Life Plan: Can you really be the chief designer of your life?

When people open up, most admit that they really struggle believing they can design and create a bright future for themselves.

Most of us have the experience where we initially start a new phase in our life with hope and excitement. Too often our aspirations lead to disappointment. That bright light we once had in our eyes, gets dimmer and dimmer. And, over time we lose hope and sometimes a portion of our self-esteem.

Most people begin believing in a future for themselves where they have no or limited control.

Life Plan

Life Plan: Do you really have the freedom and power to choose your future?

Early in my career, I worked at FranklinCovey.  It was a privilege to dig in and learn from Stephen R. Covey.  He had spent a lifetime helping people all around the world to improve their lives. 

Stephen R. Covey shared that of all that of all he taught, what was most meaningful and impactful to people was this – that they indeed are free to choose the direction of their lives.

He boldly declared that we each have the power to choose the direction of our lives, to reinvent ourselves, to change our future, and to powerfully influence the world. He emphasized this over and over again.

Stephen Covey wrote:   

Over the years in speaking to various groups, time and again I have had people come to me and basically say, “Please tell me more of my freedom and power to choose. Please tell me again of my worth and potential, that I have no need to compare myself with others.

“The thing that literally electrified their souls was the internal sense of their own freedom to choose. This was so delicious to them, so exhilarating, that they could hardly ponder it long or deep enough.”

What holds us back from believing we have the freedom to choose our future?

Life Planning?

1 – Genes – DNA: I’m limited in my capacity! 

For centuries the brain was completely misunderstood. Scientists believed the brain was like a machine and was a function of our genes. There was no way to change or improve our minds.  Either you lucked out, or you didn’t.  They later learned that that understanding was completely wrong.

Neuroscientists now clearly understand that what you think and imagine changes the structure of your brain – down to the very connections between the brain cells and even down into the genes. Your thoughts or activities turn certain genes on and others off inside the nerve cells – which then make proteins and then change the structure.

Brain Neurons

The assumption throughout history has been that top performers are simply born with superior natural talents. Anders Errisson has spent three decades researching top performers in countless fields.  He has determined that overwhelmingly the difference between top performances and the rest of us comes down to the quality and quantity of practice.

2 – Environment: I’m limited by my environment!

A difficult environment can make you stronger and more determined to contribute.  

You find that many of those throughout history who truly made the most meaningful contributions overcame what seemed to be impossible circumstances.  Consider Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Winston Churchill, Hellen Keller, Franklin D. Roosevelt.  They choose to live lives of deep purpose, despite the environment, handicaps, and other challenges they were confronted with. They rose up above their natural inhibitions and fears.

There is always hope. Abraham Lincoln considered giving up many times throughout his life. His life has challenging. His friends said he felt like committing suicide often. He struggled with overwhelming depression but learned to better master his emotions and turned his past experiences into powerful strengths that changed the United States of America and the world.

We are all prisoners with shackles to some degree. We hold ourselves back. Like Abraham Lincoln, we must first shed our shackles and open and walk out of the doors of our own prisons.

3 – God doesn’t want me to plan my future!

God does want me to develop a life plan?

Approximately 32% of the world and 63% of Americans are Christians.  Unfortunately, most view God as authoritative, critical, and distant.  Few see God as a loving Father who cherishes them.

Why is there so much suffering?

Most of us have struggled at some point trying to understand why life can be so unfair and cruel.  Why are there horrific tragedies?  Why is there so much pain and suffering? Why doesn’t God intervene when he sees those who rape, hurt, and kill?  Why does he allow for so much suffering?

Most of us have also seen God intervene and witnessed incredible miracles.  It isn’t always clear to us why at times he intervenes and other times he doesn’t.

Many wonder and question if there is a God

Many if there is a God.  Evolution seems to provide an alternative view – that our existence is simply the result of billions upon billions of random mutations where only the fittest survive.  

Questions we can only answer for ourselves

These are questions we can only answer for ourselves.  What we believe is our choice.

Agency

We have been taught that God has given man freedom of choice or moral agency.  The purpose of this life is to give us experience – good and bad – so that we can grow and learn the consequences of our choices and the choices of others. He doesn’t always interfere – so that we can learn.

We don’t want to experience pain and suffering in our life.  However, as much as we despise and hate it, we know that it purifies us.  It teaches us lessons we could learn no other way.  This life is only a stepping stone. 

Changing our perspective

One of the most important things we can do is change our perspective about God, so we can love him for who he really is.

Loving Father

Our God is truly our Father. He has perfect knowledge and power but doesn’t flaunt it. He seeks to provide rich opportunities for growth, and the space we need to learn on our own. This helps us to grow. He is a father who sets boundaries and teaches and inspires us to keep commandments – so we can experience true joy and to refrain from actions that bring us sorrow. He wants us to trust him and love him as he loves us.

No goals or plans?

Some believe that we shouldn’t have goals and plans and trust that he will tell us everything we should do.  They assume that God is always spontaneous and doesn’t plan and wants us to do the same.  Of course, he wants us to plan – so that we can create, learn and grow. At times, however, we need to be flexible and responsive to what asks of us.

Counsel with God in creating goals and plans

Prayer

Everything that God does is intentional and isn’t spontaneous. He wants us to set goals and plan and to seek his inspiration as we do.  The key is to counsel with him as we set goals and plans.      

It is love that motivates us most

Many point to Jesus and emphasize how he sacrificed his will and that we should do the same.  Christ prayed in the garden, “if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”  We should seek to develop the same trust that Christ had in our Father.

Why was the Savior willing to follow-through will God’s will?  Because of the overwhelming and perfect love he had for our Father. He was of one heart and mind with Him.  Jesus didn’t live a life of fear and simply comply with forceful commands.  He knew how much his Father loved him. He loved his Father with all of his heart, soul, and strength. We can’t imagine that love.

Jesus taught us what our Father is like through his example. Christ was healing, feeding, counseling, forgiving, teaching, uplifting, reprimanding and always serving.  He sacrificed his life for us.   

Jesus Christ

Jesus wasn’t forced to comply but chose to – despite the overwhelming pain he had to endure. It wasn’t fear that motivated him. He wasn’t forced to comply. It was the overwhelming love for His Father and for us that sustained him through the excruciating spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical pain he experienced.  It was his choice.

What does this mean for you and me? We can develop overwhelming love for God as Jesus did, and partner with Him in designing and building our future. He will strengthen us if we do. God loves us perfectly and doesn’t force his will. Sometimes life is hard and can be incredibly painful but it can be for our good.

The greatest gift you have is the ability and power to choose

Power to Choose

The greatest gift you have, next to your life, is the ability and power to choose.  You aren’t controlled by a predetermined fate or destiny.  You aren’t a victim of your genes or your environment.  Who you are and who you become is a product of your choice.  

You can and should develop your life plan. You can choose to be an agent for yourself. An agent is someone who decides to “act” and creates a positive future. Instead of waiting or hoping that the future will reward them, an agent understands that life is a precious gift. They roll up their sleeves and accept responsibility for their future. They establish a true purpose for themselves.

An agent is proactive. Stephen R. Covey describes “proactivity” as “more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives.” He explains that highly proactive people don’t “blame their circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior,” and they understand that “their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.” 

Trust that you can be who you yearn most in your soul to become

Most have allowed themselves to embed within their hearts and mind a false belief that they can’t become who they yearn most to be. To reach our full potential, we must shed that horrendous false belief. It binds us and makes us prisoners.

Noble Yearnings

You find that almost all of those throughout history who truly made the most meaningful contributions overcame what seemed to be impossible circumstances. They choose to live lives of deep purpose, despite the environment, handicaps, and other challenges. They rose up above their natural inhibitions and fears.

We can choose to be an agent for ourselves, or we can choose to be objects or victims of our circumstances. An agent is someone who decides to “act” and creates a positive future. Instead of waiting or hoping that the future will reward them, an agent understands that life is a precious gift. They roll up their sleeves and accept responsibility for their future. They establish a true purpose for themselves.

An agent is proactive. Stephen R. Covey describes “proactivity” as “more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives.” He explains that highly proactive people don’t “blame their circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior,” and they understand that “their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”

The world desperately needs you

You can choose to assume that you aren’t good enough and become swallowed up in insecurity and fear. We often cave in and let others around define us. We all struggle with these feelings. You can overcome these feelings and choose to focus on your purpose and make a powerful difference.

World Needs You

What the world desperately needs is people who understand the challenges and opportunities ahead, hold and cherish high values, and are passionate about making the world better in their own way.

With the right knowledge, habits, and system, you can become who you yearn most to be and fulfill your purpose. It needs you! You have a powerful purpose. You yearn to make the world better with the contributions that only you can make. Trust your noble yearnings. Develop your life plan and ask God for His inspiration as you do.

Create your life plan the right way

The Creating You Inc guidebook, course, and coaching help you to develop and implement a plan that deeply motivates you. You discover who you yearn most to be. You believe in yourself. You develop the actions and habits that are key to your success. You define a planning and follow-up system that excites and motivates you to progress each days towards your vision.

The principles and methods you review in Creating You Inc are deeply sound. They are founded upon evidence-based practices, natural laws, deep insights of experts, and the wisest.



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Topic: Life Plan

About The Author

David Willden

My name is David Willden. I am the author of Creating You, Inc. I want you to be who your soul yearns most to be. Have the courage and be that person. Don't allow anyone to take that from you! It is never too late.

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