Copyright 2006 Joel Sussman
The amazing paradox of success is that everybody knows the secret of how to achieve it, but few are willing to apply the principles that virtually guarantee the attainment of almost anything you want. Its no mystery that if you identify a goal, write down a plan for reaching it, and follow that plan with persistence, determination, and focus, you stand a good chance of realizing your dream or, at the very least, creating an outcome that puts you in a much better place than you were before making the attempt.
Why doesnt everybody make a plan, take continuous action, and pursue their dreams? Why do so many people settle for a measly paycheck, an unsatisfying life, and a humdrum existence? In our society, theres a rampant epidemic of undeveloped potential. The solution will continue to elude the masses because its not something that can be seen, touched, or measured. If youre not producing the results you desire in your life, the problem could stem from concentrating too much on the here-and-now instead of what could be.
The ticket to a higher standard of living and a more fulfilling lifestyle is available to anyone willing to cultivate the states of mind known as faith, hope, and belief. Focusing on the concrete aspects of life rather than the invisible resources that our five senses cant perceive is what 90% of the world does on a day-to-day basis. Obviously its the other 10% (or less) who have faith in themselves, believe in their dreams, and have hope that their actions will propel them to a more prosperous and joyful future.
On the journey to success or happiness, the biggest obstacles are not in the concrete world, but rather in the inner world of thought and imagination. Having your plans and aspirations obscured by self doubt, fear of failure, and the negativity of those around you is a surefire roadmap for going nowhere fast.
So can we blame our parents and teachers for telling us not to be dreamers and not to waste our time on what they viewed as unrealistic pipe dreams? Well, we could, but it would be a lot more productive to take responsibility for our own lives and focus on taking deliberate, consistent, daily action toward the realization of our goals.
A woman who cut my hair several months ago said she was tired of working three jobs for low pay, and was interested in starting an Internet business as I had. I emailed her a few step-by-step instructions for getting started, and, although I never heard back from her, Id be willing to bet she never followed through with the information I gave her. My guess is that she didnt have the courage to embark on something outside her comfort zone of cutting hair and waiting tables. She sounded intelligent and had even taken some computer classes, but her negative inner dialogue probably talked her out of it. What she may not have realized is that when you start moving forward and taking positive action toward a goal, new doors open up and guidance is provided.
Your life is not set in stone; its a continual work in progress. Change begins with a conscious decision, and is implemented one step at a time. Comfort Zone is another way of saying self-imposed limitations. Unless you make yourself a little uncomfortable by expanding the boundaries of what currently feels safe and comfortable, your accomplishments will be unremarkable and your personal growth will stagnate.