I needed to take powerful actions in my life if I ever wanted to see any kind of change in my life.
This was a lesson that I learned and continued to remind myself on many occasions. From the challenge of boosting my own social skills to starting my business and growing it. Looking back at the success stories, the people displayed certain skills. Some were in your face. You’ll hear them talk about these in inspiring videos all the time.
They’ll talk about character, or certain ideals.
But there is obviously more to it than that. For sure, those stories have great morals, but there are other powerful actions to consider.
Based on what little success I’ve achieved, here are some of those hidden, yet powerful actions that are most important. From my experiences, these are what moved the needle for me.
Have Goals And Commit To Them
The first of the powerful actions is to have goals and be committed to them. Whether that’s making a windows and doors repair business, making backpacks from plastic, losing weight, or finding the love of your life. Goals are what move us forward.
But I’ve also realized that it’s not all about the goals. It’s also on how you set them. Furthermore, ensuring you are committed to them.
Anyone can set a goal. But those who thrive are also committed to that goal.
Commitment means two things. First, it means that the goal is something you care about on a personal level. If there is no personal investment, it’s hard to commit to something. Not to mention, it’s hard to do that task if you’re the type to force yourself to do something.
From my experiences, you’ll try something for a while, and then it drifts off. Commitment means that you are accepting the action as a way of life. It’s something you do naturally.
The second thing is that it means you’ll not lose enthusiasm for it no matter where it leads you. Every single day you’ll find a reason or more to keep doing what it is you are doing. It recharges you and allows you to fall in love with that action or habit you are building again and again.
Even during days where little progress is made, you’ll still maintain that same level of enthusiasm as the day before and the one prior.
Incorporating these aspects into your goals will drive you forward, make them easier to commit to and you’ll find things going faster for you.
Powerful Actions: Have A Purpose In Life
The second of the powerful actions is having some kind of purpose in life. In church, people believe that God created humanity for a reason. While I’m not much of a person of faith now, that lesson still sticks with me.
I believe every person is here for a reason. Maybe not to be a multi-billionaire, but to make an impact on people in a small or big way.
This purpose stretches beyond your own goals that you are setting for yourself. Goals will give you meaning, but getting out, achieving them and learning more about yourself provides you with purpose and helps steer yourself.
I find this is so important these days as millennials are pushed to the point of burning out and losing all sense of who they are. There’s a systemic problem that often leaves our generation wondering “So what should we do?”
I know this feeling all to well. After I graduated from university with my accounting degree, there was no sense of achievement or great relief. There was just that question:
“So now what do I do?”
It’s chilling, especially after all that time. Instead of doing what I did, I would take the time now to look for a purpose in life. Find something that interests you and spend time working at it. Once you’ve got a nice spot for that, go ahead and expand to other things.
Such was the case in my life. Once I felt my writing was at a good point and my earnings were better, I started working out.
Look At Everything As An Experience And Leverage It
One strategy that’s been helping me get back into writing more for myself is by seeing everything as an experience. From the questions I ask myself or see to what’s going on in my life. These things – positive or negative – are what fuel my writing to some extent.
Even if you’re not a writer, I would encourage you to think like one to some level. Look at what’s going on in your life and see them as experiences or opportunities that you can then leverage in some way.
Set aside whether these things are challenges or happy events in your life and consider some of these things:
- If the experience was a challenge look at what you’ve done so far. What sort of effort have you made so far with it? What sort of changes has this challenge prompted you to make? Is there another way you can tackle this challenge in your life?
- For experiences that are positive look at what brought you there. What habits did you come to rely on? How can you incorporate these habits into your every day life more?
By looking at events in your life as experiences, I find it easier to be looking at how you can leverage these things. If they are problems, mistakes, or challenges, looking at them as experiences allows you to learn and make adjustments.
On the other hand, positive experiences can give you reflection and consideration for what worked and how you can use what you learned further down the road.
Build/Refine Your Network
One thing that I’ve come to learn is that I’m terrible at making friends. I can say with confidence that I know how to not make friends. At the same time, those experiences have also taught me the important of your network, why bother maintaining it, and how to refine and build it.
As an adult, it can be tricky to form decent connections. People may have more elaborate ulterior motives to your friendship and that can cause complications. That or it may come off as a bit weird to call someone a friend these days.
That’s might’ve been a me thing since I was pretty awkward.
Anyway, having an inner circle that you can confide in or look for solutions to your problems is incredible. If you’re looking for progress, it might just be that you need to mix up who you spend time with most of the time.
Practicing the power of association and all that.
Since this is something that I’m currently working on, here are some of my tips for these sorts of things:
- First, reach out to people you chatted with before. Whether you talked a little bit or a lot and don’t anymore, don’t be afraid to reconnect with people. As much as people resist change, we do change a surprising amount over the span of a year or two.
- Second, be interested in the persons life. You don’t need to badger the person with hundreds of questions. Aim for authenticity and focus on topics that both of you can enjoy and discuss. Friendship is built on common ground and if you can talk about a subject and show interest, go for it.
- Join groups and be active. Provided you live in a decently populated place, Meetup.com is a great place to connect with local people and make connections. Outside of that, you can consider Facebook Groups or other online communities.
Powerful Actions: Remember Pain Is Part Of The Process
There is the saying of “No pain, no gain” but I associate that with working out. Instead, I like how Mark Mason put it when he railed on The Secret for being an awful book:
… I believe that changing and improving your life requires destroying a part of yourself and replacing it with a newer, better part of yourself. It is therefore, by definition, a painful process full of resistance and anxiety. You can’t grow muscle without challenging it with greater weight. You can’t build emotional resilience without forging through hardship and loss. And you can’t build a better mind without challenging your own beliefs and assumptions.
I agree with this sentiment that if you’re looking to make any kind of change in your life, you’ll have to accept pain. You have to accept there is a negative experience in your life before you can make a positive change after.
The essence of self improvement is about looking at what you are lacking in life that speaks to your purpose, accepting that pain and finding a way to get there.
The purpose of this one of the powerful actions is so that you are mentally prepared. That what you are going to do is going to cause some pain to you in some manner. Furthermore that you are okay with that. It makes accepting it easier since we naturally would avoid this stuff. We’d seek comfort and try to remove any kind of negative emotion from our lives.
I find that a terrible way to live as one needs to accept some level of risk or pain in order to learn, to grow, to develop, and to desire. When we see something wrong, we strive to change it. It’s human nature. Leaning into that nature allows you to grow.
Make Fear A Friend Or Mentor
On the note of pain, fear is another emotion many people avoid along with worry. For me, I consider them as mentors. As Tim Ferris said:
What we fear most is what we most need to do.
Fear serves as a painful reminder of what we need to do in order to grow. Fear can provide a great motivator as you push yourself away from something that you don’t want in your life.
If you try to run away from it, it only gets worse for you as time goes one.
From my own experiences it took me several years to improve my speaking skills. It took me also a decade before I seriously took action to improve my health and change my physical body.
The reason those took so long was fear. Not fear of failure, but what other people would think of me. I’m still to some extent self-conscious of what others think of me. The same is true with my body since I was more out of shape and my figure is one of my greatest vulnerabilities.
But the more that I’ve worked past those things through controlling my emotions and going to the gym, a lot of those fears became more manageable. Fear taught me how to overcome those things and push myself to be more consistent to some degree.
Fear is either your worst enemy or one of your greatest mentors. How you view it is up to you, but only one of those views will bring you more growth while the other will kick you down and keep you there.
Do Routine Check-ups
Every week, take some time to check on yourself. It’s an opportunity to look at your goals and see how you are progressing. It’s also a good time to reflect on what you are learning and developing. This is also a good chance to look at roadblocks or things that you can adjust in your life.
On top of weekly check-ups, I’d also look at your progress over the course of a month. Go over the same sort of things you do for your check-ups, but go into deeper detail. If you see any consistent habits that don’t serve you, contemplate on why you are doing them or whether you can replace them with something else.
Doing this will prove useful, especially when combined with the next powerful action.
Powerful Actions: Know Your Triggers
Triggers are what sequence of events will lead you down to do a specific task. Triggers cause both positive and negative reactions and prompt us to do good or bad habits. When people procrastinate, there’s going to be a trigger that causes you to do that. If you go out for a walk every day or go to the gym, there will be triggers that lead you to that.
Knowing what these are can help you to identify easier methods to doing that activity. The reason this work is due to this being how our brain is wired. When you wake up, you follow a strict set of routines that you do automatically without thinking. This is a result of you training your brain to follow that sequence every single time.
Depending on the day, those neuron pathways will light up which prompt you to do those actions. Those pathways influences on you are only as strong as your persistent action on them.
To remove neuron pathways is as simple as looking at those triggers and either altering them or training yourself to do something different.
For example, one thing that I’ve been training myself to do is play less video games. How I’ve done that is shift where I find joy in life and strengthen those pathways. Slowly but surely, I’m training myself to seek more joy and fulfilment in my work. Even later at night to some extent.
Overall, looking at your triggers can push you to reinvent yourself on some level and bring forth new developments in your life.
Have A Pet In Your Life
My experience with taking care of pets is very limited, though I can’t argue the fact that looking after one is very beneficial. They are a source of joy and comfort, able to soothe anxiety and other mental conditions.
It also teaches you a lot about responsibility.
While they are easier to maintain compared to children (as I can imagine), pets can give you a glimpse at the life of being a parent. You have to feed them, give them attention, and generally accept the fact they can and will disrupt your day from time to time.
But through those experiences, you can learn a lot from those experiences.
Accepting disruptions can teach you to better manage your time, and learn to focus more on the times where you are free.
Giving them attention can teach you about showing care, compassion and understanding. Even if it’s to a furry creature, animals do understand emotions. This can help improve your relationships with other people.
And feeding them teaches you to be more committed and invested in someone. A relationship fades if you don’t nurture and grow it. A plant will wither if you neglect water. Pets will die if you don’t feed them.
Save Up Money
Managing finances is a skill not many people are not good at. Countless books have been written on the subject and one of the most popular blog types out there is on personal finances.
Even with a wealth of information out there on the subject, people are still struggling. While I can say part of the problem is the whole financial system, some of it can be boiled down to poor management of money.
My cousin recently dropped a couple hundred on cards and expansions on a board game. The cards he got his money’s worth, especially if he was to sell them. The expansions on a board game weren’t wise since the game itself is best played with four people. My cousin and I played it only once with it being only me and him.
That’s not to say I’m not guilty of poor financial purchases either. There’s been a few, but not many.
Instead, my focus has been on saving up as much money as I can and investing wisely in it.
At the end of the day, money does provide experiences in some fashion. They lead to new things and developments in your life. Being able to pursue or afford something is a culmination of you saving up for something larger and delaying other smaller things that you could spend money on before.
If you want to be making progress, look at your triggers revolving around money. Check your mindset and attitude towards spending money. From my experiences, your attitude and thought process around money will determine how you spend it and on what.
Powerful Actions: Experience Life
The final thing is to be getting out there in life and trying something different.
I’m sure that these powerful actions will prompt you to make changes in your life and thus new experiences for you. That said, there is also a joy to getting out and doing something different.
If you’re aiming to learn something new, consider paying for a course rather than reading it through an article.
Take on challenges if you’re training yourself to develop a new habit. You can also consider using apps to keep track of goals and build commitment.
The idea is to make small changes in your life and make a big deal about them so you pay attention to them and adopt them in your life. Even if these changes are small, they can make a world of difference in your life. You have no idea what making a slight change in your life can do to your entire life now and moving forward.
As such, I’d take these actions to heart and put them to practice. For me, they’ve helped develop myself in ways I couldn’t have imagined when I started this journey. And I’ll continue to change and grow.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon