The Reason You Might Be Stuck In Life Although You Hold The Key To Your Self-Actualisation
The truth is we default to sleepwalking in life.
You start your day energised, plan your activities and get going but at one point you lose track of your progress and regress to state of unproductivity that you will regret tomorrow and will blame yourself for “laziness”. The truth goes deeper than that — it’s about subconscious habits that take over little by little until you give out, which leads to repetitive days and reinforced unwanted patterns. The good news is you hold the key to fixing that and closing the gap between the life you have and the one you desire.
As a developing person, you want to be productive and build up your skills and your assets, and this implies overcoming this discipline issue that steals your days away.
Each person (including you!) has their own games that are incorporated in their cumulative habits.
They are deep within our subconscious and are part of who we are. We obtain them from other people with significant presence in our lives — our parents, our teachers, our friends and colleagues.
We default to these games when we get the corresponding cue — getting tired, getting scared, when a conflict surfaces, when you overwhelm yourself with too many tasks, etc. — and then we fast forward through the day, as if we were sedated.
The games may be blaming someone else, playing victim, playing martyr or self-neglect — whatever left a negative impact on us and has been deposited somewhere in the attic of our brain and, by it’s own mechanism, creeps into our life and shapes our behaviour to our detriment.
Are we powerless? Of course not! Not all the time, at least.
And when we do have the power of our agency, we could use it to “prepare the stage” to aid us in regaining control when such moments do occur.
Like how we drink coffee when we need a boost of energy. Or go outdoors to refresh our minds, when we get bored.
The games we subconsciously succumb to control our lives outcomes and shape the years to come.
If you want to be a writer, you have to write; if you want to be a programmer, you have to build software.
There is not one person who wants to be a procrastinator or a squanderer of his talents. Just like there isn’t one person who wants to be unhappy.
Yet, our brains crave comfort and familiarity. And sometimes that means binge eating or watching Netflix all day long.
We don’t actually need to force ourselves day by day into doing things that are “good for us”. We just need to adopt a long-term perspective day by day so we remind ourselves what is important for us and what we want. That is what motivation is all about.
Remembering the motives we have.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Will Durant
Living life unconsciously and being oblivious of our day-to-day habits will only “throw a wrench in the works” of our long-term plans and aspirations.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say.
But they kept building and building, until one day it did indeed become Rome.
This is how you are laying the bricks of your life, daily. Doing a work-related tutorial, adding another article to your work portfolio, watching a course, practicing for getting a certification, calling someone you haven’t talked to in a long time, etc.
The truth is, most people live in the past and say things like “How the years flew by.” But years don’t fly just like that. Days do, if you let them.
So fix your day-to-day.
And the years will be fine.
The Solution: Journal often — every day if you can — and catch yourself when you drift away. Use this in order to give yourself everything you need to get back on track.
You can’t improve what you don’t track.
Maybe you are too tired after work to do anything other than ruminate on front of the TV. Take a 1 hour nap! That would energise you enough to do 1 hour or 2 of useful stuff that you never found time to do before!
Or maybe every time you speak to a certain person you feel drained of your energy and the world looks a little more bleak and gloomy.
I have to advocate for your mental health, and reduce the time you talk to that person! Or maybe don’t talk everyday. Or remove them totally from your life. If you’re not taking care of yourself, what are you actually doing?
Writing is, I believe, the best way to reflect. Because when you write you have to actually put your thoughts in order and commit to a crystal clear opinion. There is not space for unclarity.
And this is the best thing for both mental health and planning: clarity.
If you can’t make time for that, then that’s the sign of self-neglect. However, maybe talking it out with a friend is what you need in order to put things into perspective.
Life is like chess. Moves that aren’t backed by a plan are moves that bring you closer to defeat. There is no such thing as getting lucky in the long term.
The only way to direct your life and steer it in a desired direction, is to take responsibility and act with purpose, not just in long term plans but also in the minute day-by-day actions.