Creating Your Life vs Letting Life Create You

As entrepreneurs, I believe we are all on a similar path of self development and personal growth. That we are not sheep, but want to take control of our own lives in a meaningful way.

Most of you already know that I am a huge fan of Napoleon Hill's work in Think and Grow Rich.

What I love most is how it teaches you to generate a "burning desire" for what you want, instead of just wishing, and how that burning desire compels you to take actions (both consciously and subconsciously) toward making that desire a reality.

Realizing that I had a choice in life was a monumental turning point for me. Up to that point, which was around 10 years ago, I simply allowed life to happen. And boy did it ever. If you do nothing at all, life will still go on all the way around you - and even involve you. And you can let the world create you like that, mold you, or you can take control and create the version of yourself you prefer to be...

Over the weekend I watched What the Bleep Do We Know!?, which was incredibly thought-provoking. So much so that I hopped online and ordered Evolve Your Brain by Joe Dispenza because I enjoyed his commentary in the film so much. It should be here in a couple of days. πŸ˜€

I would be interested to hear if you have seen the film or read his book, and if so - what you thought of it?

Ironically, the next morning I found an article from Zen Habits in my feed reader titled Life as a Conscious Practice. Uncanny timing!

In the article, Leo discusses both physical habits and thought processes - and how we can consciously change our actions and choices. And if Leo's article interests you at all, I highly recommend you watch the DVD (above) as it will take you ten layers deeper on the topic. πŸ˜‰

"I Can't." - What Would You Do If You COULD?

To say "I can't" is probably the easiest, and most likely response to any major change or new concept. You'll hear people say why they can't quit smoking, write a good blog post, stop eating junk food, leave an unhealthy relationship, start exercising, move to a better location, manage time better, keep a clean home or even a clean desk, etc.

We simply "can't", and we accept that as how we are - or who we are. And often we go a step further and actually embrace it...

The mind is a powerful thing. It can rationalize anything in our favor. Just look at the US legal system as a good example. The heart is fickle, talking us into chasing butterflies and indulging our fancy of the moment. But in our GUT we know that we "can". We know that without a doubt.

The next time you hear yourself say "I can't" - whether out loud or in your mind - ask yourself "Why Not?" The debate that ensues between your mind and your gut will prove interesting if you listen in. πŸ˜‰ Anytime you feel conflicted, it's usually because your mind is trying to talk you out of what you want - or what you know you should do. And the mind does this based on programming from past experience and external influences... keeping you on the exact same path, with the exact same circumstances, for as long as you'll let it.

How does this relate to online business?

Are you where you want to be? Are you (honestly) taking all the right actions toward reaching your goals? Do you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and a timeline for when you will realistically be able to achieve it?

If you answered yes to those questions, you're one step ahead of me. If you answered no to any of them, it's time to stop and take stock of where you are and what you're doing - and why. (Hint: the key is in your "why")

Do you let the flow of the day dictate what you accomplish? Such as how many emails you received, or how many new blog posts are in your feed reader? Or do you wake up and do your priority tasks FIRST before you allow yourself the leisure of distraction?

If you're like me, you started an online business because you wanted more control over your life and your time. You wanted the freedom to create your ideal lifestyle. You wanted to be independent. So... are you? Do you have more control, or is life and time still controlling you?

As an entrepreneur, most of us are dealing with a higher level of stress than we anticipated. It's certainly more difficult and more challenging than holding a traditional job, which is why finding stress management techniques that work for you is so important. I know many of my peers take scheduled breaks, meditate or exercise to break through the frustration and mental blocks...

I Can't Either

I'm a serious creature of habit. I find creating good new habits just as difficult as quitting bad habits. I'm bad to say that I can't start my day without my coffee. Not true. I proved that just the other day, just for fun. πŸ™‚

Even saying "I can't" is just a habit.

But something really cool happens when you become aware of why you think what you think, and why you do the things you do - even when it makes absolutely no sense at all.

I don't have all the answers. I'm still on my own path of discovery and realization. The only real advice I have to share with you is to get on that same path if you're not already. To look for answers instead of accepting "what is". To step out of the mold life will put you in, and start creating your own life - just the way you please.

And if you haven't seen it yet, watch What the Bleep Do We Know!?

It'll blow your mind. πŸ˜‰


You'll have to forgive this somewhat foo-foo topic, but I felt compelled to share this with you. I usually keep my deeper thinking to myself, along with topics like politics & religion (lol), but I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Cynthia LaLuna says:

    So glad you finally saw the movie! Deborah and I saw it in the theater back when we were living in Santa Fe, so it must have been around 2004. Packed house, too - only in Santa Fe! Definitely more thought-provoking and less kindergarteny than "The Secret." They're often compared, but I see no real comparison between the two. Apples and oranges.

    We now own a copy, but unfortunately it's not the new version with the clip randomizer...

    • I can't believe I hadn't seen it before now. What an ENGAGING film! I bought the book, along with Joe's book - and preordered his upcoming book. I'll share a list of the titles when they arrive. Really looking forward to some GOOD reading! πŸ˜€

  2. I have been working hard over the last year to drop the Eeyore mentality. My naturally pessimistic attitude wants to lead with "It'll never work." I am working to lead with "How can I make it work?" That simple mind shift has opened a new set of possibilities for me.

    It's all head trash and I'm taking out the garbage!

    • Good for you, Neil! Have you ever pondered where the pessimism stems from - where it originated? I do that sometimes when I have a thought that doesn't seem to make good sense. It helps to put it in true perspective.

      I was often the opposite. When I started my first business for example, everyone else said it would never work and I was crazy yada yada yada. I said "what's the worst that can happen??" It's not like I was planning to jump off a cliff - just start a business. πŸ˜› Besides, from where I stood, we couldn't fall (or fail) much further than the bottom where we already were. LOL.

  3. It is always easiest to take the path of least resistance. However, that path probably does NOT take you to where you want to go!

    Taking control of you life is a cool thing! Take responsibility for EVERYTHING and you will stop making excuses or blaming others. Life will actually become EASIER (although by one's current standards it will appear to be more difficult UNTIL we get there).

    Thanks, Lynn!

    Be Well.

    • Good stuff, Paul! You reminded me of a time in my life (around 10 years ago now) when someone said to me "you are exactly where you want to be". That infuriated me. I most certainly was not!

      But what I realized, when I calmed down lol, was that I had not taken any deliberate action up to that point. I had just "let life happen". It was from that point forward that I started taking control of my actions, my thoughts - and ultimately my outcome.

  4. Between the emailed blog about consistent blogging (living in our now and honoring our 'today' so that it brings us to our 'tomorrow), and this blog, I feel like I'm right in step with all my fun-feathered internet marketing friends : )

    For some reason, I love revisiting Napoleon Hill in January, and it's not only the 'burning desire' part that i'm focused on, but also how the Universe conspires to meet you halfway with 'the answers to the questions' and miracles along the way...if you are focused, visualize, eat/drink/sleep in synch, and act on faith toward the direction of your worthy goal and mission that you stake your entire claim on <3 (Love Napoleon Hill! : )

    Granted, I began January on a brand new entreprenurial schedule that 'allows me' the time to read and to visualize, to create, to take care of myself in all ways...and not to try to impress myself that 'in this business' a 16-hour day is wisely spent in 100% execution... I figured out about 2/3 of my day 'must' be spent in keeping my energy flowing, being happy in the moment, studying, reading, meditating, and CREATING (i.e., I can't execute my mission if I haven't created the messages that need to be executed : )

    Seems so simple, but had to wrestle a marine-like work expectation with sheer logic: how can i execute (i.e., create my dreams) if i'm not taking the time to create what it takes to execute? : ) And, since I love to do that, it means loving myself enough to do that...How.Flipping.Fun.Is.That? : ) This is a great life to choose.

    Seems the toughest part of creation might just be that mental block, anyway... Creating the Energy Flow in the smartest way, so that it doesn't have to be's...(shhh...*whispers*...)...FUN! : )

    Thanks for the great i'net expertise *and* being a comrade in conquering and Loving Self, Lynn : )

  5. Tanya Zabalegui says:


    Wow, was this timely for me! It's not like I say β€œI Can’t.” but sometimes something stops me. I LOVE the question "What Would You Do If You COULD?" and have been sitting on this thought and liking it a, scary but an exciting question. One that we should ask ourselves to various parts of our life. Thank you so much for this thought provoking post. Cheers! Tanya

    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Tanya! I agree that we should ask ourselves this and other questions more often - that we should question our responses and decisions to make sure we're not allowing ourselves to repeat mistakes we'll regret (such as procrastinating, allowing, fearing, enabling, etc)...

  6. This was the kind of article i enjoyed reading; something that inspire me to keep pushing on and boost my drive to struggle in life. How i wish i might be able to apply this in mine.

    Thanks for this one.

  7. Only just having the desire to make it will not help in achieving goals. But one should also work hard to achieve desired goals. This can be fulfilled only when one has that burning desire to achieve and ready to put in required commitment needed to achieve it. Your post is very inspiring for the ones who have online business, Lynn. It is necessary to follow the right approach to achieve the desired goals. This will help in getting desired success.

  8. Patti Stafford says:

    As much as I read about personal development, I should be the expert by now. We often fall short in putting it into practice.
    I know the Law of Attraction works. I see it all the time and I've used it myself. The key is, like you mentioned, a burning desire and I don't always have that. When I truly set my mind to something, I do it and "I" make it happen. I'm trying to get there with online business, but I can't seem to get my mind "set" on it so I actually do the work consistently.

    I do work at being more of an action taker than just thinking about it. I know what I've accomplished in the past year. Money wise or business wise, it's not very much. It would even make some people laugh and scratch their heads. But, over the past year I've picked certain people to watch and engage in conversation with and started doing that. Now it's time to engage myself and kick some butt. πŸ™‚

    I used to kick myself when I'd mess up and tell myself I couldn't do things. Now, I know that I'm a work in progress. I will not be done with me until I take my last breath.

    • What a great way to put it. πŸ˜€

      When I lack the "putting it into practice" bit, I stop and ask myself what my WHY really is - why I am "trying" to work on this or that. Getting a strong WHY in mind makes all the difference.

  9. "Ironically, the next morning I found an article from Zen Habits in my feed reader titled Life as a Conscious Practice. Uncanny timing!"

    There are no coincidences.

    And I like what (Norman Vincent Peale, I think) said: "Whether you think you can, or think you can't; you're right"


  10. james samy

    Thank you Lynn for sharing the "I can't" and that is what I was made when I was young. Always people telling me I can't. After knowing what this have molded me, I changed my ways. Think

    I listen to those who say CAN and the right path. Think and Grow Rich is a great and have read before. I will be reading after reading your post. Now I can !

  11. Peter Lawlor says:

    Lynn, you hit the nail on the head when you discussed priorities and doing important tasks first.

    In middle 2010 I became really serious about building an online business. I set out to do nothing 5 days a week until I had 2 quality articles (one for each blog) published that day. The remainder of the day I could deal with e-mail, backlinks, promotion, research, etc.

    I've maintained that publishing pace (it's probably higher now) as well as writing content first thing every day. I don't do anything until those posts are published. This consistency resulted in my online business growing to where it's my only business now.

    It's critical to focus on activities that most effectively achieve your business goal. For me it's content. I'm a content marketer promoting products as an affiliate. Therefore, my priority is content. Focusing on it built my online business.

  12. Carol Hong says:

    Gone into a deep thought. That is what I can say about your article. It has been very motivating and inspiring considering the fact that I get all the negative vibes whenever I start doing something new. Maybe ill try thinking of all that you said and try to realize and control my life.

  13. I think how much ever you try to negate one of the two factors, one is always true. It is both ways that life makes you and that you can create your life. But I prefer controlling my destiny. I am a control freak and would not like to take a ride on an unknown road, but be more in control of what happens. Though I agree that there are times when there is no option but to accept what life throws your way, but I prefer making my own road in life.

  14. I am a firm believer in having life take us on a journey as and when it likes. After all we do not have control on many things that happen, I prefer being a passenger and going on the journey totally trusting my destiny. Besides making your own life involves a lot of stress and is not something that attracts me. I do not want to become a wreck worrying about stuff, prefer relaxing and enjoying life as it leads me on.

  15. Nothing "foo-foo" about it. I've said for years that you're either working to your agenda, or someone else's.

  16. Lynn, loved the post and completely relate the topic to my online business!

    Checked out 'What the Bleep Do We Know" from the library yesterday and watched it last night. I was right with you on Joe's commentary and will be very interested in your opinion of his book. However, next in my Kindle app's queue is Think and Grow Rich.

    The timing for me seemed very in sync with where I am at the moment. I had watched National Geographic Brain Games ( earlier this week and realized our brains are definitely creating their own reality in ways we can't even imagine. My exact words after watching it were "We don't know bleep!".

    Back to the movie... The skeptic in me couldn't help but read what the Wikipedia critics had to say and it was a little disappointing, but for 13 years there has been a picture on my wall that says "Create Your Own Reality" and I have no plans to take it down!

  17. Great post and just what I needed to read as I drink my morning coffee and contemplate working out... LOL... πŸ˜‰

    I've never seen "What the Bleep Do We Know", in fact, never heard of it before, but definitely intend to check it out... along with the book you mentioned by Joe Dizpensa...

    This is probably one of the best blog posts I've read in a long time and am ever so grateful for you sharing it...

    Linda =}

  18. Not a foo-foo topic at all. It is what I base my website on! Personal Growth People. It is a life long process and a process it is. Read, study then take action. If you are willing to look at yourself honestly. That is the challenge we have. Are you willing to do that? Otherwise just like you said Lynn - life will happen to you and it usually won't be what you desired unless you take control and direct it. It starts with your thought, thoughts become actions and actions becomes what your physical reality turns into.

  19. What a great post. Never heard of the movie, but if this is your foo-foo topic, keep them coming! Sometimes with our lives being so busy and out of control, we are looking for a moment to just breathe, and that thought "I can't" becomes the words that we say from our mouth without thinking. Words have a lot of power, because they can manifest into reality without us even noticing. I love when you said to ask yourself "why", when you hear "I can't." Really great post, thanks.

  20. "I can’t" is an inevitable consequence to many things in life, and the best we can do is either recognize the true "i can't" moments, or to bend it to our advantage.
    Well, you could also ignore it, but that's just foolish and and lying to yourself.

  21. Thank you for a really inspiration article. Made my day more complete.

  22. What the Bleep CHANGED MY LIFE! I'm so utterly thrilled that you've given your thoughts on it! The more people that take the time to sit down and watch it the better!

    Anita West

  23. Samuel says:

    I watched the movie too during the darkest days in my life. It was remarkable and the water experiment with intention really fired up my curiosity... Even though later on I found out that the experiment was nothing scientific, I really do see a lot of things happen if you set your intention right.

    My attitude towards I can't is: I don't even care if I can or not. It is only if I will do it, or not.


  1. [...] Also see: Creating Your Life vs Letting Life Create You [...]

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