Become the Pebble in the Pond

‘I wish I earned more money. I wish I had more time to spend with friends and family. I wish I spent more time on the things that matter to me.’

You’d be amazed how often I hear these sentiments in my life. Of course, I also hear the usual complaints about work and stress – unfortunately, everyone has their fair share of that.

It’s perhaps one of the lingering effects of our post-pandemic, post-lockdown/self-isolating society: all too many of us have reverted to our default settings.

There is a fine line between living life by design versus living life by default.

My inboxes are littered with messages of being ‘stuck’ or feelings of exhaustion.

Not in the physical sense like one would feel after running a marathon. Rather, this sentiment seems to stem more from exhaustion of the repetition of a daily life that some feel they don’t have control over.

To live a life by design is about actively choosing how we want our lives to be, and making decisions that align with those desires. To live a life on default is to adopt monotony, to get by, to just accept the way life is and to stick with it whilst wishing things were different.

I don’t want to be a wisher, even though it’s nice to have grand ideas and dreams for the future. Instead, I choose to be a doer – someone who is actively creating the life they want to live.

And I want you to live a life by design too.

What does it mean to live a life by design?

If you’ve taken our course, or have been following me for a long time, you’ve no doubt heard me use the phrase.

Living a life by design means keeping it simple and living a life that you love. It’s about doing things that bring you joy, with people that you care about. And ultimately, it’s about bringing more love into this world.

‘Sounds like a load of BS, Layne.’

Hear me out.

I understand that it may seem impossible, or improbable or that the responsibilities of everyday life prevent you from designing a life you love.

Perhaps you simply reject that it’s possible or you’ve never seen someone who’s within your role modelling scope to sit back and say, “Oh, that’s what it looks like.”

But the truth is, I’m living proof.

I’ve designed my life to be what I want it to be. And you can too because the beauty of living by design, is you get to decide.

‘It’s not as easy as you make it sound.’

No, it’s not.

It takes time, effort and dedication. But here’s the thing: anything worth having is worth fighting for.

You may think that living a life by design is just for the wealthy, privileged few. But that’s simply not true. Living a life by design doesn’t have to mean jet-setting around the world or owning expensive cars and homes.

It’s about having clarity on what you truly desire in life and making conscious choices that align with those desires. It’s about creating a routine and structure that supports your goals and passions. And it’s about seeking guidance and support from those who’ve successfully designed their own lives.

You can’t be what you can’t see

Close the screen you’re using to read this and ask yourself: “What does the life that I love actually look like?”

If you can’t see evidence in your own life, can you see it in someone else’s life?

Look for proof that it’s accessible, no matter how minute the detail may be. If you can’t see the elements of a life you love within yourself, but you can see it within someone else, draw inspiration from that and then communicate with them. What are they doing? How are they doing it?

That’s what I did as a 17 year old, moving to California in search of becoming a world champion surfer.

I certainly didn’t have the ability to be a world champion, so I sought out mentors, I sought out the best of the best to analyse every single thing that they were doing to live their life by design to achieve the ultimate goal.

Why bother?

As I said, for me, living a life by design means doing the things you love, with the people you love, for the purpose of bringing more love into this world.

We can’t give what we don’t have. We can’t give energy if we don’t have energy. We can’t give love if we don’t love ourselves.

So it’s a matter of giving to yourself first and recognising that once you are doing that, once you’ve made yourself important, and prioritised yourself, then you will start creating concentric circles around you. You become the hub, the pebble in the pond, where each ripple shares the love that you give yourself and your life.

As we embark on a new year, I want to challenge you to become the pebble in the pond. To create a life by design that brings you joy and allows you to give love to yourself and those around you. It’s not an easy path, but it’s one that is worth taking.

Three Steps to Living a Life by Design

1. Self-Reflection:

  The first step is to engage in deep self-reflection. Understand your values, passions, and what brings you joy. Ask yourself, “What do I want my life to look like?” Be honest in your answers because this is about you and nobody else. This process will help you in defining your version of a life by design.

2. Make the time:

  Once you understand what you want, the next step is to set practical, attainable goals that align with your desires. Break down your larger vision into smaller, manageable chunks and define actionable steps to reach these goals. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That single step can be a daily or weekly activity that you currently don’t afford yourself the time to do. If it’s going to the beach once a week, write it down and start making the time for it.

3. Consistency and Resilience:

  The path to living a life by design is not always smooth. There will be obstacles and setbacks. However, it’s important to remain consistent and resilient. Don’t allow temporary setbacks to deter you from your path. Keep pushing forward, and remember that every step you take, no matter how small, brings you closer to your goal of living a life by design.

As the curtains close on the year that was, and we welcome the promise of a fresh start that a new year brings, it’s time to reflect and contemplate the life we’re leading. Has it unfolded by default, swept along by circumstances beyond our control? Or is it by design, sculpted by our choices, desires, and dreams? Here, we firmly believe in the latter – in living a life by design.

It’s what we strive for, promote, and teach. As you wind down for the year, take the time to reflect on your life and ask yourself: “What does a life I love look like?”

Wouldn’t it be empowering to consciously craft the life you love, rather than settling for one that simply happens to you? Let’s dive in and design together.

Have a safe and happy holidays! See you in 2024.

Layne xx

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