Everyone searches for the perfect meal plan or most optimal workout routine when they would probably be better off searching for the right perspective.
Your mindset and how you approach things like nutrition, exercise, finances, relationships, careers, and so on is the biggest determinant of success.
What are your beliefs, attitude, thoughts, and self-talk like? What kind of books do you read? What kind of people do you surround yourself with? Do you have goals and aspirations? Do you doubt your goals more often than your abilities or do you feel confident in your ability to achieve your goals? …
I wrote blog post back in May on how the quote “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” has always kept me going over these years.
In there I explained that humans have a tendency to think that we are doing poorly (such as being over over-weight) because of our genetics or factors that we can’t control.
Something I realized in my own personal transformation / journey was that I kept getting in my own way. I thought my genetics and the world were against me, therefore I didn’t even try. That lack of effort lead to really poor results, which then reinforced my original belief even further.
Whether you won the genetic lotto or couldn’t have given yourself a worse set of genes if you tried… You can improve yourself one heck of a lot by re-examining your perspective and taking responsibility for all the things that you can control.
Things that you have complete control over and require zero “talent” or “luck”:
- The food you eat and what you drink.
- How often you get up and move around or exercise.
- Your thoughts, perspective, and attitude.
- Getting to sleep early enough.
- Who your friends are and whether they make you a better person.
- The goals you set and the actions you take to achieve those goals.
- How you plan ahead and prepare.
- Being on time.
- Showing up every day or whenever necessary.
- Knowing your priorities, values, morals, and standards well.
- Being coachable and open to other perspectives.
- Self-learning every day.
- Putting in actual effort, rather than just doing enough to get by.
- Practicing verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- Being passionate about the things you enjoy and finding ways to express that passion.
- Minimising distractions.
- Making non-negotiable time to de-stress and have fun.
- Being respectful, grateful, and appreciative.
- Asking lots of questions and constantly seeking answers.
- Smiling more.
Sure, things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes you might forget your lunch at home, get stuck in unexpected traffic, finances are tight, have a young kid that distracts you, or need to work overtime…
But that should be the exception, not the rule.
If you find these kind problems of things coming up CONSTANTLY, then there is a good chance that you are indeed quite talented after all… but, unfortunately, it’s at finding excuses.
Do you have a problem, or do you have an excuse?
I’ve found it quite useful to re-frame every obstacle I face as either a Problem or an Excuse.
If it’s a Problem then that’s FANTASTIC!
Because problems can be solved and you can ALWAYS take a step forwards in some way. No matter how small that step is.
If your problem is time, you can manage your time better. If your problem is money, you can refine your budget. If your problem is energy, you can eat better foods and get more sleep.
Get off Facebook, cancel DSTV, put down your cellphone at night and close your eyes. Whatever it takes to get more time, money, or energy. Always be trying to solve your problem.
If it’s an Excuse then that’s the REAL PROBLEM!
Excuses lead to inaction. They justify why something is so without requiring any additional steps to be taken to address the issue or prevent it from happening again.
Excuses protect you from failing. They stroke your ego and save you from embarrassment. But that’s it.
Failure is feedback. You can’t get better if you don’t fail and learn. Let go of your excuses and take responsibility.
Take action right now:
Don’t close this article, don’t go onto Facebook, don’t check your email or phone for messages. Don’t get distracted.
- Quickly identify 1 thing right now that jumps to mind as being a consistent “problem” in your life.
- Forget about the “perfect solution” and just write down one small step that you can take today to try to solve the problem or at least make it a bit better.
- Then do it.
Want ideas? Drink an extra glass of water, save R100 extra this month, go for a 20 minute walk, plan ahead so that you are 10 minutes early rather than only just on time or probably more likely late, tell the next person you see how much they mean to you, or set an alarm for bed time.