by Dekera Greene Rodriguez
It can be daunting at times to reflect on our dreams, and to see how far away we are from achieving them. While we may want to meet certain milestones, and see items checked off of our lists, life often interferes. Despite the interruptions, we can create opportunities to succeed if we develop six core areas. They are featured below.
1. Study how to making better decisions. There is not going to be one formula or panacea that acts to improve your life. You must engage, on a regular basis, in the study of understanding yourself, and the science of understanding how to make better decisions, so that you can continue improving your position and outlook.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” Habits are decisions that are so ingrained in us, that we no longer reflect before making them. Habits are our minds’ way of saving us from ego-depletion or the withering away of our willpower. This provides us with more energy and reserves to focus on making the decisions we must make.
It is important, then, to inform ourselves as much as we can about how we can develop habits to forego using precious energy on certain aspects of our lives. It is equally important to increase our understanding and awareness of ourselves, and what our aims are so that we can use our knowledge and resources to elect choices that most benefit our well-being.
Whether it’s listening to an audiobook or podcast episode or reading articles and books on the topic, immersing yourself in figuring out how to make better decisions, or how to create a decision-making framework, will save you time and energy.
Every decision you make will be unique to your circumstances, but if you can better understand how to approach challenges regularly, you can spare yourself frustration in the long run.
2. Conduct self-audits/evaluations and make regular assessments.
- Look at trends in your life.
- Identify places where you can improve decision-making.
- Make regular assessments about what you are doing and where you are going, and why you wish to pursue something.
Being honest with yourself regularly can help you understand why you want certain things, and can help you better direct yourself as your needs and your wants change. This is the important part of taking the time at intervals that you elect (every month or every six-months–or both), to conduct introspective examinations into your life.
3. Take calculated risks.
- Look at the decisions before you that need to be made.
- Collect information on possible outcomes.
- Measure how they would affect various areas of your life.
- Make choices based on that information.
4. Look for support and community from similarly-situated individuals. Whether it’s a meet-up, a Facebook community, a friendship group or members of your congregation, temple, mosque, or parish, being in community with people who are pursuing similar objectives is helpful. It is encouraging when you need accountability, and can make all the difference when you need support for your difficult moments.
Sometimes your family members and closest friends won’t understand, if they are not following similar pursuits. It is helpful, then, to exist in a community where people are all growing towards the same or very similar goals.
5. Consistently look for ways to connect with and learn from people wiser than you. Connecting with people who know more than you can mean a variety of things, including:
- subscribing to an email list of a professional in your genre,
- following an influencer on a social media page to gain insights from their business,
- listening to or viewing a podcast or program of someone who is where you want to be,
- in addition to reading books from people who have researched, studied, practiced, and lived what you are trying to do.
Additionally, reviewing the secondary sources of helpful books and articles, can help you find more information to help you make impact in your own life.
6. Cut off Negative Nellies and to that end, change your own negative attitude. It is true that misery loves company. Perhaps that person or those persons in your life can’t be happy for you because they aren’t yet fulfilled. Maybe their criticism reflects their assessment of their own shortcomings.
Whatever the reason, it is prudent to shut out, cut off, or lessen your interactions with people who contribute to negative thinking. If you cannot cut them out completely, then reflect on which goals and plans you share with them. If it is more a matter of their inability to conceptualize your vision, instead of malice, you should be very careful about the information you share with them, and how you internalize their criticism.
The onus is on you to get what you want out of your life. You can do that immediately by improving your outlook while working towards your goals. It can be difficult to change long-held negative beliefs that detract from the reality you want to create, but the reward for doing so is tremendous.
Toiling away trying to make those things happen can be difficult, overwhelming and at times, even tedious, but the result of our hard work is worth engaging in these regular activities that will make our goals manifest.
Dekera Greene Rodriguez is a writer, lawyer, wife and mom. She writes at grindingout.com, is a contributor at Ask Men and The Huffington Post, and her work has been featured in Thought Catalog and The Good Men Project. You can find her on Twitter @dekerag.