“Getting to know my core values has really centered me. It has inspired me to do more. I haven’t designed my life. I AM designing my life.”
Meet AMY ROUAS, 40+, married, mother, Head of Industry Sales at Google and a woman, who has recently made a big shift in her life.
She didn’t quit her job or move to another country, but simply reconnected with a more adventurous side of herself. She is a great example of how consciously working with tools like journaling and finding your core values can make big changes in the way your view your life and yourself.
Why did you begin designing your life?
“I attended a workshop with Pernille at Google. The concept of designing your life the same way you design your home really rang through me. When we are remodeling our home we obviously spend a lot of time picking out the right appliances, fixtures etc., but I had never taken the same time when it came to my life. The workshop encouraged me to get started now and work with it on a deeper level, so I started working with her as a mentor and followed the lessons from the online course. Through the process, I finally was taking the time to plan my life.”
What significant change did you make?
“I needed to connect with being adventurous and my core values.
About the same time, while on vacation in a beach town, I ran into this man, who told me about some fantastic experiences from his life. How he had worked with an elephant orphanage in Bali, swam in the clearest water in the Maldives, and more. All these amazing travel and life experiences. When I commented on all his experiences with a bit of envy, he said: “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” It was a nice reminder about really living your life to the fullest.
What tools and personal work have been especially helpful?
“I had participated in a few personal branding workshops. A quote that was shared in those workshops, which resonated with me, was from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” And I think that is true, as long as it is your “authentic you”. Meaning, your personal brand isn’t necessarily something you create, it should just be who you are.
In working with Pernille, we worked a lot on my core values, which you could say would be a reflection of my personal brand.
When I had the finished list, Pernille asked me: “It this really you. Or is this who you have become. “
I went back to rethink and had to peel some layers off. It was the best part. I realized there was no fun on my list; all my values were about being dependable, accountable, flexible, loyal and dutiful. It was who I thought I was supposed to be [possibly had become after having kids].
Getting to know my core values has really centered me and inspired me to do more. Some of my core values are adventure, drive and resourceful. So when I am in unchartered territory, I can say: It’s an adventure – I will figure it out. That way I can lean in to the uncomfortable in any situation.
With this core value process, in a way you give yourself permission to be who you really are, but it also lets you see core values in the little things, the smaller steps.
Any tips on how to deal with the challenges in the process?
“I found it hard to do my values and the mission statement. I know myself well enough to know I need someone to make me stick to the commitment and enthusiasm I feel in a workshop.
For me it works because I had a mentor and deadline. So if you are doing the online course, I suggest committing to a deadline and finding a mentor, who can help you commit.
To write the letter to myself dated 2057 was another important mark in the transition. What would I like to be remembered for? It was so powerful, especially when it was coming from a place of my core values defined. I felt really empowered by the idea that you get to write your own life. Designing your life always ends up falling to the bottom of your to-do-list. And maybe it happens even more, when you have kids and you say ‘I will do that later.’ But later is happening now.”
DO THE WORK
One of the lessons in The Good Life Designed course is about finding your core values, which will guide you in all aspects of your life. The course also has lessons on keeping a journal and the importance of having a mentor like Amy talks about.
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SHARE YOUR LIFE DESIGNER STORY
There is no right or wrong way to design your life. There is only YOUR way. All life designers are so different, but when we talk about the work involved, we are very often very similar and share the same doubts and fears.
Do you have a challenging and inspiring life designer stories to share? We would love to hear from you!
Please email: Karin@goodlifedesigned.com