There is no one step to change, or ten steps to happiness. While learning is valuable, unless it is integrated it is meaningless. It easy to look for short-cuts and take easy options, but change or outcomes that are achieved through short-cuts rarely last. Taking easy or comfortable options only hurt you in the long run. Social media, food, alcohol, media streaming and technology can quickly start to eat away at our lives. Don’t let these instant ‘feel goods’ prevent you from focusing on your priorities. If we want our lives to be different we need to be honest with ourselves and stop making excuses or looking for quick fixes. Pursuing what matters is both hard and rewarding. The short term will not always be enjoyable. It will require you to turn down the occasional invite out and to skip a few Netflix shows. Yet, in the end, what is more fulfilling, short-term or long-term life satisfaction?
Self-fulfilment is a mission, a journey and a purpose. It requires hard work, discipline and commitment. Through struggles and hard work, we gain strength and grow as individuals. Many of life’s greatest lessons come from making mistakes and pushing ourselves outside of what is comfortable. If you are currently dissatisfied with things in your life, you need to stop and confront the issue. Ask yourself, “how am I contributing to the problem?” Take ownership and start by putting some simple steps in place to direct your life back on course. Once you have decided a pathway for change, you must put this into action. What is one action that you could take right now to make a change in your life?
There are many actions that people can identify to start the change process. For example, the idea of waking up at 5am may seem daunting, yet we gain more hours in the day, have greater time to focus on our own priorities and can make considered, rather than rushed choices. Getting up early is one of many approaches that can be used to jump start your life. There is no simpler way to bring discipline to your day than to wake up early. You are already getting a head start on everyone else!
Other priorities include learning, exercise, diet and sleep. We need to learn, improve our knowledge and educate ourselves. Education is a powerful tool to grow and develop as individuals. It is easily accessible and one of the greatest avenues available to us. Knowledge is power! Like learning, exercise is a vital tool to achieve confidence and growth. It can boost our energy, improve concentration and instil discipline. If you want to invest in yourself then exercise is one of the best practical approaches you can take. Diet and sleep are further basics that we must get right. If you eat poorly or skip on sleep, then the body will be lethargic and this becomes a major obstacle to focusing on your daily, let alone life priorities.
We must also control the people that we chose to spend our time with. Socialising is valuable and important, but it must add enjoyment to our lives, rather than hamper them. Your free time in important and needs to support your aims in life. It is pointless to do all the hard work then spend weekends out partying and using substances. If your friendships or relationships are inconsistent with your values and life needs, then this will only hurt you and keep you stuck. Do your friendships add value to your life?
Finally, if you feel that you need more support, seek out a mentor, someone who is already doing what you are working towards. Finding a mentor can be a great way to push yourself out of the comfort zone and take on new challenges. A mentor can hold you accountable if you become complacent.
Regardless of steps you take to achieve your mission, it needs to be consistent and focused on developing and building you. Your life stops and starts with you. Know what matters to you, take charge, and implement steps that will bring you closer to fulfilling your ability. It will require many early mornings and late nights and sacrifices will need to be made, yet, if you know your outcome, the rewards will be worth it. Have the disciple to be your best, as through discipline, we gain greater freedom. If you don’t fight for yourself and invest in you, then who will?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson.