A Life By Design, Not a Life By Default

A few weeks ago, I did a live appearance on QVC with Tony Robbins. It was live television and not scripted. One of the things he asked me was, “what have you done with your life?”. In my answer, I was explaining to him that people come up to me all the time and say things like “Wow, Stacey, you are glowing…you radiate happiness. What’s up with that, how do you do that?” I explained to Tony how I always give the same answer…”I live a life by design, not a life by default.”

If you watch the clip here, you can see by Tony’s reaction that he knew exactly what I meant. That’s because he too, lives a Life by Design.

Since that QVC appearance, people have been coming up to me and asking me what a Life by Design means. Even more so, many people have said “I get the feeling I’m living that ‘life by default’ that you mentioned, but I’m not even sure what that is”.

So I thought that I would talk about that with you today.

A great way to understand what a Life by Design is begins with understanding a Life By Default.

What is a Life By Default?

A Life by Default is the life that most people are living (myself included years ago). It’s the person we have become as a result of our life experiences and how we have responded to them. It’s not a life of our conscious choosing, it feels more like the life we fell into.

For example, the child who is able to distract his unhappy mother by telling jokes and making her laugh continues to be “the funny guy” today. The girl who grew up in a house full of complainers, is also a complainer because that’s just how everyone communicated in her home, it comes naturally to her. Or the boy who grew up in a household where there was very little money and the parents were always fighting and stressed. That boy grows up vowing never to be needy, gets a job as an accountant, and easily makes six figures shortly after graduating college.
It’s the simple concept of pain and pleasure. We have an experience, we learn, we adapt, we survive. Who we become is in REACTION to the meaning we give our life experiences. We live a Life by Default. It’s the life we fell into, but not one we would say we “chose”.

What is a Life by Design?

A Life by Design is when the unfulfilled and unhappy accountant takes a good look at his life. He realizes that he hates his job. He wonders what his purpose in life is. He seeks out the person he truly wants to be and discovers that his passion is actually writing. Looking back at his life, he sees all the times when he delighted in effortlessly writing things as a kid, the school writing projects that were his happiest memories, even writing reports for work were the best days for him. He realizes that he never embraced writing because growing up he always heard that “poor-artists” never make it and it wasn’t a stable living. He remembers overhearing his relatives saying that making lots of money was incredibly rare for writers, that most writers never get published and can’t get a “real” job.

From that moment on, the accountant finds himself thinking about writing, a lot. He starts researching successful authors. He Google’s ‘how to be a published author and make millions’ and finds an Author’s Bootcamp weekend course. He finds a coach who teaches people how to write a book in three days. He makes the declaration to be an author that day. He feels the exhilaration of creating a Life by Design. He’s stepping into who he really is, who he was meant to be, his authentic self, and it feels SO right!

On that day, that man starts living a Life by Design.

I think we can all relate to this experience. Where we can look at an area of our lives and we know it’s “just not me”. When you have that knowing, you are living a Life by Default in that area. On the other hand, when you can look at an area of your life and decide what you want, decide who you will be, set a new standard for yourself, seek out the masters of success in that area, find the resources, model the best and create the life you want…then you are living a Life by Design…a life of your own choosing!

How does one begin to live a Life By Design?

There’s no need to get overwhelmed. You can simply look at one area of your life at a time, not the whole thing. Just focus on one area, pick one – your physical body, your spirituality, your financial abundance, your business or mission, your relationships or your intimate relationship.

Take an honest look at where you are now, that’s Point A. Design where you want to be, courageously, that’s Point B. Seek out the masters of success in this area who have repeatedly and successfully helped people to navigate from A to B and are blazing the path to Z!!! Learn from them, model them, read their books, watch their videos, listen to their stuff. Take their decades of development and growth and digest it in a few days, weeks or months.

The amount of fulfillment, growth, bliss and peace you will feel from CREATING a Life by Design will leave YOU ecstatic every day too!!!

Notice I said, from Creating, not having! You don’t need to wait until you HAVE a Life by Design and you’re at Point B. The joy is in the progress of creating your Life by Design. It is the process of being on the path…not the achievement, that will have you GLOWING every day too!!!

This is why I walk around “glowing” and “radiating”. This is why I am SO HAPPY! Every day, I am living more and more of my Life by Design! In our QVC appearance, Tony got that immediately, you can see it in his knowing smile…because he too “radiates happiness”.

For me, Tony is one of my mentors who is blazing that trail for me. I am delighted, proud and ecstatic today to be a mentor for others too, by blazing the Love and Passion trail, and helping so many people go from A to B and all the way to Z….creating magnificent love affairs at every step along the path!

So, I have to ask…what is the one area where you will begin to create a Life by Design today? Where have you identified a GAP between where you are now and where you want to be? One more question, what massive action will you take, before leaving this page, to take a giant step forward in creating YOUR Life By Design?

20 thoughts on “A Life By Design, Not a Life By Default

  1. Stacey, this is so clear and so well said that I will share it on my page for my friends to see and understand the distinction between a life by default and a life by design. I will take massive action in my business to coach leaders achieve strategically without struggle.

    1. Thank you so much Irina!!! I am so honored and touched! So glad this served you!!! I look forward to hearing more about your massive action helping leaders!!

  2. Stacey, I guess I was unconconsciously asking for an “oomph” today to get back on the Design Track. This was it. Thank you for your energy, your authenticity, you’re giving permission to Live By Design!

    1. You are quite welcome Elaine!! And thank you for your lovely comment! I’m so thrilled that this message served you today! Go live your life by design!!!

  3. I think my problem has been. i know what i want to do. i just dont know how to get there, or who to turn to to help get me there.

    1. Congratulations Theresa!!!! Most people are struggling with not knowing what they want! Good for you that you know!! In my experience, if you know what you want, and you know where you are, the best way to get from Point A to Point B is to model someone who has already successfully done exactly what you want to do! If you need strategies, accountability or quick results, then get an amazing coach to ensure outstanding results!!! Good for you Theresa! Keep me posted sweetie!!!

  4. Stacey, is it too late to say thank you? I went away to my Mastermind last week, and set my Gotta Have It Goal, which you have helped me to shape…and which will bring me leaps and bounds closer to my Life By Design. Amen!

  5. Truth never expires. I stumbled on your site by default but I’ve become more conscious of the life by design. This article is as fresh and inspiring as though it were written just this morning.
    I have goals but my major problem has been procrastination, but right now, I have decided to live my life based on a good design.
    I’m also very inspired how you have time to respond to every single comment. You are worth listening to.

    1. Wonderful Julie! So thrilled this article serves you!!! Living your life based on good design is a fantastic decision! Bravo!!! Happy to have you in our community! Thanks for sharing here!!!

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