You are the architect of your life!

photo_ArchitectureA few weeks ago I wrote a piece called “You are the captain of your plane!” and before that I wrote one called “Don’t give up – You’re almost there!” All these posts were based off of great analogies I’ve recently heard that got me thinking about life in a new way. Today, I’m not talking about flying, but I’m talking about building.

Similar to my “Don’t give up” post that talked about not drowning in shallow waters, this was inspired by a talk by T.D. Jakes called “The Discipline of Doing.” He talks about how we are all sculpting and building our lives each day. What any good architect does whenever they try to build something is that they have to do the proper planning. T.D. Jakes says that any good architect has to build first by design, then by reality. They make sure it’s safe to even begin to do the work. They have to first lay out the vision for what they want. They have to be clear on what their goals are and what it’s going to look like when it’s all finished.

Even when all the planning is done though, you have to lay the foundation. Then when you lay the foundation, you can begin to build up. The problem that so many of us run into is that we want to build the building before we plan and lay the foundation. As Bishop T.D. Jakes said, we have to be willing to work in places that people don’t see. We have to be willing to do the work inside before we begin on the outside. We may want people to see our nice new car, but we have to do the grunt work to afford that new car. People don’t see that hard work. So often we want to build the building so we can have the fancy house, with the nice window treatments, with the beautiful patio, but we don’t solidify the ground in which we build. We want the job title; we want to be married; we want to have two kids; we want the house; we want the relationship. We want the idea of it rather than the reality of what it takes to get there. However, what we don’t want is a life that looks great from the outside, but empty on the inside.

The issue we can run into is that if we don’t lay the foundation, we won’t be able to maintain the building. It takes too long to build. It takes too long to plan. We want the career, but do we want to invest the time to build it. We want the husband/wife, but we don’t want to invest the energy to maintain the relationship. We want the car but we don’t want to work hard enough to afford the payments. And if you don’t invest the energy into building, before you know it, a sinkhole hits your life and everything you had just falls into pieces. We can build the house, get the job, have the kids, but if we don’t lay solid rock underneath, as soon as anything happens, all those things will come crashing down because you didn’t have the foundation to hold up to the winds of your life. And there’s no doubt there will be wind.

The next step comes that what if the foundation already fell? I already said that we have to work on the inside and the foundation before we do anything. But I don’t want you to take that so literally. Many of us get too stuck in fixing the inside before we fix the outside at all. Sometimes if we’re too much on the inside, we have to at least starting buying the pieces for the outside. We need to get the basics – the tools, the nails, the hammers. You have to get the paper, the pen, the rulers. Even if you don’t know exactly what your blueprint is going to look like, don’t be afraid to start somewhere. You won’t build the building if you never start the drawing. It just takes the first dig to get your life moving. And then slowly, you can nail something in. You can then build your life one nail at a time.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the talk:

“When what you believe infiltrates your behavior, the process gives you foundation.”

So what house are you trying to build? What beliefs are infiltrating your behavior? What does the blueprint of your life look like? What is the first nail you need to hammer in? What area do you need to dig further into? What kind of foundation do you need to set?

Related links:

Rubin Khoddam, Clinical Psychology PhD student at University of Southern California, founder of Psych Connection.

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Categories: Blogs by Rubin

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