Did you know that you can choose how you want to live your life?
You can. And of course you know that.
And yet it happens that at times you wake up and wonder how you got here – this can be a good thing, or it can be downright depressing.
How can this be my life?
Consciously choosing how to live life isn’t something I was taught, and I know I’m not alone. I followed the lead of my parents, family, friends, what I saw on TV, doing my best to piece together something I enjoyed, doing the things I thought I was supposed to do. Sometimes this worked out well, and other times it was a mess. Ultimately, my life felt out of balance, like something was missing, and wasn’t sure what to do about it.
That’s when I stumbled on the idea of lifestyle design, of choosing the ingredients I wanted to add to my life in order to cook up something tasty.
Lifestyle design means you consciously choose what you want to put into the bucket of your life. How you want to live. What you want to do. Who you want to spend time with. How you want to work. Where you want to go. The products you choose to buy. All of it.
By being intentional about these things, you predispose yourself to enjoy life, because the thoughts, actions, and things that fill your days are in alignment with you – who you are, what you value.
Deciding what to fill your life with is an exploratory process. You can look back on your life and see what’s brought you joy and satisfaction. You can look forward toward the things you’ve been curious about, and design experiments to check them out. You can allow yourself to dream, with full permission, not to be “reasonable,” meaning not giving yourself reasons not to try something.
Consciously designing your life can be fun, daunting, exhilarating, and massively fulfilling. All it takes is a desire to live a life that’s in alignment with your core values, with a dash of curiosity and gumption thrown in, and the permission and courage to take action. If you feel stuck in your life, this type of attention may be just the thing.
How can this be my life?
You’ll be able to answer this query with the knowledge that it’s your life because you chose it. You created it. You set things in motion to make it so. Imagine a life filled with gratifying things: love, success, a teapot collection, enjoyment, travel, books, books and more books, cheese, pets, friends and family, macrame, wealth – whatever it is you choose.
I’m not promising every day will be amazing. But! When you put this type of attention on what’s in the bucket of your days, and disproportionally fill the bucket with things you like, when the question How can this be my life arises, you’ll be able to answer Because I made it so – and feel great about it.