Get the grip
At times, almost everyone finds themselves at a loss, where it feels like you’re losing touch with the ground. That’s natural. But to be able to advance in life, you do need to get on your feet, rapidly and firmly.
Having been through thick and thin, and having helped some of my friends, I feel I should share some tricks that can help you embrace your life and have a firm hold thereon. Without knowing where and who you are, you won’t be able to advance, develop your passions and control what is happening around you.
I’m a strong believer in being the master of one’s own fate and also, as a Christian, in saying that “God helps those who first help themselves.”
So here are some things I do in order to be able to move on with my life. These are some things that I have learned to do THE HARD WAY. And, although it is difficult at times to keep on track, I do realize that I will be just another useless couch potato without the system that I have put in place in my life.
1. Stop looking for excuses
My husband is a master of finding excuses not to do something. You can’t imagine how annoying it is, especially since I myself have tendencies towards doing this as well. A few months back, I made a firm decision to STOP THIS. Instead of finding excuses not to do something, I look now for excuses to do it, or simply count to three and either do it or quit it. Simple yet complicated. But it works miracles. Instead of thinking about why I am not doing something, I simply do it.
2. Be responsible
You won’t ever succeed if you do not take responsibility for your own actions. It is also an essential requirement for being in control of your own life. There is a song by Katzenjammer “Rock, Paper, Scissors” … it applies here beautifully. It states that 99% of what happens in your life — the good, the bad and the not-so-pretty — is either a direct result of your own choices (action or inaction) or at the least related to these choices. So think before you act, be sure of what you want to do, and, once you do it, take responsibility for it. It will help you get where you want to be, for knowing where you are is the key to self-development. Furthermore, you will learn from your mistakes, and not blaming others for them is the only way you can actually grow.
3. Being negative will not get you far
Take it from me. I can say that I have neglected myself on the basis of “seeing darkness” for a decade. This is lost time, in some sense… yet, I did learn from it. I learned that being negative is not going to get you anywhere; the words we say tend develop their own “body” just because we believe in them. Subconsciously, we pull in the direction of what we believe in. So, if you believe it is all a lost effort, get a coffin, lay down and wait for death. You are as good as dead.
You better get up and start looking more positively towards things or, at least, neutrally. A positive attitude pulls you on its own towards your goal. The attitude alone may not achieve it for you, but it is additional push in the right direction.
4. Forgive but do not forget
Harboring grudges is a waste of energy that can be used towards more creative ends. So forgive. But don’t forget. Why? Because every experience makes you stronger; forgetting it will simply remove a valuable lesson. Additionally, I fully believe in “fool me once — shame on you; fool me twice — shame on me.” If you forget, the shame will be on you. Simple as that.
5. Set goals
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know what needs to be done to get you there? If you don’t know your destination, how will you know the route and the costs involved?
So, set goals. Create plans. Make lists. It is not enough to say “I’ve got a sock — I will be rich.” You need to work out the steps in between and follow them to be rich, happy or whatever your ultimate goal is.
6. Follow through; kill procrastination
Procrastination is a little death. If you let it sneak up on you, it will simply kill you or your goal. You do need to focus and stay set on your goal. Work step by step towards what you wish to achieve and believe that the sky is the limit. Assign time each day to take those steps, regardless how tiny they may be. And do take time each day to review your progress and plans for the coming day or so. This time is well spent; it helps you stay focused and keep on track.
7. Do not involve yourself in competitions
Only those who keep a firm eye on their objective get to see it come to fruition. If you will concentrate more on what those around you are doing, or if your attention will be fixed on who is trying to beat you at the finish, you are more prone to falling, stumbling and even forgetting your goals. So, if you simply can’t live without competing, compete with yourself, and compete with your failures to do better each time.
I hinted on this already in step one, but I would like to stress the importance of this review time even further. Either a daily or weekly routine of checking the progress with oneself is essential. Firstly, it allows you to see where exactly you are on your path. Secondly, it makes you feel empowered and in control. Thirdly, doing so (the more frequent the better) shows you what you have done so far, helps correct your path and supports a positive attitude towards what is ahead.
To sum up
This is my recipe. It may work for you, it may not. I hope it does. I keep evolving it as I go. Yet, I have proven to myself numerous times that sticking to these steps and being religious about them provides me with control over my own life and progress. Ever since I implemented it, along with some mini-policies like “no complaining,” I have managed to begin or even complete many things that have been lying around, dormant.
NBC Dracula: “When it comes to dreams, one may falter, but the only way to fail is to abandon them”. So do not only do what you wish to, do what you were meant to.
Photo: Flickr/piropiro3 CC BY 2.0