A Roadmap to Getting the Life You Love
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Written by: Scott Dinsmore
Average Read Time: 6 minutes
Editor’s Note: This is a book review for Arvind Devalia’s book Get the Life You Love and Live It
We all have dreams. Maybe get that perfect job. Start that business. Meet the right person. Lose 20 pounds. Find your purpose.
Whatever your own vision of success is, the only thing that usually stands between your dreams and reality is action. It starts with that first single step to climb a mountain.
Why then is it so hard to begin?
We get so used to just one way of doing things that getting ourselves to take that first key step requires some massive effort. It isn’t enough to know the end result. We need to fill in the steps in between. Just as it’s difficult to drive somewhere without directions, it’s even more important that you have a map to your success.
Arvind Devalia provides just that in his book “Get the Life You Love“.
Arvind’s blog is also his platform for offering in-person and virtual coaching session on the same topic. Being out of London, his writing has a very worldly perspective, making it all the more applicable (and entertaining).
Get the Life You Love is all about action, which I love. It’s divided up into 25 sections that cover life’s areas from health to life-values to balanced living and back again. Each short section starts with a few pages of inspirational words followed by two pages of hands-on activities. You get to fill in the blanks for your daily actions and answer some seriously thought-provoking questions. It’s not just a book but a do-it-yourself workbook. The activities require real thought and effort and his opening words to each section get you in the perfect state to start producing answers.
No matter your goals or dreams, there’s something here for everyone.
Not all of us need or want to change the same things in our lives, nor do any of us likely need to change everything. So feel free to mix and match different sections of the book depending on your life situation. Maybe for now you just want to start with getting massively healthy and fit. Then go right to Step 18. Or if you are a little lost when it comes to your life purpose, flip to that section for questions and activities that will cause you to dig deep.
Even if you do plan to only focus on one area, I would still read the book cover to cover first. Arvind’s concise writing means it will likely only take you an hour or two to do so (I breezed through it on a mini-retreat in Tahoe a few weeks back). It’s the exercises where the real meat and improvement lie. The stuff is very simply written and engaging, and you will likely find more areas you’d like to spend time on than you initially thought.
And thankfully, none of these steps are overwhelming or difficult, as some goals can be. He’s broken them down into simple, practical things that can make all the difference. The smallest task can get you the momentum you need.
Some of the most powerful sections for me were:
Give and receive. Arvind is a living example of giving and contribution through his charity, coaching and personal endeavors. As he says, stop worrying about how to get to the top. Find ways to uniquely help those around you. The “contribution high” you’ll get will beat fleeting feelings of personal accomplishment. Sooner rather than later you are likely to be paid back many fold.
Keep your cool. If it won’t matter in five years from now then why waste your emotions on it? Rarely is anything really worth getting worked up about. Have fun with the things that don’t go quite right. There’s probably a reason anyway.
Clear the clutter. So simple. Getting rid of all the old stuff around your house is incredibly liberating. Do the same with the heavier things in your life that clutter your mind and your days. Anything that doesn’t serve your purpose or those around you should be ruthlessly cut. Learn to say no to things. Create a clean work space mentally and physically.
Find the work you love. Life is too short to not understand your purpose and do what you love. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible. I know plenty of people making a living doing exactly what they want. Arvind is one of them. It just takes some work. Maybe a lot of work. But isn’t that extra effort worth it to discover what you are supposed to do with your life? He’ll help you identify your natural strengths and purpose and help get you living them.
Increase your energy. Unbelievable energy exists in our bodies, we just have to tap into it. Have you ever noticed at times how you can barely keep your eyes open, and all of a sudden someone walks into the room, a song comes on or an idea pops into your head that makes you perk straight up? Keep track of the things that light a fire in your belly. Do the same for those that kill your energy. Decide on what you would rather spend your time. The same goes for the people around you. And of course how you treat your body. Your level of physical activity and what you put in your mouth have massive effects on your energy. Learn how to get the most from your body.
Strive for excellence. We have two options going through life. Do the minimum to get by or be your absolute best at whatever it is. Too many choose the former. The fact that I can always choose to give something my full energy and excellence is what gets me leaping out of bed to go after things. Personal excellence is a choice. People will notice.
Enjoy the single life. Like I said, Arvind hits every area. This obviously doesn’t apply to everyone (especially a guy like me who’s getting married in 3 weeks) but to the people it does, there are few things more important. When you’re too intensely focused on the lookout for someone special, it takes your focus away from simply enjoying what you already have. And enjoyment can be the best attraction factor of all.
Arvind doesn’t miss a thing as he steps us through our biggest areas of attention and helps us create a path towards improvement, whatever that might mean to you. His experiences with his clients and himself provide more than enough real-world insights to make this reality. When it feels real, it feels possible. When it feels possible, we’re likely to do something about it.
Read this in a day or casually make you’re way through it over the next few weeks and months. Choose a new section every couple weeks and make it your focus to give thoughtful attention to the activities.
Reading is where learning starts, but action is where the magic happens.
Dreams don’t happen all at once but through countless tiny steps forward. Get the Life You Love provides the framework. Weave your life through it and you will experience the difference.
As opposed to most prescriptive self improvement books, the action and interaction required makes this map unique to each of us.
You’ll actually learn about yourself.
All of us will have different paths towards our own successes. No matter the route, a map will make all the difference. Something that guides you to be the person you know you can be–to getting the life you love. If you’re at a loss for how to take that first step, as I know so many of us are, this is just the place to start.
“Create a trail of happiness behind you, as you go forward in your life.”
– Arvind Devalia
What steps have you taken to make positive life changes? What resources have been most empowering? Share with us in the comments below.
Other Articles and Resources to Help You Along the Way:
Arvind’s Blog: Make It Happen