Your life is your own design. Sure, outside forces do a lot to shape the person you become, as do the resources available to you, but at the end of the day, it’s the way you live your life that decides the life you have.
The things you did and the things you didn’t do are what have gotten you to where you are now. If we wish to create the life we want, we have to do our best to be critical of what makes up our life.
Because if you don’t critique the life you’ve already created, you won’t be able to make the changes necessary to create the life you wish to have.
1. Your work
For most people, working for a living isn’t so much a choice as it is a necessity.
This often lands us in a position we don’t really want to be in. It’s true; sometimes you need to do things you don’t especially want to do, but nevertheless, you ought to always do your best to work toward your dream job.
If you’re going to spend a significant portion of your life working, the smart thing to do would be to find something you enjoy doing for work.
2. Your hobbies
Everyone needs some way of spending time outside of sleeping, eating and working. The problem is that many of the things we choose as hobbies do more damage than good.
A hobby should be both enjoyable and beneficial. Try learning something you always wanted to learn.
Ideally, you want to turn your hobby into your job -- but not everyone can do that, so it’s important to make sure you have a good balance between work and productive fun in your life.
3. Your friends
Friends can either be the support that helps you achieve great things or the hammer that sends you crumbling to the ground.
Most people make friends who are poisonous to their lives. And obviously, that means many individuals are poisonous individuals -- both continually poisoning their own lives and the lives of those they consider friends and/or family.
The truth is that you are who you eat with; if you surround yourself with stupid, confused and ignorant individuals, then that’s exactly what you will become. Hell, if these are the types of friends you keep, you’re clearly already there.
4. Where you live
Most people like to live where they grew up -- it makes them feel comfortable and maybe even a bit nostalgic. I can understand that. There’s nothing wrong with living where you’ve lived your whole life -- as long as that’s where you want to live.
You ought to live where you’ll be happiest and most comfortable. But don’t think that because you lived in one place for most, if not all, of your life that you can’t move somewhere else and make a fresh go of it.
5. Your health
This one, to me at least, seems like the most obvious. Your health is literally your life. If you lose your health, you lose your life.
Yet, most people seem not to care. They’ll eat whatever they want -- no matter how disgusting or harmful. They’ll consume poisons that flood their lungs and liver. Some won’t even bother to exercise.
“Everything in moderation”; sure, but are you sure you understand the meaning of moderation?
6. How you blow off steam
We all have our own way of letting off steam. Some run, others hit the gym. Some get a drink; others smoke some bud.
Some read a book, watch TV, hit the punching bag or masturbate. The luckiest of us blow off steam by having sex. Whatever way you blow off steam, try to keep it on the healthier side. And be sure to let off steam when you need to.
Keeping too much anxiety and frustration bottled up inside makes you incredibly inefficient.
7. Who you date
You should be critical of the people you date before you find the one. The point of the experimental phase is to experiment -- to find out what you like and what you don’t like, what you’re looking in a partner and what you’re looking to avoid.
Don’t get stuck dating the same type of person over and over again; it’s clearly not working. Try something new, someone better.
8. The person you choose to spend your life with
This is the one thing everyone should be most critical of.
First off, marriage is a privilege, not a necessity and not a given. You don’t have to get married, nor are you guaranteed to find someone worth marrying.
Never get married unless you are certain that this person is the one you love. Marrying the wrong person will ruin a large portion of your life. Saying “I do” is not a decision you should make lightly.
9. The path you follow in life
If you don’t know where you are going, it’s time to figure it out. Don’t wait until tomorrow, because every minute you don’t know where you're headed is a minute you spend heading in the wrong direction.
You don’t need to know your destination -- no one ever really knows, anyway -- but you should know the direction you're heading in. If it helps, draw yourself a map.
10. Your values and your beliefs
What’s important to you? What do you consider unimportant? All people should have a well-outlined ethical code they live their lives by. You already have a set of rules you live by; take some time to better understand and adjust them.
Alternatively, there are some things in life you'll never know. Sometimes you have to believe; you have to have faith. Because what we believe about the unknown defines us as the beings we are more than anything else. What you believe about what you don’t know is what makes you, you.
It guides every action in your life and outlines your perception of the world. At the same time, though, blindly believing things that aren’t true can lead you down a path you shouldn’t travel.
11. Your choices
Some of us make the same poor decisions time and time again, hoping for different results. It's the definition of insanity.
If you don’t love the life you're living, it’s most likely because you're making bad life decisions. Don’t just act. Stop and dissect your decisions.
Look at all your options and decide which will get you the outcome you are looking for. Set your emotions aside and use logic to your advantage.
12. Your reality
We all perceive the world in different ways and we each have our very own worlds we believe to function in a specific manner.
Very often, our perception of the world around us won’t match the actual world around us. Our realities lead us to draw conclusions that don’t actually exist.
Sometimes this can be beneficial -- many of the world’s greatest leaders lived in their own version of reality. However, it’s only useful if your reality can successfully function in the real world. Mold your reality to best serve your needs.
13. How you spend your time
Time is the most valuable resource in the world. If you could tap into and sell time, you’d be the wealthiest person in the universe. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured that one out yet. So until someone does, spend the little time that you have wisely.
It is very little time, you just don’t realize it yet. Let me know if you agree on the day you run out of it.