“You can dramatically change your life but only if you have the desire to change, the decision to take action, the discipline to practice the new behaviors you have chosen, and the determination to persist until you get the results you want.” – Brian Tracy
- “I just need to focus.”
- “I just need to buckle down.”
- “I just need to have more willpower.”
- “I already know what to do, I just need to do it.”
I’ve probably said all of these things to myself at one point or another and I’m betting you have as well. Most of us already know what to do — eat the right foods, exercise consistently, get proper rest and recovery, and do more of what we love and less of what we don’t. Yet it’s so difficult to put it all together.
How can we avoid feeling lost, stressed out, and overwhelmed, and get more focused, more results, and more stuff done whether that be with regards to our health, career, or in our relationships?
The choices you make are yours and yours alone
The minute junk hits the fan, you make a mistake, or times get tough…accept complete responsibility. Refuse to make excuses and commit to not placing the blame on anyone else or the circumstances. Wherever you are now in your life is because of the choices you made. To get yourself over any hurdle you first need to acknowledge that it is there. Otherwise you’ll just keep running into it over and over.
There’s a wonderful poem by Portia Nelson entitled “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk” that is very fitting…
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault… I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.Advertising
I walk down another street.
If you are making the same mistake over and over acknowledge it. Ask yourself why do I keep walking down this sidewalk? Then choose a new route. Any route will do. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s not the same one that keep leading you to fall down a hole. When you’re on this new path you’ll now know what to look for. If you see a hole you’ll walk around it and find another path the next day.
If you’re struggling with your nutrition find your hole. Are you always falling of the wagon at night when you get home from work? You’re exhausted and just want to relax? Instead of taking time to prepare a healthy meal are you opting for something processed and quick?
What’s another street you can take? Can you get up a few minutes early every day to make sure you have something prepared for when you get home?
Take a look at your street. Where are the holes? What can you do?
What do I need to do everyday to achieve what I want to achieve
We often don’t fail due to a lack of effort — it’s often consistent effort that we struggle with. Most of the things we want to accomplish take effort spread throughout an extended period of time.
And the honesty…
Most of that effort needs to be extended for a lifetime. Now thinking of things over the course of a lifetime can cause anyone to hyperventilate, but the cool thing is it gets easier and easier. And that effort will become automatic.
Getting up a little earlier to get in a workout will become a habit. Cooking in bulk on a Sunday afternoon so you have meals for the week will feel natural. Using that hour every night you use to reserve for watching your favorite show is now spent on starting your own business.Advertising
But the key is to start with one.
Just pick one area of your life that you want to improve. Trying to do too much at one time will require so much effort that you’ll either burn yourself out or make it difficult to commit 100% to each area.
What is the single thing that needs the you want to improve. Start there, commit 100%, and once it’s a habit move on to the next.
My way or the highway leads to you on an empty road all by yourself.
Learn to adapt
There is one thing for certain in this world and that’s change. I can guarantee you one thing and I will never be wrong. Today is most certainly different from yesterday and tomorrow will be different from today.
Even though some days you might feel like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”, subtle changes are happening every day. Just look back at your life. How different are you from when you were 10, 20, 30, and so on? I bet your job has changed a few times, I’m certain your body, some of your habits, your friends, where you live. Change is one thing I am certain is never going away.
Failure to adapt, try new things, experiment with new methods, techniques, people, and choices will cause you to be left behind.
What worked today might not work tomorrow. Can you eat like you did when you were a kid? Are you as active?
Your responsibilities and passions I am sure have changed as well. It is up to you to adapt to your new environment, your new role, or your new body and to figure out what it is you need to do in order to get where you want to be.
How do your nutrition habits need to adapt? Your exercise habits? Your lifestyle?Advertising
Plan. Then plan again. Oh yeah, and plan some more.
“Failure to plan is planning to fail.”
I know we’ve all heard that before…but it’s true. Hey, I like winging it as much as the next guy but if something is not going the way you want or expect take a look at your plan… or maybe failure to have one.
It may seem like you waste time planning but in the long run that planning will save you time as you avoid having to start from scratch if junk hits the fan. A plan is like a map. If you planned out your route and hit a snag or make a wrong turn it gives you a chance to see where you messed up and avoid it in the future.
It also works when things go right. If you get to your destination you will have a route to follow and use again and again and possibly now have some guidance for when you embark on a new trip.
So whatever it is you want to do take time to create a plan. Don’t worry about it being wrong, as long as you’re willing to adapt you’ll make the necessary changes as you go.
As in crystal clear. It’s hard to get anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go. Where are you now, where do you want to be, what do you want to do? Don’t concern yourself so much with the “How” but more so the “Why.”
What ever your goal, whatever you want to do define why you are doing it and why it is important to you. If building muscle, losing weight, or finding more work that you love is something you want to pursue define your why.
Here’s an example of how to do that.
“I want to lose fat.”Advertising
- Why do I want to lose fat? Because I want to fit into a smaller size of jeans.
- But why do I want to fit into a smaller size of jeans? Because when I’m wearing smaller jeans, I think I’ll look better.
- But why do I want to look better? Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.
- But why do I want to feel good about myself? Because when I feel good about myself, I’m more assertive and confident.
- But why do I want to be more assertive and confident. Because when I’m more assertive and confident, I’m in control and better able to get what I want out of life.
Now your turn. Pick one thing that you want to work towards. Just one thing. Make the statement. I WANT TO _______________. Then keep asking yourself, “but why” until you get to the heart of the matter.
I’m almost certain that almost all problems could be solved by doing this…
By always treating others the way we would want to be treated.
Personal, physical, mental, and social problems could almost certainly be solved if we always treated people the way we wanted to be treated. If our coffee order is messed up there is no real reason to berate the barista. It’s not fixing the order any. The only thing it is doing is raising your blood pressure and stressing out the poor girl behind the counter.
When someone cuts us off on the freeway tailgating them, giving them the finger, and honking at them serves no real purpose. It doesn’t change the situation and doesn’t help to resolve any problems.
If you don’t want to feel stressed out, unhealthy, tired, or upset there is a pretty good chance other people don’t want to as well.
What’s holding you back
What is keeping you from getting the body you want, doing work you love, pursuing adventure and passions? Identify and remove. If a jar of peanut butter is getting devoured every night it might be sabotaging your fitness goals. Identify and remove.
Are finances keeping you from taking that trip you have been dying to go on. Identify where you are wasting money and remove.
Is there anything you know now that if your life started over today you would not get involved in? Well life starts over today. What can you change?
(Photo credit: Honest Abe via Shutterstock)
Last Updated on December 13, 2018
There Is More to Life Than ____________
I decided to leave the title of this article open ended, because I’d like you to fill in what words best fit that blank. We’re all unique individuals from different walks of life, and in different stages of life; so, that sentence will have a different meaning for each of us.
If you’re a busy working professional, why are you working in the job that you have now?
Is it because it’s something you’re passionate about and brings you a lot of satisfaction? Or, is it because you studied that in college and just found a job that hired you for those skills? Perhaps it’s because of the money that you’re earning, or know you can earn down the line?
What if you’re about to retire? You’ve got, say, 2 to 3 more years before you hit your ‘deadline’ for retiring. Have you done all that you’ve wanted to do in the past 30-40 years? Any unfulfilled goals or dreams? Are you happy with the outcome of your life to date, all the decisions and/or risks that you’ve made thus far?
I’m sure many of us started working after college in hopes of earning a good living–to be financially stable and able to afford the ability to experience and do things that we love. We start establishing a career, and with time, tick off boxes on our bucket or ambition list. As you look back on the last couple of years, just how much of your time has been spent doing things that you enjoy and love–the things that give you a great sense of fulfillment and meaning?
Have you become a slave to the economy, a slave to your work, or a slave to your kids? Or have you found a balance between work and pleasure?
When is Enough Ever Enough?
Sadly, many of us live to work.
Realists would argue that if you truly want to work to live, you still need the finances to back that up. No money no talk. That is how the world runs today. So if you don’t earn or make enough dough, it’s hard to truly enjoy life; it’s hard to be happy without money.
So, in this quest to provide just that, many of us end up spending our whole lives pursuing wealth and a life of status and material wants. But, is it ever enough? Is there such a thing as having too much money? And, at what expense?
Many wealthy entrepreneurs, millionaires and even billionaires have come to agree that money doesn’t bring you all the happiness in the world. It’s good to have, but it doesn’t truly satisfy all desires. There comes a point where you would have ‘had it all’ and still feel a sense of emptiness: an empty void that needs to be filled, not with money or material possessions.
So the question is then, what more is there to life if not for financial stability, status or material possessions?
How do we make work a part of life instead of having it consume our life entirely? Perhaps we need to go back to look at the word life itself.
What is Your Purpose in Life?
What is the nature of life? What does life mean to you? Is there a purpose?
If we seek jobs, all we will find are jobs. But if we have a sense of purpose in how we are productive; if we seek a calling, then we will find more than a job. We will find our contribution to humanity and we will find more to life. Would you agree?
Research has shown that having purpose and meaning in life increases overall well-being and life satisfaction, improves mental and physical health, enhances resiliency, enhances self-esteem, and decreases the chances of depression. So it should be noted that to be happy in life isn’t always enough, because happiness is a surge of emotions that does not last. Instead, it’s more important to find and have meaning in life.
Meaning is not only about transcending the self, but also about transcending the present moment. While happiness is an emotion felt in the here and now, it ultimately fades away, just as all emotions do; positive affect and feelings of pleasure are fleeting. The amount of time people report feeling good or bad correlates with happiness, but not at all with meaning.
Have You Been Going on a Wild Goose Chase?
Ironically, the single-minded pursuit of happiness is leaving people less happy. “It is the very pursuit of happiness, that thwarts happiness”, according to Viktor Frankl, a famous Austrian Neurologist and Holocaust survivor. Going back to the common example of pursuing riches in order to be happy is exactly what makes many so unhappy.
So again, look at the statement “There is more to life than ______.”
Have you answered it meaningfully? If you’ve read on this far, and are now wondering how to take that first step to figuring out what your true purpose is in life, fret not; I’m here to help you reframe your mind and actions, so that you can embark on a journey of finding true meaning to your life.
Everything that you can do and accomplish in life are bounded by 7 Cornerstone Skills. These are the true essentials needed to achieve excellence. They’ll put you on a path that gives great meaning and satisfaction in life. And, the best thing of all? They already exist in each of us. We just don’t always make the most of it, or sometimes we aren’t even aware of the power that each of these skills have to help us in life.
On it’s own, each skill is unique and can help you through different stages of life, or problems. But as a whole set, these 7 Cornerstone Skills will give you full transformation over any situation. No matter what phase of life you’re in, what you’re striving to achieve, or what feel you’re lacking, your pursuit of meaning in life will be much faster when you’re able to make use of not one, not two, but all 7 Cornerstone Skills.
The 7 Cornerstone Skills
So let me give you a glimpse into what these 7 Cornerstone skills are.
Creativity empowers you to find unique solutions to problems, and see things in ways that you least expect.
It goes beyond the artistic impressions and aesthetics, and is a crucial building block of change.
Without Learning, you will not be able to advance and progress in life. Yet, there are many of us who always fall behind not because they don’t have the intellectual ability, but because they don’t know how to learn effectively.
And then we have Memory, one of the most vital components, because without that you have nothing to fall back on, nothing to gain from all the learning or experiences that you’re exposed to on this earth.
And with an ever increasing amount of information available, how can you store up as much knowledge as you can without overloading?
And with any and everything that you do, a certain amount of Focus is always given.
Whether it’s the career ladder that you’ve been climbing, or the responsibility of being a parent, Focus is a flow that allows you to push towards the progress that you’re striving for.
Without focus, we find ourselves lost, demotivated and stuck in a rut.
Many of us aren’t happy in life or with our jobs and responsibilities because we lack Motivation, and an overarching purpose as I already mentioned earlier. Motivation helps drive you forward, and gives you the focus achieve your purpose.
If you realize, every new day that comes is filled with routines. Whether it’s getting ready for work in the morning, putting your kids to bed in the evening, or setting aside time during the weekends for family time and activities, it all happens as a result of habits that you’ve built over time.
Therefore Habits dictate a big part of your life. Pursuing happiness, money or meaning all have a dependency on your habits. If you find yourself being controlled by bad or negative habits, it’s more likely to hinder you from being productive and reaching those goals.
This also ends up leading to bad use of Time, or poor time management.
You might feel like you haven’t built a stable career yet because you lack proper time management. You find yourself spending a lot of time being busy, yet producing little outcomes.
Or certain habits might be consuming time that you can be using for other more productive tasks.
Perhaps you’re on your way to retirement, and feel like it’s too late to find new meaning to your life. There’s not much time left to embark on a new journey again.
Are You Ready to Live Your Best Life?
The simple fact is, that if you can sharpen these 7 Cornerstone skills, you will realize that finding meaning in life, or reaching the goals and ambitions that you’ve set out for yourself, no matter what stage of life you’re in, is very attainable.
There is no magical method to having life figured out. The skills have always been there since day 1, you just need to know how to use it to the best of your advantage.
And I’m here to show you just how you can do that. Lifehack is all about equipping you with the best and most effective ways to increase your productivity, motivation and focus to achieve true Purpose in life, in as little time as possible.
Embark on a transformational journey with us as we show you how to learn and improve your 7 Cornerstone Skills so that you’ll come out a new person, ready to either pursue your existing goals at a much quicker rate, or to find new goals to pursue without being limited by time, age or responsibilities.
If you’ve been wanting a change, or been stuck in a rut for a while now, here is your chance to get started on pushing towards progress again.
Anyone can transform, anyone can change. Are you ready to live your best life? Click here to start your journey!
Featured photo credit: Caroline Hernandez via unsplash.com