If anyone knew what he wanted, it was Steve Jobs. A real steady Eddie. But for the rest of us mortals, getting sidetracked — and not even knowing it — comes much easier. That’s when we get stuck acting like a Drifter, allowing someone else’s agenda to become our own. If you think you’ve gotten off track, try these exercises to figure out what you really want.
Knowing what we want, like, need, or aspire to are positive forces that push us to push ourselves. To make our lives better.
But we also can stand in our own way by creating rules of won’t and don’t. “I won’t consider anything that involves doing math. “I don’t like that.” “I won’t ask her for help.” “I don’t think I’ll get a good response.” The more we won’t and don’t, the narrower our world becomes.
When we limit our possibilities like this, we can get stuck acting like a Tunnel Visionary. One of the best antidotes we know is to look at the situation differently. If you’re feeling judged, what does forgiveness look like? If you’re overwhelmed with work, what does success look like? Try these 9 ways to get a fresh perspective.
We don’t believe in instant success (despite so-called insta-sensations like Justin Bieber). Hardly anything happens overnight.
We do believe in pushing yourself forward, preferably with a string of bite-size efforts so you don’t get overwhelmed. But first you need to admit there’s something to push for, that you might be stuck in some way. And that’s easier to do when you look at being stuck as a good thing. Think of it as a chance to make your life better instead of some kind of failing.
We love goals. They give us purpose. Organize our actions. And extend our thinking beyond “What’s for lunch?” We also love the idea that even if we don’t reach our ideal, through practice, we get closer to it. We start out clumsy and inexpert. But push through our frustration until it gets a tiny bit easier. We keep trying, keep practicing. Keep inching toward our aspiration. On occasion, we look back and we’re amazed with how far we’ve come.
Here are 10 goals that we think are worth the practice. They could change your life, even if you don’t perfect them.
If we could recommend only one piece of advice, it would be to chunk it out. Take whatever is overwhelming you or scaring you or confusing you and break it down into pieces that you can deal with. Then you can zoom in, one piece at a time. With each that you solve or better understand, you’ll feel more confident and encouraged to take on the next one. It’s simple. And it works for so many things, like planning, sticking to your plan, procrastinating, and adapting to change.
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