5 Steps to Creating Your Awesome Life

We say we want our lives to be better.  We wish for things, pray for them, visualize them. 

And nothing changes.

We wish, pray, meditate and visualize harder.

Still nothing.

What are we doing wrong?

The Definition of Insanity

Most of us spend much of our time thinking about what’s wrong with our lives.

And then we wait for someone or something outside of ourselves to magically happen in order for us to be happy and life to be good.

We keep doing what we’ve always done, hoping for a change.

Day, months, years fly by and little in our lives changes.  We begin to accept that this is “the way life is” and we stop dreaming.

Then we start to spread our misery by telling everyone around us that this is “reality.”  Great lives happen to other people and we’ll never be one of those blessed and chosen few.

Cut the Crap

OK.  You’re smarter than this.  You’re not one of those people anymore.

You know things will get better.

You’re visualizing your future.

You’re reading the books and buying the courses.

You’re telling all your friends that there’s a better way.

And when things don’t go your way, you start blaming your partner, your job, your kids, your finances.  “They” are getting in your way of realizing your dream.  You dwell on how they’re messing up your life.  You commiserate with your friends and family.

You’re right and they’re wrong.

Really?

This used to be me.

I was the holier-than-thou prophet of personal development.  I thought I had it all figured out.  

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Giving It Up

I was a control freak.  I tried to control most of the people in my life, money, decisions, time and anything else I could think of.

I thought that, if I could control everything, then all my visualizing and thinking would make my wishes come true.

But by trying to control everything, I controlled the life out of most of it and myself.

After years of frustration, I came to an all-time low point in my life.

When I felt that everything I had tried wasn’t working and I couldn’t think of what to do next, I let go.  It felt like giving up.

It was scary as hell because I was finally acknowledging my lack of control.  The lack of control that had existed all along that I didn’t want to see.

Along with this, I began to see how I was creating this life I didn’t want.  Instead of blaming others for my unhappiness (because I couldn’t control them), I realized that I was doing it to myself by resisting the changes that were necessary inside me.

I realized that I was capable of being different.  I didn’t have to fall back on my old excuse of “that’s just the way I am.”  I had choices.  I could respond differently.  I could see things differently. I could create a different reality for myself.  It didn’t mean that I had been wrong.  It meant that I had options.

And that’s when my life changed for the better.

Find Your New Way

If your life isn’t quite going the way you would like or if it flat-out sucks, know that you have the power to change it.

There are all the incredibly successful people out there who came from dirt who openly tell their stories so that we can close the door on any excuses we may have for why we can’t change our lives.

It’s your choice.  Everything is your choice.

How do you do it?

Simple Steps to Creating Your Awesome Life

1. Decide what you want.

Stop focusing on what’s wrong with your life.  Most people don’t know how to realize their dreams because they don’t even know what their dreams are.

What would your life look like if you were living your dreams?  Who would you be with?  Where would you live?  What would you do every day, all day long? 

Yes, lying on the beach drinking margaritas is fun for a while but, at some point, your heart will yearn for more.

What are your passions?  What makes your heart sing?  What could you do day after day without getting tired of it?

2. Decide that you can have it.

This is a big step that most people miss. 

The conscious mind dreams, meditates, prays and visualizes a wonderful life while the subconscious says, “Yeah, right.  Get real.”

Instead of glossing over the subconscious with positive thinking, acknowledge it.  Have a conversation with it.

This is the source of the fears and resistance that keep us where we are.  If we don’t let them have their say, they’ll undermine all of our hard work.

Acknowledge them and find ways for them to work with you on your journey.

3. Know that you’re the only one that’s going to make it happen and you’re the only one who can get in your way.

Blaming is history.  What good has it done anyway? 

It’s the easy excuse for not taking personal responsibility for our lives. 

It gives away our power and freedom to others. 

It’s for wimps and slackers.  Not for you.

You’re going to make your dreams happen and you’re not going to let anyone or anything stop you.  All you have to do is decide that it’s so.

When things go great, pat yourself and all those who supported you on the back.

When things go sideways and south, step back and learn from it then move forward again.  Be grateful you learned something new.

4. Do something different.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

With the end result in mind from step one, think backwards to where you are now.

What are three little things you can do today, this week, that will move you toward your vision?

Do them.  No excuses.

Keep doing something every day.

Be consistent.

Have patience.

Focus.

Nothing awesome happens overnight.  It’s the culmination of tons of baby steps.

As you’re taking your baby steps forward, spend some time seeing your life today from the perspective of the you who has already achieved your dreams.

What kind of guidance is that future you giving you? 

Listen to that advice.  It’s your Higher Self, your intuition, guiding you.

5. Be grateful for all that’s great in your life.  Feel good.

Start a gratitude journal.  Every day write at least ten things you’re grateful for and vary the list each day.

Be grateful for your strengths, your weaknesses, the people in your life (even the pains in your ass), the weather, your job (even if you’re working to leave it), the food you eat, your home, car, computer.  Everything.

Do things and think things that make you feel good every day.

All that crap in your life that you complain about?  Find some way of looking at it in a positive light and genuinely believe it.  We’re not talking about sugar-coating the nasty stuff.  We’re talking about finding something genuinely good about that stuff and stop labeling it as nasty. Find a label that feels good.

Simply do whatever it takes to see everything in your life in a way that makes you feel good.

If you don’t feel good, none of the other steps will work.  Or they will for a while and then your old life will snap back in your face.

Summary:

Feel good.

See and feel your future and talk to your future self.

Know that this vision is your new way of life.

Know that only you can make it happen.

Take daily action and feel good about it.  Have fun.

Be grateful.

Feel good.

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27 Responses to 5 Steps to Creating Your Awesome Life

    Betsy at Zen Mama
    Commented:  05/09/2012 at 7:34 am

    Paige,
    This is a wonderful post! I’m looking forward to doing things different over the summer. And I love your steps! I need to something different to change the craziness lately. (I love your definition of insanity by the way.)
    Thank you for somehow always writing what I need to hear!!
    Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted..The Ying And Yang of HelpingMy Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/09/2012 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks Betsy! It’s amazing how we’re so often on the same wavelength. And how is it that the craziness creeps up on us so often?!?! That’s one of those things I’m working to let go of. Thanks for being here!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Letting GoMy Profile

      Reply
    Sarah O
    Commented:  05/09/2012 at 11:27 pm

    Ah, once again you are putting words to the thoughts inside of me. In my morning meditations, I’ve been focusing on what it is I want to FEEL. And then – wow, I notice that in many points of the day i’m already feeling it! We’re not so far from where we want to be after all. It’s all about what we are focusing our energy on.

    Once again beautiful and informative writing! Thanks!
    Sarah O recently posted..Rethinking “Nice”My Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/13/2012 at 5:05 am

      Thanks Sarah! I would have to agree with you that most of us are much closer to where we want to be than we realize. We think things are so far out of our reach when we focus on what we don’t have yet. When we focus on what we have and what we’re grateful for, the feeling of the overall image of our lives totally changes. I’m so glad you’re already where you want to be and you’re feeling it!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..What’s Your Payoff For Being Unproductive?My Profile

      Reply
    Jodi Chapman
    Commented:  05/09/2012 at 11:46 pm

    This is such a powerful post, Paige! I felt it in my gut! Thank you – so much of this is just what I needed to hear. I love the no nonsense approach. You’re inspiring me to go for it – take responsibility – get out there and just do it! :)
    Jodi Chapman recently posted..What’s Your Story?My Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/13/2012 at 5:08 am

      I’m so glad I can help, Jodi! Deciding to just do it seems to be the hardest part. Once we decide and know that it’s possible, the rest just flows.

      You’ve got some pretty inspirational things on your site that I love too! Thank you!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Letting GoMy Profile

      Reply
    Aileen | Kaizen Vision
    Commented:  05/10/2012 at 1:28 am

    “There are all the incredibly successful people out there who came from dirt who openly tell their stories so that we can close the door on any excuses we may have for why we can’t change our lives.” Amen to that!

    Love this post!

    “Know that you’re the only one that’s going to make it happen and you’re the only one who can get in your way.”

    It’s important to stand up against our own excuses and old habits in order to really break through once and for all.
    I think of Louise Hay and her “totality of possibilities” and “over 250 ways to do dishes” it may sound too simple, but there really are endless ways to do something, and endless possibilities even when we can’t see them – they are always there.
    Love your 5 steps :)

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/13/2012 at 5:13 am

      Thanks Aileen! I’ve had so many opportunities presented to me in my life for which I’ve come up with excuses why they won’t work for me or why I couldn’t do them because of my circumstances. And then I would read of someone or meet someone who dealt with very similar or worse circumstances and figured out how to get around them to become amazingly successful. This made me see my own resistance to change and helped me to melt it away.

      I love Louise Hay and have to agree that there are as many ways to do something as there are people. We all simply have to find our own way and know that we can achieve whatever we desire.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Simple Steps to Creating Productivity HabitsMy Profile

      Reply
    Martin
    Commented:  05/10/2012 at 3:26 am

    “If your life isn’t quite going the way you would like or if it flat-out sucks, know that you have the power to change it.”

    This reminded me of the spin-off to the Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters . The three eventual mebers of Masters’ Council in Gongmen City were able to turn their lives around by deciding they wanted change.
    Martin recently posted..oil painting lessonsMy Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/13/2012 at 5:18 am

      Being the parent of three small kids, I watch a lot of kids’ movies like Kung Fu Panda (I actually watched it again with my kids a couple nights ago). While the stories are always fun, most of them teach wonderful lessons like this. It took me watching some of these kids’ movies a few times before I realized how powerful the positive messages really are.

      Thank you, Martin, for reminding me of this!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Can the Multi-Generational Family Solve Our Need for Connection?My Profile

      Reply
    Nancy Shields
    Commented:  05/10/2012 at 7:34 am

    Wonderful post and very insightful – love the way you have the Summary at the end!

    I’m with you and living in this manner – it’s a beautiful life when you do – I am also writing a post entitled, “That’s just the way I am.”……excuses we give ourselves for not changing.

    In love and light,
    Nancy
    Nancy Shields recently posted..LESSON 4 ……RECOGNIZE YOUR BEAUTYMy Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/13/2012 at 5:23 am

      Thank you so much Nancy! Can’t wait to read your new post. Reading “that’s just the way I am” brings back flashbacks of many arguments with my husband where that was my defensive response. I could be right and it was something he couldn’t argue with but it kept me stuck where I was, which wasn’t a good place. Once I allowed myself to accept that I didn’t like “just the way I am,” that stuck feeling shifted and I allowed a better life to flow through me.

      Big Hugs!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..If It’s Broken, Fix It – Right NowMy Profile

      Reply
    Tess The Bold Life
    Commented:  05/10/2012 at 11:39 am

    Hi Paige,
    I love this post. It should be talk in elementary school! Thanks for a great reminder. I’ve had a few computer problems and camera problems. I’m getting over my ‘poor me’ that I slipped into a few minutes ago;) xo
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted..Mother’s Day, Forgiveness, Celebration and A Special OfferMy Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/13/2012 at 5:30 am

      Thanks Tess! Glad you got past your technical issues. As the Master of Bold & Fearless Living, I know you can’t stay in “poor me” mode for long.

      I’m hoping to spread the word that anything is possible to as many people as possible, starting with little kids (especially my own). Society can impose many limitations on us, but only if we choose to accept them. The first step is to see those limitations which generally appear in the form of expectations. Then we need to question them and ask if they’re right for us. More ways that mindfulness can transform our lives.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Unschooling Revolution: Taking Education Into Our Own HandsMy Profile

      Reply
    CEZAR
    Commented:  05/11/2012 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Paige! I came across your site from Scott Dinsmore’s page on Warren Buffett. I gotta say, I LOVE THIS POST! It was almost like you were telling my story from back in the day : ) All 5 of these steps will work if – the key is to really do them.

    “It’s the culmination of tons of baby steps.” I love that… You know, the Grand Canyon is the result of tons of baby steps too..

    Glad I found your blog.

    Cezar

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/13/2012 at 5:36 am

      I’m so glad you found me too, Cezar! Scott has some amazing information. From the way you wrote your comment, it seems that you’ve realized your dreams and live them now. That’s so awesome!!

      Everything happens in baby steps. We may not realize how far we’ve come without reflecting on our progress every now and then. When I get a little discouraged about what I haven’t achieved yet, I like to think about what I’ve already done in a fairly short time. It gets me feeling better and pumped about moving forward again.

      Welcome!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Simple Steps to Creating Productivity HabitsMy Profile

      Reply
    Galen Pearl
    Commented:  05/13/2012 at 1:25 pm

    Oh my gosh–you’re me! Or I’m you! You have described my life and the changes I made exactly. Great post and you tell it like it is. Love the directness–cut the crap! Ha, that was great!
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Let It BeMy Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/14/2012 at 12:38 pm

      Great minds think alike Galen! :) That’s awesome that you’ve made those changes! For so many people, it seems to be difficult to simply get started. I think that, once we decide to commit to the process of change, it gets a little easier to move forward. Thanks so much for your comment!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..If It’s Broken, Fix It – Right NowMy Profile

      Reply
    J.D. Meier
    Commented:  05/14/2012 at 7:35 am

    Deciding what you want and deciding you can have it are powerful steps.

    They sound so simple, and yet if we don’t believe we can have it, we don’t do what we can to make it happen.

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/14/2012 at 12:41 pm

      Exactly J.D.! Many people are intimidated by all the steps they’ll have to take to make the changes they say they want. This feeling of intimidation frequently short-circuits the first step of deciding to change. Those first simple (but not easy) steps of deciding and believing are the biggest steps of all. Thanks for your comment!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..What’s Your Payoff For Being Unproductive?My Profile

      Reply
    Amit Sodha
    Commented:  05/15/2012 at 4:16 am

    You said two words there that resonated with me more than the whole article, being consistent is so important. To keep trying, even those things that have failed a few times, Just because they don’t work the first time doesn’t mean it doesnt’ work. If it doesn’t work the 10th time then a new approach is in order.

    Also what you said early on about letting go, even that process of letting go can suddenly allow amazing things to flow in because the resistance has stopped.

    Lovely article Paige! :-)
    Amit Sodha recently posted..6.5 Years And Half A Million Hits Later…My Profile

    Reply
      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/15/2012 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Amit!

      So many people give up too soon because miracles didn’t happen overnight. Real success takes time, consistency and persistance. And letting go of resistance lets all kinds of great things flow into our lives.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Letting GoMy Profile

      Reply
    Vidya Sury
    Commented:  05/16/2012 at 3:55 am

    As always, you break it all down so well and make it sound easy. And the beauty of it all is – it IS easy. Most times, it is the will to want to make the change. People are too comfortable about wallowing in misery. Ugh.

    One of my favorites is the gratitude list. I find that it always uplifts me even as I start writing it. Old practice. (Thank you, Mom.)

    I also believe that everything is possible. :-) Loved this post. Thank you, Paige!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..God could not be everywhereMy Profile

    Reply
  1. Pingback: What’s the Meaning of Your Life?

  2. Greg
    Commented:  05/23/2012 at 9:01 am

    I LOVE this post! Thank you so much for putting SO CLEARLY what’s been rattling around in my brain for the last few weeks. Your words just “clicked” perfectly into place for me! Awesome!

    Reply

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