Stephen Covey gives a very simple method in his 7 habits book. Write your eulogy. Determine how you want to be remembered by family, friends and others.
I've done this in my past and the biggest thing that comes up for me is that I really want to get a doctorate and teach. So, that is my long term direction. At the same time, there are many other items in my life that are very important. Among them are:
- Financial security
Obviously the list is at a higher level than "Get a Ph.D.". That one fits under an item probably called "Personal Improvement".
So, for a start, I have the four areas I want to concentrate on. Thinking somewhat more abstractly though, what are the principles and purpose I want to govern my life? Purpose is usually an angst filled discussion :). Typically, if someone asks me that, i would respond, "To fullfill god's will." (For god - feel free to replace with your higher power of choice. I was raised an Anglican, but feel more agnostic / Buddhist than anything else now) .
At times, I have felt this was a cop-out. What if my purpose really is to teach math and computer science. (I am quite good at teaching this stuff, and really enjoy it)
Well, time will tell. The next post(s) will explore how to turn the concentration areas into actual goals.