Everything we do requires a skill, get good at something.
Take a look at all of the famous, successful, happy people around the world. None of them were just born like that. Even the prodigies like Mozart, have to work at what they do best. Every single human being on the planet has a handful of skills they are naturally good at, and not all of them are money making skills. But all of them can help get to a place where making money is much easier. Money is not the end goal, but it seems to be the biggest issue when people are caught between pursuing their passions and living to make money. At the end of your life, are you going to be happy about all of the money you earned, or all of the experiences you had?
Of course, many great experiences require money, and money is a necessity. However, it should never be our first priority. There is a simple process to take when looking for a way to happily make money, and throughout the entire process, discipline is the foundation. Without discipline, effort and work are sporadic, random, and wasted. Having discipline automatically creates the need for goals, and with goals come success. We are creatures who naturally seek pleasure, and the completion of goals leads to rewards. Read on to learn this process.
It has taken me almost 20 years to actually act on my passion in a way that I can help others as well as earn a living. For those of you who haven’t been following my blog, my passion is writing. More importantly, writing that helps make a difference in others’ lives. But it took me 12 years of school, dozens of short lived friendships, 5 failed intimate relationships, and many, many nights in tears and frustration. But here I am, and now every day I wake up looking forward to learning how I can help out the world, whether it be for loved ones or strangers.
What many of us fail to realize, is that failures are golden opportunities for success. So if you haven’t realized that yet, here is your opportunity!
Being positive sucks, a lot. There are so many let downs, failures, wrong turns, dead ends, heartbreaks, and feelings of giving up. Being negative, not letting your hopes stay for very long is easy. It is easy to say skip the good feelings and just wait for the bad to keep coming, only letting yourself enjoy the little things like corny jokes and candy bars. Life sucks sometimes. Being happy is hard. Being positive, day after day is extremely hard. With a discipline of daily habits, being negative, giving up gets harder and harder the longer you keep those habits up. The days of not seeing any results do not last forever. Soon, you have a website with over 40,000 words on it, and man would it be sad to see that just thrown away.
Not only do you let yourself down if you give up, but you also let those around you down, who have been watching your progress. Even the ones you do not know are watching, those are the ones who are rooting for you most. In this day and age with the internet, we have no idea how many quiet, happy people are watching, waiting for the right time to jump in and give you that boost to the next level. And if today is your first day of working towards a life you are happy to tell others about, think of what you did last year, all of the skills and habits you wish you started. In a year from now, you will be thankful for the things you do today.
The art of-discipline starts with one small task. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu. Getting the body you want will not happen in a week or even a month, sorry to break it to you. Working out 4 hours a day and then taking a 5-day break to recover won’t get you there either. Small, consistent steps are key. Do 10 pushups, every day. then in a week or two, do 5 more. keep slowly adding to it. The healthy diet you want doesn’t get to 3 meals a day overnight. It starts with cutting out sugary foods. Adding water. Cutting out snacks before bed. Adding vegetables, eating something good for breakfast. Soon, you will have a hard time talking yourself out of them; your ability to shut your excuses up will be strong. The secret to success is a choice, right here, right now.
The process of living happily vs. making a living starts with being the best person you can be for yourself.
Taking care of yourself is the first step in being happy, making a good living and helping others. With that being said, helping others does not require making a good living. It is a requirement to love yourself and be happy with who you are before the help you offer others has any merit or credibility. People will only take your advice seriously for so long before they realize you do not practice what you preach. This has been a big issue in my life for years, and even today I sometimes struggle with it. I tried giving friends and peers advice on how to solve emotional problems when I had not solved my own. I have now learned that in order to help others, I need to focus on me. Those who need help will come on their own.
Self-discipline requires cutting out the bullshit, plain and simple. Of course, this is easier said than done. There are things that all of us know are not adding benefit to our lives, such as playing games on our phone, eating sweets and desserts for breakfast, partying every weekend, scrolling through social media every free moment, spending hours on youtube, or binging tv. The list can go on and on. But sitting on the couch, taking naps, giving up and complaining will only get you exactly where you are. If you are unhappy with your life, do something about it. Create the habit of reading before bed instead of Netflix. Journal your thoughts and feelings instead of texting. And if these suggestions do not help, or are not for you, find what works best for you. Only you can create your own happiness. It comes from within.
The process goes like this: identify what you are good at, whether you enjoy them or not. I have found that my skills are in writing, being honest, public speaking, pitching a baseball, and asking questions. Once you have your skills lined up, find out what you love doing. I love writing, reading, martial arts, building websites, learning about people’s minds and emotions, skateboarding, being out in nature, and traveling. Not all of these passions I am good at and not all of them can earn me a living, at least not at first. What they all have in common if I am to pursue them is persistence, discipline, and patience. When the skills I wish to pursue are put in place, I can turn them into a process that can provide a comfortable living. And while all of this is happening, I am continuing to grow into a positive person that can help others. What meaning does life have if all we pursue is money? What meaning does life have if we live to help others?
Bet on your strengths. Recognize your weaknesses, build on them and add them to your arsenal that helps you conquer your world. All that matters in your life is you. Take what you wish from these words, chew them up, and spit out what doesn’t match your life plan. We’re all doing our own things, and those of us who are happy and content live our lives on our own terms. If you wait around for others to give you permission to be happy, it is going to be few and far between. Live for you.
We only have a finite amount of will power each day to get done what we wish.
Our time on Earth is very precious, yet there is so much of it. There is a fine balance between using time wisely and rushing around frantically trying to accomplish as much as possible. It is much more efficient to spend 2 hours of the day getting one or two tasks done, such as cleaning up the house and reading a few chapters, then it is to make a huge list of chores or tasks that will be overwhelming. We are naturally looking for the easy way out. We are naturally creatures of habit. We are also given the power of free will, even if you believe in the theory of determinism.
Whatever you wish to do with your time, you only have so much of it. Along with that, we only have so much will power each day. There is a lot of things that add to our reserves of energy, and there is a great deal more that take away from it. I’ve thrown in a lot of links in this article, and I do not expect anyone to have clicked on all of them. But there are two that I have written previously regarding substances and choices, and if you can click on any links, please start with this one, followed by this one.
I have learned in a very difficult way, with many repeated lessons, that my life is up to me. My emotions, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions, are my responsibility. Some of those I may not be able to control, such as thoughts and feelings. But I no longer blame any of them, good or bad, on others. I own all of my choices, good or bad; my life is my fault.
Self-discipline is not and has never been easy, for anyone. But there are those of us who complain about the process, only hoping and loving the end goal. And there are those of us who love the journey, the process, the hurdles and the setbacks. Who throws in the towel, and who sees the results they are aiming for? If you have a hard time answering that question, I suggest you start at the top and read this article again.
Feel free to leave a comment, question, or story down below, I love hearing and sharing perspectives!