Progress = happiness

Unhappiness comes from a lack of progression. You know what you want, but you are not taking any action to achieve it. Over time this leads to unhappiness.

So, progress then equals happiness. In all areas of your life this will be true. Doing anything will on help you feel happier.

Sometimes you are in a rut. You don’t know what to do to progress. The answer is to just to something. Do anything. Start. Begin.

You will find that if you keep forcing yourself to start that gradually you will build up momentum and you will be doing and achieving.

Do not focus on huge goals and instant change. It is essential that you have a direction of where you want to end up. However, it is better to have smaller, closer, and more achievable goals along the route. This is what builds momentum.

Smaller goals lead you in the right direction. They’re stepping stones which will help you reach your ultimate destination. By breaking larger tasks into smaller ones you will be constantly succeeding, and more importantly, progressing. As a result, you will feel happier.

Look up, Part I & II

Look up (Part I)

Now look up at the sky.
Think about how insignificant you are.
The universe you look up at is endless in every direction.
You are extraordinarily rare.

Think of all the planets,
the moons,
the stars,
the black holes,
swirling through space and time.
It is and they are infinite.

In the endlessness of space you are an unimportant speck of dust.
In the eternity of time you are but the briefest of flickers.
There isn’t another you anywhere in the universe.
There never has been and there never will be.

What are you waiting for?
Do it now.
You have nothing to lose.
No one will remember you anyway.

Look up (Part II)

Now look up at the sky.
Think about how significant you are.
The universe you look up at is endless in every direction.
You are extraordinarily rare.

Think of all the planets,
the moons,
the stars,
the black holes,
swirling with you through space and time.
It is and they are infinite.

In the endlessness of space you are the only one of you in existence.
In the eternity of time you are the only one of you who will ever exist.
There isn’t another you anywhere in the universe.
There never has been and there never will be.

What are you waiting for?
Do it now.
You have nothing to lose.
You are marvellous already.

If – by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

That which is easy to do, is easy not to do

You must not neglect the daily disciplines. That which is easy to do, is easy not to do.

The big mistake you have made in the past is that you think a huge amount of effort is needed now, in this very moment, to change or achieve something. In some instances this can be true. However, with most areas of your life it is the small daily tasks that will add up to success in the long run.

Imagine your life in five years if you didn’t wash your teeth every day. It sounds crazy, however, the three minutes spent every morning and evening washing your teeth is time well invested.

 In the same way, imagine your life in five years if you:

  • Ate an apple every day
  • Walked a half hour during lunch every day
  • Swam 20 laps every morning before work
  • Took your vitamin tablets every day
  • Drank the correct amount of water every day
  • Got the correct amount of sleep every day
  • Kissed your wife and your children every day and told them you loved them
  • Did a couple of weights every day
  • Spoke to your mam and dad every day
  • Avoided bread during the work week
  • Sent a couple of texts to your friends every week

All of the above are easy to do. However, they are also easy not to do. Doing these things once or twice and stopping won’t make any difference to you, but doing them every day for five years will change your life. Missing these things once or twice won’t make any difference to you, but not doing them for five years will leave you with very dirty teeth.

Words have power

I could, I can, I can’t, I should… are weak words. They give you wiggle room to get of doing something. In conversation they give power to others.

I will, I am, I won’t are strong words. There is no wiggle room. They are decisive.

  • ‘I can go to the gym this evening’ vs ‘I will go to the gym this evening.’
  • ‘No, I can’t go out tonight’  leads to a question, why can’t you go out tonight? vs ‘No, I won’t be out tonight’
  • ‘I should post a daily from now on’ vs ‘I am going to post daily from now on’

Charles Bukowski wrote on his grave the words “Don’t try’. At first I read this as a negative statement – don’t bother, its not worth trying. I was disappointed. Most of Bukowski’s poems that I had read, and loved, all uplifted me. They pushed me to ‘try’. To give it another go.

Why then did Bukowski sign off on such a negative note? Having thought about this I don’t think that he did. When Bukowski whispers ‘don’t try’ to you from the grave, he is in fact spurring you on. He is telling you – ‘Do not try to do it, DO IT!’ As Master Yoda would say, ‘do it or do not, there is no try’.

Words have power. Do not say that ‘you will try’. Say that you will and do it. Or, say that you wont do it, and don’t.

Consider the words you choose when speaking to yourself and others. By analysing and mediating on your use of words, over time you will choose better ones and get better results.

Just start

The hardest part of any new project is the beginning. You stare at the blank page. Where do you start? What is your first step?

Too often you think and debate what you should do, how you should do it, when you should do it, where you should do it… should, should, should…

Just begin, now.

  • Take a page and start writing anything
  • Open a word document and start typing anything
  • Press recording and start singing anything
  • Put on your runners and start running anywhere

 Do something in the moment. Anything is better than nothing. Even if you take the wrong path and you go down the wrong road at least you’ll find out sooner. You’ll tick that route off as the wrong one and you will be closer to finding the correct way.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Start walking…