I’m happy that my life is by design. It wasn’t always that way, though. Bill and I are like most of the people we grew up with – we were taught that you went to school, graduated, got a good job, worked hard, and that was the way life was supposed to be. We did that model of life for many years. It was not a life by design, it was a life of meeting expectations.
Eventually, two things happened:
- We saw that model of life was fraying at the edges as people got laid off from jobs they thought they’d have forever.
- We chafed against a schedule that wasn’t flexible and was really not to our liking.
We slowly came around to the idea that we could do life by design. It required us to think way outside our box, and to challenge other people’s assumptions of what life should be like.
- We decided to design a life that gave us flexible hours.
- We decided that we wanted freedom from any one geographical location.
- We decided that we should try businesses and not worry about failure too much.
- We decided to question the assumptions.
For us, life by design meant:
- We don’t have to live near family.
- We don’t expect to spend every vacation and holiday with people we know.
- We don’t believe we have to stay in one geographical location.
- We can make friends no matter where we are.
- We can work from anywhere.
- We can be mobile when we want to be.
- We please ourselves, not other people.
If you have a life by design it means that you become hyper responsible for yourself. You don’t expect family to bail you out of trouble. You don’t expect an easy ride. But you do expect freedom, and you do expect that amazing things can happen.
While there are more people who live a life by design than there used to be, there are still many who live a life in which they feel stuck. You can tell, because they say things like this:
- I wish I could take a vacation somewhere new, but we must visit our family every year.
- I wish I could change jobs, but my husband wouldn’t like me to rock the boat.
- When I see other people travel, I tell them that I live through them vicariously.
- I’d like to try living in a completely new place, but I could never ever leave my parents.
If you’ve been itching to change up your life, here are some tips for you:
- You have options. You don’t have to do what everyone else expects you to do.
- The world won’t end if you question family tradition. In fact, it might give everyone more freedom in the end.
- The work you do isn’t the only way to make money – you can make money in a new job or in your own business.
- Starting a life by design can be scary, but once you’ve taken the first step, you’ll start to feel a freedom and excitement you haven’t felt in years.
In the last few years Bill and I have had a life by design. I like to say we work hard and play hard. We meet our own expectations, not someone else’s expectations.
Even Forbes has published about creating the life you want. If you’d like to explore building your own life by design, here’s a book for you. Life! by Design: Six Steps to an Extraordinary You by Tom Ferry. Here’s my link to the book on Amazon. http://amzn.to/2mY81ZS
If you’d like to talk about how to create change in your life we can schedule an hour together to brainstorm.
I feel super-sad when I hear people saying, “I really wanted to do something different with my life, but I don’t want to make everyone else unhappy.” You won’t.