What we do on a regular basis, even with little things, becomes our future.
Yes, this is a bold statement, but it is true. The main challenge is that sometimes, we may not realize that what we have just done or said came out of habit. It is easy to see that we eat the same cereal for breakfast every day. That is a simple one to spot, as is driving the same way to work, choosing a certain style of clothes and the likes.
What is much harder to detect is a particular kind of thinking. Today, I want to talk about focused, persistent, determined thinking, as opposed to scattered, carried away, wishy-washy thinking.
We have many defining moments in life, but we do not always know that they are defining, because they simply add a little, or chip away gently, to the definition of who we are. Over time, however, these tiny changes in our self-definition become a whole different person than the one we could be otherwise.
Personal development is often described as a journey – it has an origin, a destination, requires resources and effort and involves many steps that must be taken to complete it. So imagine yourself on an uphill hike with a heavy pack on your back. You are already sweaty and panting, having walked far from where you started, but there is some distance to cover yet. All you have to do is take the next step. That is your point of personal power. Take the step and you win. Stop and you lose.
But more importantly, taking that step and then another one and another one adds up to BEING a winner, whereas stopping so often it gets dark and cold and you get stuck in the middle of nowhere for the night adds up to BEING a loser.
OK, so maybe this was a bit harsh. Let me see if I can bring it closer to home.
You are sitting at a café or a restaurant and you are trying to decide whether to have your 4th cup of coffee for the morning or take another bite out of the rich cake, even though you are already full.
Or you are studying for a test or practicing playing the piano and you get to a difficult part and you try to decide whether to push yourself for another minute or call it a day and go do something easy for a change.
Or you are at a party and you are the designated driver, but the drinks are so tempting, you just take a little sip … and another little sip … OK, so just another little one.
Or you have an unpleasant phone call to make, a failure to take responsibility for, a wrong thing to apologize for or some other really difficult thing to do that you dread. Maybe you can do it tomorrow/domani/mañana? Does tomorrow ever come?
The way habits are formed is by doing the same thing repeatedly, until they are done automatically, without conscious thinking. This is exactly why developing a habit of giving up is dangerous – once it has been developed, you are not likely to notice you are doing it anymore. Without awareness, you never break the habit and just keep drifting through life, wondering how come others seem richer, happier and more fulfilled.
Now don’t get me wrong – there is much to be said for flowing. Sometimes, the best thing to do is go with the flow, accept things and enjoy the ride. However, flowing as a mindless habit is not a good thing. Living a completely reactive, externally directed, random life will get you nowhere fast and keep you there forever.
Fortunately, all is not lost and by doing little things, you can turn things around in no time. All you have to do is develop some productive, useful, beneficial habits. Here is how:
- Set a goal. Pick something you want to accomplish within the next 3 months or so. It should be so good it makes you want to have it right now. It should be something you are sure you can achieve, if only you apply yourself.
- Ask yourself, “What kind of a person would get this goal easily? What kind of choices would this kind of person make differently on a daily basis?”
- Work your goal. Make those different choices, no matter how little, no matter how hard, like a person who can achieve your goal would make them. Stay the course.
- Accomplish your goal and BE a winner.
- From here, everything will be so much easier in life, because you already have good habits. Go back to step 1.
Live long and prosper (and keep reading below),
Apology and Opportunity
On January 12, there was a special launch of a book Ronit had reviewed and found to be really good for students who want to do well. Unfortunately, I fell asleep at the proverbial wheel and did not post the related offer on time.
So first of all, please accept my apologies (see, that was hard, but I have done it).
More importantly, I have contacted the publisher and he has extended the special offer to anybody coming from this blog TODAY. Therefore, I am happy to announce a really good book is now available to you, if you are a student, or to your kids who are students, or as a tool for you to help your student kids.
Teen readers will discover how they:
- Can go from a ‘D’ grade to an ‘A’
- Move from an average to a top student
- Produce grades that were once out of their reach
- Be able to produce grades that will allow them to get into the university/college of their choice
- Have a greater ability to communicate with their family, particularly parents
- Produce results that will ultimately mean that they have a great standard of living
Buy the book and you will be entered in a draw for $10,000 teen scholarship, including one-on-one coaching with the author of the book (and a really nice man), John Edwards.
10% of the proceeds of this book go to Children Wise – an amazing non-profit
organization specializing in the prevention and reduction of sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
To take advantage of today’s special offer and lots of bonuses, visit Student Mind Power today.