It’s Never Too Late to Re-Design Your Life Story
Although actions may speak louder than words, it is our intentions that reveal our soul. ~Hal Elrod
Designing your best life is a romantic notion isn’t it? But we live in the real world and the question begs to be asked …
How realistic is this concept and where can you even hope to begin when you’re already up to your eyeballs with life’s associated relationships, responsibilities, personal history and emotional baggage?
The good news is that choosing to live life by design doesn’t mean suddenly rejecting everything about your life and starting over (although there may be times when it feels that’s the only way to finally get where you want to be); it’s about committing – today – to make conscious choices rather than simply letting life ‘happen’ to you.
For an example of what this might feel like, imagine you’re on a hike and come to an unexpected fork in the trail. To determine the best path to take you look through your binoculars. At first the image is unclear, blurry even; but with a few adjustments you’re able to bring the picture into focus and clearly see the obstacles and opportunities that await you on each path; which allows you to make the best possible choice for which trail is right for you.
That’s really what life by design is all about … becoming aware of your surroundings, choosing your direction, making adjustments here and there to bring your life into focus so that you can make the right choices to create your best life.
Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful. ~Mark Victor Hansen
Let’s look at a real life example …
For nearly a decade I worked as a small business coach helping first time entrepreneurs start home based businesses and many of my clients were mothers looking for a way to be able to afford to stay at home with their children. Sally was just such a client, and I’d like to share her story with you.
At the time I met Sally she, her husband Ron and their two toddlers were living in cramped 1 bedroom apartment. Ron had a good job, but still they were living from paycheck to paycheck and the pressure was on for Sally to get a job to help ease the financial burden.
Sally decided that if she could start her own business at home then she would be able to contribute to the family income while also being able to stay at home with her children. As Sally explained to me when we first met, she knew that with little formal training or prior experience the best she could hope for would be a job paying minimum wage, which meant by the time they paid for daycare for the children they wouldn’t be much better off financially.
What impressed me most about Sally was that her goal was much bigger than earning a few extra dollars to make ends meet. She was determined to create a full and meaningful lifestyle for her family and that purpose fueled her every action.
Sally talked her skeptical but loving husband into giving her 6 months to make a go of her new business. She created a business plan and set specific goals for herself – not just for the business, but for her family life plan as well. In other words, with her husband’s inut and support, Sally took the time to define “a full and meaningful lifestyle” so she had a clear path and vision of what succeeding with her goal would actually look like for their family.
Over the next six months Sally took advantage of every training opportunity available and worked very hard, making a point of sharing her goals and progress with her customers – who in turn supported her with even more sales. It wasn’t easy, but she super charged each decision and action by reminding herself of her intention and by the end of the six months she was earning more than enough with her business to ease their financial situation.
But remember Sally’s core desire and intention was to create a “full and meaningful life” for her family so the choices she made to achieve that intention went beyond the extra income. As her business continued to grow, the family was able to move to a larger apartment and Sally brought on helpers to free some of her time so that she could begin working on another part of her dream, homeschooling her children. She also opened a special account to begin setting aside the money for their first real family vacation, and for the first time in their 5 year marriage Sally and Ron were able to treat themselves to a weekly ‘date night.’
Now, let me acknowledge that at this moment someone somewhere is reading this and thinking that the basis for this happy story is as simple as the extra money. But if you look closer you’ll see it’s far more complex … after all, how many people have you read about who won millions in a lottery only to end up broke and miserable?
The real key to Sally’s success was that she never lost sight of her dream of creating a particular lifestyle for herself and her family. They could just as easily have blown the extra money on shopping, toys, or a sporty car. Or Sally could have chosen to focus solely on her business, rather than activities such as homeschooling her children, and in doing so increased their income even faster; but she intentionally chose to grow her business in a way that gave her the freedom to focus on activities and things that would enrich their family life.
Regardless of your present circumstances, it is never too late to re-design your life story.
Living your life by design is a thrilling and sometimes bumpy ride . . . but if you are determined and willing to make the most of life’s opportunities, to master the resiliency skills that will enable you to move beyond the inevitable challenges and occasional detours that come with the journey, there will come a day that your soul will absolutely sing with the joy of what you have accomplished!
If you have a story of your own to share, or a question about living with intention please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!
I’m thrilled to share with you that Sally’s story is from my new book It’s Your Turn Now – A Guide to Living Your Life by Design which will be on sale by the end of the month! As always, subscribers to IGG will receive the first ‘sneak peek’ of the book, so if you’re a regular reader of IGG and interested in learning more about living life by design why not subscribe now and grab your advanced copy!
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