How to get anything you want
Is what you’re doing right now going to make you happy in three years? Every little action you take now accumulates over time. The things you have right now and who you are are built from the decisions you made years ago
We have the habit of thinking in the now, so it’s important to do it the right way. The small actions you do daily, so small it barely adds up to 1% of the bigger percentage of your life, will carve out who you will be and the life you will have in the future. If you eat a cheeseburger a day, that will accumulate as body fat or increase your risk of heart disease in the future. Every time you decide not to follow your goals, it accumulates to you being in the same position as you were three years ago. By choosing not to look after your plants and water them daily, they are likely to die.
Those are negative examples, but here are some good ones. Going for a thirty-minute walk daily helps you lose weight and feel more energetic after a year. Getting out of bed one hour earlier than you usually would give you an extra 365 hours a year (fifteen days’worth) to work on a project you’ve always wanted to do. Making time for a friend every week or telling your partner you love them daily and making time to listen made your relationship so much stronger.
It’s the small actions over time that make the big picture come together. A 1,000-piece jigsaw is just a mess until someone comes along and slowly puts the pieces in place to create the big picture. It’s in the moment that matters, making the right, little decisions that will get you the results in the long run. What decisions could you make now that future-you will love you for?
• Eat a better breakfast.
• Walk thirty minutes a day.
• Study something for thirty minutes a day.
• Write 500 words a day on a book.
• Spend one hour a day with someone special with no interruptions (no phones).
• Save 10% of your income every week.
• Get out of bed thirty minutes earlier than you usually would.
• Meal plan and eat better throughout the week.
There are many options, and it’s all a personal choice on what will work for you and get you closer to your own goals. These options are only practical if it fits your life and your future. Once you’ve established what you will work on and what you want to do in your life, it’s time to break it down into 1% action
What: Eat a better breakfast.
Why: To maintain good health and energy throughout the day so I can accomplish my other goals without strain.
How: Getting a list of good meals to eat during the week, then preparing my breakfast the night before, so I only need to get out of bed and eat.
What: Walk thirty minutes a day.
Why: To become a fitter person and lose two kilograms, so I weigh sixty kilograms.
How: Every morning, when I get out of bed, the first thing I will do is walk to the school, which is approximately fifteen minutes away, and walk back home. If it’s raining, I will walk on my treadmill or commit to my walk after I finish work, as it will be an excellent way to wind down from my day.
The 1% actions are what make the big shifts in our life. We think people are overnight successes, and this makes us frantic and susceptible to giving up easily when we don’t get immediate results. What’s the rush? You have plenty of time in this life to achieve what you want. Make progress day by day, and in seemingly no time, you will see the difference and become the “overnight success.”
You can have many 1% focuses, but I recommend no more than five at a time until you make it an ingrained habit. The longer you focus on one task and do it repetitively, the quicker it will become natural, and you won’t even need to think about it or plan to do it. Start with what’s most important, then improve on other aspects you feel are necessary to keep you moving to your goal.
Reverse engineering the next three years of your life will help establish your 1% actions with more clarity.
• Where do you see yourself in three years?
• To be at this point in three years, where will you need to be in two years?
• To be at this point in two years, where will you need to be in one year?
• Now, where do you need to be in the next six months?
• What do you need to be doing every month from now until six months?
• What do you need to be doing this week?
• What do you need to be doing tomorrow?
• What do you need to be doing today after you have finished reading this book to get where you want to be?
Once you’ve broken your vision and goals as best you can into this step-by-step plan, you have your roadmap to success. You have the vision, and you know what you need to do every day to get this vision. What’s left? Action.
Setting the Foundation of What You Want to Become
In life, we get stuck into thinking we are set as who we are. No matter the circumstance, this is how we will remain. We believe life happens to us, and we don’t influence any of the situations. This causes us to wander aimlessly through life without a plan, and this is the mistake that most people make. Realise you have full control over your life. Where you are is the result of all your actions up until this point. Make conscious decisions and shape your future exactly the way you intend. Become who you want to be.
Listen to the Success Stories as Much as the Failure Stories
With the age of the internet, it’s now saturated with self-proclaimed success stories with one simple trick! They prey on the people who want to make fast cash with a small chunk of money and time, and it’s fast becoming a trend. Although the success stories may have some truth to them, it’s important to remember it’s never a one size fits all, and if everyone did it, there wouldn’t be as much money floating around to profit from. If it was such a great secret to making money, why would you sell the slice of your pie away to minimise your income and returns? Because they’ve probably exhausted the niche and they’ve moved onto the better thing, so they sell you old, worn-out methods to focus on their new project.
Success isn’t going to work the same way for everyone; you need to find your formula. It’s key to search for videos and blogs of those who have failed and find what the causes were, so you can compare the failures with your shortcomings and discern how to save yourself in the future. My quote to you: “It’s better to learn from someone else’s failures than make them yourself.” Avoid taking financial, emotional, and physical losses yourself by studying and analysing what went wrong for other people and applying it to your situation. Take a more conservative and smarter approach to the actions required. At the same time, this will paint a more realistic picture of what you could encounter, and failure is quite real if you ignore the circumstances that manifest it.
When it comes to tracking your progress, you should pick one day in the week, perhaps a Sunday, and review everything you have achieved throughout the week. Did you hit your set goals, and are you making progress on the area you wanted to? Adjust and set new goals and take yourself to the next level. Life is about constant improvement, and if you don’t upgrade yourself, you fall behind on what the other people who are concentrating on themselves are doing. Set new targets when it comes to going to the gym and getting in the best physical shape you can. Set new learning targets and find yourself a certificate you can work on that you might be interested in, or will set you up for further career progression. If you set aside time to see your achievements for the week and what you will be working on in the future, you will feel happier and more successful as a person progressing throughout life.
Sunday is a great day to do this, as you can set yourself goals from week to week, and you’ll have a comparison of fifty-two weeks to go against if you write it all into a diary for the year. You can even reflect on this in the following years to see how far you’ve come and how much more you are already achieving. With an annual review, if you feel like you haven’t achieved much, take a look back at the week to week, and you’ll see you’ve done so much in that time.
When it comes to progression, goal setting is the most important part, yet it is often associated with failure. Why is this? As we set ourselves huge goals that seem unattainable—or that’s what we tell ourselves—we slowly drift away from our “impossible” goal. The simple way to combat this is not to shy away from setting the big goals, but prepare to break them into small, and actionable steps. Our brains make more sense of a project if it’s broken down and the path is set clearly for us to move towards. If it’s simply the big goal itself, we desire it, yes, but our subconscious tells us it isn’t possible to achieve. It’s key to map your path towards the big achievement so that you can see it’s possible in small movements. If all pieces move in succession, goals will be attainable over the set period of time, even if it’s 101 steps that last over two to three years. As you complete each step, you’ll feel a sense of progression, and you will move forward each time you complete your set objective. Your subconscious is the key, and if you can trick it into seeing it’s possible, you will tell yourself it is, you will remain motivated, and you will see reason to continue.
Don’t overestimate what you could achieve in a year and underestimate what you could achieve in three years. Plan with three to five years in mind, and pace yourself with focused moves to see your progress flower. The main insight studies that I have picked up is that, we expect too much to happen in a year. Keep this in mind and don’t expect instant results as you take tiny steps to build up to something worthwhile to you in the long run. Pick what you can commit to long term, and you will achieve great success for your stickability. My favourite quote from Peter Voogd is, “Pick something that you can commit to mastery, something that you’ll love even through hard times, and by the end of it all, you will become the best at what you do in that field or even in the world.”
Instant Gratification Urge
We are saturated with the urge to have everything now, and therefore, so much debt fills people’s lives in this world. As they say, life is too short, so we should all take chances and be out doing what brings us joy and spending time with those we love. But I think this can sometimes make us rationalise spending money we just might not be prepared for, such as financing a car.
Along with insurance payments and the excitement of buying, you have been swindled of your future, hard-earned money for the instant gratification of purchasing a brand-new car. Once you get these shiny purchases, it’s exhilarating, for sure. You finally got it, what you’ve been dreaming about. But materialistic objects all have very little meaning, and the fulfilling effects will gradually wear off as they always do, and you will want something more. It’s how we function.
Instant gratification doesn’t replace an emotional connection from giving/getting something in appreciation. You’ll find more people will remember the time someone helped them out with tasks or opened the door for them; the real, lasting gratification is when you help people. Those big, fancy cars and new houses will break and crumble over time, costing you more money, but the bonds you form, the gratification of helping others, will stay with you forever, and all it costs you is your time. That’s not to say you can’t aim to acquire these assets, but be mindful, long term, they might not be enough to bring joy to your life each day.
Food is another example of instant gratification. We are surrounded by it. As a result, it has led to mass consumption by the population, and this has created an obese world full of diseases and blocked up health systems. When we get hungry, because of the abundance, we tend to snack and snack more regularly. It’s too easy to grab a chocolate bar to curb your hunger spike, and this is where excessive sugars and preservatives come in to mess with our bodies. We look for the quick, easy option and may give the fruits and salads a miss, as they require cutting, washing, and preparation. This is what makes dieting difficult for people on health highs. It’s the old habits kicking in when they lack time and lose focus from the cravings. To counter instant gratification urges, it is important to set intentions for what you want. Do you want to lose weight? Set the goal to eat much healthier and set aside time each morning or night to do some meal preparation. This makes a quick fix and keeps your focus on the goal.
The same goes for any purchases. You need to ask yourself questions and get deep into it. Do you need it? How long will it last? Is it likely you will keep using it after a month? Can you afford it? By really breaking down reasons and looking forward with your cash flow, you may be able to see why it isn’t good for you, and even by basing it on previous, similar purchases, you can ask yourself, “Where is it now? Do I even still use it?” This is the most powerful way to discipline yourself to stop wasteful spending. Once you add up the costs and can make a thought-out decision on what you want to do, then you can take control of your life.
Never be pressured from any outside environment. It’s important to sit, gather facts, and calculate on paper, or in your head to find out the bigger picture on what something’s going to cost you, and its usefulness to you as soon as you get it. The big key to controlling the instant gratification urge is self-discipline. You need to push yourself, question yourself, and test yourself. Only you are in control; don’t fall for any marketing ploys. Do you need it, and will it make your life significantly better after having it for longer than a month of continual use? Then yes, maybe that’s the right purchase. You’ve asked some good questions, and you’re in control.
When you get out of bed, do you find it’s hard to get excited? That just another hour of sleep or more sounds like the better option? It’s hard to be motivated to get up and do something if you haven’t set any intentions for the day. You have to create a reason to get out of bed and get after what you want. It’s easy to have your to-do list build up over time if you haven’t established a powerful “Why am I doing this?” When you set intentions to complete, you need to look at why. If you have blank day upon blank day, ask yourself why. Look forward and see what you could be doing right now to bring you closer to your future visions of yourself; it’s that simple.
To begin with, the easiest way to plan is at night right before bed. You can review how your day has gone and find where you could improve or what went well to get a glimpse on how you showed up to the world. Then, looking at the next day, write out tasks or ambitions and make a list of what’s required to complete them and have it completely broken down. This is how you hone in on your focus. Set your priorities and attack the list with vigour. As you build up momentum, you will find it becomes easier to continue and take on your workday. The little things done consistently build you up too when it comes to your drive. Soon enough, you have reason to continue, reason to keep on building, and this stems from your plan.
One method is to plan certain goals and targets in thirty-day slots. Action your plan within these thirty days, then review immediately after to see your progress. What you’ll find is, for the next thirty days after, you may need to adjust your plan to be tougher if you’ve exceeded it. Or, maybe it didn’t go so well, so it’s now clear you will need to adjust the plan to be more achievable. Without an objective, people tend to drift throughout the day purposelessly, which they end up regretting and realise they want and need more. When you feel this way, ask yourself if what you’ve achieved in the day has been directed on a certain life goal, and you’ll find most of what you did, or all was not focused on the development of your dreams. It’s a fact, under the Pareto principle, 80% of what happens to us is a result of 20% of what we do. Plan the steps to achieve, set priorities, and triage what will move you forward at a faster rate, and delegating or eliminating the tasks that will keep you going in circles. Through this, you will find more time for the essential tasks, and when it comes to the end of your day, you won’t feel the void of being busy doing nothing!
Plans do regularly change, but the big picture shouldn’t. You should always have one focused outcome. When you regularly change your plans or outcomes daily, you plan for failure. You’ll find it hard to see something come to fruition, as it takes a lot of consistent time and effort to penetrate the markets of people’s minds; people need to be conditioned to know your product or service over repetition. Planning is an essential part of any organisation’s success, as well as personal. Doing it at night and reviewing in the morning is a beneficial strategy, as you are less likely to forget tasks requested of you, and you will become such an organised unit, you will rest a lot easier. There are multiple methods for planning, and a popular one is to write the ten most important tasks to do that day to propel you forward and concentrate on getting the top three done. As long as you complete the top three, the rest can be transferred to the next day for completion. This is a great prioritisation method and makes certain you stay on top of your goals.
Our minds quiet down a lot if you transfer it to paper. Brainstorming and putting it to paper before bed instead of tossing and turning with a highly active mind will bring you a rejuvenating sleep. You know you’ve figured out the problem and planned, or you have it written down, so it’s not forgotten. You can revisit in the morning with a well-rested mind.
Your Environment and Being Yourself
We live in times where posters and TV are plastered with images of what people perceive as perfection: a certain way to look, a certain way to behave, and a certain status quo. This surrounds us, and it plays with our minds. It can drive us to make decisions to combat our inferiority, such as purchasing items as small as a new lipstick to as big as plastic surgery, and this is what marketing is about. The TV you watch conditions your mind into a certain form of thinking.
Speaking of influence, who are you, and what influences you to be who you are? Are you being someone you’re not? A good way to tell if you’re in a crowd of people you should hang around with is to stop and look at who they are as people. Are they unmotivated, negative, inactive, selfish, mean? Or happy, outgoing, high achievers, go-getters? People are drawn to others similar to themselves, and they adopt the same habits of each other the longer they’re associated. If you want to do more in your life but find the people you hang around are negative about growth and talk ideas and plans down, it may be time to distance yourself from them to get to your dreams. Find people who are like-minded by going to seminars or socialising around town and forming a group of people who share your ambition. The trick to excelling is to fit in with people who challenge and inspire you so you can learn from them and reach their level. Like a mentor, you can be influenced to make smart, progressive ideas and your ideas are likely to be encouraged if you have found the right-fitting group.
With this in mind, think about your friend group, and write the main characteristics down about each one. Now, think about what you need to have achieved for yourself, and write down the characteristics you will need to get what you want. Does it make sense now as to who you need to find and the differentiation between people who want to be productive and those who don’t? This doesn’t mean you should cut out your friends completely; it just means seek out those who are thinking, walking, and talking like you, even slightly better than you.
Each time you meet up, it will be a little friendly competition in achieving goals. You can have a good get-together to throw around new ideas and expand on them from the different perspectives and expertise. It’s important to be sure you are surrounded by those who care about your well-being and where you’re going, who will look out for you and have your back. Relationships like that are magic. Positive environments breed positive results; negative environments breed negative results. It’s that simple of an equation. In any process, the point is to be able to be yourself without influence yet be pushed to challenge yourself to become a better version of you each day. Results from this will benefit you, as well as the group.
Simple self-esteem and confidence methods to build on this are self-affirmations. You can read these aloud to yourself each day, or you can get recordings available for download to listen to while you sleep. One of the benefits of these is that they influence your mind to make better decisions for yourself. Affirmations reprogram your brain and help you spot opportunities.
Our influence and perspective are all based on how our mindset is. Are you looking for the right opportunities? Is your mind thinking the way you want it to? Once you discover this secret, the influence will no longer overpower you. You will become empowered, and you will have your mind focused on your wants. It’s like when you want a specific type of car, then all of a sudden you see them driving all-around your neighbourhood; it’s the same concept. Train your mind to influence your reality and stop other external forces from influencing it for you. Take charge, be you, and get you!
Recall when I asked you to raise your right hand. Did you remain seated and raise it high? Was that as far as you could raise it, or did you limit yourself, saying that was as much as you could do? If you begin to question this, you should realise you are capable of more than that. You could stand up and reach, and this would make this result much higher. Stand on a chair, stand on a table; if you’re reading this on the street, climb a building and raise your hands! This is what a lot of people don’t realise: they look at something, and without thinking, they’ve done the bare minimum of their capabilities, and it keeps them from reaching their dreams.It’s up to you to use your imagination and find out how far you can push yourself, as the limitation is as far as your imagination will allow. When you think of running a business, do you focus on your town, or do you start ticking away in your mind that it could be much larger around your state if you studied and got the advice to manage this over time? Everything in life that progresses each day, such as technology, health and fitness, business, etc., is due to someone’s belief that each can be more. They search for ways to take them to a whole other level. They do away with any limiting beliefs and find resolve. They provide value and, in return, get value back in money or admiration in the same proportions.
What is it you’re holding yourself back on? What false belief of “this is all I can do” pops up in mind? Start identifying this and acting on it. You could likely produce more if you start being assertive, driven, and on a mission to get the seemingly unattainable. A limitation is usually caused by stories we tell ourselves in our mind, which could be from past experiences, and have held in our subconscious. As a result, the replay in our minds, when a similar, related situation occurs, makes us talk ourselves down and out of it. What we tell ourselves influences each day we live, so by changing our stories, we change how we react and live out each day.
As an example, there’s a person who always said they’re bad at math every time someone asked any question related to numbers and calculation. They told themselves this each time and immediately gave up without trying to calculate the figures. This was investigated further, and it turns out when they were younger, they struggled in the early stages of learning math, and their teacher had told them they were just no good at it. This line had stuck in the student’s head on replay, as these things always do, whether immensely disappointing or positive. It’s the negatives we so easily put on replay in our heads that break us, though. With this reinforced belief and limitation, they gave up. The way to counter this was simple. They took tutoring classes and started with simple sums to build on. The tutor then reinforced the progress and problem solving with positive behaviour, repeating praise and saying they were getting good at math. They had to undo over a decade of this strong belief, but after consistent tutoring and the reinforced praise, the student became great at math and had a new belief that no longer limited them. The world opened up to them, and they were able to pursue a career in accounting. With their new belief and talent, they were inspired in progressing to help others with numbers through accounting.
How many limiting beliefs do you have in your mind that lead to situations where you tell yourself you can’t do that? Anyone can, and all it takes is for you to push on and challenge yourself. Pushing yourself is always difficult, as it is sometimes not only physical but heavily mental as well. You are challenging the mind to believe in more than you are currently doing, and this is what growth and progression are all about.
• Write a list of limiting beliefs you have.
• Write an unlimited version of the beliefs you have.
• Now, write down what you need to do to get to the unlimited belief stage.
By taking these steps, you are allowing yourself to unlock a new level of who you are, and you can achieve what you never could before. It’s important to remember when you feel challenged, it’s only because you are going against your current belief system, and once you break through, you’ll become a new person. Here are a few quick ones for you to use right now, and use your brain to think of how much you can do.
• How high can you raise your hand?
• How far could you drive your car?
• How fast can you finish studying for your certificate?
• What can you do to achieve your ten-year dreams in six months?
Don’t limit yourself, especially on the last one—the first few are a warm-up! Anything is possible if you put your mind in the right place and keep on attacking what you want to achieve.
It’s been said by many people: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Although it’s not always true, it’s a valuable way to get more opportunity in your life by mixing and getting into contact with the right people. When people know who you are, what makes you tick, and what your focuses are, it will benefit you when an opportunity pops up to make them think of you. This, in turn, will influence them to mention you or get you in contact with a new connection. Hugely beneficial, yes, but how is it you will build these networks?
The first thing to do is simple: if you have something in mind you want to do, like be a personal trainer, then hit up every gym in your local area, let them know your ambitions, and ask for help on how to achieve this dream. In return, they will get volunteer work from you, and you will be in contact with the experts in the industry.
The next step would be to attend fitness seminars and connect with everyone there. Sit with new people and strike up conversations; never be shy to introduce and put yourself out there. It would be advantageous for you to sit next to someone new each time you attend to meet a new face and have your face remembered, which is the point of this.
Next, contact nutrition suppliers and health food shops you enjoy frequenting. Let them know what you study or what you are qualified to do and drop off business cards along with striking up deals: you will recommend people to their place, and they will put up a sign for your training classes or sessions you do one on one with people. The key is mutual gain for both parties. If the food shop is throwing clients at you, often frequently for a chat and encourage these clients to buy products at the store, perhaps something you would incorporate with your training and dieting plan.
The next move after that is to get in contact with similar groups, even your competition, to get familiar with who else is doing what you are but maybe in different specialisations than yourself. It’s likely someone will get in contact looking for a particular service you can’t provide, but you know the person with that specialisation, so you can send them to the right person and let them know to mention your name. Give and receive is powerful, and that’s what networking is about, connecting for the mutual benefit of each other.
As you can picture from this explanation of the health and fitness sector, this has created a huge reach and connection to others associated in some form. Therefore, you’re open to opportunities to draw someone in the market but not specifically yours. They may be a health food freak and pass your poster, strike up a conversation with the shop owner, and become super interested—then they are in contact with you. Just like that, you have successfully converted another client from a networking opportunity, and all it took was a conversation! That is the power of networking at its best, and it’s how you gain influence and huge traction in business.
This can and is to be applied in many other situations, such as trying to land a job. If you have something in mind, you need to approach all businesses associated with it and speak to the managers. Make phone calls to the same kinds of businesses out of town, expressing your interest, and ask if they know anyone in the industry. Also, connect with job agencies and let them know what you’re after, but don’t expect them to be the sole way of gaining employment. Volunteer at multiple businesses, even if it’s not what you want to do. You will build skills and relationships with business owners, who also talk to other business owners and can recommend you to them.
Networking is powerful. It runs countries, businesses, and friendships. With a network, the world opens up to you as far as opportunism is concerned, and with business, networking is a must to prosper and get your foot in the door for a job, as it’s harder than ever to do. Build a network; build a life of power.
Doing Something Different
When was the last time you did something different? If you really can’t think of anything, let me share a quote with you from Benjamin Franklin: “If you do tomorrow what you did today, you will get tomorrow what you got today.” Make sense? Should we be surprised when we become disappointed for not achieving different results in life when our actions are to repeat daily over and over? We get a great idea, but we don’t act on them, just let the imagination slide. An opportunity, an invite from friends to watch a movie, but we decline and stay at home. We take holidays from work but use it to sleep in or do chores around the house, not to get out and see what the world offers.
After reading this, I implore you to think to yourself, What can I do differently today? Or tomorrow for you late-night readers! Big or small, I want you to feel a zest for life as it is. After all, variety is the spice of life. No, I’m not saying today’s the day to pull a sickie for work and get sucked into a Harry Potter movie marathon locked up at home—sounds attractive to me too, but work with me. Let’s get out there, drive to the next town twenty minutes away, wander around, looking at the different shops. Have a coffee and lunch at a different café, treat yourself, invite a friend. If you’ve never travelled far, get online and search for somewhere to fly to. Get out, experience life, and gain new perspectives. They say people get the travel bug. I think people catch the love of life and start travelling away to see all the beauty and experiences you can have out in the world, and you should too.
Everyone has dreams. What are yours? If you don’t have any, create some. What draws your full attention in life? Each morning or night, ignoring everything else going on around you, stop to think of just one action you can take that day that will push you one step closer to your dreams. It may take 365 focused steps, one every day of the year. They could be as simple as talking to a certain person, writing something, travelling away to study, being mindful and saving money daily for it. Suddenly, you are stepping away from your norm, finding purpose each day, focusing on your dreams.
Happy people in the world thrive from doing something different. It’s what makes them stand out, be talked about, looked up to, and great to be around. You are unique and authentic, so go after whatever your heart ticks for. Just remember to achieve progress and happiness by waking up each morning and thinking of one action that will push you forward…one action that will get you doing something different.
• Set yourself some goals and reverse engineer them back to daily steps.
• Make a plan of how you will attack your goals each week.
• Complete the limitation test.
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