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3 Ways To Be The Architect Of Your Own Life


Architects are skilled in planning, design, and oversight. Architecture isn’t just limited to the construction of buildings. For example, often visionaries are architects of their generations. When you look at the leaders of yesterday and today, such as Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, they are architects of sorts. They planned, designed, and oversaw huge transitions that, in many cases, redefined how we function and process reality on a daily basis. Similarly, we can be the architects of our own lives.

Here are 3 ways to awaken your inner architect!

Architects Create Vision

Vision is key!

Your vision can literally serve as your blueprint for the future. Your ability to walk into the life that you crave depends on the future you see. That’s because anything exceptional that you attempt is often birthed with a vision. It’s the vision that inspires hope when the struggle gets too hard and when calamity becomes all too familiar. That’s why it’s important to not bankrupt your future with a limited vision. It’s hard to move forward confidently without having a good idea of where you are going. Powerful motivator Zig Ziglar always says if you aim for nothing, you’ll hit the mark every time.

There are numerous reasons for lack of vision. Sometimes it’s the pain of previous failures that halts our progress. In such cases, we have to remember that missteps bring experience and provide insight; moreover, our survival is a testimony of our resilience. You can experience a do over! Other times we’re blinded by complacency with past successes. However, suppose we had stopped with the telegram or the telephone?

Our lives have been so enriched by people who dared to see beyond present circumstances and innovations. These architects changed the future by elevating our visions. According to Seth Godin, they transform our “shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change.” Just because you are not gifted in design doesn’t mean that you can’t design your life. First, your ability to create the vision for your life necessitates your commitment to learn and look inward.

Second, when you peer into the future, make sure that you are looking with a fresh pair of eyes and perspective. Tired eyes rarely see a bright future.

Third, your vision for your future may benefit from some perspective of the past. History often repeats itself, so ironically, by looking to the past, you can better anticipate the future. Fourth, draw inspiration from what you read, hear, and feel. Then, create the plan that awakens the music inside you. Remember that prosperity and wealth are not beyond your reach. Doing these things consistently will elevate your vision to new levels and give you a sound basis to design an authentic path for your future.

Architects Create Structure

Another interesting aspect of an architect’s job is that they create or restore order. During chaos, the gifted architect is perhaps most appreciated. By creating order, the architect can enhance productivity and decrease stress. In contrast, disorder is costly! For example, how many times have you been distressed and your productivity ruined due to losing your cell phone, important file, or flash drive?

Order also encompasses how we live our lives. An orderly life is one that is aligned with your skills and abilities, personality, dreams and passions. It is rare that someone else will create this authentic fit for you. However, by truly knowing yourself and patterning your life accordingly, you can align your actions with your heart.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art. Leonardo da Vinci

Career coach Dan Miller has great advice regarding structuring your work in this manner. He recommends work where you are strongest 80% of the time, where you are learning 15% of the time, and where you are weak 5% of the time. A practical example is if you know you are soon bored after learning something new, then structure your business (or choose a job) where your desire for new challenges is a strength rather than a weakness. For all of us, there is an environment where we function best; it’s where our differences are celebrated instead of merely tolerated. If you aren’t already there, then search for or design the environment for yourself.

Architects Oversee Development

Don’t die with your music still in you!
After he or she has created the vision and developed order, much of the architect’s “hard work” is already complete. Some say 85% of the process centers on the creative aspects, but application is still required. Unexecuted great plans mean that the potential will never be manifested, nor will the design be appreciated in its full glory. For example, before Henry Ford and James Cash Penney could give us Ford Motor Company and JC Penney department stores, respectively, they had to build infrastructure and assemble their teams.
It is the architect’s role to oversee the execution of the vision. Overseers know that productivity, or lack thereof, often depends on their recruiting the right talent, incentivizing their participation, and providing adequate resources and direction to bring the vision into fruition.
The personal application is that we must oversee our own development. We must hold ourselves accountable for acting on our visions; otherwise, they may remain pipe dreams. Often this may require enlisting the assistance of others. Perhaps you may hire a bookkeeper for a business or even your household finances to stay on track financially. Alternatively, you could engage a coach to quickly raise your performance to a much higher level. You may choose an accountability partner to call foul when your actions don’t match your words. Regardless of the steps you take, the responsibility for the product is yours. You have already been empowered, but it is what you do with that power that is key.

Closing Thoughts

As an architect, you can create beauty from chaos or resurrect a structure to its former glory. It’s your blueprint of the future that inspires hope in the face of adversity and order during disarray. It’s your seasoned insights that are relied upon to ensure the safety and progress of the project. The personal takeaway is that as the architect of your life, you have substantial power. However, with this power comes great responsibility. It is no longer acceptable to rely on past excuses for lack of achievement. You already have the components and resources needed for greatness, but the key question is: are you ready to produce?

About the Author: I’m Roshawn Watson, and I write at Watson Inc on eliminating debt, investing money, and building wealth. Get my free eBook Your Foundation to Wealth by signing up for my email updates (no spam I promise). Get my RSS feed and connect with me on http://www.twitter.com/roshawnwatson too.

  • http://www.your-self-improvement-guidebook.com/goal-setting-technique.html Selfimprove

    spot on!  It’s what I keep saying – effective goal setting is all about you knowing what you want in order for anything to be achieved. Wishy washy thoughts and goals will get you nowhere.  This is an excellent article.

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      Bingo. Knowing and being passionate about your goals will dramatically increase your productivity in a substantive way. Otherwise, you’re just dabbling with your goals! Thank you for your comment!

  • http://grandresume.com/ resume writing services

    Very  interesting and nice post!!

  • sandbar

    On the threshold of 60, I’ve only  just figured out that I can design and create the balance of my life.  ”Don’t die with your music in you” is a perfect line for me.  Thanks…

  • sandbar

    On the threshold of 60, I’ve only  just figured out that I can design and create the balance of my life.  ”Don’t die with your music in you” is a perfect line for me.  Thanks…

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      You are welcome. The sixties are a very powerful decade. Oh the wisdom  and insights that you will be able to apply to new challenges now!

  • http://www.savvysexysocial.com Amy Schmittauer

    This is a really great comparison piece. Vision and structure are so important to both architecture and living your best life. It’s just so easy to lose track of where we want to go and how to get there with the obstacles of the every day. Thank you for the encouragement today!

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      Amy, you’re welcome! Keeping one’s resolve is so critical, so having structure in place to keep you on track (focused) dramatically improves the odds of achieving ones goals. Thanks for the comment!

  • Anonymous

    Great article. Anytime I have seen success in working towards a goal, it has always been affected by how clear I was about what I wanted in the beginning.

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      That’s very insightful. Having clear vision/direction is definitely a competitive advantage. Vision is key!

  • http://www.theemotionmachine.com/ Steven | The Emotion Machine

    Life is all about our ability to shape it in our own image. While I don’t believe we have 100% control over everything in our life, I think the most successful people are those who exercise the most creativity over their lives. Thanks for this article.

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      You are welcome! That’s a great observation: some of the most successful people use their creativity.

  • Guest

    Leaving the past & the demons you lay with is much, much harder then just a goal setting fix. Trust me I’ve tried. Someone please come up with a blueprint on how to break it off with them nasty demons.

  • Norawalksinspirit

    I believe that being the architect of your own life is the only way to achieve true inner peace! And once you establish true inner peace, your body will be awakened to the messages and teachings that are all around you! I wish more people would realize that!

  • http://twitter.com/AuthorNora noraWalksInSpirit

    I believe that being the architect of your own life is the only way to
    achieve true inner peace! And once you establish true inner peace, your
    body will be awakened to the messages and teachings that are all around
    you! I wish more people would realize that!

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      This is a very interesting observation.

      Without searching for or creating an authentic fit, I think peace is difficult to experience in its fullness.

  • http://www.freedomeducation.ca/ Steve Martile

    …interesting article… the section on Vision caught my eye.

    I believe it’s more than just setting your sights on what you want… although that’s a big piece of vision creation…I think creating an empowering vision is about creating a self-image that feels and looks compelling to you… it’s NOT a physical image (i.e. how you look right now in the mirror)… but an interpretation of how you would like to see yourself and how you would like to feel (more confident, successful, prosperous, etc). A new self image is worth it’s weight in gold.  My experiences tells me that if you want MOTIVATION, COMMITMENT and the DESIRE to follow through, then you want to create an empowering self image step-by-step, little by little … not just a vision… not just where you want to go… but an overwhelmingly satisfying picture of your life and how you wish it to be.

  • http://nochnoch.com/ Noch Noch | be me. be natural.

    indeed – vision is not sufficient, but structure. i think a lot of creative people do not have a successful business because their visions lack structure. i’m trying to create some structure in my life now, since I’ve quit my corporat ejob, and my time is my own, but if i’m not careful I might just idle that away… 
    Noch Noch

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      Yeah. I can definitely appreciate the need for structure. It is VERY easy to allow disorder to plague all of your efforts and to result in decreased overall productivity. The titivation/vision is just the BEGINNING!

  • Kigutapaul

    i like this its motivating

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      Thank you!

  • Saimaliaqat

    its really empowering !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_45IMI32AUG7L7AHEPO32DRXM4M Mahmoud

    I am really thankful to the author of this article.. I got a huge amount of awareness from this.. By the way I am an Architecture student that’s why this article really worked for me :) 

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      You are very welcome. I’m glad that you have a personal connection to the material through your career. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • http://www.pristineperception.com/ Suzanne

    You got it. This is a great informative article. The part ‘It is no longer acceptable to rely on past excuses for lack of achievement.’ Is fantastic, I couldn’t agree more. Although the subconscious mind has a great hold on our past emotions and memories, you can choose through numerous ways, alternative or otherwise to move on with the life you once only dreamed of. We are way too educated to continue to blame everyone else for our shortcomings.

    • http://www.roshawnwatson.com/ Roshawn @ Watson Inc

      Suzanne,
      That’s so insightful: we’re way too educated to continue to blame everyone else for our shortcomings. You’re suggesting that we should know better, and we should. Why do we fall into convenient excuses for inadequacy? That’s an uncomfortable question to ponder. Thanks for your comment!

  • Chance120

    thanks it tells everything

  • Chance120

    thanks it tells everything

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  • jennifer121

    “Don’t die with your music still in you!” nice line and similarly well-written and well-thought post…