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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

                          How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter How to Stop Bad Habits: 9 Scientifically Proven Methods

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                          Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                          7 Steps to Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now

                          7 Steps to Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now

                          Have you ever heard the question, “what would you do if money was not a factor?” It is one of those questions that people often brush aside, because quite frankly, money is a factor. The doubters will mock you as naive or foolish, but deep down you know it is possible to start living your dream life. You know there is more to life than working and paying bills.

                          It seems as though most people are just trying to get by. They work because they need to make an income to support their life.

                          People not only settle in the workplace, but also in their relationships with their friends and family. You may even know people who settle by compromising their integrity and core values.

                          That is why it is not naive or foolish to start living your dream life, it is essential.

                          Living your dream life is more than being rich, it is the belief that you are living a life aligned with your purpose. If you are ready to free yourself of the fears that cause you to live your life according to the expectations of others, then follow the below 7 steps found in the book – Champion of Change, the 7 Instrumental Laws of Change:

                          1. Construct a Plan of Action

                          The foundation for you to create your dream life is for you to take the time and visualize what that life will look like.

                          This is more than the normal vision board you may have heard before. This form of visualization requires you to use all your senses. Olympians are well-known for their visualization practices as they prepare for competition. The reason they do this is because everyone is very talented by the mere accomplishment of qualifying for the Olympics.

                          To gain an edge, Olympians will visualize themselves competing in their actual event. Emily Cook, of the United States free style ski team is quoted as saying she engaged all her senses in her visualization. She moves her body as if she is skiing down the slopes, she feels the air as it blows through her hair, and she hears the roar of the crowd as she crosses the finish line.[1]

                          Olympians visualize in such detail because they understand they only have one opportunity every four years to compete. The best way they can be ready for the moment is by continually competing in their mind. Studies support this belief as they show you can literally gain muscle by visualizing yourself working out [2]

                          2. Focus Your Attention

                          If you want to start living your dream life right now, you are going to need to adjust the way you see the world. Your beliefs create your consciousness, and your consciousness creates your reality, and your reality is maintained by the way your mind filters information.

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                          Everyday, you receive millions of sensory inputs and your mind filters out most of them to keep you from going crazy. The ones you receive are the ones that your mind believes matter to you based on past experiences.

                          One of the most popular examples is when you purchase a new car. As soon as you purchase that car, suddenly you notice that car everywhere. Now you probably know that everyone did not purchase the car the same day as you, but what happened?

                          Well, when you purchased your new car, you told your mind ,”this car matters to me”. As a result, your mind is now showing you the car that has always been there.

                          Your mind blocks out most of the stuff that is going on while you are driving to help you stay sane. Imagine if you were consciously aware of every line, tree, car, deer, squirrel, reflector and sign while driving.

                          The same way your mind can adjust your filters based on the action of purchasing a new car, you can take actions to create your dream life. As you take action, your mind will show you new opportunities that were always there (just outside of your previous filters).

                            Learn more about how to focus here: How to Improve Focus: 7 Ways to Train Your Brain

                            3. Put the Systems and Processes in Place

                            Once you have the proper mindset to start living your dream life, you are ready to shift your focus to maintaining your early wins.

                            The mistake most people make is they are excited in the early going, but they are working solely off discipline and willpower. Your willpower and discipline are exhaustible resources that will fade over time. That is why most people quit their New Year’s Resolution 30-days after starting. That is also why people who are on a diet will make nutritious decisions throughout the day, and fail miserably late at night.

                            Each time you withstood the tempting call of sweets, the likelihood of you withstanding another call decreased.

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                            This is why it is so important that you put systems and processes in place that limit the need for you to use discipline and willpower. In the case of our dieter, it would be better for them to trash all the candy they no longer want to eat.

                            The reason is simple:

                            Whatever food that is in your house, you are going to eat at some time or another. The only way to truly ensure you will not eat the candy is to throw it away.

                            This is also true when it comes to you and your dream life. If you want to ensure that you follow through on your vision, you have to be willing to limit the ability for you to revert back to your previous life.

                            If you want to stop relying on your willpower and start making things happen, these tips will help: How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop

                            4. Accountability Is a Must

                            When you are accountable to someone or a group, you will find yourself more motivated to continue. Deep down, we all want to be accepted by others. Even though this can work against you sometimes, this particular occasion is not one of them.

                            When you proclaim your goal to other people, it improves the likelihood of you following through.

                            You may be surprised to know, but you experience accountability on a regular basis.

                            • If the CEO asks you to provide a report, you are going to make the best report of your life. You understand the opportunity and value of making a good impression with the CEO.
                            • Now imagine if your coworker asked for the report. Will there be a difference in quality?
                            • How about if you were going to a class reunion? Would that improve your commitment to get in shape?
                            • Even when you know you are going to have company over at your house, you are going to clean better than if you knew no one was coming.

                            Accountability works because you want to keep your word and make a good impression of yourself in front of others.

                            5. Catalyst for Change

                            There are things you can control and things that you cannot control in life. Do not allow the fear of failure or fear of uncertainty keep you from living your dream life. Everything is not going to go smoothly on your journey. You are going to face challenges and setbacks.

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                            The good news is failure is a part of success. They are two halves of the same coin. What tends to happen is people spend so much time trying to avoid failure, that they never realize they are undermining their ability to find success.

                            By understanding that failure is a part of success, you understand your goal is not to avoid failure, but to build on it: 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

                            Your dream life does not necessarily need a positive event to start. Oftentimes, it is the negative events (or perceived negative) and a sense of desperation that drives people to reach further than they ever have before.

                            Your catalyst for change may be exactly what you wanted or it may be the worst thing that could have happened. Either way, your focus is on what to do next. You want to build on that event by stacking positive events on top of it.

                            Positive events are anything that move you closer to your goal. In your case, anything that moves you closer to your dream life. Whether you quit your job or your boss fired you, it is all about what you are going to do next.

                            Choose to respond to each situation by taking another step towards your dream life.

                            6. Character Matters

                            In a study between two schools on opposite ends of the economic spectrum, positive psychology experts created a list of character strengths they believed essential to success.

                            Their list included grit, self-control, zest, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity.

                            Some of the character traits were common with how most people view success; such as grit, curiosity or self-control. However, gratitude, zest, optimism, and social intelligence (compassion) were on the list, but their relation to success is often overlooked.[3]

                            It is important to remember that change comes from the inside-out. Your core values are the prism through which you accomplish your goals.

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                            7. Muster up the Courage

                            Once you have completed the first six steps, you have everything you need to start living your dream life.

                            Do not allow yourself to procrastinate on your transformation. The fear of change may disguise itself as a thoughtful plan to wait for more information or better timing.

                            Keep in mind that you are not looking for the perfect situation, you are only looking to start. One you get started, you are going to be better equipped to make any changes.

                            I often compare starting your journey like walking through a fog. If you stand on the outside of the fog trying to see to the other side, you are going to find it very difficult. But if you are willing take the first few steps, you are going to realize that you can see a few more steps into the fog.

                            If you are willing to continue walking, before you know it, you can see clearly because the fog is behind you.

                            You have an idea of what your dream life looks like and you have an idea of the effort it is going to take to make it happen. However, you do not really know how realistic your expectations are until you experience it.

                            Final Thoughts

                            There is a lot of work that goes into living your dream life, but you will find it well worth your time.

                            Most people regret the things they did not do more than anything they have ever done. Therefore, do not settle for a life that is less than your dream life. Pursue your dream life with effort and resolve.

                            More About Living Your Dream Life

                            Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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