I’m in the life design business. While I’m not an expert on anyone’s life but my own, I AM an expert at facilitating individuals through the process of intentional life design.
Why intentional living?
Because it’s a game changer.
It’s a line in the sand between half living and a life fully lived. It’s the difference between fullness and regret, between the disappointment of untapped potential and the absolute joy of jumping into the deep end of the pool of life.
I help individuals live intentionally by turning off autopilot. By putting a stop to living life by default. By getting really, really clear about what matters most—and then putting a plan in place to live what matters most 365 days a year.
Merely getting through the day and surviving is not good enough. You deserve more than that.
Here are four critical steps for living life by design.
1. Where are you?
What is the current landscape of your life? What’s there? What’s missing? What’s working? What’s not?
It’s striking how many want to skip this step and go right to #3. But it’s only by knowing where you are—your starting point—that you can ultimately get where you want to go.
Think about how you get from Point A to Point B in the physical world using a map. You first figure out where you are before you can plot your route. That’s what this step is all about.
2. Who are you?
This is where you really shine a light on what you’re taking with you on your journey of life by design.
What strengths and talents will serve you well on your journey? What weaknesses and limiting beliefs might get in your way? What core values will act as a compass to keep you on track?
Many initially tell me, I know who I am; I don’t need to spend time on what I already know.
Trust me: Step #2 is time well spent, and never fails to yield an Aha! moment or two as you shed the expectations of who others want you to be and as you let go of your own expectations of who you “should” be.
3. Where do you want to go?
Not a week goes by without someone confiding to me they have no idea what they want. They’re disconnected from their purpose and passion…often just going through the motions.
This is where visioning comes in.
Ben Stein said, “The indispensable first step in getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.”
That’s what visioning is—deciding what you want. It’s picturing what’s possible for the future.
But so many have never learned or have lost touch with this critical life skill. They’ve forgotten how to dream and, as a result, make their worlds and themselves small.
Robert Fritz offers his cautionary wisdom: “If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.”
Step #3 is where the compromise stops.
4. How will you get there?
During the visioning stage of Step #3, we don’t worry about the “how”. The how comes now, in Step #4.
As Pearl Buck said, “Once the ‘what’ is decided, the ‘how’ always follows. We must not make the ‘how’ an excuse for not facing and accepting the ‘what’.“
Too often we don’t declare what it is we truly want because we have no idea how to make it happen. So we don’t allow ourselves to want it.
But time and again I see the How emerging—not effortlessly, but inevitably—if your “What” is on the level. In other words, if you get really clear on what it is you want and what you want is truly based on Who you are, then the How can be figured out.
The tendency is to water down Step #3 to something you already know how to achieve. But that diminishes you. It leaves you disengaged, discontent, off balance, and asking, Is this all there is?
You’re worth it, and your life is worth fully living.
These 4 steps— Where are you? Who are you? Where do you want to go? How will you get there? —are the path to a fully lived life.
They are the steps to engagement, fulfillment, contentment, meaning, purpose, passion, and happiness.
“The future is not some place we are going, but one we create. The paths are not found, but made.”
So what about it? Will you create your future? Will you make your path?