The majority of humanity live lives of quiet desperation. Many go day in and day out living in the rat race, and I am not just referring to the rat race of finances. I mean an entire rat network, where individuals live reactively, stuck in an intricate maze defined by structures, ignorance, and the inactivation of personal power. We live chasing only God knows what. We never realise that we are really looking for is not fancy cars, jobs, or material success or relationships. What we are really chasing is a state of being, a feeling. We just want to be happy. Not just happy in the shallow sense of the word, I mean the happiness that you get when you are living in that perfect position of flow. That place where your goals, actions and results are consistent with the person you were created to be. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing, you are at peace with your own soul and God and you are fully and joyfully engaged with life, giving all and being all you can be. This, is truly what we desire.
So what stops us from living this life? A whole lot of things, firstly, ignorance. We don’t know, because we are too busy being busy. Too busy running to take a seat and do some serious soul searching. Too distracted by what we are told to want and be, to get in touch with what we really want. And hence, the first step out of the rat maze is:
Who are you? This is one of the fundamental questions of life, one that may take up to a lifetime of searching to understand, but such an important journey all the same. You need to know who you are at the core of your being. What kind of person do you desire to become, what do you want your life to say, what contribution do you want to make, what kind of life do you want to live? I recommend that you take off an hour to an entire week in reflection, write down ideas and express your desires on paper.
Once you have a clear enough image of who you are, etc. It is important that you write down a
vision and mission statement.
This is an expression of who you are, and who you are becoming, a definition of your identity and your desired life and your contribution to it. This is crucial, because your goals and plans MUST be a consequence of who you are. Your vision and mission must precipitate your immediate objectives. If not, you may end up chasing goals or even achieving them without the resultant feeling of fulfilment, happiness or peace which is the true objective.
The next step now is obviously
Success is commonly defined as the gradual achievement of previously defined worthwhile goals. The first thing to do is get a few sheets of paper and a pen or pencil and just go wild. Write your dreams down, do not hold anything back from yourself regardless of how crazy or unrealistic they may seem. Just write it down. What do you want to do? Where would you like to go? Where would you like to live? How much money would you love to have? Explore these. Once you done with this, begin to pare it down and pick the long term goals for yourself [goals that you would like to achieve in 10-20 years], medium goals [3-10 years], short term goals [1 week to 3 years]. Categorize these goals under the following: ‘Academics and Personal development’, ‘Spiritual’, ‘Family and Relationships’, ’Physical health and leisure’, ‘Vocation and purpose’. Most of these categories are self explanatory, you can redefine or add more if you like. Just a word on ‘Vocation and Purpose’, I believe that if we all dig in enough, we all have something unique or something really dear to us that we want to contribute to the world. People call it the thing they would do gladly even if they weren’t paid for it. This is your vocation, or as I like to think of it, the thing you were created to do and be. This is the key to your greatest successes and contributions to life.
*A note on goal setting: One issue with goal setting is that we set goals we think we should want, because of social conditioning. It takes a long while of continual introspection and self awareness to really connect with our true goals. So, set goals and work towards them, but also understand that those goals may change rapidly over time as your self awareness increases until you get to the point where you are comfortable enough with what you want to do and be.
Great! You have defined yourself and your goals. Now this is where things get interesting. The mere act of writing down goals activates something spiritual and in your subconscious. Even if you don’t read your vision, mission and goals, you may be pleasantly surprised to look back a year or two from now to see that you have achieved some if not all of them. However to speed up the process and make it more worthwhile, you must have a
If you fail to plan, you are almost definitely planning to fail. Look at each of your goals and make a plan for getting each one. What would you need to DO, who do you need to link up with? Where would you need to be? Make a plan and follow through. Be flexible though, and be ready to change your approach, but don’t change your goals unless it comes from a change in your vision and mission statements.
Next, you got to be like Nike and ‘JUST DO IT!!!!!!’
Evaluate yourself consistently, analyse the responses and results you are getting, trouble shoot and change your actions or methods till you find the sweet spot and are maximising your efforts to get your goals.
If you can follow this steps, you will be well on your way to living the life that you want, God speed.
In part 2, I’ll share why people procrastinate and don’t take action on what they know they should. I’ll also tell you how to beat that and remove limiting beliefs and habits that stand in your way to prevent and sabotage your success.