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How to Avoid Fake Growth and a Life of Endless Seeking

How to Avoid Fake Growth and a Life of Endless Seeking

    Standing before you is a game filled with a complex network of mazes and ladders.

    When you came into this world this game was already established.

    All of the rules were set in place. A path was laid out before you, and as you grew, you slowly became indoctrinated into that world, into that game.

    It was a game not designed by you, but you played it anyway. You played it because it was what everyone else did.

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    Then at some point along the way you started to realize that something was wrong, kind of like Neo in the Matrix, you sensed that something was seriously flawed with this game.

    Not only did you not have much of a say in the way you were living, you also began to sense that you were seeking success that didn’t exist. It was an endless chase.

    A carrot on a stick always one step ahead of you.

    Always another job. Another house. Another promotion.

    It eluded you. Endlessly.

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    Then you woke up

    You started to realize that you didn’t have to live this way. And you began to test your assumptions about what was possible, and what wasn’t. You found that many of the rules in the game were breakable without any negative consequences. They weren’t rules at all really, more like agreements.

    You noticed that when other people “leveled up” in the game not much of anything changed. They thought they were growing, but it was more like fake growth than anything. The things in their life were more like fake plastic trees than living things.

    Every event completed to collect trophies, each won in an attempt to complete a master checklist in the game.

    However… the checklist is never complete

    When you’re playing someone else’s game, there is always a sense of incompletion. You can always do it better, faster. There is always a way for you to compare your success with the success of others.

    It’s a slippery slope down that rabbit hole.

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    Here’s the deal… it’s easy for me to talk about creating a life on your own terms. It’s easy for a bunch of people to create a big song and dance about opt-ing out of a template, creating your own path, blah blah blah.

    And the sad reality is a lot of people replace the game of conformity with a game of non-conformity. Nothing’s really changed, has it?

    If you really want to create a life of freedom, there is no formula. Sorry.

    The truth about systems

    The truth about systems is that you were not born to follow one.

    You can’t follow a system for not following systems. You feel me?

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    Anyone that tells you they’ve created a system for your happiness is probably full of it. It’s the honest truth.

    However, I didn’t write this to just make you depressed. I can give you a small but potent bit of advice: surrender.

    No, not surrender in a passive, fatalistic way. Surrender in a powerful, really submitting to your path way.

    • What was it you were born to do?
    • What do you feel excited about, in this moment?

    Listen. Then surrender to that. Have the courage to see where it leads you.

    Living on your own terms is hard. It’s a lot easier to have someone else tell you what to do. But you weren’t born to play someone else’s game, now were you?

    (Photo credit: Stairway to the Sky via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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