I apologize for the clickbait.
If you have landed here to read about how to dress like Superman, or how you can build your own bat mobile, then leave.
Seriously. Nowhere in this article are any of those things mentioned.
The article is about one of the revelations I had regarding self- development, and self-improvement.
So if that’s not your cup of tea, you can go back to where you came from. We would still be friends.
However, if you are still interested, and want to understand what keeps you from having your dream life that every atom of your body desires so much, then read on…
One of the most important lessons that I’ve learnt in my life is the one which seems understood and extremely obvious, and even neglected by the mass due to its simplicity, but should be kept in mind at all times because it’s the factor which ultimately governs how successful we end up being.
The propaganda being sold today to the masses is – “You can have it all… a perfect youth, perfect body, perfect academic career, perfect love life, perfect family life, wad of cash…all at once.“
What a big fat bullshit. That’s the biggest bullshit in the universe right now.
You cannot have all you want in your life at the same time.
Let me take it even a step further- you can NEVER have everything you desire, all at once.
You cannot have the cake and eat it too.
This is the thing that nobody talks about.
Because they want to sell you the notion that you can ‘Have Everything You Want™’, which is yearned by everyone.
But this is something that is just not attainable even in this new-age-information-and-everything-
The truth is, you want something, you must sacrifice something else in return.
This is a transaction in life that happens.
My friend, and I was out one evening to have a pitch of beer.
Sitting across me, gulping the chilled beer down his throat, and puffing out the cigarette smoke, he asked:
“How can I be a star stunt driver, and ace my academics?”
“You can’t. You are EITHER a stunt driver, OR you ace your academics.”
And yes, I said that imitating Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden from the movie Fight Club. Let’s face it, no other way would have had the same impact.
Anyways, let me make it easier for you to understand by an example:
If you want to make a ton of money, for instance, then you must sacrifice the time you spend with your friends, family, girlfriend or spouse, and wholly devote yourself to your business.
You have to let go of squandering the time on TV. You have to give up on the good times for a while and really give every waking hour to your venture.
If you think you can be a successful entrepreneur at day, and still could end up with time to spare to your dad, and later indulge yourself in Netflix, well good luck with that.
It ain’t happening.
Why do you think multi-millionaires skipped their graduation?
They weren’t lunatics who were searching for a way to escape from their colleges.
They realized that running a stable business, and focusing on their career at the same time was neither practical, nor doable.
Again, want to be the most renowned drummer in the world?
Give up hanging out with your buddies. Give up the time you spend on college projects. Give up enjoying with your sweet heart. Give up taking a nap in the afternoon.
Surrender yourself to the drum set.
It’s one thing or the other, because here is the fact- to become really good at something, you must give yourself fully to it.
You must dedicate a part of your life to it.
Want to have a better body?
Give up the junk food you pick up at the local subway. Give up the delicious chocolate cookies. Give up laziness and start working out. Give up smoking and drinking.
You can either choose to eat high calorie food and be fat, or you can choose to exercise and be fit.
You can’t be a glutton and look like an Instagram model at the same time. Make your choice and stick with it.
It’s either hot or cold. Black or white. Life doesn’t offer fifty shades of grey.
You cannot be all and everything you want to be.
Nobody can. Fact.
The analogy I use to make people understand this concept is of the Superman, and the Batman.
You can’t be the Superman and the Batman at the same time. That’s why DC comics had to create two different characters. Bruce Wayne can’t be the dark knight, and fly around the city at lightening speed at the same time.
Silly, I know, but it gets the point across effectively.
Choose what you want to have or become, then forget about everything else.
Give your everything to who you want to be. Life is not Hollywood. There are some moments, some things you got to and have to lose, if you want other things.
This is how universal equation is balanced and you can’t change it.
Some aspects of your life must be given up for the accomplishment of other, more important things.
When I’m writing articles for the blog, for instance, I’m losing time I could spend with my buddies. I’m losing time I could exercise. I’m losing my trip to the supermarket. I’m losing watching the wrestling match going live on TV, and all the good little shit that I could be doing, instead of worrying about how to craft my articles better so that readers will stay a second longer on my blog ( ugh, it’s a real pain in the ass, believe me.)
But I’ve made my choice, and I don’t think about anything else when Iam writing. It’s how I have decided to spend my time.
I heard Lenka sing it in one of her songs: “Everything at once”.
*chuckles* Forget it.
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But if you think that the concept of choosing and sacrificing is limited only to your actions, then you are wrong.
It goes deeper than the rabbit hole once you begin to digest it completely.
In your personal life, you must give up on certain people – some of your friends and relatives, if you want to prosper.
No matter how good of a person they are, or how attached you are to them, if they are acting as an anchor to your progress, then you must let them go.
Let go of everyone who don’t help you move forward. And yes, the idea even applies to your best friend, and family.
In your professional life, you must sacrifice your current vocation for the pursuit of your passion, or even a job that pays more.
You can’t take both of them parallel.
Or if you stay at your job, then you decided to sacrifice your passion, by default.
Before you can open another door for yourself, you must let go of the one you are holding on to.
You have to consciously close the other doors, so to speak.
You can’t escape the dilemma of choosing one thing over the other.
Saying yes to something will inadvertently lead you to say no to something else.
It’s ‘either…or‘ situation at every fuckin’ turn of your life.
“You can either do this, or you can do that.”
The question which then begets is this – how does one decide the activities that should be pursued and the ones that should be refrained from?
You are ready to sacrifice some of your actions and habits, but how do you figure out the activities you should pursue and the ones you should let go of?
Ready for the answer?
The only parameter you should be measuring against, is your happiness.
Not your brother’s, not your parents’, not your cousin’s, not your next door neighbor’s, not your dog’s, but YOUR happiness.
Your happiness must decide the course of your actions.
And when I say happiness, I don’t mean transient happiness gained by instant gratification, whether it be a jolt of laughter while watching a silly comedy show, or the high you get from taking a snort of cocaine.
Iam talking about long-term happiness- the happiness that stays for a long time which is obtained when you achieve your goals.
Your aim should be to become a long-term happy individual.
The problem with the comedy shows and cocaine snort is that once they are over, so is the fun.
Long term happiness would keep your smile, and maintain your high for hell of a long time.
In order to simplify the accomplishment of your goals, and make it a less daunting process, I have devised a method.
This method has proven itself time and time again, and provides the quickest route to your aim.
It’s like a cheat code for life which makes it all easier to accomplish your goals.
I call this method…
Elimination And Integration
Here is the walk-through of the entire process:
Take out your journal, or a clean sheet of paper, and begin describing your ideal life.
How would you like your life to be in the near future?
Remember it is important to not sell yourself short, and let the desires come out. Get wild.
Is it having a mansion with a garage adored by luxurious cars?
Is it to travel around the world, and quench your wanderlust?
Whatever it is, write it down. Nobody is going to judge, and those who do suck balls.
So go ahead, and write down how would you like to spend most of your life. I will be here when you are done with that.
Okay, so you wrote down your dream life? Alright, so now you have a statement of your ideal life ( I really hope you do), the process of Elimination, and Integration begins.
What I want you to do now, is to reflect on your life a little, and think about all the activities that you involve yourself into throughout the day that are nowhere related to making your dream life come true.
Think about your daily routine and ask yourself- “Which are the activities that I pursue throughout the day that slide me away from my goal?“, and note those activities down.
So if your goal is to become smarter, for example, then the acts that piss on that desire are watching a lot of TV, laziness in reading informative books, believing everything that is viral on social media, and spending four hours on X-Box 360 trying to accomplish another level of Assassin’s Creed.
If your goal is to travel around the world, and experience the joy it can provide you, then the acts that strangle your dream are not saving for the trip, spending extravagant amount of money on Saturday nights out with your buddies ( sacrifice, remember?), buying luxury wrist watches for yourself, and staying in the job that pays a dollar for every burger that you serve.
The idea here is to identify all the activities, and habits that distance you from your desired goal, and eliminate those habits immediately.
When you have completed the little exercise, what you will end up with is a list of your ‘dream killer routines.‘
Your job is to get rid of them as soon as possible, preferably from this moment onward.
The elimination step halts your degradation. It ceases all the forces that take you away from your preferred goal.
The next step, integration, moves and accelerates you in the right direction- in the direction of your dreams.
Mere elimination of useless activities, and futile habits is not going to make your life any better. It is going to make it worse than before. ( Imagine going from earning twenty dollars a week to no dollars at all. Not a nice situation to be in.)
Therefore, you must ‘integrate‘ new rituals, and habits to improve upon your current situation.
Once again, look at your goal in the journal and figure out the habits and routine that you need to incorporate in your life to get closer to your dream destination. Get a little help from the internet or an expert for the purpose.
For instance, in case of getting smarter, the habits that need to be cultivated and routines that need to be followed are reading books for at least two hours, improving your vocabulary, seeking new information, learning a new language, and looking to expand your knowledge at every opportunity that presents.
If your aim is to get leaner, the rituals that are required are- doing cardio in the gym for at least an hour a day, picking up close-to-nature food such as fresh fruits and veggies at the groceries, and replacing soda drinks with fruit juice.
The process of Elimination And Integration is applicable to all the areas of your life that you want to improve.
In the course of accomplishment of your goals, there are always certain habits and activities that you need to shun ( eliminate), and others that you need to adopt (integrate).
It also increases your will power as you learn to curb your desires for short-term pleasure to yield a long-term benefit.
Sacrificing your short term pleasures for the attainment of long term goals is an art, which is to be learnt.
The more you sacrifice, the better you get at it.
This is exactly what is meant by taking responsibility for your life.
You know the things that benefit you, and you are aware of the ones that don’t get you anywhere.
And you decide accordingly.
At every moment of your life,you have got choices.
Your life, no matter how it is right now, is the result of the series of choices you made for yourself up until now.
You want to change? You don’t like how your life is going right now?
Start making different choices.
You have got your time, and you have got the power of making choices for yourself. Your choices will lead to different destinations down the road, so make sure it is something that you will like.
Remember- life is not only about as adopting new things, it’s as much about letting go of the unnecessary ones.
The only real question is this:
Are you willing to give up those interesting, yet unimportant things?
Until Next Time