Do you find yourself lacking direction in life?
Every morning, we awake to a new day, and it is up to us as individuals to decide if this fresh start will be used for good, enjoyment, and progress or if we will continue with our old habits while still wishing things were different. Which of these scenarios sounds like you?
Of course the first option – enjoyment & progress – appeals to most everyone, but most are deterred by the work involved.
If you want results bad enough, you will commit yourself 100%. If you don’t commit yourself 100%, you just don’t want whatever you fantasize about bad enough.
If you often find yourself falling short of your intentions, it’s because you are not clear in what it is you truly want. Stop confusing yourself and filling your head with half-baked desires. If you can’t figure out which direction you’re trying to travel towards, you certainly can never expect to arrive at a specific destination. Decide upon your destination/goal, map out the route to get there, then break down the navigation into palatable, bite-size steps. Do this today. No excuses – you deserve to work towards your goals.
Start tomorrow morning with the intention of having a pleasant and productive day. You have no excuse. Intent is simply a notion we conceptualize. It costs nothing, and you’re going to imagine scenarios in your head anyway – why not make some of these thoughts intentionally positive? It’s your mind. Let your imagination be your friend, not your personal rival.
Intent is not enough, however. You have to back your intentions with actions that will ultimately move you toward achieving your desired goal (or, arriving at your destination). It takes work and serious dedication which will mean sacrifices.
Are you okay with short-term sacrifice for long-term gain and achievement? If you immediately said ‘YES!” to this, skip down a few paragraphs – you’re ready to take action!
If you are like most people, and are remotely uncomfortable with the concept of ‘losing out’ through sacrifice, then you are in desperate need for some self-reflection. Take a walk, meditate, listen to some Enya while burning incense. Do whatever it is that brings you intimately close with yourself. This is your foundation. To set clear desires and to reign in your ever-changing fantasies that tease you mercilessly, you have to get back in touch with yourself. Whether trying too hard to please those around you, chasing green paper (money), or trying to compete for external validation, you lost yourself somewhere along the way. It happens. But don’t allow it to continue. No excuses.
After you center yourself, make a conscious choice to pursue one big goal. Don’t fuss over which goal to choose – you’ll have plenty of time later to achieve other goals, but for now, you have to start small and focus on one goal. Do this today – stop making excuses. What intrinsic goal do you want? What is your heart’s intention? Lose weight? Develop a new skill? Change career paths? Create deep, meaningful relationships? What is one thing you really, really obsess over? What consumes a good portion of your thoughts? Start there. Reflect. Mull the idea over. Reflect again until something in your gut says, ‘YES! This is something worth making short-term sacrifices for! I’m ready to do this!’
After you have your direction, map out the bulk of the journey so you have a clear understanding of any rocky terrain you will encounter. Mental preparedness is a personal asset that wields great power, so to not prepare yourself is to give yourself a disadvantage and unnecessary friction along your journey. Don’t dwell on ‘What If’s’. More often than not, our worries never manifest how we envision, so it’s a waste of your precious energy resource to dwell on these imaginative obstacles.
It’s okay to feel afraid, but not okay to use your fear as your excuse or cop-out. When you feel fearful, ask yourself if you are truly in danger, or if you are giving yourself imaginary roadblocks. I’m willing to bet that 99% of the time, you are putting up roadblocks. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? It happens. We use roadblocks to avoid achieving our goals because we are uncertain about how we will feel and what will become of us if we DO obtain those goals. It’s ridiculous to let your mind play these tricks on you. It’s your mind – control it. If you can’t control your own mind, you have no control over anything. Start with attentively guarding your thoughts. If fearful thoughts pop-up, acknowledge it, question it, then dismiss it. Let it go. Then, think of something positive. Fill your mental canvass with beauty and inspiration, and in time, the negative thoughts will realize they are unwelcome and won’t come for near as many visits.
Break down the route to your goal/destination into daily steps. Commit yourself to following those daily steps each and every day until you achieve your goal. Daily steps are meant to be tended to within 24 hours and meant to be followed regularly. Without consistency, you’re results will not be solid, and without concrete progression, you’ll soon become demotivated, and ultimately, you will give up…again. Don’t do this to yourself. You deserve to work towards your goals daily, and you deserve to reap the rewards that come from achieving your goals.
I wish you the best in your endeavors! Share with myself and other readers what goal you’re working on and how it’s progressing! Social support is another fantastic resource to have on your journey.
Some of my favorite quotes on the subject:
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
― Zig Ziglar
“I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.”
― Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
“Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! ‘Have courage to use your own reason!’- that is the motto of enlightenment.”
― Immanuel Kant, An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?
“Inner guidance is heard like soft music in the night by those who have learned to listen.”
― Vernon Howard
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