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wikiHow to Design a Life of Your Choice

One Methods:The exercise for designing your life

A lot of us tend to take life for granted, "taking life as it comes" and using that to justify inaction or lethargy. We think that everything will fall into place by itself, eventually The truth is, most people discover what they don't want, without a clue as to what they really want in life.

Almost everyone wants a dream life, but few know where to begin, and end up just taking the path which is most hassle-free. This includes following the crowd, where everyone ends up just like everyone else. After few years down the line, doing this causes us to stop and wonder what has happened to our life, suddenly realizing that the path we've traversed doesn’t lead us to the desired destination.

We all know we want something. Words like financial freedom, wealth, and lifestyle are catchwords that everyone is using. But do we know what it actually means? Do we know what it takes to achieve that? Do we know how or where to get it? The difference is, between allowing the life to dictate to us, and designing the life to run as per our dictates. It is essential to design the life you want to live. Is it possible? Yes it is, and here is how to go about it.


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    Don’t take your life for granted. It is a human tendency to allow life to drift, and to expect everything to settle down and be in total harmony, eventually. If you wish to reap good quality fruits, sow quality seeds now!.
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    Be specific about what you want in life and from life. If your goal is to climb Mount Everest, you should know where it is located, the altitude, the oxygen supply, mountaineering techniques, best time, weather, and the equipment. Similarly, you should be specific about what you want from life, where and how you can get it, what are the efforts you need to fulfill the needs, and the time and equipment needed. Don't sally forth blindly without goals and signposts or be unequipped.
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    Take risks, but don’t leave things to chance. It is a well known fact that without venturing and taking risks, not much can be achieved. It is good to take risks, but before taking risks, make an objective assessment of pros and cons, the gains and losses, the investment, the returns, and the time required. Remember, you cannot get the lost time back, you cannot unwind the clock. Time is the one resource of which there is always plenty but which can never be restored once passed.
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    Follow people worth following. It is common for people to follow the path of least resistance. It's a path that almost everyone follows because it's commonplace to follow the crowd and do what others do. Unfortunately, more often than not, the crowd may not know where it is going, and if so, then everyone ends up like everyone else, wondering what has happened to their life many years down the road! The crowd is indulged with such frivolities as reality TV and sitcoms, bestsellers, and the conformity of fads, which encourages competitiveness, and often an extreme focus on fun and exhibitionism with rarely a moment for reflection––while a little indulgence of this sort is entertaining, it rarely shows us the deeper meaning of life and how to find our own sense of direction. Therefore, it is prudent to use discretion even while following good people.
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    Spend time to chalk out the path of your life. Remember, you only have one life, and it's no dress rehearsal; it’s only going to happen once. There is no leeway to say “Cut, let’s start it all over again.” Take the time right now to work out a design for your life. If life were a movie, and you were the producer and actor, what role would you want to play and how would the plot unfold? Designing your life is like making a movie. You have to be able to envision the end at the beginning. It may start off a little hazy, but as you continue working on it, it will become clearer and clearer. You’ve got to write the script, put in the characters. Use your imagination; let your creative juices flow. Most of the time, the most creative ideas can lead to the most sensible outcomes, if you let yourself follow them.
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    Make concrete plans, but keep them flexible enough to be able to change them according to need and the situation. As the producer of your life, you can change, delete, or add in anything you want in your project. But at least by going through this exercise of designing your life, you are in control of your circumstances, rather than allowing yourself to become a victim of them. So do not hesitate to change your path, if the circumstances warrant.
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    Don't make the mistake of choosing what’s easy over what you really want to do. What you want may not necessarily be easy. Make a choice in terms of doing what matters to you most.[1]

The exercise for designing your life

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    Find a nice quiet spot where you will be undisturbed for at least 20 minutes.
    • Equip yourself with a pencil and a new notepad or booklet that will become your “Life Book”.
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    Draw a time line across a page, from now to say five years on.
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    At the left end of the time line, write “Present State”; at the right end, write “Desired State”. On the left end, describe as accurately as you can your Present State. Ask questions like:
    • a. What am I doing now?
    • b. What is my income, if any?
    • c. Do I like what I do?
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    On the right side, under Desired State, describe as clearly as you can what you would like to see five years from now. Ask yourself, if I can’t fail...
    • a. What do I really want to be?
    • b. What do I want to have?
    • c. What will my life be like?
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    Between the Present State and Desired State, mark on the time line. Then ask:
    • a. What must I do to get what I want?
    • b. Who can help me?
    • c. What skills do I need?
    • d. What resources do I need?
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    Note that the first time you try this exercise, you may not get all the answers you want. If you do this exercise daily for some time, you will end up with a pretty good design for your life. You will know where to get what you want, what to do, who can help you (and who you can help), and so on.


  • Take charge of your life now. If not now, when?
  • Try to be as happy as you can. Even the tiniest of changes can make a difference. Don't like your pillow? Change it. Little by little can help you reach a goal.
  • When you achieve a life's goal, do it again. You'll be better at it and it'll still be that much fun. There are always new challenges.
  • Think carefully about when to settle down and have kids. Children become the center of most people's lives once they arrive and will demand enormous amounts of time and resources.
  • And when you succeed, write a “How to” article and help build ladders for other's success, based on your experience and what worked for you. People who really want to improve their lives will listen.
  • Don't assume that you'll find the right life partner in the scheduled year or that the relationship will come out well. Having a plan for when to start looking is all the control you have on that area of life.
  • Never stop working on your project to design your life. You keep going back to the “Life Book” you have created; it’s a “project in progress”, for the time of your life.
  • Live somewhere that you love. Don't waste your life on a climate you hate or in a region you don't fit in.
  • Talent is enthusiasm, though some things have physical requirements like health or eyesight, most things people do really require years of training and practice. A passion for the work itself is what it takes to be the person who did sell a novel or get into the movies or go around the goal.
  • Be kind to those around you for no thought of getting anything in return.
  • It isn't always about things or money, though money is important. Chances are what you want to do is something you have some natural advantages in if you think about it. Strong or nimble people are drawn toward sports, those not so physically talented are drawn to the sport in a different way or lean toward something else. It's vital to understand what you need to do to make your heart goals real, it has nothing to do with whether other people think you can do it.
  • Take time to re-evaluate your life. The only thing fixed is change. Your relationships, values, goals all change. Are you happy now? Be happy. Do what you need to do to be real!


  • Repeated failures may frustrate you. You need to take a break and start the work when you are fresh again.
  • You need to be very patient. Ideas may not come at the first attempt. Keep repeating the exercise.
  • Life happens. Children come along, or your life partner's goals sound more interesting than yours did, or you discover what you first wanted was unsatisfying when you got there. This last is very common if you're acting on goals set by other people, it's possible to spend whole decades pursuing goals that don't fit and look back to realize that's not who you are at all. It's never too late to start over until you're dead. This planning process is a good way to deal with it if you are in your fifties looking at the wreckage of a life that followed someone else's plan.
  • You should not be overawed by the huge initial success. It is possible that the goals set in your life book may be humble in the initial stages.
  • Your performance at times may not the match the standards set in the plans. Keep assessing your performance, work on improvements and try to bring it closer to your goals in the life book.

Things You'll Need

  • A notebook
  • Pencil/pen
  • A nice, quiet place to think

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