Changing Direction

Bill Abbate
Photo from by nensuria

Are you satisfied with where you are heading in life? This can be a tricky question. Like many such inquiries, you may say, it depends. Let's further clarify what we are asking.

Surely we can do more than just be "satisfied." Imagine looking forward to each tomorrow, excited about what lies ahead! Wouldn't that be a better way to live?

You have your entire life ahead, so why settle for normal or average? Are you aware that living an average life is to live in mediocrity? You can read more about this in the article One Simple Thing Can Help You Excel.

How can you shift from living an ordinary to an extraordinary life on a sustained basis? The answer is simple. The better you know yourself and your capabilities, the more you accomplish.

Yes, you can move from merely satisfied to becoming filled with excitement and anticipation. It takes a simple mind shift and a slight course correction to put you on a different path to a better place. How do you find this path? It all starts with knowing yourself.

Do you know yourself very well?

How well do you know yourself? Imagine taking a snapshot of your life as it is now. Like any photo, you will see a reflection of a moment in time. Take a mental snapshot now and spend a few minutes writing down what you notice about yourself.

This snapshot shows who you have become. Knowing who you are can put you on the path to wisdom. As an ancient philosopher said:

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." Aristotle (384-322 BC)

The better you know yourself, the better you can lead yourself to create a new, exciting future. It can help you move beyond being satisfied to being excited about what is to come.

Can anyone create such a shift in perspective, changing the entire direction of their life? Why not?

Are you not the leader of yourself? You are in the driver's seat, and you control the steering, accelerator pedal, and brakes. All that is needed is to have a destination in mind. Ask yourself, "Where do I want to go?" The answer to this question can get you started down the right road.

Before heading out on the road, you need to know who you follow. Is it you, or someone, or something else? Are you creating your path forward in life, or are you simply responding to circumstances or someone else's expectations?

Who is leading whom?

"Rule your mind or it will rule you." Horace (65-8 BC)

When it comes to leading your life, there are two possibilities. The first is for you to take charge and lead your life in the direction you wish to go. The alternative is to let someone or something else lead you.

While you are always following someone, it's up to you to choose how you follow them. Never allow coincidences or circumstances to choose for you! Follow the wrong person or persons, and you will wind up where they want you to go, not where you desire. Become the leader in your life and determine your destination and fate!

Most of us allow the influence of many people in our lives and follow those that make the most sense to us. The most important thing is that you decide whose and how much of the input you take. Choose wisely!

"The first and best victory is to conquer self" Plato (c. 424-348 BC)

As you come to know yourself better, you can lead your life in a direction that resonates with your heart, intuition, desires, and needs.

Know yourself better

"If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion." Aldous Huxley *1894-1963)

The easiest way to get to know yourself better is through curiosity and questions. Questions, especially powerful questions, lead to powerful answers. When acted on, the answers can help you realize powerful results.

It is said your thoughts form your world.

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

But from where do these thoughts come? What shapes your thoughts? It all comes back to your curiosity and the questions you ask.

Because your thoughts form your world, you can enlarge your world by enlarging your thoughts. How? By becoming curious and asking yourself powerful, thoughtful questions. The greater your curiosity and the more powerful the questions, the greater the opportunity for real discovery. The greater the discovery, the greater the growth.

The key

Your world (mind and thoughts) grows as you grow in knowledge of yourself and the world. As your world grows, more opportunities present themselves.

With increased opportunity, you position yourself to achieve more. As you achieve more, you inevitably reap greater rewards. Greater rewards can lead to a more fulfilling life. And thus, you have started the cycle on which you can build.

A fulfilled life is a better and happier life, with more meaning and potential for significance and impact in the world.

The challenge

To change your life, change your thinking by finding the right questions to ask. Where can you start? Begin by asking yourself the following three powerful questions and answering them in your journal each day for a month.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Where are you going?
  3. Why are you going there?

Why ask the same three questions repeatedly for 30 days? To mine their depths as fully as you can. After a month of asking these three questions, you will find many new answers. Each new answer will deepen your knowledge of yourself, enhance your perspective, and grow your mind.

Many have taken this challenge and accumulated significant knowledge about themselves, changing their lives. I challenge you to do the exercise to create a better life!

Final thoughts

You can accomplish almost anything you want by learning more about yourself and approaching life with a can-do attitude. Becoming clear about where you want to go dramatically increases your chance of getting there. Will it take some effort? You bet. But then again, anything worthwhile in life requires effort!

You will never regret the life you create by getting to know yourself better. Remember what the ancient philosopher said two and a half millennia ago:

"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates (470-399 BC)

The great news in this saying is:

"The examined life IS worth living!"

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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