Take a moment right now to take stock of your current life. Are you inspired? Does every aspect of your life align with what you authentically want and value? Do you wake up most days and think: “Pinch me! Is this really my life?”. Or have you been feeling a little less enthused or frustrated with one or more aspects of your life lately? Read on to learn how to get a life that inspires you and how to start the journey today.
How to get a life that inspires you
Most people are conditioned to believe they need to achieve things to be successful. That the job will make them happy. Or the relationship. Or more money. Most people learn to be externally gratified. It’s ingrained in our culture. We learn to feel good about ourselves when we receive external gratification and this happens from a very young age. We feel happy with ourselves when we achieve the A+ grade. Or because we have a certain brand of clothing. Or because we look a certain way, or live in a specific area.
Thinking this way will certainly land you into a life that may look “successful” but isn’t fulfilling. It’s possible to be successful and not fulfilled. This happens when you’re focused on what you need to achieve and not from a place of considering: “What do I want to EXPERIENCE in my life?”
Being fulfilled is an emotional experience. So the best way to build a life that inspires you, one that you love, is to consider what you want from an experiential level versus thinking using your rational mind. Before you go after what you think you want, you want to shut down your rational thinking process (your left brain thinking) and tune into your emotional side (your right brain thinking).
What you can do today to move closer to your dream life…
Step 1: Decide what you want using your right brain thinking processes and your emotions to guide you
The key to building a life you love is to key into your deep desires and passions, and once again, to think from an emotional level by asking the question: “What do I want to experience?”
You can turn your rational thinking processes down by daydreaming. Imagine what you want in all areas of your life. Take some quiet time to think by yourself. Ask yourself “What do I want to experience in my career?…relationships?…physical health?… And then, daydream about what you want. Step into what you think you’d like to experience in your mind. Start to build a framework. Really try to feel what it would be like to be in your future, experiencing what you want.
You’ll get excited. You’ll get moved deeply. You’ll feel emotionally ignited when you start to build a future that inspires you. When you feel excited and moved by something you imagine it’s a signal that this is something you’d really like to experience and a goal you should move towards.
Here’s the incredible thing about visualizing: Your brain doesn’t know the difference between you imagining doing something and actually physically doing it! This means, you could take a bite of a juicy orange fresh from a tree or imagine it and you would salivate. Your brain goes through the same mental processes.
So, seeing a future you want is the first step to deciding what you really want. Once you know in your heart what excites you and a goal you want to move towards then you can do the next most important step.
Step 2: Get rational and realistic about where you are and what you need to do next
Once you’ve imagined and explored what you want (in as specific terms as possible) and you’ve decided on what it is, then you need to get realistic about it. When you think rationally, you’ll pull your left brain thinking processes back into the picture. This is an important part of the process because now you start to see how your dreams could be realized in reality.
At this point, it’s time to consider where you’d like to be in the near future – the goals you’d like to achieve – and contrast it with where you are now. It’s important to evaluate where you are and where you’d like to get to using measurable and specific variables.
For instance, let’s say you want to lose 15 lbs in three months. If you’re 200 lbs now, then within 15 lbs to have met your goal you’d be 185 lbs. Once you have measurements you’ll need to ask yourself: “What structures do I need to put in to realize this goal?”
In this case, perhaps you’d need to enroll in a fitness class or learn new ways to eat.Consider what you need and schedule in times to take the actions that will get you the result you want.
Creating a structure – planning, scheduling work – is critical to achieving what you want with velocity. So write your thoughts down. Start to build a framework. Set aside a bit of time (30 minutes is really all you need) of quiet time to plan and review your plan each week.
Step 3: Take action
Do you spend more time thinking about what you want to achieve or taking the actions to actually get it? Most people get too caught up in introspection – thinking about what they might want or what happened in the past – versus getting into action.
Remember that actions = results. No action = no results!
Once you start taking action towards your dreams – even if it’s a very minor action – you’ll start to get excited and feel amazing. At that point, you’ll feel more energized and compelled to take more actions.
Taking action is also the fastest way to know if your plan works. Are you doing the right things to get what you want or do you need to change it up? It’s also important that you notice what you’re doing and if it’s working or not. A great strategy always involves reviewing and tweaking. Use action as a metric to rate your progress.
Step 4: Be persistent, stay committed and keep your “eye on the prize”
How do you be persistent? Well, it’s starts with deeply wanting your dream. When you know to 100% that you want to achieve a dream, to experience an aspect of your life in a specific way then it’ll be harder for you not to go after your dream. You’ll feel compelled. Anytime you consider quitting you’ll get more determined.
When you’re working towards achieving a dream and you’re in the process of building, it’s most important you keep yourself motivated by focusing daily on the outcomes you’re committed to achieving. What is it that you want? More importantly, WHY do you want it? What’s the reason you’re doing all this?
It helps to create a “Why List”. Write down all the reasons you want what you want. Make it exhaustive. Do this at the beginning when you decide you want something. Anytime you don’t feel motivated you can go back to your list. You can remind yourself of why you are doing what you’re doing. This will help fuel you into action. It will help you stay focused and committed.
Let’s say you’re working to get a startup off the ground and that the potential of the startup will make a difference for the world and make you millions. But let’s say you find yourself one day feeling really negative about everything you’re day. Maybe you’ve been working on this start up for three years. Maybe you’re uncertain it will ever go the way you want. Well, in that moment it’s critical you reflect on why you’re doing what you’re doing.
What are the reasons you want what you want? Maybe you want millions so you can build a family or be involved in more projects that change the world. Maybe at the point you’re at, you simply like money so you can afford a better way of life? Consider all the whys. Make an exhaustive list. This will help you stay motivated.
We are meant to be inspired by our lives. We are meant to make a difference. We are meant to contribute. Realizing all this starts with you. It’s starts with you being fulfilled. It starts with you saying: “That’s it. I’m living this life and putting my fulfillment first.”
Being inspired is what life’s all about. If you’re not fulfilled or working towards what you want you’re stagnating. Remember that progress = happiness. When you’re moving towards what you want you’ll feel invigorated and fulfilled. Start today. Getting a life that inspires you starts now and it starts with you.
The first action might be just to do Step 1 of this list. Then, keep going. You got this. And your dreams are possible.