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Create the life you want

Jamieson Van Loan

My 37th birthday is a couple weeks away and it always becomes an introspective time of the year for me. I like to analyze my past year and review what I went through and how far I’ve come. The successes, the failures, the love, the laughter, the joy, the pain, the anger, the worry and all of this converges in my (hopeful) growth. This year has been by far my biggest leap. I’m fairly certain I’ve grown more this year than the past decade altogether. I entered my 36th year with a lot of pain and sadness and struggle. I now enter my 37th year with happiness, love and joy. I learned to combat the lows in life with persistent gratitude, a very humbling self awareness and truly accepting that which I cannot control.

(Sidebar: to anyone going through a difficult time: I promise you, it will be ok. I never believed people when they told me that last year, but I am living proof it is. There is always a light to be found in the dark. Life may chew you up and spit you out but it’s up to you to change your path: not your direction necessarily, just the path to get there.)

To build on last week’s rant about leaving your autopilot life behind and living a life with intention, I want to chat about reaction versus creation. I realized that I spent a lot of my life in reaction, rather than with creation or intention. I am constantly rolling with the punches. I am going with the flow. I always say that a small business owner's overall job is problem solving, putting out fires, and I typically just spend my day going through the motions and dealing with what is thrown at me. 

I am a firm believer in following the universe and the signs around me. I tend to look to the universe and these signs as a guiding force. These signs and situations tend to be how I forge my path. This "let the universe guide me" has been a wonderful way to move through life, but this upcoming year, I want to take a different approach. Even with the universe in my corner, I want to be more definitive about what I want and focus on getting to those goals. I want to stop reacting to what the world is giving me. From now on, I want to create the world I want. I want to pick and choose how and who I spent my energy with. I want to clarify my objectives and only take steps towards them. I want to stop being reactionary in life and really hone in on creating the life that I want. I am going to be proactive. No more reactive living.

We all have goals that we are working towards. But how often are you getting sidetracked? Or they are completely tossed aside sometimes? I often find myself extremely motivated one week and very lackadaisical the next. Or my goals go off into tangential smaller goals and I've lost the entire focus by the end of it. Not anymore. 

So how am I going to stay motivated and focused to create the life that I want versus the life handed to me? Baby steps. That's right. Every day I am going to do little, seemingly insignificant steps towards the larger picture. And by the time 38 rolls around, I am going to have checked off every single thing on that goals list. This rant is my contract. You are my witnesses.  

But at the same time, I have to focus on being happy in the present. It’s an interesting balance. Wanting a different life but being happy with how you’re currently living. And trust me, I am beyond happy right now, but I think it's ok to feel both. It’s ok to be content with your current status but also be working towards a different one. This is how we advance.

What I decided to do this upcoming trip around the sun is to do my best to stay happily present every day while taking my baby steps towards my bigger goals. Maybe just as important, is to not fixate on the final results but enjoy the process. Analyzing the future (honestly the silliest thing we can do) only brings on anxiety and stress. The most reliable way for me to predict my future is just to create it and this is my vow to do so.

Care to join me?

Be love. Share love.