In a culture that seeks quick results, we must learn the beauty of effort, patience and endurance.
Have you ever told yourself that you will have something happen and then nothing happened? All the details aside, it's because you didn't have the right habits in place – the little things you do every day that build up to something bigger.
Habits define you. All the results in your life come from your daily habits.
If you are fit and overweight, you have other habits than someone who is physically fit. If you like, jump out of bed early every morning and sweat before preparing a healthy breakfast. If you are not in shape, you sleep in and eat what is fastest and easiest.
This may be a bit of a generalization, but it is not far from the truth of average healthcare.
all strata of society, you will not be a success overnight. You become successful with time from all the little things you do one day at a time.
Failure occurs in the same way. All your little daily failures (that you do not learn and grow from) accumulate and cause you to fail …
- You cannot control the books.
- You fail to make calls.
- listen to your customers.
- You fail to renew.
- You don't do what needs to be done.
And then one day you wake up and your business has failed. It was all the little things you did or didn't do along the way – your daily habits – not just a catastrophic event.
Let this be your alarm clock.
YOUR LIFE IS YOUR BUSINESS!  YOUR HABITS ARE YOUR BUSINESS!
So today, let's discuss some super-common habits Marc and I have seen torment thousands of by our course students and Think Better, Live Better live event participants over the last decade – small things for Many people do every day to gradually destroy their own lives:
1. Change nothing and expect different results.
It is said that the definition of madness does the same thing over and over again and expects different results. Take this to heart. If you continue to do what you do, you will continue to get what you get. Period.
Often, the only difference between a successful person and a person who makes small progress is not even superior abilities, but the courage that one must invest in one's ideas, take calculated risks and take steady steps forward. In other words, some people are waiting for the magic beans to arrive while the rest of us just get up and get to work.
2. Keep waiting and wait and wait for the right time.
Remind you how often we waste our time waiting for the perfect path to emerge. Then remind yourself how often it never appears. We seriously forget that roads are made by walking, not waiting.
Think of today as the beginning – the notion of a new life. The next nine months are all yours. You can do with them as you please. Make them count. Because a new person is born at nine months. The only question is: Who do you want the person to be? Now is the right time to decide.
And no, you should not feel more secure before taking the next step. Taking the next step is what builds your confidence and gives you inner and outer growth.
3rd Expect good things to come easily.
A goal is a performance point that requires effort and sacrifice. There are no esteemed companies worth participating in that do not require any level of effort and sacrifice. Trust me, decades from now as you rest on your deathbed you will not remember the days that were easy, you will cherish the moments as you step over your difficulties and conquer great challenges. You will dream of the strength that you found in yourself that allowed you to achieve what once seemed impossible.
So don't do what's easy, do what you can. Amaze yourself with your own abilities. And as you struggle forward, remember that it is much better to be exhausted from much effort and learning than to be tired of doing nothing. Effort is never wasted, even if it leads to disappointment. Because it always makes you stronger and more experienced in the long run.
4th Refusing to accept necessary risks.
Living is about learning as you walk. Living is risky. Every decision, every interaction, every step, every time you get out of bed in the morning you take a small risk. To really live is to know that you stand up and take that risk and to trust yourself to take it. Failing to get out of bed, clinging to illusions of security, is to die slowly without really living. This is not drama – it is real life.
Think about it. If you ignore your instincts and let shallow feelings of uncertainty stop you, you will never know anything with certainty, and in many ways this ignorance will be worse than finding out that your instincts were wrong. Because if you were wrong, you could make adjustments and move on with your life without looking back and wondering what might have been.
5th Yesterday, make the rejections to today's contact point.
Be okay with leaving when the time is right. Rejection teaches us how to reject what is not right for our well-being. It will not be easy, but certain chapters in our lives must be closed without closure. There is no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what is supposed to remain broken.
Too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make afterwards. We literally do not feel that we are better than what any meaningful person or narrow circumstance once told us was true. Of course, this old refusal does not mean that we are not good enough. it means that the other person or circumstance failed to adapt to what we have to offer. This means that we have more time to improve our cause – to build on our ideas, perfect our craft and hang ourselves deeper into the work that concerns us. And that's exactly what you need to do, starting now.
6th Refuses to take responsibility.
You are not responsible for everything that happened to you, but you must be responsible for undoing the thinking and behavior patterns that created these results. Blaming the past for a limiting way of thinking today does not fix it. Change your answer to what you remember and move forward again with grace.
A combination of your decisions and external factors that you had no control brought you to where you are in the world today. Negative to blame someone else, or any other past circumstance, does not change anything. Taking full responsibility for your situation and your way forward can change everything. Leave the unchanging past behind you as you try to give yourself to the present. At this moment, every opportunity is yours. Take responsibility for it and bring these opportunities to life.
7th Close your mind for new ideas and perspectives.
Even as you get wiser and wiser with age, you have to remind yourself that an understanding is never absolutely final. What is currently right can easily be wrong later. Thus, the most destructive illusion is a fixed point of view. So remember that success in life is not always about being right. To make real progress, you have to let go of the assumption that you already have all the answers.
Bottom line: Don't stop learning. Do not stop investing in yourself. Study. Read. Wasting books. Collaborate with people, including those who think differently. Ask questions. Listen carefully. And not just growing in knowledge. Be a person who gives back. Use what you learn to make a difference.
8. Let some negative people fill your mind with junk.
Your mind is your private sanctuary; do not allow the negative opinions of others to occupy it. Your skin is your barrier; don't let others get under it. Take good care of your personal boundaries and what you allow yourself to raise from others.
Of course, there will inevitably be a few people in your life who will be critical of you no matter what you do or how well you do it. If you say you want to become a dancer, they will discredit your rhythm. If you say you want to build a new company, they will give you a dozen reasons why it might not work. They somehow assume you don't have what it takes, but they are dead wrong. Let it sink in.
It is much easier to be negative than positive – much easier to be critical than correct. When you start a new business, instead of listening to the few critics who will try to discredit you, spend time talking to one of the thousands of people in this world who are willing to support your efforts and acknowledge your potential, respect. And go ahead and leave a comment on this post if you think you can't find one.
ninth Stick to something that is not real.
One of the most important moments in life is the moment you finally find the courage to release what cannot be changed. For when you can no longer change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself – to grow beyond the immutable. And that changes everything.
Seriously remind yourself right now that not everything is meant to be. You must seriously sit down with yourself and come to the fact that you were wrong about it all the time. It was just an illusion that was never really what you thought it was. It's one of the hardest insights to accept, to realize that you feel a sense of loss, even if you never really had what you thought you had in the first place. The key is to know this, learn from it, let go and take the next step. (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the chapter "Adversity" in the NEW edition of 1,000 Small Things That Happy, Successful People Do Different.)
10. Keep your expectations high every step of the way.
Simple things get complicated when you expect too much. Expectations are really the root of all heartaches. Don't let it be the best of you. Every difficult life situation can be an excuse for hopelessness or an opportunity for personal growth, depending on what you choose to do with it. So start by choosing to release the ideas and expectations that do not serve you.
Remember there is no such thing as a perfect life. That is exactly the moment you live through and what you choose to do with it. You can be disappointed in this moment and do nothing, or you can practice being satisfied with the opportunity to make the best of it.
Closing Exercise: Build Better Habits
Choose which area of your life you want to improve and then:
- Write down the specific details of your current circumstances. (What bothers you? What's wrong? What do you want to change?)
- Write down your answer to this question: What are the daily habits that have contributed to your current circumstances? (Be honest with yourself. What are you doing that contributes to the situation you are in?)
- Write down the specific details of your ideal circumstances. (What would make you happy? What does your ideal situation look like?)
- Write down your answer to this question: What are the daily habits that will get you from where you are to where you want to be? (Think about it. What small, daily steps will help you move forward?)
NOTE: Marc and I build small, life-changing habits with our students in the "Goals and Growth" module of the Getting Back to Happy Course.
Your turn …
Leave a comment below and let us know:
Which point above resonated the most?
(Or, what habit would you like to change in your life?)
We would love to hear from YOU. 🙂
We recently released our NEW podcast, TINK BETTER, LIVE BETTER (yes, it shares the title of our annual live event). You can listen to the first 19 episodes of your favorite podcast player right now (M&A on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts).
Finally, our next annual Think Better, Live Better conference takes place February 8-9, 2020 in San Diego. We just released another 3 discounted early bird tickets that are still available right now (while they last).