These 3 Words Are Destroying You

Too many people feel like they’re not in control of their lives. Eventually, they come to see themselves as the proverbial hamster on a wheel. They wake-up just to earn enough to pay their bills, maybe save a little and buy the necessities of life. They sleep, eat, earn,spend and then rinse & repeat.

And like the hamster, although the wheel was turning, they’re in exactly the same place they've always been. 
 They haven’t made any real progress.

You know what will haunt you the most? Knowing that you’re not succeeding. That your activity is not equating to progress. When you know this deep-down; your level of inner-peace & fulfilment drops. Knowing you’re not progressing in life will eat away at your happiness and steal the spark you once had.
 So how does one go about fixing this?
If you asked me, I’d give you a bunch of different answers. Today though, my answer is: Start using different words.
The words you use have a greater impact on your life & mindset than you realise. They shape the way you will approach life and everything in it. They even influence your thoughts.
So, because words offer us a way to express our thought processes, by analysing our words we can analyse the direction our lives are taking.

Auditing your vocabulary is like gaining access to a trapdoor that leads into your brain.

Literally. If you want to know how someone thinks, assess the words they most commonly use.
Anyway, of all the words in the world, there are 3 words that will help you avoid success and destroy your chances of crafting a life you look forward to waking-up to. Using them regularly will ensure that you lead a life punctuated by monotony, stagnation and an unhealthy attraction to weekends coupled with a deep distaste for Monday mornings.
Side note: Please, don’t lead a life where you hate the work you do on a Monday so much that you start the week just so that you can make it to Friday. You were born to do much more than that. 
Another side note: Here’s a quote by Seth Godin, worthy of being printed out and framed, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

The 3 words you really, really must stop saying are, “I need to…”. Don’t recognise them? Here are some examples:
 * I need to start exercising 
 * I need to start saving
 * I need to work on my anger issues
 * I need to focus more on my marriage
 * I need to spend more time with my kids
 * I need to write my book
 * I need to wake-up earlier
 * I need to find a better job
If you’ve said any of the above, the chances are quite high that you still haven’t done the thing you said you “needed” to. 
 Companies & organisations use them too:
 * We need to look into this
 * We need to find a better way
 * We need to start doing that
 * We need to find better people
 * We need to attract more clients

Nobody, I repeat, nobody has ever made progress by telling the world what they “need” to do. Anyone who has made real, meaningful progress, achieved it by doing what they “needed to do”.

Ban the words, “I / We need to” from your vocabulary. If you see the need, do whatever it takes to remedy the situation.
Stop talking about how you “need” to find a better job and quietly work on your plan to either find a better job or become self-employed. Telling us how you “need” to start eating healthy, won’t take you an inch closer to better health. Just start doing it. 
Do you “need” to spend more time with your kids? Show me how much time you’ve spent with them in the past week. How much more is it compared to the week before? If you haven’t already made an increase, the sad truth is that you aren’t going to. If you truly believed you”needed” to , you would have already. 
Companies who talk about how they “need” to start doing certain things are almost certainly the ones who will never manage to implement those things.
Food is a need. When you’re hungry, you eat. I haven’t seen anyone walk around for weeks saying, “I need to eat”. Because it’s a real need, you do it immediately. You don’t wait for permission or approval. You don’t wait for perfect conditions. You just do it.

My life changed immensely when I stopped saying, “I need to”. I got tired of making promises to myself that I knew I would break. So instead of saying, “I need to start eating healthier”, I just did. I stopped saying, “I need to wake-up earlier” and set a 4 a.m. wake-up time for myself and stuck to it. 
Sure, somedays I don’t hit all my personal targets, but I don’t use the words “I need to” as an excuse to let my life remain exactly the same. I wake-up with a deep yearning to make each day better than the one before it. I hope that you will too. 
Life is short. Please, do more.

Originally published on the newsletter