If you believe you have the knowledge and potential to accomplish your goals, but for some reason you don’t seem to be able to take action and get things done, this post is for you. Nowadays, the lack of information is not a problem anymore.
You probably already know how to start an online business. You know how to get in better shape, you know how to earn more money and how to improve your social life.
But you don’t have the discipline to apply the things that you know each and every day. Discipline is what’s missing, not knowledge. So if you want to do more with your time read on and let’s get things done.
Set A Goal
I know this might sound cliché already, but it is the fundamental step you need to take if you want to achieve anything. You need to know where you are and where you want to go. Desire is the starting point of all individual achievement, so set a goal that you are passionate about, one that is inspiring.
You will know you have set a good goal when you are feeling two things: excitement and fear. You will feel excited about the goal because it is something that inspires you, something that you love doing.
At the same time, if your goal is big enough, you will also feel fear because you know that it will take a whole lot of work to achieve that goal.
Discovering your passion, or better yet, discovering a passion which you can turn into a money making business might be quite a challenge. Most people think of the things they are passionate about such as recreational activities which will not be suitable for a business.
You could work for a gaming company, you could do video game reviews on YouTube, you could build custom gaming PCs, you could get intro graphic design, animations, game story-line writing and so on and so forth.
My Own Personal Story
Here’s how it all started for me. First and foremost, finding out what your passion is might be unclear to you and that’s OK. That’s how it happens for everybody and that is how it happened for me as well.
I’ve always liked watching motivational videos on YouTube. I just loved the emotion a video could transmit to the viewer. I loved how the background music goes so well with the images, how the speeches used in these videos give you goose bumps and how everything blends together perfectly creating a staggering clip.
So what you may ask. There are millions of people around the world how like watching those kind of videos. How can that be turned into something lucrative?
Well, because of it I started to get into video editing and create videos myself. Things picked up from there and before I know it I had a couple of clients who asked me if I can handle the video editing for them.
So I started offering video editing services as a freelancer in no time. Soon after that I started Veedyou Media which now handles customers all over the world in various niches.
Remember this. No matter how inappropriate your passion might seem at first, if you take the time and actually think about it a little bit you could probably come up with a handful of ideas related to your passion which can be turned into a legit business.
Introduction to Human Behavior
Have you ever noticed that you are more likely to be unproductive throughout the day? Why do we oversleep instead of waking up 2 hours earlier and go to the gym? Why do we waste time TV shows instead of working on a personal project?
And Why do we spend so time online looking at cat pictures (no disrespect intended), instead of taking action to earn more money?
It just seems like our mind simply works against us, instead of for us. The truth is that the mind doesn’t really do neither of those things. We will just do whatever we are used to do. Our habits will pretty much determine what we do with our free time.
The issue is that we don’t actually get to build habits on our own. Our habits are determined genetically and environmentally.
Self-preservation is an instinct that we inherited genetically, which makes us become lazy when we are feed and when we have a roof over our heads. Think about it a little bit.
If you have a decent place to stay and a good paying job, you will be very likely to settle with that, right? Have you wondered why that is? It is simply the way we have been programmed. It is an instinct which all living creatures have.
Then, as a child we will copy the habits (both good or bad) of the people around us. As we grow up, until the age of around 4 years old, we don’t have a well-developed conscious mind to differentiate between the good and bad. We simply accept anything that we get thrown by the people around us.
That’s pretty much how habits are formed. Now let’s see how we can change our habits and become more disciplined and more productive.
How the Mind Works
For an easier understanding of how the mind works, solely for the purpose of this article’s topic, we are going to use the over-simplified model of the mind which you can see below.
Image credit: http://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/
In this illustration the mind is divided in two parts – the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Both will affect the actions of our body, our behavior and ultimately of our life.
The conscious mind is the part of your mind which does all the thinking. It can accept, reject and originate its own ideas. It also contains 6 mental faculties: imagination, intuition, reason, will power, memory and perception.
The subconscious mind has a very different role though. It takes the repeated actions of the conscious mind and turns them into habits – things we do automatically, without thinking about them.
Now, I’ll be honest with you. Changing your habits is a difficult thing to do.
Why Is It Difficult to Change Your Habits?
The reason it’s so hard is because this is when your mind will actually work against you. Our existing habits are already inside the mind (subconscious mind) and replacing them with new habits will require a lot of work and time.
Habits are formed through constant repetition. So if you want to form a new habit of waking up each morning at 4 AM and work for 3 hours on your startup before everyone else wakes up, you will need to do this over and over again until it becomes of habit.
Once you form that habit you will wake up and start working automatically. You won’t question anymore if you should do it or you should sleep more.
Of course the process of creating this habit will probably be a difficult one. Because you are not used to wake up early on the morning you will have to constantly make this decision consciously over and over again until it become a habit. This is the hard part.
But we have a little something to help us with that.
Will Power & Imagination
Changing your habits happens in the conscious mind in 4 steps:
- Identify when you are about to fall into a habitual pattern
- Force yourself to resist that habit
- Think about what you need to do instead (e.g. work on something)
- Perform that action instead
This sounds pretty easy but it actually is quite difficult to apply in the real life. If it was easy there wouldn’t be no overweight people, everybody would be fit and we would all be entrepreneurs.
Inside your conscious mind we have limited amounts of will power and imagination which we can use for changing our habits so that we become more productive.
Will power is the raw power of our conscious mind.
It is what makes us focus on something and resist external distractions. So when you are resisting eating a chocolate cake because you are dieting, you are using your will power. In the same way, to resist a bad habit and act against it you will need a lot of will power.
Studies have shown that we have more will power in the morning, right after we wake up. Therefore in makes perfect sense to focus on our work in the first part of the day.
Imagination is the ability to form certain images in your mind, to create certain images. This is even more powerful than will power. The way we behave is actually controlled by the picture that we have in our mind.
So if you want to behave differently, before you can do that you will need to imagine how you want to act. You must actually see yourself acting the way you want.
So, for example let’s say you want to learn how to edit videos and stop wasting time on social media. When you say I want to stop wasting time on social media you probably see yourself in front of the computer browsing on Facebook.
And that is exactly what you will feel like doing. Your will power can’t do anything to change that image because you don’t know what you change that image with.
So instead of picturing yourself browsing on social media, imagine yourself working on editing a nice video project, working on transitions, color grading, creating a script for the video and so on.
The key is to imagine yourself doing what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do. This way your will power can hold onto the image you have formed in your mind and you will be able to perform that action instead.
When the imagination and willpower are in conflict it is always the imaginations which wins.
That is why setting a goal which is inspiring is the fundamental step towards better results. Because your goal is related to something you love doing, it will be much easier for your to hold in your mind an image of you doing what you enjoy.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Next time when you don’t seem to find the inner discipline to start working on something, remember how the mind works.
Use your imagination and will power to get you going. Stop focusing on the old habits and start working on creating new, better habits. Habits that will support the lifestyle you want to live.