Most people spend their time earning a living rather than designing a life. A lot of us tend to take life for granted, “taking life as it comes” and using that to justify inaction or lethargy. We think that everything will fall into place by itself, eventually. In reality if you don’t know what you want, you will soon only be left with what you DON’T want.
Almost everyone wants a dream life, but few are prepared to plan or action that plan and end up taking the path of least resistance. This includes following the crowd, where everyone ends up just like everyone else, generally unfulfilled and often dissatisfied. We may realize a few years into our adult lives that the path we have taken hasn’t lead us to our desire and therefore may resent out our partner or even our children.
We all know we want something. Phrases like financial freedom, wealth and balanced work/life style are catchy words that everyone’s using. Do we really know what it means or more importantly what it takes to achieve that? Do we know how or where to get it? The difference is, between allowing life to dictate to us and designing the life we want, is ATTENTION. It is essential to design the life you want to live. Is it possible? Yes it is, and here is how to go about it.
Don’t take your life for granted.
There are no guarantees and if you aim for nothing, that’s exactly what you’ll end up with: Nothing. It is a human tendency to allow life to drift with some vague notion that things will work out right in the end. If you wish to reap good quality fruits, sow quality seeds now!
Be specific about what you want in and from life.
If your goal is to be a professional golfer, you won’t get there sitting in a café with your friends talking about it. Find people that are a success in your chosen field and speak with them, ask them for advice and the benefit of their experience. Educate yourself, practice and practice again. Even lack of opportunity can be overcome if you’re dedicated. A friend of mine grew up poor, unable to afford piano lessons; she asked the teacher if she could just watch from the doorway as he gave lessons. She did this for 6 months before he allowed her to touch the keys..and when she did; she already had several songs memorized just from paying attention and absorbing the knowledge.
Take risks but don’t leave things to chance.
Without taking a risk, not much can be achieved. However a calculated risk has a greater chance of success. Therefore make an objective assessment of pros and cons, the gains and losses the investment in money and time and the potential returns. You increase your chances of success with a little planning and wisdom gained from others experience.
The crowd is going nowhere.
Don’t follow the crowd! They aren’t going anywhere you want to be. While they complain about their work, their spouse and their lack of vacation time, they don’t change any of it because every free moment is jammed packed with more worthless distractions like TV, fashion fads and technology. While a little indulgence of this sort is entertaining, it rarely shows us the deeper meaning of life and how to find our own sense of direction.
It’s not a dress rehearsal.
Spend time to plan out the path of your life. Remember, you only have one life, and it’s no dress rehearsal; it’s only going to happen once. Don’t be too busy living to create the life style you crave. If your life were a movie and you were the producer how would the plot unfold? You have to be able to envision the end at the beginning. It may start off a little hazy, but as you continue working on it, it will become clearer and clearer. You’ve got to write the script, put in the characters. Use your imagination; let your creative juices flow. Most of the time, the most creative ideas can lead to the most sensible outcomes, if you let yourself follow them.
Make concrete plans,
but keep them flexible enough to be able to change them according to need and the situation. As the creator of your life, you can change, delete, or add in anything you want in your project. Going through this exercise of designing your life, you are in control of your circumstances, rather than allowing yourself to become a victim of them. So do not hesitate to change your path, if the circumstances warrant.
Don’t go for what’s easy!
Don’t make the mistake of choosing what’s easy over what you really want to do. When I was a child, girls were either office workers, nurses, teachers or mothers. Now we have so many more choices for both genders, many different paths to education and experience. What you want may not necessarily be easy but make a choice and do what is most important in achieving your goals.
Coach and Director EMEA Business Development