You are an architect. You are also a construction worker, a home decorator, and a painter. So am I. Before you stop reading this and decide that I am going crazy, hear me out. You are building a house. So am I. Getting closer to insane you are thinking? This, of course, is an analogy. Your life is like you are building a house. One of the most important steps is to draw up plans. Can you imagine if you just started building a house with no plans? You wouldn’t have measurements, you would not know what kind of materials to use. There is a good chance that you would get through a couple of days and have to start all over again. You would make a lot of mistakes and it would take just south of an eternity. Then again, if you have a great set of plans, you know how long to cut the lumber, who to call for the plumbing and things go generally smoothly. If there is a problem, you can look at your plans and make an intelligent adjustment.
You might be thinking, “Only an idiot would try to build something as valuable as a house without any plans. For the most part, you would be right. Who would try to build the most valuable thing in their life with no plans? A lot more people than you think. I am not talking about actual houses, but the metaphor works for something even more valuable. Didn’t we just say that your house was the most valuable thing in your life? The only thing more valuable than that? Your life itself! Did you wake up with a plan for today? Are you someone who just wakes up to go to work and pay the bills? Do you have long term plans for your life? I actually had someone tell me, “I am just going to work until I retire. Then I will figure it out.” So, let me get this straight. You are going to wait until 60+ years of your life have passed before engaging that mass of grey matter that sits on top of your neck? Even if your plans would have to wait to be enacted until you retire, they would stand a lot better chance of achievement if you began planning and taking action now.
Plans are a great first step. They are a necessary first step. Guess what? You can’t sleep inside of a set of plans. You can’t park your car in a set of plans. There are many people who are great planners, but that is as far as they get. They spend their whole life planning. You have to get off your butt and start building. Just like house construction, there is a way to go about this as well. You don’t start building a house by assembling a roof. No, you start by laying a good foundation. How about your life and your goals? Do you have a good foundation? What are you building your life on? Are you selecting the best materials or going with whatever is cheapest? If you were building a lifetime house for you and your family, you would of course select only the finest quality materials. Guess what? You only get one life! You best select the best quality people, places and things to put in it.
One more quick thought before we wrap this post up. This idea came to me in the shower. Don’t all ideas come to you in the shower? When you are building a house, those investing in said house will want you to complete it in a hurry. What happens if you rush construction? You cut corners. You compromise safety and with the first big storm your house collapses. Same with your life. Sometimes the people invested in you and your life will want you to rush into things. Don’t. Take your time and build your life right. That way when the storms of life come, you know your house will be able to take it.
If you think of building your life like building a house, you will do so in a careful and well thought out manner. We could get into decorating your life and what you would want it to look like, but that is a personal preference. If you only were able to live in one house for the rest of your life, you would do everything to make sure it is a good one. Well my friend, you only have one life to live, so make sure it is a good one.