IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE
An extract from the XTL Journals
Why do people find it so hard to do the little things that would improve their lives?
Our minds are designed to stop us from doing anything that might hurt us and because our minds work that way, we avoid anything scary, difficult or out of our comfort zone situations. Our brains are naturally designed to stop us making mistakes and keep us from danger. This is the case for real danger or imagined.
And because of this, we would prefer to live by proxy through other people’s lives. Soap-opera’s, sports teams, super heroes, are the go-to for excitement.
The world is not short of great ideas or great opportunities, but the sad fact is, less than 1% of the population actually do anything about them.
Think about that for a moment, less than 1% of the population ever act on what-ever it is they choose to do. And, they do it without a single thought of quitting when the going gets tough. They give it 100% from day one.
- Sports stars
- The wealthy
- Business owners
- Movie star
Less than 1% actually make it, is it motivation that’s missing, talent, determination or something else?
To be a great parent, to be successful in business, to reach the top of your chosen sport, to be the best spouse, or to succeed in anything, you will have to step outside of your comfort zone, do the hard work and face the uncertain.
If you want to achieve your goals, your dreams, your vision for life, be prepared for difficult and perhaps even scary times.
Not everyone will have the courage to do this, and many will back off when faced with the first difficulty.
The big question is…are you one of the one-percenters, one of the people who never gives up, one of the people who sets their mind on something and never lets it go until they achieve it.
Or maybe for the first time in your life through a forced or desperate situation, you have no choice but to step into uncharted scary territories, or maybe there is something you want to achieve, but don’t know how to go about it. Have courage and keep reading.
We cannot control events around us, but we can control what we focus on and we can choose what we do.
One thing that’s in everyone’s control is the decisions they make.
You can decide if you stay in a bad relationship.
You can decide if you eat good foods or bad.
You can decide to stay in a body you are not proud of.
You can decide to stay in a job where you are treated badly and one you hate.
Is it going to be easy?
No, it will take guts, determination and getting out of your comfort zone.
Change is never easy at first, but is it worth it?
You have to be the one to make the decision, you have to push yourself, you have to make it happen and you have to take 100% ownership, this is your job, no one else’s.
Success isn’t exclusive to the smartest people, it’s earned by people who don’t make excuses and who actually get stuck in and do the hard work instead of just talking about it.
Procrastination and indecision are the thief of opportunity.
If you want to be successful at anything in life, make action your master and your goal your inspiration and vision.
Never go a day without doing something that moves you toward your vision.
Excuses are the killer of dreams and stops action in its tracks.
Everything comes down to you, are you going to make excuses or are you going to take ownership of your own future? Don’t make excuses, don’t blame someone else and don’t blame anything.
Take extreme ownership of every single thing in your world, whether it’s good, bad or down-right ugly.
Be accountable for your past, own your mistakes, own your problems and then take charge of the solutions to put those problems behind you.
Don’t let others or your up-bringing stop you.
Take ownership of your vision, your career, your family, your future and your life.
What can hold you back?
Only one thing, YOU.
Stop hitting the snooze button, find your passion, find your enthusiasm, jump out of bed and take-action.
I remember a time when things were difficult, no difficult is not the right word, it was down-right shitty, my life was falling apart in all areas and I could not see a way out of it. I was lost. Reaching my vision felt a million miles away and seemed more and more impossible as the weeks dragged on.
I was working on my own, I was the whole team and my inspiration was less than zero.
Hitting the snooze button was common practice and I was waking an hour later than usual. My vision was foggy, and some days, I didn’t do anything. It was going backward instead of steadily forward.
One day, I came across a video in my feed and after watching it for 10 minutes, I knew what was missing in my life. I invested the rest of the day in re-writing my vision, the same vision, only with passion, with why it inspired me and with what achieving it would do for my family
My vision was crystal clear again and my excitement was back. That’s all it took, a 10-minute video and a day to get clarity.
I had found my purpose, my vision was still the same, No more hitting the snooze button, no more surfing the net wasting time and no more procrastination.
I was back, more focused than ever.
You never know where inspiration will strike you, but know this for sure, it is an essential part of the process.
We all need inspiration at times.
Once you have your goal, whether it’s a big project or as simple as going to the gym to get fit and lose some weight, NEVER, YES NEVER fall into the trap of hitting that snooze button or put things off during the day instead of what moves you to your goal.
If your reason is big and strong enough, you won’t ever have this problem, getting out of bed will be automatic and often you will wake up before it even rings…. You will just want to do it.
If you don’t move within 3 to 5 seconds, your mind will talk you out of what’s important and you will do something not else instead. Something not related to your goal.
This will happen from the moment your alarm goes off to the moment you go to sleep.
This doesn’t mean you will not have to make dinner, but your goals and priorities are different depending on the time of the day.
Every person has a time window in which they need to move, for you it might be 5 seconds, for others, they need to move in 3 or their mind will talk them out of doing what they should be doing.
When I was de-motivated, there were dozens of things I would rather be doing that felt better, like visiting the fridge, returning a book to the library, planning dinner and so-on.
Taking immediate action will take you from procrastination, laziness, and fear into action before self-sabotage kicks in and the window is lost, and you find yourself at the fridge for example.
Yes, it does take some pre-planning to re-prioritise your goals, but worth the effort. Plan out your whole week and simply repeat. Never let something of a lower importance get in the way of your number 1 priority.
Don’t read this part if easily offended, it’s pretty blunt.
Using weight loss and fitness as an example: Your goal is to lose weight and you say I have to get the kids to school so I can’t go to the gym or exercise in the morning.
You just made an excuse, and a bullshit excuse at that.
I admit if you are single, it’s harder, but also not impossible. If you really want to lose weight and get fit, get up earlier, go to the gym every second day and make it happen. This is what my wife and I did on alternate days for years when the kids were young because it was our priority. Most gyms are now 24-hours and most open at 5am. What’s your excuse?
Here’s what happens…you start off well, then one days it’s raining, so you make an excuse and say you will go tomorrow, but don’t. You sleep in instead and pretty soon you settle for your old default programming. Welcome back to the old you.
Isn’t it time you changed history?
To summarise, here what should happen…
- Create your plan
- Act within 5-seconds
- Don’t get distracted from your main goal
You will have to guard yourself against distractions like loading the dishwasher for example. I know the dishwasher will need to be done eventually, but not at the cost of your #1 goal being derailed.
What is your life like?
Is it amazing, is it too busy, is it active and sporty or is it just plain shitty?
That’s your life right now.
But your life can also be, what you think it should and could be.
If you don’t like who you currently are, then you must change that.
What you think is way more important than what you do and what you do is not who you are.
So, if you want to change you have to change your mindset.
We all have 24-hours in our day.
The cleaner, the teacher, the CEO of a billion-dollar company, the young, the old, the unemployed, and people of every race.
Any achievement is directly related to how well you plan your day and how you utilise your time.
Being comfortable can make you lazy and laziness stops achievement. Living outside your comfort zone is the only way to grow.
Time stops for no one, but you can control how well you use it.
You can decide to sleep in or procrastinate your day and life away or you can decide to make new decisions and change everything.
It’s entirely up to you.
Once you decide to be an immediate action taker instead of finding reasons to do it later, everything will change, you will be better at everything you do, your work, you as a parent and spouse, the effort of your exercise, everything.
So, no more crappy excuses, your hopes and dreams are waiting for you.
DECIDE on what you want
COMMIT to a detailed plan of action
TAKE POSITIVE ACTION
Keep your mind focused on the big picture, but also all the in’s and out’s of the small detail. Missing something small, but essentially important can derail the whole project.
Planning is a great source of inspiration. Once you have a plan and start working it, the art of ticking things of your list becomes addictive and the more you tick off, the higher your productivity and success.
Some days are going to be a struggle, we all have them, but it’s those days that define us that give us added determination next time we don’t feel good.
My 8-year old son begged me not to go to his gymnastics yesterday because he was tired from a big weekend. We had a chat about why he can’t give up every time he gets tired. He understood and left the car with tears about to roll down his cheeks.
When I picked him up, he was full of energy and all smiles as he had just smashed one of his PB’s on a difficult apparatus. He beat all the other kids, took a big chunk of skin off his foot and didn’t even care.
I see all the time kids saying to their parents, I’m tired and their parents let them stay at home.
Honestly people, what kind of message are sending our future, one to give up every time things get hard and it’s ok to quit? What kind of message do you think my son got, that I’m a bad father or a message that he can do anything he sets his mind to, tired or not.
A big part of achieving anything, is just turning up. If I only went to the gym when I felt like it, I’d be a lot bigger than I am now.
Creating the habit of positive discipline in your life starts with waking up early and carrying out a set morning ritual. Go over the main thing you want to achieve that day that takes you closer to your goal.
DO NOT TOUCH THE PHONE or check emails or social media to see what your friends are up to. Seeing how they live their lives is not going to help you achieve your goal.
If you exercise in the morning, do that and make sure you have a healthy breakfast. Make early morning your time and not someone else’s.
In Summary: Positive discipline is
- Waking early
- Reviewing the one thing you want to achieve that day
- Eating a healthy breakfast to fuel your day
- Checking your mood…is it a good one?
It’s no good knowing all this, remember, you must apply it.
You must be self-disciplined if you want to be successful.
At first you won’t like discipline because it’s change, change from what you’ve always done, but after a while, you will start to embrace it and start to see results.
The more results you see, the more you will want to do.
Change your mindset, change your life…
Yours in positive thoughts…
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