We all have deeply held values and beliefs, some of which we consciously know of and others that are buried within our subconscious.
When it comes to achieving a certain outcome these convictions can help us or they can hurt us.
Unfortunately most people don’t ever attain worthy goals primarily due to two reasons.
The first is that they use the wrong approach to accomplishing them.
As James Clear details in his book Atomic Habits, most people focus on outcome based habits (I’m going to start meditating) when the secret is to focus on identity based habits/who you want to become (I am going to become a person who meditates and finds profound peace in my life by blocking out 30 minutes each morning specifically to meditate).
The second is that most of their beliefs are outdated or unknown (I failed a writing class 15 years ago in college so that still makes me a bad writer today).
To fix this, it starts by taking the time to think about your values so that they are perfectly clear and understood. It’s quite possible to uncover that you don’t like some of these beliefs that have gone unquestioned and not even consciously recognized for years, decades or even a lifetime.
If you’re having a little bit of trouble getting started, use the powerful scenario below:
You are ill and going to pass away very soon. You have one piece of paper and a pencil to leave your unborn children with (if you have children, imagine them still being very young). Use this paper to write down the values, wisdom and insights that you want to leave your children with in hopes that they apply and embody them throughout their lifetime.
Below are mine.
-Practice to appreciate what you have right now in this very moment, as nothing is permanent and all can be taken away without asking or notice.
-Don’t compare yourself to others, but rather focus on the potential that you are capable of becoming/achieving
-Be aware of the thoughts in your own head and focus on turning negative ones into positive ones.
-Realize that the little moments in life are what living is all about and are what make up our lives.
-Smile, laugh, be silly and don’t take 99% of life seriously.
-When you find yourself stressing, worrying, anxious or sad just remember that you have the option to try to look at the situation from different perspectives, ones that can bring out more positive emotions and minimize the others.
-Your body and your mind are your temple, take care of them and put them in an environment where they can thrive.
-Don’t solely rely on others for anything, remember that everything you ever need can be found within.
-Stand up for what you believe in and never fear failure (it’s temporary), but rather welcome it with open arms as when you fail you gain experience/value lessons that help long term.
-Read books, as many as you can on topics of interest/what you think may help you grow, and be sure to take notes and revisit them.
-Take time to disconnect and be with your thoughts.
-A positive attitude and persistence is the secret to attaining any worthwhile goal.
-Be impeccable with your word and always ask questions.
-Writing/journaling is a powerful medium in becoming happier and more grateful, as well as an effective way to motivate yourself to become who you want to be.
-Share your learnings and experiences with others. As you strive to learn and grow, you can help those around you do so as well.
-Fall in love with the journey and your daily routine of rituals, as this is one of the secrets to true happiness and success, not any specific goal or accomplishment.
By thinking about and then writing down the values and beliefs that you’d want your children to possess, you’re naturally creating the identity and person that you ultimately want to become.
Whether you consciously pursue these virtues or not, your subconscious mind has already begun to activate them and before you know it you’ll start to act in alignment with and become them (which paradoxically helps you also achieve your outcome based goals).
“Before you can do something you first must be something. Act as the person you wish to become.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe