5 lives


One of the core exercises in The Center for Good Work’s Career & Life Design Sketchbook is called 5 Lives.

If you had 5 lives to live– not just one, but 5 lives to get it all in – what would you do in each of those lives?  If you could make them any way you wanted to make them…no reality…no practicality…, no skills or talents necessary… how would you design those five lives?  (pause here.)








I have had clients say,“I’d be a poet in a castle and when I felt like it I’d come down from my tower and stroll through the markets, purchasing melons.”  I’ve heard, “I’d be a LPGA golfer walking around those beautiful golf courses all day and I’d have great legs…but I don’t like the individual competition in the LPGA.”   I reminded her that she could make it anyway she wanted…not reality based here in 5 lives land and she replied, “oh, yes… I’d make it teams!”  I’ve heard of lives on hobby farms with lots of kids, lives as artists, musicians, cancer researchers, bookstore owners…you name it.

You see the voice of restrictions, of can’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t… of limits, realities and the critic are pretty darn loud.   This exercise is a stretch for some who may have lost the art of the awake dream.  The critic has taken control of their lives and dimmed the voice of their call– of their purpose, passion and path.  I love to awaken the dreamer.  To listen for the voice of purpose and passion and illuminate it back to others.  In coaching sessions one of my favorite experience is the process I take people through with their 5 lives.  It’s sacred.  I hear so much potential and possibility when client’s share these lives and more importantly, clients get connected to their own deeper wisdom as we process this exercise.

So dream a little today.  Consider taking a stroll and thinking about how you would create the ideal life if you had no restrictions and no limits.  What if you had 5 lives to get it all in?  It actually makes it clearer to design the one wild and precious life you do have!