It’s Never Too Late to Take Charge of Your Life

Written by on May 23, 2014 in Confidence, Emotional Mastery

Your Life by Design

Taking charge of your life is such a powerful concept … making intentional choices to direct the course of your future, happy as you want to be, designing a life of meaning and purpose, achieving more dreams and goals, and fulfilling your potential.

Sounds great, but since we live in the real world, the question begs to be asked …

Just how realistic is this notion of “taking charge” and how can one even hope to begin designing a better life when you’re already up to your eyeballs with demanding relationships, commitments, fully entrenched habits, and a lifetime of emotional baggage?

While this is a valid concern, it may be helpful to understand that choosing to take responsibility for the quality and course of your life does not mean suddenly rejecting everything about who and where you are now and starting over (although there may be times when it feels that’s the only way to finally get where you want to be).

It’s committing to do the work to become clear about what it is you want out of life and having the courage to be really honest with yourself about how much time and effort you are willing to invest in order to make that vision your reality.

When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life. ~Geoffrey F. Abert

Life Design is Not a Quick Fix

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for designing your best life, after all, the very idea of taking charge of your life is about being able to follow your own unique path. So the road map will look a little different for everyone because people will naturally focus on different areas to bring meaning and purpose into their lives.

For some, it will be about faith; living intentionally in the traditions of their religion. For others, it may be activism – social, environmental, health, or any number of causes, supporting the initiatives and values and working towards furthering that cause. For many, it will be about creating a particular quality or way of life. While intentions will vary, the thread that holds it all together is the focus of living a life of meaning and purpose.

It’s Paying Attention to What is and isn’t Working

The interesting thing is as you begin to pay closer attention to what is happening in your life, you are likely to make some surprising discoveries. You may suddenly realize that for years (or even decades!) you’ve been wasting time and energy on things that no longer serve you or that you don’t really care about; things in your life that are just taking up space.

And it isn’t just physical objects or routines that can clutter up your life. You may well run into friendships, acquaintances, even romantic relationships that will be called into question, especially if the association is unbalanced or stressful. Just like physical objects and everyday routines, sometimes there are relationships that simply run their course and everyone concerned would be better served if we simply let them go, but we continue to hold on out of habit (and maybe a measure of guilt).

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. this is the day your life really begins. ~Bob Moawad
This Lifestyle Choice Requires Courage

It is human nature to look for the shortcuts, the easy answers, and the uncomplicated solutions; so it is important to be clear that choosing to take charge of your life requires commitment, planning, accountability, and the courage to say “no” to some things (and people) so you can focus on what matters most to you. You will continually push the boundaries of your comfort zone, and there will be periods of uncertainty and times when, in order to stay on the path you’ve chosen for yourself, you may be required to make tough choices.

In many respects choosing to live your life by design is like tending a garden … you intentionally select the things you want to cultivate, minimize or eliminate entirely the things that don’t give you joy or serve your purpose, guard against the pests and weeds, add plenty of sunshine, food, and water, and occasionally churn it all up a bit to prepare for a new season.

If you’re still not sure if it’s worth the effort to take charge of your life, give some thought to the following question.

How different would your life look, how much richer and more fulfilling would it be, if you were to embrace the power and authority you have to design a life you really want rather than letting fate, circumstances and others choose it for you?

Related articles:
Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.

Tags: , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on LinkedIn Connect on YouTube

18 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. Holly

    I love this article!! The way you word it is somewhat different than I have heard before… I like the the quote at the beginning. It’s about paying attention to what is and isn’t working and deciding what you want and what you are willing to do… Your book sounds great.. I’ll head over to Amazon and check it out!
    Holly recently posted…You Don’t Have To Be Perfect!My Profile

  2. donna merrill

    Hi Marquita,

    I love the analogy you have given here about a garden. My own garden has taught me so much.

    I firmly believe that things do not happen overnight. We do have to live with “intention” in order to achieve whatever we want to. Yes, it takes self discipline and patience.

    Indeed, our life design all depends on us taking a close look at ourselves and see what is working and what is not.

    Thank you for another inspirational article,

    donna merrill recently posted…Marketing Your BlogMy Profile

    • martyherald says:

      Hey Donna, so glad you enjoyed the article and I always appreciate your thoughtful comments. You’ve made an excellent point about things not happening overnight – patience is as important as perseverance when it comes to making progress on our dreams and goals!
      martyherald recently posted…Everything You See is a PerspectiveMy Profile

  3. Hi Marquita,
    This post really hit home with me today. I bought your book and am anxiously awaiting bedtime to read it. I always read a little before going to bed.

    Thank you and have a great day. Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…How To Change Light Colored Text On Blogs You ReadMy Profile

  4. This is amazing and easy to agree with. We all have the ability to accept the way thing are in our life. Yet, just to enhance a little at a time is huge.

    Nothing is done overnight. Most younger persons. Live by feeling it should and they are entitled to it being. Just start off with a self review. If you do not like your surroundings. Get in detail and enhance it.

    Thank you for sharing such empowering views. We all have taken something from this remarkable insight.
    William Amis recently posted…Dream, Imagine and get it done!My Profile

  5. Sue Bride

    I have always been quite pragmatic rather than a dreamer although my attitudes have changed since I was young. I try to plant my seeds at the right time and give them what they need to grow. Some wither but it does not stop me planting, either the same seeds with different care, or different seeds. I don’t dream of having a garden full of equatorial plants in my climate zone.

    My partner is always looking at expensive houses for sale and products well out of our price range (currently) and wishing he could buy them. I have learned there is far more to life than material possessions but I don’t look at items like this because I know it might lead to dissatisfaction.
    Sue Bride recently posted…An Introduction to HashtagsMy Profile

    • martyherald says:

      Great insight Sue. I think the challenge – and fun – of life is finding a balance between realistic expectations and challenging ourselves to dream big – and I am a believer in BIG dreams! Being realistic doesn’t have to mean dreaming smaller, just planning better. 🙂

  6. Dave

    I love your analogy to a garden as well as your insightful prose that goes along with it. The romanticized version of life design is so alluring that I think we probably all get pulled into its charm at some point in our lives, some more often than others 😉 With the plethora of feel good movies, TV shows, and novels that show just how simple (please note sarcasm) it is to cultivate and build our “perfect” life, it is no wonder that we sometimes feel we can do the same.

    I know that I have fallen victim to looking out into the future, dreaming about the ideal life I will live sometime in the future. Without even assessing the state of current things. Seems like common sense to combine present circumstances with future dreams. But, common sense isn’t always common practice.

    I really like the concept of baby steps towards the life you want to cultivate, developing the courage over time. Thanks again Marty, great post!
    Dave recently posted…Looking glassMy Profile

    • martyherald says:

      Hey Dave, as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you as a fellow author, the best reward for our writing efforts is to know that we’ve inspired our readers to think about possibilities … so I’m delighted you found value in the article 🙂

  7. Hello Marquita,
    I always appreciate your writings. You have a refreshing style of providing gentle reminders while taking the reader to the next level. Thanks so much for your insights, wisdom and intentions.
    1: Select the things you want to cultivate.
    2: Minimize or eliminate entirely the things that don’t give you joy or serve your purpose.
    3: Guard against the weeds.
    4: Add plenty of sunshine, food and water.
    5: Occasionally churn it all up a bit to prepare for a new season.
    Yes. Yes. And Yes! -In Love & Light, Phyllis
    Phyllis M Alston recently posted…PMDD : From Hell To Healing (Part 1)My Profile

    • martyherald says:

      You are so kind Phyllis! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the article and appreciate your taking the time to contribute to the conversation. 🙂

  8. Suzie Cheel

    This stood out for me Living with Intention Requires Courage and love Marianne Williamson quote on the same. Courage is my word for 2014 and I am about to put it into action. Going to check out your book now
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…Do You Unleash Your Creativity On Your Business?My Profile

  9. Hi Marquita,

    Oh, yes! we start our life on the same romantic notions as you have so rightly mentioned and as youngsters, we have all the energy and the enthusiasm to shape our life…along the way, we meet some of our best critics – winds of circumstances, realism, destiny and disillusionment, they try their best to dampen our spirits, reject our ‘design’ and push us in the direction of re-discovery…only to realise that we require immense courage to change the direction of our life! Yes, courage and determination is the key to design and redesign successfully.

    Congratulations for your book at! Wishing you all the best for good selling. I will check it. Thanks for sharing the news.
    Balroop Singh recently posted…The Amazing Gifts Of Life We Don’t See…My Profile

%d bloggers like this: