Making a Living vs. Designing a Life

Are you making a living or living a life that you designed? What’s the difference? Making a living is about survival. It’s making enough money to live an average life. It’s having a marriage that you can tolerate. It’s muddling by.

Designing a life is about creation and choice. You consciously choose a life that’s tailored to your preferences. It might involve living in a mansion or living in a hut on a mountaintop. You might be married to your ideal partner or choose to live alone.

Those that are merely “making a living” are living the life that society considers to be average or normal. Those that design a life are choosing for themselves how they want to live and then making it happen.

Making a living is easy, but not very enjoyable. Designing a life is much more work, but much more satisfying.

The choice is yours.

Design the life you were meant to live with the following tips.

  1. Put all reservations aside and make some choices. What is your dream life? Don’t be practical. Think about your ideal life in detail and write it down. Consider where you would life, who else would be there, and what your social circle would look like. Describe your home and how you would spend your day and evening.

  2. Write a mission statement for your life. Companies have a mission statement. You should, too. What will your life be about? Accumulating wealth, relationships, adventure, contribution? Decide the purpose of your life.

  3. Find a hero. Who is living the type of life that appeals to you? Maybe it’s someone from history. If it’s a current figure, follow them on social media, read their biography, and read their other books. Learn everything you can about them.

  4. Determine the type of person you need to become. Do you need to become a person that makes health, diet, and exercise a priority? Do you need to develop a high level of discipline? Did you need to become more sociable? More organized? Take more risks? Think about the type of person that would have your dream life. You may need to make some adjustments.

  5. Decide what you’re willing to do. Are you willing to move? Write for an hour each night? Lose 50 pounds? Learn to speak Mandarin? Consider everything your dream life will require for you to achieve and maintain it. What are you prepared to do?

  6. Decide what you’re willing to stop doing. Are you willing to give up drinking? Watching TV? Spending mindless time in bars with your friends? Procrastinating? Being afraid? Avoiding tough conversations? There will be things you must stop doing if you want to change your life.

  7. Create a plan to get there. Without a plan, you only have a dream. A plan turns it into an objective. Create a viable plan and get started.

  8. Don’t give up. If your plan is sound, all you need to do is hang in there until your dream becomes your reality. Be persistent and consistent.

 

Are you living a life that you chose? Or does your life look like everyone else’s? Be courageous and choose the life you want to lead. It’s easy to follow the herd and live like everyone else. You don’t share the same taste in food, clothing, or TV shows as anyone else. Why should you live the same life?

5 Simple Self-Care Practices to Implement Now

Between work, home, and social responsibilities, do you often feel that all your time is spent taking care of others? Neglecting self-care is easy in a busy world, but the consequences can be serious. Adding self-care practices to your daily routine can greatly strengthen your health and well-being.

Plus, experts share that the happiest and most successful people regularly focus on self-care!

Try these simple self-care strategies today:

  1. Block out time for self-care in your schedule. It’s not enough to occasionally stop your busy lifestyle and take a walk or indulge in a hot bath. Self-care is an ongoing process. Just as you reserve time in your schedule for other appointments, set aside time to take care of yourself, too. It’s important to adopt self-care habits that you can enjoy on a regular basis. They’ll help you avoid burnout, increase your productivity, and allow you to enjoy life.

  2. Enjoy your favorite hobby. Whether you love to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen or paint pictures of sunsets, your favorite hobbies can be part of self-care. Hobbies and activities that you already enjoy are easy to select and put into practice. You just have to find room in your schedule to do them. This is an important step and shows your commitment to self-care.

  3. Make note of the compliments you receive. You can enjoy this self-care practice even as you work or run errands! Start taking notes of the compliments you receive. You can keep them in a journal, diary, or online folder. Your compliment folder can also include emails, notes, thank you cards, and other things that make you smile. This self-care practice can help you fight negative thoughts. Compliments can serve as reminders that you matter, your existence is important, and someone appreciates you.

  4. Remove clutter. Whether you decide to declutter your closet or clean out the fridge, removing clutter will uplift you. Clutter can drain you physically and mentally. It can also make you unhappy as you try to move through your day. Eliminate the things that no longer serve you. For example, if you’re keeping clothes in your closet that you hate each time you open the door, replace them with clothes that you love.

  5. Do one selfish act. Living selfishly all day isn’t recommended, but doing one selfish act that makes you happy can do wonders. You can enjoy just that one thing without feeling guilty about it! If you struggle with self-care, it’s often because you spend all of your energy and time taking care of others. There’s nothing left in your well for yourself. By taking the time to do one selfish act, such as reading your favorite book or ignoring a boring phone call, you’ll be restoring your own importance.

Self-care often takes a backseat to work, family, and other obligations. However, without stopping to take care of your mind and body, you’re at risk of burning out and suffering from serious health issues. Start making time for your self-care practices today!

Transcend the Fear in Your Life and Find Freedom

Fear is a part of life, and some fear is helpful. You’re afraid to stick your hand into a fire or to jump off a cliff. If you weren’t afraid of anything, you wouldn’t live long. But most fears are crippling and influence your decisions in negative ways.

Imagine you’re walking through the woods and get a thorn in your arm. You would likely remove it and go about your life with little thought of that mild injury. But imagine if you didn’t deal with it.

Eventually, that thorn would affect many of your decisions:

  • It would become infected and sore.
  • You would be careful not to bump anything.
  • You’d avoid most sports.
  • You would protect yourself anytime someone walked to close.
  • Eventually, you might even develop a special cover to tape over it.
  • Then you must worry about finding clothes that fit over it.
  • You couldn’t swim because the tape might come off.
  • It would affect your sleeping position, and so on.

Fears are the same way. A fear of talking to strangers affects the decisions you make in your social life and career. We avoid all types of things to ensure we don’t stir up the negative emotions caused by our fears.

The more fears you have, the less freedom you enjoy.

Try these techniques to transcend your fears and claim the level of freedom you deserve:

  1. Become more aware. There’s a big world out there with a variety of perspectives. Yours might not be the best perspective. You might believe that a fear of public speaking is totally normal and justified. But is it? What is the worst that could happen if you make a mistake? No one is going to stone you. Look at all your fears and make a list of them. Decide which are causing your life the most grief. Which fears do you spend the most time working around? Which are the most limiting?

  2. Determine why you’re afraid. What are the possible consequences that cause you to be afraid?

  3. Deal with your fears a little at a time. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, try giving a speech to your child, nephew, or niece. Then trying giving it to three of them. Build up your tolerance until you can speak to thousands.

  4. Use techniques to lower your fear. There are many tools for dealing with fear. The Emotional Freedom Technique is popular, so is the Sedona Method. Hypnosis and meditation are also good options. You can also use a psychologist if you’re not making a lot of progress on your own.

  5. Use a journal. Writing can often be more helpful than thinking. We take the things we write more seriously than our self-talk. You talk to yourself constantly throughout the day. What will one more thought accomplish? Use a journal to record your thoughts, fears, and your progress.

  6. Develop a new understanding of failure. Many of the silly fears we have are related to a fear of failure. Ask yourself what can happen if you fail? Failure can be a great thing if you learn from it and apply it to your life.

Imagine a life without any irrational fears. What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing? You can measure your personal freedom by number of fears you possess. Everyone develops fears as a natural consequence of living. You have a choice. You don’t have to keep your fears. Spend some time each day dealing with your fears and reclaim your life.

My Letter to You, A Year Later


thefouragreements

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is by Miguel Ruiz.

There seems to be a theme of writing letters to those who’ve hurt you in order to heal oneself. If you could say anything to people from your past who have hurt you, what would you say? The last letter I wrote to those who hurt me followed the four principles detailed below. I hope you and those involved in hurting anyone read it and take it to heart. Because I think these are all important points to remember as we live out our lives in the present moment each and every day.

The First Agreement: Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

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Breathing Underwater, Part Two

Yesterday, I got to make up open water dives 2, 3, and 4 to complete my PADI Open Water Diver certification through Scuba Monkey Dive Center. I met my instructor at 8 am at Troy Springs State Park, and we waited a little bit for another girl who was also supposed to finish some make up dives to finish getting certified but she never showed. I do hope she is okay. It did make the day somewhat easier and quicker for me, though, since it meant that it was just me and my instructor. At about 8:30, we started putting our BCD kits together. It’s been almost a month since I last put together a BCD kit, but I was still able to do it. I would love to own my own BCD kit someday soon as I start diving more frequently. We walked down to the water and began our first dive of the day around 9-9:30 am. We worked a little bit on buoyancy, something I had a lot of trouble with during my first open water dive last month, and then went over to a shallow area to do some required SCUBA skills I still needed to practice doing in open water. I was able to practice finding my regulator if it were to have gotten knocked out of my mouth for whatever reason and we practiced buddy breathing again. This time we practiced the buddy breathing by offering our secondary air supply hose and surfacing. We also worked on my favorite skill (note the sarcasm): mask flooding and clearing. I was okay with clearing the mask after putting a little bit of water in, but flooding it completely was difficult. I had trouble actually getting myself to remove the mask completely to flood it, which is necessary to complete this skill. At this point, we decided to surface and take a break out of the water so I could warm up a bit. We practiced the tired diver tow while we were heading out of the water so we could get that skill out of the way before we finished dive one for the day. My instructor also used the break to adjust the amount of weights I had in my BCD kit from 12 lbs to 8 lbs.

After a thirty minute break, we got back in the water and swam over to our line using our compasses. I can now read and use a compass! When we got to our line we floated for a few minutes since we needed a few other divers to get off our line. Why there were other divers on our line, I don’t know but we were able to do finish the last of the surface skills I needed to do while we waited for them to go away. We borrowed a safety sausage from a fellow diver completing a rescue diver course, and I practiced blowing it up and then refolding it. We also did cramp release, which was simply a stretch to relieve cramps and switching from snorkel to regulator a few times at the surface. We also did the removal and replacing of our BCD kits at the surface. Once we finished these last few surface skills, we were able to use our line again and worked on buoyancy. Once I seemed to have some control over that, we swam back over the shallow area we’d been using to do the underwater skills , reading our compass during the swim, and I finally finished flooding and clearing my mask. Yay!! We decided to take another little break at this point and got something to drink. (Coffee and soda, apparently. Because water is overrated as a drink goes…LOL.)

For our last and final dive of the day, we simply worked on buoyancy control at different depths. I also worked on my kicking, keeping my legs straight with my knees locked. We swam around in a circle a few times, and I got to see a little baby turtle swimming on the bottom at one point. When we got to our lowest depth of 60 ft, my instructor purposely put a little water in my mask to see if I would remain calm in an emergency. I did, and when I wasn’t able to clear my mask completely, I signaled that we needed to ascend and we did, calmly and slowly. This was the point at which we finished our dive, and I recorded the proper information in my divers log book. He also took my picture next a fence that will go on my PADI Open Water Diver card I’ll get to put in my wallet once I receive it in the mail. I cannot wait.

I am so looking forward to future diving encounters, and so thankful my instructor was super patient with me in completing all of the skills. Now who wants to go diving? I know a great place we can rent our equipment from!

And if you haven’t already, check out my upcoming trip to Africa, where I’ll be diving with whale sharks this September – http://bit.ly/1MLWW67