A Chance but Revealing Meeting
Last week, Trent (not real Name) called me. A productive call it was for him. After the pleasantries, he dove right in.
'Deba, I left the house to come to church to have a quiet time. I usually come here when my heart is heavy or when I want to just gain some clarity. I come to pray and just communicate with my Maker, you see.'
He then talked about the daily struggles he faces to make ends meet. With two kids and a wife, it was sometimes hard. Clients delay payments or don't show up at all, etc.
'I need to diversify. I need to better my earning capacity. I need more, D.'
Then he proceeded to drop the clincher: 'what do you advice I focus on from today in getting a better deal for my life? Some things I can commit to, to change my finances?'
I listened intently, remembering he is not starting from scratch (he has an online platform where he communicates and connects with youths in all walks, teaching them how to navigate the relationship web).
Building Commitments, Changing Life.
Here's the thing, changing anything takes guts, frictions and subtle changes and pushes. It takes YOU committing to some form of routine or acts. These will become habits and that's where the new (or maybe true) you emerges.
Too many times, we get frustrated with reality. But reality is fleeting; it is really what we make of it.
I told Trent to keep his better life in sight. (Here is where a vision board will come handy for some). I asked him to never fail to dream about his coming tomorrow regardless of how bad it may seem today. His needs to be fed with the right type of imageries to engender a new him.
I told him that while there are no one-size-fits-all way to a better life (even a better life means different things to different people), there are some habits and commitments that keep you grounded in a frustrating life.
I asked him to make some commitments with me, where he is held accountable for his next life to make some commitments. These HAS to become his ground zero: the basest things he does, will do and continue to do. These commitments will forge his habits, straighten his perception of things, expand his productivity and ultimately help him create his ideal life.
If you are in kind of fix. You know you are worth more, deserve more, but just can't seem to shake out of your current situation, then these commitments are yours as well.
I listed them below:
Commit to Learning.
Super important! You become what you eat. In the same coin, your life and growth is a measure of what you learn. Expand your mind and learn more. Block off time to learn. Ask questions,
- Take a course each month. Learn a new skill, something useful. Could be simple or complex, from a 30-minute course to hours-long videos. Learn data. Commit a portion of your resources to your learning/education.
- Read a book a month. Your older self will be immensely thankful. You are a product of what you read. Read books about how the world works, how to host meetings, how those you hear of navigate their worlds.
- Meet someone interesting in your chosen space each month. LinkedIn makes this super easy. Find them, reach out. If you admire someone, reach out. Become useful to them. Ask to go on a virtual or physical, follow them. Let them mentor you from a distance. Build valuable and viable relationships.
Commit to your business.
This will be your freedom. How meaningful your life become depends on how much value your work or business is worth to you. Commit to it. If you love your job, commit to it by taking courses to advance in it. Commit to it by learning more about it, and making a statement with your commitment. If rather want to build your own business or brand, consider these:
- Commit to spend between 10 to 20 hours each week working on your dream. Spend time to learn that new skill, learn how social media marketing works, learn how to edit videos with your phone, learn just about any and every aspect of your business. Learn the charts, the markets, the trends. How will these play to your brands? Learning is the one true way you can authentically alter the trajectory of your brand. What you don’t learn or experience, you cannot really claim or implement.
- Commit to create your business (or work at it each week till its completed and ready). This may include building your team, finding and establishing your supply chain or discovering and testing your market. Work on each aspect of your business each week.
- Commit to a timeline to release your product or service (but be flexible regardless).
Commit to your health and Family.
One reason most people work so hard is this. So why not commit to this from the get go! You have just one body for a lifetime, keep it healthy. Here are my hard list:
- Eat, sleep, exercise, rest right. Take trips with family (doesn’t have to be expensive, doesn’t have to take you out of your city, doesn’t have to be elaborate, doesn’t have to be more than a weekend). If married, take trips with your family. If not, go alone or with friend. Relax, recalibrate, refocus. Everything need time to heal and go again. Your body do too.
- Treat your family as a part of you. I bet you will be shaken by any death in the family. Make out time for those you care about. Check in. Those people whose life affect yours in no small ways, look out for them. Don’t get too alone. In the end, social media will come and go, but you’re stuck with your family. Create the bond.
- Do something each month, that you totally love to do! No apologies. This will ensure you don’t hold regrets and grudges against yourself tomorrow. Take that flight. Go see that movie. Fall in love. Life this life! Each month, check something off your to-do list.
These are never easy to achieve, but with discipline, time management and a clear plan, you should be on your way. To help you with them,
Feed your mind with the right pictures and visions of yourself, 2, 5 or even 10 years from today. Are you healthier? Clip a perfect picture of the person you want to be to a board. Are you richer? How richer? Clip to the board! Are you satisfied? What kind of house do you live in, in a perfect you? Clip to the board. Clip things you love and want in your future to the board.
Make this one of the first and last things you see each day. Your mind works in magical ways in rebirthing and finding ways to bring to pass, the things you feed it with. Your mind will help sort the maze and bring that life to you. Trust your vision of you! If you don’t like what you are today, change it! Feed your mind some better visions.
Finally, always remember, this is a journey. Your journey. So don’t be so hard on yourself. Know that even those you look up to and admire still learning and honing our skills. It is a journey, not a destination, and the field is always changing.