Crafting a life you love is deliberate. It means working like an artisan, honing, carving, working, while loving the process and the imperfections. It means saying “yes” to what moves your heart and “no” to shoulds and obligations. It’s about honoring who you truly are and what you love.
Here are six ways to craft a life you love:
1. Honor your passions or curiosities.
I get it. Life is busy and there are many things clamoring for your attention.
But if you want to craft a life you love, you make you and your passions a priority. A simple step will be allocating 30 minutes on a Saturday morning to doing what you love instead of rushing off to another errand or watching a show on Netflix. By doing this, you’re signaling to yourself that you matter, that your needs and desires are important.
2. Learn and grow everyday.
Find a way to learn everyday. This can be a new skill or even an exploration of an emotion.
For example, your boss makes a presentation. Instead of tuning out her voice and answering email on your phone, see what makes her way of presenting so effective and compelling. Listen to the words she chooses. Look at her body language. Then incorporate these into your own presentations so you can get better.
Another example: You’re feeling frustrated. Instead of rushing to Viber your office barkada about your annoying colleague again, why don’t you examine the feeling? Why are you feeling frustrated? What is this interaction trying to teach you? How can you grow from this experience?
Look at life as a learning opportunity, not just a collection of mundane moments while living for the weekends or for travel.
3. Build habits that make you better.
You can choose habits that make you better or you can choose what’s easy.
When we make a commitment to building a habit, that removes another decision from our life. You automatically do what’s good for you (brush your teeth, exercise, meditate, spend time with your family, save money). Your body, your spirit, your willpower know exactly what to do, without wasting time on why spending another 30 minutes on social media or binge-watching on Netflix is better for your life than the habits you’re trying to build.
If it’s important to you (living long enough to spend time with family, saving up money to see the world, starting your own business), then building the habits to make these happen must be a priority.
If you want to get started on building better habits, read this book.
4. Listen to yourself.
Spend time getting to know you and falling in love with yourself again.
One of my favorite ways to do this is to journal. Writing (especially while using journal prompts) helps clarify what I truly want instead of just mindlessly following what everyone else seems to desire. Here are some journaling prompts to get you started.
Knowing myself, why I do what I do and falling in love over and over with my life has been such an invaluable part of my journey to crafting a life I love.
5. Build your courage muscle.
Do something that scares you. Ask someone you respect to be your mentor. Speak up when you don’t agree with something. Follow the untrodden path. Take a leap of faith.
Doing small acts of courage will help you get more comfortable with discomfort. It will show you the limitations of safety and comfort and the possibilities that lie beyond the fear. It will allow you to take more courageous steps in saying yes to living a life you love.
In the book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert tells the story of a poetry professor who understood how marvelous the world is and had the capacity to share its marvels with his students.
“Most of all, though, he asked his students to be brave. Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, their lives would remain small—far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
6. Be grateful.
Be grateful for your life. Focus on its abundance, its beauty, its grace. Focus not on its lack, its failings, its misery. By being grateful, you will draw more of what you want in your life and see your life for the miracle that it is.
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