New Year's Resolution Project | Part 2 - Page 2
(Part 2 out of 2)
Your Identity And The Elephant In The Circus
What happens is that when we are in a state of "must", it becomes a part of us, a part of our identity.
People commit to who they believe they are, to their identity.
If someone tells you: "I'm working hard now to try to quit smoking, but you know – I've smoked all my life, I'm a smoker!", then you know the past week he didn't smoke is only temporary...
We act consistently according to our beliefs about ourselves, about the way we perceive our identity.
Something to think about regarding this context: when you say: "I'm not that kind of person" or "I'm not that type who'll do such a thing", try and answer yourself these questions: when did I make this decision? Maybe it's time to change it?
In some cases, it's a set of beliefs and standards that were made back in your teenage years… beliefs about who you are, how you define yourself, what you're capable of – which become in time a glass ceiling we can't seem to shatter...
What is this similar to?
Maybe you've seen an elephant in the circus attached to a small chain stuck in the ground.
A chain the elephant could obviously break free from, and destroy everything in his way as he does.
So why in fact, doesn't he?
The reason lies in the following fact:
When the elephant was just a young and weak elephant, he was attached to a strong chain thoroughly stuck in the ground. As a small elephant he tried to fight it, until after a while he stopped trying and accepted the fact that when attached to a chain he can't break free, simply because "that's life"...
Reading this made me wonder about all kinds of situations / conditions / beliefs to which I said: "That's life". I hope this got you pondering too.
Need To Or Must
So, if someone's standard is 'I'm an athlete' - this is his identity. He'll do everything in his power and a little more, to stand behind his identity. That's who he is.
The outcome is that the activities he does correspond with this standard. For example, he gets up in the morning and the first thing he sees are his running shoes.
If someone's standard is opposite to that – they probably see the snooze button when they wakes up in the morning, or the leftover cake in the fridge.
If we think about it for a moment, when we see someone well-built and muscular and ask them: "Do you exercise?" - We know exactly what the answer will be…
A well-built muscular person is the outcome of an action done regularly (exercise in this example).
By the way, these people don't have more time than you and I do, and they aren't less busy than you and I. The difference is being well-built and muscular for them, is a 'must' and not 'need to'...
Here's another sentence to write down and put in a conspicuous place: desires don't really come true, commitment to standards does!
Same goes for money…
Most people think they must pay the bills, and this is the focus they demand of their brain - a way to pay the bills even in times of recession and high cost of living.
Some people think they must pay the bills at least some of the time, and most of the time they pay the bills.
Some people's standard is not only to pay their bills but to pay other people's bills too.
For example, someone's standard was must pay the bills when he found out a family member has a disease requiring expensive medical treatment, so expensive this person couldn't afford to pay it (a good enough reason?).
His endless love for this person, along with the decision that there's no way he won't fight and sweat for this person with every ounce of his blood (a great vision that will pull you?), brought him from a state of more than just wanting to pay more then my bills, to a state of must pay more then my bills - the standard went up, and I deliberately will not detail on whether he succeeded in the end. I'll just say his life changed…
I must emphasize, his life changed.
The world remained the same with its faltering economy, corruption and other things he has no control over…
He used his influence on the only thing he could influence on – himself.
For some people, the standard is they must (must! not want to) have loads of money, in order to live comfortably, to contribute and positively influence others. And they find the vision, the reasons, the self-discipline and... the way to get it.
Yes, there are also crooks in the world, but the method is the same method in which they raise their standards (as they see them), so that eventually even they find the way to do it.
In this part of the project the key phrase to development and improvement is:
Raise your standards!
In the final part, I will elaborate on the final step and give you some operative tips to put the written above into action.
* First step - an exciting vision that will pull / attract you!
* Second step - excellent reasons, may they be negative or positive.
* Third step - remind yourself on a daily basis, about the vision and the reasons.
* Not always you will be able to reach your goal, but the experience you go through on
the way to achieving it, will raise your standards.
* A commitment to something becomes a part of your identity.
* "that's life" – Do you really think so?
* Raise your standards!
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Next Article: New Year's Resolution Project | Part 3