Life can change in an instant. Everyone has the ability to wake up one day and take their life in a new direction. Change happens the minute we make a decision and then follow through with immediate and consistent action.
Change usually occurs when we come across something that has an emotional hook for us, when it touches us and hits the right nerve. It can happen after a crisis, or an incredibly painful experience. Or it can simply be when you’ve reached a point where you say to yourself, that enough is enough, I want more than this.
Science has proven that our energy creates our environment, but I believe that the Law of Attraction and all of its guru’s fall short on one aspect – that nothing happens without action.
We can hope to lose weight, focus on it, believe it, visualize ourselves thin, but if we don’t do something, if we don’t act then nothing changes.
There are many factors that affect the amount of action we take. Our beliefs, our standards and our fears all play a role in determining how much effort we put in.
Nothing Changes Without Action
Changing our Beliefs
Our beliefs, about what is possible, affect the amount of effort we put in. If we don’t believe in the potential of something, we will take little to no action.
Let’s say for example that a young man wanted to be a professional basketball player, but he was only 5’11. He is constantly told that he is too small and it reinforces the idea in him that height is a necessary requirement and his lack of verticalness becomes a limiting belief. How much does his limiting belief affect his desire? How much does the belief alter his determination, focus and output?
Let’s say that you have another young man also 5’11, who doesn’t listen to the naysayers. His belief in his abilities never wavers. His entire focus is on making the NBA and he spends every moment he can honing his skills.
Two similar situations, two very different beliefs, two very different results.
Anthony Robbins has a probability model for the amount of action we take.
He says that our beliefs about how much potential we have affects how much action we take. How much action we take affects the results we get and the results that we get affect our beliefs about our potential.
Potential -> Action -> Results -> Beliefs
How much we believe in something, directly correlates to how much effort we put in, the amount of effort directly affects the outcome and the outcome will determine our beliefs.
So what ultimately limits us is our beliefs. If we knew that anything was possible, why do we assume that because people tell us no, or because we have tried a few times and failed, do we believe something is not possible? All that failure means is that you haven’t found the right solution. Some of the greatest minds of all time had amassed a compelling list of failures before they found what worked. Here’s a list of Abraham Lincoln’s Failures before he became President of the United States:
A list of Abraham Lincoln’s Failures:
§ Lost job, 1832
§ Defeated for legislature, 1832
§ Failed in business, claimed bankruptcy 1833
§ Elected to legislature, 1834
§ Sweetheart (Ann Rutledge) died, 1835
§ Had nervous breakdown, 1836
§ Defeated for Speaker, 1838
§ Defeated for nomination for Congress, 1843
§ Elected to Congress, 1846
§ Lost renomination, 1848
§ Rejected for Land Officer, 1849
§ Defeated for Senate, 1854
§ Defeated for nomination for Vice-President, 1856
§ Again defeated for Senate, 1858
§ Elected President, 1860
How different would American history be if he had given up? It took Thomas Edison over 1000 experiments before he invented the light bulb. Where would we be if he hadn’t persisted? The difference between those that succeed and those that fail is that the ones that succeed don’t let failure stop them – they try and they keep trying until they find a way. They use their defeats to push them harder to find the right solution. Just because something didn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it won’t work – failure doesn’t mean we stop trying, it means we try a different approach.
So many people are waiting for just the right day to make a change. They say, let me master this first, or this has to happen before I can do anything. All of that is nonsense. It’s the reverse, when we begin to act – then we start to see progress – when we start to see progress – momentum kicks in and makes us want to do more and more so that it happens faster.
When we make the decision that we want more out of life, then we have to learn how to expect it from ourselves. We have to push ourselves and raise our standards. If all we want out of life is to be ordinary then having low standards is great. If we want a menial job, making a menial wage and we want an unhappy relationship then keep doing what you’re doing. But if you have come to the decision that you want more – then you must expect more from yourself.
If you want more then you can’t settle for less. Raising your standards involves raising your expectations, raising your effort, raising your commitment. It’s digging deep and tapping into the divinity that exists in all of us. It’s the intangible essence, it’s will, determination and heart.
I’m a huge sports fan. Even though in the grand scheme of things sports don’t mean much, I love watching people push themselves to the brink of their physical limitations. For me there is no better indication of will at work. You see it when an athlete is dead tired, injured and on the verge of certain defeat, but somehow, someway he taps into greatness overcoming impossible odds and pulls out a miraculous victory.
If you ask these athletes how they do it, they will tell you that they are not competing against other athletes. They are competing against themselves. They expect greatness from themselves. When you expect greatness, then you take massive action and when you take massive action – you get massive results.
When you don’t expect much and you settle for less – that’s exactly what you’ll get. Great results come from great expectations.
Fear can debilitate us to a point where we remain stuck. The only way to overcome your fears is to face them head on. Dive in and every successful attempt to overcome your fears makes you stronger, more confident that you can overcome any obstacle.
The best way to deal with fear is to become more afraid of what will if you don’t act:
A friend of mine is a singer for a local rock band. Things have recently started to move very fast for his band. They just finished a huge festival in Germany, playing alongside the likes of Alice Cooper, Motor Head, Deep Purple, Saxon, Lamb of God to name a few. After their performance they got a ton of endorsement deals, promoters wanted to book them everywhere, they got a record deal, and a slew of tour dates across Europe.
A couple of months ago they were just a bunch of normal joes and now they are on the verge of something big. My friend expressed to me how everything was happening so fast. He questioned whether or not he was ready. He was anxious, doubtful and fearful. I said to him, “Do you want to be that old guy sitting on his ordinary rocking chair, on his ordinary porch attached to his ordinary house, who lived an ordinary life and always wonder what if ….? This is the opportunity you have been working so hard for. Change is scary but it’s not as scary as regret.”
Fear is just a word, just a feeling – a lost opportunity on account of fear is a colossal tragedy and something you can never get back.
There are many paths to a better life. No one way is better than the other, but for me, my progression started with an understanding of who I really was. I discuss in part one that the moment that I realized that I was this great, powerful eternal being, capable of all things, was the moment I stopped allowing myself and others to treat me like I was anything less.
The second step in my recovery occurred when I took control of my life. I realized that I controlled my thoughts. I controlled my emotions and I controlled my actions. As I explained in part two, Taking Control, that if my emotions were all over the place I wasn’t in control – I was out of control. You can’t focus and be present when you’re emotional. I realized I needed stability – the kind of stability that only I could create, so that no matter what happened in life – no one could ever take it away from me, so I methodically eliminated all of the toxic people from my life that threatened my inner peace.
The third step was taking action. Once I walked away from all the turmoil, I was able to get really clear on what I wanted to accomplish. I made a plan of action and I took tiny little steps at first. As I started to see progress, I put in more effort and my results reflected that. The harder I worked, the faster my results started happening and as I gained momentum, I started to really believe that I could achieve all that I set out to do. And all of this happened because I took action.
Stop making excuses and let go of your fears. If your life is painful and unbearable – what are you waiting for? All it takes is one step in the right direction.
Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by choice – so choose you and get moving.
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