As creatures of habit, we spend a lot of our time researching different ways to make our lives better. We search the internet, ask friends, or even read books relentlessly trying to find answers to a lot of questions that consume our minds every day. I am no different, I too have been guilty of these methods. In fact, I am exactly on my 10th year of a life’s changing journey.
Some journeys take longer than others. Obstacles, life moments, and other circumstances sometimes jump in the way of progress if you’re not prepared for them. So, I have decided to compile 7 areas that you might be searching for; hopefully, it will provide some guidance in areas you might be dealing with.
- Comfort: It was through my love for musicals that I came across my first quote. In the Greatest showman, Hugh Jackman gives us the most powerful line in the movie in his role as PT Barnum; “Comfort is the enemy of progress” (or Human Potential). This, of course, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be content, what it means is you should always be pushing to be a better version of you. You should never just sit back and accept your current state as is. There is always something new to work on, especially in the Top 3 (Mind, Body, and Soul). If you read Tim Tebow’s new book “This Is the Day,” he dedicates an entire chapter to this called “Put in the Work.” Tim Tebow states, “You need to put in the work and be willing to face the discomfort in order for you to grow.” For the last 10 years, this has been the primary area of my life. Focus. Through that journey, I realized that there is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.”
- Faith (Cores/Values): This is huge and one that I have failed at myself. If you are a person of faith (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.), do not let others deviate you from what your core values and beliefs are. These are the values that have guided you most of your entire life. Stay strong to your convictions, and those who try to change your values, lack them. If you are allowing people to persuade your beliefs and value, then they were never strong enough, to begin with. There is nothing more disheartening than circumstantial faith.
- Character: Your word is everything and is the true definition of your character. The very first words out of our mouths will be the first advertisement that people will use as a way to ascertain their future interactions with you. Breaking your word could or will, in some cases, have serious consequences. It will switch any relationship (Friendship, Loved ones, Co-Worker) from “Trusted” to “Questioned.” Be responsible for your commitments and your character. It is literally one of the few things in your life that you are fully in control of.
- Health: Like that burger? How about a grilled chicken salad instead? Of course, I’m not saying you can’t eat the burger, what I’m saying is you have options. Just like in life, you have the ability to choose which side is healthier. If you are like me and struggle with weight, sometimes those options need to be limited. Learn to incorporate a healthy way of eating, activities, and spend more time walking around at the park or around the block than on your couch.
- Travel: Nothing screams fun like traveling. Even the smallest of adventures could last for a lifetime. Experience a new place, restaurant, or even an entertainment event in your area. This might seem like impossible if you’re on a low budget, but it is not! There are great sources now to help you along the process. Websites such as cheapoair.com and justfly.com can help you find great prices on flights. AirBnB.com for all my travel stays; it is amazing the great locations and people you meet along the way. Traveling resets the clock in your mind. Knock down the 4 walls you stare at every day and replacing it with a fantastic view of the Colosseum.
- The Night/Day’s: No, this is not about the sun and the stars; this is about people. Yes, folks, we have one or more people who are detrimental to your progress. The types who are flipping the way they handle their lives and their emotions. No, this is not diversity, intriguing, exciting, or mysterious; it’s dangerous and chaotic. Not only are these people unstable, but you can see the results in their own lives in pure form. Tearing everything in their path, not just in their lives, but the lives of others, then they move on to the next day as if nothing happened and expect you to accept or deal with the damage that was done. They do it in many aspects of their lives. These people will literally demonize people, work, and circumstances at night, and after the damage has been done, they embrace these same people, work, and circumstances by day. Remember that everyone has an agenda, good or bad. Don’t allow yourself to be a part of these hidden agendas and always be as mindful as possible so that you are not setting yourself up to fail. “Sometimes, playing stupid opens your eyes to the truth.” ― Anthony Liccione
- The Past: The longest of the areas; of course, it affects everyone, in some way or another. We have a weird passion for reflecting on it. A lot of us have lost jobs, homes, relationships, and more. It affects us in every way, and some of these things still might cause great pain. There are three major stages in dealing with the past:
- Not excelling. The past is holding us back, and your inability to let go is keeping you from where you need to be. I can’t express enough how important it is for you to start a healing process by getting help to move forward in your progress.
- Excelling but in denial. We used the past to improve our way of life, but refusing to accept it. These folks moved on; We moved on, we excelled, we achieved things because of letting go of the past, yet we keep getting the urge to try and return to it. The answer is simple; DON’T. The reason you have achieved what you have is because you moved forward from it. I can personally empathize in this impulse as I too failed at it for a long time. Having the past consume you will reverse course emotionally, set you back and/or cause a disruption in the environment around you. As humans, it is our nature to be selfish. What we think is best based on feeling and emotions, may not be the best for our wellbeing and results. I can’t tell you how many folks/habits/impulses I have had to work on or get rid of. These people and behaviors were all an important part of my life for both motivation, growth, and a reminder of our biggest failures. That’s why it was so important to train myself to change them and stop reflecting on the past, it has completely changed my life around for the better, and it has provided healing, both in mind and life.
- Eat my dust! The final version of the person that has graduated from the grief, pain and/or drama. Take life by the horns. Let’s remember, yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not happened yet. So, focus on today.
In the words of a great roman emporer, “What You do Today Echoes An Eternity – Marcus Aurelius.” Make your life count. What legacy will you leave behind? Every important decision that we make in life changes our outcome. Whether you are a parent, a worker, a spouse, etc… do something that will make a difference. Make a difference in someone else’s life.
Every day, we should be working to improve who we are, to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. As humans, who we engage, who we surround ourselves with, the decisions we make, and what we put our focus on will determine our outcomes. Make them count! If there is anything you take from this article, let it be this; Sometimes, what we want isn’t what we need to reach our best version of ourselves. I am still working on a few aspects of these areas. The journey is long; it’s painful, but it’s completely worth it.