Make the life you want
I say this all the time, but I think what most folks hear is “After you do that thing, make the life you want”. No, I’m talking take immediate action, right now, to create the life you want. I’m speaking to the habit of creating your life, its a habit that generates its own reality, if you do it often enough you forget what it’s like to worry, wait and ponder why things are the way they are.
This is a quickie, I just want to throw out some good framing devices you can use right now, if you’re in a rut of any kind or just looking to change your status quo hopefully you’ll find something you can make your own.
1. Know Where You’re At
One of the big mind games we play with ourselves is to imagine we’re way worse or way better than we are, which tends to paralyze us into inaction. Also, we’ll worry about things as a (insurmountable) whole, instead of in a (doable) sequence. I’m a fan of using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a framing device to give yourself a pat on the back for what you’ve achieved, and to see if maybe you’re worrying about things you might want to put off till you’ve taken care of more basic things.
2. Always Have 1 Thing You’re Improving
There’s always something you can improve, usually TOO MANY things, I want you to think about just one, one that you’ve procrastinated on, one that will really change the quality of your life – then make a 90-day commitment to do that thing. Give yourself the permission to postpone everything else, you’ll get to it, just not right now. The thing I want you to get from all this is the beginning of continuously, consciously improving things you want to improve. Do it often enough, you’ll get better at it. The key is to get comfortable with making decisions – between value and high value – we’ll never have enough time or energy to do everything we want to do so we need to develop the ability to keep making solid choices.
3. Actively Enjoy
So much of modern, western life is passive: television, computers, phones consumed when stoned or drunk or too tired. This is a recipe for self-loathing, because it’s easy, it requires little of you and you know it. Read things that delight you. Tackle ideas that challenge your every assumption. See great art, in whatever form – you’ll know it’s great when you can’t stop thinking about it. Engage in conversations with people you respect on topics that get at the core of living, death, love, ambition, religion, atheism – anything that’s big and doesn’t have answers. Exercise, push yourself physically in a way that speaks to you. Eat wonderful foods, drink complex wines, consume decadent sweets. The philosopher Seneca speaks of it as “Leisure”, and active relaxation. You don’t do these things “instead” of your higher ambitions, you do it to amplify them.
Okay, that’s all I got tonight, get out there – be kind, be excellent.