The possibility of designing your life and choosing your path may seem impossible to some. Maybe your circumstances or early life experiences shaped you to believe that you are merely a victim of whatever life throws your way. Instead of stopping in your tracks and questioning what’s happening in your life, you drone on.
Working…sleeping…eating…binging Netflix… You get the picture.
The truth is that not everyone lives this way. I’m not necessarily talking about those who appear to have some sort of universal privilege. You know, the kind of person you might compare yourself to so that you can solidify your deeply rooted excuses as to why you can’t do or be whatever it is that you want to do or be.
I’m talking about “normal”, everyday folk who just believe and choose to design their life anyways. No matter what!
To be clear:
The process of designing your life starts in your mind.
The power to overcome problems, obstacles, and strongholds begin in the mind.
“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking” Period!
So you see, it really does start in the mind.
Keys to designing your own life revolve around acknowledging and understanding the circumstances you have in your life while being willing to make the most of those circumstances. Once you figure this out you can begin to leverage the options you have to select from and choose the best path forward for yourself.
Life is not something that just happens to you. This too can be a deeply ingrained victim mindset. But, when you embrace the truth you realize that you always have choices. Here’s an example of victim mode. You might say, “If I didn’t have to spend so much time cleaning and cooking for my husband and my 4 kids, I would have more time to focus on myself and my future. Newsflash: Your husband and your kids were a choice that you made. You did that. No one else. So take responsibility for where you are and what you have to work with. Believe me, you can design around it, through it, and in spite of it. See it as a fun experiment…a game if you will. The more light-hearted the approach, the more fun you will have through the process.
The key to designing the life you really want is knowing exactly what your unique options are and using all the resources at your disposal to choose your particular path. It’s more about being resourceful than it is about resources.
Your life will ultimately be defined by the choices you make. Of course, everything that happens in your life wasn’t chosen by you. But how you choose to respond to life’s circumstances and opportunities is a matter of choice. Even when you choose not to act or react in your life, you are still making a decision, so there is nothing that is beyond your control.
How to Be Aware of Your Choices
I hear you and you are right. There are certain things in life you cannot control. For example, you have no control over the circumstances of your birth or family, your genetic makeup, or the opportunities you were given as a child. However, many of your choices can override these circumstances.
Your choices can determine how you treat others, how hard you work, and the activities in which you engage in. This helps form you into the person you become later in life. As you get older, you have free will to choose who to love, what do choose as a career, and ultimately, what you will strive to achieve in life.
Acknowledging that all of these are choices in life, and not things that happen without your consent, is a big step toward designing your life. Choosing to accept responsibility for these choices, and not to blame life or others for the circumstances in which you find yourself, helps you not only move forward from your past but also accept the tremendous power you have to choose your future.
You already have all the ability within you to choose the life path you want and to design the experiences that will lead you to your goals.
Using Self-Knowledge to Make Better Choices
Developing knowledge about yourself, including your fears and insecurities as well as your strengths and gifts, is essential to designing your life and attaining your goals. Until you truly know yourself, which means getting clear about your beliefs, priorities, and values, you will always be vulnerable to crafting your life to please others or assessing your accomplishments against what others have achieved.
When you become more aware of yourself and your inner longings and desires, you can use that information to better inform the design process for your life. Without knowing your true passions, interests, and strengths, though, you are left making decisions based on poor or outdated information. Or worse, the social media profiles that you follow.
Without self-knowledge, you are more likely to pursue work or other goals that are unsuited to your talents and passions. Instead of choosing what makes you happy, you may opt to go along with the crowd or take the advice of others when you lack sufficient insight into yourself. This type of decision-making can lead you to invest more of yourself and your money in pursuits that don’t make you happy, too.
Life is About Choice
Always remember this: our brains tend to reinforce what we already believe. This phenomenon is called confirmation bias. Yeah, it really is a thing. So if you keep reinforcing the idea that you don’t have a choice, well guess what, you don’t have a choice.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t–you’re right”
Understanding that life is about choices and you are in charge of those options puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the power to design the best life for you. Even opting not to choose is a choice, and you will also have to live with the consequences of those choices.
Regardless of your initial circumstances or what you were born with or without, your life is defined by the choices you make.
So, choose wisely!
Be well + prosper,