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.