Sure, that title is a little cheeky. A little too sure of itself. So you’re probably already skeptical.
But this article wasn’t created to please you. It wasn’t even planned out at all for that matter. The sole purpose of its existence is to lead you to victory.
It came from seeing all of you waste your lives away and instead of truly living, only going through the motions each day.
This article aims to deliver what might not simply be the three best pieces of advice you’ll receive all month, but potentially of your entire life. That’s how much I believe in these three principles.
No, your life won’t magically be 10x better immediately after finishing, but if you actually take the time to read them, take the advice, and put them into practice, you will see results, and your life will improve.
Let’s do this.
1. Figure Out Who You Are And What You Like
It is downright painful to ask most human beings “who are you?” or “what do you do?”.
At minimum (most of your responses) you will get an “I don’t really know. What do you want to know about me?”, and at best, you’ll get a description of where they work and some lame job description that was only their hiring application written by their firm’s HR department 3 years ago.
I’m only going to say this once, so listen close.
Your job, material possessions, school you go to, or favorite show on Netflix IS NOT who you are. I repeat, is NOT who you are.
The answer to that question is much deeper, and intrinsic to your being. Who you are, is what you think about that makes you smile. It’s what you’d be proud of to tell your teacher you want to be when you grow up in kindergarten. It’s what you watch hundreds of hours of youtube videos about because deep down, you want to make what’s in those videos a reality for yourself.
This is not some join-a-Buddhist-monastery-backpacking-around-the-world-until-you-find-yourself piece of advice. That would be an incredibly exciting and revelatory (look it up) experience, but what I’m talking about is so much simpler than that.
All you have to do is figure out who you are, what you like, and what you’re good at.
Right now I already know that most of you are thinking “easier said than done man…”. But no, it isn’t easier said than done. It’s simple. It’s been a part of you since you were born.
The reason why it feels so difficult?
Society. You had the misfortune of growing up and being socialized by the world that values “fitting in”, the status quo, and nondisruptive people. How many times have you heard the same narrative of a life map? : go to school, get a job, work hard, buy a house, have a family, save a little, retire (maybe). How many times have you been laughed at or told your dreams were impossible or to not even bother?
So as a result, you tucked them away. Put them in a small box in a part of your consciousness that rarely gets to see the light of day. That’s why when asked the question of “who are you?”, you struggle to find the answer. It’s because you’ve lost it.
Here’s what you’re going to do to get it back.
If you have a whiteboard, get it out. If not, a piece of paper and a pen will do. Do this right now. I mean it.
Seriously. Go. I’ll wait.
First exercise. Think deeply about all the moments in life that evoke strong emotion or that mean something to you. Record as many of these as you can. The reason these moments are so powerful is usually because they are connected to your identity in some way. Find the commonalities and start to build who you are.
Next, Get together with (or snap chat if you’re into that kind of thing) your closest 15 friends and family members. These should be people that you’ve spent significant amounts of time with and who you trust. Ask them a simple question “how would you describe me and my strengths to a stranger?”. Write down all of their answers and find the commonalities.
Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, Think about what you do when you’ve got free time and aren’t stressed out or constrained by time. Consider what you watch, “like” on social media, do on vacations, read, or talk about when in intimate situations. All of those things will give you insight into who you truly are. Because it’s on your own time, you feel free to do what you actually want to and that’s who you really are.
2. Figure Out What You Actually Want To Do With Your Life
No, I’m not talking about finally becoming manager at the bar you work at or getting a $4 raise at the law office who wildly mistreats you and the rest of the paralegals.
Those are all water down dreams and ambitions that you’ve rationalized to be attainable and what you want when in reality they are only more safe than what you really want.
You need to have actual dreams and ambitions. It doesn’t matter what those are. They can be as simple as wanting to be a school teacher for underprivileged children, hiking through the grand canyon, or as difficult as being the first human to land on mars.
But I know when fear of failure and practicality driven goals are masquerading as the real thing.
When I ask those same people who I’ve just asked “who are you?”, “what do you want out of life?” or “what is your purpose?”, they look at me like I’m insane. Their brains can no longer even process the information. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
Perhaps the single greatest key to living a happy, fulfilling, and succesful life, begins with the understanding and passion for what you truly want the end result of your life to be.
So here’s what you’re going to do.
I know you never got out that piece of paper like I asked. So I’ll wait again. Go get it.
Okay, now think about what would be the most exciting and gratifying thing you know that a friend or family member does and get’s paid for that you can do. Take 10 minutes and write down as many of these as you can.
Next, consider if you could be doing anything in the world that you know of for money that would take care of all your bills, what would it be? Take another 10.
Last, if you could do anything, literally anything (for example, getting paid to professionally rate tacos and moonlight as a foot massage model), what would those things be? You guessed it, 10 minutes.
After doing this, you will have a true sense of who you are and where your passions lie. It’s time to wake up.
3. Start Doing Something To Change
This is going to be the hardest thing for you to do. It’s the hardest for everyone. The reason why?
People have the tendency to try and plan everything out and have all the potential outcomes and negative consequences accounted for and taken care of BEFORE they start the journey. They rationalize that it would be irresponsible to start and surely lead to failure if they didn’t.
But guess what happens when you try and do that? You end up being completely overwhelmed by the possibility and sheer number of choices. Now, you’re in a position where you’re fighting to eliminate feeling overwhelmed, instead of solving the bigger problem.
It’s not your fault. That mentality is destined to fail from the beginning. There are hundreds of new problems and reasons that are created every day in all aspects of life. Trying to plan for and stop them all is literally impossible.
They key, is to get to work. Start. Take a single step, and figure the rest out along the way.
Figure out a way to make the lowest possible barrier to entry, and set yourself up for success. Design a strategy that will reward you with quick wins, and build on itself.
- Exercise goals: Do any form of exercise only twice a week, 15 minutes a day, for a month. Then switch to 3 days and 30 minutes a day for a month. After that, it keeps building. Every single person has 30 minutes a week for exercise. But you stop yourself by trying to figure out the “perfect” workout strategy, health plan, and workout schedule. The point is to exercise. period.
So here’s how you’re gonna punch analysis paralysis straight in the mouth.
- Pick something you want to accomplish in the next 6 months. It can be literally anything.
- Get out that piece of tree and ink stick sitting in front of you, and write down what that goal is that you’re going to accomplish.
- Divide the paper into six, one-month sections, and write down reasonable goals for each month. For our exercise example, it could be to workout 6 total hours month 1, be going on a walk 3 times a week by month two, etc, etc.
- Write down what each week of success looks like to reach those goals in each month.
- Put down one thing you can do every single day to help you reach your goal. It can be an action, a reminder, or a reward for last week’s success. Write something down you can use to get started.
- Do that thing that is the goals or will help you reach that goal every morning, in the first 30 min of your day.
Watch yourself change everything about your life.
Three pieces of advice = mind blown = a new you. Go make me proud.