If you are ready to start living the life you want, it’s time to make some immediate changes in how you live each day. Your choices, not good intentions, are the keys to creating the happy life you want to live.
Ready to live a life of purpose, passion, joy, and fulfillment? Want to be able to dream big dreams and be able to make them come true? Then you’ll need to embrace your powerful, changeable mindset and roll up your sleeves, because there’s a lot of hard work to be done. The good news: it’s worth it!
1. Get in touch with your deepest desires
How do you want to feel? What will bring your soul true happiness and peace? These are important questions that you should not take lightly, which is why I suggest you get some help figuring out what it is you truly want.
Canadian-born author Danielle La Porte, who writes extensively about getting in touch with your heart’s desires, reminds us that it’s all about the quality of the journey; never forget the journey is every bit as important as the destination. “The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel., says La Porte
In her book, The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul, La Porte takes you on an exploration of your deepest wants and desires. The book functions a lot more like a guided journal, offering working sessions on life-mapping broken down into small nuggets that you implement daily.
Ask a lot of questions when trying to figure out what you want for your life
Laura Garnett, a Forbes contributor, has a list of 20 questions that will help you figure out what you want to get out of life. Questions on her list include: When you’ve gotten feedback from others, what are some of the things they’ve said?” and “What are the values you live by without even realizing it?
It’s surprising how working through Garnett’s questions provides a new perspective on defining what you really want in your life.
2.Establish your top goals
Every expert who has ever written about the subject of living a life you love will talk about the importance on focusing on your top goals. I agree, setting specific goals is important. But, talk is cheap. You also need to keep focused on those goals and take consistent action towards them.
James Clear, author of the New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits says, “If we are serious about achieving our goals … we should start with a much different question. Rather than considering what kind of success we want, we should ask, “What kind of pain do I want?” [source] After all, it’s easy to set goals; it’s much more difficult to follow through.
Motivational guru Zig Ziglar once said “If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you arrive at your goal.” Everything starts in the mind, but remember, to make things happen, you must know how to persevere even when the going gets tough.
3. Set appropriate boundaries
Setting boundaries is another key to creating the life you truly want to live. You simply can’t devote your attention to living your best life if you’re letting everyone around you trample on your time and steal every ounce of your precious energy.
According to Joe Sanok, author of A Guide to Setting Boundaries, which was published in the Harvard Business review, “the practice of defining healthy boundaries can be triggering. Though boundaries represent different things to different people, they universally force us to examine toxic behaviors with roots in our past and can surface negative internal dialogues that are painful to address.”
We’re back to talk is cheap; saying you’re setting boundaries is easy, but enforcing those boundaries, not so much.
Sanok advocates setting both non-negotiable hard boundaries that you never compromise on, as well as aspirational soft boundaries where you allow some wiggle room.
4. Work on your mindset
If you want to create a life you truly love, then you must take charge of your thought life. Forget being busy, start thinking intentionally!
You will never rise higher than the level of your thoughts, so you need to take responsibility for controlling what you allow yourself to believe and think each day.
Voices of self-doubt, fear, and uncertainty will pop up from time to time, but you must avoid the temptation to ruminate in scary thoughts, and instead, learn how to dismiss them quickly
Embrace a growth mindset
Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford, talks about the importance of moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. She says that she derives as much happiness from the process of doing something as from the results, which is important to living the happy life you want.
In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck writes, “In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome. They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.”
When you learn to adjust your mindset, you can change your life for the better.
5. Hang out with inspiring people who are positive influences
Spending time with positive influences has a sneaky way of improving the quality of your entire life. It’s important to spend time with people who have a positive outlook on life and encourage you to set and achieve ambitious goals.
The people you surround yourself with can have a big impact on your own mindset and behavior. Surround yourself with those who:
- Believe in you and your goals
- Offer constructive criticism when it’s needed
- Encourage you along your way to achieving goals that are important to you
- Bring good energy to your life
- Can teach you things you didn’t even know you needed to learn
- Are fun and inspiring to be around
Spending time with positive influences will improve your own life quality, and more likely than not, your positive energy and vibes will rub off on them, too.
6. Live with intention
Too many of us are floating through life on the breezes that carry us around in aimless ways. We then end up spending our lives where we don’t want to live, such as in loneliness, misery, and regret.
Living with intention puts you in an energy field that attracts what you truly want into your life. You live each day charged with the knowledge that you’re deliberately creating the life you want to live, which feels so much better than believing the quality of your life is random and out of your control.
Living with intention keeps you behind the steering wheel of your life, where you’re the driver who gets to decide where you’ll go and how you get there. Warning: When behind the wheel, no zoning out, otherwise, you might crash!Pay attention and live with inention. Or, as Ferris Bueller would say …
How to live with intention
I’ve always been a big fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s foundational work on The Power of Intention.
According to Dyer, “When you live with intention, you decide what you want your life to be. You decide how you will live each day. You decide what’s best for you. You develop deep roots that help you stay upright even when life threatens to take you down. When you connect to the power of intention, everywhere you go and everyone you meet is affected by you and the energy you radiate. As you become the power of intention, you’ll see your dreams fulfilled almost magically, and you’ll see yourself creating huge ripples in the energy fields of others by your presence and nothing more.”
Live each day on purpose
Mary Anne Radmacher, author of Lean Forward Into Your Life: Listen Hard, Live with Intention, and Play with Abandon, says we should “live each day as it were on purpose.”
How often do you live your life on autopilot? How often do you lose track of what you really want from your life because your attention is focused on things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.? It’s time to stop sleepwalking through your life.
7. Start embracing happiness habits
Happiness is not random; there is scientific proof that there are many steps you can take to create more happiness in your life.
Two of my favorite happiness researchers are British psychologist, bestselling author and broadcaster, Dr. Robert Holden and Dr. Rick Hanson, author, psychologist, and Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.
Rick Hanson’s work focuses on practical actions you can take every day to live a happier life, such as developing more “happiness habits” and recognizing “unhappiness habits” that you need to break.
My favorite advice from Robert Holden is to learn how to be happy with yourself, for as he says, “Unless you are happy with yourself, you will not be happy.” That’s a self-love lesson I’m still working on taking to heart each day.
There’s hard science behind what makes people happy
According to the world’s longest study on happiness, conducted by Harvard researchers, embracing community and maintaining close relationships are the primary drivers of happiness over time.
Having lots of money or a prestigious job won’t necessarily predict happiness. Your I.Q. has nothing to do with how happy you’ll be. Being born into the “best” circumstances or to the “right” set of parents aren’t predictors of long-term happiness either.
Your happiness will largely be the result of the meaningful connections you make. According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard study, “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. ”
Are you at the point where you're tired of the life you're living and are ready for something better?
Sometimes we have to get sick and tired of the way things are going in our lives before we’re willing to step up and make the changes that will improve our lives.
If you’re going through a rough time right now, and perhaps even Googled “how to create the life I want to live,” I UNDERSTAND you. Heck, I even created an entire website devoted to the subject!
Life can be hard. If you’ve read this far into this post, you’re likely ready and willing to change your life for the better. The seven keys I just provided above will help you get started.
If you want the journey to be pain-free, sorry; I make no promises on that.
And, if you think I’m going to assure you that every hardship will make sense in time, you’re wrong. I don’t know how many times I’ve read “everything will make sense in time,” but I’m not sure I believe that myself.
What I do believe, though, is that despite the bad breaks you’re handed, and all the ups and downs you’ve had in your past and may face in your future, ultimately the power to create an amazing life still rests solely in your hands. Again, you’re the driver; you decide where you want to be and how to get there.
You’re the driver of your life; drive where you want to go and remember to enjoy the journey!
I’ve gone through deep soul-level questioning in my life. I’ve wondered what it takes to be happy. I’ve felt cheated by how life seems to work for others and yet despite my best efforts, sometimes doesn’t work out for me. I’ve agonized over what I could do to make lasting positive changes that would lead to the happier, less stressed, more successful, and deeply meaningful life that I longed to live.
My experiences plus thousands of hours spent seeking solutions from every source imaginable, brought me to the seven solutions I’ve shared today. I hope you’ll commit to the new habits that will lead you to a life filled with purpose, passion and fulfillment. And, most of all, I hope you thoroughly enjoy the ride.