Over the last two weeks, we've looked at a structured approach to prioritising life choices, and started to build an action plan to change. I hope you've started to experience a greater sense of vision, control and achievement...but we've barely scratched the surface of true, lasting success.
It's good to create a to-do list, and it needs to be supported by an attitude that turns those one-off actions into natural habits. So let's set to work on that.
Who are you?
We're bombarded every day by messages telling us to conform to other people's view of what good looks like. That might mean having a body that's a certain shape, earning a particular amount of money, living in a certain place, wearing certain clothes...
A lot of dissatisfaction in life comes from putting expectations on ourselves to be someone that we're simply not. The Bible says, "Do not be conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2), and Oscar Wilde said:
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
So let me encourage you to do two things:
- Ask yourself who you really are - what you're really like - and how people try to make you be someone different. Now, resolve to simply be yourself.
- Write down a list of life experiences that have made you who you are today - good and bad. Now, accept that you can't go back in time and change them. You are who you are, and where you are, today, because of them.
What can you change?
Over the last couple of weeks, I've written a lot about things you can do to make a difference. And I expect you've thought at some point: "I can't change [enter your own circumstances here]."
Our lives are affected by the decisions of others, including our bosses, friends, family, politicians, and simple circumstances. And we can't change a lot of that. If there won't be a chance to be promoted until your boss quits, there's nothing you can do about that!
Your satisfaction will increase when you properly realise that you can't change everything.
And here's some even better news...there are some things that you definitely can change. What are those things you've always said that other people do that you can't? What would happen if you realised you could?
Maybe it's waking up half an hour earlier every day to learn a new skill, or a language, or to pray, or to read the Bible? Maybe it's building a budget...and sticking to it!
You will see greater success when you properly realise that you can change some things.
So we've looked at understanding and prioritising the most important areas of life, we've looked at our daily thoughts and rituals, and now we've looked at the attitudes that underpin those. Next week, we're going to take it to the next level, by taking proper ownership of our own lives.