When people aren't getting what they want it's normal to think about what needs to be changed to get what they want. And, they typically begin with today's topic, actions. They look at changing their actions and envision getting different outcomes or results. As we've seen, though, this is not the place to start. Long before we get here we need to have at least looked at everything that comes beforehand. That is, we need to work on our philosophies and our attitudes, we need to make sure our goals are consistent with who we are and we need to clarify what we really want before we examine our actions and what changes might need to be made in them to get the results we want. Then, once all those are congruent, we look at our actions, the things we are doing and change them as needed to get the results we desire. It does little good to start by looking at our actions when we haven't made sure our philosophies, values, attitudes and wants aren't compatible with them.
For the purposes of this article, let's assume you've done all the introspection and self-examination necessary. You've taken the time to decide who you really are and what you're all about. You've reached the point that you know what you want. You've taken the time to work on your philosophies and attitudes to make sure they support you in the pursuit of your goals. Now, what about your actions?
Just like we can't know everything, we can't do everything. So, we have to decide what it is we need to do to achieve what we want. For most of us, this often means there's more learning involved. Do we have the skills we need? If not, how and where can we obtain them? How long will it take? How proficient do we have to be to start implementing the new skills we learn? These are all questions we need to ask and answer honestly. The good news is, most of the time, we can put new skills into practice as we learn them. The proficiency will come with time an practice. We'll get better over time. We just have to start learning the skills. So, take the action. Read the books and sign up for the classes and workshops.
Learning new skills takes discipline. Sometimes, it's tempting to not practice or even learn new skills because it takes time and effort. But, if we've reached the point of realizing our actions need to change if we are to have what we want, it doesn't help to refuse to learn and do what's needed. If we do that, we have to be content to remain pretty much where we are right now. This is a place where tools can help. There are four that are particularly helpful:
- A planner, that we actually use, to keep us on track is invaluable. People who are pushing themselves to achieve more, who want to grow and excel more than in the past, typically “live and die” by their planners. Some people resist this for as long as possible. But, if those who have what we want use a planner, why wouldn't we also? So, take the time to find one that works for you. Then, use it every day.
- Find a mentor...or several. The old rule is simple. Find someone who has what you want and do what he or she did to get it. Over time you'll probably have several because it's unlikely that a single person has everything you want.
- Read good books. It has been said that an unsuccessful person will show you his or her TV...and a successful person will show you his or her library. Other people can read garbage. If you want your life to change, you need to read something that helps...every day. If you read exclusively or even primarily garbage, garbage is what you'll produce Though some think it sounds harsh, Jim Rohn was right to put it this way: “find out what poor people read and don't read it!”
- Consider hypnosis. We all get tired and when we do, it's easy to let things that aren't habit “slide”. Combine that with the natural subconscious objection to new things and it's easy to neglect our new skills, our reading, our mentor's instructions, our planners or anything else. Hypnosis can help you keep the commitment you made to change by enlisting the aid of your subconscious rather than simply hoping it doesn't sabotage you too much. If you use affirmations, hypnosis can help make them more effective.
That's it, really. Decide what actions you need to take, learn the skills you need and do what you need to do until you get what you want. It really is that simple.