The Ideal Life Exercise

As I pursued that prompt, In my Ideal Life I am a person who… a certain number of overarching themes started rising to the top.

There were categories, for example: Creativity. The environment. Parenting. Work. Keeping a clean house. Health. Marriage. There were a total of nineteen of these categories that became quickly apparent.

There were also words that reappeared over and over in my statements: words like humility, consistency, authenticity, joy, progress, discernment, wisdom, contentment.

If my Ideal Life was house to be built, those words like humility, authenticity, joy and progress where the foundation and the walls of my house. The different rooms of my house were the categories.

I decided that there was nothing to lose by considering these different categories, and the virtues and themes that I hoped my life would exemplify in each one of these categories. It wasn’t going to hurt: nothing else was going well, anyway.

I decided, each morning, to take a few minutes when I first got up in the morning to consider one of the categories. I needed a framework; something simple that wouldn’t take too long. Something easy to remember, something that would serve as a baseline

Four questions: 1. What is working? 2. What isn’t working? 3. Is there anything I need to be thinking about in this area? 4. What one thing can I do today to make a tiny bit of progress towards my Ideal Life in this area?

What is working can be very general…”Yay! Everything is going great!” Or it can be very very specific, as in one little inch of progress in an area where I had been struggling.

What isn’t working can be likewise very general: “Absolutely nothing is working in this area of my life right now. Or, it can be very very specific, down to one little tiny rock in my shoe that is driving me crazy.

This is just an overview. I promise, I won’t leave you hanging. But I want you to know what you are getting yourself into!

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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