I’ve had this habit since I was a kid: every time I go to throw something away, I ask if I can recycle it, in any capacity. I hate throwing things “away.” Almost everything can be recycled or composted. This is a pretty simple habit to get into – just ask yourself EVERY time before you throw something in the garbage, “Does this need to go in the GARBAGE, or can it go somewhere else?”
I realized that it is astonishingly helpful asking yourself before every ACTION (or inaction) you take, “Is this going to lead me to who I want to be?”
Every mouthful you take, everything you buy, all the time you waste online, every moment you spend playing a video game or reading Buzzfeed or watching reruns of shows you’ve already seen 10 times – seriously. And then you say “I have no time.” YOU DO have time.
YOU DO have focus. YOU DO have willpower. It is all about having focus. If you have no idea what you want to be and WHY, then you will have no reason to do anything, really.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” – Bruce Lee
Life is not just something that happens to you, it is the other way around. You are not meant to find yourself, you are meant to CREATE yourself, and creation doesn’t just happen, it takes dedication and decision. You must be tenacious.
So my challenge to you, is to figure out what the hell you want to BE. Then ask yourself, with every movement, and every decision, if that is helping you become who you picture yourself as. Do the work.
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
What to be a writer? Then write. Is spending 20 minutes on Twitter helping you become a writer? No? If you have writer’s block, read about writing. Write anything, free-flow. Don’t even think.
Want to be a martial artist? Is it helping you to shop for shoes when you already have 50 pairs? Or to jam Doritos in your mouth while watching Season 4 of Friends…again? Is it helping you train by buying lots of gear you don’t really need so you can LOOK the part? Or should you be training, or strengthening your body? Stretching? What else can you do instead that would supplement your interest, and make you BETTER?
Want to be a musician? Are you spending lots of time downloading new music and dancing around your living room? Or are you practicing your instrument at any given moment, writing lyrics, and advertising and recruiting band members, learning music programs on your computer, or networking with other musicians?
I can go on and on. Every moment can be utilized. Every bite you put into your mouth. Want a better body? To lose weight? First ask yourself WHY? Every time you eat say, “Is this helping me lose weight? Or is it me facing resistance? Am I feeding my addiction, or feeding my body what it NEEDS?” This is pretty simplistic thinking, but if we can train ourselves to ask ourselves this every time we do something, like I did with my garbage, we will train ourselves to make the most of our lives and move in the directions we want to go.
Are you overweight, obese, and spending hours online every day? How about you spend those hours learning about nutrition, and training your body? You can start ANYWHERE. With a walk, with a few repetitions of weights. With a huge fruit smoothie every morning. There are SO MANY steps you can take, even small ones – but don’t think small forever, THINK BIG. You are capable of SO MUCH MORE than you realize. Push yourself. If you have to take small steps at first, that’s okay, but your dreams are just outside of your comfort zone.
(Secret: Outside of your comfort zone is actually thrilling and the most confidence building place you can ever be – so if you are low in self-confidence, regularly push yourself out of your comfort zone, in the direction of your dreams).
EVERYONE has dreams, or they DID and just forgot. DON’T FORGET what they are.
Ask yourself WHY? WHY do you want to lose weight? To be healthier? WHY? So you can do something athletic? So you can be sexy? WHY? So you can attract a partner? WHY? So you can be loved? You know what is infinitely better? Loving yourself enough to go after something you WANT TO DO. That will give you confidence over anyone else paying attention to you. Do it for YOU, and you alone.
Start now, with whatever you have. Once you are on the path, better tools will show up. It is magnetic. You will meet people and find things to help you along, it is the way of the universe, and the way the brain works. Get on the path, and make every moment count!
(If you can’t tell, I’ve been reading a lot of Bruce Lee stuff lately, heh!)
Recommended Reading: Do the Work – Steven Pressfield