Building a Great Life ... A Step at a Time

Got a great life already? Then you probably don’t need to be here. But if you'd like to add a little more "dazzle" to your life, here are five simple suggestions.

Stay in the moment.
Whatever paths you choose on the way to the life you're after, anchor yourself in today. Right here is where the action is; right now is when it happens. Every stage of your life’s journey unfolds in the Now.

a great life So, if your head lives mainly in some other time or place, you're pretty much blowing off today. Want to be happy? Then be happy now instead of when your dreams come true. Be happy now instead of focusing on yesterday or tomorrow. Have a great life NOW.

The sweet little bird called “Here” sits right in your hand, and so does “Now.” But if you pay no attention to them, they fly away. Too bad, because they can be a lot of fun to have around. Handy, too.

Raise your sights (and expectations).
Want a great life? Then, think Big. Go for what you really want, instead of settling for what you think you can have. When it comes to the "end" goal (or what you think it is), keep an expansive view. Although small steps can be a superb vehicle, as can small interim goals, the Big One should be the one that lies in your heart.

And say Yes to yourself more often, too. You may be saying No oftener than you realize—sometimes before you’ve even asked the “question.” Many do. But the automatic NO eventually begins to crush the spirit. Why do that to yourself (or anyone else)?

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So, whenever you feel that kind of No coming on, ask yourself at least one question. What thing can you do Right Now that will get you closer to whatever you want?

Then, do it. In that way, you open the doors to your heart's desire instead of slamming those same doors in your face. [To weaken the automatic NO, try sticking a Yes! on your wall or into your computer's screen-saver for a while. Click here to find two colorful and free versions.]

Get clear about what you really want.
How much “good stuff” has come into your life when you’ve just left things to chance? Some, maybe, just by the law of averages. But unless you know what you actually want, you can't be proactive; you can't go after it yourself. So, if you want a great life, figure out what would do that for you.

Don't know for sure what you genuinely want? Then figure it out, because the clock is ticking whether you realize it or not. If you're completely stymied, check out the goal-clarification exercise at our sister site: goal-setting tool.

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Take the first step.
However large or small, a single step can lead you forward. When you know what you truly want, take the first step toward it. Just do one thing: act on your dream, instead of waiting for everything to dovetail or for all your ducks to line up in a row.

For one thing, one or two of those ducks may never show up. So work with a duck you’ve already got. Take the step. Just do one thing, however slight, to get yourself closer to what you want. That will lead you to another step…and another. (Click on this link to read about a simple way to build a great life using small steps.

If you never begin, you stay more or less where you are at this moment. Maybe that suits you now, but how will you feel next year? Or the year after that? Want something different? Then start taking the steps. And please don't start "measuring" your progress right away. Give yourself a chance.

Hang in there.
As many of us have discovered, change can be difficult and goals elusive. At such times, it's easy to lose heart. But before you ever give up on a goal or dream, activate the Rule of One: one action, one minute, one hour—any "unit" that can serve your goal. Then do it again...and again. That's the way to build the life you want. Others do it, and so can you.

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