If I asked you what you truly wanted in life, you’d likely say to be happy. Plain and simple.
All our lives, we have been led to believe that there is a formula for success, and that happiness is the reward.
For half of my 20’s and into my early 30’s, all I wanted was to be happy. I wanted a job I loved. I wanted to be happy when I woke up and when I went to bed.
I thought happiness would ultimately come when I could quit my job. So I tried to figure out a new career path or find a job that interested me or make money online. If I could just get the result I wanted, then I would finally be happy.
It never happened. I never found the answer. I never got the result I wanted and therefore I never was happy.
I didn’t know at the time, but I had it all backwards.
In today’s podcast episode, I talk about what finally got me unstuck in life and how I was able to achieves success by first finding happiness within me.
What you’ll learn in this episode:
The reasons why I failed at getting unstuck in life and having success.
Why happiness has to come first in order to have success.
How positivity and optimism affects and improves our quality of life.
To get from where you are now, to where you want to be, there will have to be sacrifices that you must make.
Making sacrifices is something we all wish we didn’t have to do. Can’t we get six pack abs and still eat anything we want every day? Can’t we have a successful online business that allows us to quit our job without giving up watching TV four hours every night after work?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Despite how badly many people want change in their life, they’re unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to get it.
Achieving goals does not come without making sacrifices. Making positive changes in your life doesn’t come without giving up something.
Let’s go over some of the sacrifices you will have to make if you want to achieve your goals and make changes in your life.
This is an important one so I’m going to mention it first.
You have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. For too long, you’ve lived in your comfort zone, and that’s why you now feel stuck in life. You’re not growing. You’ve stopped learning. You have the same habits and thoughts. They’re slowly killing you on the inside.
You’re afraid the unknown. You’re afraid to fail. You’re afraid to make mistakes. You’re afraid you will look stupid.
You have to stop feeling safe because being where you are right now isn’t brining you what you want in life.
The average person watches 4 hours of TV a day. That’s 28 hours a week. In a 65 year life, that person will have spent 9 years watching TV.
Yet the average person complains about not having time to do anything else.
If this is you, you need to cut back on watching TV. I’m not suggesting you give it up completely, but figure out what you want to watch and record it. That way when you watch it later, you can fast forward through the commercials further saving you more time.
The biggest problem is when you mindlessly watch TV. You’re channel surfing to find something remotely interesting to watch.
Those hours watching TV means no time to start that business, write that book, spend time with family, or go to the gym.
At the end of your life are you going to wish you had watched less mindless TV? Yes you will. You will wished you had done something productive with all that time you had.
It’s a powerful resource, but it’s also a rabbit hole. You can spend a couple hours easily going from one link to the next. You’re doing anything to distract yourself. You’re just wasting time.
Don’t complain that you aren’t happy with your life, but spend hours every day on the internet.
The internet can be a great resource. Reading articles like this one that benefit you is great. Reading interviews about successful people inspires you. There are articles on any topic you want to learn more about.
You’ll have to give up mindlessly clicking from link to link, watching endless Youtube videos, and being a zombie just staring at your screen.
If you want more time in the day, then you might have to sacrifice an extra hour or two of sleep.
The mornings are the best time to get things done. You’re awake before anyone else in your house is. It’s quiet and free from distractions. You can use that time to go through your morning routine, go exercise, or work on your side business.
Need help getting up early and not hitting the snooze button all morning? Sleep earlier, make sure your bedroom is at a cool temperature, no electronic devices an hour before bed, and no caffeine after 2pm.
You have to know that everyone who is successful now were beginners at one point. They went through growing pains and made stupid mistakes. They likely failed on their first, second, and third attempt.
It won’t be a smooth ride. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to have doubts along the way.
If you’re waiting to learn as much as you can so that everything will go perfectly, then you will never start and you will never finish. Because I guarantee it won’t go as planned and when you encounter your first obstacle, you will easily give up because you expected everything to go perfectly.
Give up being perfect.
How to not make any sacrifices
You can do so by staying the way you are. You don’t do anything different. Everything in your life is comfortable. But with comfort comes a feeling of unhappiness, restlessness, disappointment, and frustration. You have a desire to do more in life. You badly want to turn your life around.
It’s not happening because you haven’t been willing to make the sacrifices needed.
Nothing comes easy.
Nothing comes without making sacrifices in your life.
I don’t know you. We may have never talked, but there’s something I know about you.
You are where you are right now in your life from the choices you’ve made up to this point. It’s not cause of luck or bad luck as you may think. Your life is the result of the series of choices you’ve made up to this point in your life.
Before you read this, you made choices. Some were made automatically like brushing your teeth. Other choices you had to think about like what you were going to do when you got on the computer or what you ate.
It took me 32 years to realize my choices shaped my life. I thought my life was just full of bad luck. I wasn’t getting the results I wanted and I didn’t know why.
How could I turn my luck around? Well, it wasn’t by making the same choices. I needed to make better ones.
It’s not just one choice
It’s not going to take one major choice. When you put together a series of choices, they create momentum and results, that will determine the results you get.
Every time you make a choice, you’re either getting closer to your goal or further away. The immediate effect might be so tiny; you won’t notice a difference.
For example, if you have that piece of cake, it’s steering you closer to gaining weight. It’s not much, but you’ve taken a tiny step in that direction. On the other hand, if you pass on the piece of cake, you’re taking a step in the other direction.
The choice to eat cake won’t have a big immediate impact in the short run, but now multiply each choice by 365 days and after a year you will have gained weight or lost weight.
That’s why I never understood why people would sue McDonald’s for making them fat. Yes, their food is unhealthy, and if you eat it for 30 days straight, it can nearly kill you. However, they didn’t make them eat it! It was their choice. They decided to order the food, pay for it, and eat it. No one else chose that meal for them. Even if they have no choice but to eat there, they have healthier options available. They don’t have to get fries and a big Coke. No one put a gun to their head.
They stupidly want to blame McDonald’s.
My wife and I watch a show called My 600 Pound Journey. It takes place over 2-3 years and follows individuals as they try and go from 600+ pounds to around 200 pounds.
I couldn’t believe someone could get to 600 pounds. How did they get there? By the choices, they made for many years. What I liked about a recent episode is that two of the people took responsibility for it. They didn’t blame genetics. They didn’t say the rest of their family is big, so that’s why they’re big. They knew they made horrible choices. I just don’t know how they could get to 600+ pounds before deciding they needed help.
The same power of choices helped them lose enough weight to be able to get the stomach stapling surgery. Even after that it required healthy eating and being active to continue to lose weight. These were choices they had to make. Did they want to die at a young age or make the right choices to have a normal life again?
Even after two years they still had to make sure they continued to the make the right choices. Making the wrong ones for too long would soon have the momentum carry them back towards gaining weight.
I’m sure they could indulge like a cookie after lunch or pizza for dinner one night. Making that choice doesn’t mean they’ll lose everything they worked hard for, but choosing pizza more often than choosing a side of steamed vegetables and a 4oz baked chickens mean in the long run, the weight will come back.
That’s why one small choice won’t make or break you. Some choices like, drinking and driving, can have massive consequences. What I’m talking about deciding to be lazy tonight and watch TV or eating a large pizza in one sitting. Doing it 20% of the time isn’t
What choices will you make?
Every second, you make choices. You made a choice to read this right now. You’re choosing to continue reading. After you finish this, you will choose what you want to do next.
Tonight at home after a long day at work, you have the choice to decide what you will do. Will you sit on the couch and watch TV until it is bedtime? Will you spend an hour working on your business, spend thirty minutes going for a walk or run, or do whatever it is that you know you need to be doing?
It’s up to you. I can only make you aware of the power that little tiny choices have in the long run. You have to decide on a consistent basis what you will do. I promise if you make the right choices consistently, then you’re going to start seeing some amazing results.
You might feel stuck, but you’re unsure why. I’ve listed 12 behaviors that are possibly holding you back from where you are now to where you want to be.
You can start to make changes now. Stop denying yourself from becoming the type of person you truly want to become. Get rid of the old you, and start allowing the real you to come through.
You need to stop…
1. Being too safe – No pain, no gain. Playing it safe gets you nowhere in life. You want to play it safe because you’re so afraid of failure. By being too safe, you don’t even try. You don’t see what’s can possibly happen.
To reach your full potential, the road will be bumpy. It’s intentionally that way to find out who wants it the most. The weak ones get left behind, while the risk takers forge ahead and see what’s further down the road. That’s where happiness is. Where there is happiness there will be success as well.
2. Doubting your own dreams. – It doesn’t matter what your dream is. It could be starting a business, writing a book, finding love, or something else. The first thing you have to do is believe in yourself. Don’t seek validation from others. Believing in yourself might be hard because you’re just beginning, but you have to believe in what you’re doing without seeing the whole road in front of you.
3. Being influenced by negative people – You cannot be a positive person if you’re surrounded with negativity all the time. Sometimes these people are long time friends, but they’ve decided to take their life in a different direction than you want. Usually it’s no direction. It’s not a healthy relationship anymore. If someone isn’t adding any value you to your life, it’s best to say goodbye.
4. Expecting everything to be easy. – Stop expecting life is going to be a smooth ride. It’s not. Life is like sailingl across the Atlantic ocean. It’s going to start off real smooth. During the journey there will be huge waves and heavy rains. It’s part of the journey. The person sailing knows that and has to prepare for moments like that. Instead of wanting a life that’s easy, become a person that can handle the choppy waters.
If you remove all struggles from your life, you’re not going to find out what you’re truly made of. Success feels even sweeter when you’ve overcome your struggles and thrived.
5. Letting everyone else decide for your life for you. – You think it’s easier to just let other people decide for you because you don’t know what you want. Maybe you’re afraid of making the wrong choice. If you let people dictate your life, you will live a life that you don’t want.
If I listened to my parents, I’d either be an unhappy doctor or lawyer. Don’t give your life away to others who put you on a path that has no meaning for you.
6. Living in the past. – Would of, could of, should of. There’s moments that you wished you could go back and have a do over. Try not to dwell on the opportunities you missed out. You can’t go back anyways. Keep moving forward and if opportunities comes again, you will be better prepared to take it.
Living in the past guarantees that not have the future you desire.
7. Ignoring the lessons – Everything happens for a reason and you can learn and grow from. When something bad happens, and it will, find the lesson behind it. What could you have done better? What would you do if faced with the same situation in the future?
8. Holding on to resentment. – If you’re carrying baggage from your past, you won’t have room for all the everything else you want. Holding onto resentment, past failures, a broken heart and hate for others is going to keep you living in the past. Let it go so you can finally move forward. You start by writing a letter to yourself.
9. Being too hard on yourself. – If you screw up, give yourself a break. Everyone makes mistakes. When you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. So it’s not as bad as you think. Pick yourself up and try again. Nobody is perfect an neither are you.
10. Being so pessimistic. – You often spend way too much time why you’re not good enough, why you don’t deserve to be successful, and why you can’t do it. You waste too much time with that inner voice that won’t shut up. You walk with our head down. It’s time to turn that frown upside down.
Instead of thinking “Why me?” think “Why not me?” Why can’t you be a bestselling author? Why can’t you become an actor? Why can’t you start a million dollar company? If others have done it, why can’t you?
11. Giving up too soon. – Most people give up right before their big breakthrough. Of course they don’t know it’s coming, but they give up too soon. If you choose something you believe in, then go after it with everything you have. Someday all that hard work and sacrifice will come together.
I tried so many different online businesses and failed. When I had unbelievable success with my first app, it looked like an overnight success, but it wasn’t. I never gave up hope that I’d have an online business. I just didn’t know when it would come. I just kept trying something until it worked for me. Because of the struggles I had, I can look back and smile about how resilient I was and didn’t give up on my dream.
Stop. Don’t Do it. Don’t tell yourself that you’re doing to do more of _______. It’s not going to work.
In two months, you’re going to be back to where you are right now, but worse because you’re going to be upset that you already failed. Then you’ll slowly forget about it and go back to your old ways. By December, you’ll be thinking of all the changes you want to make beginning January 1, 2015.
I know because I’ve never kept a resolution.
If you’ve made a specific resolution more than once, then stop making it again. The problem isn’t with your resolution, but with your approach. You don’t change your approach and that’s why you’re making it again.
Does this sound like you? If so, I’m here to give you another solution so you won’t be like 98% of the people (an educated guess, but probably close) that start the new year with hopes of the best year ever, but fizzle out soon.
Later in this article, I’m going to tell you about a course I created last year that going to kick your butt, change you on the inside, and help change the direction of your life. If your life is good, it’ll help take it to a new level.
Don’t take my word for it. I’ll share what some of my students have said.
First I’m going to share with you seven ways to help you make 2014 your best year yet. None of them include making a New Year’s resolution.
1) Write down your goals
I told you to not make a New Year’s resolution because they don’t work, but writing down your goals is not the same as making a resolution.
There are many reasons resolutions don’t work. One reason is because it is just an idea floating around in your head. It’s easy to get lost when you have 70,000 thoughts a day. After that initial excitement, you will forget about it.
This year do something different. Write down your goals. When you write down your goals, you are making a declaration. You’re saying you want to do this and it’s not just a wish.
Write it on a sheet of paper or print it from your computer. Place this list where you will see it everyday.
2) SMART goals
Writing down your goals is better than just thinking about it, but these goals needs to be structured in a way that is going to help you.
Don’t just write generic goals. Instead set SMART goals. Those are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
Saying you want to lose weight is too general. There’s no urgency. How will you know you have lost weight? How much weight? By when? It’s too weak.
New year’s resolutions are just as general. That’s why they fail to stick.
If you follow the SMART guidelines your goal will be “I will lose 15 pounds by June 1, 2014.” It’s measurable. You can step on a scale and know. It’s specific. It’s attainable. It’s something you want to do so it is relevant. It has a deadline. Without one you will just procrastinate.
Before I finish talking about goals, I do want to say one thing. I believe settings goals are so important. You might come across some articles online that say setting goals is a bad idea and they will give their reasons why.
I don’t follow that. Set some goals. If you’ve never set goals before, then definitely set goals this year. Try it out.
Goals give you direction. You set the navigation system in your brain and it helps you reach your destination. If you’re driving from Los Angeles to New York and have never driven that route before would you just get in your car and start driving or use your navigation to guide you?
If you don’t use navigation, you still could get there, but it might take you longer and you might get lost many times along the way. Why waste time when navigation can get you there faster?
Set SMART goals in 2014 to guide you.
3) What is your WHY?
Why do you want it? Why do you want to make that change or achieve that goal? If you can’t think of a strong reason why, rethink your goal. Are you doing it because someone said you should?
I bet that your past goals have failed because you didn’t have a strong enough reason why.
Whatever your goals are you will face challenges. I promise you it’s not going to all be easy. Change is hard. Doing something new is hard. You will want to quit. If you have a reason why you want to achieve it, then it’ll push you through tough times, keep you motivated, and focused on your goals.
Do you know someone who had a high school reunion or a wedding and their goal was to lose weight before the big day? I think we all know someone. It might have even been you.
I had a friend that lost 50 pounds before his wedding. Before that he struggled to lose the weight he gained from years of partying in college. He wanted to lose weight, but just never had a great reason why.
What was the difference? He had a strong reason why and a deadline.
More money might be your reason why, but think about why you want more money. What will it do for you? How will it help? How will you use that money when you have it? Go deeper than the desire to just have money because that isn’t enough to keep you focused and motivated.
“If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something your pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become. For things to improve, you have to improve. For things to get better, you have to get better. For things to change, you have to change. When you change, everything changes for you.”
– Jim Rohn
(This is post is an excerpt from my upcoming 30 day course coming out next week.)
When most people set a new goal they think, “Ok what do I need to do to get it?” They find the steps and just follow them. It’s natural to think that and it’s not a bad question. But it’s not the first question we should ask.
The question we should ask ourselves is “Who do I need to become?”
If you’ve never realized this, then this post will change how you achieve success.
When I learned this, I figured I would try it this way. I needed to stop doing it the way I had done it before, which was just finding out what I needed to do. My past efforts at change in all areas of my life all failed since college. On the outside, life may have seemed great, but on the inside I felt hollow.
I did what most people do, which was try and change my external world. If I did that, I figured I would change as a person on the inside.
Well…that strategy never worked out for me. This time I needed to take a different approach.
It turned out Jim Rohn’s words were the important to my current personal development success.
Before my goal was to make money to become financially independent. If I could do that, life would be great. I thought all my self-confidence, unhappiness, and motivation problems would go away.
I didn’t find success though for a long time. The reason I didn’t was because of ME. I didn’t become the type of person that would achieve the goal I wanted. I just tried to do step 1, step 2, step 3, etc.
I thought knowing how to do it was enough, but it wasn’t.
If you’ve been failing at changing your life and achieving your biggest goals in life, you need a new approach.
It’s all about us
No matter what it is we want to change, we’ll never achieve lasting change until WE change. Once WE improve, everything else around us will improve. When it comes to achieving our goals, remember it is not our goals that need to be worked on; it is US.
It is important to understand that we don’t get in life what we want; we get in life what we are. We will only achieve the level of success in our life that equals our level of self-worth.
Re-read these last two sentences so you really understand it.
But it’s natural tendency to look at the results and figure out why we didn’t get what we wanted, while giving little attention to the cause.
This time when I finally decided I was tired of how my life was, I looked to change myself from the inside out first. It wasn’t about writing down a list of goals (again), putting my head down, and focus on achieving it. I had to change first. I didn’t like the type of person I had become. I was pessimistic, didn’t take responsibility for my life, hated life, jealous, and frustrated cause I felt stuck.
My level of self-worth sucked. Yes I wanted to reach these big goals I had. Yes I wanted to change my life. But I didn’t truly believe I could achieve it. I still felt success was hopeless.
I needed to change myself FIRST, so I could have success. Not the other way around.
Let me give you an example of how I used to approach my goals. I’ve tried to make money online for so long. I’ve always loved how I could do work from anywhere. I spent a lot of time online so it interested me. I’ve joined courses that taught me how to do it. For example, I tried to set up niche websites and make money from Google ads. I followed the steps, worked hard to set it up, tweaked it, and waited to see what kind of results I would get. I didn’t get much. I quit that and move to the next get rich quick opportunity.
I had the steps I need to take to make money. The reason I never found success was because I didn’t change. I didn’t have the attributes that a successful online entrepreneur would possess.
With my mindset, I also believe I didn’t attract the type of opportunities that were right for me either. My mindset was get rich quick with as little work as possible. Guess what? That’s what I attracted because that’s what I was looking for.
I was the same old Benny trying to make money online with every new opportunity I came across.