While there are many ways to live life, most of the options fit into one of two categories:
- You can live your live in a reactive manner, constantly at the mercy of the people and circumstances around you.
- Or you can also choose to be the master of your life by mastering yourself. You can be focused, resilient, and create the type of life you deserve. If you control yourself, you control your destiny.
Being successful is rarely about working harder or longer. It’s about spending your time effectively. If your levels of success and happiness leave you less than thrilled, consider making some positive changes.
If you’re ready to take control of yourself and your life:
1. Recognize that the issue isn’t that you’re not “good” at being successful. You’ve simply been good at being unsuccessful. To bring about the results you’re currently experiencing, you’ve had to do certain things consistently for quite a long period of time.
- Consistently taking a new set of actions will bring about new results.
2. Take responsibility for your results up to this point. While most of us would like to blame others and put the responsibility on them, it’s much better to take responsibility.
- If you take responsibility, you can fix it. If you really believe that your circumstances are someone else’s fault, what can you do?
- Even if it is someone else’s fault, they’re unlikely to do anything to rectify the situation. It might not be your fault, but it’s still your responsibility to fix it.
3. Understand the actions you least want to take are likely the actions that will improve your life the most. Think about that. The things you’re really dreading might be the very things you need to do to turn your life around.
4. Focus on effective actions. These are the actions that will take you on the most direct path to your goals.
- For example, suppose you’re trying to lose weight. The most direct path is to simply eat a small number of calories of healthy food and spend some time exercising each day. An entire industry of crazy diets and exercise programs has been created because people can’t get themselves to take the direct path.
- In most cases, effective actions are obvious. The challenge lies in getting yourself to take them.
5. Embrace discomfort. We’re all attracted to being comfortable. Unfortunately, the road to progress travels through the land of discomfort. We’re generally only comfortable with the things we do on a regular basis. However, those are the same things that have led to the life you’re currently living.
- Discomfort can be overcome by overruling your mind. Like any new activity, taking action in spite of discomfort gets easier with time.
6. Realize that life is short. Imagine you’re 80 years old. How do you think you’ll look back on all the things that are challenging you now? Think about your life 20 years ago and the things that you found challenging back then. Are they the same types of issues?
Mastering yourself is a challenging but rewarding process. Imagine if you could get yourself to do all the things you know you should be doing. How would your life look a year from now?
Take the time today to take one mildly uncomfortable action you’ve been putting off, even if it’s just sitting down and paying your bills or calling your mother. Create the habit of doing something uncomfortable, but productive, each day. Over time, the really challenging things will become easier.
Master yourself and create the life you desire.