As we continue on our journey to reaching our potential, we must remember, it is not about what has happened to you, where you came from, how long you have been here or where you are at today. It’s about what happens next and what you did with what happens to you and how you deal with what you are given. No matter who you are we are all given a time limit the day we were born. We can’t hide or run from it. We must embrace it. We must be ready to take action on every opportunity we get. To help me along the way I utilize these four simple principles as a guide to keep me moving forward.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint
As human we tend to be A and Z thinkers, we obsess over how to start, and then we dream about what the end result will be. This type of thinking naturally leads us to neglect B thru Y. From time to time, it will be important to remember “why” you started and where you want to end up, but we must not forget reaching your end goal is always is a process of many small things completed over an extended period of time. It is vital that you give B thru y some love. How do you do this? It is simple.
Instead, break up the task at hand into small pieces. Do what you need to do right now. Accomplish that thing. Then, move on to the next thing.
Never stop moving forward
The most straightforward and easy habit to form is reminding yourself constantly of what you control. Whenever you feel the emotion of anger, frustration, or thought of giving up remind yourself you are in control.
- Take a deep breath.
- Look at the situation objectively. It is what it is.
- Ask yourself what do I control?
- How or what do I need to solve this?
- Now, move forward.
Here is the thing, you can never create a plan that can prepare you for trying. You just have to do it. The amount of time you spend talking about your plan vs. actually taking action on your plan will end in you living a life full of regret. The best part about trying is that no matter what it will lead you to two outcomes:
- You fail. We learn the task or idea we thought was possible was not.
What action can we take:
Ask yourself: What went wrong here? What am I missing? What can be improved?
- You succeed. We learn that the task or idea we thought was possible was.
What action can we take:
Ask yourself: What went right here? How can I improve? How can I maintain it?
Guess What? Life goes on and no matter the outcome you learned. If you failed great. If you succeeded great. At least you know you tried. Remember, nobody ever regrets trying.
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the tough questions
One of the ancient stoics practices is to remind yourself of this question: how important is this moment or issue hundreds of year from now? The answer is… probably not very important. Sadly, what you do today may or may not have any impact in the future. The fact is time will continue to march forward with or without you.
Depending on how you look at it you might feel the exact opposite of taking action. However, the stoics posed this question to themselves to make them truly understand who they really were and allow themselves to fully believe in what they were supposed to do. It forced them to ask even more profound questions which can answer the most underlying reasons for why we choose to do anything in our lives: Why are you here? What is the point? What is the purpose? Why wake up today?
These questions are simple, but yet so difficult for people to answer. Why? Most of us are afraid to find the answer.
Good thing it’s day one.