Making decisions… this is the defining ability of humanity.
We can do more than react to life’s challenges instinctively. We can look forward, decide what we want, and act accordingly.
This ability gives us power beyond our wildest dreams and yet so few of us utilize it anywhere near it’s full potential.
Life is Hard
That’s why decisions even exist. If we lived in a perfect world we would have no need to even make them. We wouldn’t have to choose between the path of sunshine and rainbows and that of misery and torture. It would be a no-brainer.
Unfortunately for us, however, this world is imperfect. There is bad in everything good and there’s good in everything bad.
Most decisions are not easy to make. They involve some kind of sacrifice to get something deemed to have a higher value. You have to give something up to get something better.
If you decide to be a better athlete you give up some of your free time, you give up some of your sleep, you give up comfort and replace it with pain.
But it’s not in vain.
You’ll become stronger. You’ll become faster. You’ll have more mental tenacity.
Most of our lives consist of indecisions
Making a conscious decision means actively doing something different than you would do by default. That’s hard. That’s counterintuitive. That feels uncomfortable.
Even if there’s something we want to gain, we can’t see past the pain. We can’t always convince ourselves that what we want is worth what we’ll have to go through.
This occurs on varying degrees of magnitude every day of our life.
Indecisions are a product of “but.”
I want to go meet that beautiful girl, BUT I can’t think of anything to say.
I want to have deeper connections with the people in my life BUT I can’t open up to them.
I want to have a higher job in my company BUT I don’t think I’m the strongest candidate.
We all have desires. We all want to be more. We all want to have more.
but it’s hard.
We come up with stories for ourselves
We come up with these stories for ourselves where we decide we’ll go after what we want tomorrow.
That turns into go after what we want “someday.”
That turns into telling ourselves that it’s just some crazy vision that could never happen. We’ll tell ourselves we’re being greedy and we should be satisfied with what we have.
That turns into convincing ourselves that “we’re happy with where we are.”
But you’re probably not buying it yet. All people can’t actually think this way, I mean look at spiritually enlightened monks. They are fulfilled with having nothing.
They are an example of the real end goal: self growth.
It’s really about being the kind of person who can go up and talk to beautiful girls when they want to.
It’s really about being the kind of person who can share profoundly intimate details about themselves with people they connect with.
It’s really about being the kind of person who is capable of doing that more important job.
But how do you live on purpose?
The only way to change your life is to change how you think about your decisions.
You won’t ever be “ready” to go meet that girl.
You won’t ever be “ready” to be vulnerable.
You won’t ever be “ready” to go after that promotion.
The things that you really want in life are terrifying. If they don’t scare you then you’ve convinced yourself you want less than you truly desire.
So even if you truly admit that you want these things, when the moment comes to act on it, you’re frozen. You can’t do it. You aren’t ready.
You just need 5 minutes to get in the right mindset. You just need to be in a better mood. You just need to read more books on the topic first.
The people who do amazing things realize that they will always need 5 more minutes. They will always need to be in a better mood. They will always need to read more on the topic.
But they act anyway.
Getting what you want isn’t about being ready, it’s about taking the leap.
Step 1: Decide what you want
This is the fun part. All you have to do is dream.
What would you want in life if you could get anything your heart desired without having to put in any effort.
Write it down. That makes it real. Thoughts are powerful, but short of a fleeting electrical pulse, they aren’t tangible.
An idea can’t keep you warm on a cold night. An idea can’t keep you from drowning. It’s the action you take because of the idea you had that truly matters.
When you write it down you make it real. It now exists outside of your mind. It now exists in the real world.
Step 2: Figure out why you want it
This part is easy too. Just be honest with yourself. It’s not a bad thing to want something. It’s part of being human.
Why do you want to talk to beautiful, amazing girls or guys?
– I’m attracted to them
– I want to be around them
– I want to have meaningful relationships with them
Why do you want to have deeper connections with people in your life?
– I highly value deep human relationships
– I want to maximize the benefit of the relationships I have
– I want to have a connection beyond what I’m having now
Why do you want to get that better job?
– I want to have more money to pursue my interests
– I want to have more authority
– I want to challenge myself
Write down just three reasons why you want what you want.
Step 3: Create a plan
Create a plan for how you will start doing this for next year.
What actions could you take next year to make this goal a reality?
– read books about the topic
– be around people who are good at doing it
– just go do it and make it happen incrementally.
Make your list for what you’ll do next year.
Step 4: Jump off the cliff
Have your list for next year?
What’s the first step?
Do it today.
You won’t be more ready in a year. You just think you will be because when you imagine the situation, you just imagine yourself being ready.
Imagining that dream is necessary. Without doing it you’d never realize what your goal is.
But that vision isn’t real. It’s imaginary. It’s helpful but it’s not true.
You won’t ever be more ready than you are today.
Greatness is about doing things you don’t want to do because you want to result.
Greatness is about looking at the opportunity and not at the pain in front of it.
If it scares you, you’re on the right track.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
You’ll never be ready.
But will you be courageous?
Yesterday you said tomorrow.
Ryan writes about crashing funerals and exploring abandoned drainage tunnels over at DopeStoke. It’s time to start going to bed a cooler person than when you woke up.
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