Is Your Life TBD?

Your life, at least everyday going forward is “to be determined.” The only question is, who will determine it. 

It’s a vital question. The answer likely determines both the level of your happiness and success. 

Here’s a few questions to help you become more aware of exactly who is determining your future:

Are you waiting for your life to happen? Do you wait for something to happen while successful people are making something happen? Are you waiting for your “big break” while successful people are making themselves a big break? Are you working hard or hardly working? Do you have goals and a plan? Do you go with the flow or create your own current?

One final question … Can you be honest enough with yourself to answer those questions truthfully?

No matter the circumstances surrounding your life, the economy, your education, where you live or where you grew up or your past experience, no matter what, your future will be determined by YOUR actions. Your actions are mostly determined by your attitude. Your attitude is completely your choice and by extension, so are your actions.

Even if a great opportunity does just “happen” along you still must have to courage to reach out and grab it, you must have to courage to take action.

Do you have an attitude of “can’t” or an attitude of “can?” When you hear yourself saying “I can’t” you best ask yourself one final question. Do you really mean “I won’t?”  I’d personally bet on the “I won’t” because the fact is, you almost certainly can.

There will always be excuses available to those who are willing to accept them but here’s another fact: the most successful people do not need excuses and they will not accept them when available. They simply outwork the need for excuses.

While hard work is good, hard work with goals and a plan is great. If you don’t have goals, true goals, then you reduce your chances of success ten-fold. The creation of goals leads to the development of the plans required to achieve them. In nearly every instance the lack of a plan leads directly to the lack of success.

If you’re blaming “them” or blaming “they” for your lack of success then think again. Until you accept responsibility for where you are you will never do what needs to be done to get yourself where you want to be. You and only you can put yourself somewhere else. When you accept the excuses available you surrender the awesome power of YOU! You allow other people and other stuff to determine your level of success and often, your level of happiness.

Bob Hope, the great American comedian and actor said: “I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.” That’s a great quote, I especially like the part where he says “I steered myself there.” You can do that too!

It’s unlikely that you would buy the car of your dreams and then only allow other people to drive it. Why let other people steer the course of your life with their excuses for you?

Step up this week and step out into the light of harsh reality. You may not like where you are but in all likelihood you put yourself there. You are the only person in the world who can put yourself somewhere else.

I’ve used the word success quite a bit in this post but so far I haven’t really defined what true success is. I won’t define it for you because I can’t. Never let anyone but YOU define your success or tell you if you are happy or not. YOUR success and happiness can only be defined by YOU. If others don’t believe you’re successful enough or happy enough that’s their problem not yours. 

If you’re happy with “where you are in life” then by all means stay there. If you’re not happy with where you are, then by any and all means possible, get moving in the direction of your dreams.

Start today! 

The Difference Between “I Can’t” and “I Won’t”

I-cant11You have within you enormous potential for success and happiness. There is likely nothing but you keeping you from achieving it. The question isn’t whether you can succeed, the question is whether you will choose to succeed.

Your success really begins with an understanding of the difference between “I Can’t” and “I Won’t.”

There are really very few things you actually “can’t” do. Most of the things you don’t do are because you simply won’t.

I “don’t” play a musical instrument. It’s not because “I can’t” it’s because I choose to invest my time hitting a golf ball into the water or trees. The time I could use to learn to play a musical instrument “I won’t” because apparently I prefer to torment myself on the golf course.

Now, I really “can’t” be the King of England. There are many reasons for this, chief among them I suppose is the fact that I was born in the United States. If you TRULY can’t control something, then and only then, might it be accurate to say you “can’t” do it.

Those things are few and far between. In fact, one of the greatest differences between the most successful people and people who only claim to want success is this: successful people have found a way to control the things that less successful people told themselves were out of their control.

There really isn’t much out of your control if you want to control it badly enough. With every “I Can’t” you sell yourself short, sometimes, incredibly short.

I said “I Can’t” to myself too often and it’s been a long slow process to understand why. There’s really two reasons for it. Fear and laziness.

Fear holds us all back from our goals. Fear of failure, fear of being laughed at, fear of what “other” people will think of us. The only way to really fail is to let that fear keep you from trying. The only real failures in the world are those people who have failed to even try.

Sadly, laziness is another big cause of “I Can’t.” Some people don’t try because they are willing to let other people do the work for them. They weigh out the effort required against the benefit for themselves and decide to just sit back and wait for someone else to make the effort. “I Can’t” becomes their go-to excuse for everything they don’t want to do.

Imagine the world if everyone had that attitude. Almost nothing would have ever been accomplished. If everything you do must have an immediate benefit for you then I’d be willing to bet that you have an “I Can’t” mindset. You settle for far less than you could have.

“I Can’t” leads to settling and settling leads to bitterness. You’ve told yourself you “can’t” so many times even you start to believe it. STOP! Stop telling yourself you “can’t and start telling yourself you will. YOU WILL!

Some people say they would do anything to improve their lot in life but when you observe them, even for a short time, it appears that in fact, not only will they not anything, they won’t even do one thing. They don’t even try.

What would people see if they watched you for a week? Would they see someone who has settled for “I Can’t” or would they see someone who has decided they will?

If you’ve been selling yourself short with the “I Can’t” mentality, even for a long time, you can change it this second. Never let anyone say you can’t and never never never tell that to yourself.

“I Can’t” will stop your success before it gets a chance to start. Give yourself a chance at success, say “YOU WILL.”