May 8, 2016
A lot of us go through life without living how we want to, whether it’s because we’re doing things only to make other people happy, or just because we’re not where we want to be in our careers and success. What I call the opposite of that is living life on your own terms.
Living life on your own terms doesn’t mean that you just do whatever you want to and forget about your responsibilities, it means that you are living your life in a way that you feel fulfilled, with purpose, and not like you’re only doing things for outside circumstances and what other people want.
The first thing you have to understand to live life on your own terms is that you can design your life however you want it to be. Not just like writing up a goal list and forgetting about it next week, but coming up with a clear and compelling vision for how you want your future to be and then taking steps in that direction. Also remember that the past does not determine the future, and what we do this very second determines where we will move.
The second thing is to realize that living on your own terms can often be very uncomfortable. It can be uncomfortable because you have to stop living in the “comfort zone” other people have for you. This means that we have to start working on the design we have for ourselves without worrying about how other people comfortably view us.
Sometimes it takes a hard lesson to learn that living life purely to make other people happy is only a recipe for misery. It can be equally hard to make the decision to stop only making them happy to make ourselves happy, but we have to stop and look around at our lives and make sure that we’re living into the future vision we have for ourselves and not the vision we have for them.
The final thing that you need to start living life on your own terms is to just know what success, fulfillment, and happiness mean to you, as well as what your innermost values, are and then to live in them. In The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, Darren talks about his experience at the deathbed of a multi-millionaire real estate agent. The agent said to Darren, “Don’t miss the point like I did”, and what he means is don’t miss the point of your life that you want it to be about. So in other words, don’t live life without fulfilling your innermost values and happiness.
Remember that your life matters and we all have a choice and an opportunity to make sure that we’re living the best possible way that we can. Choose to design your ideal life, stop trying to fit in the comfort zone of other people, and know what your innermost values are, and you will start being able to live life on your own terms.
Remember: this day, this week, matters, in everything you do. Go out there and crush it!