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An Autopsy Of Your Life: Living By Design Part Ten


In the final episode of the Living By Design series, Dr. Phil takes you through creating a life script by identifying areas that are not working and making conscious changes to achieve it. Do an autopsy of one's life to assess personal attributes, figure out what one wants, and avoid repeating past mistakes. Dr. Phil emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with supportive people and presenting one's best self to others to achieve success.


Living By Design Playbook 2023

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The hardest part of really getting to know yourself is facing your fears, the ones that keep you awake at night, tossing and turning and staring at the ceiling as the anxiety grips you and brings you to a cold sweat. Anxiety is one of the biggest obstacles to success in anyone’s life. If you so much as admit to yourself that you want more than you currently have, you can experience a tremendous amount of anxiety.


Why? Because once you’ve admitted that what you have now is not what you want, how can you ever be satisfied staying where you are? Just admitting it to yourself puts pressure on you to try for something more. And in almost every situation, for you to have more, for you to have a greater degree of success, the world and, more specifically, the people in it have to accept and value what you have to offer. And when you put yourself out there, you’re risking something. If you’re like most people, your number-one fear is rejection, and your number-one need is acceptance.



Monsters live in the dark. When you turn on the bright lights, what you fear is not nearly as horrible as you made it out to be in the dark, anxiety-riddled fantasy of your mind. If the worst that can happen

is that you’re right back where you were before you started, you really haven’t lost any ground.


And maybe you can do an autopsy on why things didn’t work, which will prepare you to make a better run at your goal the next time. And of course, you at least have a chance of overcoming the problem and being free of it. There’s not much downside, but a huge upside. That is a risk-to-reward ratio that works every time. So if you play the “what if?” game, play it all the way to the end. And when you do, I’m going to bet that once you identify the real threat, the real downside, you will decide, “Hey, I can handle that; I’m sure not getting any better sitting on the sidelines.”


I will confess that although I am in the public eye daily, I am not one of those people who has a need to be loved by strangers. So, if you can adopt the same attitude, the prospect of embarrassing yourself in public won’t loom quite so large. Works for me, every day!


It’s not enough just to know yourself. You have to ask yourself, are you working for what you want or for what you don’t want? How do you approach your life in general? Are you passive or aggressive? Everyone has a style. Some people you know come in your life like a cool breeze; others blow in like an 80-piece marching band. These are all examples of what I call an “attitude of approach” to life, and even if you don’t think you have one, you do. You may think you’re just minding your own business, just existing passively in a reactive mode, but that is an attitude of approach, too.


If you don’t have something you’re working toward, you’re making a serious mistake. You have to be goal-oriented.

What is it you’re trying to get? If you don’t have something you’re working toward, you’re making a serious mistake. You have to be goal-oriented. You can be leading the parade, but if you stop marching, your lazy butt is back in the tuba section before you know it. Even if it’s your goal to stop marching, to drop out of the parade, that’s a goal. So, you need a to-do list, a list of priorities to work

on, even if your goal is to work less. Don’t just breathe air; figure out what you want. You may want to get off the ever-moving escalator to avoid getting caught in the ascendancy, but without a goal, you’re like a missile without a guidance system.


You need to be asking what your precise, specific definition of success is. Do you even know? You could have had it all along and not known it, or somewhere along the line you may have passed it by. How would you know if you’ve been a good parent, a good spouse, or a good worker? We used to get grades in school, but no one ever gets a letter grade for parenting. And no one is in a position to really know, except you—if you’re being truly honest with yourself.


I’ve had people ask me, “Dr. Phil, are you a self-promoter?” (I’m pretty sure they meant it as an insult! Ha! Sorry, I wasn’t offended.) And my response is, “Good grief, I hope so.” Because if I don’t believe in myself, how can I expect other people to believe in me? I’m putting up my hand up and saying, “Pick me.” When the clock is ticking down, I want the ball. I want to take that last shot. I want to be the go-to guy, and if I’m not willing to stick my hand up and say, “Hey, pick me, and I’ll tell you why,” then there’s something seriously wrong with my personal truth.

The Playbook should be something you read and reread until it becomes your nature. We all need to have a plan for life, and this is meant to be at the core of your plan for living in the real world. Master it, customize it to your own personality, and perfect its execution.


I’ve had people ask me, “Dr. Phil, are you a self-promoter?” (I’m pretty sure they meant it as an insult! Ha! Sorry, I wasn’t offended.) And my response is, “Good grief, I hope so.” Because if I don’t believe in myself, how can I expect other people to believe in me? I’m putting up my hand up and saying, “Pick me.” When the clock is ticking down, I want the ball. I want to take that last shot. I want to be the go-to guy, and if I’m not willing to stick my hand up and say, “Hey, pick me, and I’ll tell you why,” then there’s something seriously wrong with my personal truth.

That’s what makes a goal different from a dream—a goal has a timeline and an action plan.

Remember how I began this series, with a promise to help you understand how the world really works and who you really are as you go about dealing with this real world? Well, now you should understand why that was so important and why it required your “urgent awareness.”


It’s only when you reach that understanding that you can pass on the right legacy to your children so they can reach a level of hard-earned understanding through your parenting.


And remember when I said I don’t even want you to change who you are so much as I want to add to who you are? If your life wasn’t where you wanted it to be when you started reading, I hope it is getting there now.


Now you know.



 

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1 Comment


Unknown member
Jun 16, 2023

Good afternoon! I agree with you. It is also important for me to surround myself with supportive people and present myself to others in order to achieve success.

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