You are in charge of your destiny– will you choose to change your life?
Pain hurts, there’s no denying it – but is it possible to avoid it? I have experienced physical pain, but the worst pain of all to me has been the pain of regret. I had an opportunity to do, have, or be and for whatever lame excuse, I didn’t take it. Then I beat myself up forever after about my stupidity and negligence! Have you ever done that? ‘If only’, ‘I wish’, and then attempt to justify to myself why I didn’t. But in my heart I know it was just because I didn’t believe in me…. I was afraid of rejection or what other people would think if I took action and it turned out badly. It is sad when people die, but the greatest lament is that people die with their dreams still intact – in them. This is who they could have been if only…
A really great friend of mine has Alzheimer’s and the disease has progressed so that he no longer knows us. I think about his dreams… about everything he wanted out of life. I think about those goals that he wanted to achieve. Who will he be remembered for? What has happened during the dash on that soon to be tombstone? What will the accolades be at his funeral? I have been asked to speak on behalf of his friends. What a privilege, and no difficulty for me because he lived his life grasping opportunities. He sucked the marrow out of life. He stayed true to his character, persevering when things were tough and when it comes time to let go of this life, he can say like other great achievers, “I pressed hard toward the calling of my destiny and I have achieved – I have no regrets.”
His life challenges me now to think about the growth I am making in my personal development and in achieving each goal. I challenge you to do the same. If you are not where you could be or would like to be, ask yourself “What is holding me back?”
If you are part of the human race you will turn up with hundreds of different reasons or excuses of why not. And– in your mind – all will seem legit. I heard it said once that “an excuse is a skin of a truth stuffed with a lie”. The truth is however, you’re probably afflicted with procrastination which has many foundational causes.
Nobody likes to admit that they procrastinate because it’s is perceived as an ugly word. But the truth is, most people do procrastinate in one way or another and once we acknowledge and accept the truth, we can then choose to change. We can then take control of our alibis, and change our attitude. Then we can take some action to change the way we are for the way we want to be. And, be accountable to a coach or mentor.
I haven’t met anyone who enjoys change – but they say that a change is as good as a holiday! There isn’t anything mysterious about changing and no formula that works for everyone. It really depends on your personality and what your strengths and weaknesses are.
A coach can give advice about how to properly set goals which is beneficial for some people and for others they have the goal but they need to learn some time management skills.
Despite knowing the first steps to take to improve yourself and achieve your desired success, if you never get started and take action, nothing will ever happen. This is where the self esteem can become wounded and we can give up seeing ourselves as a failure. It sounds pretty simple yet this is a big problem for many people. That is why the encouragement and guidance of a mentor is so beneficial.
Some people experience analysis paralysis where they spend their entire lives analyzing each decision and the best next move but never actually “do” anything. Analysis paralysis is where some personalities become unglued. These people must have all the lights green before they leave home. Others suffer from a fear of failure or even success. Some people suffer from the ‘dream’ syndrome where they attend all the seminars and buy all the books that will take them to their dreams, but they never apply the information and translate it into action. Whatever your rationale may be for not taking action, the end result is that your probability of success is already crushed if you do not adjust to the ‘ just do it’ attitude.
Obviously, change is not easy! Change usually involves a complete shift in your beliefs and these new beliefs will absolutely revise the way you view your life. Where you previously thought that you didn’t have the time, now you will find ways to create and prioritize your time.
Ask someone who vehemently declares that they don’t have time to exercise… “if I gave you $100 for each 30 minutes that you walked – would you be able to allocate the time?” Now that there is something ‘higher” at stake, it is amazing how these people find the time….. or if the doctor says if you don’t exercise 3 times a week you will be dead in 3 months…. these same people came to understand how flexible their calendar could be and they find the time to go for the walk. You have identified a new rationale why you MUST do what needs to be done rather than “I’ll do it if I get around to it”. We all allocate time for the priorities which we identify are important. This “value rank” will differentiate how much time we now allocate toward getting that task done.
Not all people are ‘towards pleasure’ people – i.e. “I’ll do the exercise for the $100.” Some people are ‘away from pain’ people. These people need to contemplate what they have to lose. Pain can actually be a greater motivator than pleasure. These people need to think of the “regrets” that they will have by letting opportunities pass them by. That is because pleasure could be measured as an extravagance and avoiding pain can be deemed essential.
So, the reality was for me, when something became important enough to me, change happened. With 6 weeks to live, I changed my eating, my attitudes and my activities… the bottom line is my life turned around because I changed.
So back to the beginning, let’s consider your dreams. Let’s genuinely consider every goal that you want to accomplish and review the progress you are making towards achieving each goal. Firstly, let’s look at the list of regrets that you will have if you don’t go for it 100%, and then the feelings of intense satisfaction and pleasure you will have when you do achieve your dreams.
So how do you get started? Start with the decision that you will no longer be a procrastinator. Rank your reasons for change. From now on identify why it is important enough to do what has to be done, when it needs to be done, because it needs to be done, whether you like it or not because the results are worth it. Change and take action toward your goals TODAY.