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The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better

The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better

Tom’s always liked cooking, and his friends have always backed him up on how good he is — especially some of his homemade pizzas. So he pulled together a few pieces and decided to open a pizza place.

    The first year of business was good. Lots of customers went to his restaurant to try his pizzas.

      But after a year, a taco place opened up nearby and was becoming popular. Their lines seemed longer and their business seemed more robust.

        As this was all happening, Tom was scrolling through Facebook one day. He saw that one of his old friends, who currently works in banking services, just bought himself a new car.

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          Doubt was creeping in.

          “Why do I have to be so persistent in this business?”

          “Why can’t this be easier?”

          We all do this to some extent: we struggle, we compare to others, and we think about whether we should give up.

          Chasing the Perfect Treasure Chest

          The perfect treasure chest is a concept many human beings chase. What it means is this: when we don’t have something, we imagine this concept of a perfect treasure chest others may have. The chest is beautiful, ornate, and has all the “right” things inside of it.

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            We think about our own treasure chest and it seems ugly, faded, and containing metals and stuff with no value.

              We are comparing but doing it wrong.

              The problem is this: a lot of things we want or see others having (rewards, nice cars, big houses, etc.) can be attained by us too at some point. But once they’re attained, the fantasy associated with them is gone. Once the fantasy is gone, it’s easier to see downsides. This is why many people don’t feel satisfied even when they accrue lots of possessions.

              Now let’s turn back to Tom. Tom could get that luxury car.

                But he would need to deal with a lot of uncomfortable clients to promote his financial plans to satisfy their clients needs, and do a lot of networking to connect with different business men. It would be a lot of tough work too behind that luxurious car.

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                  Eventually he’ll see the downsides of this car. Once that happens, what will he want? The next perfect treasure chest.

                    The cycle just keeps going. ON and on. You’ll never find that perfect treasure chest.

                    What can you do, though?

                    Embrace the Flawed Chest

                    Reward is important, but you need to understand the downsides of opportunities too. In reality, every chest contains something you don’t want. Maybe half of them are gold and jewels, and the other half of them are crappy metals.

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                      Look inside any theoretical treasure chest. Some may have more “gold,” others more “diamonds,” and most might have some degree of rusted, crappy metals. The gold is great and seems valuable (huge house, flashy car). But do you really need the “gold” in this perfect treasure chest? Potentially not.

                        The truly important aspect is looking at the crappy old metals and thinking, “How could these become gold in my eyes?” In other words, what is needed to turn them into new opportunities? How can the downsides become the next upsides?

                        There are two approaches: you can either ditch the old treasure chest in pursuit of the new perfect chest, but that will become a lifelong circular struggle with no potential resolution.

                        Or you can figure out what elements of the old chest can be turned into new opportunities, and you might get closer to personal fulfillment.

                          The Perfect Chest Never Exists, Stop the Endless Chase

                          Consistently chasing the next beautiful, grandiose thing will not bring you closer to fulfillment. Think more on what you really want, not the flashy elements of the next perfect treasure chest.

                          You have the ability to make the right choice here. Don’t quit easily. If you choose to pursue a treasure chest, remember that you can learn a lot more from the old, ugly metals than the flashy gold you smile at. The ugly metals are the opportunities you need to grow.

                          Read more in my other article how to stay motivated all the time: You Can Never Taste the True Value If You Give up Too Early

                          More by this author

                          Leon Ho

                          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                          Published on November 20, 2019

                          14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

                          14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

                          Personal goal setting starts with having a destination in mind.

                          If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother moving forward? You’ll just get more lost or find yourself back where you started again.

                          “If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will take you there.”- Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

                          You have to have a destination of who you want to become in order to get there.

                          Personal goals will be easier to make if you know where you want to go.

                          You must start with how to get there and break down the steps. These steps must be realistic.

                          That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big; in fact,

                          “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.”

                          Dream big no matter what but be realistic at the same time. Be open to detours, too.

                          According to Action for Happiness[1], ways to make goals include deciding on goals, writing steps down, telling someone about it and plan out each step.

                          Here I will outline 14 personal goals that can help you become a better you:

                          1. Live Authentically

                          You don’t have time to be living your life as someone else. All you can do is be yourself. You must choose to be who you really are. That’s the best way to live.

                          Being yourself is not easy though. It requires dedication to your values and dreams. You won’t be able to be authentic without losing your fear of what others think of you.

                          There’s only one way to be successful in this life and it’s if you do it for the right reasons. It’s if you choose yourself. It’s not until you find that you will be free.

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                          Get inspired by my other article: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                          2. Take Time for You in Self-Care Prioritization

                          Self-care is not something you should take for granted. Often, we don’t prioritize it well enough. Some examples include finding time for yourself, do things that make you feel good. Get dietary advice to eat healthy and exercise to improve your health.

                          Take a break. Go outside. Relax. Read a book or watch a good movie with someone you love. It’s about rewarding yourself with your joys and hobbies.

                          You can find more examples here: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

                          Self-care is not selfish. It’s important to find time for yourself so that you CAN give more of yourself to the areas of life you need to. You deserve it. You are worth it. Remember that.

                          3. Don’t Take Things Personally

                          The less you are concerned with others, the more you can focus on doing what matters most to you. What others say does not reflect the real you. It is just their perception, which may not be the full picture or the truth.

                          People who try to hurt you are not happy.

                          “Happy people don’t try to bring other people down.” – Anonymous.

                          That’s why it’s just not worth holding on to their words.

                          When you refuse to take things personally, it’s because you know who you are.

                          4: Decide What You Stand for

                          4. Decide to Be Who You Are Meant to Be

                          Look for things you are passionate about. Advocate to make yourself and others heard. Join groups that support your beliefs.

                          “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”- Anonymous.

                          So, decide what you value and what you stand for. Then, you can do anything.

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                          Take a look at this guide if you aren’t sure what you’re passionate about: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

                          5. Find the Silver Lining

                          Find happiness in any situation by finding the silver lining. You can decide to be happy because of the good you find. You must choose to look at the good.

                          People often think about the bad first, and they dwell on it. It’s human nature, but if you can look for the good or the silver lining, you will be happier for it.

                          You can learn from any situation or use any situation to better yourself or humanity. Take that and you will overcome it all.

                          6. Do Something Good for Someone

                          Instead of just focusing on your problems, do good for someone. It will not only take your mind off what problems you have, but also help you see that you are capable of doing good — right, you still have things to offer.

                          There are many opportunities to do good. Volunteering, checking on a friend or family member, get involved in a project that serves your community, etc.

                          The more good you do, the better you will feel.

                          7. Practice Daily Positive Self Talk

                          Every day is a new day. The way you talk to yourself is how you can ensure you build resilience and endurance through any challenge.

                          Here are some positive self talk examples:

                          “Things may have not gone my way but I can see the good in the situation still.”

                          “At least I am alive. I have my health, my abilities and the opportunities to use what I have for good.”

                          “I am worthwhile.”

                          “I can do it.”

                          Even more here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

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                          The more you practice positive self talk, the more you will overcome and accomplish.

                          8. Surrender, When Necessary

                          When you surrender, you give in to the current rather than fight against it. It means you value inner peace most of all. You don’t sacrifice your inner peace for anything. You know your worth, and you are willing to see how a situation unfolds. You don’t try to force solutions either.

                          Instead of forcing solutions, you allow the best ones to come forth. You also know how to use what you have. You don’t fight against your situation. You instead use it.

                          When you surrender, you are accepting what is. This makes it easier to move forward.

                          9. Ask for Help in One Area of Your Life

                          We are often taught that needing help is a sign of weakness but it is actually a sign of strength. It’s developing skills that you might not be as well versed in. It’s developing mentor/mentee relationships to help you succeed.

                          Success is subjective to every individual. When you are developing yourself, you need others’ input. You need help to be who you are meant to be.

                          There is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help instead opens doors for you that you may not have been able to open yourself.

                          10. Never Stop Learning

                          Learning is meant to be lifelong. You can follow your interests, and everything is a “Internet Search Engine” away. But how to really commit to this? Take another class, sign up for a workshop, read books on the subject of interest, develop new hobbies…

                          In Success Magazine,[2] Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich suggests 3 techniques to never stop learning:

                          “1. Embrace the Mind of a Child.
                          2. Put yourself in the hands of a trusted teacher.
                          3. Read, read, read.” Overall, be responsible for your own growth in life.

                          You are never too old to learn something new. Start today.

                          11. Set Boundaries and Say No When Appropriate

                          Having boundaries can feel uncomfortable because we are telling others what we do not accept. It is also necessary for healthy relationships. You will use them to protect yourself, your heart and your mind.

                          No one can make you do anything. If you are uncomfortable with something, you have a right to say no. Those who truly care about you will not be offended. You are also setting the bar high, or setting an example for others who are too scared to have boundaries too.

                          You will make better choices if you have better boundaries: How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

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                          12. Follow Your Gut

                          Trust your instincts. They are trying to tell you what to trust in.

                          You may not want to do something but feel pressured to do it. Your gut is the one speaking to you, telling you not to do it if you don’t want to. It can save you from many things, for example preventing you from making poor choices.

                          When you follow your gut, you preserve your interests and secure yourself.

                          13. Do What You Love

                          Are you doing what you love? You must choose what you can’t live without. Don’t sacrifice that for anything. Life is too short.

                          Your best also comes out when you are doing what you love. You can give more, do more if you’re happy with what you are doing.

                          So, do what you love. Don’t question it: Why You Should Always Do What You Love (And How to Do It)

                          14. Appreciate What You Have

                          Good Deeds Day defines gratitude as,[3]

                          “Gratitude allows us to recognize good in our lives. Focusing and appreciating the good in our lives constantly reminds us about the great things all around us… Gratitude allows us to see that the sources of that good are usually close by. Practicing gratitude allows us to recognize those who bring goodness into our lives and humbles us in order to give credit to those we are grateful for.”

                          At the end of the day, you need to recognize what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. You must choose gratitude as your attitude in order to live a happier, better life. You will win then.

                          Counting your blessings everyday will help you bring in more blessings. You are limitless. You will overcome more too if you have that positive perspective.

                          Appreciating what you have starts with the simple things in life. Recognize what’s working. Find your reason to hold on. And then change the world.

                          Here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For if you need some reminders.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Goal setting is about finding what will better yourself and lead you to happiness. You will find peace with yourself when you are on the right path.

                          You have to make the decision to make the best of everything, and you have to remember what really matters. Your goals will shape you for the rest of your life.

                          Good luck!

                          More About Goals Setting

                          Featured photo credit: Anika Huizinga via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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