Anyone who wants to take the next step in their personal development and transformational journey while creating their legacy for tomorrow needs to read this. Do you want to learn how to change your life around? Then learn how to change your story.
Everyone is fighting his or her own battle. Jim Rohn, American executive and motivational speaker, reminds us that it is not what happens – it is what we do that determines our future.
Examine your habits
Habits are at the core of everything you do. Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power Of Habit”, describes habit as “the difference between who you are and who you want to be”. In this section, the aim is to help you better understand how you can change your habits and what impacts that will have on your life, business and society.
Duhigg suggests that we utilize the three steps of habit to serve our transformation: cue, routine and reward.
The cue is what triggers you to do the habit, for example, placing your mobile phone within arm’s reach before going to sleep.
The routine is the behavior you automatically engage in, which for this scenario would be checking emails and social media as soon as you awake.
Lastly, you will receive a “reward” for completing the routine, such as the latest gossip or trending news via your emails, social media or favorite news outlet. Perhaps you may learn of a rise in stock investments or even receive news of a friend or relative giving birth to a new baby.
Studies have shown that your brain’s activity only spikes twice during what is called a loop. At the beginning, to figure out which habit to engage in, and at the end, when the link between cue and routine is what Duhigg calls reinforced. That is how habits are built and the stronger the link gets, the harder it becomes to change. However, you can still do it.
In the case of the mobile phone, you might be tempted to scroll and update the moment you awake and if you weren’t able to immediately “connect” with that part of your world, experience withdrawal or even become irritated and on edge. The trick is to switch the routine and leave everything else intact. If you are trying to reduce wasted time and unproductive use of social media, it is incredibly simple: how about placing a great book, journal or diary planner at your bedside the night before?
Here are three uncommon ways in which you can grow your willpower, do something that requires a lot of discipline, plan for worst-case scenarios and honor the tasks that you have assigned as significant rather than giving first priority to tasks assigned by others.
Practice every day
Once you know what your new healthy habits are, practice them every single day – no matter what. One of my favorite hints for busy professionals is to have a back-up plan in case circumstances arise. Do not give yourself a way out.
In 1519, Captain Hernan Cortez landed in Veracruz to begin his great conquest. Upon arriving, he gave the order to his men to burn the ships. One author’s rendition of the story suggests that at that very moment, one soldier onboard laughed and Cortez promptly thrust his sword into the man’s chest and asked the crew if anyone else had any objections. The men burned the ships.
The lesson: retreat is easy when you have the option. What Cortez did was force himself and his men to either succeed or die. Retreat was not an option. Successful people know that to achieve a level of success that is extraordinary, there are times when we need to “burn the ships”.
What are your ships?
Focus on self-reflection
Self-reflection is defined as “meditation or serious thought about one’s character, actions and motives”. As you read this the second and third time, extract ideas and discover more about yourself; take a step back and reflect on your life, behavior and beliefs. My writing growth and contribution has been successful, I believe, because I have always sought to engage the reader’s heart. Humility has helped me to search my own heart and identify with the realistic pains of the audiences I attract. This grounding has and continues to allow me to serve while acknowledging my own imperfection.
One of the popular questions on Eliot Kelly TV on Facebook is, “Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently?” Post-interview feedback often suggests this was the question the special guest resonated with the most. I do not think I am alone in admitting the cliché to be true: hindsight is 20/20. Could foresight be 20/20 and serve you?
Self-reflection makes room for foresight. Foresight is planning for what we think will happen before it happens. It is about setting goals and then taking small actions, regularly and deliberately over time, to achieve your larger objectives.
You have read this far and that means that I know something about you. You are ready to open your parachute. So jump.
Stop making excuses and move past your fear; get clear on what you want specifically, measurably and with a time or deadline. If you do not have this designed already, then now is the time to create that thirty-second clear vision. You have been to the seminars, you have already learned about smart goals, you have read all the books, now all you have to do is apply what you have learned.
In the next section, we will discuss a little bit more about creating an environment for success, but for now, come to grips with the fact that everyone cannot go and grow with you. Take action. Isaac Newton identified that an object at rest stays at rest; an object in motion stays in motion. The only way to make progress is to take action and keep moving. Self-reflection helps you to avoid getting wrapped up in the enormity of your whole objective and gives you a focus on the task at hand.
Imagine yourself in the future at a point in which you have achieved great personal and business success. What is it that you have accomplished? What does your life look like?
Surround yourself with good people
Gardening is one my favorite activities. It has taught me so many lessons as it relates to my mind, body and spirit. No focus on transformation would be complete without taking into consideration the potential impact of our environment on us. If we were plants, a good gardener would most likely recommend that we be watered well and placed in a well-lit and warm environment.
When we spend quality time with good people who genuinely love and care for us, we develop a natural support system for the new habits we took on earlier and we are able to rewrite our story in a nurturing environment. As I write this article, I am sitting overlooking the skyline of Barcelona, Spain, with the infamous Sagrada La Familia within view, but that is not the best part. Behind me at the pool bar are a group of successful entrepreneurs who also share similar passions of helping others, coaching and business development. The most important point of this article or the take-away is that time is not your enemy. Time is your ally. We all have the same amount of time in the day. Make sure that you are honoring your time and using it each day to take you one step closer to your goals.
Keep taking risks
If you want to learn how to change your life, you cannot stay in your comfort zone. The more you push yourself, the easier it will become to rewrite your story and transform your life.
Your potential to transform your world remains dormant until you do something. Do anything. Go. Jump. Fail at something. Fail big.
• Eliot Kelly is recognized as a serial entrepreneur, and has been featured on CNN, BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss and an extensive list of magazines and articles. His four books have been translated in over seven languages and are sold in 29 countries, recently being shortlisted for Best Self-Help and Best Advice Books 2019 by The Author Academy. He is regarded as a top sales, business and leadership management coach who creates opportunities for his success partners through financial literacy and life skills training. He is also a professional speaker and continues to inspire present and future entrepreneurs around the world. Email: email@example.com, LinkedIn: Eliot Kelly, Facebook: facebook.com/eplatinumkelly, Instagram: @eliotkellyofficial.