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Why You Should Design Your Life


 

"Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it."


-James Clear

 

I'm sure my face is red. I'm frustrated and borderline angry. I just want to know what I'm supposed to do. It's my final year of college and two of my professors just asked me what I want to do next year, but I don't know. I didn't grow up in a situation where there was a lot of choice. I just lived my life like a reptile - moving from opportunity to opportunity without any thought. Now I have these guys asking me where I want to go, but I'm clueless. So clueless, in fact, that it's uncomfortable. I'm learning that I have permission to figure out who I want to be and what I want to do.


A few years later I've decided that I want to be the kind of person who drinks martinis at jazz clubs. I want to learn more about wine and understand the differences between the grapes, vintages, and growing processes. This is kind of fun, but it's not really me. The more I learn about wine, the more I appreciate more expensive wines. But before learning about it, I was perfectly happy drinking cheap wine. More knowledge is simply costing me more money. Plus, no matter how hard I try, I can't get myself to enjoy martinis. This is the lifestyle that many of my work colleagues live and I want it, but it's not real. I'm learning that it's beneficial to pick a life that I want to live, rather than being influenced by society and my peers.


A decade later, I still enjoy wine and jazz, but I've learned I also enjoy outdoor concerts with a gin and tonic. I enjoy being out in nature, going on hikes, walks, runs, and bike rides. I enjoy being active. I want to be the kind of person who reads every day for at least an hour. This is what works for me and not necessarily anyone else, and I'm comfortable with that. I'm also comfortable knowing that my preferences will likely change again at some point.


Designing our lives doesn't mean picking something and sticking with it no matter what. It's about constantly learning about ourselves and what we want out of life. What we want out of life will change, and that's okay, but it's important to have some flags in the ground to move towards.


design your life

Life is Finite

If you think about it, you're very, very lucky to be here. You get to enjoy life. On top of that, we understand that we are going to die. Many don't like talking about it, but that doesn't change the fact. You get a few dozen trips around the Sun. Thinking about life through this lens means that there are some hard-to-swallow pills. Namely, we are going to die, and everyone we love is going to die.