“Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.” — Jim Rohn.
Embarking on the journey to build a life you’re genuinely proud of is remarkable. It’s a path of self-discovery, growth, and purposeful action. Today’s article will delve into the fundamental principles that lay the foundation for a fulfilling life. From identifying your core values to setting clear, achievable goals, each step is a building block toward a life that is authentically yours. Let’s navigate these key elements together, uncovering the insights and strategies that empower you to craft a life that aligns with your deepest aspirations.
1. Understand Yourself Better
The first step to building the life you want requires understanding yourself better. I am not implying that you know your likes or dislikes, but rather something deeper:
- What are your values?
- What are your passions?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Knowing your values is essential because when you live by them, you make life choices congruent with those principles, leading to deeper fulfillment. Your values are your guiding star that provides feedback on the authenticity of your actions. If you feel dissatisfied with aspects of your life, it requires investigating your beliefs and the values related to these areas. Understanding your passions is crucial because it drives action aligned with your values. For instance, if you care deeply about the environment and sustainability, you will likely stay committed to protecting and conserving it, even when facing difficulties and setbacks. Of equal importance is understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Most people focus on their strengths and ignore their faults because of the effort required. However, the downfall is that your weaknesses become more prominent later when you experience challenges that test the level of your shortcomings. I am reminded of the quote by the American motivational speaker Les Brown, who said: “Do what is easy, and your life will be hard. Do what is hard, and your life will become easy.” Les Brown’s statement conveys that choosing the path of difficulty and overcoming challenges leads to a more fulfilling life, whereas opting for what’s easy can result in more significant challenges in the long run.
2. Establish Clear Objectives
After identifying your values, passions, strengths, and weaknesses, setting goals for your life is essential. Having goals is crucial as they provide a target to strive for, helping you to stay focused and motivated. Aim to create Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. i.e., S.M.A.R.T goals. Embrace ambitious, seemingly unattainable goals for growth to flourish in this realm, far beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Set goals where you grow into the person required to achieve and live from those goals. Setting lofty goals not specific to your values, passions, and strengths is impractical because you will likely be unfulfilled if you reach them. In coaching clients, I’ve worked with remarkable people, some of whom set ambiguous and inconsistent goals that led to emptiness and dissatisfaction. During our coaching sessions, I discussed the concept of incompatible goals using the analogy of climbing a ladder up a wall. Just like if a ladder is placed against the wrong wall, people may achieve goals they are dissatisfied with when they eventually accomplish them. Therefore, if you wish to set goals consistent with a life to be proud of, examine your values, passions, and strengths and ensure you align with these principles.
3. Develop A Strategy
Once you’ve set your goals, the next phase requires creating a plan. This plan should include the steps you will undertake to achieve the goals and a deadline. It’s of no use setting a goal without a deadline; otherwise, it lingers, and you are likely to experience frustration and anger when you fall short of achieving it. Your subconscious mind is an influential faculty. You can work towards your goals most efficiently by harnessing its creative power. That’s not to say you won’t experience setbacks and challenges. Your obstacles will awaken your potential and develop the skills to achieve your goals. Achieving one’s goal depends on a successful plan, and it needn’t be a great plan initially but one you can adjust as you progress towards your goals. As you learn and gain new information and skills, you can change your plan, like a pilot flying a plane adjusting its course to arrive at its destination.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” — Christian D. Larson
4. Take Inspired Action
The most critical step in this process is, of course, taking action. It requires working towards your goal consistently, particularly when you don’t feel motivated. Taking action requires calling upon your discipline to show up to the task and make progress on days when you feel uninspired or unmotivated. Taking action is difficult because life gets in the way, and unexpected challenges and difficulties arise. It is a form of resistance that is not intended to stop you from taking action but to help you decide the importance of the goal. Resistance is a distraction conspired by the universe to help you clarify the significance of your goal. Succumbing to resistance or distraction may indicate the goal is not tied to your intrinsic values and passions. Therefore, you might want to take a different approach or pivot in an alternative direction to avoid wasting valuable time.
5. Be Persistent
Setbacks are an inevitable part of pursuing any goal. However, it is imperative to maintain unwavering persistence and not succumb to discouragement. This steadfast approach is vital to eventual success. Persistence is an undervalued quality people take for granted. Persistence is closely linked to resilience, grit, and discipline. It is essential to cultivate these qualities to achieve success and overcome challenges. Muscles become stronger when exposed to increasing resistance, similar to the benefits of lifting weights in the gym. The same thing occurs with persistence. It is a quality endowed with tenacity and determination born through repeatedly showing up to the task. Persistence involves overcoming challenges and setbacks and taking nothing for granted. Life constantly evolves, so don’t get caught up in your present reality. Nothing stays the same; what may appear like a significant obstacle can be overcome with the right mindset. Persistence is forged through experiencing failure, rising again, and steadfastly pursuing your goals despite the setbacks. You gain wisdom and strength of character by persisting in your goals since you develop an indomitable will to succeed in the face of adversity.
Considering this, I encourage you to take this five-step action plan and begin building the life you want and can be proud of. If you keep a diary or journal, use each page to create a header with the five subheadings in this article. Spend some time filling in the pages regularly. If you want to progress, document your achievements and setbacks and express your feelings when you lack motivation or face disappointment. Because there will come a point in your journey when you look back on these moments and realize they had to happen to help you build an incredible life you desire and can be genuinely proud of.