Are you Focused on Making Progress or Maintaining the Status Quo?
Many people erroneously believe they’re making progress because they’re working hard. A good way to predict the direction of your life is to measure how much of your time you’re actually trying to enhance it. Then consider how much of your time is spent just maintaining the status quo.
Most people believe they want something better and are working hard to accomplish it. In most cases, they’re expending a lot of mental energy wishing, fantasizing, and worrying. None of these are reliable ways to enhance your life. What have you done this week that will take your life to the next level? If you’re like most people, you haven’t done much.
Change is challenging, because there’s uncertainty. Familiarity is comforting, even if you’re unhappy. Most people naturally gravitate toward the familiar even if they’re miserable. If you can become comfortable with the prospect of change, progress is easy.
Be brave enough to create the change you desire:
- Working hard isn’t enough. If you’re working hard on the wrong things, you’ll never see any progress. Effort matters, but only if you’re spending your time wisely. If you want to see real change, it’s necessary to spend time doing constructive things above and beyond what is required to live your current life.
- Have you learned anything new lately? Learning new information can help to create change, if you use the information. What are you doing instead of learning? Watching the same TV shows? You’re maintaining the status quo. New information leads to new understandings.
- Are you spending time with anyone new? Hanging out with the same people each day is another good way to ensure that nothing changes. New people can change your perspective and introduce you to new ideas.
- Are you doing anything new? The same gym workout repeated over and over again will ensure that you neither gain nor lose ground. The same behaviors deliver the same, reliable results.
- Going into the same job and providing the same efforts ensures the same paycheck.
- Thinking the same thoughts results in the same actions.
- Same hobbies? No changes coming.
- What did you do today? At the end of each day, ask yourself two questions:
- If I lived this same day over and over for the next 20 years, what would my finances, health, social life, and relationships look like?
- Did I do anything today to take my life to the next level, or did I ensure that nothing will change in the future?
- Write your responses in a journal. You’ll tire of not having anything interesting to write. You’ll spend more time trying to make a difference in your life. The answer to these two questions can predict the future better than you think.
- Do you have goals? Do you measure your progress? Goals are nothing more than desired changes. If you have goals and you’re making progress, you can expect to see progress in your life.
- You’re choosing to maintain the status quo if you don’t have concrete goals. Any changes you experience will be due to random chance.
Most people claim they want a better life, but few are doing anything to make it happen. It’s easier to wish than to face uncertainty.
If you’re working hard but failing to gain any ground, spend some time each day doing something that will give you the chance to accomplish something new in the future. The more time you spend this way, the more progress you’ll make toward the life you desire.