Do you ever feel like your life’s choices have been made for you? Do you ever just go with the flow? Do you make your choices based on what others think you should do? I’ve spent much of my life living in default mode. There’s something better and I’m breaking through to freedom.
In the computer world, default is a preselected option adopted by a computer program or other mechanism when no alternative is specified by the user or programmer.
Sometimes we fall prey to living our lives based on preselected options. We go into default mode. We go to college because we’re told it’s what it takes to be successful. We get married because it’s what’s expected by our culture and our families. We move to the city because we’re told that’s where the good jobs and exciting opportunities are. It’s all based on default mode.
My life has been filled with default mode decisions:
- I went to college by default because I wanted a good career.
- When career options didn’t look good with only a bachelor’s degree, I defaulted into the master’s program.
- I became a speech instructor be default. My passion is more in music, radio broadcasting, and mass media, but community colleges offer more public speaking courses. I’m a default-mode speech teacher.
- I got married by default. I was in my mid 30s and thought it’s what I needed to do to please myself and others.
- I wound up back in Yakima, Washington by default because my ex-wife’s family lived here and I was trying to please her.
- I became a single dad by default because my ex-wife was not able to care for our daughter.
- I reamin in Yakima based on a family law court decision: default mode.
- I bought a house in Yakima by default because I figured I’m stuck here anyway.
Life is not meant to be lived in default mode. I’m tired of having my choices made for me. I don’t want to live based on preselected options. That’s not living, it’s just surviving. I want to thrive. I want to break free. That’s why I’m making changes. I’m pushing through to the next level. I’m choosing my own path.
When I was younger, I had a dream. I wanted to break into the music business. I spent time in Nashville. I was working my way into songwriting. I ran out of money. I came back to Washington State by default. But I never quit writing.
So how do you break out of default mode? Simple. You take more chances. You work hard. If you stick with it, you’ll see results. Here’s what I’m doing to break out of default mode.
- I’m writing songs: Even though I haven’t written any songs for great artists, I’m still improving my songwriting craft with each new composition. My goal is to start my own music publishing company in the next two years.
- I’m writing books: I’ve written several books including: A Train Called Forgiveness and The Happiness of Simple. My goal is to continue to write a new novel every two years and several non-fiction ebooks each year.
- I’m blogging: I have a handful of blogs that I’m building including: hipdiggs.com, simplwrtr.com, and simplblogger.com. My goal is to create online courses and monetize my blogs in the next two years. My goal in three to five years is to be able to live off of my blogging and writing income.
- I’m traveling regularly: I spend a few weeks each year traveling both regionally and nationally. I learn more with each journey. My goal is to continue to travel and relocate to my desired location in the American Southwest within the next 5-10 years.
- I’m paying off debt: I’ve stopped using credit cards so I can pay off debt and live debt-free. My goal is to be debt-free in five years.
- I’m living simply: I’m letting go of my preconceived ideas of success and learning to live simply. My goal is to downsize and become self-sufficient in the next five years.
What are you doing to break free from default mode? Have you tapped into your inner creativity? Have you let go of cultural expectations?
If you want to break out of default mode, I encourage you to start by tapping into your creativity. Whether you want to write books, movies, or start businesses, creativity is what it takes. If you’d like inspiration: