I see it all too often; do this job or do that job, become this become that because it will give you a good living. A good living? To me good means OK, average, expected, and mediocre. That doesn't sound too inspiring does it? So why do we continue to live mediocre lives? Is that what society in America has come to? Oh get a job that you can put up with and give you a comfortable living. That is not the American Dream, it sure as hell is not my dream, and I would be willing to bet it's not your dream either.
In life we all want to accomplish great and magnificent things. How do we achieve great things with a mediocre lifestyle? You can't. To achieve greatness you must be great at what you do and with who you are.
To live a life by design you must develop the right mindset, the right mental frameworks. You will have to retool your skill-set. Perhaps most of all you will have to take a long hard look at the world around, and ask yourself, "am I moving in the same direction as everyone else?" Chances are you're in the exact same line, on the exact same road as everyone around you. To live a life by design you must break free from the pack, take the exit on the road you're on, stop and turn around, whatever analogy you choose to use for "I can no longer do what everyone else is doing."
So how do you start building a life by design, and more importantly start living it? I know from experience it's hard, and takes time. But when put in perspective it takes a hell of a lot less time than working 20 plus years to create a living. To create a life by design it will take anywhere from 3 to 10 years, it all depends on how ambitious you are. I know your thinking that is still a good chunk of time, why can't it be done sooner. The answer is, you will have to deconstruct what you have been led to believe, and then build a whole new foundation, and framework to support your new design for life, and that takes time. You will also have to develop a new process for your approach to your end result, and be consistent in its follow through.
What worked for me, and this is my experience, yours will most likely be different, was I started listening to motivational speakers to get me in the right state of mind. I then started listening to audio books of successful people or people who have what I want. I then turned to personal development speakers, and books, from there I read inspirational, non-fiction, firsthand account stories where the main character overcame extreme adversity, and lived to tell about it. I have always believed that if another person can do something, I can too, so I would model these people. I would take the best characteristics from those I look up to and I would do my best to make them a part of me.
Now if you are not someone who learns from hearing something, then you will need to read a lot of books. Me I am an audio visual learner, it is hard for me to comprehend books, so I turn to audio. I do practice my reading comprehension, it is difficult but I know it is an extremely valuable skill to have. That statement leads me to this; never stop developing who you are, you can always better your best. Never be satisfied with where you are, because to be satisfied is to be complacent, and complacency means you have stopped growing. Never stop growing, never stop developing, and never stop believing in yourself and what you can accomplish. That is what it means to live a life by design!
Be bold, and be brave.