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The One Habit That Can Transform Your Life Forever

The One Habit That Can Transform Your Life Forever

Over the last 31 years of my life, I’ve learned a lot of habits.

I’ve studied executives from companies like Cisco, Google, Yahoo, VMware, Box, Optimizely and MTV and read numerous business articles and books ranging from Tony Robbins to Seth Godin. Many of you have searched endlessly for an answer to the question – what can I do on a daily basis that can ensure the right positive mindset?

If I only had to choose one habit that’s made the most dramatic impact on my life, I would choose this one: The 10 years test. This habit has helped me get back on my feet time after time.

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Fight or Flight Mode

Whenever I get thrown into a tough situation, my initial reaction is feel negative. I’ll get angry, upset, worried, panicked, frustrated or (insert any other negative emotion you can think of here).

Sound familiar?

My guess is that 80% of the people in the world have this exact same reaction. The reason?

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In the early (and primitive) days of mankind, humans were conditioned to be in a “fight or flight” mode. After all, it was critical for humans to trust their emotions and instinct to survive. Nowadays, we use rational thought a lot more to assess perceived threats, but our emotional response can still be very similar.

For example: when you run into a tough situation, do you notice you have an actual physiological response to a perceived threat? I know I do. My shoulders tense up. My breathing becomes less regular. My eyebrows furrow. My smile turns into a frown. This why humans are so quick to react negatively in rough situations. We panic. We stress. We worry.

It’s only natural.

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Problems Solved

When I flunked my economics class in college, I was devastated. I thought I would never land my dream job. I was wrong. I studied harder than ever the next quarter. I even went to office hours with the professor. I aced the class. I bounced back. I got 6 job offers shortly, including offers from Cisco and Google. Today I have my dream job as the VP of Partnerships at an incredible company.

When I broke up with the first person I had ever fallen in love with, I was worried that I could never live a life as fun and awesome as the one I had with her. I was wrong. I bounced back. I got into the best shape of my life (I’ve run 406 miles in 65 days), have traveled to places I only dreamed about going to (like Spain, Croatia and Portugal) and am more excited about life than ever before. Next up? Traveling to Hawaii, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo. I can’t wait for the next adventure. It’s time for a new chapter in life.

When I got a letter in the mail threatening a lawsuit, I was stressed out like never before. Seriously, I could feel my heart drop into my stomach and trust me, that’s a terrible feeling. I remembered lying in bed worrying about the future. I thought it was a huge disaster. I was wrong. I bounced back. I called an attorney and took care of it in less than 2 weeks. Problem solved.

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So how did I deal with these situations?

The Secret Habit

Here’s the secret habit:

It’s called the “10 years test.” All you have to do is ask these 3 simple questions:

  1. Will this matter in 10 days?
  2. Will this matter in 10 months?
  3. Will this matter in 10 years?

Every time I do this, I find that the answer to the last question is almost always “no.” And that changes everything.

Give it a try. It could change your life. It changed mine.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

You’ll Only Live Your Best Life Once You Step Out

You’ll Only Live Your Best Life Once You Step Out

Fear is a valuable thing. It keeps people safe and encourages caution when caution is due. But Fear can also be a limiting factor because not everything you’re afraid of should really be feared.

Have you ever been faced with a situation where you were afraid of making a decision, making a change or taking a risk?

Did you end up taking that risk or making that decision? Or, did you just stay put and left things as they were? If you did, are you happy with how things have turned out?

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It’s in our nature to like feeling safe–to be in comfort and away from danger. This has always been the case since the beginning of time, when the first humans only knew how to prioritize survival. Even today, many still choose to play it safe and avoid taking risks or taking leaps of faith when it comes to their choices in life.

The Realist and the Dreamer

To put it simply, there are two kinds of people: the realists and the dreamers. The realists are the logical and cautious type of individuals who always think and weigh out the pros and cons before making any decisions–especially the big, life changing ones. Whether it was deciding on what to major in at University, what career path to take, whether or not to purchase that house or car, to go on that holiday, or to splurge on that new watch, the realist thinks long and hard before making a decision, if they even decide. Realists stick to the “what’s next?” plan for the future and may not abstractly consider different possibilities for where life can lead. This is usually because of the confidence they have already devoted to an accepted plan.

Realists have dreams too, but these are more so rooted in ambition, drive and determination. They are goals that have been enumerated for some time. Realists understand that progress requires more than ambition and drive, but also, connections. They feel that life is never worry-free because of survival, responsibility and…paying a rent or a mortgage. As a result, they tend to make safe choices and stick to their comfort of knowing what’s best for themselves.

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Now let’s look at the dreamers. The dreamers are well, dreamers. They have big lofty ambitions, are risk takers, sometimes over impulsive, but they often always challenge the norms of society and dare to think outside the box. This is not to say that they do not have plans or a path that they want to follow. But they are more likely to change the course of their journey through time, experience and by following their heart.

Dreamers derive their inspiration from within. No one else’s perspectives weigh in greatly enough to shift a dreamer’s drive. Dreamers don’t allow their fears to consume them. They may fail from time to time, but they never give up on life or love.

Embrace Fear

So which of the two do you think you are? And is one better than the other? In life, balance is always key. I’m sure you would have heard the saying: “everything in moderation”. Likewise, being a realist isn’t any better than being a dreamer. Both come with their challenges. But what I do know, is that no matter where you are in life, fear should always be seen as a way of pushing you towards becoming a better you.

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Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a type of fear that should be embraced. If you see yourself as a dreamer, then great! Chances are, stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t new to you. Whether it’s deciding to drop out of University to start your own business, moving to a new country on your own, taking that step to ask someone out on a date despite thinking they’re way out of your league, or deciding to quit your high paying job of 10 years to become a DJ. You chose to do that because you knew that you would most likely regret the ‘what ifs’ more than the mistakes (if any) of those decisions.

But if you’ve always been more of a cautious individual (nearing towards being a realist), then I hope you’ll give more thought to embracing the act of stepping out more! Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to start making hasty or bold decisions such as the ones mentioned. It just means opening your mind to the acceptance that stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t a bad thing, it’s not something to be hesitant or afraid of.

Managing Fear

In times of stress or discomfort, remember that some of the best things happen when you’re afraid or put in an uncomfortable situation. These experiences can both challenge you and help you grow. Commit to giving the situation a try with your best effort, and keep expectations low to reduce additional pressure. Living outside of one’s comfort zone is by definition uncomfortable. Therefore, the best habit you can foster within yourself is the practice of becoming familiar with discomfort.

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You may be at a crossroad in life and feeling undecided about something, or you may feel like you’re not happy with where you’re at right now. It could be a job that you’re not happy with, a relationship you’re not happy in, or even just knowing that you’re too comfortable with where you’re at that you don’t feel challenged. All of this uncertainty can be traced back to your intentions. What is it that you want? What is it that you’re looking for?

So, What Are You Looking For?

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or know that you need some sort of change, but you’re just not sure how to take that step towards the change, why not subscribe to our newsletter? Our daily inspiration will help you embark on a journey, and will allow you to find that light at the end of the tunnel you’re searching for.

At Lifehack, we’re dedicated to helping you find the ideal solutions to your problems, and with over 15 years of experience in coaching, we have condensed our knowledge and practices into a highly effective transformational model that you can use to not only help you out of your rut, but to also help you find new and bigger meaning to your life.

Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t always the easiest, but we’re here to make it easier for you to realize your true potential. The time to act is now!

Featured photo credit: Maher El Aridi via unsplash.com

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