It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live—your gender, your race, your age, your nationality, your life stage—we all want to create our dream future and find a better way to deal with the ups and downs of everyday life.
We want to improve our work and personal situation. We want to be a better version of who we are—we want to thrive, not just survive.
Jobs and relationships that are repetitive and monotonous can be a graveyard for your soul. Humans crave growth and vitality, and it’s soul destroying to feel stuck in a job you hate or to feel your life has stagnated.
Is it any surprise that 50% of marriages in the Western world end in divorce? Or that today’s millennials will have up to 7 different careers in their working life?
The problem, however, is not the quality of the job or person in a relationship, but 99 times out of 100 it’s because of the failure of clarity.
If you’re not clear on who you want to be, how can you grow into that person?
If you’re not clear on where you want to go, how can you plan your route forward?
If you’re not clear on how to achieve what you want, how can you implement the action required to do what you want to do?
As Brian Tracy, international leadership and organisational trainer, says:
“Lack of clarity is the No. 1 time-waster. Always be asking, ‘What am I trying to do? How am I trying to do it?’”
Clarity is a fundamental principle of success. When you have clarity about who you are, what you want, and how you can achieve it, then success—however you define it—is a natural outcome or side-effect of that clarity.
Energy flows where the focus goes, and like the lens on a camera, your focus sharpens your clarity.
So, in order sharpen your focus and get clarity on who you are, what you do, and how to achieve your goals, here are 3 strategies for transformation that will help you to create your dream future by thinking a little differently:
- Inner Focus
In this high-tech, super-connected world in which we live, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on what’s important—who we are being and why we are doing what we’re doing.
Information consumption from 1980 to 2008 has increased year on year by 5.4% (Bohn and Short, Measuring Consumer Information, International Journal of Communications 2012). That means a person today is inundated with 6x the amount of information than a person in 1980. Today, more than 100,000 words are now consumed outside work per person per day in the USA.
That’s a lot of information being consumed… and a lot of distraction.
Constant distraction is like driving a car whilst texting. It’s dangerous! You lose focus on the road ahead and you can cause an accident, sometimes fatally.
When we are distracted by social media, TV, radio, emails, and other forms of communication, we are like driving a car whilst texting. Our focus on external distractions takes our eyes off the inner road, the road to our personal happiness, peace and freedom—who we really are.
We simply cannot have clarity on who we are or want to be when our focus is distracted outside our self.
Therefore, give yourself a timeout every day from the constant bombardment of emails, social media posts, gaming, TV, radio, and SMS to refocus on your inner self and get clarity on who you want to be.
Because your success comes through you, not to you.
- Find A Cause
Research constantly shows that pay is not the main factor to motivate staff. Other things like trust, engagement, education, and appreciation from the boss and co-workers are just as important motivators.
Interestingly, so too is the vision of the company or business, the cause that the business is fighting for.
For instance, we can all buy into the ideas and cause of the Leukaemia foundation—to eradicate bloodborne cancer. So too World Vision—to eradicate poverty in the world. Even the vision of Bill Gates to eradicate polio from the world.
A cause we believe in is extremely motivating. When we buy into a cause, when we truly believe we can make a difference and the world a better place, our energy and enthusiasm lift and we focus our mind and efforts into making it happen.
Your own personal cause is what I call your life purpose. It inspires you. It gives you direction. When you find it, it gives meaning to your life.
It has been said that the two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.
Kashdan and McKnight (2009) defined life purpose as, “A central, self-organising life aim.”
- Central because it becomes a predominant theme of your identity—it defines you.
- Self-organising because it provides a framework for systematic behaviour patterns in your everyday life—it gives your life structure.
- A life aim because it provides continual targes to which your efforts can be devoted—it gives you focus.
When you align with your life purpose, you get clarity of direction—where you want to go and what you want to do.
Direction gives your life a destination, something to live and work for.
All that remains is working out how you achieve it.
- Catch Your Thoughts
You are where you are now because of the choices you’ve made. Choices are but thought processes, so it follows that your current life situation is a result of the thought processes you’ve had up to this moment in time.
Thoughts are first cause. Thoughts initiate the sequence of cause and effect—first you think something, then you speak what you thought, then you act upon that thought.
But it all starts with thought: You think, then you act upon that thought. Even spontaneous action is preceded with thought.
The focus of your thoughts, therefore, determines your experience, because how you think affects the behaviours and actions you take (or don’t take).
If your past thoughts created your experience in this present moment, then your current thoughts create your future experience.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Your thoughts are powerful. But how mindful are you of your thoughts?
You have somewhere between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day, and some researchers estimate it could be more. Of those thoughts, 90-98% are repetitive and 80% are negative. That means you have in the vicinity of 3-17 million negative thoughts per year.
Imagine, though, if you could catch those negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts? Even if you only managed to change 10% into something positive, you could have 300,000 to 1.7 million positive thoughts per year.
Imagine the change you could create in your life by thinking a little differently.