Between the outside factors that weigh on us and destructive behaviors we give into; our happiness, productivity, intuition and drive are constantly under attack. By doing these seven things you can immediately free yourself from the unnecessary and focus on the necessary. Almost instantly you’ll be happier, perform at a higher level and be able to achieve more success in life. Make the commitment and embrace the chance.
1.) Stop Complaining
Accept that there are going to be things that happen to you that are unfair, unjust or even evil. At different times throughout our lives the universe conspires against us and sends the world crashing down. One thing after another will happen, until you’re at the lowest of lows. It’s this point that truly defines your character.
Complaining is easy. You might vent to a few of your friends and they’ll agree, but does it really make you feel better or put you in a better position? No, complaining doesn’t improve the situation. Cutting out early and getting bombed at happy hour is totally fine, but if you make it a habit and habitually complain about the things that don’t go your way without taking action, you’ll always be miserable. By accepting what has happened and moving forward in a positive way, you can change life’s course of events.
Complaining is easy. Action is difficult. Take action.
2.) Stop Worrying About Opinions
Whether we pursue a dream, take a risky job or try something different than what’s normal, there will be detractors. They’ll have an opinion and sometimes as a downside of social media, their negative signals can be magnified throughout your network. No one wants to look stupid, but constantly caring about what others think will heavily weigh on you.
You’ll second guess yourself and feel outside pressures to impress certain people. It’s like the opposite of reality because we all want to live in a world where people accept and respect us for our individuality and who we truly are. By ending the constant worry of impressing and living up to other’s expectations, you’ll find yourself progressing faster than ever before.
3.) Embrace Your Fear
Fear is good. Fear is a motivator. Fear will keep you humble and prevent you from being blindsided by any of false sense of security. We build these walls up to protect ourselves from what could happen.
During your senior year of college it’s, “I have a degree from _________, I’ll be able to get a job” but secretly you worry about the market.
After you get the job you hear about layoffs in your department, but then convince yourself, “I do great work here, it won’t happen to me.”
The story is both situations is familiar, but Mike Tyson’s may not be. Tyson is one of the greatest heavyweight boxers who ever lived, a fierce hitter who would strike fear into the souls of his opponents. But before he stepped into the ring, he was the one afraid.
All during training I’ve been afraid of this man. I think this man might be capable of beating me. I’ve dreamed of him beating me. For that I’ve always stayed afraid of him. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. Once I’m in the ring I’m a god. No one could beat me.
Embrace that fear and prepare to defeat it. You’ll come out on the other side stronger, more formidable and confident. Confidence alone will move worlds for you.
4.) Move Forward, But Always Remember
Jay Gatsby built his entire persona around repeating the past and making up for lost time. Yet, we cannot travel back to repair or wrongs or fix poor decisions. It’s easy for us to examine the course of events leading to our current state and point to a time where if we would have only done this one thing different, our entire life would be changed for the better. These ideas are mesmerizing and intoxicating. They completely consume us because it’s so clear, so easy visualize. But they’re false hopes. False hopes detached from reality and further proof that we are refusing to acknowledge our current situation and accept responsibility for it. Take your memories and learn your lessons to improve yourself, but you need to move forward from whatever may be holding you back from your true potential.
5.) Evaluate and Celebrate Every Single Day
What’s the last personal achievement that you celebrated? Maybe it was a birthday or promotion at work. We forget to celebrate because life is just too busy and well success, it’s too rare. It’s not though. We’re taught to work hard at our short term goals to achieve the long term goals, but this concept is entirely too generic.
How are you supposed to do great work if the result you’re seeking is weeks, months or years away?
You can’t. Without stimulation your body and mind will shut down.
Evaluating and celebrating every day is designed to create a positive feedback loop. Positive feedback loops are systems designed to provide instant gratification and mental well being. By awarding yourself for the steps along the way and feeling good about it, you’ll find yourself at the top much faster than you thought.
Yet so many people fail because they’re stuck in these negative feedback loops. They are too concerned with the end goal that they are totally unable to recognize the positive actions and traction gained along the way and award themselves for it.
“I’ve been working out for a week and only lost on pound” – New person at the gym who wants to lose thirty pounds
“I spent ten hours writing this blog post and only fifteen people read it” – A blogger who wants to be the next Perez HIlton
No matter how motivated you were to start, if you stay in a routine where you’re only provided negative feedback you will never make it. Flip the script and celebrate the positive wins each day and use them as motivation to push even further. Success is an addicting feeling. You’ll want more as soon as you find even a little bit.
It can be difficult to find anything positive in the challenges, chaos and monotony that life provides. However by building positive feedback loops through constant evaluation, you will find the motivation to keep moving forward.
6.) Install Antifragility
Nothing is precise. There’s no amount of planning that can make something perfect. The random will happen and systems, processes and relationships will be destroyed. They don’t have to be though.
The antifragile don’t just survive the chaos, they benefit and return back to a stronger form than before.
But how can something benefit from chaos or disorder?
The human body is a remarkable example of antifragility. When I first started weight training during high school, I wasn’t able to bench press 135 lbs. Since then I’ve put my body through numerous workouts. The torn muscle fibers repair themselves and I return to the gym, bigger, faster and stronger. Strength from chaos.
Even New York City could be considered antifragile, after the tragedy of 9/11, there was a newfound community between its inhabitants.
Strangers talked to each other who never would have before. People who were stuck in their lives made changes. Many of my friends who had talked about moving out of the city for years finally did. Couples who were on the skids finally broke up. Couples who were close got engaged. I met my future wife a few days later. — James H. Kelly, 3rd generation New Yorker
To build antifragility we must first accept that we are fragile and susceptible to change. Only then can we engineer new processes and different ways to approach possible problems. Instead of planning for events, plan for outcomes. A giant meteor hitting your city or zombies invading will have relatively the same impact.
7.) Fight The Good Fight
Anything worth having requires sacrifice. Your dream job in a different city may end your college relationship, six pack abs means no more Chipotle burritos and finishing a project will stop you from watching Monday Night Football. In all of these situations it’s a lot easier to say yes, to give in. We want easy, we want comfort and we want instant gratification.
Going through life, saying yes to comfort each opportunity you get will leave you unhappy and prescribed to a mile long medication list by the time you reach 50. You’ll be stuck at step four, recounting past events unable to move forward. By saying yes to everything that’s easy, we give in and accept what’s handed to us. Our thought process gets dulled like we’re animals in the zoo, only to be stimulated when another episode of our favorite reality TV show airs.
Everyday is a war against the easy way out.
Be fucking rebellious. Get pissed off. Challenge everything. If you don’t like something then change it. SAY NO to people who have already given in. If you cannot do this, the fact is that you never really wanted it in the first place.
I’ll end with Bukowski.
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery—isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
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