Some people can just wake up and creativity pours out of them before their first foot hits the carpet.

They create art, music, and combine words so elegantly on the page that it pushes and pulls your emotions, sometimes from many centuries ago. The engineer inside of me says time travel is impossible, the lover of books and music in me disagrees with prejudice.

I am not one of those people who can create mind-altering art without trying. I don’t hike to the peak of a mountain, become inspired, and write the great American novel. I used to wish I could. I realize now how boring that would be.

What I do instead is create a life around me that is intentionally designed for creativeness, inspiration, mindfulness, and personal success. I put specific effort into building my creative habits and muscles, both in business and in my personal creative objective.

I also make sure I am hyper-aware of who & where I want to be and what it will take to get me there, and I set up my daily routine to put me in the best position to succeed. I lead myself like I would mentor a young engineer. I visualize, meditate, plan, and schedule. Self & family first -everyone else somewhere at the bottom of that list.

I tell people what I want to do, even at the risk of being weird or letting them down, or having to crawfish back later. I want them to hold me accountable tomorrow for what I said today-hell, I need them to hold me accountable.

Do things get in the way at times — of course. I have kids, family, and friends.

Do clients call and need something right away, interrupting my well laid out plans — yep, it’s part of the deal of having a successful business.

Do I sometimes realize that the very thing I thought I wanted was not really what I wanted and have to pivot, sometimes publicly — too many times to count in my life.

Too many people take these things as reasons not to design their life the way they want it. They like to use the who knows what will happen today or as excuses for not making and achieving their personal goals. They wear their ability to constantly react, being too “busy”, and not have direction as some sort of badge of honor. Their secret password for their club is “I’m doing the best they can” when in reality they are simply doing what they did last week, last month, last year.

Screw all that nonsense. Design the life you want to live now, completely, authentically, honestly. If you want to be that writer or painter, or entrepreneur in 5 years, start today. Jimmy Page wasn’t Jimmy Page on day 1. Even Einstein himself said, “In school, I wasn’t no Einstein.”

You want to be an artist — paint. You are an artist.

You want to be a writer — write. You are a writer.

There is no badge, no ceremony, no king of all things to make these happen. You don’t have to quit your job and go all in, despite what the internet hustlers tell you. Most importantly, there is no secret sauce, no textbook, no instruction manual, no podcast that can really tell you anything about how YOU can become any of these things. Those are their stories, yours is yet to be written after all.

The only way to become these things is to do these things. That begins now, by design, and with purpose. There will never be a better time than now to get started ever again in your life.

After all, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.” — Yogi Berra