Hey baby! Let’s see how long it takes you to find this! I love you! ❤
There comes a point in your life where you feel that things are going to change. You don’t know how and you don’t know why, but you know that change is coming. It’s like that same old routine isn’t cutting it, and you want to do more with your time. Those things that made you happy before just aren’t up to par now, those late nights in the bar don’t appeal to you. The habits you had before are a burden to you and you want new habits. Being average isn’t okay anymore and you want to be more productive. The knowledge you have now is just the beginning because you genuinely want to learn more. Going to work isn’t something you dread everyday, because you know that you can use that time to get better at what you do. Being a parent or spouse isn’t just a part of life anymore, you have a true desire to be the best you can because those people need you. Your fitness goals were on the back burner but you are seeing that if you don’t change that it may cut years off of your life. Your finances seem to be nothing but debt and you know it’s time to control that.
There are so many aspects of our lives where we can feel that change coming. You never know when that feeling will show up, but when it does you won’t have a doubt it is there. But, there will be plenty of other doubts and thoughts that can hold you back. “I’m not smart so I can’t go to school”. “I’m to old or out of shape to start working out and go back to school”. “I have no clue where to start”. “I will fail any ways”. ” I come from a poor family, so I’m probably destined to be poor”. “I can’t become good at this job because I don’t know how to get better”. “If I change now, I will end up in a worse situation”. “I have too much going on to change something right now”. The list goes on, and it sucks because society will accept these reasons not to change. This world will fuel your thoughts to remain the same because it is easy and comfortable. Most people won’t dare you to be different.
Change is part of life, and it needs to be embraced. When you embrace this new change taking place, it will take you to a side of you that you never knew existed. It will become an obsession, you won’t see it as such a negative thing. When you see even the smallest result of a change you embraced, you will begin to feed off of it. Change will be something you start to constantly seek out because you know where it can take you. when you see a few pounds off of your body you will want to keep going. When you get praised at work for doing something good, you will strive to get better. When you look at your degree plan and realize you are halfway done with a degree, you are gonna be hooked and want to focus on improving your GPA. When your spouse says that they are proud of what you accomplished, you will want to constantly prove to them that their support was worthwhile. When you get your finances under control after coming from a poor family and can buy your child something nice, you will feel a personal satisfaction that is unreal. So, when you feel that it is time to change something in your life, it’s not a mistake. Make that change happen and reap the results of dedication.
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“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
From time to time we catch ourselves in a little rut where we just seem to be going through the motions. You show up to work, do what you need to, and when the day is done you pull the chocks and head home. But, what we don’t see sometimes is that we are actually being lazy. Well, that’s if you can take a little honest feedback about yourself. I’ve been guilty of this before too, so I’m not just ranting to call people lazy. You see, when you just show up and meet the requirements for the day, you’ll make your paycheck and pay the bills. We head to work and say “Gotta pay the bills”. But if you are just doing the bare minimum, that’s really all you did, “pay the bills”. Doing the minimum means you didn’t really earn your pay at all, you just collected it even though you don’t deserve it. Truthfully, you don’t deserve anything in life that you don’t care about.
You actually deserve something when you invest in it and work on it constantly. When you show up to work and your mindset is “I want to learn something new to improve my craft and help others”, you’re stepping off on the right foot. You also have to be ready to look stupid sometimes, in my opinion. Because, when you make a mistake you will probably get humiliated or even called incompetent. But, becoming good at what you do will take some moments like that to humble you a little bit, bring you down, and make you say “I need to learn more to perfect that”. Most people are scared to look like they don’t know what they are doing, so, they skate around it and try to hide under the radar. But, to truly get good at something and be the “go to guy/girl”, you have to be able to say “I didn’t know what I was doing, but how can I improve?”.
Becoming good at something doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen after you read some book on how to better yourself. Becoming good at something takes years of constant learning, asking questions, and following the footsteps of those people who have “walked the walk”. It’s important to find a role model, someone who has it all together and has proved over time that they deserve their pay every day. It’s easier to invest your time in your job if you can visualize yourself filling the shoes of that person one day. But, if you don’t have a role model, it’s probably going to be a bit harder to get to where you need to go. It’s like trying to get to your destination without a map. So, I challenge you and myself to go into work everyday and don’t just go through the motions. Don’t get to work with the mindset of being ready to go home. Instead, focus on helping improve yourself and others. Be thankful that you have a job and do everything you can to earn your pay for the day. If you don’t care about it, you don’t deserve it.
I hope this helps someone, feel free to share this.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
We all have dreams, ambitions, and goals in life. Some of them, we are more passionate about than others. Some people’s goals may be as simple as getting out of debt or starting to eat a little more healthy. But other goals may come to you during your life and it’s not some average goal to you. These goals are something that mean everything to you deep inside. They are usually long-term and may be something that most people will never understand. These goals are called Dreams. Sure, if you tell someone about the dream you have for your life, they will say “you can do it” or “I believe in you”. But inside you know that they can’t possibly understand what it truly means to you. You’ve vividly envisioned yourself achieving that dream and there is no way a family member could ever visualize it the way that you have. That leaves it up to you to make it become a reality.
When you realize your dream for your life: you visualize it everyday, you research how to get there, and you probably even write down what it will take for you to get there. But, usually, you will start to see how long it will take, how many details are involved, how much it could cost, and how hard it will be. This can be a pretty big let down because you saw this dream in your life and all of a sudden it seems impossible now. It’s like you were all motivated to chase your dream and then life said “that’ll never happen”. At this point, it’s pretty easy to say “yeah, I could just try something else and still be happy”. But, moving on is not the only option available. Why not press forward anyways? Will you be happier looking back saying “I wish I did that” or “I am happy I didn’t quit that day.”? The great thing about life is that we are in control of our accomplishments.
Let’s be completely honest and straightforward for a second. Life is going to have ups and downs, period. You simply can’t skate around the fact that you will have bad times in your life. So, if your excuse for not chasing your dream is that it will be hard and that it scares you too much, well, it sounds like you are saying you will have bad times. Life has given you a contract and in the fine print it states: ‘You will experience low points in your lifetime’. If we are going to have low points regardless, why not let these low points be on our path to our dream?
Let’s be honest again, there are no handouts in life that are going to make you reach your dream. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the fact is the rest of the world won’t lose any sleep if you don’t chase your dream. The only way you will get the grand prize is to put in hard work. Just putting a little bit of effort here and there isn’t going to do anything but make you feel a little better. Hard work means that you give your best effort every single day towards the next step to your dream. It’s not going to be easy and it will suck the whole time but the result will be greater than you could ever imagine. Losing 20 to 30 pounds won’t happen from a little bit of work here and there. It will take months of eating healthy, pushing your body to its’ limits in the gym, and leaving the gym drenched in sweat and feeling half dead. But, when you look in that mirror and see that you’re a new person no one can take the feeling from you. And getting a degree that you want isn’t as simple as copying and pasting your assignments from the internet. You will have to stay up half the night reading and learning your work to get a high GPA. But, when you graduate with honors and get accepted into an advanced program or residency, you will be at a high point in your life. That is only 2 examples of following a dream and the end result. No matter what your dream is, take it and visualize what hard work you will have to do and how long it will take. Then visualize the feeling when you accomplish it and what the result will be. When you do that it will give you that extra motivation to keep going.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
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Let’s start with something to get your mind working. Imagine you are at a funeral and this funeral is for someone you know very well, it is for yourself. Now, your friends, family, and co-workers go up and talk about your life. They talk about the type of person you are, your accomplishments, and the impact you had on people. If they spoke honestly, do you like what is being said? Do you wish that you would’ve done more? As you keep reading, reflect on these things and evaluate yourself honestly.
Please remember, be honest. Think about your goals that you currently have in life. What exactly are you doing to achieve that goal? Are you doing everything you can to achieve it? Are you honestly giving 100% to reach that goal or could you do a little more to make it happen? If you’re not giving 100% then would you say it is a goal or just something that would be nice to accomplish? The reality is that if you want something that it probably won’t come too easily and you are going to have to make it happen.
If you realized that, like many of us, you could put in some more effort towards that goal let’s break down why we haven’t taken steps forward. The fact is that it is easy to remain the same and stay in our “Comfort Zone”. We are literally programmed to continue doing those things that make us comfortable. It is simply normal to enjoy laying back in the recliner and watching a movie instead of driving all the way to the gym and putting your body to work. Showing up for work and doing only what is required is way more appealing than spending an extra hour to get ahead. Speeding through your school work seems to be way better than taking the extra time to fully learn the material. Playing your video game may seem more exciting than stopping to eat dinner with your family. So, if you aren’t putting forth that extra effort yet, it’s human nature and you are definitely not alone.
You should see now how easy it is to stay in that “Comfort Zone” and that it is natural among humans. But, let’s say you realize that fact and have decided to make a change in your life and not do the comfortable thing. Well now there is a decent chance that you have some factors holding you back. There’s a few determinisms that you think will prevent you from achieving a goal even if you do the work. 1)Genetic Determinism- you think because of your DNA that you can’t do something. You feel like because your family has a history obesity that it would be pointless to workout. Because your family were all dropouts you don’t think you have the intelligence to get a college degree. 2)Psychological Determinism- your whole life you have thought of yourself a certain way and you think it is who you are for good. Because you were never skinny you have told yourself that you will never lose weight. 3)Environmental Determinism- something or someone around you has made you decide you can’t change. Your boss always praises the efforts of a co-worker so you decide that you can’t possibly do better or get promoted. Because your spouse has an attitude you decide that you can’t change to be a better spouse yourself. It is crucial that you DO NOT let these thing decide what you can accomplish.
Once you get past those determinisms and tell yourself that you are in control of your outcome you have taken one of the biggest steps to improving your life! Now it’s time to set that goal, if you haven’t, and take it seriously. You have to realize that it won’t be easy and will take a lot of time and effort from yourself. It’s not going to be easy to lose a ton of weight, get a promotion, or get a high GPA in school. Things that come to you easily can be taken away just as easy. But if you are willing to give that effort I promise that the outcome will not disappoint you. Is it likely that someone who poured their heart out in the gym to lose 50 pounds was upset that they had to work harder than they could ever imagine to get there? Chances are they have zero regrets and would tell you to never give up. Now picture that same person if they chose to give up on the gym after a few weeks. What would be the end result and do you think there would be any regrets now?
A major change in your life will take time and requires you to take responsibility to control the outcome. If you break down the word responsibility it is the ability to respond. You have the ‘ability’ to ‘respond’ to your circumstances in life. If you choose to respond with hard work to a situation then your outcome will be a positive change. If you respond by remaining the same and doing nothing, you will simply not improve and stay the same as you are now. “If it doesn’t challenge you’ it doesn’t change you”.
Once you accept the responsibility to change an outcome in your life you have to continue to progress towards that goal. It’s not enough to just “try”, that word is used way too much in our vocabulary. Don’t “try”, just “do” what you need to do to get to that goal. Don’t “try” to go workout, go to the gym and give it your all. Don’t “try” to get a good grade, do what it takes to fully understand the subject. Don’t “try” to get that thing at work done, figure out what is required and knock it out. Anyone can create an excuse and skate around getting something done if it is challenging. But what yields people actual results is finding a way to make something happen. If you are falling behind in math class, pull your professor aside and ask for some tutoring. If you can’t get results in the gym, talk to people who have made a transformation and ask how they did it. If you are stagnant at work, reach out to people ahead of you and ask how to improve yourself or your process. If you aren’t being a good spouse or parent, seek advice on marriage or parenting.
I say don’t just “try”, but don’t confuse ‘just trying’ with failure. Failure is an option, quitting is not an option. You can’t be scared to fail because it is inevitable even among the most successful people throughout history. But when you come across a failure look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. If you didn’t lose weight from this week’s workout, you learned what things to change to make your body respond. If you give your boss a report that isn’t up to his expectations, you learned more of what he expects next time. So the next time you come face to face with a failure while striving towards that goal change the word “failure” to “progression”.
Now, let us go back to your funeral. You decided to set some more goals throughout your life. You became a better spouse and parent after seeking advice over and over. You lost that weight after countless gym sessions, healthy meals, and pouring your heart out. You continued to learn from your mistakes throughout your career and became the guy people relied on. These are just a few small examples of things that will have an impact on the people left behind when you are gone. That parenting advice kept you from pushing your son away and ruining a relationship. When you lost all of that weight, a friend suffering from obesity was inspired and decided to change her life. When you continued to stay humble and learn from mistakes at work, it landed you a higher position that allowed you to provide wisdom to co-workers filling the shoes you wore years ago. The things you do today will matter down the road.
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I have a wife and son and when I look at their faces, every single day, I see the two most important people in this universe to me. I see an obligation to provide for them and meet their every need. I want them to always feel safe and secure with no worries of how we are going to pay for food. I want my wife to be able to do anything she wants, no matter the salary, because she know the bills are paid for.
Money is just a substance in this world. Sure, it allows you to do things together and have things that you want but money doesn’t bring me happiness. What brings me happiness is looking in to my baby boy’s eyes and seeing him smile from ear to ear. Just watching him chew on his little hand endlessly, brings a smile to my face. Watching him lay there sleeping, without a care in the world, that is true happiness for me.
I want to make my family and friends proud of me. When they are around me, I want them to realize that they had an impact on my life. I want them to see that little boy who went from not having much at all growing up to a man with a steady career. My hope is that, despite the distance I’m away from home, they will know the impact they have had on my life. I hope that they see a little piece of themselves and their advice invested in my life.
Lastly, I want to look in the mirror and realize that I didn’t take the easy route in life. I want to see a man who didn’t get by on handouts from others. When I see my reflection I want to know that I’ve done all that I can to be a good man. I never want to see myself and wonder why I haven’t done anything with my life.