I, Amanda, have a bad habit I want to confess today. I too often want my life to be an Insta-pot. This is what I mean: I want all my dreams to come true in 20 minutes or less. I want all my actions to look like I’ve been practicing them for years, even when I am lazy week after week. I have a bad habit of wanting results rather than journeys. But I am starting to realize, that the only person my laziness is hurting is me. I am tired of hurting myself with my bad habits. I’m realizing I want a better life than the reality my bad habits create for me.
My lack of patience is often my biggest problem and worst bad habit. I need to remember that special goals take time to achieve, and I’ll never reach those important dreams if I’m not patient. I have to remind myself that it’s unrealistic to expect my dreams to arrive tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year. Heck, some of my biggest dreams may take decades to reach, and I have to be Ok with the feeling of waiting as I work for them. The feeling of “waiting” has always been a difficult feeling for me to deal with.
I have to remind myself that if I put continuous effort toward my dreams every day, my dreams will naturally form around me. With great effort, comes great reward. Sure the road to my dream life may not be easy, sexy, and exciting all the time, but they will happen if I just keep working at them. I have to be patient, and rather than wanting everything NOW, I have to focus on maximizing the potential of every day, and let the years and decades compound my daily efforts into my dream life. That’s the smart way to live.
I have to start using the daily events that bother and challenge me as fuel. I have to view difficult moments in life as training grounds to better prepare me for the journey that gets harder and harder as I go. I have to learn how to appreciate every day – even the hard days that aren’t perfect – as opportunities to grow. I have to separate “how I feel,” from “the things I have to do.” I need to do a better job pushing through how I feel, so I can accomplish the goals that will lead me to become the person I am meant to be. As I’m getting older I’m realizing feelings can lie to me. Don’t make the mistake I’ve made in my past and get discouraged by your “feelings.” Feelings can lie to you. If your feelings are discouraging you, simply stop listening to them and learn how to fight through them!
Here’s a real life experience to illustrate what I am trying to say: This week, I was getting annoyed with my day job. My impatience led me to feel irritable and unhappy. This is the cycle I’ve always been caught in: I get frustrated, and I give up. But later that night, I had an epiphany: Rather than give into my unhappiness and slide into a depression-funk like I’ve always done in the past, I realized I had a choice: I could give up, or I could work on my dreams when I am not at work. Eventually, with enough practice, the work I love to do can begin to replace the work I hate to do.
That night I realized the more I grind toward my goals the sooner my results will happen. I realized I have to escape another bad habit that I call the “work hour” mentality. A “work hour” mentality is a mentality where you feel entitled that you only have to work hard during your “work hours.” I realized that if I want to achieve my dreams, I have to change my way of thinking. I have to embrace an “every minute” approach to life. Mastering life isn’t about mastering your work hours. It’s about mastering “every minute” of your life.
I’m realizing that a “work hour” mentality is a dangerous state of mind for me. In my past, I’ve used the “work hour” mentality to validate laziness and bad behavior. For example, my entire adult life I’ve used my “work hour” mentality as an excuse to say, “I worked hard, now I don’t have to do anything with my life during my free time.”
Doing nothing seemed relaxing at first, but it led me to a viscous cycle of depression every time. I would work super-hard at work, and then collapse into periods of nothingness and laziness in my personal life at home. This cycle led me to believe I’ll always work on my dreams “later,” but for me, “later” almost always led to doing nothing at all. Recently, I’m realizing that I have done this WAY too much in my life and I have to change the source causing this cycle: My mind. I’m starting to tell myself I don’t “deserve” to be lazy. Laziness is a lie! For me, it leads to depression every time, and I’m sad I’ve spent most of my life in this gross mental state.
I’m realizing that an awesome life isn’t about the results. It’s about the journey. I’m learning that the journey is what makes us stronger, and provides us the perspective to be grateful for the places we travel. The journey is what strengthens and inspires us to reach for more, give more, and do more. Creating an awesome journey is what makes us feel satisfied.
I don’t know why I held onto this bad habit of wanting my life to be an Insta-pot. Just look at the stories about people who’ve lived an easy life and won the lottery. Most end up miserable and bankrupt. Why? Because they didn’t work for it. They missed the journey. They skipped the obstacles that are meant to strengthen and mold their character so they can know how to handle the success in the end. The experience of the hard times, teaches how to handle the good times when they come.
Now that I am becoming aware of what a healthy and wealthy life looks like, do I still want my life to resemble an Insta-Pot?
I’m learning the correct answer: Heck no! I want the journey. I want the adventure. I want the experience of constantly preparing and learning so when the great things arrive, I’ll be ready for them. It’s the journey to the dream-life that makes the dream-life more exciting and fun.
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