Accomplish What You Want Most in Life
But first you must know what that is.
Posted January 9, 2019
“The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.” — Kahlil Gibran
Are you suffering from tomorrow-ness?
Many people spend most of their time thinking about tomorrow. By anticipating what might happen, we forget to live in the present moment. We never have time to do what we want, but fool ourselves thinking that things will be different in the day to come.
Tomorrow is a fantasy—we can’t finish something if we haven’t started yet.
Stop postponing your life until tomorrow—start living the life that you want today.
We become our excuses. We don’t have time; we make time. Excuses are an easy way out for not starting doing what you want most in life.
This Is Your Life
Change happens the moment you stop fearing and start wanting something. Most people fail to accomplish what they want because they don’t jump into action. Procrastination is a passive behavior—we spend time observing our dreams rather than pursuing them.
Overthinking is another harmful behavior—we try to make sense out of what we love until nothing makes sense. Most things in life must be experienced, not scrutinized. Thinking things over and over paralyzes us by diminishing our cognitive processes.
If babies were overthinkers, we wouldn’t learn to walk.
When we think too much, we start to doubt ourselves. When we judge our abilities, not knowing something becomes a barrier. To become good at something we must experiment first. To achieve what you love requires courage—you must take the first step into the unknown.
If you want to do something different, people will tell you “watch out.” Not because they want to protect you—it’s their own fear they want to hide. There’s one thing most successful people have in common. And it’s not just courage—they have clarity. Once you know what you want it’s easier to go for it.
Overthinking clouds our dreams. When you really know what you want, you become unstoppable. So, how can you get there?
Choose What You Want Most in Life
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” —H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Having a dream to pursue is like having a beacon—no matter how hard the storm, you will always get there safe. Having a life purpose gives you clarity and direction. Success is not measured by what we achieve, but by the legacy we leave behind.
Live the life you want is not a motto, but about designing your life around a clear purpose. Here’s the framework I use in many of my workshops to help participants clarify what they want most in life.
It has three key elements:
Your purpose: Your Why. What drives you. What makes you enjoy what you do regardless of the difficulty. It provides clarity and drives your actions—especially your choices.
What you do: All the activities you perform (routines, work, hobbies, roles you play, etc.).
Your achievements: The result of your actions. It doesn’t matter how driven you are or how much you do. The impact you create becomes your measure of personal success.
When what you do is aligned with your purpose, it drives personal fulfillment.
When what you do creates a positive impact, it gives you the motivation to continue doing it or to do it more often or wanting to improve your craft.
The intersection between your purpose, what you do, and what you achieve defines the life that you want.
This is not a perfect diagram thought. Life is not. It’s just a simple representation that your life is a system. When the three elements play together, it’s because you are heading in the right direction.
But, first, you have to cross the line.
The Point of No Return
“Beyond a certain point, there is no return. This point has to be reached.” —Franz Kafka
Your life is out of your control—realizing that will make you free. You cannot either control external events nor other people. But you can control your choices. Your decisions will get you closer (or not) to accomplish what you want the most in life. Waiting for tomorrow doesn’t help.
To cross the line, you must find a point of no return.
Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortéz was on a mission when he landed in Veracruz back in 1519. His commitment to conquer Mexico was such that retreat was not an option. That’s why he ordered his men to burn all the ships. The only way to keep everyone from quitting was to take their transportation back to Spain off the table.
Burn the ships become a synonym of crossing the line of no-return—the moment there’s no way back, the only way to look is forward.
The “succeed-or-die approach” allowed Cortés to achieve what no Spanish conquistador thought possible. He accomplished what he wanted the most. I’m not saying you put yourself into a life-or-death situation, but to get rid of what’s holding you back. We all have a “ship”—it could be comfort, fear or procrastination.
The point of no return is when your purpose and what you do are aligned. No one but you can tell you what to desire. No one is better suited than yourself to design, build, and enjoy the life that you want.
Choose what you want most in life and cross the point of no return. Why wait for tomorrow? Start right now.