After carefully studying people for the past few years, I have seen many people, including friends and family, slowly lose control of their lives, whether it be with their finances, health, or even relationships. You have three choices while going through life: you either move forwards, backwards, or stay the same, and unfortunately, there are many people that choose the second option. When I actually stop to think about what these people have in common for this to happen to them, there are a few things that stick out. The first is their confidence or belief in themselves. It’s time to start taking control of your life.
In order for you to live a happy life, you have to believe in yourself, your dreams, and your vision for the future. You almost have to walk around with a little swag, knowing that you’re doing good for yourself, without being arrogant of course. Confidence in yourself is great, arrogance is not. Believe me, there is a difference. You can be confident, but yet be humble at the same time, which is the perfect characteristic combination for success. Being arrogant means that you flaunt what you have, and voice out loud about your success. Arrogant people never make it far in life, and if they do, I can tell you that they aren’t happy. Someone might look happy on the outside, whether it’s with fancy clothes, nice cars, nice house, or even by smiling, but on the inside they might be going through a constant battle. The people who succeed the most in life are the ones who are happy on the inside, regardless if they “look” happy on the outside!
Before I move on, I’ve got to take a minute and define what I feel true success really is. Success to me is not about being rich, but rather being proud of the person you are, what you’ve accomplished, and how many people you have helped along the way. Whenever my time comes to pass, I want people to look back and say that I was successful not because of my financial achievements, but rather because of the great husband, father, and friend I was, how many lives I helped change, the way I carried myself, my integrity, being a great mentor, my ability to lead by example, and the overall amount of positive influence I was able to have on the world. That to me is success. In my eyes, if you’re able to look at yourself at and say that you have achieved every one of those things that I listed above, then you have found true success. I’m not there yet, but I work hard every single day to get there.
Another characteristic that those people have in common, which has a direct correlation to believing in yourself, is that instead of taking small positive steps forward every single day, they take small negative steps, digging themselves further and further into a hole, until they finally reach the point where all they see is darkness. There are two examples that I can think of right off the bat, the first concerning someone’s health. The majority of people in the U.S. that are obese or overweight now weren’t when they were young. Of course that trend is changing now because of the lack of discipline and bad habits that parents are teaching their children, but it never used to be that way. Anyways, the bad eating habits and lack of exercise every single day has lead some people to the point where they are so obese that they can’t get out of bed. At that point, those people have almost completely lost hope, and all they see is darkness. Instead of focusing on doing something positive every day for their health (diet and exercise), they do something negative, leading them down a hole that makes it harder and harder for them to dig themselves out of as time goes on.
Let’s look at the next example, and that’s debt. It’s a fact, the majority of people are in debt. It’s a constant struggle that I see with everyone that surrounds me. I myself even faced debt at one point right out of college, but I was fortunate enough to catch myself before it got out of control, and now I don’t have any financial issues. Again, most people who are in serious debt now were not in debt when they were young. Through constant overspending, lack of discipline, and inability to save money over time, they dug themselves in a hole so far down they they can’t even see the light at the top. It’s the negative steps they took every single day to get them to where they are now.
Instead of taking negative steps, work on taking positive steps forward every single day. You might be thinking, “Well I’d like to, but how do I do that?” The first thing that I recommend that you do is start spending more time developing yourself than you do anything else. The way to do that is by reading personal development books or listening to audio. I have talked to and studied many successful people, and one of the main things they have in common is that they take some time every single day to focus on personal development. You have to get your mind right if you want to succeed. I can’t tell you how much of an impact books like “The Magic of Thinking Big,” “The Slight Edge,” “Personality Plus,” “The Art of Exceptional Living,” and “Talent is Never Enough” have had on my life and success. If you want to take control of your life, this is where it starts. Begin reading or listening to audio at least 20 minutes every day, and I can guarantee you that in a years’ time you will be a changed person.
I notice that this post is getting pretty long, and I still have quite a bit I want to go over, so what I’m going to do is break it into two parts. The next post will be “Taking Control of Your Life: Part 2.”