An important step to designing your life is acknowledging and understanding the choices you have in your life, being willing to make the most of those choices, and leveraging the choices you have to select the best path forward for yourself.

Life is not something that just happens to you, and you always have choices. The key to designing the life you really want is knowing exactly what your options are and using all the information at your disposal to make the best selection for you.

Your life is defined by the choices you make. While not everything that happens in your life is up to you, how you respond to life’s circumstances and opportunities is always a matter of choice. Even when you choose not to act or react in your life, you are still making a decision, so there is nothing that is beyond your control.

Becoming Aware of Your Choices

There are certain things in life you cannot control. For example, you have no control over the circumstances of your birth or family, your genetic makeup, or the opportunities you were given as a child. However, your choices can override these circumstances.

Your choices determine how you treat others, how hard you work, and the activities in which you engage at even an early age. This helps form you into the person you become later in life. As you get older, you have free will to choose who to love, what do choose as a career, and ultimately, what you will strive to achieve in life.

Acknowledging that all of these are choices in life, and not things that happen without your consent, is a big step toward designing your life. Choosing to accept responsibility for these choices, and not to blame life or others for the circumstances in which you find yourself, helps you not only move forward from your past but also accept the tremendous power you have to select your future.

You already have all the ability within you to choose the life you want and to design the experiences that will lead you to your goal.

Using Self-Knowledge to Make Better Choices

Developing knowledge about yourself, including your fears and insecurities as well as your strengths and gifts, is essential to designing your life and attaining your goals. Until you truly know yourself, which means getting clear about your beliefs and values, you will always be vulnerable to crafting your life to please others or assessing your accomplishments against what others have achieved.

When you become aware of yourself and your inner longings and desires, you can use that information to better inform the design process for your life. Without knowing your true passions, interests, and strengths, though, you are left making decisions based on poor information.

Without self-knowledge, you are more likely to pursue work or other goals that are unsuited to your talents and passions. Instead of choosing what makes you happy, you may opt to go along with the crowd or take the advice of others when you lack sufficient insight into yourself. This type of decision-making can lead you to invest more of yourself and your money in pursuits that don’t make you happy, too.

Designing Your Life is About Choice

Understanding that life is about choices and you are in charge of those options gives you the power to design the best life for you. Even opting not to choose is a choice, and only you will have to live with the consequences of those choices.

Regardless of your initial circumstances or what you were born with, your life is defined by the choices you make with how to deal with those events and what dreams you strive to attain.