Architect at work.

Are you actively designing your life? Or at least supervising the construction of your life? It seems like an easy question. Everyone should say yes. But really think about it. Are you intentionally designing a framework for personal success? Don’t you think you should be?

We are only human. We are susceptible to ruts. And these ruts can last a hell of a lot longer than we think. We are just doing life. Day in, day out. And we blink and it’s five years later. And we still don’t go on date night. Our kids are out of diapers. We still haven’t written that book. Why? Because we aren’t acting as the architects of our own lives.

How to Build a Life That Matters

Start with the foundation. Your support system. Because things won’t always go as planned and you will need that support when it doesn’t. Your family, your friends, your job — these are the building blocks that make up your foundation. Once secured you can begin to design. That’s what an architect does. That’s what you can do. But first, you have to build a foundation.

But your foundation is also about you. What do you stand for? Who are you? Who do you want to be? How do you think of yourself? In order to get the best support for your life, you have to support yourself first. If you can’t support yourself, you can’t expect others to do it for you. Sometimes it may be tough, but without you, there is no architect. No one can design your life for you.

“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”

— Zig Ziglar

Taking Control

If you want to be the architect of your life you have to be willing to take control. You have to be able to make the decisions that move your life forward. If you aren’t able to do that, you will be in that rut. And five years later you will be asking yourself the same questions and giving yourself the same bullsh*t answers.

Sometimes we need to take control away from our parents. Sometimes we need to take control from our partner so we can work together to build something. And sometimes we even have to take control away from our children. Because we are the adults and we know better. We have to trust ourselves to do the best for our children by taking control.

It’s not control in a control freak type of way either. It’s being responsible. It’s not letting years pass by while you are silently miserable and building up resentment the size of Burj Khalifa. Take the reins. Steer your own ship. Be the architect.

Photo by Kimon Maritz on Unsplash

Designing a Framework

Even your life needs an outline. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish this year, how are you going to be satisfied when the year is over? Status quo is uniquely unsatisfying. A framework sets out a plan and gives you a path to follow. You need it. We all do.

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”

— Charles Kettering

It doesn’t have to be a to-do list filled with minutia. What are your major goals this year? What steps do you need to take to achieve them? And when are you going to start? It should always be today because if it’s not today, it’s always going to be tomorrow.

Your framework for personal success is how you become the architect of your life. Foundation. Control. Framework. Then you build, but you can’t build without your framework. I mean, you can, but you will have something that won’t stand the test of time. It will fold. It will crumble. And so will your life.

On Building

Building the perfect life is an imperfect process. And the second you think your life is perfect, something will tell you it isn’t. But with a strong foundation, the confidence of control, and a blueprint, you will know how to react to anything that comes your way.

When you are reconstructing an old house sometimes you find pipes in a wall that can’t be moved. And then your idea for that open kitchen isn’t possible. So you go back to your plan and see how you can alter it to accomplish something different. You don’t just leave the house and throw away the money and give up. You adjust.

No matter how old you are, you are an old house. You have some wear and tear on you. Years spent getting walked on. A complete overhaul may not be possible, especially not when you like to dig in your heels. But you could use a renovation. And to renovate yourself, you need an architect. That architect is you.


  • Jonathan Greene

    Father, writer, poet, real estate investor, certified life coach.

    Questioner, essentialist, trending digital minimalist, Zen practitioner, free thinker, bibliophile, podcaster, obsessed with sloth bears. Founder and editor of Assemblage. Host of Dad, A Parenting Podcast About the Role Fathers Play in our Lives and Assemblage, A Podcast for Creatives Building Something Unique.