The Seven Magnificent Paths To Lifetime Bliss
You remember the story. Mother drags Son to a family wedding. Son doesn’t want to go. Mother nags the Son to get off His seat and have some fun at the party. Son wants none of it. “It’s not my time,” He tells her.
What? Was He waiting for the DJ to play “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”? Clearly, the Son wasn’t hungry for Meatloaf. Nor was He particularly thirsty for wine.
But be honest here, what son can deny his mother? This Son was no different. And when mom told the waiters to “do whatever He says,” they did.
Thus was the back story of Jesus’ first miracle during the Wedding at Cana.
This isn’t the story we’re telling here. We’re talking about what happens before the wedding. We’ll call it “Pre-Cana.”
Actually, it’s the Catholic Church that calls it “Pre-Cana,” and while it references the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee in John 2:1-12, it doesn’t really have much to do with turning water into wine (Jesus’ first miracle which he performed at this nuptial event).
Or does it?
Pre-Cana, in the Catholic sense, is a course for couples preparing to be married. It’s often taken with other couples, but it can also be a consultation for an individual couple. Often led by a priest or a deacon, (or a married Catholic couple), Pre-Cana is designed to encourage engaged couples to address several important topics. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops consider these “must-have conversations.” They include:
- Conflict resolution skills
Couples may explore other topics during Pre-Cana, but these are the big seven.
Oddly, they aren’t six. Jesus instructed the waiters to bring him six stone water pots. So, six “must have” conversations might have made sense. On the other hand, Genesis says there were seven days involved in creation, and marriage is sort of like a creation, so there’s that, too.
You may be already married, you may be thinking about getting married, or you may have no current intention to marry. Whatever your own personal situation, it doesn’t mean undertaking a little “Strategic Planning for the Soul” wouldn’t help.
Yes, it’s possible to condense the Lifetime Dream Process to an individual, but it works just as well (if not more engagingly) for couples, too.
And the best part, it works no matter what form of spirituality you practice.
In effect, just as Pre-Cana offers a strategic planning template, so, too, does the Lifetime Dream Process. The key difference between the two, however, is who makes the rules. With Pre-Cana the Creed is furnished for you, just like the Pilgrims had their Mayflower Compact and John Winthrop provided A Modell of Christian Charity to the Arbella passengers (see “Why America’s Founding Secretly Influences You”).
In the Lifetime Dream Process, however, you come up with your own personal set of core values and beliefs. Yes, it’s like the Apostles’ Creed in the sense it features several “We believe” statements, but they’re your statements. They don’t come from someone else (at least without your permission).
And that’s only the half of it. The Lifetime Dream Process also tells you the meaning of your life.
Not really. It’s just a matter of taking a Socratic approach (see “Why is This Important To You?”).
That’s just the beginning, though. The “set-up,” if you will. It creates your own personal back story. From here, you can launch full speed into your future.
A future to where?
This is where the ready-made template comes in. Just as Pre-Cana has seven “must-have” conversation topics, so, too, does The Lifetime Dream Process. These represent a septet of subjects where you can exercise your life in a meaningful way. For each one, you’ll need to map your goals, which are guided by your core values and illuminated by your ultimate purpose (i.e., “the meaning of your life”).
Let’s take a look at each of them:
Family – This can apply to the family you have created or will create or the family you were born in. For that matter, it might not even refer to your biological family, but some group with which you have developed a familial bond.
Personal – Outside of those immediately around you, you possess drives, ambitions, and desires that can exist totally and exclusively within your own person. You have the sole power to achieve these.
Professional – Unlike the “Personal” category, this represents your career ambitions. While your efforts will often determine your triumph here, you’re not totally independent. Other factors (like your company being sold, the broader economy’s impact on your industry, etc…) will impact your ability to succeed.
Financial – Though similar to the “Professional” category and constrained by similar factors, this represents your money ambitions. These can include everything from your personal financial planning to your entrepreneurial desires.
Intellectual – Money does not rule everything. You also need to satisfy your curiosity. It keeps your mind active. That can fuel greater discoveries and perhaps more and different accomplishments than you can anticipate.
Community – You are not an island. Your family is not an isolated tribe. Each is defined within a specific neighborhood. These are the people around you. They can challenge you. They can boost you. They can keep you on an even keel. The bottom-line is they fulfill your important social needs.
Fun – In the end, what is life if you have no fun. There are lots of ways to have fun. Don’t let someone else define fun for you. Understand yourself to know what fun means to you. Pursue that fun. Regularly. And here’s an important hint: “Fun” can be found in each of the six preceding categories. So relax. Have some fun.
Such is the template for you to create the blueprint of your life.
By coincidence, some religious scholars say those six stone water pots represent the six days of creation. In turn, they say that story of Genesis symbolized the blueprint of your soul.
I think not.
Oh, yeah, one more thing. What happened on the seventh day of creation? God rested. He relaxed.
It may be idle speculation, but we have it on good account He also had fun.
And speaking of fun, are you ready to have some fun discovering your Lifetime Dream? Turn the page to begin the process.