Healthy Extras

Create a storyboard to help picture your meaningful life.

Create a storyboard to help you visualize the life you want.

A healthy body and mind don’t exist in a vacuum. You’ve got to experience life.

What’s the point of putting so much focus and effort into eating right and exercise and meditation? What’s in it for me?

Being able to do what I want with my life.
Making conscious decisions about who I am and how I want to feel.
Leading a meaningful life.

You’ve chosen to make decisions and choices that directly affect your quality of life. You feel physically better. Your mind is calmer, less troubled and more focused. You have an abundance of energy, a zest for life. Now take it out of the preparation stage and create the life you want.

What does your meaningful life look like?

You don't end up with a meaningful life, you create it.

The picture above is part of my future. It’s part of the meaningful life I’m choosing. It is Preikestolen, Norway. As soon as I saw a picture of this place, I decided I want to visit. I already have a fascination with Norway, I was there for two weeks in 1997 and loved it. And the majority of my travel desires involve natural places, far more than cities. You can keep Paris. Put me on that rock.

In deciding what your meaningful life looks like, be visual.

Here’s where I go “off the reservation” a little bit.

Do you know what a storyboard is? From dictionary.com:

a panel or panels on which a sequence of sketches depict the significant changes of action and scene in a planned film, as for a movie, television show, or advertisement.

As you’re deciding what the story of your life will look like, make a storyboard. The picture of Preikestolen is part of my storyboard. The title of my storyboard is “The Life for Me” and it includes the places I will travel and a few creature comforts. Yes, you can put things in your storyboard as well as scenes. What kind of “things” are part of my meaningful life? Well, one thing that ties into what I write about on this site:

Bianci Via Nirone

That’s a Bianci Via Nirone road bike. It’s not the most expensive or highest tech road bike. But since I’m a hobbyist, I don’t really need a $7,000 Look carbon fiber or Lightspeed titanium bike. Not that I’d complain if I had either of those super badass and gorgeous bikes. But the Via Nirone fits the kind of riding I do and that’s why it’s part of my meaningful life.


Take the word “meaningful” seriously. Make sure what you put in your storyboard has MEANING. A Look 675 is an amazing bike but it’s above what I need and would be frivolous. It wouldn’t have the meaning to be put into my storyboard. All the places I put in my board that I’ll visit also have meaning.

Life is not something that "has" meaning, it's something we give meaning to.

This is another place I’ll visit. It’s Dhamekh Stupa, in Deer Park, Sarnath, India. This is the place where the Budha of our time, Shakyamuni, first taught. It’s one of the four primary Buddhist pilgrimage sites and I will visit all four.

The storyboard is a living document, a reminder and an inspiration.

Just as a director uses a storyboard to keep their vision for the movie sharp in their mind, your storyboard helps you keep your vision of a meaningful life in mind. Use it, look at it, don’t be afraid to change it. Add to it! You change, your life changes and your goals can change too. Make sure you let your storyboard reflect who you are at each moment, not who you were a year ago.

My plan for my storyboard is to replace every picture with one of the same place or item, except with me in the picture. Completion. Success. My meaningful life, in pictures.

 

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  • Hi Mike,

    Great post! Both of these places look absolutely amazing.

    I love your idea of a storyboard. I have used this in my past a lot in an attempt to stay focused on my goals at the time. I usually referred to my board as a ‘visual board’ and it was highly successful for me. I definitely agree that it does need to be meaningful though. If my goal was diet and fitness, and I had a picture of my favourite celebrity, it was enough to power me through for a few weeks, but eventually my motivation would wane and I would stray from my plan due to lack of substance.

    A more successful time for me was when I was writing my thesis, having a board which contained my dream home was really useful. Although seemingly superficial, it actually symbolised independence and freedom for me. Something that I always struggled with feeling that I could achieve.

    Thanks for the post, great read!
    Samantha

    • http://old.healthy-lifestyle-trainer.com

      Right on, Samantha. I can’t remember where I first heard of the idea of keeping visual images of your goals, but it really does help. As a blogger yourself, you know how much we sit at our computers grinding away. Those pictures in my dropbox are inspiration.

  • Hi Mike, thanks for sharing this, some interesting ideas in here. Preikestolen looks absolutely stunning, wow. Never been to Norway but always wanted to go!

    • http://old.healthy-lifestyle-trainer.com

      I’ve been to Hamar, Lillehamar and Oslo but never made it to the west coast of Norway, to the fjords.
      What places would be on your board?