You Already Have the Life You Want

Here’s an idea: you already have the life you’ve always wanted. In fact, you’ve always had it. Confusing, I know. Most people don’t distinguish between the life that they actually want and the one they think they want.

See what I mean? Plenty of people think they want to be fit and healthy, but what they actually want is to eat fast food and watch TV, so that’s what they do. Many think they want to be more open-minded, but what they actually want is to be right all the time, so they tune out opposing viewpoints.

Simply put, whatever it is you actually want out of life is what you’re actually getting from it. Everyone has dreams, but not everyone pursues them. Without a direct connection between something you want and something you can do to get it, a dream will always remain just that -  a dream.

So how do we bridge that gap? How can we turn what we think we want into what we actually get? Here are some strategies I use. Maybe a few of them will work for you:

  • Focus on one thing. When I get the idea to make a big change, I usually want to do 100 things all at the same time. This never works. Focus on one thing that will improve your life and don’t move on until you’ve mastered it.
  • Find a daily action. Big changes don’t always happen overnight, but what you do every day between sunrise and sunset is the most important part of ensuring it actually does happen. What’s one little thing you can do right now without waiting for anything else to get started? Ask yourself that every’ single’ day.
  • Reflect on your changes. Is this big transformation you’re after actually making you happier? Best to take a second every now and again to make sure you’re not perpetually suffering from ‘the grass is greener on the other side‘ syndrome. Make sure you’re headed the right direction.
  • Change your environment. Sometimes I don’t realize just how much my surroundings affect my behavior. A routine environment perpetuates routine behavior. If you want change to come a little easier, change the scenery for a while and build a new set of behaviors to associate with it.
  • Rebalance relationships. Just like your environment, the people you’re around influence how you act. Truth is, your friends don’t want you to change even if they say they do because that makes them uncomfortable. The first time I decided to be a writer, I hung around with all the same people that didn’t understand me. The second time I decided to be a writer, I started hanging around other successful writers. Which one worked?
  • Eliminate barriers. Sometimes they’re mental, and sometimes they’re physical. Either way, you have to get creative to find ways around them. If you don’t have the time to do something, how can you fit it into little sessions that will add up over time? If you don’t have the money to do something, what else do you have that you can trade for what you want?
  • Ask for help. We all get stuck. I do regularly. I used to have too much pride to ask for help ‚’I'd rather figure it out on my own. Now I realize that’s foolish and asking for help is a hell of a lot faster and easier. There’s no shame in being more efficient.
  • Find a role model. One of the fastest ways to success is to model it. Who’s already done what you’re trying to do? What things did they do that got them there faster? What slowed them down? Model what worked, avoid what didn’t.
  • Relax already! Active relaxation ‚’doing things that engage you but aren’t your main focus ‚’ can bring a lot of clarity when you’re obsessing over something. I can brainstorm all day, but it doesn’t mean I’ll come up with a good idea. Those usually creep in when I finally take a break and do something else.

Tyler Tervooren writes for a highly skilled team of risk takers at Advanced Riskology. Follow his updates from the tops of mountains on Twitter: @tylertervooren.

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  • http://hanofharmony.com The Vizier

    Hi Tyler,

    You’ve made a good point. It is not easy to have clarity about what we really want in life. Thanks for providing so many helpful tips in helping us to gain that clarity. The tip I like best is finding a role model. That always helps me to gain clarity.

  • http://www.vsptciw.com Davis

    Awesome share! Thank you very much

  • http://personaldevelopmentx.com Gordie

    That’s a great point you make in the beginning about what people think they want and actually want. I think that’s the biggest problem most of us have.

  • http://www.waqassadiq.com Waqas Sadiq

    very impresive blog and i loved the post.

  • http://www.bestihave.com Marion Youngblood

    Enjoyed your thoughts in this post very much. We really are our own creation and with each decision we get closer to or further away from the life we really want…the devil of it is that we have to stop and really figure that out! You’ve offered some good guidance, thanks.

  • http://www.transformationalmotivation.com/ M. A. Tohami

    “Find a role model” is my all time favorite tactic. One of the most important success lessons that I learned is that: “The easiest way to become successful is to find someone who is already successful in your field and follow his footsteps”.

  • Jung See

    OK this looks like a lot of fun dude.

    http://www.be-anon.net.tc

  • Felipe

    I want to add to the first ponint “Focus on one thing” to never, ever focus on the negative side of your life, even if you are trying to understand (to then control), why is it going wrong. Cause this will only aim your resources to keep you acting the same way. Instead send the negative side to oblivion, and focus on what you want or who you want to be. Hope this help.

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  • http://tylertervooren.com/advancedriskology Tyler Tervooren

    Thanks for your input, everyone. :)

    Felipe, that’s a great point. Much better to focus on getting what you want rather than getting rid of what you don’t want. When you channel your energy on that, what you don’t want naturally takes a back seat and works it’s way out of your life anyway.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com Editor, Pick The Brain

    Excellent work, Tyler! Thanks for contributing!

  • http://www.thereflectiveself.wordpress.com Dandy

    Another important thing is to surround yourself with people who support you & your lifestyle. That’s huge. Great post!

  • http://tylertervooren.com/advancedriskology Tyler Tervooren

    Dandy, that’s one of the biggest ones. Your environment and relationships play a much bigger role than most people think. It can be tough though, because part of that process is moving away from people that reinforce the lifestyle you want to get away from. Can be painful/scary at first.

  • http://www.dayblocks.com Kurt @ Dayblocks

    Nice work on the article Tyler, it’s an important distinction you bring up, along with some good tips.

    One piece I’d like to add to the discussion is that there’s an essential step between dreaming of something and *actually* wanting it, and that’s understanding that you’re “allowed” to have it (or that you “deserve” it.) I’ve come to believe that’s one of the biggest limitations people face in pursuing their dreams– feeling worthy of actually doing so in the first place.

  • http://tylertervooren.com/advancedriskology Tyler Tervooren

    Bingo, Kurt! Actually believing that you can have what you want is a huge mental hurdle to jump. It’s really the first thing you need to get over before you move onto the rest. Thanks for sharing.

  • kaarib

    Focus! That’s what I’m missing – I’m completely changing my life and can’t figure out how to get moving because I don’t know where to go. I just need to pick one thing and get it started instead of being stuck in information gathering. I know this, but having someone else say it reminds me that it’s okay not to jump in and move in a bunch of directions at once. Actually, it’s generally better not to do that!

    Thanks, this really helped.

  • Amy

    I really enjoyed your article. You have very good and true points!

  • http://meandcraig.blogspot.com Dawn @ Me And Craig

    Loved the whole piece … but those first three paragraphs were awesome!!!
    They totally caught me off guard and made me read more.

  • fran

    I think this is too facile. You are not seeing the bigger picture. Things like the country you live in and the parents you had as role models count enormously. A factory worker in Germany gets more per month for shorter hours than a factory worker in the UK or the US. Childcare in France is the best in the world.

    In the UK now it is impossible for the vast majority of people to ever own their home. Friends of mine spend up to three hours a day travelling to work. Food is crap. Nobody sits down to eat as a family anymore. People buy their clothes from cheap shops that source them from places that use cheap labour. If you cannot connect your malaise with what is happening on the planet, then you are blind.

    We have this totally deluded idea that as puny individuals we can mould our futures. If a single mother is on a low wage and there is no decent child-care provision, how is she to do the course that will suddenly turn her life around?

    Fact is, the countries where work conditions and living conditions are best protected are the countries where people have the best quality of life. People are happy when they feel cared about, be it by government or the family. But we have become a society that has totally forgotten to act collectively, and only fight our own individual corner, and then we wonder why we are so tired all the time?

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  • http://tylertervooren.com/advancedriskology Tyler Tervooren

    Hey Kaarib – Yes, trying to go 10 directions at once can cause a lot of mayhem. If I need to do 10 things, it always works better for me to focus on each one individually and move on one at a time, or at least build up to handling them all at once rather than trying to jump on all 10 things at once.

    Fran, I understand your argument and I actually agree with you – I think it’s incredibly important for people to act collectively and work together to make a societal change. However, I also think it’s a bit defeatist to just throw your hands up in the air and say, “Woes me. No one else wants what I want so I can never have it.”

    If you want to see your society change, you have to get others to act with you. But in order to do that, you have to act yourself. As the often far over-quoted Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

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  • s.ramesh

    enjoyed the article you have written. all young people should read and act upon the same.

  • theGODwithin

    haha i do suffer from the “the grass is greener on the other side” syndrome. although its a little different for me. in my case its because of my impatience.. i mean after 19 years of self neglect, all your mind wants is drastic change, and for it to happen NOW. thats why sometimes when i think about my goals and get reminded of the fact that it will take time to achieve them, i get upset cuz in my head i cant take anymore of this unwanted life! you know, the anxiety sets in then the self doubt. then i start thinking well itll all turn out well soon, or something like that. but im working little by little everyday to change my outlook for the better. weight loss is a long process i should know, but its all worth it in the end.

  • Nagendrabhupati

    Here it looks like some motivation and personality development. Here the author enlisted some tips, which are very hard to comprehend leave alone to practice; however I try to understand and want to digest the matter. One thing is clear that what we want to be actually not happended. We are diffierent from what we want to be. The crust of the matter is that. So, how we can overcome of being present state to the state which we are supposed to be, for that he gives the tips, which I once again would like to read and again submit my points on that

  • Rose

    Thank you for sharing what is often a rebuffed notion. Whether it feels good or not, there’s a big difference between espoused and enacted values!

  • James

    Nice article. I do believe that relaxation plays a big role. Because when your “being” is not relax, your “actions” will not be something that in the end you enjoy.

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  • Stirred

    Sure, I want to have painful joints and arthritis throughout my body, keeping me from taking the long bike rides and runs I want to do. Sure, I love this life of pain killers and limited mobility. I have exactly the life I want! Loss of a pain free active life is Awesome! I love that our government taxes us more each day, too, and that my retirement plan is likely to disappear over time through taxes and fees. It’s all so awesome.