The average adult makes around 35,000 decisions every day. Some of those decisions are more important than others. Some of them will have very little impact as to how our day will go, but some will change our life course. We always have a choice. We don’t always make the right decision and that is ok. Most times, we will have a chance to correct it and learn from it.
There are 8 decisions that you can make today that will start to change your life overnight. We’re not going to make you choose between two different things here. We’re not saying that “when this comes up in your life, this is what you should do.” We’re telling you what decision to make. Right now.
#1 Take Responsibility for Where You Are Right Now.
Each one of those millions of decisions you’ve made in your life has led you to where you are right now. Our thoughts are driven by our emotions or our emotional state and will result in some kind of action, whether we act directly on our thoughts or if we act indirectly, allowing our emotions to dictate what we do.
Self-awareness is the key to taking responsibility for our thoughts, and ultimately, our actions. In order to change where you are in your life, you must change your actions. In order to change your actions, you must change the emotions driving those actions. You can’t change your past, but you can change the emotional connection you have to those events.
#2 Seek Wisdom
Acquiring knowledge is great and it’s something we should do every day, but knowledge is only a tool. Tools are only tools until you know how to use them and you do actually use them. You can spend some time reading a book or watching a video. You could choose someone to learn something from. Whatever you do, however you do it, do it every day. Dedicate time every day to learning something new.
The next step, of course, is to incorporate that knowledge into your life to create experiences from which to grow. Take the time to learn something new every single day and then incorporate it into your life with intention.
#3 Have a Decided Heart
When we let our brains use us, we begin to over-analyze. We make a decision, but then we need to re-think that decision, and then we need to ask someone what they think of the decision. What we are doing is creating an analysis vacuum, which is really the absence of any good analysis. We’ve talked ourselves in and out of a single decision so many times, we don’t even remember what the original decision was.
Have a decided heart. Some of the greatest leaders and greatest business people in history make decisions very quickly, not out of haste, but they had the information they needed to make a quick decision and they sorted out the details later. Those great leaders are also known to change their mind slowly. Once you make a decision, stick with it and become committed to it.
#4 Choose To Be Happy
Being happy is a choice. We all actually have a choice as to which emotional state we want to live in. For some, this seems unrealistic while others find this an easy choice to make. For those who struggle to see the simplicity of happiness, I teach gratitude.
Gratitude is the one, single emotion that can change your life from suffering to bliss in an instant. When you enter a state of gratitude, your brain releases “happy” chemicals and in that moment of gratitude, you simply cannot be happy and unhappy at the same time. The brain just won’t allow it.
Your brain is primitive. It is your protector. It is always searching for what is wrong or for what could go wrong and you will always find what you’re looking for. If you allow your brain to control, you will always find what is wrong. If you allow your heart and soul to control, you will find gratitude and love. If you look for stress, it is readily available. But, so is gratitude and love. It always comes down to a choice.
#5 Greet Each Day With a Forgiving Spirit
Have you heard the saying, “Not my circus, not my monkey,” or “Don’t make their monkey, your monkey”? What it means is that you are in no way responsible for anyone else’s business and taking care of someone else’s circus may not be the best idea for your own mental and spiritual health.
We all carry extra weight around. We pick it up as we go; in the form of how we feel, the meanings we give things, our blueprints for life, and our emotional states.
One of the most powerful ways to avoid carrying extra weight is through the art of forgiveness. The great thing about forgiveness is that:
People don’t need to ask for your forgiveness
People don’t even need to know that you’ve forgiven them
Forgiveness is all about you. It’s a way of releasing your weight. If someone steals from you in business, can you forgive them? Absolutely. Will you continue to do business with them? Probably not. Will you trust them? Probably not. But, trust is on them. That’s the weight they will need to carry. Forgiveness is about you. If you don’t forgive, you will carry the trust weight. Forgive them and release it.
#6 Persist Without Exception
As you work through many of these things, you will encounter “roadblocks.” They will feel like failures but they are not. Remember our definition for success: “anytime you are moving towards your goal.” You will stumble and fall, but as long as you fall forward, you are learning and succeeding.
One of the greatest ways to persist without exception is to begin your day with intentions. Intentions are the building blocks that will ultimately determine our mission and our purpose. Intentions are our aims and our plans. We can think of them in the micro sense and create daily intentions, or we can think of them in the macro sense and create life intentions.
Intentions are, in a sense, our goals: What do we want to accomplish? How do we want to feel? What actions will we use? What language will we use? By living with intent, we also live with purpose. Let’s say that one of my daily intentions is to be happy. If I am able to pursue “happy” with a purpose, I am going to intentionally steer clear of complainers, I am not going to partake in the negative break room talk, and I am going to intentionally (by accident) end up in places and with people that help me to stay happy.
Did you notice the concepts and words that keep popping up?
Whenever we do things “on purpose,” we do them intentionally and with a plan or an objective in mind.
The amazing thing is that we can actually CHOOSE which plans or objectives we will do “on purpose!”
#7 Do Not Accept Anything
“Accepting” things for what they are is really “Tolerating” them. Tolerating is the ability to endure the prolonged subjection of something, or being subjugated. Accepting something is forcing yourself to carry the weight of its burdens.
Instead, EMBRACE what you have been accepting. When you embrace, something, you allow it a place to exist, but you do not carry the weight of it. “Embracing” something does not mean that you want it to stay that way forever. Embracing is the act of holding by your own free will. Accepting is the act of recognizing as correct.
The main difference:
When you ACCEPT something, it owns you.
When you EMBRACE something, you own it!
Change is inevitable.
One of the hardest things for people to embrace is themselves. People tend to naturally compare themselves to others or their own ideal self. They will find many things that they don’t like, but “accept” as to “just how it is.” Instead, embrace who you are right now. Love yourself and your desire to become a better you.
#8 Take Action … Now!
You must now act intentionally and with purpose.
You have worked very hard to discover some things about yourself and decide on some changes that MUST be made. Do not wait. Decide now and figure it out later. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
If you want something to change, you MUST change something NOW!
Do not wait. If you wait, you’ll allow your primitive brain to justify it. Your outcomes are dictated by your routines. If you want a different outcome, change your routine!
Remember that it doesn’t take a quantum-sized shift in your life. It only takes a 2 millimeter-sized shift. None of this means that you should quit your job, move across the country, or make other major changes. You shouldn’t. You need to make the small changes to get different outcomes first. For instance, a person who struggles with a relationship, should not always leave the relationship to “fix the problem.” Most times, those people end up with a new troubled relationship, only because they haven’t been clear and focused on why the current relationship is struggling.
Constantly PEAR your life. Process, Evaluate, Alter, Repeat. If something is working, keep doing it. If something isn’t working, change it. Build the foundation evenly. Grow steadily and consistently.