Do You Live Your Life by Design or by Default?

vanessa-coppes-Do-You-Live-Your-Life-by-Design-or-by-Default?-v-and-co

Did you know that all things are created twice? Bare with me here…

Whether you are aware of it or not, in control or not, there is a first and second creation to every part of our lives:

  1. A mental first creation.
  2. A physical second creation.

According to Stephen Covey, this happens for all things. Yet not all first creations are by conscious design. You see, we are either the first creation to every part of our lives (or the second creation of our own design) or we are the second creation of other people’s agendas, circumstances or past habits.

The unique human capacities we posses of self-awareness, imagination, and conscience allow us to examine first creations and make it possible for us to do something about them. In essence, these capabilities allow us to write our own script.

If we do not develop our own self-awareness and become responsible for first creations (mental first creation), we empower other people and circumstances to shape much of our lives by default. We then go on to live the scripted lives that family, colleagues, other people’s plans, the pressure of circumstances hand to us. Not so cool, huh?

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

Jim Rohn

I remember a time when I simply let life happen to me. I shuffled my feet, waited for permission, reacted to what was handed to me. Quite frankly, I wasn’t living. But then I realized that I would never change my life until I took responsibility for it. No one else can do that for you but you.

John C. Maxwell says that the secret of your success lies in your daily routine. Do you have sacred activities that you do on a daily basis? Here are some strategies you can use as a starting point:

  1. Take some time to assess the areas of your life that receive the most of your strategic planning time. Here are some to get you thinking: Career, faith, family, health, hobby, personal development, etc.
  2. Begin developing systems for yourself that will maximize your time and increase your efficiency. Really think about the areas of your life that you’d like to improve. Try to come up with a system to help you be more efficient in that area; don’t hesitate to tweak as needed.
  3. Understand that any strategy that you develop for yourself should be easy to follow. Also, give yourself the time and resources you need to properly fulfill them. Focus on the big picture or as Stephen Covey says, begin with the end in mind.

I created a planner a few years ago that aligned with the way I like to tackle daily tasks. It has helped me tremendously to not only plan my time, but my life. Know that these systems can look like whatever you need them to as long as they allow you to consistently accomplish your goals. In the end my friend, consistency is the key.

Brian Tracy says that the best question you can ask yourself in any situation is, “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” The answer to that question should allow you to design the life you create for yourself.

Recommended reading:

  • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John C. Maxwell
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey

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