I’ve been researching personal development systems for the last decade. These are the 7 practical tips to turn your life whole around that I learned, followed and that have worked for me.
1. Follow Your Highest Excitement Without Attachment to a Particular Outcome
What is the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it’s not how much time you spend doing what you love. It’s how little time you spend doing what you hate. – Casey Neistat, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.
My friend James, a great Neuro-Linguistic Programming coach, gave me this piece of advice one day: “Follow your point of highest excitement without attachment to a particular outcome.”
He explained to me that all the work we do that comes from this space of excitement leads us to where we need to be, turning our lives whole around. “It’s true sometimes we have to do things we don’t enjoy, but the more time you spend on what you should be doing, the less time you have for what you want to be doing. Spend more time on what you want and less on what you should.”
The advice stuck!
So every time I need to choose what to do next I look for the thing I am most excited about and I follow that. Like a trail or a thread, this simple tip leads me to where I need to be next. And I’m not the only one who has noticed how following my highest excitement leads me to the next step, and the next, and the next. Life starts to make sense. It’s the chaos that makes us feel icky.
2. Make Decisions With Deliberation Not Hesitation
Lingering on making a decision drains us of energy and holds us hostage to the situation we’re indecisive about. The reason we are indecisive is fear. The result of fear is inaction and inaction can be costly.
Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions. But most decisions aren’t like that – they are changeable, reversible – they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal Type 2 decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through. Type 2 decisions can and should be made quickly by high judgment individuals or small groups. This is decision making in businesses works and can turn your life around. – Jeff Bezos.
3. Rewrite the Past From the View of the Future To Turn Your Life Around
In pursuit of the success that was meant for my life, I’ve had to change the way I saw and narrated my past.
Every time my negative interpretations of the past rear their ugly head, I take a moment to look at them from the advantage of hindsight. They’re only traumatic in the past when they didn’t make sense. But from the perspective of the present and the future, I can see them as things that were meant to happen to get me to where I’m supposed to be.
Even if things don’t make sense now, I have faith that they will make sense eventually and turn my life around.
4. Lose Friends
When you start living from your passion, you’ll have to give up your old life and make way for new choices based on love, not fear.
What I’m about to say contradicts nearly every conventional wisdom we’re told about work/life balance. But I’m going to be honest with you: sometimes we’re in the wrong relationships for what we want to achieve in life. Remember you are who you surround yourself with.
Our romantic partners have dreams too and sometimes they want us to star in those dreams. Our friends have preferred pastimes that they want us to participate in too. Sometimes you have to recognize that your destinies are not compatible. They want to go one way and you want to go another; if you stay together one person is going to have to give up going in the direction of their dreams.
Some people do that for a whole lifetime. They might do it for the person they love or for their children. They might do it because they see being alone as an ontological punishment they can’t bear.
When we’re in the situation itself it’s hard for us to see the impact incompatible relationships have on our life’s purpose. We’re in a sort of denial. And it’s no one’s fault that we’re holding ourselves back in this way.
Ultimately, we’re the ones responsible for our results, not our partners or friends. But when what we do is our passion, it’s a lifestyle, it’s not a job. Every aspect of our life shapes it and is shaped by it, including relationships.
5. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
If you must set goals, make sure you set S.M.A.R.T goals. These are the goal-setting techniques taught by motivational geniuses like Tad James and Tony Robbins. They are used by top athletes and sales managers as well as stay-at-home moms and me. Aside from working really well, they have a mysterious mystique to them that’s hard to capture in rational terms. Sometimes they work a bit like magic.
S.M.A.R.T goals are: Specific; Measurable; [Stated] As if Now; Realistic and Time-Bound.
By specific do not even say I want to make a thousand dollars a month, or ten thousand dollars more a month. State the goal the way you want it. Say it the way you want it. Say, “I now make x number of dollars per month.” That is also measurable.
“Measurable” goes hand-in-hand with specific.
Whenever you write something that you want in your notebook, make sure that you put a date on it. Something that is un-dated just sits there in your future, and you do not get any closer to it. – Tad James, The Secret to Creating Your Future.
6. Promote Health
After a decade of studying the world’s spiritual traditions and personal growth systems, I’ve come to note that they all teach 4 fundamental pillars for well-being. These are:
- Good nutrition
- Mental Hygiene
- Healthy education.
So it is no surprise to find that the world’s top performers prioritize activities that promote physical and mental health in their daily routines.
The Morning Routines of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins, and Other Highly Successful People: Obviously, successful people don’t all follow the exact same routine, but it is amazing how you can easily identify consistent themes and habits and develop them accordingly to see your life turning around. Most wake up early—6 a.m. or earlier. They hydrate by drinking a lot of water. They eat a healthy breakfast, although each has a different definition of healthy. They exercise. Many meditate, journal, or read. Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.
7. Appreciate the Value of the Plateau
True success is a lifelong process, a journey, not a destination. And in this process, plateaus are necessary organs in the anatomy of continuous improvement.
Imagine you’re an elite athlete who doesn’t rest between training sessions. What do you think is going to happen? That’s right, you’re going to die. In fact, the time you take to rest between workouts is literally the time you’re actually improving. This is when your body is repairing muscle tissue and adapting to the demands you placed on it.
Pema Chodron, a Buddhist teacher, once said that we should learn to pause and acknowledge when things are going well because they won’t always be that way. And when they are not going well, that’s ok too. When we live only for those rare peak experiences (like winning the medal, falling in love, scoring a promotion) we miss out on most of our lives which are made mostly of the ordinary and mundane.
I hope you like reading 7 Practical Tips To Turn Your Life Whole Around. Let me know your views in the comments below.