The things every high-achiever should know
In: Embracing Change1 Dec 2010
Actions that incur the greatest reward – such as pursuing your dreams, starting a business, or changing your career – are often the choices in life that bring you the most uncertainty. For a control freak (like myself) or anyone who develops anxiety from being exposed to uncertainty, it can be hard to pursue those high-reward goals in your life.
Another way to look at this is through the scope of your comfort zone. More often than not, the achievements you wish to reach in your lifetime will require you to step out of your comfort zone to master new skills, try new things, and build new connections. This is never easy because there is no set-in-stone road map to address the who, what, where, when, and how.
If uncertainty and risk stresses you out, the only way to eliminate the stress and anxiety is to experience uncertainty over and over until your comfort zone stretches and adjusts. On average, this takes about 21 days to happen due to the length of time it takes to rewire habits.
The inspiration for this post came about from personally undergoing this sort of painful adjustment process. It took me a little over 21 days to adjust, which is consistent with research conducted on human adaptation and habits. Those three weeks were emotionally and mentally taxing. A few of my friends frequently heard me complain about my circumstances. I had to continually convince myself that it was worth my time to keep pushing forward. And then one day, I experienced a shift in my thought patterns. I was suddenly OK with the circumstances I was in, even though they were roughly the same as they were from the start. I started to see these circumstances as a challenge to help me grow, rather than a hurtful strain.
I firmly believe that it is from this kind of mindset that you can effectively achieve your goals, regardless of the difficulty. In fact, there are many case studies in history to back up the power of overcoming discomfort caused by failure and uncertainty. Use this knowledge to your advantage. It is easier to hang in there and fight through discomfort when you know that a radical and very beneficial mindset shift is in sight (usually within 21 days). This type of mindset shift is the essence of personal growth. In the words of Napoleon Hill: “Thoughts are things.”
I'm Jon Guerrera, a life hacker at heart, and the man behind the scenes here at Living For Improvement. This blog documents all of my successes, failures, experiments and lessons learned as I hack my way to happiness, fulfillment and success.
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Unlimited Drive is the result of four years of diligent research on what drives people to achieve great things. I always wondered how the most successful people in the world could reach such high levels of success and accomplishment. Well, I found the answer and wrote an ebook so I could pass it on to you (for free).
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