Everybody wants what feels good.
Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have great relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired.
Everyone would like that — Life is easy like that.
It would be great right?
When I ask my clients, “What do you want from life?” they say something like, “I just want to be happy! But what does that mean? Does it mean anything?
Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence — but not everyone wants to do the 9-5, long commutes, paperwork or office politics.
People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.
Everybody wants to have great relationships but not everyone is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there.
And so they settle.
They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years and until the question morphs from “What if?” into “Was that it?”
Because happiness requires struggle.
The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come roaring back to life.
At the core of all human behaviour, our needs are more or less similar. A positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.
People want to be slim and fit. But you don’t end up with a healthy body unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with being regular at the gym and eating the right food.
People want to start their own business or have the kind of financial freedom they are looking for. But you don’t end up a successful in your field unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.
People want to marry someone amazing.
But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turmoil that comes with weathering rejections and questions like where all the good ones are. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.
The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.
In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.
If there is something hat you have been wanting to do, but keep putting it off. Here are a few tips that will help you get out of your own way.
When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there.
Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.
Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.
To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, you will work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 30%.
Know exactly how far you have left to go.
Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behaviour or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.
Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means, engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence.
Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can getthe ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.
Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable.
Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
Determination is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that determined people obtain more education over their lifetime than leaving education at the door when they leave uni.
Effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately but also do wonders for your perseverance.
Build your willpower muscle.
Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.
To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Trust me when I say this sitting in front of a camera talking to you today is the last thing I thought I would be doing. But I challenged me and here I am. Try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t.
Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do.
Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or take control of your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves.
The quality of your life depends on how you manage your emotions.
I believe everything in your life, everything in your business, everything in your wealth in your happiness, everything in your relationships. Boils down to one simplistic understanding and that is your level of commitment.
What level of commitment are you prepared to do to learn to give to grow for the things you want and need?
Remember It’s not going to happen overnight.
It takes time to build, we need to stop our internal voice. Most people are knocking themselves down before they have even started.
Stop getting in your way. Know too that you internal voice is always working against you.
Start to think of your life as an experiment. Every single thing you are doing you are getting better at it.
Don’t let compliments go to your head and criticism to your heart.
Get going on these tips.
Let me know how you are getting on,
I would love to know.
Until next week have a fab week ahead.
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