Making a Living vs. Designing a Life
Are you making a living or living a life that you designed? What’s the difference? Making a living is about survival. It’s making enough money to live an average life. It’s having a marriage that you can tolerate. It’s muddling by.
Designing a life is about creation and choice. You consciously choose a life that’s tailored to your preferences. It might involve living in a mansion or living in a hut on a mountaintop. You might be married to your ideal partner or choose to live alone.
Those that are merely “making a living” are living the life that society considers to be average or normal. Those that design a life are choosing for themselves how they want to live and then making it happen.
Making a living is easy, but not very enjoyable. Designing a life is much more work, but much more satisfying.
The choice is yours.
Design the life you were meant to live:
- Put all reservations aside and make some choices. What is your dream life? Don’t be practical. Think about your ideal life in detail and write it down. Consider these ideas:
- Where would you live?
- Who else would be there?
- What would your social circle look like?
- Describe your home.
- How would you spend your day and evening?
- Write a mission statement for your life. Companies have a mission statement. You should, too. What will your life be about? Accumulating wealth, relationships, adventure, contribution? Decide the purpose of your life.
- Find a hero. Who is living the type of life that appeals to you? Maybe it’s someone from history. If it’s a current figure, follow them on social media, read their biography, and read their other books. Learn everything you can about them.
- Determine the type of person you need to become. Do you need to become a person that makes health, diet, and exercise a priority? Do you need to develop a high level of discipline? Did you need to become more sociable? More organized? Take more risks?
- Think about the type of person that would have your dream life. You may need to make some adjustments.
- Decide what you’re willing to do. Are you willing to move? Write for an hour each night? Lose 50 pounds? Learn to speak Mandarin? Consider everything your dream life will require for you to achieve and maintain it. What are you prepared to do?
- Decide what you’re willing to stop doing. Are you willing to give up drinking? Watching TV? Spending mindless time in bars with your friends? Procrastinating? Being afraid? Avoiding tough conversations? There will be things you must stop doing if you want to change your life.
- Create a plan to get there. Without a plan, you only have a dream. A plan turns it into an objective. Create a viable plan and get started.
- Don’t give up. If your plan is sound, all you need to do is hang in there until your dream becomes your reality. Be persistent and consistent.
Are you living a life that you chose? Or does your life look like everyone else’s? Be courageous and choose the life you want to lead. It’s easy to follow the herd and live like everyone else. You don’t share the same taste in food, clothing, or TV shows as anyone else. Why should you live the same life?