This was a recurring question in my early 20s. The truth? I envied when I hear people say “I love my life”.
I wanted so much to say “me too”, so I made it a personal quest to find the answers on how to really create a life I can say I absolutely love.
Yes I was afforded with quality education, the ability to travel, buy the things I wanted, a beautiful home, etc. But I couldn’t say I had a job I was totally in love with. I worked hard for the financial reward but not because I enjoyed it.
Two years ago, I found the answers to my burning question. I hope they’ll inspire you to live your life with intent. To live a life you can honestly say you LOVE!
YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOUR LIFE
It’s your life and it’s really only up to you to decide how you want to live it. It’s very simple but why do we overcomplicate this so much?
If you wake up in the morning dreading the whole day ahead of you, then it’s time to reassess your life.
What held me back from achieving ‘my best life’ was being trapped from a career I wasn’t passionate about. I was in it for the money. I thought that by having money, I will be able to afford the experiences and things that will make me happy.
But I still wasn’t living my ‘ideal life’ because waking up every morning to go to work didn’t excite me. I used to live for my days off and always impatient for my holidays. Those holidays happen four times a year but I still couldn’t get enough.
And I realised that its only me who can make the change that I want in my life. No one else will.
Stop wishing. Start doing! Wishes don’t make it real, but action does!
When you put off your dreams for someday in the future, trust me that it will never happen.
Because there is no someday. The diet that you want to start next Monday or the positive habits you want to start in the new year? Have those been successful? Mine didn’t. If you are dead serious about changing your life, you have got to take action today.
Taking action means doing the first step, and doing it consistently until you achieve your goal.
Set your intention today and everyday onwards to live the kind of life you love. There’s no someday. Today is the day!
To know yourself, you have to know your values because they are the guiding forces that will help you develop a clearer sense of what is really important in your life. You can’t say you know what you want in your life if you don’t know what’s important in your life.
To identify your values, look back on your life.
- When was the last time you felt really happy?
- When was the last time you felt fulfilled?
- When was the last time you were really proud of yourself?
Based on your answers, look at the values below and pick your top 5.
- Financial Security
- Meaningful work
These top 5 values are a central part of who you are and who you want to become. When you live a life in alignment with your values, you will be able to make better decisions in choosing opportunities that are fulfilling, saying yes to things that make you happy and fulfilled, and no to things that don’t.
MAKE YOUR PASSION YOUR LIFE
True happiness comes when you are passionate about yourself, your career and your life. So why not make your passion your life?
If you don’t know what your passions are, try answering some of the following questions:
- What do you love doing on your spare time?
- Do you have a hobby?
- What are you really good at?
- When you were a child, do you remember what you wanted to be when you grow up?
Listen to your heart. Be bold and be daring! Try different things. Make mistakes and learn from them.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT
So often, we tend to let the present slip away and have our thoughts be so preoccupied with the future. When we are at work, we daydream of being on a holiday overseas. When we are stressed with deadlines and commitments, we wished they were over before they even began.
And what do we do when we are on holiday? We make ourselves so busy taking the perfect photos to make our social media followers envy us that we forget to enjoy the actual moment of being on a holiday. We constantly wished for things in the future that we forget to live the present.
You cannot change what already happened in the past and you can never anticipate what will eventually happen in the future. You can only do something about some thing in the present.
Being present minded is they key to staying happy. Be mindful. Start to live in the here and now. Be present in every experience.
Setting goals means having a concrete plan on how to achieve your dreams. A lot of people set goals but fail. Why?
They key to effective goal-setting is to make sure that they are inspiring, motivating and compelling to you because you are likely to put your time, effort and energy into something that excites you.
How do you do this?
Set SMART Goals.
S.M.A.R.T goals gives you a clear vision of what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and how you are going to achieve it.
S.M.A.R.T stands for
Specific: Be as detailed in your goal as you can. “I want to quit my job” is not as compelling as “ I want to quit my job so I will have the freedom to focus on building the business of my dreams and make it profitable by December”.
Measureable: Breaking down the goal into actionable steps allows you to measure your goal so you know when you achieve it. ‘Start saving” is not a measurable goal because it doesn’t clearly say how much you need to save nor track your progress. ‘Start saving $1000 per month to a high interest savings account until December’.
Achievable: Achievable goals are goals that are within your reach. Creating such big goals can lead to frustration and overwhelm. So be mindful of that!
Realistic: When you set goals, make sure they match up with reality. Assess yourself and know what’s realistic and what’s not. When you stick to realistic goals, you will more likely achieve them.
Timely: Having a deadline creates a sense of urgency and will make you work harder. By giving your goals a time-frame, you can plan the steps/actions you need to do every day/week/ month until you achieve it.
DONT FORGET TO TAKE A BREAK
It takes consistency over the years to make our dreams a reality. Staying busy for the sake of being busy will not lead you anywhere closer to your goals.
Overwhelm and burnout can rip you off your joy and happiness. I know it’s so addicting to work towards your passion. I used to work all day and night because I didn’t want to ‘waste my time’ . I was afraid I to fall off track with my goal deadline that I worked myself to exhaustion. But it’s not about working harder, but working smarter. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Nothing wrong with taking a break. When you do, it not only keeps you in top physical and mental health but it also does wonders for your creativity, concentration and performance.
Only you can make your dreams a reality and it’s only up to you to create a life you will absolutely love.
I close this post with a quote from Nelson Mandela:
There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.