When you take a closer look at living beings on Planet Earth you’ll invariably start to discover certain patterns in their behavior. You will see that every animal has habits it conforms to while it goes through it’s day. Of course, pretty soon you will see that majority of animals don’t even realize the patterns and routines that rule their lives. They stumble through their day without noticing all the shortcuts they could take and improvements they could make.
You will be shocked when you discover how many of these animals are healthy, full-grown humans. How many of them don’t even pay attention during most of the day. How they are trapped in their own negative thoughts or events that happened years ago. How they’ve developed a routine that makes them wade unhappily through every single waking hour of their lives, while clinging to status quo simply because they won’t think for a second, and start fighting for themselves.
That’s the most striking thing. Almost every human in the world today has the capacity to stand up and take the ownership of their life. True, some of us are more free than others. But I will argue that if you are reading this text on the screen of your electronic device, you can make a difference. The weight of burdens you carry does not matter – you can still make a stand for your and lives around you.
Decide what you want to do with your life and how you can help others. Do not let world, happenstance, negative thoughts or circumstances decide your habits. Design your routine for yourself. Consciously pick who and what you serve. And even if you want to surrender to your anxiety and fears – by all means – do it. But don’t do it unconsciously, while tricking yourself with other busy thoughts. Say it out loud and force yourself to acknowledge what you are doing.
Only when you make a conscious effort to realize your reality will you be on the path of building a routine which serves you as much as you serve it. Routine is a powerful master that can lead you all the way to the rags or the riches. You have the power to choose what your routine consists of. Choose wisely.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle
Do you ever imagine yourself living in the distant past? And how do you see that past? Glorious and exciting as movies and popular media try to present it? Or you imagine yourself vulnerable, ill equipped for time travel, struggling to accept amenities of simple life?
Even recent past can seem daunting. Just think about everything you would’ve missed if you go back only 30 years in time. All the choices you simply couldn’t make, innovations you would need to wait out…. lotteries you could win if only you remembered the numbers.
Not surprising, some people find past and less choice a positive turn of events. It is easy to forget how overwhelmed we are nowadays. How many choices we need to make each and every day, glued to our smart device that seems to keep ringing through the whole day, telling us of yet another thing we need to do.
And yet, there is no reason for it to be this way. We should rule choices rather than allowing choices to rule us. If choice is trivial, remove it from your thoughts. Do not allow anxiety to get a hold of you and push you into seeing every choice as a matter of life and death. Take a moment to step back and look at what you are doing. Realign yourself toward what is truly important.
Mathematics is probably the closest we humans have came to universal language of cosmos. And math can well show that subtracting a negative number will increase score in the same manner addition of positive number does. Use your ability to choose less. Remove everything meaningless from your life.
Nothing prevents you from enjoying each and every moment you live. But to get there you need to remove your busy thoughts, meaningless tasks, shallow ambitions and unhappy relationships. Remove things that hold you back, so that you can rediscover how long day actually is. And how there is time for everything you want. Subtract everything that is negative and – just go.
Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. -Mark Twain
We are all guilty of procrastinating at some point of our lives. It’s easy to succumb to the temptation of not doing what needs to be done. We have trained ourselves to procrastinate. Even when there is something we really want to do. Especially then – we lie and give in to yet another “let me just do this”.
Procrastination would be understandable, if it always brought you the pleasures you imagine as your drop your focus. But it doesn’t. Procrastination tires you out immensely. It brings you down. And it’s easy to figure out why – if you have even shred of character, deep down in yourself you know that you are cheating yourself. That you are trading what you truly are and what you truly want for something you don’t even care about.
Decide that today is the day where you take a stand and say no to procrastination. That you say yes to all the plans you have made for yourself. That you will not trade your goals for senseless wasting of time. And that from now until the end of time, you will write down everything you ever wanted to do and look at that list whenever you feel the urge to procrastinate.
If you make that promise to yourself, you will see that there is enough time in the day for all your plans. That you can accomplish so much more. That time used well will bring you immense satisfaction. That nothing can replace the moment at the end of the day, where you sit down with yourself and *feel* that you mattered. That your effort, persistence and resilience made difference in your and lives around you.
Trade moments you have for rest and things that truly interest you. But don’t you ever trade precious, scarce time you have in this life for mindless wading through the day that destroys your focus while giving you nothing in return. Stop procrastinating. Start working.
Failure is not our only punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others. -Jules Renard
I often talk with people about happiness. And when I mention that happiness is easy, I usually get response that – it is not.
If happiness was easy, there would not be so many unhappy people in the world, they say.
Smart reasoning always brings smile to my face. It’s crazy how well people debate nowadays. How well educated people are compared to 100 years ago. How entertainment, choice and chances are increasing with each passing year. How demanding we all have become.
And demand is the key.
If you are not happy, chances are that you are demanding more than you are willing to give. It’s as simple as that. If you are not trumped by disability, illness or serious condition that prevents you from standing up and fighting for yourself right now – you can easily feel happy. Just start giving, at least to yourself.
Decide what is your goal… and then begin working toward it. Happiness will simply show up as a feeling that will accompany you as you progress toward your goal. Happiness can’t exist when you’re standing still for too long.
If happiness could be obtained by standing still, all those celebrities that have millions of dollars and millions of admirers around the world would be happy. And yet they are not – because by their own standards they are standing still or regressing. The more you have, the more you can lose… and that feeling is crushing to those easily scared.
Don’t be scared. On the path toward your goal, there will be obstacles. There will be disappointments. But there also will be happiness. Happiness that you are marching with your head held high and that you are giving it your all. That you are not allowing your fears to protect you from everything by making you stand still. Because you don’t need that kind of protection; as it’ll truly protect you from everything – including happiness.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. -Mahatma Gandhi
Doing anything worthwhile requires effort. There is no way around it. If you truly want to do something unique and personal, you can’t rely on existing solutions without giving up joy of achievement. It’s hard to join “I” with something that came off assembly line with a price tag.
Accept the struggle. Live it and feel it. Find the time to rest, find the time to think, but when it is time to perform – perform. Keep doing. Keep building. Keep following the plan.
And don’t be afraid to fail. Every big success was preceded by big failures. But no success happened to those that stopped trying.
For most of us, fault is always external. Whenever things go south, it’s always – circumstances, other people, chance and whatnot that caused misfortune. Majority will gladly walk down the path on which blame is always attached to others.
You go in opposite direction. Whenever something bad happens – figure out how it was your fault. What is it that you could’ve done that would’ve produced better outcome? Do that and you’ll see how easy it is to make a difference. While others are running away from it – you embrace responsibility and wield it to make your life better.
In a crazed, judgmental world isolation can seem like a blessing. Not participating in countless dramas that are going around every moment, is alone attractive lure. But it is never about the whole world. It’s always about the world around you. Who you choose to share your moments with.
Let the company you keep define you. Be proud of people you spend time with. Find those who are helpful to you, and be even more helpful to them. Sharpen your skills and focus, not in blind service to yourself; but to serve those who serve you. Do that, and motivation won’t be a problem. Find your tribe.
We all wish we were someone else. But we can’t be. You were born with certain qualities. You practiced certain qualities. You embody certain qualities.
You can’t run from who you are. So, embrace it. Let all those who misunderstand or hate you do their job. You do yours. Use qualities you have to complete work that awaits you. Don’t wish that you, opportunities or world are different. Work with what you have to go in direction you want. That’s all there is to it.
Healthy dose of fear is good. It helps you from abruptly abandoning good commitments you’ve made and invested time in. But, there is no point in living in constant fear. If there is something bothering you – put the damn work in and solve it.
And if there is something you can’t solve it no matter how much effort you put in – accept it. Don’t whine and complain about it. Use that energy to improve other things in your life. There is always a way to improve. Find a path between things you can’t change and things you are too scared to change.
You won’t accomplish much in life if you work only when you feel good. In your every day find something to do regardless of how you feel. Not only will you knock a thing off your to-do list, but you will feel better for accomplishing meaningful goal.
If you feel bad regardless of your great performance – sure – it is time to think, question priorities and decide what to change. But don’t let cursed human ungratefulness knock you of the path. Do your work and feel good about it. Then do it again. And again. And again. Until you can look back and marvel at all obstacles crashed by persistent effort of your will.