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It’s Your Time Now
A Guide to Living Your Life by Design
Copyright © 2012 Marquita Herald
This special preview is licensed for your personal enjoyment. Although this is a free publication, it remains the copyrighted property of the author and it may not be sold or used for commercial purposes; however you may reproduce and share the information contained herein for your own personal use. Thank you!
Choosing to Live Your Life by Design
It doesn’t matter where you are now; you are nowhere near where you are capable of going.
When Was the Last Time You Took an Honest Look at the Life You’re in Today? Does your life represent a path you’ve chosen for yourself? Is it based on your dreams and created by decisions you’ve made about how you want to live each day? Or did you simply happen into your current life as a result of circumstances. Maybe you’re living a good life, not all that you dreamed it would be, but it’s okay. After all a lot of other people have it tougher, right? Maybe you are aware of some things not working in your life and long for other things missing entirely but, for whatever reason, you believe change is not an option for you; you’re too young or too old; have too much responsibility and not enough control, or you feel you lack the right skills. Or possibly you’re just coming out of a crisis situation or recovering from an unexpected life change and just want to find a way to recharge your life and get back on track.
There Are Two Ways to Live Your Life
You can glide along and let things happen, reacting to whatever (and whoever) comes your way, simply going with the natural flow of things … good luck, bad luck, whatever the fates happen to serve up; in other words, living life by default.
Life in default mode looks something like this … you get up in the morning and go through your daily routine, busily meeting the demands of work and family, going through the motions but not really fully engaged or energized by what you’re doing. Often we recognize something needs to change, and we want to change, we probably even know what we need to do. But we don’t do it. The days, months and years fly by, and while life is okay, occasionally in the back of our mind, we wonder if this is all there is; if there isn’t something more to life. Then one day we wake up and wonder, “How in the world did I end up in this life?” But by this time we’re so deep into commitments, routines and habits that meaningful change feels impossible and overwhelming. So we just keep on because we simply don’t know what else to do. It is your programming that created your choices in the past. It is the choices you make today that will create your future. The second way to live is by choosing to be an active participant in creating your own life experience — making intentional choices and decisions, creating focus and direction and turning dreams into reality. Of course this requires more work, and no small amount of courage, but the rewards are also far greater.
Living Life by Design Will Look Differently for Each of Us There is no one-size-fits-all formula for living with intention, after all the very nature of life by design is to follow your own unique path. So living intentionally will look different for everyone who does it because people focus on different areas to bring intention to their lives. For some, it is about faith; living intentionally in the traditions of their religion. For some, it is about activism - social, environmental, health, or any number of causes, supporting the initiatives and values and working towards furthering that cause. For some, it is about creating a particular quality or way of life.
Living Life by Design Requires That You Begin Paying Attention to What is and isn’t Working in Your Life The interesting thing is that as you begin to pay closer attention to what is happening in your life, you’re going to make some surprising discoveries. You are going to find that there are things in your life that no longer serve you. You may have gone years – or
even decades without consciously realizing you were wasting time and energy on something that you no longer have any interest in whatsoever; things in your life that are just taking up space. Again, it is important to emphasize that choosing to live with intention is not about turning your life upside down. Nor is it about manifesting change simply for the sake of change. It is about coming to a realization that there are things that you would really like to have more of in your life. Things you didn’t even realize were missing until you started paying attention. Intentional living is also about doing everything you do with complete and total awareness of what it is that you are doing and why; while fully acknowledging that you are making these choices in order to become the person you are meant to be.
Living Life by Design Requires That You Believe You Have the Power to Create Your Life Experience. Do you believe your past defines who you are as a person; that people are born a certain way and can’t change? Do you believe that only those who are lucky can lead successful lives or that you have to accept your life situation and shouldn’t hope for more? Believing in yourself sounds like such a fundamental concept and yet we all experience times in our lives when we suffer periods of self-doubt and uncertainty. But here is why it’s so important to intentionally cultivate and strengthen self-belief. Regardless of how well you plan to live your best life, or how confident you may appear to others, if you have pesky internal limiting beliefs (the faulty stories you tell to yourself about yourself) sending messages to your brain that the odds are against you (so why even bother trying), or that you are undeserving, you will surely find yourself hitting one stumbling block and detour after another. As tempting as it may be to blame circumstances, bad luck or other people, if we're truly honest with ourselves, in most cases our challenges and obstacles are a result of the enemy within, otherwise known as "self-sabotage." In order to succeed in whatever endeavors you undertake in life … you must learn to trust in your abilities and believe at your deepest level that you deserve to live your best life, and that you have the power and authority to create your own life experience.
Living Life by Design Requires Courage It is human nature to look for the short cuts, the easy answer, and the uncomplicated solution; so it is important to understand going in that choosing to live your life with intention takes courage. It will require planning and becoming clear about who you are and what you want in life; you will continually push the boundaries of your comfort zone, and there will be periods of uncertainty and times when, in order to stay on the path you’ve chosen for yourself, you’ll be required to make tough choices. Perhaps when you hear the word courage you think of a firefighter or soldier, or possibly someone bravely fighting a battle with a life-threatening disease, or someone who’s rebuilt their life after a catastrophic accident. But courage has many faces. For someone struggling with depression, getting out of bed in the morning is courage; for someone else leaving a successful career to strike out on their own takes great courage. If you’re painfully shy, learning to speak up at meetings or taking a public speaking course is courageous. In other words, true courage is being willing to risk being uncomfortable. In fact, courage may actually be the single most important characteristic for creating positive life change because it provides the determination that you need to initiate change and the passion to adhere to your new path through periods of uncertainty. Courage enables you to change old habits, and to make difficult choices to do what is in your best interests however uncomfortable it might initially make you feel. The good news is that courage can be developed over time, which means that even if you are not feeling particularly courageous right now, you can start small and grow from here.
Of course life being the great adventure that it is, there will always be obstacles and unexpected detours; and the undeniable truth is that sometimes bad things do happen to good people. We may not always be able to control the actions of other people, but we always have the power to control how we choose to view those actions and respond. In fact, as you begin living with intention you become more aware of the power you have to choose, how to take advantage of the opportunities in adversity, cultivate the confidence to determine the direction of your life, and the courage to own your choices – no excuses, no regrets.
Have you wondered …
How can we possibly live intentionally when there are things we cannot control? What if I just want to be happier? What if I don’t have enough discipline? Do I need to create a life plan or is taking it one step at a time good enough? How can I design a plan for my life if I’m still struggling to find my purpose in life? What do I do if the people around me ridicule what I’m trying to do to make my life better? I don’t have time to redo my life. I have responsibilities and commitments. Where would I even begin?! How do I learn to make the right choices? How does someone overcome self-doubts, past regrets, fear of change, fear of the unknown, even fear of success?! What about spontaneity, freedom and just going with the flow of life? Won’t all this awareness and intentional decision making suck the fun out of life? For answers to these questions and more …
It’s Your Time Now A Guide to Living Your Life by Design
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About the Author
Inspiring you to become the person you were meant to be … Marquita Herald lives in Maui, Hawaii and is an author, transformation guide, and the creator of the life-by-design blog Inspired Gift Giving (IGG) Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas. She is dedicated to inspiring readers to embrace that regardless of age or the circumstances of your life, it’s never too late to create the life you really want for yourself. When you follow her writing you'll soon learn that she does not write about “quick fixes" but rather strategies to build personal confidence, live with purpose, make a difference in the world, and develop greater personal resilience to thrive through life's inevitable challenges.
To connect with Marquita online: Twitter: http:/twitter.com/martyinmaui Facebook: http:/facebook.com/inspiredgiftgiving Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/martyinmaui Blog: IGG – Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas
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