"What good does it do to pray like a saint or meditate like a yogi if we are unchanged when we open our eyes?"
"What good to attend a place of worship on Saturdays or Sundays if we lack compassion on Monday?"
There is a clear difference between a conceptual thought and the actual practice of everyday life. Today, we live in a stimulus-reaction driven society. We are always busy reacting to things - the phone calls, emails, business reports and our kids. We try to balance it out. We try to have our own time, work on some personal goals and pursue personal/spiritual/professional development all at the same time. We all know what to do. It's just that we fail to execute them. Life becomes burdening, overwhelming and we fatigue. How does Tony Robbins or Gary Vee do what they do? Are they faking it?
Goal-setting and using to-do lists are tools to keep us track amidst the chaos in life. It's actually one of the most ubiquitous advice in the world of self-improvement. But one thing that all these 'gurus' don't teach you is that we eventually burn out. Not everyone can sustain the high-energy output of Gary Vee or Tony Robbins. I'm here to tell you that you're not Gary Vee - and you don't have to be. Don't fake it.
You want to become better.
But does that desire itself bring you down?
Make you depressed?
It's actually a vicious cycle. You accumulate goals over time, learn new things, aspire to achieve more and eventually, your list of to-dos become too much. As you fail to complete a task or reach a goal, you begin to feel underachieved. A sense of failure creeps in. Below are 5 steps to your daily enlightenment that will help you stay conscious and empower you to achieve your goals in life and have fun doing it.
1. Discover Your Self Worth
"It is important to note that the most sensitive, self-reflective souls among us -- those of us with the highest visions, ideals, and standards -- often have the lowest sense of self-worth, because we consistently fail to meet our idealised standards. George Bernard Shaw once remarked that the "ignorant are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt."
Dan Millman explains that making mistakes, slips in integrity and moments of mediocrity are normal part of life not unforgiving sins. We are the ones that are consistently judging ourselves, forming detrimental evaluations on our performances and outcomes. Learn to appreciate yourself and accept that failures and little slips in life are normal.
2. Accept Your Emotions
Emotions are powerful feelings that can override our thoughts, rationale and action (read Stephen Covey's mini paradigm shift he experienced in the subway). Everyone knows how to embrace the feelings of happiness, sense of achievement and success. But nobody taught us how to handle the emotions of fear, depression and anxiety. You must learn to accept them as they are. Feeling depressed and upset because your business is plummeting is completely normal! There's nothing wrong with how you feel, it's only natural. The problem is your business not the way you feel.
This idea comes from stoicism. The modern day philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb defines a Stoic as someone who, "transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation and desire into undertaking". If this interests you, read: 5 Life-Transforming Teachings of Stoicism.
Read: How Tony Robbins Helped Me Shape My Destiny. The article details Tony Robbins' philosophy on emotion and how they can shape our future.
3. Live Your Life, Moment To Moment
Live your life moment to moment, seizing all the opportunities life throws at you.
It's common practice to regret the past and worry about the future. A famous study funded by the National Science Foundation and conducted by Dr. Walter Calvert concluded that: 30% of our worries are about events in the past, 40% on thing that never happened, 12% on unfounded health concerns and 10% of our worries are over minor and trivial issues. It was shown that only 8% of our worries are real and legitimate!
Don't get hung up in your past or trying to look into your unforeseeable future. Be conscious, live the moment and never lose a second. What matters the most is now.
4. Money: The Insatiable Hunger
Why do we set goals?
Why are words like entrepreneurs, financial freedom and passive income such a big thing?
It all comes down to money. Money is important - we all know that money does not necessarily bring happiness, but it sure does make our lives easier. Understanding that our "wanting mind" is limitless is important. As you feed your greed and desires, you will soon see yourself repeating, "just a little bit more...", and it will never end. True wealth is not his who has it, but his that enjoys it.
This is one of the most important reasons why your goals shouldn't be based on monetary gains, but your personal values and higher purpose in life. Don't let money lead your life. Follow your passion and purpose in life, you will be compensated naturally as your vision slowly materialise.
Read: The 5 True Meanings of Happiness: 6 Figure Salary And Rolexes Just Don't Cut It. I share in this article what I've learned and experienced after living in Singapore and living the capitalist lifestyle.
5. Know Why You Are Here
Like we discussed above, trivial failures and brief moments of mediocrity will surmount to a point where we begin to feel helpless. The irony is, the ones that are trying to be more productive, successful and become leaders of today, are most affected. Besides the four points mentioned above, the last - and perhaps the most important - advise would be "know why you are here."
What is your purpose?
Without one you will begin to side-track and lose sight of your final destination. Without purpose, striving to become a better person and setting goals become meaningless. You become addicted to being busy and the instant gratification of ticking off your to do lists. You don't really achieve anything and you have no clue why.
A clear purpose allows "everything [to] fall into place. The people, resources and the opportunities you need will naturally gravitate towards you. The world benefits, too, because when you act in alignment with your true purpose, all of your actions automatically serve others."
Have look at the recently ticked off items on your to do list.
The sent e-mail on your outbox.
Were they really necessary? Aren't you just doing stuff for the sake of being busy? Falsely feeling good about being 'productive'?
People who strive to live a fuller life oftentimes finds themselves in such situations. It's time to reassess your life using the five steps outlined above. Maybe you're purpose is not in line with your actions? Maybe you fail to live in the present moment.
Suddenly you will realise that you are more energetic. More passionate. More energetic. The small setbacks don't seem to hold you back anymore. You're on purpose and there's nothing that can stop you.