You Need a Life Strategy Because Extraordinary Lives Don't Happen by Accident
No extraordinary person started out that way.
To achieve the life you want, one that will truly make you satisfied, you need to prioritize it above all else. If you want a life of success, a life filled with spiritual happiness shared with your partner, you need to visualize it. That life you envision will then contain these pieces of your puzzle. But don’t get confused -- these pieces are not your life, in itself. You are more than these pieces. Your life isn’t your job, it’s not your marriage, it’s not your kids or the people in it. Don’t limit yourself. Visualize and plan who you want to be, and how you want your life to be.
1. Prioritize the life you want.
This is not putting your role as a spouse first, or even your role as a parent. It’s not even putting your family first. It’s putting yourself first and understanding what you need. By being whole, you’ll enjoy others and situations as a complement to your prioritized life, and not a “fix” to complete you.
2. Recognize what you need to avoid.
Identify and avoid situations that aren’t good, but occurring over and over. Is your health upsetting you? Fix it, do what you need to do to feel better about yourself or take action to heal. Stuck in traffic constantly and getting home angry and frustrated? Change it. Move closer to work. You can’t be a good partner, parent or contributor if you are shut down, angry and upset.
And, like everything I do, commit to this. You have to make a decision to be obsessed with having the life you want. You have to take ownership of your life. I work to fund the life I want. I shape my life so I can be with my wife and kids. I align the pieces so I can have the life I want and deserve. I make sure I have things around me in order so it reminds me, and reinforces that I have my life in order and in control. That is the life I want.
No extraordinary person started out that way. They became obsessed and refused to let go of what they wanted their life to be. They ignored the teachings of being careful, to conform, to find balance rather than be obsessed. Look around and you will see men and women plagued by depression, no sense of purpose, barely getting by, with only enough money to cover basic needs, as if they are sitting in the classroom waiting for their teacher to let them out of class. Masses of people are apathetic, bored, lulled into a sense of nothingness; easily distracted by bad news, gossip and drama.
Every Sunday night, I sit down with my wife to go through our goals and check in with what we want our lives to be. Then we plan out our activities for the week (and I, of course, do a daily calendar) to make sure we are working toward that life.
Take this time to reset your life with massive goals that are consistent with the hidden potential you have been denying yourself. Great people do great things; not because they are great, but because they refuse to be average. Regardless of your story there is a greater potential in you. The greatest grief of your life will not be the loss of family members, friends or loved ones, but the loss of your own purpose.
Find that thing that you are obsessed with and then make that your life's purpose, not just a simple resolution. Every extraordinary person you know was an ordinary person who became obsessed with some crazy, greater, unachievable goal and refused to let go of it. That can be you. Edison, Ford, Jobs and Disney merely refused to conform. They became obsessed with making the impossible possible. The "greats" did not stumble onto greatness, they simply refused to just go to work every day. Most will think this advice is ridiculous because we are taught to be careful, not dangerous -- to conform, not break out -- and to find balance rather than be obsessed. Why set a goal that is likely unattainable? Because failing to attain a ridiculous dream is 10X better than living a simple existence.
These are not short-term fixes or goals. Create a life that no one can destroy. The potential is in all of us. Make a decision and commit. Pursue living a great life!