Blog with Joel Brookman

Design Your Life

My original intention for the work I do for my articles, and the 90 Second Navigator Podcasts, is the realization that you have the ability to design your life. I thought it might make sense to go back to that foundation and discuss the key concepts around creating the life you want.

From the moment I graduated college I told everybody that I would be a millionaire by age 30. I found my opportunity when I started a construction business one year later. It didn’t take long for my entire self-worth to become wrapped into this business. Within two years I had 30 employees and I was on my way. One year later the business began spiraling downward, I realized that not only had I expanded too quickly but that I had grown out of my niche. As I was facing my worst nightmare: the dissolution of the business, I began to see signs that my wife was having an affair. I drove to the apartment of the guy in question and saw her car outside. As I left the complex and got onto the highway I began approaching an overpass. I saw a giant concrete pylon and began contemplating how much easier things would be if I drove head first into it. Either I would die which would be a relief, or I would mess myself up enough that my wife would come back and I’d have an excuse for the business to fail. As I’m headed toward the concrete structure at 70 miles an hour, at the last moment something prompted me to turn the wheel.

When I got back home I knew I had to do something about my life situation. I began to contemplate the idea of how I could ever be happy again. How can I live the life that I want to live? I started researching people that were living that life. I became compelled to figure out how they were able to it. They were designing their lives by figuring out what they wanted their life situation to look like, then driving toward that outcome. There were seven principles that if followed, could move you toward your destination.

The first step is determining what you want for a destination.

  • Who are the people you are surrounded by?
  • What place do you live? Describe your ideal home?
  • What is your ideal job or business?
  • What does your lifestyle look like? Leisure activities? Car you drive?
  • Get that destination as clear as you possibly can in your mind.

What has to happen in order for you to bring about what you have listed above?

  • What can you do to make these things happen?
  • Where can you exert influence?
  • Who can help you?
  • What action can you take?
  • Create a plan

What can you do each day to bring you incrementally closer to making this happen?

  • Habits
  • Discipline

Act as if

Surround yourself with things or images of what you want; Do what you can to begin living parts of the life you desire—If you’re living in a small apartment in a marginal neighborhood in New York and want to live on Park Avenue—spend time in the neighborhood, eat there, walk your dog or jog in the area. Find the building you like and start following the real estate transactions.

Visualize and feel

Daydream about a day in that life frequently. In your mind, put yourself into that movie that is your daydream and get the feeling of that situation. What is like the first time an important person in your life walks into your place and experiences your lifestyle? How does it feel to you when you see their reaction? How do you feel when you wake up in the morning and you are living that life? Go there in your mind as often as you can with as much clarity and feeling as possible.


Know that you will create your vision or something better.

Don’t obsess about exactly how things will manifest or exactly what it will be. Just know that you be successful and have faith in the process.

Enjoy the process

Destinations are great but the ride is most of what we call life. Be sure you enjoy the ride.

  • Appreciate what you have—find three things each day to appreciate.
  • Reward yourself for your incremental progress—When I make my first $100k I will celebrate by taking the Caribbean cruise I’ve always wanted to take.
  • Be present—It can be nice to think about the future but you’re living in the now

After 25 years of applying my research, I am splitting my time between my two favorite locations: the beach in Florida and the mountains in Colorado. I have tremendous passion for my work, a wonderful relationship with my wife of 17 years, and two daughters that bring me endless joy. Some may call it luck, but my life looks eerily like the design I envisioned years ago.

Posted by Joel Brookman in Direct Your Life, Plan your life, success, Uncategorized and tagged .


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