You have conversations with yourself all the time. Mostly bad ones. Mostly ones where you doubt yourself, beat yourself up and get caught in endless loops of anxiety.
Instead of trying to change your nature and stop these thoughts, try to make them productive.
You know your mind is going to endlessly race, so at least try to steer the vehicle.
Don’t ponder passively, do it actively and come up with answers that can change your life by asking the right questions.
Your life is a product of the knowledge you seek, the methods you use to get the information, and whether or not you implement what you’ve learned.
I’ll share some of my favorite questions with you today, but take the time to become a real investigator into your own life.
Dig for the answers that can help you understand who you are, what you want, and how you can go about getting it.
When are you going to “put your foot down” about the way you’ve been living? Take some time to have that conversation with yourself in a deep and profound way.
How long are you going to keep settling? I know you’re settling in some area of your life. Why? Because I am. We all are.
One of the first steps in the process of leveling up in your life is admitting that you’re living below your potential. It’s uncomfortable to face this realization head-on, which is why most of us never do.
Who wants to admit their own inability to look after themself? That’s a tough pill to swallow. You care about yourself more than anyone else, yet you can’t take care of yourself.
You’ll only find that needed desperation to do better by being humble enough to admit you’re not there. Becoming successful is actually an act of humility.
Most people who walk around with a false sense of gratitude and contentment are some of the most self-centered and arrogant people you’ll ever come across. They don’t have what they want in life yet they’re done learning and improving.
It’s up to you to decide. You can be like everyone else or you can put on your big boy or girl pants and decide to change your life.
It’s really that simple of a decision.
Mind you, it’s tough to pull off, but simple nonetheless.
I don’t need to know you to know that you’re probably a pretty cool person. If you were able to just bring your full self into the world, the person you know you truly are, not only other people, but the universe as a whole would respond to it. All the tools are there.
You’d a much better life if you were just able to put them all together in a consistent way.
You know this.
That’s what frustrates you the most — the fact that you’re certain of your potential.
You don’t have to stretch your imagination that far to understand what your life would look like if you just did a moderately better job of improving your life. Not even drastic. Just moderate, gradual, long-term objectives would be enough to totally transform your life.
You can see it in your mind’s eye yet you can’t quite bring yourself to do it. Rah rah fluffy cheerleader type of self-improvement doesn’t tend to stick. Instead, contemplate deeply everything you’re missing out on by staying stagnant. Let it frustrate you.
Without knowing you I can guess a number of things you’re probably missing out on:
Come up with your own list, but consider what you’re leaving on the table.
Mentoring and coaching have become popular because people are tired of spinning their wheels.
Technically, you can find all the information you need to change your life without spending a dime.
You have to ask yourself whether or not you’re one of these people. Be honest about it.
How much of a self-started are you, really? Are you going to be able to do it on your own or do you need a mentor? Can you get by searching for a free mentor or do you need to pay for coaching?
I was a self-starter when it came to writing. I could finish self-paced online courses. But when it came to leveling up to the point where I could quit my job, I realized I couldn’t do it on my own and hired a coach.
Now, I calculate my time such that I understand it will actually cost me more money via opportunity costs to bang my head against the wall trying to figure certain skills out on my own. I could just pay someone who knows how to do the skill to either teach me or do it for me.
This concept isn’t just about finding a mentor. It’s about who you associate with, period. Are you around the type of people you want to be like? Do you even know where to find them?
Better get to answering these questions because you don’t have all the time in the world to get the answers.
Imagine you died right now.
Let’s also say you’re not in heaven, per se, but in a sort of limbo where you simply have the ability to see the world but you’re no longer able to be a part of it — like this infinite purgatory where you only get to observe people living and contemplate what you could’ve done.
How much motivation would you have if you were allowed to come back to life? What if you knew there was some stipulation that the minute you started slacking off you’d be sent back to that purgatory?
All of a sudden, your procrastination would melt away. Self-doubt wouldn’t even enter your mind.
This thought experiment illustrates the simple fact we all ignore. You stare death in the face every single day.
Unfortunately, this fact alone isn’t enough to save you. I use this visualization process myself and it still doesn’t work one hundred percent of the time. It’s hard to combat that underlying belief that you’re going to live forever, that you won’t suddenly leave this earth like Kobe, that you’re immune.
The key here? Try to become as acutely aware of this as you possibly can.
Don’t just theoretically answer this in your head. Write down the answer.
Why are you wasting your life?
It seems illogical to do so, but you’re a human being run by your emotions. In order to fight back against your counterproductive emotional maps, you have to do as much work on the surface to send it down to your subconscious.
You want to fit in. It’s natural to want to fit in. But it helps to question why you’d want to be like most of the people around you.
Why do you care what they think at all? Are most people even worth your time? Do you want to be in the position of the people you seek approval from?
In my book, I talk about the fact that trying to forge your own path can be a lonely journey because so much of what you see in the world will contradict your newfound worldview. Most of the people you interact with will be “plugged into the Matrix” so to speak.
You’ll have to search for like-minded peers and pretend to be normal around everyone else.
Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that there are more than enough like-minded peers to keep me company and I go about finding them. That includes you and people in my tribe who truly believe in the power of self-improvement. To be honest, there aren’t that many of us compared to the rest of the population.
And speaking of the rest of the population? Fuck them.
“But don’t you care about […]?” No, not really. Insert whatever you want. If it’s not about pushing for better outcomes, both inward and outward, then no, I don’t care.
You know who cares about politics? People who like being told what to do. You know who’s always worried about this or that in the news? People who don’t have better things to do. I want nothing from these people, especially their approval.
You do get that the people you bullshit around with, complain at happy hour with, and you appease to get along with…don’t actually like you, right? You’re all just a part of this “coping with life” cult — that’s the only bond you have. No thanks.
Don’t be afraid to stand out. Fitting in is for people who like being stuck.
Most goals seem daunting because you think about the final result way too much.
Yeah, when you’re overweight, the idea of having a six-pack seems insane.
When you’re broke, the idea of having a business and financial flexibility seems out of reach.
Keep those goals in the back of your mind and ask yourself what the day to day process really looks like. In my case, I built what I have now by doing nothing more than writing for a few hours a day. Granted, I did it for five years, so the time horizon is long, but each individual day wasn’t extremely difficult.
I faced obstacles and challenges when it came to skills like tech, marketing, putting together long-term campaigns, etc, but I mostly wrote an article or two a day. I lost 50 pounds, going from overweight to having that six-pack, by going to the gym for an hour a day and avoiding fast food, sugary drinks, and tons of bread and pasta. That’s all I did.
Break down the end result to its components. A six-figure income is $8,333 a month, $273 a day, and $48 an hour given a normal workweek sort of effort. With a product you can sell in 24 hours, you have to make $11.73 an hour.
You can’t become valuable enough to make $11.73-$48 an hour? The ‘fully capable you’ isn’t worth at least that much?
Not as intimidating huh?
Want to quit your job and replace your income as a freelancer? Say you make $60k a year or $5k per month, that’d be a matter of getting 5 clients at $1,000 a month, 2 at $2,500 a month, or even 1 at $5,ooo a month.
You know how many companies drop these amounts of money on freelancers without a second thought? A ton of them.
Everyone’s up in arms about the lack of opportunities in this country when they’re just a handful of clients away from being able to quit their jobs. It’s ridiculous.
Again, this process takes time, but when you break bigger goals down to their components, you realize how much you’re overestimating what it takes.
Totally overhauling your life is both the easiest and most difficult thing to do.
Easy because it could happen in an instant if you just changed your mind. Difficult because…who the hell can do that?
Yes, logically, you know you’re extremely capable of a lot more. But emotionally, you need to find a way to get there.
So question yourself to death until the right answers pop up.
Then act on them.