Embrace the Creative: How to Design Your Ideal Life


Everyone has a creative process.

Even if you’re not a “creative” person, you still have your own way of doing things that is entirely unique to you. This applies to how you make a cup of coffee to how you build your empire.

When it comes to my own career, the creative process has made the difference between a so-so result and one that has a serious wow factor. While end results are often the focus, I’ve learned from the process. I’ve figured out what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly, while I still work hard, putting in the necessary time to be successful, I’ve figured out how to work smarter. I’ve become more efficient with my time and leveraging my resources creatively to accomplish more.

Just as we apply this creative way of thinking to our work, we can use a new way of thinking to design our ideal lives.

Everyone has an idea of what they’d like their lives to look like. The enhanced version of an ordinary life that has you jumping out of bed everyday, psyched to make breakfast, brush your teeth, go to work and do everything that comes along with the day.

Living on purpose is one that is intentional, but we often slink to a lesser version of what we think is normal and never reach any higher potential, because…that’s the story we’re led to believe. That’s the “safe” place. Understand that not only is this not true, it’s not safe.

But you define your normal. You also define your ideal. And just as we design our homes, we can design our ideal lives to reflect exactly what we desire. We can use our creative way of thinking to start changing our circumstances and reach an entirely new way of being.

Be a Designer

Define your idea of satisfaction.

Get honest with yourself. We live in a delusional state most of the time. Since we are taught to be thankful for what we have, we often reduce our thinking to: “Things aren’t really that bad,” or “I should really just be grateful for what I have.” These are the messages we get — from our mothers, our teachers, our partners and society in general — and they make us feel bad or ungrateful if we dwell on what we want or what we don’t have, because…don’t we have enough? This way of thinking is an invitation to be unsatisfied. Just like our homes, where every single room should be different, you aren’t a cookie cutter version of the next person. You have the opportunity to design your own life. Don’t be satisfied. Be fucking thrilled.

Make it your own.

So, what does your ideal life look like? If you could stop following the status quo and stop being okay with being comfortable because everyone else is doing the same thing, how would life be different? What would it take for you to step out and be a maverick in your own life and discover what it is you really want? Squash the fear and define exactly what you want, down to the smallest detail. Plant one foot in the ground and tell yourself: “I matter. I’m important. I want my life to be a reflection of that.”

Stop fitting into a box.

The fear of fully being alive keeps you locked in a cage. We think the same thoughts and most of the time live some version of the same day over and over. We settle for less than exceptional. Take children, for example. The way they get up in the morning, a starfish of limbs and babble, the excitement they have to do anything, the refusal to go to sleep because they just don’t want to miss anything…This is living. But we are still those children. Our “inner child” never goes away; he or she is just buried. We have simply become so detached from that excitable version of ourselves, it’s hard to resurrect without breaking out of the box. But you have to. Break. Out. Of. The. Box.

Find your life team.

The only way to combat the humdrum of daily life is to get the right people around you. Who do you invite on your journey? These are the people who believe in you but who don’t let you take it easy. These are the people you are open with but also allow to call you out and deal with your own defensiveness. These are people you can be honest with and who will help you define consistency, encourage your discipline and hold you accountable to your dreams.

At the end of the day, this path is yours. Your “why” is your own. Your dreams are singular, and they are possible. Be discerning. Don’t settle. Take the steps you need to elevate your life, whether that’s hiring a life coach to help you clear out the negative clutter, or trying something new to garner different results.

Allow the process to happen. Don’t resist it. Get radical!

The time — your only time — starts now.

Lindsey Cavanaugh