Brainstorm a better life

By David Joel Miller

A better life begins with a plan for what better would be.

Happy Life

Happy Life
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Ever thought you wanted more out of life but could not describe what that better life would look like? Try using brainstorming methods to create a life plan for that better life.

Brainstorming is an old technique and one that is not always used to best advantage. To use this technique effectively you need to do two things. When thinking about the questions below do not censor. Write down every idea you come up with no matter how crazy or impossible. Extreme ideas can be tamed down but boring ideas are hard to liven up. Do not think too long on any question, your first thought no matter how bizarre may well be just the idea you are looking for.

Write down the answers to the following questions and then see what they all have in common. Answer each question as if everything was possible. Do not talk yourself out of anything.

If you could do anything for a living what would you do?

Lots of folks drift through life doing the jobs that come their way rather than finding their true passion and pursuing it. Career counselors will tell you that one good predictor of job successes is the fit between the person and the job. Not every job is right for every person.

Dream big, then do your homework. Generating a list of dream jobs should take you to the next step, researching those jobs. What would you need to do to land that job? What other related jobs exist. That first idea may lead you to possibilities you had never imagined.

Where would you most like to live?

What would be your dream place to live? Would it be in the mountains or at the beach? Would it be close to your family and where you grew up, or would it be far away and exotic? Make plans to include some of that location in your life.

You may decide that you would like to live somewhere very different from where you grew up, say you fancy living in Japan, but want to be close to your family. Can’t get the whole clan to move to Japan? Then consider a vacation there, a school exchange trip or simply include some Japanese culture in your life. Try a Japanese restaurant or cultural event.

Who do you want to spend time with?

Too much of life gets spent with people we may not wish to be around. If you could spend time with anyone who would that be? Emphasize time with family or friends. Avoid letting people use up your time that do not enhance your happiness.

Have you surrounded yourself with positive helpful people?  If not, why not? There is truth to those old sayings. “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” We end up being like the average of the people we hang out with. Spend more time with people you would like to emulate.

What is in your life now you would want to eliminate?

A large part of happiness is getting things out of your life that does not belong there. Some things may be mandatory but reexamine your choices. Can you reduce time spent on activates that do not enhance your happiness? Can you find ways to transform the things you do into happy events by including those you want to be with?

Do you waste a lot of time with complaining and gossip? What you do the most you practice doing. To change your life change the things you spend your time on.

Whose advice would be most helpful in solving all your problems?

Feel like you need more help in figuring things out? Look for a mentor. Consult a counselor or therapist. Read self-help books. Consult books and movies by and about inspirational people. Make religious and spiritual advisors a part of your support system.

Take your lists of things you would like to improve in your life and start developing a plan to increase the happy things and decrease the unhelpful things in your life and see how far towards that happy life you can move.

Look here for more Self-Improvement tips.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


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