead of me happening to life. I wasn't out there building the grand vision for my life. It didn't occur to me that I could. I lived unconsciously in reaction to the effects my random actions had. I was not in charge.

A time came when I realized that not only was it a good thing to consciously create the life that I wanted, but it was my responsibility. I was shocked at this new perspective: I am responsible for choosing my life and making it happen. I'd never done that. It became obvious that this learning was to become my personal mission. My mission is to become masterful at consciously creating a life of choice and to help others do the same thing.

According to Gary Zukav, author of the best-selling book, The Seat of the Soul, 'The center of the evolutionary process is choice. It is the engine of our evolution... Responsible choice is the conscious road to empowerment.' It is logical to ask, 'What is responsible choice?' Zukav offers, 'A responsible choice is a choice that takes into account the consequences of each of your choices... Only through responsible choice can you choose consciously to cultivate and nourish the needs of your soul and to challenge and release the wants of the personality. This is the choice of clarity and wisdom, the choice of conscious transformation.' Additionally, I assert that a responsible choice is one that does no harm to any other. Zukav also points out, 'The choice not to choose is the choice to remain unconscious and, therefore, to wield power irresponsibly.'

The task of making deliberate choices about how to craft my life seemed overwhelming. Our world is full of diversity and choices. How could I choose? I decided that I could take some time to sample the world around me by opening myself up to new experiences, taking a couple of classes, and meeting new people. I also realized that whatever I chose wasn't going to be the end-all decision for my life. What a relief it was to know that there is more than one choice and that I could continue to make choices about how I wanted to experience myself as I continued my life journey. I asked myself several questions in deciding how to choose including:

> How do I want to experience myself?
> What are my needs?
> What are my values?
> What feels good?
> What do I want for others?
> How can I help?

These basic questions became the foundation upon which I developed my ideas of who I want to be and how I want to live. The answers serve as the platform from which all other choices are aligned. I learned that the process of becoming aware of what you want can be a journey in itself. Once clarity is attained, choosing from an abundance of possibilities can be done with a light heart because your choices will be aligned with your intention.

Planning your life from a birds-eye view may seem overwhelming, however, you can develop a Life Plan to organize your thoughts about your intentions, beliefs, experiences, and choices. A Life Plan is a document that you deliberately create to declare who you are, what you want, and how you're going to do it. You use it to handcraft your life through focused intention to bring forth the experiences you choose. It serves as your long-term guide ensuring that the different areas of your life are aligned with your intentions. A Life Plan is a living document. It changes with you, therefore, it requires your commitment to review it a couple of times a year and revise it when appropriate.

Life Plans can be composed in many ways. Here's one outline you can use for your plan.

> My Life Vision
> My Life Purpose
> Personal Mission Statement
> My Legacy Will Be:
> I Am Statements
> My Top Values
> My Top Needs
> My Gift(s)
> Elements I Want In My Life
> The Work I Choose
> The Roles I Perform
> Personal Strengths
> Strategies to Fulfill My Vision, Purpose, Mission
> Personal Accomplishments
> Annual Goals

It sounds like a lot but it isn't really. Once you get very clear about how you want to experience yourself, what your vision and purpose is, the rest will follow in support of that. Choices such as your mission, the work you want to offer, or the relationships you cultivate will feel more natural and congruent with who you really are. When you are living your expression of who you really are, there is less resistance in your experience. The goals you pursue become that which closes the gap between where you are and what you've envisioned for your life. In other words, the path becomes illuminated, and there's no reason not to walk the path in love, joy, and lightness from moment to moment. If one day, you look out on your life and you don't like what you see, then it's time to make another choice.

Creating a Life Plan to handcraft a life of your choice is a worthwhile investment in yourself. It's the best deal in town taking relatively little time compared to the benefits it will yield. In the coming months, I'll coach you to develop the elements of your Life Plan. A life handcrafted by your choice is a life worth living!

'Within the freedom to choose are those endowments that make us uniquely human. In addition to self-awareness, we have imagination - the ability to create in our minds beyond our present reality. We have conscience - a deep inner awareness of right and wrong, of the principles that govern our behavior, and a sense of the degree to which our thoughts and actions are in harmony with them. And we have independent will - the ability to act based on our self- awareness, free of all other influences.'

~ Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ~

Author's Bio: 

Ms. Chiarelli is a professional, personal, and business coach
providing personal support, clarity, and strategy through collaborative
relationship. For more information, visit her website at: or subscribe to her monthly
e-letter, Your Creative Power¢â, by sending blank email to with 'subscribe' in the subject line.
?2001 Yvonne Chiarelli