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21 Secrets To The Life You Want

Who is in the driver’s seat of your life? Your job? Your family? The changing wind of life’s circumstances?

Ask yourself, “Is my life the way I want it to be?” If not, what is blocking you from jumping in the driver’s seat of your life?

Sometimes, it feels impossible to take control when you are stuck in a job you dislike because it pays the bills. Or when you can’t find a job. Or when you know your friends or family will reject you if you choose a different life path.

Life can sometimes be like a sticky spider web — the more you struggle against it, the more stuck you become.

Yes, life does have limitations, some of which are unchangeable. But a very large percentage of our lives is in our control — enough to profoundly impact how fulfilled and happy we feel on a daily basis.

Just knowing that you have some control is enough to change your perspective from hopeless to optimistic.

Creating The Life You Want

The very first step toward creating the life you want is to become a blank slate. Allow yourself to be open to some new ways of thinking, a different perspective. This may require you to shift some old beliefs or let go of your current “personal operating system“.

When you begin to make small shifts in your thinking, you open big doors for new ideas and opportunities.

21 Truths to Living the Life Your Want

1.  Understand that sustained happiness rarely comes from outside circumstances. Your wealth, beauty, power, or acquisitions have far less to do with happiness than your appreciation for what you have this very moment and your loving relationships with others.

2. You can live your life by design, but you must acknowledge your power in that, plan for it, and take the necessary actions.

3. You can’t have it all, but you can have enough to be very happy. Prioritize and focus on the top 3 or 4 most important areas of your life.

4. Stop focusing on what you don’t have or don’t like. Focus on what you do have and do like, and create a plan for what you think you can improve and change.

5. Abandon perfectionism. It is a useless pursuit with no end. It creates stress and unhappiness. Learn to find the balance point between good enough and peaceful living.

6. Put your own deepest needs first. If you are living for others before yourself and pushing your own needs aside, eventually you will crumble in some way — through depression, anger, anxiety or destructive behaviors.

7. Your choices may disappoint or offend others. That is sometimes necessary in order to grow and live authentically. Those who love you and want the best for you will accept and support you.

8. Count your blessings. You probably already have many of the things you want for your life. Don’t take them for granted.

9. Address personal issues head-on. Don’t use these as an excuse for not having what you want in life. If you have a wound, a personality or relationship problem, or an anxiety, go to a counselor and work on it. Resolve it. Weak people don’t go to counselors, but strong forward-moving people do.

10. Pick one small problem or irritation and resolve it. Feel how much personal power and energy that gives you. Imagine how it would feel to resolve one of your bigger problems or concerns.

11. Consider disengaging from people who bring you down or drain your energy. Build relationships with people who are positive, action-oriented, and supportive.

12. Pick the one change that would make the biggest positive difference in your life. Begin visualizing your life with this change implemented. Practice this regularly throughout the day.

13. Take this one step further and begin writing some specific action steps that might help make this change happen.

14. Strengthen your strengths. Make yourself indispensable in your area(s) of interest and expertise.

15. Always leave time for fun. Make fun happen in your life.

16. Don’t neglect your relationships. Don’t take them for granted. Find out what makes your loved ones happy, and do that for them.

17. Learn to let it go. Worry is the most fruitless expenditure of energy on the planet. Very little is worth worrying about. If you must do something, take action instead.

18. Don’t assume that you can’t do something. Prove that you can’t, and if so, try something else.

19. More often than not, your fear is the culprit for inaction.  More often than not, your fears are unfounded or at least out of proportion. More often than not, your fear will go away once you take action.

20. Focus on the task at hand. When you feel overwhelmed and pulled in many directions, just pick an important thing and do it without distraction. Then do another one.

21. Life is short. You have a limited number of days on this Earth. There isn’t time to waste your days in worry, anger or frustration. Make the most of this moment and the next and the next and the next . . .

If you want to have a wonderful life, spend your days in positive, forward-moving action and thought. Dismiss your longings for what you don’t have. Enjoy the actions as much or more than the outcomes.

The real secret to having the life you want is learning to love the life that you have.
. . . . . . . . . .

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About the author

Barrie Davenport is a personal, career and blog coach and the founder of Live Bold and Bloom, a blog about fearless personal growth. She is also the editor-in-chief of The Daily Brainstorm, a blogazine. Please download a copy of Barrie's free eBook, How to Live a Meaningful Life.

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35 thoughts on 21 Secrets To The Life You Want

  1. Hi Barrie,

    This is a great post!

    I love your imagery of how life is like a spider’s web. It is very true indeed. The more you struggle, the more entangled you become, sometimes it is best to accept life so you can manage it better.

    Your 21 truths are very helpful indeed in reminding us how to live the life we want. The following truths resonated strongly with me.

    1. Treasuring what you have, especially your relationships with others, is very important to being truly happy. I agree that happiness comes from within.

    6. While it is true that we should put our deepest needs first, there should be a balance between living for ourselves and others. If we only live for ourselves, life would be hollow. But if we lived for our loved ones, we would have the strength to weather great challenges.

    18. Our thoughts and beliefs control what we can achieve. It would always be better to focus on the solution instead of the problem. This helps us to keep moving forward and staying productive.

    21. Being aware that life is short helps to put everything into perspective. If we believed that we had all the time in the world, we would always procrastinate when it comes to doing things. Knowing that our time is short helps us to realize what is truly important to us; our family, friends and so on. It helps us to prioritize and use our time and efforts more meaningfully.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Barrie,

    Thanks for this great article.
    The knowledge that our life is completely in our hands is hard to grasp.
    It took me years to understand what it really meant but when I did and started working on my inner most believes, the changes that happened around me were unbelievable.

    It has only gone 3 years since I started soul searching and scripting my own life. But I already feel like a completely different person. I am doing more, believing in more and I am a lot more successful.

    Following these 21 tips you share will really help people focus on what is important, happiness.

    Thanks for the article.

    //Daniel

  3. Cool, I would make an adjustment to the 1st point.

    Happiness NEVER comes from external/outside sources. Whenever you may believe it to be so what is happening is that an internal condition that has been setup is triggered from an external circumstance. So the source was always within, we just set ourselves up to wait for the outside world.

    If happiness was from the outside world then we would all fell it the same.

  4. Wow.. what an inspirational post you have written. All 21 points are awesome. Looking forward to read more from you..

    Keep it up..

  5. Great post offered very straight foreword and simple steps.

  6. Hi Barrie,
    This is a fantastic post. Every tip is smart, practical, and wise. I know a couple of people I’m going to pass this onto. It’s really helpful. Thanks!

  7. My favorites are no. 11 and 12. There usually is one problem that’s an umbrella and when dealt with all others disappear. Way to go Barrie!

  8. #17, 19 and 20 are spot on. I blog about how to lead and overcome worry and those points are excellent. The others are great as well. You can’t go wrong with this list.

  9. Hi Everyone,
    Thank you so much for your comments . . .

    Vizier, I agree with you about the balance of living for ourselves and for others. That’s so important — in fact all of life is a balance. We have to use our feelings and intuition to discern when we are out of whack in some area of our lives. It’s something one must sit quietly and pay attention to.

    Daniel, it also took me years to figure out that I am the captain of my fate! For years, I kept thinking, once this happens, then I’ll be happy. It doesn’t work that way. That is a fleeting happiness.

    Jarrod, I agree that sustained happiness never comes from outside sources. We can find brief happiness from some new thing or person or happening, but it doesn’t last long. Real happiness is a daily decision.

    Franchise, thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you will visit my blog sometime. You made my day!

    Tess, you are right — sometimes when you pull just one thread, you can tear apart a pattern of thinking or behaviors that will change everything for the better. Thank you for always offering such nice comments to my posts!

  10. Dear Barrie. What a powerful list. It touches the core, the emotion and the action, we need to really change.
    I love how we ought to focus on what is good, that strong people go to counselors and that fear hold us back. Can’t seem to figure out what that one thing is which when changed, will create a massive difference in my life. I can maybe think of many things. Any tips?

  11. Babydoll

    You posts always come right on time always when I’m having a stressful day and its always something pleasant and refreshing to just make me stop and reflect and replenish. You guys are amazing thank you so much! X

  12. Hi Uzma,
    Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes the one thing that makes a massive difference is a shift in perspective. The one thing that made the biggest difference for me was finally reaching the awareness that all of life is a series of “right now’s” and that I had better start really living the right now’s. Once I stopped being so future oriented, and started really appreciating the moment and being in the flow of what I was doing, then I felt like I had finally “captured” real life. I try very hard not to think too much in the future or dwell on the past. That was my big leap!

  13. Hi Barrie… This is a great post. Each point is carefully chosen, I can see that you have invested a lot of time in this post. I will express an opinion on a few points :)

    1. For years, I am looking for happiness in the environment… This was not a nice experience, because everything starts from the mind. And happiness, and money, and physical and metaphysical. It all starts from the mind, from consciousness.

    5. Recently, I wrote about this on my blog. Perfectionism has good and bad side. The good is when we are motivated to do better. Bad is when our block to work at all. Perfectionism may be dangerous for growth, and should be careful with him.

    15. What would life be without a little magic, joy and laughter ;)

    20. Honestly, it took me a few years to start implementing this advice. And the results were fantastic! Once you start to focus on the task at hand, you can triple your productivity!

  14. Thank you so much Marko. You make excellent points. I will check out your post on perfectionism. I find that striving to be “perfect” is virtually unattainable. Striving for excellence is more my speed! I just hope to do my best on the task at hand, right?!

  15. Barrie, thank you for such a great article! So many people get caught up in a life they would never choose for themselves, yet settle to remain unhappy instead of taking action to live the life they want.

    I worked for years and years for other people, but I always wanted to work for myself. I finally took action a few years ago, and I have never been happier, even through the tough beginning stages.

    I really like the first point. It’s so easy to look for happiness from external sources. We really have to learn to be happy with ourselves, and by ourselves and then great things will come!

  16. Hi Tony,
    Congratulations on making that big change. That took courage, but you are living your life by design. That is so wonderful. You are an inspiration for others. Thank you for commenting.

  17. Hard advice to take during some of the more difficult times in your life.

  18. Thank you, Barrie. I really hope I can inspire others! You really can use your hardships to motivate you to improve your life. I’ve also started to blog about this and look forward to inspiring people!

    @ Graeme, while I agree it is hard advice to take during difficult times, I think that’s exactly when people should take this advice.

  19. Hi Graeme,

    I think we all need some time to be angry or sad during difficult times. But then we have a choice — to stay angry or sad or keep moving forward. I hope my thoughts in the article inspire moving forward. :)

  20. Fun Fun Fun! We must alway leave time for fun. Matter of fact, time to jump in the pool! =) Too-dales…great post.

  21. Glad you liked it Jonathan! Hope the pool was refreshing.

  22. Very positive post. Makes me smile. :) I particularly like the very last step, I think of this every other day or so to remind myself of how long I’ve not got left.

  23. So glad you liked it Craig. Yes, keeping reminding yourself about how very precious this moment is.

  24. I resonate with #11 as your interpersonal influences are huge in life.

    As a life coach, I tend to start with asking how satisfied you are with a certain aspect of your life, on a scale of 1-10.

    Then, imagine what it would feel like to get 10 out of 10.

    Finally, ask yourself what’s the very next step in getting there.

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