John Culbertson takes a look at how to have the life you want in 3 easy steps.
How to have the life you want in 3 easy steps.
First, listen to yourself to find out what comprises the life you want. Second, tell yourself why you deserve the life you want. Third, clear unnecessary clutter and make room for the life you want.
Being able to have the life you want does seem deceptively simple and easy, isn’t it? It is.
It can be simple and easy, once you are able to take these 3 steps but it can be as daunting as climbing a mountain, if you hesitate to take that first step.
Tune out before tuning in.
Why is it so difficult for most people to take that first step? To listen to your own voice you will first need to shut out the noise of everyone else, around you. You will have to make a conscious effort to stop listening to what other people want. How do you do this?
First of all, ignore the media. That’s right, turn of the TV. Stop reading the newspaper. Don’t buy any magazines. Fight the urge to pick up that glossy in the waiting room of your dentist. Don’t turn on the radio when you are driving. Last but not the least, can you stay away from the internet? This may not be possible because you may need to check your e-mails. If staying offline is not entirely possible, then stay away from social networking websites and refrain from clicking on banner ads or reading unsolicited e-mails. You probably have got the idea by now. It’s about protecting yourself from external influences, especially advertisements.
There’s one more thing you need to do. Stop socializing. You may be wondering at this point, if the idea is to turn your life into a monkish, ascetic existence? Rest assured that it is not. The whole exercise of shutting out external noise is temporary. How long, you may ask. Well, long enough so that you can meditate and collect your innermost thoughts and thereby listen to yourself. For some it may take just a few hours, but for others it may take days or even months. You may not be able to do this at one go, you may have to make more than one attempt.
Recognize your voice and the life you want.
When you can hear your inner voice, loud and clear, you will be able to comprehend what exactly it is that you want in life. You will realize that to have the life you want you will have to give up the many lives that you now live, the lives that others want you to have. The life that the advertisers in the media want you to have is not the life you want. The lives that the people you know, your friends, family and colleagues want you to have are the lives that you may have been living so far. It could be a half-life or a life of fear, a life of running away from the life you want instead of towards it.
So instead of going back to the grind and doing what is expected of you, you will now be able to see what it is that you want to do. It could be travelling or a different profession or a passion to act, dance, write or play football. Whatever it is you will find it, if you listen to your heart. Then you can already feel your life changing, you breathe, think and sleep better. Your life becomes a breeze, light, happy and enjoyable.
Did you just realize that you took the second step to have the life you want? You will now be talking to yourself and telling yourself the reasons for doing what it is that you want to do. You will make a discovery of the latent talents, desires and passions that lay beneath layers of misguided aspirations that were driven by external influences.
Live on your terms.
When Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” media as we know it today didn’t exist. Yet the Greek philosopher advised that everyone should examine their own life and not those of others. That’s because even without the media, our thinking is influenced by the lives of others. The media only showcases lives that celebrities live or lives that notorious criminals endure. Even in the absence of the media, we look at our neighbors, friends, colleagues, other family members and want our lives to be like theirs. We are constantly being competitive because that’s what we have been taught leads to success. We are engaged in a battle of one-upmanship with the people we know. We want a bigger car than our neighbor; we want a bigger TV, a bigger refrigerator, a bigger house and so on because a better life we think is one which is better than our neighbors’. If you want to have the life you want, you will have to unlearn the way your mind has been conditioned.
Clear the clutter of goals, desires and expectations that have been thrust upon you since you were a child, so that you can accommodate your true passions and desires. The life that you want is within your reach but you can’t have it as well as the lives that other people have. Why? There’s only room for one life, that’s why. As sentient beings, we have been blessed with a mind of our own. So, let’s think for a change instead of borrowing from the thoughts of others and find the courage to make room for the life that we truly want.