If reading long blogs just isn’t your deal, you can listen to me read it instead! Click the play button below, or subscribe and listen through our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play.
I should probably out myself, first and foremost, as a huge school nerd.
When other kids used to dread the first day of school after a long summer break, I was secretly excited.
In elementary school, I used to assign myself summer “homework assignments” — books to read, short stories to write, that kind of thing. (Yep, total nerd here.)
I was so disappointed when college was over that within a couple of years after graduating, I applied for grad school four separate times … not because going back to school was the right next step for me (which is why I ultimately turned it down every time), but because I didn’t want to feel like my education was over.
I was so good at learning when I was in school (if you could make a profitable career out of just being a student, I totally would’ve done that), but I didn’t know how to continue that into the “real world.”
All of that is to say, it’s probably no wonder that I love this concept so much …
WHAT IF YOU TREATED YOUR LIFE LIKE A BUILD-YOUR-OWN-CURRICULUM EXPERIENCE?
I was talking with my client Melissa recently who was debating going back to school, but she didn’t want to have to follow a pre-set, strict curriculum. She has so many varied interests, and she didn’t want to have to choose between them.
At some point she said, “I wish there were a major where you could build your own curriculum. I just want to choose a school, take only the classes that seem fun and interesting and relevant, and call it a degree.”
I paused for a minute and then said, “You know, I think that’s kind of what life is. It’s just one big build-your-own-curriculum experience. You don’t have to go back to school for that.”
I honestly don’t know which one of us loved this idea more, her or me.
So immediately we started building out her life as if she were choosing classes for next semester. Turns out, Melissa didn’t need to go back to school to learn most of the stuff she’d been wanting to explore.
WHAT ‘CLASSES’ DO YOU WANT TO TAKE IN LIFE
I asked Melissa, “OK, so if you get to build your own curriculum, and you can learn about anything you want, then what’s your ‘major’? What kinds of ‘classes’ do you want to take?”
Melissa is fascinated by technology innovation, so she declared that as her “major.” But she also wanted minors in health/wellness, traveling, and personal development.
So we started coming up with “classes” she could take in all of these subjects:
- She wanted to learn about building websites … but instead of taking a formal class on it, she asked a friend if she could try building a website for a side project he’d been working on.
- She was curious about entrepreneurship … so she limited her job search to only tech start-ups, so she could see up-close-and-personal what it’s like to start a business from the ground up.
- For her minors, she booked a summer trip to Colorado (for her “travel” minor), started doing CrossFit (health/wellness), and came up with a reading list for her personal development.
After we broke this all down, Melissa admitted that, for the first time (maybe ever), she felt like she was the one orchestrating her life. And it felt good.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE
What’s great about building your own life curriculum is that you can major in anything you want.
Me personally? I’m majoring in consciousness — there are endless layers of my own self-awareness and personal evolution, and I want to explore them all. Some of my current classes are …
- Self-expression (my theme for 2016) — I made an entire checklist of ways I want to practice expressing myself this year, including setting boundaries with people and taking dance classes.
- Feminine vs. Masculine energy — I’m slightly obsessed with this concept right now, and I find it endlessly fascinating. (Check out our Work Like a Woman podcast for more about this!)
- Essential oils — I bought a bunch of oils and books about them and I’m totally hooked right now!
- Conscious business growth — Rachel and I are working with an incredible business coach this year to grow our business in a way that aligns with our values.
You could major in traditional subjects, like art, philosophy, or technology … but you could also major in things like peace, service, balance, adventure, self-expression, or joy. If you want to double-major (or triple-major), be my guest! It’s all up to you.
Or, if you have no idea what your “major” is, that’s perfectly fine, too. You can declare yourself as “undecided” for now. Just take a few “classes” in whatever you’re most intrigued by at the moment (follow your curiosity!) and explore your options. There’s no rush to choose a major … this is a lifelong process.
There’s also no penalty for changing your major, and you can do it as many times as you’d like. In fact, there are really no rules when it comes to building your own life curriculum — that’s the beauty of it. It’s your life, and no one can tell you you’re doing it wrong.
SPREAD THE LOVE
I see a lot of people trying to squeeze everything they want to learn into one area of their life, usually their career. They want their career to bear the weight of providing for all of their learning, fulfillment, and growth needs. But that’s WAY too much responsibility for any one area of your life, whether it’s your job, your relationships, your hobbies, or anything else.
So share the love! Let your life curriculum spread out to all areas of your life.
Yes, your job has a huge potential for fulfilling parts of your “life curriculum” (mostly just because it takes up so many hours of your week), but it is not — and should not — be the only way you’re building toward your “major.”
And remember, there’s no end goal when it comes to your life curriculum. Unlike formal education, there is no graduation day, and no one is ever going to hand you a certificate to let you know you’ve “made it.” (And if that were to happen, it would make for a seriously boring rest of your life.) Which means there’s always a deeper level of learning you can explore.
So tell me, what do you think of this whole build-your-own-curriculum approach to life? What’s your “major” in life (for now, at least)? What are some “classes” you’d like to take? Leave a comment to let me know!
Kristen (& Rachel)
GET $50 OFF THE PASSION PROFILE SHORT COURSE THIS WEEK!
Last week was crazy for me and Rachel — we both had a lot going on personally that made it hard for us to focus and be present for the current promotion we’re running on the Passion Profile Short Course.
Today was supposed to be the deadline for you to get $50 off the PPSC, but in the wake of our recent life chaos, we’re extending the deadline! So now, we’re offering the PPSC for $199 (instead of the usual $249) through this FRIDAY, JUNE 29TH. Use code JUNE during checkout for $50 off!
We hope to see some of you in there!