The very first step I took to stop mindlessly going through life was believing that some alternative for my mindless state was indeed possible. You see, I didn’t try to achieve anything with my life because I was convinced success was not possible for me.
I was lucky, a moment of semi-enlightenment hit me after reading a book, and it opened my eyes to different possibilities. Don’t wait for enlightenment, you may wait for the rest of your life.
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Start small daily habits that will help you to examine your attitudes and decisions. Meditate, journal, pray, read books which you normally wouldn’t read that could challenge your status quo.
“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.” — Jim Rohn
The exercise that finally ignited me into action was an extrapolation of our financial situation. Instead of being mindless, I was mindful for a moment and thought how my family’s life may look like in 30 years if I didn’t change my ways.
No matter if you use inspiration or desperation, get this feeling of urgency to escape the status quo.
Set Achievable Goals
Meaning small. Meaning you believe you can reach them.
Pursuing them will occupy your time while taking away time from your mindless pastimes like watching TV, YouTube, scrolling endlessly through social media or playing computer games. Define what success is for you.
For example, at the beginning, I decided to lose some weight. There was no doubt I could do this. I had already lost several pounds. It was just a matter of continuing what I had started.
I also decided to practice speed reading. I set no output goal. I had no idea what was possible. But I knew I could practice for 10 minutes a day. BTW, I almost doubled my reading speed in the first month.
Break your goals into daily actions. The goals may be vague as long as daily action is clearly defined.
Do Soul Searching
So, I knew I need to change my life. I had no idea how to improve our financial situation, but I knew I had no choice. I set some immediate goals.
And I began.
“Well begun is half done.”
This is crucial. You cannot idly wait for a meaning, goal or purpose to appear in your life. You must start your journey exactly where you are and gain momentum along the way.
“An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an external force”. — Newton’s First Law
Once you are in motion, it’s time to do some soul searching.
Why? Because you need something really inspiring to dedicate your life to it. Success for the sake success of sake doesn’t cut the mustard. Everybody wants to have great relationships, be healthy, wise and wealthy. Very few actually do something to achieve those objectives.
You need to switch from “I wish” to “I desperately desire.” You can find such a switch inside your soul.
While creating my personal mission statement I went through multiple mental exercises to discover what really drives me and how I want to live my life. I found who I want to be as a whole.
To my surprise, I wanted to be a writer, but there were other elements in my vision, pretty obvious, but equally or even more important: to be a good husband, father, Christian, friend and so on.
I put this vision into words. I started pursuing it. More doors opened.
You see, success is dynamic in its nature. Once you achieve something you start looking for more. Narrowing down to a single goal doesn’t guarantee success. The goal may be too small, you will achieve it and wonder what to do next with your life. Or it may be too huge and you will get quickly discouraged.
That’s why you need a vision, not a goal. Elon Musk’s vision is not to produce the biggest number of electric cars in the world nor to provide the biggest number of houses with solar panels. They are byproducts of pursuing his big vision: to put humanity on Mars.
When you are mindlessly going through life detecting a life purpose is a vain pursuit. You have no clue what that means. At the beginning, you need only the motivation to start. For me, it was this overarching feeling that I needed to do something, anything, with my life.
Then take action. Set small goals and start doing something. Get into motion.
I needed to improve my family financial situation, but I had no clue how. So I started working on my fitness, reading skills, and spirituality.
Then I discovered a passion for writing within me. That might’ve been a viable source of income. Eight months after getting that idea I self-published my first book. It took a few more months to receive the first real money from this side hustle.
It took me six years to free my wife and myself from our day jobs. I finally have some power over my schedule. Now, I can think about what really drives me — changing the world for better by changing people.
Little Things Matter
In my pursuit of success, I don’t neglect the small goals. I still practice several habits I started at the very beginning.
I’m building a new business that has the potential to grow to 7 figures, but my writing is the centerpiece of it. Once I have that business, my influence will grow and I will be able to pursue the goals of the size of Musk’s dreams. But each smaller goal is a building block for the overarching vision.
Start. Keep going. Modify your strategy along the way. Expand.
“Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.” Luke 16: 10
Each step is necessary. Begin. Take action. Get in motion.
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