If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much – Jim Rohn
Before I woke up, i was drifting through life without really thinking about designing a life.
Human beings… we’re an interesting breed. We often want things to materialise now and have a tendency to make decisions that gratify us in the short-term. The problem here is that we neglect the longer-term implications of each decision. Over time, each decision compounds like a snowball rolling down a hill until BAM, life’s no longer in our hands.
I have some good news though: It doesn’t have to be that way… You can make a conscious effort to take charge by designing and living a life on YOUR own terms.
In a nutshell, lifestyle design embodies the attempt on your part to design a life of your choosing, whatever that looks like. It’s your life, your plan, and you call the shots.
Here’s 6 tips that will help you work towards designing a kick ass life.
1. Be Honest by Asking Yourself Blunt Questions
Facing reality is tough and often times easier to avoid. But that’ll just perpetuate the problem. The first and most effective thing you can do is establish the issues affecting your life by being really honest with yourself.
Ask questions such as:
- How much of your life do you control?
- What aspects of your life are controlling you?
- What’s the number one thing you need to change in your life in the next 12 months?
- What do you hope your life looks like in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years?
2. Aim High, Start Small.
This goes without saying. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed by looking at the bigger picture. When deciding to design your life, start small and shake up your routine.
Whether it’s changing the time you get up, what you eat for breakfast, or the way you walk to work, it all helps and always starts at the bottom. Of course aim high and have targets to meet but split those targets into smaller manageable goals. Most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate your small wins.
3. Imitate but then Adapt.
There’s 7bn people in the world and I’m sure there’s a few people out there living a similar life to what you have imagined. Find your idols and stalk them… not in creepy way though.
No seriously, watch what they do. Superficial information is accessible through social media, and if you’re persistent and passionate enough they might even let you shadow them.
Ask questions such as:
- How are they spending their day?
- What are they doing differently?
- How do they communicate with others?
- What fascinates you about them the most?
Importantly don’t just imitate the things they do. Take it one step further by taking on board their behaviour and then adapting it so that it best suits YOU.
4. Take Control
Bluntly put; if you place your destiny in someone else’s hands, you have sacrificed control of the situation. Let’s use a classic example… working for someone else. Even if it seems like you have the best job ever (free dental, a parking place, 6 weeks holiday, flexibility to work when/where you want), fundamentally, your life is still in another man’s hands. He has the ability to say “See Ya Later” at any given moment. That’s quite scary.
There is always the slight possibility that if you let someone else call the shots that you may get shot in the process.
You call the shots by taking 100% responsibility of your life.
6. Can you really have that now?
There is always trade-offs that need to be made when designing a kick ass life. You have to sacrifice and make compromises if you want to set up a sustainable life that’s lived on your own terms.
You must consider the longer-term implications of the decisions you make and eliminate the need to always be gratified in the short-term. People often tie themselves down with liabilities instead of assets which becomes a BIG PERPETUAL PROBLEM. Cars on finance. Mortgages. Buying things on credit they can’t afford.
The problem here is that liabilities tie you in and result in many longer term ramifications. They may indeed stunt your freedom and come back to haunt you in the future.
Wait for later, make sacrifices and only ever use resources that you have to create assets that work for you instead of weighing you down. It’s difficult to achieve and somewhat idealistic but you can control your destiny by never creating liabilities.
6. Find What You Love and Work Out How to Get Paid For Doing It
This is the most important construct in designing a kick ass life. You need to put yourself out there to find what you are passionate about. There’s no easy way round this either asides from being open-minded to trying new things and indulging in new experiences. Travel is a great medium to increase the likelihood of this happening.
Once you’ve found what you love: Train everyday. Relentlessly research your field. Imitate others and adapt. Take proactive steps to learn everything you need to know to become an expert in your field.
The final and most toughest step is to create real value for others with your passion.
Here’s how: Give out value for free until you build credibility. Don’t expect to be paid straight away.
Eventually, after a lot of hard work, the money will come if you are offering something that others genuinely want.
Life is not about finding yourself; it is about creating yourself and nurturing a path that leads to contentment.
There’s no need to wishfully hope for that “someday” because it will never come. That “someday” starts now by focusing on creating a kick ass lifestyle that encompasses doing the things you love as often as possible.
One small step at a time mixed with passion and intentional action.
You’ll eventually get there and I’m with you all the way.
Daniel Beaumont, on behalf of Team Podstel, Thurs 5th March 2015