What does living by design look like?

Before you get any ideas about perfectionism, performance or production – let’s set the record straight on what living by design is not.

By Design is absolutely not:

1.   A competition or race.

There is no “arrival” on the journey by design and every path is completely unique! Comparing your results is the first step in the wrong direction, and will ultimately lead you to feel defeated and deplete your motivation.

2.  A set of perfect circumstances.

The choice to live by design does not depend on the happenings of life, but instead takes place in the heart.  Knowing who you are and how you will show up for yourself, will determine where you are headed and whether or not you will live by default or experience your destiny.

3.  An overnight success story

Living by design happens moment by moment and day by day.  You can choose to design today and default tomorrow and that is OK too.  It is about living authentically, choosing to value the little things and celebrating every step in the right direction, no matter how many times we fall down.  It’s about failing forward and seeing the end from the beginning.

So how do I make the switch?  From doing what I’ve always done (default) to living life with intention (design) and facing the direction of my dreams? 


1.  Be open and teachable

No matter where you are starting from in the journey,  understand that your current perspectives (the way you see life and your beliefs about yourself) have a great deal to do with how you experience the world around you.  If you want to see new horizons in your life, you will need to take a look at your current programming and be willing to switch the software (so to speak).  How you see it, is not necessarily how it is, it’s just how you see it.  So open yourself up to learn from others who have what you want, and apply what you learn.

2. Watch your words

What we speak into ourselves and the world around us has greater power than we may recognize, so take an inventory of your words to see what kind of seeds you are sowing.  If you sow indecision (maybe) you will reap confusion.  If instead you say YES or NO, people will begin to trust you and take you at your word.   If you plant negativity you will harvest despair, but if you choose instead to speak encouragement and hope, you will become a trusted adviser and your influence will grow.  If you gossip and judge others, people will not feel safe with you, but if you instead edify and build others up, you will attract friendships that are noble and true.

3. Know why

With the amount of information we receive in a day and the increase of busyness in our lives, it can be easy to make assumptions, commitments and decisions without ever asking yourself why.  Stop for a moment and look at your calendar. Go through every commitment you have made (whether to work, volunteer, church activities, extracurricular, clubs etc) and ask yourself a few questions:  Why am I doing this?  What is my motivation?  What am I hoping to gain from this?  What will I be giving up to do this?  Does this drain me or give me life?  How does this commitment impact the ones close to me?  Am I doing this to keep up with the Jones? To gain approval?  To prove to myself I can?  What is my time worth?  Taking the time to be real with yourself, will empower you to cut the clutter from your life and free up time and space (in your head) for the things that make you come alive.

Remember, when you are open you will receive what need for today.  When you speak life the world around you will be a better place to live.  And when you know why you do what you do, you will find passion you never knew you had to live each day with purpose and make the journey count.




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