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3 Simple Steps to Reinvent Your Extraordinary Life

We reinvent ourselves from a chaser of things to a creator of meaning.



Image Credit: Midjourney

76% of people die with the same regret. “Not fulfilling their ideal self.”

This is from a Cornell study conducted a few years back.

The “ideal self” is the attributes you would ideally like to possess, such as hopes, goals, aspirations, or wishes. 

It’s the forsaken dreams, romantic interests not pursued, and choosing the “safe” job instead of the adventurous position.

It ties nicely to the #1 regret of the dying, according to Bronnie Ware:

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

So how do you become the minority? 

How do you become the 24%?

First, we must understand that we have two double whammies to contend with.

1. Our lizard brains

Our deepest human need is to survive.

Our brains are survival machines and nothing more. They’re designed to keep us alive. 

As part of this hard-wiring, we’re also efficiency machines.

Our brains seek the path of least resistance. It’s a primal desire to conserve calories to ensure our survival. 

Anything outside our comfort zone is unknown and, therefore, an “unnecessary’ risk.

So we seek the comfort of not leaping into our unforsaken dreams, the comfort of not being rejected by the romantic interest, the comfort of the “safe” job.

Complacency trumps courage.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

2. Conditioning

We’re conditioned by family, friends, and society to chase certain things to be happy.

Those things are almost always outside ourselves: 

The right job title, the right amount of money, the right car, the right clothes, etc. 

The most significant trouble with externals is that they do supply happiness in the short term. 

Long-term, they transform into regrets; for example, the parent who worked 80-hour weeks to maintain a house that was too big and missed family and connection time along the way. 

So back to the million-dollar question:

How do we become the 24%?

We reinvent ourselves from a chaser of things to a creator of meaning

Your purpose in life isn’t to stare at a spreadsheet all day or out-maneuver John for the corner office so you can chase more things. 

I believe there’s more than one purpose to life and one of them is this:

To find what makes us come alive, commit to its accomplishment, and share it with the world. 

These are the 3 C’s to a meaningful life.


We must learn about ourselves, what matters to us, and who we are. We must get clear on who we want to be and want we want our lives to be.

We’ve got to connect with ourselves and find what makes us come alive. 

When we seek what makes us come alive (Life Calling), we connect with ourselves on a profound level. 

We create an opportunity to live in alignment. 

When we live in alignment, we cultivate deeper connections with those around us because we’re connected deeper to ourselves. 

We improve our relationships (with ourselves and others). 

We cultivate self-trust and confidence. 

We give purpose and meaning to our lives.


When we commit to creating/giving life to our Life Calling, we give ourselves one of the greatest gifts of being alive; we give ourselves a mission. 

A mission cultivates joy, intention, purpose, meaning, self-trust, confidence, and fulfillment. 

A mission gives us focus, direction, and aim. 

We wake up in the morning with reason and purpose. 

We give purpose and meaning to our lives.


When we share our creations, we give back to the world that gave us the ability to create what we created. 

We’re of service to something more significant than ourselves. We bring inspiration into the world and show others what’s possible, which creates more creation. 

This is one of the highest purposes we can serve.  

Just because 76% of people die with the same regret doesn’t mean you will. 

You have, at any time, the opportunity to enter the 24%.

It’s not too late, you’re not too old, you didn’t miss your chance.

Reinvention Reminder: A year from now, you can regret that you didn’t start a year ago or a year from now, you can be in awe at how far you’ve come.

Craig Stanland is a Reinvention Architect & Mindset Coach, TEDx & Keynote Speaker, and the Best-Selling Author of "Blank Canvas, How I Reinvented My Life After Prison." He specializes in working with high-achievers who've chased success, money, and status in their 1st half, only to find a success-sized hole in their lives. He helps them tap into their full potential, break free from autopilot, draft a new life blueprint, and connect with their Life's Mission so they can create their extraordinary 2nd half with purpose, meaning and fulfillment. Connect with him here

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