What To Do With Your One Life

Nov 18, 2021
I've got some good news and I've got some bad news for you. The bad news is, we've only got one life but the good news is, you've got a choice on how you live that life.
Every morning you get to choose what you are going to do with this one, amazing, wonderful, gorgeous life of yours.

The Big Problem

Some of the biggest complaints I get from my clients when I start working with them is they just feel like they have a lack of control. They have too many responsibilities. Or they feel life is too chaotic. Let's break that down.
What does it really mean when they're complaining about these things? Let's have a look at the feeling of a loss of control for example:
  • They feel like their job just takes over and overwhelms their life.
  • They feel like they have to do certain things in order to make money in order to maintain a lifestyle.
  • They feel like they no longer have control over their time.

Quite often they'll say that's because of all their responsibilities. They feel responsible for children, responsible for partners, responsible for parents. It doesn't really matter what they feel responsible for, they wear it like a 10 tonne weight on their shoulders.

Finally, more and more people are talking about this sense of living in chaos. Covid hasn't helped on this one, but before that there were other macro challenges on a global scale that people took very personally. They couldn't see their way through that to design a life that they would really love.

The Choice Is Real

Despite the protestations, we all have choices. Some are less palatable than others, but acknowledging we are choosing is the first step to regaining our confidence.

Let's have a look at the money side of things. Quite often I'm working with people who are at various key milestones in their careers, trying to work out what do I do next? I've got this much income currently, I need to be earning at least that, if not more, with my next job. However, when we sit down and look at the numbers we often see a different story. We assess the outgoings, we look at how much money they need to earn to maintain their current lifestyle and then we look at the lifestyle and ask, "Is that what you want to preserve for the next decade? Or, is there something else that you'd like to have in the mix?"

Lifestyles come at a price, but not every lifestyle costs the same? Once we've looked at all the numbers, people start to see opportunities and maybe some different ways of doing things.

There are millions of ways to make money. There are millions of ways of doing something that will be fulfilling. Once you understand that, you stop worrying about the job that you have, secure in the knowledge you could leave tomorrow and find some work by the end of the day. Now, that work may not be exactly what you're doing now. It may not be in the same field. It may not be at the same level of income, but I can guarantee you'll find something to do while you're working out what you really want to do.

However, I'm not suggesting you have to leave your current job, but while you're there, you can look around. It's always easier to find a job when you're in a job.

The Lure of Safety

When we look at what's holding people back, why are they choosing to stay locked within a job, a routine, a lifestyle or a career they loathe, what's behind their choices is a desire for safety. It's a desire for security. A desire for assurance and predictability.

The key is to recognise what we're doing when we stay feeling stuck. We are making a choice. We've already made choices to stay where we are, to do what we're doing currently. This is our seed of opportunity. 

Once you realize that what you're doing has not been inflicted on you, your mind is freed up to think of so many other opportunities. It's in this context I wanted to introduce you to my L4 Framework. It's L4 because it's composed of 
  1. Live
  2. Love
  3. Learn and
  4. Leave one legacy.

This is a framework you can use to access your subconscious brain. We ask ourselves, "What would I truly love to do if I had all the time and all the money in the world?"

I know for many of you that's going to sound like some mad dream but stick with me because this works.

Format this as a sort of mind map, starting with you in the middle and branching out. Let your mind roam, free it up, there's no constraints. I talk about the framework in a lot more detail in my new book Dynamic Time Management but effectively all we're doing is accessing information that's been locked away, maybe an old dream, a forgotten ambition or a lost cause.

Under those headings of Live, Love, Learn and Leave one legacy we're simply writing down all the things that come to mind. What would I do? Where would I go? What would I buy? Who would I do it with?
The power of the L4 Framework is it helps you to identify some things that you can then turn into a goal. I talked about goals in last week's blog if you want to know how to make them stick but in essence, all we're doing here is extracting something from that life map and putting it on a new piece of paper. We ask ourself, "What's going to be a reasonable time in which I can achieve that?"
Then we break it down. "What do I need to do first?" "What will progress look like?"
Many people shout at me at this point and say; "Hold on, you said time and money was no object." But, guess what? Everything started as a dream. All we're doing here is giving that dream a date and then we can plan it out as a great goal.

Living a Great Life

I've got something even more important for you to consider doing with this one life of yours and this will transform every life into a great one.
Every morning and every night before you go to sleep, I want you to think about what are you grateful for. Quite often when people are talking to me about those barriers they put up like, I feel out of control, I feel like I've got too many responsibilities or I feel like life is chaotic, they're neglecting to look at all of the magnificent things that are happening in their lives. Some of those can be big and some can be small, but
very often those small ones make a big difference. What are you grateful for?
If you do this over a 30-day period, I can guarantee you will feel better about your life. At that point, come back and read this blog again and have a think about what you are actually gonna do with this one life of yours?
To listen to this blog, check out my podcast, The Change Show with Simon Phillips. You can find it on all your favourite podcasting apps. Here's the one on Spotify:

Simon Phillips' unique L4 Framework

Make every day count. The L4 Framework helps you create a successful life on your terms - energised, balanced, happy and fulfilled.

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