Designing your life, intentionally, is more than possible. And yet, most people don’t do it.
Who designed your life (career, lifestyle, social circle, where you live…)? Was it you? Or did you sort of stumble into it?
So many of us charge forward, living by default. We do what our parents counsel us to do, copy our friends, and are heavily influenced by the borderline brainwashing of the media, TV shows, upbringing, religious communities, peer groups, or whatever our strongest influences were.
We rarely pause and ask ourselves who we really are. What we actually want. Or what we want our lives and lifestyles to look like.
So many of the people I work with actually have really “great” lives on paper. They checked all the boxes, did all the things, but deep down they are not fulfilled. Yes, they have created a proper, “successful” life, by society’s standards.
But what they’ve failed to do is to create a meaningful life. One that is an expression of their particular set of talents, gifts, and characteristics. A journey that allows them to spend their time on what they value most and what makes them come alive. A reflection of their unique perspective on the world.
That’s where I come in. I want you, yes YOU, to have not only a successful life (but by YOUR standards of success, not anyone else’s), but to also have a life that is meaningful, whatever that means to you.
Don’t waste anytime lamenting your past, or regretting past choices, because we can’t change them anyway. (Although if you do want to spend some time forgiving yourself, honoring, and letting go of your past, that’s a great use of time!)
Instead, start where you are today, and commit to designing your life from here on out. On purpose, instead of simply reacting to whatever life throws at you.
So, how the hell do you go about doing that? It’s not easy, but it can be simple. Here are 5 great strategies to get you started.
1) Cultivate self-awareness
The more you learn to be present to your own experience, the more power you have to shift it into what you want. We can’t change what we’re not aware of, so start training yourself to notice, in real time, where you’re at. Listen to how you’re talking to yourself in your head and notice how you’re feeling in your body. This will help you become the conscious creator of your life.
2) Get yourself some damn clarity
A lot of people aren’t chasing their dreams for the simple reason that they don’t actually know what they want. If you don’t know where you want to go, it’s gonna be pretty hard to get there! So start by asking yourself what you want. In every area of your life. If you’re extra disconnected from what you want, it may take time. Be patient. Be bold and dare to admit your truest desires. At the very least to yourself. And if you’re able to, share it with some people who believe in you and can support you in heading down that path.
3) Start taking action
Once you start figuring out what you want, you can start moving toward it. Don’t worry about having it all planned out first. Just start somewhere, because you can always course correct as you get more clear. If you already know what you want, but are too terrified to make any leaps (say quitting a job or leaving a relationship), start with the tiniest baby step and go from there. Action creates energy and momentum. It gives you more clarity and confidence, and feels super satisfying to boot!
4) Get support
As you start designing your life more intentionally, you’ll need support. Most likely, you’ll have critics and people who doubt your dreams. (Maybe because they resent you for having the courage to pursue them, which highlights their own inability to do so themselves. Or because they simply have a different perspective.) Let them doubt and criticize you. That’s their story, not yours.
Instead, seek out support from people who are living the life you want (as mentors, coaches, teachers) or who believe in you and your dreams and will cheer you on no matter what (colleagues, peers, fans, friends.) Fear will come up. Failure will happen. Shit will inevitably hit the fan. So, have a support network in place that can catch you when you fall and affectionately slap you on the butt after you dust yourself off and get back on that big, unruly horse you’re attempting to ride.
5) Keep tweaking
Look for opportunities to take big leaps and inspired action, when appropriate, but more than anything, keep tweaking. Every day, every week, look for the small shifts you can make that will create just a little more alignment in your day to day experience. Make the helpful baby steps that inch you closer to your dream part of your regular routine; make them habits. Rituals. Infuse every moment of every day, every choice you make, and every thought you think with intention.
Live your life on purpose and be designing and redesigning a life that inspires you and fills you with joy and gratitude.
Ok? You do NOT have to live your life by a bunch of tired, outdated, unspoken rules that are followed by most people, because they’re just living by default.
Break the rules. Break that mold.
You get to create an UNCONVENTIONAL, meaningful, amazing, and exhilarating life – one that is aligned with the absurd combination of traits that is you, and whatever it is that is most dear to you.
Do it. I believe in you. And I hope you do too. (If not, or if you need help with this, you know where to find me!)