I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to live a live they love.
In fact, one of the most frequent questions we receive is, “Where do I start? How do I create a life I love?”
How to live the life you love? That is the question of questions!
Listen to this audio session to learn how to successfully begin that wonderful process of designing and creating the life you love!
“I am having a difficult time figuring out the direction in my life. I don’t want the 9 to 5 or the many years of college.. I want to do something I truly enjoy. Like you. But I don’t know where to begin. How did you break the chain?”
Let’s be completely honest, Thoreau was right. “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to their graves with their song still in them.”
Whatever you do, don’t let that statement describe your life!
Who would honestly want to spend years in quiet desperation, with an occasional burst of happiness and excitement? Not me.
I’d rather share the music that is inside my soul and spend my ENTIRE life living according to my highest priorities, and doing work that matters and that I enjoy.
The majority of people don’t love their lives, they just accept them. Most people admit that they don’t really love their jobs, they just get up every day and go to their job because they have to…. for 40 years.
People dream about being happier, being more fulfilled, being great… but rarely do they make it a reality.
Life Doesn’t Have to Be Like That!
You can do work that you love. You can live an extraordinary life, filled with enthusiasm, fulfillment and peace.
Be advised: it will take work. You will have to bust your tail to make it happen. You will have to become a life-long learner, devouring the best books and information available. You will have to join the quest for excellence and give your very best. You will have to make sacrifices and pay a price. And yes, it will be worth it.
There will probably be times when you are broke, when you have to take odd jobs to cover your bills. There may be things you have to go without while you are creating your ideal family lifestyle.
But if you truly long to live a life that most people can’t, you must be willing to pay the price that most people won’t.
Let me clarify before you begin to think that I am suggesting that you sacrifice your family, your faith and your fitness on the altar of the almighty dollar. I am NOT suggesting that at all. Many have done that, to their deepest remorse and regret. Laying the most important things aside in order to make fortunes is most certainly not what I am talking about. Those stories almost always end in tragedy, like Larry H Miller. Read his autobiography, Driven.
No, the price tag that I am talking about–the one I have paid in my own life, and the one I’ve seen many other people pay to design and create fantastic lives–does not sacrifice the most important things in life in exchange for money and honors. No, it does the opposite. It requires the protection of those most precious things and the sacrifice of the unessential.
You have to sacrifice social conditioning and conventional thinking. You have to be willing to dance to the beat of music within you. You have to handle the ridicule and the scorn. You have to believe in your dream when few others will. You have to fall on your face, probably more than once, and then deal with the “I told you so” that follows.
You have to throw away your television, take a solemn vow to not listen to the radio anymore and instead turn it into an audio university, only listening to the best audio books and programs available. You have buy great books first, and then buy groceries.
You will want to sell all your crap, because you will come to understand the burden of possession, realizing that everything you own takes up thought, time, energy, effort, space or money. You’ll want to become a prioritized minimalist, only purchasing and owning the things that will add real value to your life. The rest of it goes.
You have to commit to using all your time very wisely and stop wasting it on anyone or anything that isn’t on the path to greatness. You have to learn to say NO. No to the people and practices that suck time out of your life. No to killing time idly surfing the internet, texting endlessly and updating your social media feeds. You will likely have to end some friendships, because who you associate with does influence the outcome of your life.
While others sleep, you will study. While others eat, you will practice. While others are out seeking entertainment and stress relief from a life they don’t love, you will be working vigorously to build a life you love.
You’ll get your body out of bed early in morning to study and exercise; really early because you still want to spend quality time with God and with your spouse and children.
There are only so many minutes in a 24 hour day. If one priority gets added, another one naturally gets removed. That’s the law of time. Where most people go wrong is by removing the wrong things. They stop exercising and start eating fast food, and they pay for later in life. They neglect their relationship with God and feel the void that leaves behind. And they spend more time with bosses and coworkers than they do with their family. They make time for ‘happy hour’ at the local bar and of course for their favorite TV series or sports games–they’ll never miss those.
Don’t do it. Keep first things first. Sacrifice the fluff first!
So Where Do You Start?
We just covered the basic life philosophy that will be a measuring device for your decisions and actions. Now you need to get the vision. You cannot hit a target that you cannot see.
What does your ideal family lifestyle look like? What are you doing to really live, not merely exist? You have to see it and feel it. The greatest sculptors can see what they are carving out of the raw stone. Become the sculptor of your life.
- What are you relationships like? Do you love like you should?
- What do you do with your time? How you spend your days is how you spend your life.
- What kind of shape are you in? No matter what else you have in life, you cannot enjoy it if you do not have great health.
What kind of work do you do? Is it meaningful? Does it matter? Do you get up everyday excited to do it? Is it fulfilling to you? Is it utilizing your God-given talents and gifts?
What are your gifts and talents? What are you passionate about? In what field would you love to be GREAT? What service, knowledge or advice do people come to you for? What do you love to do so much that you could do it all the time? What is it that just lights your fire when you’re doing it? For me it is speaking and teaching; helping others in their quest for excellence. That just lights me up. I love it! I truly feel like that is my mission; it is the song I was born to sing. What is yours?
You have to clearly answer each of those questions in writing. Spend some time in thought and prayer. Think about it. Pray about it. Ask God to guide your life. I believe He has a specific plan for each of us.
Write it all down in detail so that you have absolute clarity about your vision.
Each of those questions and elements are critically important. I’m creating a 5 week training program around them entitled, The Five Fundamental Factors For a Fantastic Life.
The five factors are: Fitness, Family, Future(education and skills), Funding, and Fun. Each week we dive deep into the why and the how of each one. I just can’t emphasize enough how important each of those are. Make sure you are excelling in every one of them.
The Next Step is That You Have to Want It Enough to Get It.
You remember the story when the young man went to see Socrates and said he wanted wisdom. Socrates took him out into the ocean. Then he grabbed the young man and held his head under the water, long enough for him to really struggle. When he finally let him up, the young man came out gasping for air. Socrates asked him what he wanted more than anything else. He wanted to breathe!!! He wasn’t under the water wondering if he’d gotten any emails or texts. He wasn’t thinking about updating his twitter feed about his meeting with Socrates. He wasn’t thinking about the party this weekend. He wanted to breathe!!! The wise leader taught him that when he wanted wisdom as desperately and as intensely as he wanted to breathe, then he would have it.
The same holds true for me and for you. When we want our vision so intensely that we are no longer distracted by trivialities, that we no longer use the lame excuse that ‘life gets in the way’, that we no longer blame others, or our past, or our circumstances, then we will pay the price and achieve what we desire.
And don’t be surprised when you knock on the door of opportunity and Work answers the door. Opportunity is always dressed in work clothes. She has her boots on and she’s ready get it done.
Get that level of desire. Get it until it burns in your bones. Get it until you eat, drink and sleep it. Let that vision permeate every cell of your body. Then get to work.
Write Out a Clear Plan of Action.
In your mind, jump ahead 5 years and see your life. Then work backwards from that point and identify each of the mile posts along the way. What will you have to accomplish to have reached each one? Be very clear and very specific. Continue working backward until you reach today. What will you do today to start moving toward your goals?
Make sure your plan has prioritized, actionable steps that you can work on everyday. Now work on something each day.
One of the biggest inhibitors to success is that people don’t work one their goals each day. They think about it, they talk about it, they plan on it, but they don’t actually do it. So weeks pass, then months, then years pass and they have that sad realization that they could have achieved their dreams if they had just worked towards it each day.
So you could break down your plan something like this: 3 five-year goals, 3 one-year goals, 3 monthly goals and 3 specific goals for today. Breaking it down like that keeps it simplified and forces you to prioritize.
For example, today’s goals could be to choose a business name, sign up for web hosting and buy a domain name. This month’s goals could be to have a logo designed, have the website designed, and write all the needed content.
Visualize, prioritize, plan and do.
Life is what you make it. Make it AWESOME.
Please share this with your friends and family who want and need to live a more meaningful life. Let’s work together to help people be happier!
Please share you comments and questions below. I look forward to hearing from you.