My goal is to live in Spain in 2022. I’ve embedded this goal into my being in 2020. After buying a condo with my partner, I realized that I didn’t want to stay in one spot my whole life. So, I’ve made it my goal to live in at least 3 different countries before I die.
Yet, when I tell people my goal, they don’t take me seriously. I get the feeling of judgment, thinking, yeah, right. But in my head, it’s already happening. I didn’t know how exactly make it happen, but it turns out when you want something in life, the way you think plays a huge role.
You might not know it yet, but you have more control over your life than you think. Whatever situation you’re in right now, if you want to change it, you can, especially when your basic needs such as food, the Internet and a roof over your head are met.
You (Almost) Always Have a Choice
I was talking to a co-worker who was deciding whether to buy her place this year or save up for longer. After a half-hour conversation with some math involved, we’ve concluded that she wouldn’t be able to afford to buy her place in Toronto. It is one of the most expensive places to live on Earth.
She would have to work a full-time job and pick up overtime shifts to make it work. If she buys the place, she would be hustling hard. She would miss many life experiences, like travelling, spending time with friends and family, just to own a place. Is that then worth it?
Or she could choose to keep renting, save up and choose a lifestyle that works for her, whether that means going outside of Toronto and getting a car but fully live a more fulfilling life. She was willing to let her FOMO (fear of missing out), which comes from a fear of social exclusion, and a mortgage decides what her future would look like.
Just like my friend, you (almost) always have a choice on what to do with your life. This doesn’t mean that they will be easy decisions. But, it’s about learning making decisions that are your choices. How can you live your life more intentionally so that you don’t feel like your life is passing by you?
Your Thoughts Create Your Reality
I learned about thought work about two years ago. I learned that our brain process information this way: you have a circumstance that you attach meaning to. Now, you have thoughts about that event that create feelings. Your feelings then drive your actions and, therefore, results.
Right now, I’m writing in a beautiful 2-bedroom condo that I didn’t think I could afford a year ago. But I remember wanting a place so bad that I did everything in my power to get here. I’ve recently changed my thoughts doing difficult things, like earning my first $ online, writing well, and building an online community.
And slowly, I’m seeing them become real. I’m not saying to start thinking positively or start doing affirmations. They don’t work if you don’t believe in them. Instead, start creating new thoughts that you do believe in.
For example, instead of thinking, “I don’t know how to start an online business”, you can start thinking, “Even though I don’t know how to create an income yet, I trust that I can figure it out”
Learn how to create thoughts that serve you so that your brain starts to make it a habit. This means paying attention to your unhelpful thoughts and slowly change them to more helpful thoughts. It’s not about going from negative to positive thoughts. Sometimes, going from negative to neutral is more than enough.
Your Primitive Brain Gets In the Way of Your Desires
Your primitive brain is the part of your brain that’s there to protect you. During the caveman times, it was useful to assume that berries are poisonous until they weren’t. It prevented you from literally dying. These days, it’s unhelpful to think that something horrible will happen once you share an article or a video of you talking online.
Unfortunately, our primitive brain does a lot of the work when it comes to decision-making. Poisonous berries and judgment from strangers on the Internet cause the same physiological reaction (i.e. anxiety, panic, stress). So, a lot of our modern fears can be traced back to how our brain worked in the past (i.e. survival, drive and instinct). In short, these fears are useless today.
So, when we don’t fully do what we want in life, it’s because these fears are embedded so deeply into our being. It’s become common for us to stay in our comfort zones when we could be doing something more. Instead of letting fears control your life, begin to understand where these fears are coming from.
Soon enough, you’ll realize that these fears aren’t yours. But your brain’s. When you understand how your thought pattern works, you begin to realize that you have more control over what you think and believe. When you start to believe in things, in yourself, you start to become confident in taking actions towards your goals in life.
I wanted to start an online business to go live in Spain in the next year or so. But of course, many people say that they want to do things, but not many people do the work to get there. But when you realize that you have more control in your life, you start to take small steps towards your dreams.
Small but consistent steps are so much better than one big shift. In these small steps, you also find fulfillment because you also realize that your purpose in life is to be yourself. And being yourself would require learning who you are and who you want to become.
Start by observing your own thoughts. By doing this, you learn how you’ve been playing the narrative of your own life. Only then you can start to change your story. Learn how to make your thoughts work for you. Over time, you start to realize that you have more control in life than you believe.