It can feel impossible to move your life forward.There are seemingly infinite constraints on your time and circumstances. In your head, there are a thousand and one obstacles holding you back.
So, how do you change?
Most people mistakenly believe that what they need is another book. They need another idea, another strategy, or hack.
However, no change is rational — it’s emotional. You generally act not based upon what you know is right, but how you want to feel in the moment. Hence, the instinct is to act on impulse and addiction, followed by internal conflict and regret.
As Darren Hardy said,
“Nothing creates more stress than when our actions and behaviors aren’t congruent with our values.”
Indeed, no amount of information alone — no matter how good, will change your life.
Instead, the only way to change is to begin acting in ways that are more reflective of the emotions you want to experience in the future, rather than reliving the emotions of your past.
This article will explain how this concept works in action. Here we go:
You Need to Want the Excitement of Your Future More Than You Want the Stability of Your Past
“Until your dreams become emotional, they won’t be powerful enough.” — Benjamin Hardy, PhD
People often ask me how to be motivated to go to the gym, get up earlier, or bring about any other lasting changes in their lives, and my response frequently surprises them:
“You’re probably not going to be motivated to change your life,” I say, “Your life is a story — it’s your story. You’re tied to that story, and there’s probably a degree of comfort keeping you where you are.
So, don’t wait until you’re motivated; just get yourself to do whatever you know you need to do. Take one step and then the next.”
And yes; it’s unsexy advice. It’s not the shortcut or hack they were looking for. However, it’s completely true.
Of course, the first step has to come from desire — the desire to have and be more than you currently are. Likewise with the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th, and the 5th step.
However, by the about the sixth, you’re acting from identity. Your behaviour, and consequently your personality, have changed. You no longer see or act from your former self.
Instead, you’re completely driven and compelled by your future and what’s possible. Hence the words of Gary Keller,
“Success is actually a short race — a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.”
The Bigger the Goal, the Easier the ‘How’
“The bigger the ‘why’ the easier the ‘how’.” — Jim Rohn
While seeming counter-intuitive, it’s actually far easier if you’re pursuing an “unrealistic” goal than if you’re pursuing a “realistic” one.
Why? Because the greater the goal, the greater the emotional pull, and hence, the greater the desire you’ll have to work towards it.
Of course, it still has to be in the realm of believability. However, no one else has to believe you can do it but you. In the words of Grant Cardone,
“Never set realistic goals; you can get a realistic life without setting goals for it”
Indeed, most people don’t realize that how big you play in life is entirely up to you. Rather than reading another book, you simply need a bigger goal.
You actually need reasons for acquiring that information. You need a vision and trajectory that pulls you forward. You need goals so big that you almost can’t fathom how they’ll be completed.
When the demand is great, the supply will follow.
“I think the ability of the average man could be doubled if it were demanded, if the situation demanded.” — Will Durant
So, how do you change? It’s certainly not about reading another book.
Instead, it’s about doing something different. It’s about acting in ways that are more congruent with the emotions you want to experience in the future, rather than reliving the emotions of your past.
When you have a compelling vision pulling you forward, you no longer have to question if you’re going to do the right thing. Instead, you just do it.
Hence, when a habit kicks in, success becomes a very short race. The only question is: Are you willing to cross the starting line?