Another day begins and here you are, lost in your own thoughts, caught between the fantasy world of your future and the cold, harsh reality of the present moment. A limbo state where nothing truly exists.
How does it feel?
Frustrating, isn’t it?
You spend every waking moment relentlessly pursuing your goals. You leave no stone unturned in your quest for greatness. You become obsessed with the idea of change, of being a different person, of leaving this empty shell behind and transcending into what you’ve always believed you could be.
But here you are, lost in a sea of confusion and anxiety. Wondering why you’re still here, and wondering why everyone else seems to have it all figured out.
Do they? What are they doing differently? What superpowers do these people have?
Take a deep breath and relax…
It’s a lot simpler than that.
Successful people have one thing in common above all else. Sure they work their asses off in pursuit of their goals, but there is another, less spoken about tactic which you can start using right away.
It’s called common sense.
And you can make drastic changes to your life by just following these 6 simple rules…
1. Results are only possible through actions
You can do anything with your life. You can become whoever you want to be, travel anywhere you want to go and spend your free time doing whatever makes you happy.
But there is one thing you cannot do. You cannot achieve anything without dedication. You cannot change your life without putting in the time, without putting in the effort and without putting up with the setbacks required to master your chosen craft.
If you want to learn Spanish then you must start speaking Spanish.
If you want to lose weight then you must lower your calories and exercise regularly.
If you want a better paid job then you have to put in the effort to find another.
There are no shortcuts. If you want different results then do something different.
2. Use the 80/20 rule to focus on the important things
Time is a bitch.
You could be a successful entrepreneur with an 80 hour workweek. You could be an unemployed drop out who rises from the dead at 3 in the afternoon. You could be any of the 7 billion people who roam this earth, each with a different agenda, a different set of circumstances, but the end result is always the same.
That’s all we have. 24 hours to work, rest and play.
Are you making the most of your day? It’s ok if you’re not. Life can get a little complicated.
But there is an easier way to free up more time and focus on the important tasks. It’s called the 80/20 rule – otherwise known as the Pareto Principle. Here’s how it works;
- 80% of sales will come from just 20% of the clients – so a successful businessman will target these 20% first before moving on to the rest.
- 80% of your salary will be spent on just 20% of your expenses – so if you want to save money, focus on reducing something within that 20%.
- 80% of your happiest memories will come from just 20% of your friends – so look to hang out with these people over the 80% if you want a more fulfilling life.
A lot of our time is either spent on meaningless tasks or focusing on areas that aren’t important.
Give your life a spring clean and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
3. Accept everything you cannot change
A few weeks ago I performed badly in an exam. Not in an ‘I might have done better than I thought way, but in a shocking, and quite embarrassing, ‘I hope they give me a mark for writing my name’ way.
Seriously, it was awful.
But it’s done. It’s over.
Whatever final score I receive is what I receive. I cannot change it. Sure, I can study with ferocious intensity and earn the required grade on the resit, but that’s in the future.
Right now, it’s not affecting my life in any way.
Even if I had aced the exam and received 100%, what would be the difference? It’s meaningless. What counts is what I do from this day forward.
Accept the good and the bad with equal measure. It is what it is, and nothing more.
4. Treat everyone equally and you’ll reap the benefits
As a kid I was repeatedly told to respect my elders.
I never quite understood why. What have they done that warrants instant respect from everyone else? What is the correlation between age and respect? Am I supposed to applaud these people for living a life without getting themselves killed in the process?
Then it hit me.
They deserve respect because they, like everyone else, are human beings.
We’re all the same. Age is a number. Our appearance is merely a mask that contains the ingredients necessary for life. Ingredients we all share.
Respect is not to be earned. It’s to be given. It’s a social contract that only exists with an offer and an acceptance.
Those who give, receive.
It’s the simple transaction that turns savagery into society.
5. If the reward is higher than the risk – go for it
I’m scared. But it’s ok because being scared is a part of life. It’s normal. It’s evolutionary.
Without our ability to feel fear, to flee in the presence of danger or to know when it’s best to take a step back and live to fight another say; we simply wouldn’t exist. But in the modern world, many of these fears are no longer relevant.
We experience fear when deciding to take up a job offer. We experience fear when asking someone out on a date. We experience fear whenever we take one small step outside of our comfort zone.
But why are we terrified of trying something new?
What’s the worst that can happen?
The sooner you make a mistake, the quicker you have to recover.
Take a chance. You might surprise yourself.
6. Life’s too short – stop doing the things you hate
Think back to this morning, specifically, the precise moment your alarm clock announced the arrival of a new day with its screaming tones of doom.
How did you feel?
Did you leap out of bed with feverish excitement and anticipation?
Or were you cowering under the covers with an overwhelming sense of dread?
This was my life. I hated waking up each day because I had nothing good to wake up to.
My job was a minimum wage stitch-up of epic proportions. My relationships were filled with repetition and a horrible sensation of discontent and loneliness. My future was a nightmare waiting to happen, a nightmare I was terrified of facing, a nightmare that should have been a realization of my dreams.
There comes a time when enough is enough.
I quit my job to start my own business. It was hard, and I had to move back home while I built up my clients, but it was preferable to the alternative.
I quit spending time with people who were dragging me down. People who I had shared good times with in the past. Again, it was tough, but I had no other choice.
I chose me, and it was the best decision I have ever made.
Are you in the wrong career? Are you in the wrong relationship? Are you in the wrong life?
If you don’t like something; stop what you’re doing and get the hell out of there.
It’s common sense.
Jamie is a guitar teacher, writer and blogger who hates the typical 9-5 existence. After quitting his boring retail job to enter the world of guitar tuition, he created Psycholocrazy to document his thoughts and struggles as he takes on societies norms armed with nothing more than his cheeky wit and undeniable charm! Go ahead and grab his free 33 page ebook and find out how to quit your job and live life on your own terms too.
You can also find Jamie via his Google+ page.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.