Live By Design, Not By Default!
I have developed a new philosophy – to live by design, not by default. This has come about after spending the last few years studying and reading and coming to some conclusions. One aspect of this philosophy is that we have much more power to determine the direction of our lives than most of us realize. I’m committed to helping people claim this power for themselves!
In part, I have reflected on my childhood and thought back to what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a teacher and happily my dream came true. I am now a coach, which in the grand scheme of things is a type of teacher. I was one of the lucky ones. My parents encouraged me from the start and identified the resources I needed to pursue my passion with confidence and zest. I was very lucky and am immensely grateful for their influence.
I have a dear friend who is also an example of this early childhood luck of the draw. My friend, with whom I had dinner last night, told me about her successful real estate career. Succeeding in real estate is not a given. I know for I have a number of friends and colleagues who have tried at that and failed. Together we examined what might be the special ingredient that brought her success when others had failed. Well, she proceeded to tell me about her childhood—one during which she was the recipient of love, guidance, resources and ENCOURAGEMENT. This led her to not only her new success as a realtor, but also as a success in the equally difficult world of direct marketing.
Of course, the formula is not guaranteed. Adulthood brings hardships, losses, disappointments to everyone—democratically. We go for something and we fail. We get hurt in a relationship. Things don’t turn out as we planned or hoped and IT sneaks in: self-doubt.
And obviously, many people were not raised in such positive environments. Some people are told from the beginning that they are not smart enough or talented enough to succeed. I’ve had more than a few clients who have had parents who put them down or discouraged them from following their dreams. They start out discouraged, not encouraged.
I once heard an art teacher describe the different responses that she would get when she asked of all the class, “Who in here considers themselves to be an artist.” When she asked the question to younger children, those still all optimistic, sincere and intuitive children – ALL the hands flew up. Yet, as the kids that she taught got older and older, fewer and fewer hands would fly into the air, the air of hope and belief. Over time their talents had not diminished but the way they thought about themselves had changed. Over the days of their lives they had so many experiences that they tucked away in the memory box in their brain like snapshots. Snapshots they strung together to gain a view of themselves.
Our experiences often form what we think and how we feel about ourselves. We gain control over what we think and feel when we learn how to live by design and not by default!
Furthermore, what we think and how we feel influences every step into our destiny. We can train ourselves to replace our negative self-thoughts with positive ones, thus shape a positive destiny. The one that looks like our dream come true. I love the way Henry Ford said it: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
If you allow your thoughts and feelings to be determined by external forces and not by you and you alone, whatever you have accepted as true will likely become your reality. If you perceive your situation without awareness, you are inclined to interpret it using your belief system. The beauty is that we can control our thoughts, our feelings and our perceptions!!! We just have not been trained how to do this.
Dolly Parton is a great example of this. From the time she was 5, she believed she would be a famous country singer. Everything she did and everything she looked at proved to her that she would be successful. Because of this belief, right after high school, she moved to Nashville. The rest is history. Even though others in her family were just as talented, they did not have the same belief that drove her to success. Dolly designed her future.
If you believe that you cannot run a marathon, odds are you’re not even going to lace up your shoes. Simply put, we are stopping ourselves from pursuing what makes us happy because we believe that we aren’t capable; we are afraid. Luckily, you can teach an old brain new tricks. It is possible to break free from the negative beliefs that have been ingrained in us. We can stop living by default!
The questions is: HOW?
Begin by making the conscious decision to change. Not as in lose 20 lbs or dye your hair. Make the decision to change your self-thoughts from negative to positive. From I can’t to I can. After much research including many interviews, I developed a method for doing this in my coaching program and workshops. We work on processes that actually retrain your brain to achieve your dreams.
Once we get your thoughts into a positive frame of mind, we work on my 7-Part Path to Achieving your Dreams. More on these later!
- Attend to your mindset
- Get clear on your purpose and vision
- Set your goals
- Create a plan
- Take action – PRODUCTIVITY
- Get support
- Be persistent
Don’t live a passive life. Don’t wait and see. Determine your own future.
My goal as a coach and consultant is to help clients change their self-thoughts to POSITIVE ones, create new goals, and take the action steps needed to achieve them. And to live a better more satisfying life. Let’s talk about how we can create new thoughts and new ideas for you!