How can you make your life better right now? Some of you have such a heavy weight to carry. I don’t have a cutesy thing to tell you. Sometimes we just have to endure it for a while. But in general, there are things we can do to make our lives better. It doesn’t have to be heavy lifting. It can be small things.
Think about people you know who are doing the things you want to be doing or have things that you want. You know, frankly, you’re envious of them. Think about them for a minute. Now, think about if you turned that envy into curiosity. "How did they get there?" "How do they do those things?"
"How can I do this?"
We can feel sorry for ourselves that we don’t have whatever they have. Or, we can be curious and learn and improve ourselves, increasing the chances that we too can do what we want in our lives and make ourselves happier.
Of course, the irony in a lot of this is we think we’d be happier. But truly, we wouldn’t. Sometimes we just want what they have, but we don’t want to pay the price to get there ourselves.
Another way to change your life for the better is to talk about being in the process. “I’m in the process of learning how to be _____”,
whatever it is. It’s a process. It’s not an event – not some sort of ticking time bomb about to explode in your head. That’s how you should describe it to yourself in your own mind, much less to anyone else. "I’m working on becoming more attentive to detail." "I’m working on becoming more athletic."
And you don’t want to focus in on what the success would look like. Every situation is going to be different. You want to focus on just becoming a better version of you and wherever that takes you. How can you improve yourself a little each day? The results will pile up and come later.
Something I hear a lot is, “Oh my God, what if I make the wrong decision?”
Well, you’re going to waste a lot of time in your life. If you’re so afraid of making the wrong decision, you’ll make no decision and do nothing – which means you won’t move forward.
Initially, I thought I wanted to be a research scientist. I pushed really hard through college and graduate school to get a PhD in physiology at Columbia University. But after that, I never spent another minute with another rat. It wasn’t what I really wanted. Was it wasted time? Hell, no. I have one heck of an education and it taught me how to think analytically and make deductions. The scientific training was fabulous for what I ended up doing. It may not seem related, but all of that thinking helps me whenever I’m trying to solve a problem.
So, it’s not ever wasted.
A little bit of curiosity every day - you may be surprised where it’ll take you.