We are each the authors of our own lives. In the busy-ness of our days, with the multitude and complexity of factors we attend to, it’s easy to lose sight of the possibilities, the power, and the potential we hold in each situation. But when we recognize that we are the creative force in our own lives, we can begin each day with gratitude and expectancy for the opportunities, decisions, and actions that lie ahead. We feel inspired because we know we’re in the driver’s seat, not the passenger seat. On my personal journey of discovery, I’ve identified several guiding principles that are essential to living an inspired life. Here are five of them:
1. Set intentions and back them up with actions. Each day contains endless possibilities to back up my intentions with supportive actions. Making my actions align with my life intentions is proving to be a very powerful way to generate thoughtful change. Having set the intention to live a healthy lifestyle, for example, it matters whether I choose to take the elevator or use the stairs. When I’m aware that each choice I make matters, I’m reminded of my journey.
2. Use the power of the pause. I don’t need to respond immediately to everything that occurs. Pausing is a powerful action because it keeps me from reacting on impulse. Pausing helps me to respond mindfully. When I choose to live responsively and mindfully, I virtually eliminate the need for a “clean-up committee” later.
3. Practice activities that restore and renew. I’ve created a distinct menu of activities that are highly restorative to me, and doing them regularly helps to keep my life inspired. I’ve found I need to make time to do yoga, cook colorful and tasty food for myself, and take frequent walks outdoors as ways to keep my body, mind, and soul working together in support of my life choices. Another person’s menu might include swimming, painting, playing an instrument, or meditation. The idea is to consciously choose activities every day that are restorative and revitalizing.
4. Recognize the power of language. The words I speak create my reality. For this reason, I want to be intentional with my language. I know that if I describe something as “hard” it will become hard for me. If instead I describe it as “challenging,” I am keenly aware that challenges can be overcome. I can choose to go to my “I Can” memory file to recall multiple instances when I’ve succeeded in my life. I also know that many times I don’t need to say anything. Silence can be respectful and allow healing. I speak when there is a need to speak. Choosing to contribute thoughtfully with my words, I use them to illuminate, to inspire, to instruct, to heal, and to nurture.
5. Honor the power of choice. I know that the choices I make each day influence my entire being, and I choose to take responsibility for them. I decide how to spend my time and whom to spend it with. When I am conscious of what I put into my body, what I allow my mind to explore, and how I choose to experience it, I am supporting my inspired life. I make choices that are life-fulfilling, choices that are good for me and for those around me.
In short, living an inspired life means making conscious choices in all of our daily activities. Recognizing the possibilities in every situation, we can choose to live inspired in every moment.