This may well be one of the most important posts I have written. Because it gets to the very core of how you live and how much you can accomplish, and it’s something which certainly rings true for myself.
There are 3 things which impact not only your productivity & how successful you are, but your entire life. But, before I get to them, I’d like you to…
We are all here in this current life, only once. We have been granted the gift of life. That gift is limited. That gift is precious. That gift is yours. Therefore it makes no sense to not live any single moment of that life however you decide, to your full potential & to enjoy it whilst you do.
Now, consider this;
What do you really want? What are your dreams? And I’m not really talking about material objects. Material objects don’t make us happy… they can act as an accessory to your happiness perhaps, but no one wants to sit in a massive house in a state of unhappiness. Try and think what inspires you? What makes you excited? What nourishes your creative side? Ultimately, what will allow you to grow? After all, there’s no better feeling than every step you take on the voyage of self growth.
For a lot of people, what they really want is usually strongly connected to the things they find themselves doing in their spare time. The growth comes by turning these hobbies into a business, into something that you can launch yourself into, every single day, and love it. I can think of no bigger waste of life than trudging to a place of work each day for 8 hours a day which doesn’t fulfil you, doesn’t inspire you and doesn’t make you proud; because every time we do that, we are essentially wasting OUR lives. We tell ourselves that “We have to do it”, because “everyone has to do it”…. BULL SHIT. This is your life. You do with it exactly what you want, not what some society dictates you to do. After all, you didn’t build this society, it was built by others, by governments, by bankers, by the financial elite… the majority of whom, who hold characters that would probably sicken us if we met them (me at least). Do you really want to waste your precious life in despair because these people tell you to, or would you rather help shape it’s direction yourself?
Hopefully, the latter.
People doing what they don’t want to do, and forcing themselves into this structure is undoubtedly the cause of drug abuse, alcoholism and many of today’s problems, which are blamed on the individual. In reality, it’s not entirely the individuals fault; it’s because they can’t copy with a society they were forced into. Now of course, I’m not saying you or I fit into those categories, but it hopefully clarifies my point, that they don’t have to fit into it. YOU don’t have to fit into it. You can pave your own way. A better way.
You don’t have to be a cog in a pre-built machine. A machine that is creaking under age and serving you no purpose. You can create your own machine. You can start you own business, you can do exactly what you want to do, and fucking succeed at it.
So, ask yourself; what do you really want? It doesn’t matter how outlandish it is, and it doesn’t matter whether you think it’s attainable or not. Allow yourself to picture what you want, and allow yourself to want it – no matter what it is, or whether you think you shouldn’t want it – that’s irrelevant. The path will bring things that you will not expect, and these things may be good for both yourself and others around you. Any doubts you have about your dreams are irrelevant. Your dreams can involve multiple things, at any point in the future and can be absurd as you want. The point is, it’s entirely up to you.
OK, pictured it? Whatever it is, you deserve it and you are most definitely good enough for it. If you don’t know, that’s fine; you don’t need to have a dream, it can be an inspiring thing to possess, but ultimately as long as you take heed to what I’m about to tell you, it’s not necessary.
The Three Things Standing in the Way of Your Life
There are three things which dictate how we live our lives every single day. Sometimes they operate on an unconscious level, other times we are all too aware of them. They dictate whether we stick to a known “safe” track, or whether we deviate off into exciting unknown territory, territory where you may need to learn a new method of traversing – You’ll never find gold by walking the same path every single day.
I had several limiting beliefs today, in fact I had three just an hour or so ago; I popped out for an evening run around the local area, an area which I know well. I live in a rural area, with many fields, footpaths and wildlife, and with many footpaths comes many possible running routes, but I tend to have a few which I stick to (I understand the irony of sticking to a route) and better my times on. The first limiting belief came as I got to the route which would take me along the shortest circular – I decided to take it, because for some reason today I thought that I couldn’t do a longer route. It wasn’t a feeling that I didn’t have it in me – it was just a mere thought. After taking the short route, it almost immediately felt wrong; I felt like I should be pushing myself harder, so at the next opportunity I added an extension to my then current route. The extension would lead me around a small extra loop, back to the path I was on… but then damn, that felt limiting as well. I could in fact just keep going and take a different, longer route altogether… a combination that I’ve never done…. so I did. It felt mighty good.
My final limiting thought came about 2km from home, I realised that I was running at a certain pace. A pace which I had set myself, because I thought I couldn’t do more (there’s that thought thing again). But then as I examined this thought, it didn’t correlate to my inner feelings. If I replaced that thought with one that I could run at a faster pace, I was then instantly able to, for the entire remainder of the 2km. The new pace felt more right, it felt good, if felt like I was achieving, and as I got home, it felt like a great run.
Now these limiting beliefs don’t just crop up during running, of course. They crop up all the time, throughout our everyday lives. They stand in the way of us reaching our dreams, and attaining our goals, simply because our mind has set a limit for us. This limit is usually based upon previous experiences – for example, if you’ve tried public speaking in the past, but have made a hash of it, that belief may stay in your mind and it may develop into an unconscious limitation. The truth of course is that, because we’ve grown and developed in the time since then (even just having the initial attempt), we could actually ace it now… we just need to discard the limiting belief and replace it with a belief of… “HELL yeah, I’m going to do this no matter what“.
So, any belief you have about not being able to reach that goal we spoke about earlier. Take a look at it, examine it, and realise that it’s actually not true. You can attain your dream and you can reach your goals.
In everyday life, it’s sometimes hard to notice, but whenever you notice a sort of dull thought at the back of your mind restricting what you’re currently doing, or not allowing you from doing something which deep down in your gut you want to do (and it really is a feeling in the gut), then question it, examine it, accept it’s a non truth and make an active decision to demolish the shit out of it. Trust me, it feels good.
Now this is one which is closely related to limiting beliefs, and there can most definitely be cross over between the two. Fear, again, is usually based in your past experiences, and the again, the more you examine it, the more you accept it, the more it erodes.
Let’s swing this back to my previous example; public speaking. Perhaps you made a hash of it in the past and you can’t bear to face it again, you’re scared of people watching you, and failing again. But let’s look at this more closely; the fear isn’t actually rooted in the people thinking you’re crap at public speaking.. after all, how can it be? They have their own minds and their minds don’t form part of your own. The fear is usually a fear of letting yourself down. A fear of denting your ego.
Here’s the trick; once you set no expectations for yourself then the whole process suddenly seems more enjoyable, more current and more like you can face it. After all, if you have no expectations for yourself, then how can you possibly let yourself down? You’re not letting anyone in the audience down – they couldn’t give a monkey’s arse. At worse, they’d just find it funny, and if they find it funny, then so should you – because if you are enjoying it, then you can find it funny, and best of all, you won’t care – you’ll just go with the current moment.
Another blockage might be your ego. You might fear that denting the ego will dent your confidence and worsen your abilities even more. Once you let go of that self constructed, restricting conception and release your ego, you can realise that everything that “goes wrong” in your life is merely there to help you grow. That’s entirely why I put “goes wrong” in quotes; because nothing really goes wrong… things happen which you need to learn from and grow. Bringing us back to one of my opening points – nothing is more satisfying than achieving the steps on the path to growth. So you see, rather than denting your ego, it can actually craft you a new one, a more resilient and flexible one, and one more capable of taking on the challenges of life, so you can enjoy them and enjoy your life.
Now fear is usually a feeling in your heart and at the front of your mind. You put things off because of this feeling (remember it’s just a feeling – it’s not reality), but if you have a voice in your head telling you to just do the thing you fear anyway, and deep down, in your gut (back to that gut feeling) you feel like you should, THEN FUCKING DO IT. The worst case scenario, if you look at it in the right light, is that you’ll grow (which is actually great). The worst case scenario if you don’t do it, is you’ll spend your entire life not living, never reach your dreams and before you know it, you’ll be at deaths door wondering why the FUCK DIDN’T YOU DO ALL THOSE THINGS.
Disclaimer: Make sure you realise the difference between fear and risk – don’t go jumping off buses.
Now, this is the most important of them all, and it’s the one we often choose to ignore because of the previous two. Ignoring it, is precisely the thing which holds you back most of all from your dreams, your goals and your desires.
The feeling of intuition is usually a gut feeling; literally a feeling in your stomach, that compels you on a certain course in life or to make a certain decision, no matter how crazy it may seem to your “rational” limiting beliefs. It may also be a quiet voice from the core of your mind, nudging you in the right direction. It can be easy to ignore that quiet voice, but when it’s combined with a gut feeling, you really shouldn’t. It can be even harder to ignore this intuition, if you try and imagine forward and find excuses about what could go wrong or what could happen; if you want to find imaginary excuses, conjured in your mind, you will. If you want to trust yourself and go with it, then good things you couldn’t have possibly imagined will be unveiled as you go.
It could be a feeling telling you do something, or it could be a feeling telling you not to do something. You’ll know it when you feel it as it’ll be a strong feeling. But that doesn’t mean that your Fear and Limiting beliefs won’t try and over-ride it; because they can. The trick is to fully accept and go with your intuition. Trust yourself. Go with the strong feeling and just see what happens. DO IT, LIVE, Enjoy your life and reach your dreams…Trust me, every time you do follow the rabbit hole of intuition, it’ll be good.
A Final Note on Planning vs. Intuition
Planning ahead, in the form of to-do lists for example, can be a sure fire way of shitting all over your intuition, because at it’s very heart, it can create a set of limitations that you feel compelled to stick to. These limiting tasks turn to thoughts which can conflict with your intuition, as we’ve discussed. The best thing to do is to visualise your goal, let the thought go, then just get started on the first stepping stone of that journey – what ever you are compelled to do without fear and limitation.
Of course, you can plan, it can be useful, but those plans need to be flexible and you need to be able to throw them out of the window when you feel it is right to do so. As Churchill once said; “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
And remember: Not knowing what isn’t going to happen isn’t something to fear. Things not panning out how you may have imagined it in your mind (which translate into limiting beliefs) isn’t always a bad thing. The unknown is something to embrace. It’s what makes life fun. It’s what makes life worth living and it’s what will allow you to follow your real path (not a path dictated for you) and attain your dreams, whether you believe it or not.
We can’t envisage the chain reactions that will happen from any given decision. Most people try to – and conjure imaginary scenarios and futures which are utter crap, and usually seem much more serious than life really is – these in turn generate fear & limitation, and it’s fucking pointless. Follow your intuition at any given moment and just go with the flow of NOW. Take this article, I had no intention of writing it – I simply had a gut feeling to go for a run, which then inspired me to write this article, and which you’ve now read to the end (or skipped ahead).
Where you go is your choice, what you do is your choice, so choose.
If this has helped you awake from your foggy mind slumber, I’d love to hear from you. Tweet me or connect with me on Google+.