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5 Steps You Can Take to Put Your Dent in the Universe

5 Steps You Can Take to Put Your Dent in the Universe

I don’t know you, but I strongly believe that you don’t simply want to live your life and then disappear without a trace, impact or legacy. I think you want to make a difference in your life; that you want to leave your fingerprints on the world, in whatever measure.

SEE ALSO: 63 Ways to Build Self Confidence

So here are 5 steps you can take to put your dent in the universe:

1. Use What You’ve Got

You’ve gone through a lot and learned a heap. You’ve developed skills you didn’t start out with. You’ve gained strengths you can apply to get great results. Today, you’re at the point where you’ve learned, known, experienced and grown the most you ever have in your life.

That’s why you’re always in credit when it comes to your experience, skills, strengths and talents, and it’s those very things – the things that are now woven through you – that will give you the very best chance of putting your dent in the universe.

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Don’t let what you’ve got go to waste.

2. Practice What You Don’t Have

If you want to become a great tennis player but have never played tennis before, your only choice is to learn how to play and get out there and practice.

Get better at what you’re already good at. Look at how you can leverage your strengths and experience in developing a new skill. Put in place strategies that will help you develop what you need to develop in order to get involved with what matters to you.

You have an extraordinary ability to learn new skills, strategies and strengths. You can even learn and practice new ways of thinking to replace old patterns of thought that just don’t cut it any more.

Learning and practicing is to be cherished in the same manner as the fruits derived from those new abilities.

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3. Figure Out What Matters

Figuring out exactly what it is that matters to you can be surprisingly elusive, but it’s extraordinarily important for one simple reason.

You can’t put a meaningful dent in the universe without knowing what matters to you.

So what’s always been there, exerting a pull over you? What breaks your heart when you see it? If you could make a simple, graceful difference to a person, a group or a community, what would it be?

Don’t overthink this. There might not be one single answer. The point is to look for something that resonates; something you connect with; something that just might be compelling enough to get involved with.

Chances are you already know what matters. Sometimes you just don’t let yourself believe it.

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4. Get in the Game

When you have that thing, you’ve got to get in the game.

As opposed to goals (which are an idea of something out there in the distance that may or may not happen that you may or may not even want), to play a game you have to choose to get involved right now. You have to pick up that racket and swing. You have to put on your sneakers and run. You have to roll the dice and see what happens.

Playing a game requires a choice to participate right now.

So make a deep choice to get involved in what matters to you and to make a start (however small) right now. You can make plans along the way; you can set targets along the way; but neither of those things will amount to a hill of beans unless you’re engaged with a game that matters first.

5. Mind Your Head

Your brain can be a tricky beast, thwarting you in all kinds of clever ways you might never know about. Here are just 3 tiny examples that demonstrate how your brain makes all kinds of choices on your behalf, choices that can create an experience of life you never wanted:

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  • Spot something risky, see something going wrong or sense you might lose out, and your amygdala will fire-up and tell you to fight, fly or freeze. As your amygdala lights up your pre-frontal cortex (the part of your brain that allows you to think deliberately and clearly) powers down, making it all to easy to respond automatically.
  • Listen to old assumptions or expectations about what will happen, how others will behave or how they expect you to behave, and you can trigger automatic patterns of thought that can take you somewhere you never expected or wanted.
  • If things don’t turn out as you expect, the drop in dopamine can send you into a spiral of negative thinking that can fuel thoughts of not being good enough or not being up to the challenge.

So start to be gently and non-judgmentally aware of your own thoughts. Notice the thoughts that disable and those that enable. Acknowledge where your thinking is focused and see if that’s useful or not.  Start to be aware of the thoughts that take you out of the game.

That awareness gifts you with choice.

Don’t wait for the world to give you your place; make a start.

Together, these 5 steps are how worlds are moved. This is how extraordinary ideas are brought to fruition. This is how you can put your dent in the universe.

What’s stopping you?

(Photo credit: The World in Your Hand via Shutterstock)

More by this author

Steve Errey

Steve is a confidence coach who helps leaders build confidence.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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