The possibility of designing your life and choosing your path may seem impossible to some. Maybe your circumstances or early life experiences made you believe 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 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 you want to do or be.
I’m talking about “normal” everyday folk who 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 begins in the mind.
“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking,” Period!
So you see, it does start in the mind.
The 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 happens to you. This, too, can be a deeply ingrained victim mindset. But, when you embrace the truth, you realize 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 four 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. You can design around it, through it, and despite 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 want is knowing your unique options 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, you can’t choose everything that happens in your life. But how you respond to life’s circumstances and opportunities is a matter of choice. Even when you decide not to act or react, you are still making a decision, so nothing 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 your birth or family circumstances, 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 your activities. This helps form you into the person you become later in life. As you age, you have free will to choose who to love, what to choose as a career, and, ultimately, what you will strive to achieve.
Acknowledging that all of these are life choices, not things that happen without your consent, is a big step toward designing your life. Accepting responsibility for these choices and not blaming life or others for the circumstances you find yourself in helps you move forward from your past and get 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 improve your life’s design process. You are left to make decisions based on poor or outdated information without knowing your true passions, interests, and strengths. Or worse, the social media profiles that you follow.
Without self-knowledge, you are more likely to pursue work or other goals unsuited to your talents and passions. Instead of choosing what makes you happy, you may 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.
Life is About Choice
Always remember this: our brains tend to reinforce what we already believe. This phenomenon is called confirmation bias. Yeah, it is a thing. So if you keep supporting the idea that you don’t have a choice, guess what? You don’t have a choice.
“Whether you think you can or 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; 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 your choices.
So, choose wisely!
Be well + prosper,