Most people are not happy with their life. Yet they continually venture down the same road of unhappiness. Never willing to change. As you take a birds eye view of your current lifestyle, do you like what you see? Are your relationships, career choices, financial situation and other aspects of your life truly satisfying? Or do you feel there should be more?
While most of us have moments of joy, they are usually overshadowed by hours, days and even years of affliction. Stress, depression, heartache and overall anxiety are human nature. But it doesn’t have to be the case for you. You deserve to have the best life possible.
The good news? Change is also a part of human nature. In fact, I believe there is an unwritten rule of life stating that the only constant is change. Put in other words, nothing will ever stay the same. This is a huge concept. The reason this is significant for you? Your life is going to change. But it is completely up to you which direction you will take your life when these inevitable changes approach. Will you choose to stay on your current melancholy life direction? Or will you rise up and pursue a life of fulfillment and happiness? The ball is in your court.
Below are the specific steps every person needs to explore, embrace and ultimately take action on before life-altering change can truly occur:
1. Get Disturbed
We must become the change we want to see.
Enough is enough! When deciding you want change in your life, you must truly get upset with your current situation. Your emotions are very powerful. And you’ll find that by using this energy as a catalyst for change, your desired life will be within your grasp.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to fire your thankless boss, pack-up and leave an abusive relationship or sell those cherished but unnecessary electronics to pay your bills. Whatever your scenario may be, you must make a drastic shift in your mentality. Keep in mind, the more significant your desired life outcome, the stronger your convictions for change must be.
2. Find a Passion
The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.
Everyone has an inner passion. It may be as drastic as moving to the tropics; allowing you to study the effects of pollution on the coral reefs. Or as simple as having the ability to devote a few extra hours a day to give back to your church, school or other local organization. Having an overwhelming motivational force to jump out of bed every day is extremely important for staying happy. However, until you find a life path you truly enjoy, you will struggle with the monotonous hassles of a normal lifestyle. Ultimately leading you to the same desolation you’ve experienced in the past.
Additionally, the power of a passion can lead you to accomplish extraordinary things. Warren Buffett helps businesses become extremely successful. Jane Goodall taught us more about chimpanzees than we would have ever imagined. B.F. Skinner gave us amazing insight in the psychology of subconscious learning. And by finding your passion, you too can join the ranks of the many remarkable people who have contributed huge advances in their field of interest.
Furthermore, imagine you had access to a time machine and traveled 100 years in the future. Paradoxes aside, you find your great-grandkids and other members of your lineage. What would you want these descendants to say about you and your life? That you toiled a half a century of your life away in a dead end job and a mediocre personal life. Or that you followed your passion and led an extraordinary life doing what you loved while directly improving countless people’s lives. The choice is yours.
One other consideration. Don’t lie to yourself. If your passion is to have a big house and fancy car, that’s ok. Not everyone wants to move to a third world country or donate a majority of his or her money to medicine research. Feeling guilty is no way of living life; go after what you truly love. However, I know there will come a time when you will want to give back. Donating $400 to a charity feels much more rewarding than buying the latest and greatest Scotty Cameron putter.
To summarize, without a passion, your life will never truly be fulfilled.
3. Get Out of Bed
Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.
Beating a sunrise is an amazing feeling. More importantly, rising early will have an extreme effect on your overall life and well-being.
The formula is simple: Go to bed early, wake up early. You will feel amazingly well rested while accomplishing far more during your day.
Moreover, by rising a few hours earlier, you’ll quickly begin to notice how productive every aspect of your life will become. And change will be inevitable as you must find something to do with your newly acquired free time. From pursuing your dreams to doing more of the activities you love, you’re life is sure to improve by getting out of bed.
4. Think More
Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.
Every change first occurs in your mind. But just as sheep blindly go through their life, most people’s lives are consumed in thoughtless activities. And we are unknowingly losing the ability to critically think for ourselves. Without advanced abstract thought, change will never occur. You will settle for the current and fail to strive for more.
Let me pose a question; if you could absorb an expert’s abridged life experiences on a subject in a few afternoons, would you do it? Of course. Well, let me now tell you a secret; you can! It’s called a book. (Shocking, I know) So if your interested in the biogeochemistry of a forested ecosystem, I’m guessing you can find some research material on the subject. Revolutionary stuff here huh? Not really, but our idea of a typical day and lifestyle has evolved to a point where advanced intellectual thought processes are rarely accessed.
Unfortunately, most Americans are dumbing themselves down with all of the brainless pastimes available these days. For example, the average American spends 4 hours a day glued to the television. This is mindless activity that will not benefit your overall life. Do you remember what you watched six weeks ago? Or what you learned from the program? Conversely, what did you gain from the non-fiction book you (hopefully) read six weeks ago? And how much did the concepts presented in that book linger in your mind? I am assuming the book had a much more profound effect on your introspection than the TV show.
So stop watching American Idol and pick up a book at night. Attend seminars & conferences when available. And listen to audio books or talk radio on your commutes. Change will happen if you open your mind, trust me!
5. Exercise Daily
A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.
Devotion to motion, equals emotion. Your level of physical activity and your overall health will have a huge effect on your well-being. More importantly, exercise will keep your mind healthy, in turn greatly helping your desired change come to fruition. And since you have already gained a few hours by waking earlier, you have no excuse for not exercising daily.
A bonus of cardiovascular training is the extended periods of time you’ll have with only your thoughts. Something perfectly suited for meditative but strategic change planning.
6. Stay Optimistic
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Optimism is the key to success. Unfortunately I encounter pessimistic viewpoints almost every time I talk with up and coming entrepreneurs. And the scary thing is, they are usually unaware of their glass-half-empty psychology. Your limiting beliefs are just as powerful, (if not more powerful) than any other emotion during times of change. Therefore, these pessimistic feelings need to be squashed before they ruin all chances of refining your life.
You must realize that striving for change is a bumpy road. With the emotional roller-coaster that change brings, it will be difficult to stay on track. And it is extremely easy to fall back on your old habits. Luckily, an optimistic point-of-view can metaphorically hold your hand through your change process. It will keep you happy and give you something to look forward to as your days of change go by. Additionally, optimism will keep the good juices flowing while smashing any psychological roadblocks you may encounter. Which is exactly what you need to ensure a long and happy life, doing what you love.
Changing your life is possible. But it takes strong convictions and mental perseverance. I am positive you can do anything you put your mind to. Good luck!
UPDATE: 7. Academy on the Go
Due to the outstanding popularity of this and my other articles on improving your lifestyle, I’ve recently launched an online academy for changing your life for the better. It carries over many of the concepts from this post. Along with many other areas of one’s life.
If you truly want to begin changing your life, I strongly recommend you check out Academy on the Go.