Do the same things over and over, and you'll get the same results.
It's easier to eat pizza than run on the treadmill. But it won't do anything for your healthy eating goals. And while no one wants to give up on goals, sometimes we need something to shake us out of our routines.
Usually, it takes a change in mindset. It takes thinking about what's possible instead of what can go wrong. When you start believing you can achieve the things you want--as a glass half full instead of half empty--it's easier to step boldly toward your dreams.
Ask the Tough Questions
A mindset shift starts by asking yourself key questions and opening your mind to new possibilities. This means believing whatever you want is achievable, and envisioning yourself achieving success.
Ask yourself if you have total clarity on what you want. Are your goals clear? Are you living your life, or is your life living you? Are you actively working to obtain certain outcomes? These aren't easy questions to give honest answers to. Reflect honestly about how you're living your life and stepping toward what you really want.
When I first had the opportunity to speak in front of a crowd, I loved it. I talked about how much I enjoyed speaking. Guess what happened? When people were looking for someone to speak at their next event, they asked me. When you know what you want and focus on it, talk about it, and put your energy toward it, you're more likely to achieve it.
When you have clarity about your wants and goals, you don't get caught up in things that don't matter. You know your goals and you work towards them.
Clarity and focus sculpt everything in your life. By taking a larger initiative and breaking it down into manageable steps, it's easier to work toward your goals.
For example, I had friends that graduated college and bought brand new cars, even though their old cars still ran perfectly well. They added an $800 payment to their monthly bills. That's not the best way to hit financial goals.
Clarity helps you avoid common pitfalls that distract from long-term goals. You don't have time for them. They aren't helping you in any way.
So, identify the top three to four things that matter most in your life and work towards them. This is Personal Agility. Every week, reflect back on what you did each day that led you closer to your goals. Did you do what you needed to take the next step?
Open your mind to what's possible. Don't just brainstorm--dreamstorm. It's okay if you don't know exactly what you want but know your general direction. The more steps you take, the more clarity you gain. You don't have to wait until you have everything figured out to start.
I didn't know exactly where my career was going when I started out. In undergrad, I switched my major from computer science to business--and switched again to marketing. I got a job in project management and learned Agile. I started speaking at conferences. Then, I started my own consulting and training company and began working with companies around the world. But even then, I got a chance to DJ and realized I loved it. So, I began DJing as I traveled.
Could I have predicted all that back when I was a computer science major? No way.
I didn't know what I wanted to do at first, but I did my best every chance I got. I continued to grow and develop my skills. It didn't all happen overnight. It took dedication, persistence, and a big dream.
Even sitting at my desk as a project manager, I knew I wanted something bigger. So, I developed my skill set and diversified my portfolio.
Constantly look for opportunities to level up. Get better at what you do, learn something new, get certified--there's always a way to create more opportunities for yourself.
And know most people only see the results of your work. They'll see you as an "overnight success." They don't see the sleepless nights or the days you work until 2:00am. The weekends spent at home working on your business, building your brand, and getting ahead while others were out partying. But you get out of life what you put into it.
So, find clarity, dream big, and take it one step at a time. That's how you take control of your life. Maybe after a decade of hard work, someone will call you an overnight success.