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The First Step to Living Life by Your Design

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If you’d like to learn how to live a purposeful life so you can experience the success you dream of, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Too many of us are living someone else’s life. We are living out what someone else wanted for us, or what someone else expected of us. It may not even be ‘someone,’ because it can be the culture we grew up in that defines us, the religion we’re a part of, or the family we are in. 

It doesn’t make this ‘someone’ or ‘something’ bad. It just makes us aware of how easy it is to follow the ‘norm’ or the ‘expected’ versus living out who we are really designed to be. How do we get out of this ‘rut’ of doing the ‘norm’ or what is ‘expected?’ How do we get to where we are living life by our unique design?

Before we get to that, let’s determine if we are even in a rut. It’s a bit like not seeing the forest for the trees. Ruts tend to look like roadways or paths when we are in them.

Three ways to know if you are in rut:

1. The why of your childhood dream

Are you doing what you dreamed of doing when you were a child? Do you remember your childhood dreams? What was behind them? Why those particular dreams? This exercise is not to point out that you are not doing those dreams, but to understand what was behind those dreams.

I want you to think of why you wanted  to be a firefighter, or a ballerina, or an artist. Was it about helping others, bringing joy to others, or bringing beauty to others? What was behind your dreams?

So often, it’s not about the actual job as it is to what’s behind wanting to be in that job or position. If what you are doing today does not line up with the reasons you wanted to be that firefighter, ballerina, artist, or whatever it is for you, then you may be in a rut.

“Dream big dreams! Imagine that you have no limitations and then decide what’s right before you decide what’s possible.” – Brian Tracy

2. Your Favorite Things

Can you tell me your favorite color, or artist, or architect, or flower, or …? As creative beings, we crave creativity – if we are really living. Too often, our need for creativity gets buried – and we don’t even know it. 

Naming a favorite color, artist, or having any kind of favorite in what we consider the creative world, is a good sign that there is still some creativity in our lives. However, if we can only name one favorite thing or none at all, then my guess is that creativity is not a part of our lives.

3. What moves you

And yet another question around rut-checking that centers around feeling and emotion. When was the last time you laughed, cried, or felt anger? If we’re not feeling joy nor sadness, we are likely doing life on autopilot. 

We’re likely to get up in the morning, shower, dress, go to work, and come home. We may spend some time with family, although probably not quality time. We finish the day by going to bed. We do it all over the next day, and the next, and the next. It changes up a bit on the weekend, but even the weekend doesn’t bring laughter or tears.

Perhaps you don’t go to work everyday, but you feel the same monotony and routine of your days. You haven’t felt strong emotions for a long time. If this describes you, I suggest that you may be in a rut.

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

4. How to Start Living Life by Your Design

Now that we know if we are in a rut, let’s look at the one thing I’ve found that helps anyone to get out of the rut and start living by their unique design.

For me, and for many others, this journey of living life by our unique design starts with introducing creativity back into our lives.

When I started moving into what creativity was for me, I was surprised by what I discovered and what it produced in me. I discovered there were many choices in my life that had been made for me and didn’t really decide for myself. I didn’t know what clothes I liked, what hairstyle I preferred, what type of art moved me, or what type of music touched my soul.

For me, this piece of my journey uncovered a number of things. The most surprising was I discovered I could draw! But for you, it doesn’t have to be what is normally considered ‘creative.’ Creativity is that which pulls you out of your rut – whatever that rut may be. 

I didn’t just start drawing one day when I decided to re-introduce creativity back into my life. It started with going shopping! While I don’t like shopping, for me, going shopping got me thinking about what I like and don’t like. What colors? What styles?

Then, I started observing artwork. I even visited art galleries. I visited street fairs where photographers, artists, and sculptures set up their creative work for all to see and buy. I started to realize the type of art I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy.

I did the same with music by listening to a variety of genres and deciding what resonated and what didn’t. I began to understand more about myself. All of this eventually led to going back to school for graphic design and becoming much more creative than I ever thought possible.

Your journey may not lead to what is normally considered creative, but just the act of moving towards what you consider creative will begin to reveal more about yourself. This is always the first step in being able to live life by your design.

What is your Creative? Begin the journey to explore your likes and dislikes. In that process, it will eventually lead to you living life by your unique design.

A caveat is that this journey never ends. That’s the beauty and the challenge of it all. The beauty of discovering more and more of what you are capable of along with the challenge of never really knowing where the journey is going to take us. 

Are you living your life by design? Share your thoughts with us below!

Carma Baughman is a tech trainer and people developer. She has enjoyed the solopreneur lifestyle for nearly 20 years. She supports others in pursuing their dreams and living life by their own unique design, helping them discover their contribution to the world.  Learn more at carmabaughman.com.

Life

The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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Life

​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Life

Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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Life

3 Business Optimization Strategies That Create a Fulfilled Life

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The balance between life and business is an interesting conundrum. There are articles, books, podcasts, and videos that talk about the need for work-life balance. The reality is that the balance has to be specific to your situation, and it’s a lifelong process to attain. Business leaders should be more focused on optimization strategies that create freedom in an enjoyable way. (more…)

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