7 Lessons to Design the Life that you Want

Photo: Flickr/ Paxson Woelber

Photo: Flickr/ Paxson Woelber

A couple of years ago, I decided that it was time to quit my own company and start a new chapter in my life.  I was burned out from working long stress filled hours, meeting deadlines and putting out fires.
I quit without an exact direction in mind.  All I knew is that I wanted to explore the world of podcasting and online business.
Over the last two years, I ran into a lot of obstacles.  Most of which deal with mental barriers due to shifting my mindset.  Here are 7 of the lessons that I have learned while designing a life outside of the “normal” path.

1. Who you spend your time with is important.
This may be the hardest lesson learned.  I found that certain people in my life only brought me feelings of negativity and doubt.  This was only apparent after a ton of analyzing all of the relationships in my life.

The most difficult part of spotting those negative influencing relationships is the fact that in a lot of cases, the person in question actually means well.

Some people my be jealous of you making an effort to change your life, but others (such as family members) may only be looking to steer you towards the safer path of what they see as the “normal” path.  They may be coming from a good place, but the seeds of negativity and doubt are still going to get into your head.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”  -Jim Rohn

I found that I had to be very conscience of who I spend my time with.  It isn’t just about avoiding negative people.  The real wins come from seeking out amazing people to surround yourself with.

If you spend all of your time with millionaires, then you will be more likely to end up being one yourself.  This may be the extreme example, but try replacing the analogy of money with any other trait that you wish to see in yourself.  You will see the same results.

2. What you read and listen to affects your success.
What do you do when you aren’t connected to the type of people that you wish to surround yourself with?

Start by getting rid of those negative people, and then fill your brain with positive and informative influences through books, audiobooks, podcasts, blogs, etc…

I challenge you to stop paying attention to all of the negative news stories and Facebook click bait articles.

Spend that same energy investing in bettering yourself by reading/listening to something on personal development or on a subject that you are passionate about.

3. Give yourself permission to take a different path.
This one held me back for a while, and I still struggle with it from time to time.

I decided that I wanted to leave my comfort zone and take a different path with my life.  Just deciding that that was what I wanted wasn’t enough to make it happen.

There was always feelings of doubt.  I doubted if I had what it takes to overcome hurdles.  I doubted if I was even going in the right direction in my life.

I approached everything with only a small percent of effort, scared to give it my all.  I mean what if I fail?  What if I am not meant to live this life that I am dreaming of?

Recently I gave myself permission to take this path away from the world that I am used to.  I gave myself permission to fail.

I don’t want my tombstone to read “Here lies Daniel.  He played it safe.”

4. Stop planning and do the work.
I spent way too long planning the things that I was going to do.  I think it stemmed from my own doubts as well as constantly being asked to explain myself by those who have no idea why I am doing what I am doing.

I wish that I knew 2 years ago that it doesn’t matter what I plan to do because things evolve as you go.  The quickest way to get to the end result is to keep creating.

Instead of planning, I wish I had spent more time just doing.  Then I would have more to show for my time.

Yeah, in the beginning, the quality of what I produced was going to be not so good but the more that I keep producing the more that I can improve.

5. Have confidence in yourself, and stop seeking validation
This kind of goes with the last one.  You need to keep putting in the work, but you also need to trust yourself.

You don’t have all of the answers, but trust that you can figure it out as you go.  Don’t get hung up on issues that will come 5 steps down the road. Put your head down and push through each problem as you come to it.

Do not feel the need to justify what you are doing.  This is your life.  That is the only reason that matters.  Don’t fall into the trap of trying to prove to yourself or those around you that what you are doing is working.

You don’t need that validation if you can just trust in yourself and keep moving forward.

6. Mentorship.  Mastermind.  Accountability
There are always lessons to be learned through experience.  I have found that we don’t always have to learn these lessons the hard way.  There are others who have gone before us who have already learned a lot of hard lessons.

Opening yourself up to the guidance of someone who has the experience that you wish to gain, can save you a lot of time and heartache.  Sometimes you must learn from your mistakes, but when possible try learning from someone else’s mistakes.

Learning lessons is only part of the journey.  We must set the right goals and be held accountable.

I first heard of a mastermind group in the book Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.

Basically, a mastermind group is a group of people who meet regularly with the purpose of setting and achieving goals furthering the success of its members.

Mentorships are great for learning specific lessons.  Mastermind groups are essential for setting goals, accountability, and brain storming.  Both are equally important for attaining success.

7. A healthy balance. Enjoy life and enjoy the process.
This one is easy to explain but hard to overcome.  I tend to be all work or all play.  It’s hard for me to transition between the two.

I am currently working on creating a schedule to help me separate my home life and work life.  Without a schedule, what ends up happening is I spend too much time on projects because there are no deadlines.

Instead of picking at the details, I will be forced to knock it out and move on.  I am finding that by creating a balanced schedule I am more productive with better results.

This list of lessons learned will keep growing as I move forward and make more mistakes.  As they say, hindsight is 20/20.  I can only hope that I don’t learn every lesson the hard way!

Are you redesigning your life style?  What are the biggest hurdles that you have faced and how did you overcome them?

  • If you have a dream, then don’t settle. Go after it. You are not alone.