3 Important Questions You Need To Ask Yourself To Create The Life You Want

by
LAURYN

EVERYONE WANTS A LARGER PLAN, RIGHT?

But really, life is full of decisions- so many forks in the road. What road to choose? It’s a question I am consistantly asking myself. Should I? Or shouldn’t I?

When creating The Skinny Confidential I looked up to a bunch of people- people I still look to today. One of them is Ryan Holiday. You know I love his work so much because I’m always reading his books ( his latest is so juicy, grab a copy here ) & we even interviewed him on TSC HIM & HER Podcast. Anyway, Ryan wrote this article that’s about all three important decisions. In his words, “three important decisions, made early, can eliminate so much of that anguish. They can set you up to not only be successful, but put you in a position to enjoy that success. These three choices have changed my business life. But they have fulfilled what I think are the two main criteria for anyone making choices about how to run their life and work: 1) They made me money. 2) They made me happier.”

Anyway, I have used these three decisions as a compass lately & I thought I would share them with you in the hopes that they will bring value into your life or business. Personally & professionally these three choices have provided me with vision. I feel clarity, if you will. So much so that I even decided to start therapy ( which I feel like is a whole different post ). Since I have been away on a vacation for 2 weeks & there have been a lot of guest posts ( WAS IN NEED OF A CONTENT DETOX OVER HERE ! ), I figured I would kick off my return with this post. Because it’s an important post- hopefully one that will get you thinking.

With that, let’s get into it- shall we?

Ryan’s three choices: 1.) decide your why, 2.) decide how you want to live, & 3.) decide to be OK with what others do.

You know we need to dig deep into each one. AHEM:

1.) DECIDE YOUR WHY:

I was cautioned by many people to be careful here. Be careful the WHY isn’t money. In my opinion doing something just for money is a very, VERY short-term game. There has to be something more meaningful. Something that gives purpose.

When I was bartending I worked at very exclusive, high-end bar. Many of the patrons were rich, older men. Over the 5 years I worked there, I saw money doing some very ugly things to customers. Some went broke, some went ape-shit with their ego, & some just became money-hungry assholes who sat alone night after night sipping on their Rusty Nails.

Use your why as a compass to lead you when creating your life/business. If you don’t have a concrete WHY, you will give into things that you probably wouldn’t have given into in the first place.

As Ryan Holiday says: “Simon Sinek talks about this most famously in his TED talk of course, but it’s an old idea. Everyone needs a raison d’être. A reason for being. A stated and clear purpose. With my company, after a lot of frustration and mistakes, we finally had the talk: What the fuck are we doing this for? From that discussion an answer became clear: We only want to do work with clients we’re proud of. We want to do work that provides the freedom to pursue our individual creative projects.”

My personal recommendation is to have it written out in front of you. Look at it daily. Refer to it. Tell your friends. It holds you accountable. When I’m not being true to my WHY my best friend, Steve, calls me out. I like it like that.

My WHY is cultivating a strong community. Nothing gets me off more than like-minded women coming together sharing their tips & tricks in an unapologetic way. I like an non-judgmental space. It feels right to me.

Sometimes this means turning down huge partnerships or opportunities, evaluating my time ( as it should be spent towards building the community ), & remembering the reason I do what I do at the end of day.

& money. Money will come when you’re following your WHY. Remember this old proverb: “If you try to chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”  – Confucius

I fucking love that one.

2.) DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO LIVE:

Let’s face it, work seeps into life. It just does. I mean if you’re having a horrible day at work, it usually sneaks into your personal life right? If not, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS. For me if something is off kilter in one area of my life, I can spot its poison in another area ( hence another reason I am going to therapy ).

So let’s dig deep into this one: what kind of life makes you happy?

Get creative here. Write it down. Create a strategic future. List systems to get to your goals. To do lists. Habits. It’s all good stuff.

The kind of life I want to create is simple: I want freedom. Freedom to come & go as I please. Freedom to travel whenever I want. Freedom to work from anywhere, anytime. Freedom to create whatever comes to me. Freedom to DO ME.

I sure as shit don’t want to be bossed around. I was the worst employee on the planet- no really, the worst. So freedom represents a peaceful, happy life to me.

As Ryan says: “Take a quick inventory of the most enjoyable and satisfying days of your life. Now be sure that you’re working towards these, not away from them.”

If you hate 9 to 5, don’t work 9 to 5. If you hate dealing with numbers, hire out. If you hate being around a lot of people, work from home. Whatever it is- self-awareness here is key.

I started with a list.

I LOVE: writing, branding, creating, photography, public speaking, talking, engaging, sharing, editing, reading, moving, computers, being with my dogs.

I HATE: people telling me what to do, numbers, busy work, sitting, feeling suppressed, negative energy, being away from my dogs.

You get the drift.

Spend some time on this one. Write out a list of what makes you happy & a list of what makes you sad…& you guessed it: do more of what makes you happy.

3.) DECIDE TO BE OK WITH WHAT OTHERS DO:

THIS IS SOMETHING I feel a lot of us are working on!

To stay in our own lane.

Who cares if Suzy has 3 kids & runs a multi-million dollar business? And who cares if Billy just landed a magazine cover? What about Janet’s new Chanel blazer!

Wait. Hold up- who cares? How does this affect our lives? It doesn’t. Drop the judgement.

P.S. we are all a work in progress. I practice getting off social media. No scrolling for me please. I will literally catch myself before I wreck myself.

For The Skinny Confidential this means turning down partnerships, collaborations, or opportunities. Ones that would have taken my eye off the ball. I personally believe it’s for the greater good, but that doesn’t make it less hard- you know?

As Ryan says: “So what if your friend is making a ton of money, or if they just got a ton of coverage for something they did? So what if they’re working with this client or that client? Or if they just signed a deal with so and so? You’ve made your purpose clear, you’ve made your life’s priorities clear. Things will work out for you in the way that you’ve chosen–but again, only if examined in their own context. An opera singer doesn’t compare their record sales to a pop group. A sports team in turnaround doesn’t judge themselves against the best record in the league. Why the hell do you care what some braggart is doing on Facebook?”

♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡

See? I told you you’d like him! He’s put this in perspective for me & I hope this post that includes my 3 choices will help you to gain some clarity.

Stay in your own lane. Focus on your own shit. Go towards your goal. Who cares what everyone else is doing?

Do you. 

Make your choices. Own them. Define them. & keep me updated in the process.

Would love to hear: what is your WHY? Do you have a WHY?

Until next time, lauryn x

+ if you liked this post you will love this post on “ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK YOURSELF.”

++ more REALNESS here

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  1. Nandi

    Love this. I’m so on board with the above mentioned 3 things. Being okay with where I am and focusing solely on my purpose has been the biggest challenge for me in the past year but every day it seriously gets a little easier. So long as I’m anchored to my why, I feel fulfilled and driven to give and do my very best and that makes me happy. Isn’t that what its all about!? Thanks so much for writing this piece! With love, Nandi

    Reply
  2. Kristina

    Love this post! Will you be doing a post on therapy? Or can you recommend how one would go about finding a therapist that will be a good match for them?

    Also RANDOM, but I just relistened to the Podcast episode with Kristen Cavallari — did you ever get her recommendation for a medium or did you end up meeting with them? If so, can you share her referral contact and your experience?

    Thanks to Michael and yourself for always providing nonstop value and inspiration.

    Reply
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  4. A.

    Ooooo that last one was exactly what I needed to hear today! In our social media filled world it’s so easy to get caught up on what other people are doing and compare your life with theirs. I needed this reminder focus on my own shit. Great post, per usual! xoxo

    Reply
  5. LoveCompassionateLee

    Deciding your why is something that you continuously have to ask yourself as you achieve more and more success. It’s easy to get off track when opportunities come in abundance. Asking yourself why will also cause you to check if your motives align with your original vision and purpose. Maybe the vision will need to be updated, but the purpose should remain the same.

    Happy Saturday
    http://www.lovecompassionatelee.com/thinkoutloud/october-obsessions

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  7. Kari

    That conscious quote is on point! I have my ‘why’ painted and hung beside my desk. I see it first thing. I see it when I don’t feel like working. I see it when I feel like giving up. I know on many levels how important it is to have that reason for doing what you are doing.

    Reply
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