We have all been there, looking at something and wishing we had it. The girl, the car, the money, the family, the lifestyle…but then we tell ourselves “Yeah, but that’s not me”. The people who get that are cut from a different cloth and we keep telling ourselves that until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We waste the wings we got believing the entire time that we can’t fly and that it’s impossible for us. We don’t even see our wings most of the time.
1. The Invisible
This is the area we know nothing about since it’s is not even on our radar. We don’t know that it exists, only when we discover (by accident) or someone else tells us that, do we move the needle from the Invisible to Impossible.
Let me give you some examples of The Invisible.
- Ibrahim Hamato – A table tennis player with no hands. He plays using his mouth and neck, but the biggest surprise is how he serves.
- Building a 15 story hotel in 6 days in China is an every day activity.
- Charlie Munger reads 500 pages per day. Considering that the average book is around 250 pages, that means he reads 2 books a day or 650-700 books a year. An average American reads less than 4 a year.
The Invisible now becomes visible. You know that it’s happening somewhere out there but not here, not where you are, not in your life. So that’s why the Invisible becomes the Impossible. “Oh wow, that’s amazing. But it’s impossible for me.” So welcome to the second stage.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
2. The Impossible
This is the area of get-rich-quick schemes. This is where the hagglers mostly operate, promising to give you something that would move you from the Impossible area to the Actual area, but it doesn’t work like that in real life. You are not accustomed to that kind of lifestyle and you can’t handle the jump.
If you need a proof of that, just look at what happens to the lottery winners who go from rags to riches. The suicide and depression rate within that group is one of the largest in the country, and the paradox is that they were happier with their lives before they won the lottery.
All of the steps need to be taken in order and you can’t jump through them. You need to feel each and every single one of them and figure out how to get from one to another. From the area of the Impossible, you start questioning how. How do I get there? How do I move ahead? This asking leads you to the mindset shift (from fixed to growth mindset) needed to make something impossible, possible.
3. The Possible
When you shift your mindset from a fixed to a growth mindset, that’s when you reach the Possible area. You start believing that it is possible FOR YOU to achieve that. It is no longer something which exists out there for someone else and it’s no longer for the people you think are made from a different cloth.
You start believing (and proving to yourself) that there is no “made from a different cloth.” You realize that there is just hard work, perseverance, and belief. Now, the biggest hurdle has been jumped and it’s time to give your mindset shift complementaries. The complementaries are based in knowledge and skills. When you start working in the area of the Possible, that’s when you step into the next area of the Probable.
4. The Probable
This is where you mix your mindset shift and the belief that you can do it, with the necessary knowledge and skills to do it. This is where your Why and How gets its What.
In the area of the Probable, you learn the What of the craft. You learn how to make your dream and your vision a reality. This is the part where habits and every day (compound) actions take place. This is one of the longest periods because most skills take so much time to become second nature.
If you want to achieve your vision and dream, you need to attain mastery in the field which would bring you there. Mastery simply takes time, but don’t be discouraged, you are now on the right path and success is inevitable. Just keep on pushing, keep on working, keep on grinding and believe it will happen. When it happens, you will begin to enter the last phase.
“No one gets very far unless he accomplishes the impossible at least once a day.” – Elbert Hubbard
5. The Actual
This is where your vision and your dream becomes a reality. This is the end goal you will feel, touch, smell, and live through. But only if you believe, work for it and achieve mastery. This is the place where dreams come true but it isn’t a magical place that fell from nothing. It is a product of your beliefs and hard work you put in for years until you saw the desired results.
At that moment, the hard work and perseverance finally pay off in the best feeling in the world, the feeling of accomplishment. The moment when you conquered not the people around you or the environment, but the moment when you conquered yourself.
And because of that, you are now living your dream in the reality.
On to the next goal you have. The circle never stops, the only thing that changes is our position on it. I have obtained the Actual in one area of my life, but in the other one, I am still at the Probable phase so there is still a lot of work to do.
How about you? Which area of your life’s dream are you in and how would you continue your pursuit towards the Actual? Share with us below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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