Most of us want to break out of the bland, self-imposed day to day routine we find ourselves in day after day, and we do nothing to improve our situation. Our proclivity towards comfort, be it good or bad, is debilitating, and the bane of many would-be better-livers … Yes: Better-livers.
Some part of all of us dream of living some version of our lives that’s better by every metric imaginable but we dawdle off into habits long constructed, through repeated efforts of ignorance and laziness, that have made our lives so routine and so … simple—even in their collectively shitty states at times—and we do nothing to reinvent and reconstruct the new, better life we envision for ourselves.
If you’re reading this article you fall into one of two camps: either you came upon it accidentally and curiosity is itching away at your neurons, or you’ve have been thinking about change and are wandering the ever growing collection of content humanity calls the internet.
Either way, you’re in the right place.
I’m not going to teach you how to fix your marriage. I’m not going to teach you how to get your finances in order or how to mend your relationships with estranged family members.
I am going to tell you, however, that the self improvement principles I lay out that follow will help you significantly in fixing all sorts of ailments … ailing you in your life. Self love is the key to all that is good in this world. You cannot fix anything before you fix yourself.
So read on.
Godspeed, young Jedi (no matter your age, you are always young enough to start, and there’s no better time than right now).
Blame Yourself, No Matter
If you find yourself pinning the blame on EVERYTHING but yourself … stop.
Does your internal rhetoric sound like this:
“If only my parents did X, Y, or Z I could have been so, so, or so.”
“If only I wasn’t so out of shape.”
“If only I was smarter.”
“If only I was as good as he or she.”
“If only so and so…”
Look, I’m not saying that external circumstances have not or will not affect your life in any way. They can and they most likely have and will continue to do so for as long as you’re breathing.
But the reality of the matter is that if we continue to play the blame game, we end up pointing a finger at everything else for our misery. This takes power away from us and places it elsewhere—usually that power ends up in a time that- or with someone who cannot help us in our current predicament of life shittiness.
Stop doing that.
Carry the responsibility of the burden whether you truly believe you’re responsible or not.
Even if your mom neglected you as a child and gave you no love. Even if your dad was a heroine junkie. Even if you were bullied in your childhood. Even if you were a victim of mental abuse, you were manipulated, and you lost your entire life savings. Even if you’re sitting in jail right now for a murder you didn’t commit.
Yes … that far.
Let’s use today as a new start.
Today we blame ourselves for all our problems. We take back the power we’ve given away so abruptly and we use that power to reshape our lives in any direction we choose to do so.
STOP blaming your circumstances on anything but yourself and leverage that power for change.
We’ve all heard the cliche on goal setting … I’m going to double down on it with a great quote by founder of SUCCESS magazine Orison Swett Marden:
All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.
This is absolute truth.
Goal setting is the backbone of anything you wish to accomplish and acts as a metaphorical compass in your life.
This reminds me of the famous Lewis Carroll passage wherein Alice asks the Cheshire Cat for directions:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
We all want to get somewhere but don’t know where that somewhere is and when we aimlessly wander the wastelands we end up in places we never wished to visit in the first place.
Or in other words—when we aimlessly and haphazardly go about our lives, we shouldn’t be surprised when years later we wake up on a gloomy Monday morning to the same dull routine, feeling ugly, out of shape, emotional, insecure, single, and not wanting to get out of bed, but we have to because we’re barely scraping by living paycheck to paycheck, and wondering if this is all that life has to offer.
This is an extreme example but many circumstances can make us feel unhappy and those circumstances don’t necessarily mean we’re single, or we’re out of shape, or we’re financially crippled. We could have one or all of those boxes checked off and still feel that something is missing.
Life is not a walk in the park, and if you treat it as such you will get mediocre results.
Set your eye on a prize. A life you want to live. Picture it in your mind’s eye. Imagine it in it’s complete bliss and glory. Feel yourself waking up to it one day. Reach out with your hand and touch it. It’s that close.
Now open your eyes and decide what it will take in every aspect of your life to make that imaginary life a reality.
Write those decisions down and stick a label on top of them that says: “GOALS”.
Include every part of your life in your goals and let it embody every waking moment of your life.
This means that you should set goals for your body, your mind, your business, your soul (which I use here loosely to mean things that are good for your happiness in the short and medium term like socializing with friends, going wine tasting, travelling, … whatever it may be for you).
Set goals and create a direction in your life and wake up every day with those goals dictating everything that your do.
1. Do Nothing … you’re enough. (http://qr.ae/TUN6Wo)
2. Fall back “Like Maslow” (Sleep, Eat, Exercise … the 3 pillars)
3. The past is “lesson’s learned” and not regrets
4. Goal setting … Smart and long term
5. Do everything that you don’t want to do
6. Don’t blame your circumstances on anyone or anything