Are you living by default or design?

Are you living by default or design?

I arrived in Sydney this afternoon to do a segment on the national talk-show Sunrise. I’m usually put up at the same hotel but this time, I elected to stay at a place I’d never been to before. Not knowing Sydney particularly well, I was a bit disoriented about where I was. But rather than ask for directions, I headed out for an afternoon walk without any clear sense of where I was walking. I didn’t overly care. It was, after all, just a short afternoon walk. However as I strolled along, it made me think an old saying I’ve long loved:   “If you don’t know where you are heading, any old road will take you.” Likewise, if you aren’t sure about where you want to go, it’s highly possible that you will not like where you end up.

Too often we get so caught up in the busy-ness of living, that we don’t take time to ask ourselves whether the direction we are traveling in taking us somewhere we truly want to go – somewhere that inspires us, bringing meaning to our days and purpose to our lives. Regardless of where you are in your life right now, I encourage you to take some time to think about what you really want for yourself in life – in your career or business, your marriage, family, health and fitness, finances etc. Visualize what your “ideal future” would look like 3 years from now, 5 years from now… 15 years from now. What lights you up? What makes you feel like you are living the life you were born to live?

Of course there are many factors that we have no control over. However, the most important ones we do. And those who succeed in creating fulfilling lives, are those who are thoughtful about what matters most to them and conscious of the power they have to choose their response to whatever circumstance they find themselves in. They are purposeful in the actions they take, vigilant of the emotions that can derail them, and intentional about live their life by design rather than by default.

As we fast approach the half way point for 2013, invite you to cast your mind ahead to the end of this year, think about the top three things you’d really like to accomplish, pursue or change in the intervening months. Perhaps you’d like to polish up your resume. Perhaps to embark toward an aspiration you’ve long caste aside – too busy, too little time, too much effort.  Perhaps you want to plan a special event our getaway for the people you love most in your life.

Albert Camus once said that our life is the lump sum of our choices. I hope that as you move forward in the week ahead, the choices you make will honor what is most important to you and take you further in the direction of your greatest dreams and aspirations – that you will live your life by design, rather than by default.

Speaking of which, I think I will get out my map of Sydney so that when I get up tomorrow morning, I can walk through a park, rather than around office buildings!