Would you rather say, “I’m glad I settled” or “I’m glad I went for it” – Are you living a life by design are default?

When you look back at your life…

Would you rather say, “I’m glad I settled” or “I’m glad I went for it”?

Your response to this question points to whether or not you are a life by defaulter or a life by designer.

I obviously advocate for a life by design. Why?

  • For all we know, we only have this one life we get to experience before we die – so you might as well make the most of the ride.
  • It seems that the one thing that makes humans unique is our ability to create anything we set our minds and attention to – so you might as well do this with intention.

IMPORTANT: It doesn’t matter which path you choose, so long as you’re consciously aware which you’re choosing. Because your choosing implies intentionality vs sleep walking.

Let’s define these paths…

Living a life by default is reacting to what’s happening around you by making adjustments to accommodate what is happening. It’s generally pretty comfortable and routines win the day. Life is basically status quo. It’s keeping with the cultural programming you received as a child without questioning if it works for you and your needs. You pretty much live out of your current habits without any desire to change. You don’t questions why you do what you do. Often carry the mindset of “life is happening to me”.

For example, when the pandemic started remote work became a necessity. At first this was a challenge for those new to remote work, but they soon adapted. Now you feel comfortable. When your employer made hybrid work mandatory, you just went along with it even though you now preferred working from home 100% of the time. You just make it work. You’ve been with the same company in the same role for 2 years with no clear career goals or aspirations.

Living a life by design is intentionally choosing the lifestyle you want to live. One that aligns with your core values, wants, needs, hopes and dreams. Here, your creativity and resourcefulness are alive and well. You find joy in experimenting to find what work best. You challenge the status quo and choose instead to march to the beat of your own drum. The mindset here is often “life is happening for me”. 100% at cause for your life.

For example, pre-pandemic you decided to cut back to part-time as your passion project side hustle began to take off. When lockdowns began to happen decided to move your family to Mexico. Your partner was working remotely anyway and your kids has been in a Spanish immersion school. It’s 2022, your side hustle is now your full-time gig and you’re considering moving to Brazil because you’ve picked up some major clients there.

Which path do you mostly fall under? Be honest because the truth will set you free to dream.

What keeps most people living a life by default is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of looking stupid. This type of fear is the mind-killer. It creates a prison around you. It will tell you it’s about safety and security. But this is just a trick. This type of fear does not have your best interest at heart. The best time for fear to come on is when you’re running from a lion. In this case, say “thank you fear”. However, in most other cases, the fear only keeps you small. You CAN say, “no thank you, not today.”

Taking 100% responsibility for one’s life is no joke. But I’ve never worked with a client who walked this path and regretted it. Life just becomes more rich.

Which path will you walk?

You don’t have to walk it alone. A coach can help you design your life. They’re not there to tell you what to do. They’re there to help you A) realize your full potential and B) actualize upon it.

Stay tuned for our next blog post on the best place to start designing one’s life.

So where is the best place to start designing one’s life? By clarifying core values, needs and motivators.

Most people have no idea what their core values, needs or motivators are.

Core values are what you would consider as important or what matters to you. What matters to you in a work context is different than what matters to you in a relationship context. No two people have the same core values because we are all unique.

Examples of core values: helping others, accomplishment, happiness and empathy.

You will have your own definitions for each of your core values. What ‘helping others’ looks like to you will look different than it does to me.

Needs are the requirements necessary to fulfill each of our core values.

  • If your needs are not being met, your core values are not being met. When this occurs, you’re likely to experience negative or unsatisfactory feelings and emotions.
  • If your needs are being met, your core values are being met. When this occurs you’re likely to experience positive or satisfactory feelings and emotions.

For example, the needs I have beneath my core value of helping others are closeness and discovery. These needs are met when I’m engaging in deep dialogue with a coaching client. Here, I feel both curious and touched. These needs are not met when I’m sharing an idea that’s being shut down by someone who acknowledges there is a problem but doesn’t want to do anything different to solve it. Here I feel dismayed and confused.

Of course the rabbit hole goes deeper…

Motivations are what compel us to act or move through the world. I’m not talking extrinsic (external) motivators, I’m talking intrinsic (internal). They operate at the level of our subconscious – meaning we mostly unaware of them. The motivations behind your needs typically come from a what you had a lack or abundance of as a child. We’re either A) moving away from something that we don’t want or B) closer to something that we do want. What determines A or B are the beliefs you hold and the stories you tell yourself (aka what you believe to be true).

For example, when it comes to my value of helping others I already know my needs are for closeness and discovery. When it comes to helping others, I’m moving away from feeling disconnected 30% of the time and the other 70% of the time I’m moving towards leaving people better off than before they met me.

Ultimately, move away from motivators are unsustainable. We see this all the time with people who’ve lost and gained weight a number of times. They’re motivated to lose weight because they feel like crap and are tired to not feeling good about themselves (move away from motivator). They get after eating well and regular physical activity. After some time, they start to feel good about themselves. If they do not clearly identify a move towards motivator (e.g. I’m going to become an olympic triathlete), they will fall off the horse and revert back to their old patterns, ending up right back up where they started. Move towards motivators are where it’s at to make long-term sustainable changes.

Unless you are a master at communicating with your unconscious mind, you’re going to want to work with a coach on this stuff.

Need help? Let’s chat.

There’s no obligation to this call. If you’re needing help, that’s what we are here for. I’d love to talk with you.

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