I don’t know about you, but it never ceases to amaze me how the negative things that happened in the world or to people around us, always seem to bring our own lives back into focus. It makes us focus on whether our lives are the best we can make them or if there is some way to living a better life.
As a single mom, I’ve always been a lot closer to my children than I believe most two parent families are, as there is normally only one person that they could turn to. Even though my children are already out of the house living their own lives, the result is that I am very much aware of what’s happening in their lives.
Life happens – a reminder to us all
As life has its ups and downs, dips and spikes, my eldest daughter and her circle of friends have over the last few months been going through a very bad patch; from losing friends to car accidents, to one of the friends losing a premature twin baby (the other twin is getting stronger daily) and just yesterday, one of the very close friends losing their only child to cystic fibrosis at age 2,5.
This has obviously impacted the group of friends and my daughter and her family hugely, but has once again made me realize in talking to them all about what’s just happened, how people are not living their lives to the fullest, thinking that there is still so much time to do what they want or share time with their loved ones, not understanding that that can change in an instant.
It’s even made me look closely at my life and where I am going to ensure that I am focusing on all the things that bring me joy, add value to my life and that of others and how I can still impact the world and the people around me. Its all about living a better life that will ultimately improve my quality of life as well as set the example for others to follow.
Being older only bring this even more into focus and highlighting the fact that every moment is precious and we must make the most of each one we are blessed with.
Too many people reach the end of their lives regretting not living their lives to the fullest while they still had the chance.
Making a choice to live … not just exist
It’s all about looking at your life and deciding if you are on the right path, doing what you love (or enjoy) and really living each moment to its fullest.
Are you making the most of the time and opportunities that you are being handed each day and making each moment count? Its all about …
- deciding where your priorities lie and what you would like to do in your life.
- having a LIFE PLAN and living your life the way you want to live it.
- making choices for you (and your loved ones) that will allow you to live your life to its fullest and make the most of every moment.
- not worrying what anybody else is going to think about your choices – it’s your life to make the choices that you see fit to make. There is only one face staring back at you in the mirror in most cases and that’s the only person that counts.
- living a better life for YOU.
Don’t get to a point in your life where you sit and think about the “what ifs”; what you could have done with your life — make those “what ifs” a reality and LIVE your life.
Many people may already be on the right road and the course just needs a bit of readjusting. For others it may be a total overhaul, not only of their thinking, but the way they live their lives and what they are prioritizing.
Wherever you may find yourself, on the road already or starting fresh, here are 6 steps you can take, look at and work into your new “LIFE PLAN” to get started today.
# 1 – Make a decision to change
This is the one thing that can make the biggest impact on your life – just making the choice that things need to change. Only you can decide to do this and then put a plan in place that fits your vision for the future. This is not about anybody else but you.
Let’s say you decide to sell up all your worldly goods and tour the world for the next 5 years — then that’s your choice. Sit down and discuss this decision with your partner/ significant other if you are in any type of relationship. Should you have difficulty getting them to understand or agree with your choice – do it anyway. The bottom line is that YOU need to do this for YOU, before anybody else.
Living a better life not only impacts you, but everything around you. Have you ever heard the expression ” When a butterfly flaps its wings, the impact is felt on the other side of the world?” Well, that’s exactly what can happen when you make the decision to change and to live a better life.
Too many times in the past I have seen how people have lived their lives based on what others wanted (myself included) and never discovered who they were at their core as a result. These people get to the end of their lives with their music still hidden within them and the world loses out as a result.
Keep in mind that whatever you decide, it need not happen overnight. It can be done gradually, step-by-step, but just making the decision to change and taking action is already a huge achievement.
# 2 – Design your Life – don’t leave it to chance
Most people in the world today, leave their lives up to chance – to be pushed into whatever direction the world decides to push them, instead of designing a life where you are in control.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Really go into detail with the answers – the more specific the better:
- Where do you really want to live?
- Which car would you really like to drive?
- Do you know what type of person will your significant other be?
- If you had the choice – what would you love doing every day even if money was no object?
- How many children would you like to have or do you even want children?
- Are there things you would like to change about yourself?
- What would you like to learn about?
I am sure that there are many more questions very specific to yourself that you could make a list of. Once you have exhausted all the possibilities and answered all the questions, then start putting together a plan for your life.
The more specific you can get the clearer the picture will become about what your life should look like. This needs to be a living document and needs to be reviewed at minimum twice yearly and every time there is a major shift that happens or an achievement reached.
Take control back and plan your life to your specifications – don’t let chance push you into something that does not mesh with who you are and what you want to achieve.
# 3 – Get rid of all negativity in your life as far as possible
I am sure that most everybody has heard this being said at some stage in their lives. Negativity is a nasty virus that infects everything its allowed to touch; from people, to situations, to countries and people’s lives — it only brings havoc and chaos.
We can all agree that life is difficult enough to live each day without allowing negativity to muddy the waters even further. The more we get pulled into the negative feelings and thoughts of others around us, the more we lose our way. It then becomes more about them and far less about what we want in life.
I am not suggesting in any way that one must live in denial – that would just be counterproductive, but to just sidestep or avoid people, situations and negativity as far as possible for our own peace of mind.
Fire the negative people out of your life or curtail your interaction with them as far as possible – sometimes it may even be your immediate family or friends. Do not place yourself into negative situations and environments and allow that to distract you from your purpose.
I am sure that you have heard the expression “Misery loves company” so try as far as humanly possible to stay away from anything that remotely resembles that feeling or that type of environment.
# 4 – Don’t be a sheep – forge your own path
As much as we are exposed to mainstream media as well as in social media about what is perceived to be the “ideal” life – don’t be a sheep, rather forge your own path.
When it comes to your life – there is no “one size fits all” design. Each person’s life should be as unique and individual as they are, but we all get pulled into what society believes is right for us and then live our lives accordingly.
Anybody that in any way steps outside of that norm is perceived to be strange or weird, but it’s those people that have gone outside of the norm, that are the ones that change the world.
I firmly believe that we have all been given the unique skills, traits and personality to live our best lives, but we get lost along the way and allow ourselves to become part of the group think mentality and that there is a “one size fits all” solution for how to live our lives.
If we were all destined to live the same lives, then the diversity of people that exist in the world today, would never have evolved the way they have. The mere fact that we are all different indicates that our lives and how we live them should also be different and each one of us has a contribution to make to the greater good.
Find your own unique path and design your life accordingly and you may just be ones of the ones that do change the world.
#5 – Be flexible – Life needs to be experienced
This is not only about being flexible, but it’s also about not adhering to societal norms.
Many times people plan out their lives and then due to their inflexibility allow themselves not to live out their lives to the fullest. Had they only taken action on the opportunities that presented themselves outside of their life-plan, then they could have changed the world.
It’s about the 75 year-old that achieves a dream of finishing a University Degree, it’s about the 30-something single mother that gets told that she cannot start her own business due to her responsibilities in life, it’s about the 60 year old retiree that is told you cannot start an online business, you are too old.
This is what total inflexibility is about. Don’t get caught in its trap. YOU can do anything you set your mind to doing, if you are prepared to take action and do the work that’s needed.
There are many examples out there in the world of people who prove that they did not allow inflexibility to prevent them from achieving what they set out to do.
Who says after working in a corporate job for 35 years, you cannot break out and create online businesses that still make a huge impact in the world and on other people’s lives? It’s totally dependent on how you think about the world and being flexible enough to live the change.
#6 – Make every moment count
Of all the steps above, many would argue that this is the easiest and yet, is the most difficult.
Everything in live is about moving forward, about getting better, about the next best thing but in doing so, we forget to live each moment and make the most of whatever is happening in that moment.
Life is not about reaching a destination – it’s about each step you take towards that destination and everything you learn along the way. The only way that we can make sure this has the most beneficial effect, is to live each moment.
It’s about taking the time to enjoy the little things, to take from both the good and the bad and learn something valuable. It’s about realizing that once that moment has passed, you cannot get it back and have a re-do … it’s gone and will never return.
I will never forget a story I heard many years ago when I was much younger from a gentleman whose youngest daughter had got married that past weekend, that has remained with me every since then.
He owned his own business and was constantly working, spending very little time with his family. He told me that while he was walking down the aisle with her, he couldn’t recall a single instance of importance in his daughter’s life where he had been present and now she was getting married.
Just think about all the lost moments that he will never to able to make up.
Therefore, live each moment to its fullest – it may just be your last!
Final Thoughts …
Lives are made and lost in an instant. Do not come to the end of your life feeling that there was so much more that you would have done and could have done, had you only reached out and grabbed the opportunity.
Its then too late – too late to take action, too late for regrets …
Take action today, no matter how old or young you are and set things in motion to ensure that you LIVE your life and just don’t settle for whatever life hands you.
What are some of the things that you could add to this list to grab life by the horns and show it who is the boss? Comment below – I would love to hear from you.
Till next time