Sigh… if only everything we wanted just – poof! – materialized.
Rather, anything we desire comes to us only through a very specific process – if it arrives at all. It matters not whether it’s trivial, mundane, or life altering. There is an unalterable four-step progression. More importantly, that entire sequence moves forward based entirely on the words we use in our heads.
Step one: I realize I want something.
Many times, we mistakenly say, “need;” but in actuality, it’s “want.” After all, if we were really motivated to go after what we needed, we’d all be healthy and fit with great attitudes and perfect relationships, wouldn’t we? We take action – or we don’t, because we want to – or don’t, NOT because we need to.
Let’s use a specific example: The holidays are nigh and I know I will see family. Neither wanting snide comments nor condescending sneers, I decide to drop a few pounds. To my previous point, I’ve needed to lose weight for some time, but until I wanted to, I was not motivated. Now, having entered this “acceptance stage,” I acknowledge that not only do I need to – but also I actually want the results that will come from it.
I am in motion.
Upon acceptance, the search for validation that it can or cannot be achieved commences.
After all, as much as I might want to flap my arms and fly, I’m not climbing up on my roof and jumping any time soon. So, during this period, I research, reach out, and talk to friends. I educate myself to what is possible. After all, wanting is not a strategy; I need concrete proof in order to progress. If I cannot convince myself of that reality, I remain stagnant and the whole process is DOA.
However, once I convince myself that what I want is possible; I enter the “realization stage” that it can indeed be done. This is still not enough. After all, I realize lots of things can be done. People can run marathons or take financial risks or travel to faraway lands. Simple because it can be done does not mean I will do it.
For that to happen, I must commit, whereby what I desire moves from an “external” to an “internal” state. In essence, my inner voice shifts from “It can be done” to “I will do this.” That’s a very powerful adjustment. No longer is it theory; it’s practice, for once I use the words, “I will,” my thoughts are irreversibly altered, therefore changing the resulting behaviors.
Only once my behaviors transform do I achieve new results.
Many times, we get to this to this third stage. Yet still we relapse or give up. Hence, something is still missing.
The answer? To lock in success, we must make the leap to the “actualization” stage, the point when we see — and accept — our results. It’s that time when we say to ourselves, “I am doing this.”
The reason we don’t is because we expect too much too quickly, or because we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the small steps we’ve begun. It can feel awkward saying “I am…” when we’ve barely left the starting line. As with any child learning a new skill, we must at first give ourselves much credit for the process and spend less time focusing on the goal.
For if I cannot say, “I am,” I will most certainly say “I won’t.”
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a motivational productivity expert and weight loss speaker. He will be co-producing an event in Humboldt County on October 12 best described as “a cross between a creativity workshop and productivity training – with a bit of life balance thrown in for good measure.” If you are a solo-entrepreneur, business manager, or artisan, find out how to save 33% at http://bit.ly/PlorkHumboldt
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