Let’s explore together why it is worth living a more deliberate life and how to achieve that.
Imagine you’re on autopilot.
Your life is moving along, you’re doing your thing, but you’re just going through the motions. You’re not really present, not really engaged. You’re just… existing. Drifting.
That’s how a lot of us live our lives. But here’s a little secret: life’s a hell of a lot more fun when you’re actually participating.
And that’s where living deliberately comes in.
Living deliberately means making conscious, intentional choices about how you live your life. It means being present in the moment, being actively engaged in your own existence. It means choosing your own path, instead of just drifting along on the currents of habit or convention.
But why bother, right? Why go to all that effort? Isn’t it easier to just go with the flow?
Well, yeah, maybe.
But easier doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Think about it. When you’re just drifting, you’re not really in control of your life. You’re at the mercy of circumstances, other people’s decisions.
You’re reactive, not proactive.
You’re a passenger, not the driver.
But when you live deliberately, you get to call the shots.
You get to decide what’s important to you, what you want to achieve, how you want to spend your time.
You get to live on your own terms.
Plus, living deliberately brings a deeper sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. You’re not just skimming the surface of life; you’re diving deep, exploring, discovering.
You’re not just existing; you’re truly living.
So, how do you start living more deliberately?
First, you need to get clear on what you want.
What’s important to you?
What do you value?
What are your goals, your dreams, your aspirations?
Once you have clarity on these, you can start making decisions that align with your values and goals.
Get clarity, try the “Life Audit”.
Grab a sheet of paper, divide it into several categories like health, career, relationships, personal growth, hobbies, etc.
Now, on a scale of 1 to 10, rate your satisfaction level in each of these areas. This will give you a snapshot of where you’re at right now.
- What are the things I truly value?
- What do I want my life to look like in 5 years?
- If I had all the time and resources in the world, what would I do?
- What are the things that I keep putting off?
- What are the areas of my life I avoid thinking about?
Next, start being more present.
Stop, reflect, improve.
Be mindful of the moment.
Pay attention to what’s happening around you, what you’re doing, how you’re feeling.
Don’t just go through the motions; engage fully with your life.
Implement mindfulness practices in your daily routine.
Instead of mindlessly checking in with what’s on social media, check in with yourself.
Start with a simple 5-minute daily meditation where you just focus on your breath. Try mindful eating, where you focus entirely on the experience of eating, savoring every bite. When walking, feel your feet touching the ground and listen to the sounds around you. This is your opportunity to create some space between impulses and your reactions. This is where your agency resides.
- What am I feeling right now?
- What physical sensations am I experiencing?
- What is happening around me that I hadn’t noticed?
- What am I grateful for at this moment?
Finally, take action.
Living deliberately is not just about thinking; it’s about doing.
It’s about making choices and taking steps, no matter how small, towards the life you want.
Use the “2-Minute Rule” to overcome procrastination.
If it takes two minutes or less, do it immediately. For bigger tasks, just start by working on it for just two minutes. Often, this will help overcome the inertia and you’ll continue working longer.
Implement the “Time Blocking” technique.
Assign specific time slots for different tasks or activities during your day. This reduces decision fatigue and creates a structure that encourages focused work and minimizes distractions.
- What’s one small step I can take towards my goal today?
- What’s the most important task for me to focus on today?
- What’s holding me back from taking action?
- If I were to take action, what’s the worst that could happen? And can I deal with that?
So, there you have it.
Living deliberately might take a bit more effort, but trust me, it’s worth it. Because a life lived deliberately is a life well lived. And isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?
As Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture, just start with one small action.