How To Create The Life of Your Dreams
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Let me start by asking you a very important question – Are you creating the life of your dreams or are you just reacting to it?
This question gets to the heart of whether you are living by design – meaning you are the creator of your life. Or, whether you are living your life by default, just reacting to what life throws at you.
In this post we will review both options – which would you rather choose?
Living By Default – The Default Loop
The best way to explain what I mean by ‘default’ is to use a computer analogy. A default setting is a setting that’s been preset by the manufacturer. Unless we deliberately change the settings to customise them to our own preference, they will stay on default.
It’s easy to understand a default setting in computer terms but what about how it relates to your life? Whereas we consciously change settings on our computers or our mobile phones, in life we unconsciously choose a Default Setting; a setting that is made up of old beliefs, thoughts and feelings. As soon as life pushes a certain button we automatically return to these well-worn neural ‘default’ pathways, believing them to be the truth. But Default Settings are far from the truth.
As you grow in awareness you’ll begin to realise that your Default Settings are where you go when you are unconscious – when something scares you or triggers something and when you lose your present moment awareness.
Most people don’t realise how Default Settings affect their lives. We all know people who seem to experience the same set of challenges again and again. They experience the same negative life events over and over again and they don’t even recognise it’s a problem!
Over the last twenty years I’ve coached a lot of people and I see the same reasons why they are not achieving what they want from life over and over again. It doesn’t matter if I’m talking to a multi millionaire or school drop out. Everyone is challenged and talks about the same issues.
I call these issues Default Settings and there are primarily six of them. These Default Settings are what sit behind a life lived on autopilot and each one, when chosen takes us into an unconscious default loop.
If you’re fed up with the current set of life circumstances you find yourself in, I’ll bet some of my hard earned cash you’ve fallen foul to one, or more, of the Default Settings.
As you read on, ask yourself, which one(s) are my Default Settings?
The Six Default Settings are: Approval, Blame, Conformity, Doubts and Fears, Excuses and Focus Splatter
These six Default Settings’ are the biggest blocks we have to getting what we want out of life. Each one is a story we can hide behind and one we can use to save face when we explain to others our lack of results.
Lets explore each Default Setting in more detail to gain a better understanding of each one:
Default Setting #1 – Approval
The Approval Default Setting causes us to go against what we truly believe in. The excessive need for approval leads us to make decisions to please the people whose approval we seek at the cost of what’s “right” for us. This Default Setting believes that others are responsible for our worth. If they like us, we’re okay, and if they don’t like us, we are not!
People who struggle with this issue usually wait for approval of others for recognition of their achievements, run a mile in the face of conflict, are over-agreeable in their relationships, say yes to more things than they should, live their lives according to expectations of them, often have a hard time solving problems or making decisions on their own, don’t speak up and often rely on others for their happiness.
If you are waiting for approval from others for you to live the life you love, then you’re living by default!
Default Setting #2 – Blame
The Blame Default Setting makes us a victim in life. Instead of taking responsibility for what happens to us we blame the outside world. “It’s not our fault,” we say, “It’s (fill in the blank!)”. This Default Setting is about taking the easy way out and blaming anything for a life that’s below where it should be.
Playing the blame game is closely linked with the need for drama. You know, phrases such as, “You’ll never believe what’s just happened to me!” or “Can you believe what he/she did to me!” Some people create drama in their own life, while others get caught up in the drama of friends and family, or the world in general.
If you’re default is to point the finger, constantly complain or attract drama into you life, then you’re living by default!
Default Setting #3 – Conformity
The Conformity Default Setting has us unconsciously chasing other people’s or society’s definitions of success. This Default Setting has us spend our waking hours working hard to fit into cookie cutter patterns of success dished up by the media. They do a great job of telling us what success is and what it is not! So we constantly spend our time and money rearranging our external world in an attempt to get the “perfect” picture. Then, and only then, we will be happy!
What’s your definition of success? If you can’t answer this clearly, you’re living by default!
Default Setting #4 – Doubts and Fears
The Doubt and Fear Default Setting causes us to play the safe game. Here’s a truism – any action that’s worthwhile and causes you to grow will likely scare you to death! There is probably not a day that goes by where you don’t wish for a better life for yourself. But then you drop into the default loop, doubt your ability and get stuck. Fear and doubt want us the play small, to shrink, to run away instead of following our heart.
There are a hundred and one fears. Do you recognise any of these? Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear loosing something (like your money or your job), fear of looking like an idiot., fear of death.
If you are allowing fear or doubt to hold you back, you’re living by default!
Default Setting #5 – Excuses
This Excuses Default Setting shows up in the form of excuses and justifications. Excuses are nothing more than avoidance tactics, a coping strategy we use to explain away our lack of results and inability to overcome fear.
There is always a reason someone didn’t get the promotion, or why they can’t get to the gym, lose the weight or have enough money. The list goes on! Excuses make us delusional. We believe we would be able to get the result we want “if only….” If only this, that or the other happened.
If you are letting excuses stop you from taking action, you’re living by default!
Default Setting #6 – Focus Splatter
The Focus Splatter Default Setting unconsciously pulls us to dabble in lots of things but never really commit to anything. It’s when we mindlessly and half-heartedly splatter our focus on non-result producing activities, so we never fully engage in life. Focus splatter is like the magpie, always looking out for bright shiny objects to bring back to its nest. Each bright shiny object that comes our way gets our focus just until the next one comes along. There are many ‘focus splatter’ culprits. Here are some you may recognise – Facebook, Youtube, Google, TV, latest fads, new business ideas, email, and clutter.
If you’re focus is spent too much on non-result activities, you’re living by default!
The Past Becomes The Future
Please make no mistake, these Default Settings come with a heavy price. Each one of these six Default Settings will make you feel better in the short term. But the lack of conscious and deliberate action towards the life you want will create an inner void of regret as you watch your life slip through your fingers.
These Default Settings strip us of any notion of personal responsibility, they dilute our life force energy; we start to believe that we have no control over anything, that it’s all about what happens out there and since out there is out of our control, our life becomes an emotional roller coaster ride with more lows than highs!
We keep repeating the same patterns, knowing we want something better but unable to do anything about it. It’s not long-before it leads us on the dangerous road to boredom, apathy, and despair and, at its worst, depression.
The Power Of Choice
But, and it’s a big but, today and everyday you have a choice. That’s the choice to live your life by default or to live your life by design. Sure, external circumstances might have dealt you a bad hand but you have the choice of whether you succumb to the default loop or rise above it into the design loop.
Living Life By Design – The Design Loop
When you choose to live by design you focus on what you desire or want. Which then brings about the life you choose to live – the Life of Your Dreams! And, like everything else in life, this is something that most of us are going to have to learn to do.
If your fed up with living a life that feels out of control and you are ready to make conscious decisions about the type of future you would like to create, here is a step-by-step process that allows you to meet all your responsibilities whilst you creating the life you love.
It’s the same process I use with my personal coaching clients to support them in making changes toward living a high quality life.
You can use it to improve every area of your life – whether that’s obtaining more money, love, health, and a successful business.
Create The Life Of Your Dreams In 6 Easy Steps
Step #1. Clarity:
Living a life by design starts with knowing what that is. Everything flows from the vision of your right and ideal private and professional life. Knowing what kind of life you want to create gives you unstoppable power. Clarity is key in the quest for life of your dreams.
Step #2. Eliminate:
Once you have a clear vision, you need to eliminate anything that is not in alignment with it. That means clearing out junk, clutter and energy drains to free up room and let your new vision in. This important step is often missed out in many “quick fix” books and training programmes. It’s very hard to stay focused on creating a new vision when your life is set up in a reactive way.
Step #3. Intention:
What you intend is what your life becomes because thoughts become things. Your intention is a specific statement of clarity containing what you want, why you want it, and when you want it by.
Step #4. Attention:
The habit of attention is a daily practice. This step is your most powerful creative tool in your tool kit. Remember, where focus goes energy flows. Therefore, it is important to build daily rituals, practices and habits into your life since these will help you to stay focus only on what you want – your intention.
Step #5. Action:
This step is not just about taking any kind of action – it’s about taking conscious action (not default actions). Taking action is about moving forward with your intentions – taking actions not reactions. Reaction is NOT action!
Step #6. Release:
Lastly it’s about letting go of your expectations of ‘how’ your intention and vision will manifest by ‘unsetting’ your head. This allows your heart to stay open and see the opportunities in everything you create in your life.
These are the six steps of deep blasting transformation – to creating the life of your dreams. Real success comes from the setting of new habits, disciplines and rituals – it’s the opposite of the “quick fix” which leaves so many people frustrated, disillusioned and cynical.
Below is a short case study of Steve and Lynda showing how they put each step into practice to achieve one of their big life goals. I’ve bracketed each of the six steps to make it easier to spot.
Steve & Lynda’s Story:
Two years ago Steve and Lynda sat down to seriously re-think their lives. A couple in their fifties, they sensed it was time to move to a new chapter in their life. Lynda wanted to bail out of her corporate PR job and make a living out of her passion for floristry. Steve wanted to spend more time on his beloved yacht, moored in the stunning Bala Lake in North Wales, whilst maintaining his business interests.
They started by creating a vision board, which contained images and sentences describing the life they aimed to create in the next three years (clarity). After careful consideration, they decided to scale back their lifestyle, sell their family home in North London and purchase a smaller two bedroom house close to Bala Lake in Gwynedd, Wales
This intended move required them to simplify their life and de-clutter (eliminate) a lot of ‘stuff’ they had collected over the years. Sorting everything out to fit the space they were planning to move into felt to Lynda both overwhelming and liberating. She couldn’t believe how much ‘stuff’ they owned!
Lynda and Steve set a specific goal (intention) to simply their life, find a property and move to Wales within the year. They were very clear on the type of home they wanted, including its appearance, the number of rooms and the size of the land surrounding the house. One of the requirements was for Lynda to have a little studio on the premises.
Due to the tough economic climate, selling the house in North London took a lot longer than expected and ultimately the sale price was not as much as Lynda and Steve would have liked. This was a disappointment and the couple had to find a way to make their new budget work. But, throughout all this time, they never lost sight of what they wanted to create for themselves (attention).
After a few months and lots of travelling back and forth from Wales looking at many different properties (action), they made an offer on a house. It was half a mile from the lake and met all the criteria they had set for their perfect home. No sooner had they popped the Champagne bottle open in celebration, than the real estate agent called to say the seller had accepted another offer. Another huge disappointment.
After discussing the loss of their dream home, they decided to let go, relax and trust that the right home was out there and would come to them (release). A week later their real estate agent called again. Another home had just become available. It was so new that the agent didn’t have any details; however Lynda and Steve decided to look at it the next day. The house was not only perfect, it was at walking distance from the lake and had an outbuilding that could be converted into a studio for Lynda. They made an offer there and then and it was accepted.
Twenty months after creating their vision board, Lynda and Steve moved to Wales to start their new life.
The moral of this story is that you can create a life by design and live the life you love – just follow these the six steps.
I’m not suggesting it’s easy, but it’s very rewarding, and that is the goal and that’s why I’ve written this blog post. I believe you deserve it. The bigger and more important question is, do you?
Are you ready to live the Life of Your Dreams?
If you are one of those individuals who are fed up with suffering today, struggling today, tackling challenge after challenge and feeling a victim of everything… then do yourself a favour, hit your reset button and start living your life by design.
About Colin Hiles:
Colin Hiles has more than 25 years as a performance coach and has helped CEO’s, sports stars, actors, and thousands of others take their personal and professional life to a whole new level.
Bonus Mindset Video – How To Train Your Mind To Stay Positive
Stop Living Life By Default – Start Living The Life of Your Dreams