“C’est la vie”, she said with a heavy sigh, briefly sharing how things were going on for her. Looking into her dark and a bit sad eyes, I could almost see a question written all over her face: “Is there more to life than my mere average existence?”
I am going to call this lady Jane, which is not her real name but she is a real character, whom I met during one of my visits to Ukraine, where my parents live.
Anyhow, Jane is a great person, who works really hard but her life seems as dull as the wild waves crashing aimlessly against the seashore. It is blunt, uninteresting, and boring. It seems like she is stuck in a meaningless rut: work and home. She is frustrated because she can’t afford a better quality of life for her family and herself. She has high aspirations but doesn’t have a clue how to get out and mould her life into something truly spectacular.
Life doesn’t have to be a frozen wasteland, where there is no room for growth and dreams and where you are at the mercy of fate.
What if you believe there is more to life? What if it could be bigger and better? What if you could have more freedom, joy, meaning and fulfilment?
If you ask yourself these questions, it is a great sign. Your inner potential is seeking a bigger expression in your life for a reason.
You need to listen to this voice.
It is your voice of truth.
What are the practical initial steps in gaining control of your life?
- Look at yourself in the mirror. Assume a total responsibility for your life. Everything you have in your life: the good, the bad, and the ugly has panned out as a result of your previous choices, decisions and actions whether they happened with your conscious awareness or not. Even your thoughts impact your life. Especially your thoughts, as they influence your attitude and behaviour. Taking responsibility of your life is like editing your story of life that you’ve written. You notice some mistakes, or you don’t like some chapters, or you feel some characters don’t belong in your story and instead of blaming yourself or other characters in your book, you rework the parts that don’t stimulate your brain or inspire your imagination. You write the story that rolls over your like a sunrise filling up your holes with gold and light. Living your dreams is possible, believe me, but you need to be responsible for your own life and all your outcomes. I challenge you to link 3 results you have in your life now to your previous choices or actions. So you could see the cause and effect relationship, where cause is always within you and effect is your outside results. This realisation will help you to be more intentional with your thoughts, actions and behaviours now. That’s how you gain power and control to intentionally shape your future.
- Awaken your awareness. There is a great anecdote shared by David Foster Wallace, “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”” Don’t be like one of those fish, which spend their life in water never questioning what water means. Most people lead their life on autopilot never bothering to think into the implications of their own actions. Don’t be a sleepwalker. I challenge you to devote some time to a conscious thinking in a quiet place with a notepad and a pencil. Evaluate your life, write down how you can improve certain areas of your life, and ask yourself insightful and searching questions. You’ll be amazed at what your brain can come up with when it is stimulated for a conscious thinking. I completely agree with the good old Socrates, who said, ”The quality of a man’s life is in a direct proportion of the quality of questions he is willing to ask himself.” Try it yourself.
- Bring clarity to your desires. I read somewhere that you cannot hit the target you don’t see. Most people have no clue what they want in their life. They just know that they want better conditions and circumstances, but what that better looks like is as clear as mud. They never ask themselves self-searching questions: what do I want my life to look like? How much money do I want to make? What value do I want to bring to the world? Contemplate about your vision and write it down. Clarity is the key. Clarity in thinking brings clarity in actions. If your vision is clear and compelling, it becomes easier for you to take intentional actions. Crystal clear vision expands your awareness on what your next step is, and then you take another step and another.. And all over sudden, you have confidence in knowing where you are going!
- Be inspired by your big dream not intimidated by it. When you think about your big dream or goal, and it appears million miles away and you feel this huge gap and you focus on lack. Instead of looking at and becoming frustrated by how distant your goal is, focus on your next step. What can you do now? Right this moment. It could be anything: signing up for a course, reading a book, writing down your vision, waking up earlier, creating a “to do” list, developing a healthy habit, going to the gym. Listen to the your intuitive voice of intention that whispers to you to get your bud out and do something. Take action now! Do something now! Commit to something now!
- Don’t wait for the perfect moment to come. Because it never will. You will never feel like it. To make an intentional change almost always requires exiting comfort zone. If you wish to grow, growing pains is just the part of the process. Think of a rubber band: it is fit for purpose when it is stretched. Look, I am not asking you to do anything stupid, reckless or dangerous. Exiting comfort zone shouldn’t be life threatening; it should be life changing. A bird learns to fly when she is in the air not in the nest, so you need to jump and build your wings on the fly. Whatever that jump looks like for you (taking a public speaking course to develop confidence; asking the man you like on a date; creating a business plan, calling that potential client, or changing your occupation, you get the drill) But you need to jump. Way before you are ready. And way before you have everything figured out.
- Believe in yourself. Do you realise how special and unique you are? It’s not your fingerprints or your spiral of DNA that makes you exceptional. Your worthiness is your birth right. You don’t need to earn it or come to deserve it. It is already given. You are enough. You are whole and complete, simply because you were born. It is simply a matter of realising who you really are. The universe is seeking a grander expression through you. It is seeking to express its wonder through you. The same power that rises the sun, blows the winds, pushes the waves of the ocean, makes the buds of flowers bloom, and governs the entire universe is present within you. Use your power. Believe you can and you will! If you believe in your dreams they might come true. But if you believe in yourself, they will come true.
The power to gain control over our life and mould it into our dreams lies within ourselves. That power is triggered with your conscious decisions
During our brief conversation with Jane, when I shared success and happiness mindset strategies along with my own story from poverty in a Ukrainian village to building my dream life in the USA, marrying a man of my dreams, frequently travelling around the world and absolutely loving what I do, I could see her eyes lit up like a Christmas Tree. I handed her a copy of my book, which shares what I’ve just mentioned, with a big hope she would take action on what we talked about.
“Life is like a flute. It may have holes and emptiness, but if you work on it carefully, it can play magical melodies.” Unknown