The steps to move from an ordinary life to an extraordinary one aren’t found in some mystical book of success. They are rooted in common sense.
Here’s how many ordinary people tend to spend their days: They go to work, spend at least two full hours surfing the Internet or checking Facebook and Twitter, and then fudge a little on their break and lunch hour. Next, they come home, eat way too much unhealthy food, watch four or five hours of television, don’t sleep well, or if they do sleep well, it’s because they probably took prescription drugs to help. Finally, after a night of bad dreams and heartburn, they wake up the next day only to do it all over again.
Ordinary people spend more money than they earn, exercise less than they should, and complain that there just isn’t enough time to get it all done. They tend to gripe about their aches and pains even though they rarely exercise. They tend to complain about politicians and government even though they don’t vote. And then they wonder why their life is the way it is.
To repeat myself for the millionth time:
If you live like an ordinary person, you will be an ordinary person.
If you want to become an extraordinary person, you must live like no one else.
Answer this one for me: Do you have a written plan for every area of your life? Ordinary people don’t. Most people spend more time planning their day off than they do planning the rest of their lives. They have no plan for their time, no plan for their money, no plan for their career, and no plan for their relationships. With no plans at all, they are simply planning to fail.
What kind of house do you want to live in? What kind of car do you want to drive? How would you like to dress? What kind of restaurants do you want to eat at? Where would you like to vacation? What do you want your blood pressure to be, and how much you do you want to weigh? How much money do you want to have in the bank for savings and retirement and other investments?
All of those are certainly priorities in your life, correct? If they are priorities, you should have a written plan to achieve them. In fact, take action to move them from priorities to realities!
Remember: Your time, energy, and money always go to what’s important to you. All you ever have to do is take a look at how people spend their time and money, and you always know what is important to them. No exceptions – ever.
Take the leap from ordinary to extraordinary!
Here’s how you start: Get a sheet of paper and write down exactly what you want your life to look like. Be detailed. Then focus on these things every day. Add to the list when you think of something. Delete from the list when you realize that something isn’t important to you. This is not goal setting – this is priority setting. Then take action on your priorities. Just little steps every day that move you closer to where you want to be. Spend your money and your time and your energy on your priorities, knowing that if you don’t, these things weren’t really priorities to you at all.
I know I write about this stuff all the time. That’s because it doesn’t take any more than this to make real positive change in your life. I really am a pitbull – I grab on to something and I don’t let it go. I will talk about these basic ideas until I die. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of the other personal development folks leading people to believe that it’s hard, when it isn’t. Maybe it’s because I have done all of these things and still do to make sure I never become average. Or maybe it’s because they work!
Average is as average does. As Zig Ziglar always said, “As long as you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, then you keep on getting what you’ve been getting. If you want to change what you’ve been getting, then you’ve got to change what you’ve been doing.”
Go DO something different today. Greater opportunities are on the horizon.
Be an active participant, not a spectator
We have become a society of spectators. It is easier to watch old reruns of Friends
on television than it is to make the effort to be a friend in real life. It’s easier to watch people lose weight on The Biggest Loser
than it is to put down the bowl of ice cream, get off your butt, do a little exercise, and lose it yourself. It’s certainly easier to watch people paint a room or clean out their closets on television than it is to do any of these things yourself. In fact, whole networks are dedicated to just that kind of programming so you can watch rather than do.
Life, happiness, prosperity, and success all take effort. Good things are never going to come along, grab you by the scruff of the neck, and pull you up off the couch to get you on the road to success. You have to do that all by yourself. You have to stop watching the world go by and begin to participate in the action that creates a successful life. Is it work? Of course it is. Is it going to be hard? Yep. In fact, if it feels easy, then you are going in the wrong direction. The good life comes with work, sweat, tears, and plenty of disappointment. But the good life is more than worth the effort. So stop watching the world go by, and get involved.
The 5 Things You MUST Do to Create Positive Change in Your Life
1. Decide to change.
Most people say they want to change without making the real decision to change. A true decision is based in commitment. You have given your word to yourself. It’s a decision that says regardless of what you run up against, you are going to change. It’s a deal you have struck with yourself, and there is no going back!
2. Know WHY you want to change.
Too many people get caught up in HOW they are going to change. That comes later. There are lots of ways to change. HOW is the easy part. WHY is much tougher. Let’s say you have decided to lose weight. Good for you. Why? To be healthier? To live longer? All great answers. Go deeper. Why do you want to be healthier? Why is it important to live longer? I did this exercise with a woman who after asking WHY several times, it came out that she just wanted to look good in a swimsuit this summer so she wouldn’t be embarrassed. Embarrassment was the answer. This is just an example, but you get it. Dig deep for the WHY you want to change.
3. Be willing to do whatever it takes to change.
It’s a rule: Life doesn’t always ask you to DO whatever it takes, but you had better be WILLING to do whatever it takes. If you aren’t willing, save yourself the time and don’t even start the process, as you will end up quitting soon anyway.
4. Do whatever it takes to change.
Yeah, this is the work part. No change is going to happen without work and action. There’s no way around it, so roll up your sleeves, get off your butt, and do the work.
5. When you fail, dust yourself off and start again.
You will fail. Success is about moving past failure. Don’t cry, don’t whine, don’t get stuck. Just play through the pain and keep going no matter what. No excuses are acceptable.
Short list but big work. Get started right now on the changes you want to create in your life. By the way, when you get to where you want to be, celebrate. That’s the payoff.
Commit to MORE:
More reading. More exercise. More laughing. More honesty. More action. More saving. Working more on things that matter and spending more time with those who matter.
Commit to LESS:
Less griping. Less whining. Less eating. Less television. Less wasting time. Less silly spending. Less spending time with toxic people. Less putting energy into things that don’t move you forward.
Commit to this list of both MORE and LESS, and your life will be much better and more rewarding!