The things every high-achiever should know
Over the past few years, I have been working hard to clean up my diet. It definitely was not an easy task. For every success that I achieved, I failed a hundred times over. I’ve backtracked, regressed, and started over more times than I can count. But most importantly, I stuck with it and the long-term trend since I began has been an overall increase in the quality of my diet and an increase in my energy levels. However, what I find most interesting is that when I temporarily revert back to my old diet due to stress or giving in to a craving for sweets and refined carbs, I feel AWFUL. I suddenly have zero energy, I start falling asleep in class despite getting enough sleep, and stomach aches soon follow. As it turns out, my old diet makes me feel worse NOW than it did when I used it eat that same diet 24/7. I find it amazing that I used to eat nothing but refined carbs, sugar, milk, cheese, and red meat and was still able to function without feeling like utter crap all day.
The way your body re-sensitizes to unhealthy foods once you remove them from your daily diet is a great analogy for how personal growth factors into your life in many cases. Many people are de-sensitized to their current situation because they are used to living in a certain way, in the same way our bodies are able to accustom themselves to a poor diet, to a certain extent. Although people logically acknowledge that they should go about improving their lives, many people feel emotionally comfortable enough with their situation that they aren’t motivated enough to make the change. This is the same as when certain people acknowledge that they should stop drinking soda and eating junk food, but they feel fine for the most part and aren’t excessively overweight, so they don’t have the motivation needed to make this difficult change. Which leads us to the title of this article: you don’t fully realize your situation until you grow past it and reflect. I didn’t truly realize how awful my diet was until I grew past it, adjusted to the benefits of my healthier lifestyle, and then reverted back to my old diet for a day. And this one-day experience has motivated me even more to keep a healthier diet permanently.
But how can you find the motivation that is required to make the initial jump towards improving your life if it’s so easy to become complacent with your current situation? Based on my personal experiences, the key is to be able to vividly picture yourself in the future, having succeeded in altering your circumstances for the better and thoroughly enjoying the benefits of the change. This allows you to grow past your current situation in your mind and be able to begin the process of reflection from there. The easiest way to do this is to talk with someone who used to be in your situation and has grown past it. Listen to their story, learn from their mistakes, and take notice of the benefits that are now apparent in his/her life. Being around role models is a great way to generate motivation and desire to get started. Thankfully, the Internet provides access to many bloggers who write about their successes in every area of life, which gives you plenty of sources of inspiration if you cannot find someone you know personally. Another method is by visualizing your future successes in your mind. It may be hard to do this at first, but by dedicating 10 minutes each night before you go to bed to crafting an image of yourself being successful in your efforts to improve, you will begin to see this image with ease. By being able to picture your success so vividly, it will generate desire that shocks you out of your state of comfort with your current situation. Think back to any cliche movie where the protagonist has a revelation after taking the wrong path down life, staring himself/herself in the mirror and asking, “Is this really what I’ve become?” We’re aiming for that type of effect here, albeit less dramatic.
Can you identify area of your life where you know you should be doing something to improve, but don’t have the motivation to do so? If so, draw two columns on a piece of paper and write down these areas on the left-hand column. On the right-hand column, corresponding to each area, write down a description of what your life would be like if you were to actually achieve the improvement you desire. The more detail, the better. Review this paper often, doing your best to vividly imagine how success would feel as you read the right-hand column.
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.
I also wrote an ebook. If you like what I write on the blog, you should definitely check it out below. Oh, and it's free.
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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