How to Create Your Ideal Life… Wherever You Are!
Reflection… and Regret
Thinking about your ideal life, have you ever had that nagging feeling that something, anything, needs to change? That THIS cannot be all there is? For many, mid-life (however you choose to define that) is the best years of their lives. But, mid-life is also a time of reflection which can lead to feelings of regret.
Regardless of how much you’ve accomplished, where you are in your career, or how well your friends and family are doing, looking back over your life is bound to remind you of at least a few bad decisions you’ve made, paths you’ve not taken, or time you’ve “wasted”. According to blogs such as BestLife there are some common regrets that tend to crop up in mid-life:
- Not taking better care of your body
- Not saving enough money
- Marriage for the wrong reasons
- Not taking more risks or chasing the dreams
- Not spending quality time with loved ones
- Missing the moment
- Staying in a job/career too long
This process of reevaluation can leave you feeling helpless, like it’s too late, that there’s too much to do and not enough time. I encourage you to make the choice to take some time to reflect back. Identify any of your regrets and think about how you would like that particular area of your life to be different. You may choose to just let some regrets go (that’s probably smart!). However, some regrets may keep you up nights. Please, make a quick list of these. These areas, in particular, need addressing! Be specific, be clear, put your ideas and dreams out there in full color. You can use whatever tools you choose (more on that later), just commit the time to do it! You can CHOOSE to dive in, take a hard look at yourself, and dust off those dreams to create your IDEAL LIFE! NOW!!!
Reflecting back, my biggest regrets – or more accurately, things I know I don’t want to have regrets about in later years – are playing it safe and not having the courage to live out my big ideas and dreams. Although the BIG dream for me and hubby is a mountain retreat in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, I’m not waiting! I’m creating the life I envision right now, right where I am. All in the spirit of no regrets!
Before we move on, just a few words about forgiveness. I argue forgiveness is a BIG step that lots of people miss in this process. You must forgive yourself for any decisions you deem as “bad”, particularly those made in your youth. Most importantly, you must forgive yourself for making decisions based on what was expected from you. We’ve all bent to peer pressure, family pressure, and money pressure in our lives and made the “right” decision even when it was a little soul-crushing to do so.
Instead, consider the possibility that each of those decisions, no matter how much you may regret them today, are what got you to this point; what made you into the person you are. You have to forgive yourself, let that shit go, and move into a space of learning and creating. Otherwise, you’ll end up just another victim, left to wither and die with your dreams still within you. That seems like a miserable thing to do with your one, precious life, no?
Honestly, there are probably as many ways to take this next step as there are lifestyle blogs on the Internet. I’ve used mind maps, gone old school with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written in my bullet journal, tried to Start with Why, and created Pinterest-worthy vision boards. I’ve read a zillion books on minimalism, Essentialism, and creating your Desire Map. Guess what? They all work! Pieces and parts of each have led me to this place where I have a strong, visual image, of what I want my ideal life to look like from this point forward.
My Tools for Success
Embrace Your Freakness by Frank Keck of Excellerant, Inc. is a unique take on creating the life for which you were designed and creating fulfillment. He’s successfully taken all the big ideas out there and mashed them up with his own wisdom and experience to come up with a comprehensive approach to help readers solve what he calls “The Fulfillment Equation”.
Take Inventory + Take Aim +Take Care = Take Off!
I met Frank at a professional seminar and immediately found that we speak the same language. Full disclosure: I also triple heart love that Frank appreciates my questioning nature and curiosity. I’ve learned those qualities aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Frank’s book inspired me to go back to basics and first Take Inventory of what I’m really good at and enjoy doing; to “discover who you are so you can discover what you were designed to do”. This was critical for me because I wholeheartedly believe I can “do” just about anything I put my mind to. What I’m “designed to do” is different. It’s a soul calling, a path to true fulfillment, and, for me, a way to serve and create a connection with others.
Next is Take Aim. Here you use what you’ve learned in your inventory to formulate an ideal picture of who, what, and where you want to be. This is the fulfillment part people! These are the hard questions that will culminate in you envisioning your Ideal Life. These exercises resulted in me getting clear on where I want to live, how I’ll spend my time and energy, who will be in my life and who I’ll be in service to, even what I’ll look like and what my personality will be like. One of the final steps in taking aim is sharing this vision with others and asking them to share theirs. THIS is the future of this blog and ultimately, Cairn Creek Lodge and other ventures. This is also where y’all come in, by the way! Please share your vision with me (there, I asked!).
Third is Take Care. This is your plan to nurture and develop your newfound freakness! How to fuel yourself properly to get the best performance. Admittedly, this is a weak spot for me and I love that Frank puts together a toolbox for handling the mental aspect of this process; the challenges, failures, and successes we’ll all encounter along this road. Changing my inner voice and challenging my limiting beliefs has been WORK! Stopping the negative input has been HARD! But, it’s been worth it and I feel the shift.
Finally, we Take Off. This is where you take action and get to work on making things happen. I focus daily on my vision and who I want to become. It’s certainly not a perfect process but it is an amazing and worthwhile ride!
I hope you’ll join me on this journey as I unpack the details of this vision and work to create an Ideal Life!