Are You Living Life by Design or by Chance?

Are You Living Life by Design or by Chance?

I’m excited to have Marquita Herald do a guest post on my holistic blog! Marquita is an author, transformational guide, and creator of the Life by design blog which has fantastic advice, tools, strategies, encouragement, and tips to help inspire you to live your best life! Make sure you visit her blog for your weekly inspiration.



Regardless of geography, age or circumstances, there exists within each of us the need to have some sense of control over our lives.

The question that each of us must answer is are we willing to pay the price … to finally decide what really matters most, and commit to doing the work required to close the gap between current reality and the life we truly want and deserve.


You see, there are basically two ways to live.

You can glide along and let things happen, reacting to whatever comes your way. Not necessarily bad in and of itself, but in choosing to live this way you surrender control of your life to chance … good luck, bad luck, whatever the fates happen to serve up.

Or, you can be an active participant, living your life by design — making intentional choices with complete and total awareness of what it is that you are doing and why; fully acknowledging that you are making these choices in order to become the person you are meant to be.

Each decision we make, each action we take, is born out of an intention.

If you think about it, many of the decisions you make every day are already intentional in nature; it’s just that over time our actions become so routine that little thought is given to the intention behind the action. For example, you wash the dishes because you don’t want a dirty kitchen, and other than using paper plates it’s pretty much the only way to assure you’ll have clean dishes to eat on for the next meal. Also you may limit the snacks your kids eat because you don’t want them to get full and spoil their dinner, etc.

But living your life by design is about thinking in terms of bigger picture intentions. For example, intentionally limiting snacks for your children to specific foods because you want them to learn to like and appreciate foods that will help them stay healthy, avoid becoming obese, and keep their teeth healthy and strong.

You see how intentional thinking gives greater meaning to your choices?


Purpose fuels your intention.

It’s human nature that once we decide we want something we want it as soon as possible, but there are no ‘quick fixes’ or one size fits all formulas for living your life intentionally. After all the very nature of life by design is to follow your own unique path, and what that looks like will be different for each of us because people will naturally focus on different areas to bring intention to their lives.

For some, their purpose is about faith, others social or environmental activism; often the focus is improved health and living a better quality of life. For many others it is about creating a particular lifestyle.


Choosing to live life by design is like building a house; it begins with a foundation.

Regardless of the life you wish to create for yourself, building anything of lasting value requires a strong foundation … and when it comes to living life by design your foundation is your belief. You must believe that you have the personal power and authority to create your own life experience.

Sometimes closing the gap between your current reality and the life you really want for yourself requires only minor tweaking; sometimes it requires a major overhaul. The good news is that no matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to begin your journey to mastering your life by design.


It’s Your Time Now – A Guide to Living Your Life by Design

Marquita has a new book entitled “It’s Your Time Now – A Guide to Living Your Life by Design” which will be available for sale on September 21st. to celebrate the launch of this new inspiring book Marquita has agreed to give away one copy to readers of my blog. To be entered in the drawing to win this wonderful book just leave a comment below or like Marquita’s Facebook page.

Book Description:

Where do you even begin to live by design when you’re already up to your eyeballs with responsibilities, personal history and emotional baggage? With the belief that you deserve and are capable of becoming all that you are meant to be. No matter where you are in life now, It’s Your Time Now will help bring into focus the steps to guide you on your personal journey to mastering life by design.
Marquita lives in Maui, Hawaii and is an author, transformational guide and the creator of the life by design blog Inspired Gift Giving (IGG) Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas.

IGG – Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas:  A Guide to Living Your Life by Design






Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share with your community Shelley! I’ll be sure and stop back periodically and will be happy to answer any questions from your readers.
    marquita herald recently posted..When You Need Something to Believe In, Start With Your SelfMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Aloha and Thanks so much Marty! I appreciate you writing such a insightful article for me to share with my community along with doing the book giveaway! You are an inspiration. 🙂

  2. Well written article; living life with intention will help make life more joyful when the goals are reached. I do not feel that we are in total control of our lives as we all have to deal with reacting to other forces but if we have the goals, building upon the foundations of our lives is much easier to obtain.

    Thank you for sharing good tips and this article.
    Michael A. Buccilli recently posted..Yes, Your Blog Should Be Using Pinterest | Spice Up Your BlogMy Profile

  3. Glad you liked the article Michael and I certainly understand your point about not being in total control of our lives, however the good news is that we do have control over our attitude and how we choose to respond to things. The best part is that we focus on making intentional choices for all of the areas we do have control over, the other stuff becomes less and less important.
    marquita herald recently posted..When You Need Something to Believe In, Start With Your SelfMy Profile

  4. Very interesting post! I think that it is important to live your life with purpose. It is also important to set specific goals to assist with managing your time. If your purpose is to live in a more healthy way, it is important to define what that means to you (i.e., eating 5 fruits and vegetables each day, walking 30 minutes each day). If I don’t set specific goals, my “purpose” and “intention” can become too diffuse, making it difficult for me to know whether or not I am living the way that I want to live.

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      I agree with you Kristen. Living your life with purpose gives you clarity and helps you to make intentional choices to achieve what you want in your life.

  5. Thank you Shelley for having Marty on this guest post.

    Oh my two great gals getting together…how powerful is that?

    Marty, I enjoyed this post! When it comes to “foundations” it is so important that we build one.
    And we can build one all over again when we reach the understanding of what we really want in our lives. I love that concept. Also, Living our lives with clarity is so important to do. Getting out those nasty negative thoughts and going full speed ahead is so enjoyable.
    – Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Mind State ChangeMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Donna, You have made some excellent points! Marty really shows how to start achieving this in her article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. Great article! I really enjoyed it and I hope to read your book as well!

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Brianne! Marquita’s book will be available this month and with this comment you are entered to win a free copy!

  7. this is inspiring
    instead of living at the merci of life changes we can be in control of our destiny
    thank you so much for this post
    farouk recently posted..How to become a billionaire fast (written by a Young millionaire)My Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Farouk, Marty’s article really shares some great insights into how we choose to live our life. Living your life by design can really make a huge difference in what course your life takes.

  8. Lovely to Marty posting here as well 🙂 and what a great read for your community. I love the concept of tweaking to make changes and yes for some it may be an major overhaul, but we don’t know until we sit down and try to make the changes suggested.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..4 ways your blog’s ruining your contentMy Profile

  9. Shelley,

    Thank you for sharing Marquita’s inspiring post. I like the concept of living life by design. However, that does not mean controlling every aspect. You create in your mind first whatever it is you desire. Then you create a plan, a blueprint to guide your actions. And then you adjust, continually, to the obstacles, pitfalls, unexpected happenings and turn of events. A design is a moving process, not a single static event. So designing your life involved going with the flow, acceptance all along the way, and continually creating new and more expansive visions.


    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..If 30 is Old, then what is 60?My Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Dr. Erica, What you just expressed is so true! Living your life by design does need to be adaptable and able to evolve to deal with whatever obstacles etc. are put in your path. When you have a plan for your life you can make the necessary adjustments and enjoy the life you are creating.

  10. Hey Shelley and Marty,

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring post…it is great to get back to reading Marty’s amazing blog posts.

    I also enjoyed all of the comments made above.
    I think it is extremely important to be an active participant in your life and be in control to the greatest degree possible of the decisions you make , regardless of the outcomes.

    Our decisions shape our lives. Whether we rise to great success or head down to failure, it comes from the decisions we make and the actions we take.

    Once you are able to develop your ability to focus and concentrate, which takes time and practice, you will be able to accomplish almost anything you set your mind to.

    To your continued success,
    Marc Korn recently posted..Discover Your New List Building “SUPER TOOL”My Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Marc, You have shared some really good insights which will absolutely help you to accomplish anything you set your mind to. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Marty,

    great article! Conscious choices are so important. No point in sleepwalking through life. And clearly defining your purpose in life can be an excellent way to help you make the correct conscious decisions in our day to day life in terms of what we eat, who we associate with, how much time we spend on our job or business, etc.
    Jupiter Jim recently posted..Thesis Tutorial: Create “Fat Footer” or Widgetized FooterMy Profile

  12. Thank you for sharing this with me, I think that even to start making small decisions to intentionally push your life in the direction you want to travel is a giant leap in the right direction. It makes you feel fulfilled and I think the best goal you can achieve is one set by yourself.

    Thank you again, Jessica.

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Jessica, I’m so glad Marty’s article inspired you. Starting with small decisions and building from there is a great way to achieve your goals in life. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Great post, Marty! I am glad to see that you are spreading your wonderful message on the blogosphere. You are so right about the need to actually design a life. As Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t plan your life, you’ll be going by someone else’s plan, and chances are that person doesn’t have much planned for you.”
    Steve Nicholas recently posted..Winning by LosingMy Profile

  14. This is a great article. And I agree that people live by the decisions that they make; whether conscious or subconsciously. Every action has a deeper intention, whether we sometime admit it or not..

    Great writing.

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