How To Live Your Epic Life Intentionally: A Manifesto
It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.Eckhart Tolle
As you scroll through social media, everyone seems to be living an amazing life.
You feel like everyone has it all figured out while you’re struggling to meet your goals.
Depressing, isn’t it?
But here are three secrets most people won’t tell you:
- No one has figured it all out. No matter what you achieve, you’ll want something else once you get it.
- People only show the best parts of their lives which also has a filter on it.
- Every “successful” person you see has gone through their period of struggle. They didn’t post the hard times online for us to see. So trust the process and don’t try to skip it. It’s all part of an intentional epic life.
Look, if you’re an ambitious person, you’ve chosen not to settle. You want more from life — and that’s not a bad thing.
Desire is not the enemy of happiness. Lack of appreciation is.
In fact, desire gives our lives meaning and fulfillment as we strive for something — which contributes to greater happiness.
But living an intentional epic life is not easy, especially when you’re surrounded by people with average ambitions (or worse — with no ambitions at all).
So you start doubting your own ambitions and may get an urge to slip back to the easy, comfortable, and “happy” life.
It’s true you don’t need a lot to live a happy life. But an epic life goes beyond living a happy life.
It requires bravery to demand more from yourself and to think bigger than just being “happy”.
And that’s why I started Design Epic Life. So I can tell you:
- It’s okay to not settle for an average life and strive for greatness instead.
- It’s okay to not be “normal” to fit in with the majority and raise your standards to rise above mediocrity instead.
- It’s okay to not fit into other people’s definition of success and define your own success instead.
To live an epic life, you must be intentional about life.
You can’t afford to live a default life designed by people around you. Instead, you must claim back your life and design your life from scratch.
Here’s what an intentional life means and how you can make it epic:
An Epic Life Is Adventurous
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. — Oprah Winfrey
Human beings are designed for adventure. Sadly, the adventure within us is dying due to the perceived safety we choose to live with.
An adventure is a path one chooses because it’s what makes them feel most alive. They would rather be dead than not walk on this path.
But if you look around today, most people are already dead from inside because they don’t walk the path they’re meant to choose.
No one will give you permission to pick your adventure. Your next adventure is always calling you. All you have to do is shut your brain off and go for it because your life DEPENDS on it.
Shout out to everyone who has the courage to choose their adventure.
An Epic Life Needs A Hero — You
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. — Joseph Campbell
Most people are convinced they are worthless and there is no point in trying to achieve greatness.
At every step of your life, you’re telling yourself a story where you can be the hero or the victim of the story. You can’t be both in the same story.
What story are you telling yourself? Are you the hero or the victim of the story?
Shout out to everyone fighting a battle no one knows of.
An Epic Life Demands Greatness Within You
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. — Norman Cousins
An epic life is NOT an easy life. It demands greatness and encourages you to become a better version of yourself at every step. Being average is no option in the pursuit of an epic life.
You don’t need to be special, but you need to choose greatness to live an epic life.
Shout out to everyone striving to become the best versions of themselves.
An Epic Life Has An Impossible Mission
Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have perseverance to realize the great life. — A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
An epic life does not have an end goal. It has a vision so big that it is impossible to even come close to it.
The purpose of the impossible mission is to set a direction and think in ways no one ever thought so you can do things no one ever did.
As you upgrade your skills and knowledge, you’ll surprise yourself after each level of your potential.
Shout out to everyone with an unrealistic, crazy vision.
An Epic Life Is Dangerous
Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been. — Alan Alda
An epic life requires you to explore unknown places that may not have a safe path. But you’re willing to take the risk because you have a mission bigger than yourself.
Your mission helps you live a WIN-WIN life — where you live a life that makes you and the world come alive.
Shout out to everyone living with uncertainty to explore the possibilities.
An Epic Life Requires Sacrifices
Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness. — Napoleon Hill
The reason most people don’t live an epic life is that they are scared. Their ego doesn’t permit them to take the “risks” required to design their epic lives.
You have to face failure, rejection, your own mistakes, and give up the old you (and habits) to reach the next level of your evolution.
You can’t have everything all at once in life. So you must choose and ignore everything else.
Shout out to everyone making sacrifices to accomplish great things.
An Epic Life Is One Of Its Kind
No one is you and that is your superpower. — Unknown
When you live your epic life, you don’t get intimidated by other’s successes. Instead, you get inspired by other’s lives.
Every epic life has a different start, middle, and end. People start with different circumstances and they have different values, desires, challenges, and so on.
There is no point in comparing one epic life to another. The only comparison to make is if you are becoming better to overcome your own unique obstacles.
Shout out to everyone running their own race.
An Epic Life Is A Free Life
Freedom is the essence of an epic life. It comes in many shapes and forms. Here are a few ways an epic life gives you freedom:
Freedom To Make Your Own Mistakes
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Failures and mistakes are not bad, they are only lethal when they are not ours. When others make decisions for us, our story is not ours. We then hate, blame, and regret everything. The only way to avoid this trap is to take full responsibility and listen to your heart.
Freedom To Choose Your Struggles
My story is a freedom song of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome fear and to stand up for causes bigger than one’s self. — Coretta Scott King
When we struggle for the wrong reasons, we suffer. But when we choose our own struggles, they become meaningful. Struggles are part of life. The only way to make good use of them is to do the things worth suffering for. Everybody has their own thing, and it’s only wise to choose your struggle to make it worthwhile.
Related: How To Overcome Existential Crisis In A Meaningless World
Freedom To Live A Life Designed By You
If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one. — Dolly Parton
I’m allergic to the default life — the life chosen by people around you for you. There is no place for individuality, expression, or thought about how to live life. An epic life gives you the freedom to choose your path and design your own life.
Freedom To Be And Express Yourself
Embrace the glorious mess that you are. — Elizabeth Gilbert
Most people are walking nobody. They have no personality or confidence to be themselves. Being yourself is about choosing your values and having the courage to live by them. The world will constantly try to suppress you. Don’t let it. Express.
Freedom To Enjoy Life
Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices — today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it. — Kevyn Aucoin
While an epic life is not about maximizing one’s own pleasures in life, an epic life is also incomplete if we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy life. There is a time for everything, including the time to enjoy the fruits of life. Just make sure you develop the self-control to enjoy life without drowning in addictions.
Freedom To Define What Success Means To You
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. — Carol Burnett
Money, power, status, peace, happiness, good relationships, health, career — success is what you say it is. People will measure you from their definition of success, and you must protect your own definition of success.
Shout out to everyone living their own definition of success.
Related: 14 Best Quotes on Living a Good Life
An Epic Life Is Based On Transformations
A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure. — Unknown
While an average life stays the same throughout the years, an epic life is continually changing and evolving. It requires dramatic changes and uncomfortable transformations.
There is no space for slacking off or settling down. You experience transformation after transformation to become a better version of yourself.
Shout out to everyone stepping out of their comfort zone.
An Epic Life Is Filled With Gratitude
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. — Oprah Winfrey
It may sound as if an epic life is all about chasing ambition, but that’s not the case. An epic life is grounded with unconditional gratitude and love.
No matter what life throws at you, every situation is an opportunity to feel grateful. It’s not about finding out if everything is happening for a reason. It’s about MAKING everything happen for a reason.
If you choose no meaning, you get no meaning. Or you can give meaning to the worst things in life and they will have no choice but to take your side.
Shout out to everyone choosing to look at the brighter side.
An Epic Life Is Peaceful Even In The Midst Of Chaos
You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart. — George Michael
Life is chaotic — no doubt about that. Most people can’t handle the chaos because they don’t have the peace to survive it.
The only way to get peace of mind is to follow your intuition.
When you live a life true to yourself, there is no conflict left in you because there is no misalignment between what you do and what you’re meant to do.
When the inner storm is quiet, the outer storm can’t touch you.
Shout out to everyone following their hearts.
An Epic Life Is A Life Of Service
The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. — Albert Schweitzer
An epic life is not all about you. While most life advice is focused on optimizing one’s own life, an epic life is much more than that.
An epic life serves a greater purpose than serving one’s needs and desires. Your chosen path of serving others is as much (if not more) important than your own goals.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”.
Your life is a job. Do your epic work.
Shout out to everyone making the world a better place.
An Epic Life Does Not End With Death
The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. — Marcus Tullius Cicero
Death is an event while an epic life lives as long as it stays in the minds and hearts of people who witnessed it.
It doesn’t matter if one reaches their goals before death or not. What matters is how far they went and how much they fought until their last breath.
One may die, but their ideas, inspiration, work, love, and so on stay alive.
Shout out to everyone designing their epic lives.
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An Epic Life Is A Choice
You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. — C.S. Lewis
You and I don’t have to live an epic life. We can come to the Earth, live a normal life, and die — there’s nothing wrong with that.
But if you’re ambitious, striving to design your own intentional epic life, welcome to the tribe. It’s not an easy choice to be:
- An entrepreneur with a wild vision, believing even when the odds are stacked against you.
- A supermom or superdad juggling multiple things and still giving your best.
- A creative with the courage to do what you love at the cost of uncertainty.
- A person (at any age) taking the leap to make a transformation or change life around.
- A lifelong learner investing time and money into self-improvement to become a better version of yourself when others are making the easier choice of getting instant gratification.
If you choose the epic life, I salute you.
A shout out to you.