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12 Ways To Achieve The Results You’ve Been Wishing For

12 Ways To Achieve The Results You’ve Been Wishing For

Most of our wishes and dreams tend to be that way due to one key reason: belief.

But what if our dreams and wishes weren’t really dreams in the first place and that everything we could ever imagine could in fact come true?

Our lives can at times be quite confusing and at times, exciting, depending on how you choose to look at it. But one thing that’s certain is that we are in control of everything we choose to experience in our lives, baring worldly and natural disasters.

The hard part is actually believing it and convincing ourselves that we can change our lives for the better.

Here are 12 tips to help you make the shift.

1) Pretend that you’re already successful.

What do you really need to do to see yourself as a successful person? If you feel you have to achieve or be something in order to become it, then chances are, you will be waiting forever.

The truth is: success has no prerequisite and can only be given and assigned to the person who doesn’t think too much about it.

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Have a belief with full conviction that success is something you were naturally born with and that success in itself is a byproduct of everything you do. Which in reality, it is. All you have to do is think back at everything you’ve ever achieved in your life and you’ll begin to realize the truth.

Whether it’s succeeding at passing your exams or being lazy in front of the television with a tub of ice-cream, success is constantly around you.

2) Believing that you’re successful isn’t necessary.

Similar to #1, you don’t need to convince yourself that you’re successful in order to get started. If you look back on all the times where you failed at the things you were doing, you’ll realize that it didn’t really stop you from continuing to do it, simply because you had fun while doing it.

Focus more on the activity and its enjoyment and less on the success part, because your achievement will simply be a process of what you do and who you are. Don’t struggle or work for it, for it will come in time eventually.

3) Set goals that are larger than you ever thought possible.

While setting goals is important, they very rarely stay constant due to consistently growing and maturing over a period of time. What I hoped to achieve at 19 is hardly similar to what I want to achieve now that I’m 29. But what has become clear over the years is that I’ve gained clarity on why I’m on this planet. I have a purpose now that I’ve aligned myself to it, which is forcing me to take action.

What’s your purpose? Discover what it is and if you don’t have one, spend every waking moment searching deep inside yourself until you find it. Most of the time, it’s constantly staring at you in the face.

If what you do excites you, then it’s a hint that you’re on a right track.

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4) Become interested in and conscious of your personal development.

When I look back at myself over the years and watch videos of myself talking and communicating, I realize just how far I’ve developed and how much I’ve acquired over the years. And this was back when I had no clue about personal development or self-help.

In short, it excites me just to see where I’ll be in the next 10 years having now become conscious of it. You now have a choice as to which direction you want to go. This includes the choices you make, what type of personality you want to develop and the type of person you ultimately wish to become.

Nothing is left to chance and is all down to the decisions you make. It all starts now.

5) Focus on what needs to be done for that moment.

Whatever grand vision you have of yourself, realize that you can only achieve it by taking small baby steps towards it. No one ever got there by taking massive strides or within just a few days.

Have a realistic plan of action and focus on what needs to be done in that particular moment. It’s pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it. Think about what you’re doing and then ask yourself whether what you’re doing is going to lead you to your ultimate goal. If it doesn’t, then change your decision or if it does, continue.

6) Do things for the right reasons and not for the wrong reasons.

Always have a healthy reason as to why you want to be what it is you want to be.

Is being a movie star or a musician a way to finally gain the approval of people and women in order to finally see yourself as attractive? Or are you doing it because of your love for music and your passion and dedication to adding value to the craft?

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Understand that succeeding at something in order to cover up wounds from the past won’t clear them or make them better. The important thing is to firstly accept your past as a learning experience and to move on from it. Because the reality of it is, whether you succeed or fail, no one really cares. All that matters is how you value yourself, because no one else will see you in quite the same way as you will.

7) Track your mindsets and make notes on everything you do.

Always monitor your thoughts and feelings because they tend to get you off track if you’re not careful of it. It’s normal to feel down at times but if you let it go out of hand, it can affect your progress moving forward.

Learn to write down your thoughts and feelings on a notepad. Or better yet, write it in a diary and use it to deposit whatever’s on your mind. It will help you find clarity with where ever you currently are and provide you with perspective, which will aid you with making progress.

8) Become conscious of your learning.

Similar to point #7, you have to always be willing to grow and improve on a daily basis. You can only really ever do this by keeping an open mind and reading up on whatever material you can get your hands on.

Sometimes, gaining access to mentors isn’t possible. But it’s never a bad idea to reach out to them via books, courses or audio products.

Make a decision on what you need to learn in order to get to where you want to go and seek to acquire them from in as many ways as possible.

9) Share your experiences with others.

There’s simply no way a person can ever be happy or satisfied without sharing their lives with others. We’re designed to be social creatures and as such, gain tremendous satisfaction with spending time with others who share the same values and interests as us.

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Whether it’s through friends or family, always share your thoughts, ideas and ambitions with people as it will help you feel less lonely.

10) Embrace your failures and frustrations along the way.

I firmly believe that life itself is a series of failures, which we need to experience in order to become better. There isn’t a single person I’ve ever met on this planet who never managed to make any mistakes before they became successful.

It simply doesn’t make sense for life to lack failures, else each person would have been born with everything they ever wanted to begin with. In truth, it’s the failure that’s the journey.

11) Learn to remain humble and down to earth.

Through failure, you’ll get to develop an appreciation for what you eventually have in your life due to the hardships you had to deal with in order to get there.

I don’t know a single person who appreciated what they had when it was given to them easily versus when they had to work hard for it. At the end of the day, you owe it to yourself to work hard for what you want out of your life.

Because it’s what will help you appreciate it and remain humble once you do.

12) Keep track of your progress.

While life is short, there are many things that we learn each and every day that helps us grow and reach the next level. But we never seem to notice it due to failing to track our progress.

Always keep a diary and write down everything you experience on a day to day basis; it will help you develop an even bigger appreciation of yourself moving forward, knowing that you managed to outgrow yourself, which is an achievement in itself.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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