How To Design YOUR Ultimate Life

May 2, 2018 Ali 1 comment

Walk through this scenario with me. You’re watching a person do something amazing: maybe it’s a professional athlete competing at the Olympic games, or a performer flipping through the air at Cirque Du Soleil etc. And you think to yourself, “Wow, that’s incredible, that person is SO talented.” And maybe that thought gets followed up with something like “They’re lucky to have that talent” or “What amazing ability.”

To make it more applicable to everyday life, maybe think about that person at the gym that’s in incredibly good shape and is SO STRONG, or maybe you have a friend that’s an excellent climber or dancer or basketball player or yogi or volleyball player etc… the list goes on and on.

Do you catch yourself thinking that maybe they were just born with that talent, or that it seems to take them so little effort? They may make it look easy, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken them massive effort to get to that stage.

For a personal example, someone may see me do yoga at a studio and think that maybe I’m just naturally good at yoga. But what they don’t see, is that I did gymnastics year-round for 10 years, that every sport I’ve done has lots of elements of balance, and that I’ve done yoga teacher training and spent endless hours on my mat. Currently, I teach 4-5 hours of yoga per week (and do the classes with my students) and then I go to yoga class as a participant twice a week. 7 hours per week.

But we don’t really take the time to wonder how someone got so good at something, or think about all the hours they’ve spent practicing and training.

A Little Look in the Mirror

Take a minute to think about something you’re REALLY GOOD AT. Now think about the VERY FIRST TIME you did that thing. How did it go? Can you now do that same thing in a fraction of the time it used to take you? Or without hardly thinking about why you’re doing what you’re doing? That only comes from practice.

You could give the argument that some people are naturally more talented at some things than others. I will agree with that. However, you could also say because they have a passion for it, they devote way more time to it than other things and therefore seem naturally better at it. Maybe it’s a little of both.

What Is My Point Here?

I think we all like the idea of things being easy. If someone is famous or rich or massively successful do you find yourself thinking that they’ve always been successful? I admit that I do, less now than before, but it’s an easy habit to fall into.

Especially with social media showing you successful people all the time, and the beautiful side of that success, it seems like it must be easy. Maybe there’s something you can do that will be that easy for you too…

But What Is the Backstory?

I’ve been really intrigued by podcasts for the last 6 months, a couple of my favorite ones are The Tim Ferriss Podcast, and The Tony Robbins Podcast. They interview successful people in all different areas. Sports, Business, Finance, Cooking, Performing, Relationships with People… everything.

Something I’ve enjoyed while listening, is how honest and real the people being interviewed are. I suggest you check them out, it’s really helped me realize the whole picture of “success.”

An Example of the Whole Story of Success from a Tony Robbins Event

While at a Tony Robbins event, Keith Cunningham was one of the speakers. He is a very successful businessman. He told his personal story. He was really excelling in the real estate business; his personal fortune was something like 100 million dollars. He had a lovely wife and family, and he described how gorgeous his office was, he felt like he was on top of the world and couldn’t do anything wrong.

However, he couldn’t predict the market, and the real estate market crashed in 1986.

When the market crashed… he lost EVERYTHING, beyond everything actually, he was now $100 MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT.

Can you even imagine the pressure of that situation? He felt like he was being crushed, all his things were taken away, his wife divorced him and took the kids, and his friends were gone. He had NO IDEA how to get out of this massive debt.

At some point he decided he needed to figure this out, so he worked and worked and worked and slowly worked his way out of debt by buying and growing businesses and teaching business seminars. Today he is worth something like $400 million dollars.

What If You Had Just Read A Paragraph About Him?

Go back to thinking about the thing you’re really good at… has there ever been a time when you were terrible at it? Maybe you had a bad day or a bad week or a bad year(s). I bet you learned something from that situation. Possibly, it made you even better.

I remember when I was in gymnastics, it took a LONG time to learn a new trick, you have to practice it over and over and over again before you get it. I had finally learned this new move on the un-parallel bars, a straddle cut. If you want to see a quick video example, click here.

I was so excited to finally learn that move; before I kept missing the bar when I tried to catch it. But then, just ONE WEEK AFTER learning the straddle cut, I couldn’t do it again. I was so frustrated! I already had learned this, why was I having trouble again? I practiced it over and over and over, and kept missing the bar.

A couple months later, my coach was teaching us a new move to do on the bars, many of the girls were unable to do it, but I could. And it was a perfect set up to then do a straddle cut afterwards. And when I linked the two moves together, I got my straddle cut back! Bonus, it was now worth extra points because I’d added the new move on the beginning. So in fact, as frustrating as that experience was, it ended up being a benefit to me.

Can you think of an example like that for yourself?

In Terms of Health...

If we relate this to your health, the same rules apply. You don’t get healthy overnight. You can’t have one healthy day where you eat well and workout and you wake up the next morning with all your muscles looking great and feeling full of energy!

Wouldn’t it be nice if it worked that way? Do whatever you want, eat whatever you want, and put in a little effort and BOOM, healthy!

People can slowly become unhealthy over time, maybe months, or years. And somehow, when they decide to do something about it, they’re frustrated because it’s taking SO LONG… (even if that SO LONG is anywhere from a week to a couple months.) It didn’t take a couple months to become unhealthy, or get a chronic problem, so it’ll take longer than that to fix it.

Frustrating maybe, because we all want to get better right away and feel good now. So how can we make this process more interesting? Everyone knows prevention is a good idea, but it’s not that exciting right.. so how can it be?

If You Are An Artsy Personality Like Me

If you’re more of a creative soul, like myself, you can think of it like designing something, or a new craft or art project. The subject is you and your life. You’re crafting a healthy life. In a way that is interesting and meaningful to you.

Brainstorm a bit, what do you LOVE to do? How can you incorporate that into something both fun and also beneficial to your body and mind?

Here are some things I LOVE: dance, balancing type activities, sports, animals, people, community, TASTY food, SPICY food, new experiences, growth, variety.

Here are some of the healthy things I do (that I found by thinking about doing the things I LOVE):

  • Yoga (combines dance-like movements, community, balancing, growth: a lot of these things can hit multiple categories for you!)
  • Treating People and Animals: It’s possible for your job to be healthy for you! : (community, people animals, new experiences, growth, progress)
    • Side note: As Tony Robbins says: Progress = Happiness
      • If you think about that, when you are making progress on something, don’t you feel happy? Often our jobs involve progress, which can make us feel good!
        • Funny anecdote: My fridge broke one day, it wasn’t keeping things cold. I called my boyfriend, Scott, who came over. We watched a TON of YouTube. Took all the food out of the fridge and freezer. Took it completely apart (door of the freezer off, checked out the wiring etc.) Thought we figured out the issue, but called a repairman because we though the wiring had to be changed. Turns out we were COMPLETELY wrong, the repair man looked at it for about 5 minutes, said the computer had to be repaired, changed it out, and was gone 20 minutes later.
        • We had spent an entire evening ripping it apart and putting it back together, for pretty much nothing, haha. But you know what? We were both HAPPY about it! We felt like we had accomplished something, we had learned a lot about a new subject and we had tried our best. So even though we didn’t fix the problem, we felt GREAT! Progress = Happiness
  • Cooking All Different Kinds of Foods: I love spicy food and different kinds of food, so I try out all kinds of new recipes and make many different types of food i.e. Greek, Thai, Vietnamese, Carribean, Italian etc. ( community (often I get to cook for friends/family), growth, progress, new experiences, variety)
    • By cooking my own food, I can make healthy food, but also make it interesting and delicious by trying many types of cuisine!

If You Are Analytical Like My Boyfriend

What if you’re an analytical personality and the thought of being artsy and crafting your life sounds terrible to you?

Then think of it in terms of data and numbers and charts and graphs. (My brain doesn’t work this way, haha so if I don’t use the best terms to describe this, sorry! But I think you’ll get the idea). How can you improve your body or your mind, decrease stress and increase enjoyment?

Some things my boyfriend likes: progress, productivity, exercise, movement, improving things, fixing things, spreadsheets, knowing how things work, good friends.

Some healthy things he does (by incorporating things he LOVES):

  • Climbing: He loves to climb! Here are some of his things it includes: (progress, exercise, movement, improving things (always working on a harder climb or a new skill), friends, thinking about how he can solve the next problem).
  • Running: He likes the exercise, the calorie burning, and it clears his brain and is when he gets some of his best ideas. (progress, exercise, improving thigs, productivity (doesn’t take a lot of time but you get a lot of benefits).
  • House Projects/Fixing Things: He can fix just about anything, he’s helped me out a ton at my place. He’s fixed something with the door, a leaky sink, a sink that wouldn’t drain, a shelf on a desk that was falling apart etc. He’s also replaced several headlights in my car (progress, improving things, fixing things, knowing how things work).


Nothing comes about without effort. Everything takes time to learn. You will make mistakes with anything you learn, and it may teach you more than if you hadn’t made the mistake!

Start designing or creating the healthy life you want! Do little bits at a time.

I usually try to think about one thing I can improve each week.

ONCE YOU DO SOMETHING FOR 21 DAYS IT BECOMES A HABIT. Which means it becomes second nature, and you do it without thinking now.

  • Quick example: I gave up SNOOZE for lent, because I was terrible about it! Almost an hour spent in bed hitting snooze, even though I knew it was terrible quality of sleep and makes you feel tired. Once I gave it up for 6 weeks, now it’s something I don’t even think about.
    • I’m now sleeping better, and often I wake up before my alarm (guys I’m the opposite of a morning person so this is unreal!)

STAY CURIOUS! Be curious about your health, how can you feel even better? What’s something new you could try? Just because you try something doesn’t mean you must do it forever, if you try yoga and you hate it, maybe you’ll like swimming, or tennis or soccer. Etc.

Comment: What is the new thing you’re going to try this week?

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