Are you drifting through life on autopilot? Moving from one task to the next – without pausing to reflect on what you’re doing or why?
If so, I want you to consider a different approach. I call it living by design.
It’s something most people fail to do. They are either too busy. Or too caught up in the day-to-day of their lives. And yet it’s a concept that can change your life for the better.
Living by design is the key to a happier and more fulfilling life. It’s not easy to do. But if you’re prepared to face the obstacles, you can become and do anything you want.
In this article, I explore five powerful reasons to start living more intentionally. Let’s get started.
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Reason #1: Your Brain Makes Bad Decisions
Some parts of your brain have strong ideas about how you should live.
Take the amygdala for example. This tiny structure in your middle brain has evolved to detect threats and tell your body how to respond.
From your amygdala’s perspective, you’re surrounded by physical and emotional danger. Your amygdala thinks unfamiliar situations could result in rejection by the tribe. Or even death.
It works hard to keep you safely within your comfort zone.
Of course, most new activities – like writing a book or starting a business – aren’t life threatening. But your amygdala doesn’t know that.
If you let your amygdala and other lower parts of your brain run the show, then you’ll spend your days on the sofa, eating chocolate and binge-watching Downton Abbey.
This is not the path to a full and inspired life.
Reason #2: Other People Will Decide For You
It’s not only your brain that wants to run your life for you. Other people do too.
Jack Welch, past chairman and CEO of General Electric, famously said:
“Control your own destiny, or someone else will.”
It starts when we’re children. Well-meaning parents and teachers tell us what’s best for us.
They steer us away from risky activities and encourage us to pursue safe careers. These ideas become a part of our belief system and ultimately prevent us from living our best lives.
Here are some of the messages I absorbed as a child…
It’s wrong to draw attention to yourself.
Money is unpredictable and a source of worry.
You’re not a creative person.
Now, my parents were wonderful people and I was fortunate to grow up feeling loved and safe. But these beliefs did not serve me in later life.
They prevented me from showing up, investing in my business, and fully expressing my creativity. If I hadn’t worked to turn these beliefs around, I wouldn’t be making money doing what I love.
It’s not just the voices from your past. When you tell your friends and family about your dreams, many are quick to point out the risks involved.
They tell you that you are foolish to leave the security of the familiar. Or they quote statistics on how many new ventures fail.
The lesson is simple. If you don’t make your own decisions, then someone else will do it for you. And you may not like the results.
Reason #3: Free Yourself From Discontent
Do you ever feel dissatisfied with your life?
Perhaps you dislike the way you look. Or you’re unhappy with your partner… or lack of partner. Maybe you hate your job.
Whatever your personal frustration, you can’t shake the nagging sense that life should be better than it is.
Sometimes you drown out the noise. You buffer it away with sugar, alcohol, Netflix, or social media. But the voice telling you that life could be better always comes back.
If this sounds familiar, then you’re not alone. Dissatisfaction is part of being human.
The antidote is to live a more intentional life. When you start living by design, you become more YOU.
You do the kind of work you are meant to do. You pursue your passions. You embrace everything that life has to offer.
You stop complaining about what’s wrong with your life. And start creating a life you want.
Reason #4: More Money and Success
I want you to be careful with this next reason. It’s a biproduct of living by design. But it should not become your driving force.
When you take charge of your life, you experience more success, love, and money. By daring to live fully, you bring more abundance into your life.
But I want to caution you against pursuing a new life because you desire a result. This isn’t how it works.
When you achieve a goal, your feelings remain the same.
You might experience a brief high. But soon your brain starts looking for a new goal to chase after. And you become trapped in an endless cycle of wanting more.
Always remember – it’s the journey that matters. And not the outcome.
Reason #5: Become More YOU
This last reason is arguably the most important of all.
We all crave a deeper purpose. For many, the pull to create a more meaningful life gets louder as we grow older.
Deep down we KNOW we are meant for more. This is what living intentionally is all about.
Living by design is…
… Understanding what it is you’re uniquely capable of.
… Being honest about who you are and what you believe in.
… Recognizing and using the gifts you have to give the world.
… Living in the present and embracing everything life has to offer.
In short, living by design is about creating a life of purpose.
This may take time – finding your purpose is a messy process. But as you start to live more intentionally, you and the world will benefit from all that makes you special.
Start Living By Design
If you’re ready to take charge of your life, start by making a choice.
Choose what you want to do with your life. Then set an intention to pursue it no matter what.
Be honest about what you want. Don’t listen to your fearful brain or the well-meaning voices from your past.
If you secretly want to quit your career as a lawyer and become a life coach. Then admit this to yourself. If you long to be an artist or a writer, then do that.
Decide right now to live a more intentional life. Begin by being true to who you really are. Then become the person that only you can be.
If you’re struggling to get started, then check out my Passion Challenge workbook. It shows you the five steps to unleash your greatest potential. You’ll also receive an invite to join my private Facebook community where you’ll receive more free training and support. We’d love to meet you!