Stop Waiting For Life To Happen. Here’s 6 Principles That Can Shape Your Future

Jonas Ressem
Jul 24, 2018 · 7 min read

How much of your life have you already been waiting?

Hours? Days? Months?

Could it possibly be more?

And more importantly, what exactly have you been waiting for?

The right opportunity?

The moment when it feels right?

A signal from the universe?

Well, as someone who’s been waiting on those things, I can tell you they’re not coming.

And that’s a good thing.

It means you can actively start to pursue, whatever it is that you desire.

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect!”— Aryn Kyle

In my adolescence years, I was constantly waiting for good things to happen to me.

I was waiting for a better future, but I was afraid to take any action into my own hands. And so, I ended up wasting a lot of time — frozen in the fear.

As I’ve slowly grown older, however, I’ve realized that life is far too precious to waste; and that it’s up to each and every one of us to start living it.

So, instead of waiting, I’ve come up with some principles that will help me shape the future I want:

  • Take control
  • Aim for growth
  • Be curious
  • Have a clear vision
  • Be aligned
  • Realize that 1+1 > 2

The rest of the article will look at the principles in more detail.


Take control

“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” — Seneca

The first step in taking any kind of control is to realize that you can actually take control; you’re the author of your life.

You’re the main character, so you might as well write the chapters ahead. It’s time to take the pen from whoever is holding it — and start the writing.

Because, if you don’t take control over your life, life takes control over you. Everything — even things you can’t possibly imagine — shapes your direction if you fail to set it yourself.

You have to decide to be in control. Don’t take your chances on anything else. Don’t fall victim to what some call the world’s greatest lie.

“[The world’s greatest lie] is this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Although you can’t have complete control over life, you can certainly shape and influence it. The following principles will help you do that.

Aim For Growth

“Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.” — Carol Dweck

When you aim for growth, you don’t put restrictions on yourself. The goal is to improve. Simple as that — always.

And that’s precisely what the growth mindset is all about. Those who aim for growth tend to get precisely that; growth.

Because, when life is about growing, there’s nothing that’s holding you back. There are no plateaus. There are no restrictions. There’s only hard work, strategies, and feedback.

Everything is possible if you put in the effort.

Be Curious

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” — Walt Disney

If you’re curious enough, there’s nothing that will stop you from figuring out what you need.

I’m currently writing my first book, ever, and it’s a big challenge for me. But luckily, I’m super curious about the topic, and it makes it so much easier to push through the obstacles I’m facing.

In addition, the curiosity quells my fear of failure. I’m curious about the topic at hand, and I want to know more about it — regardless of the outcome. The process is more important than the result.

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” — James Stephens

I really believe that curiosity is a superpower, and that it can make you want to:

  • Push harder
  • Work smarter
  • Always want to learn
  • Seek out new and interesting answers
  • Face your fears
  • Be the best at what you do
  • Live life at a higher level

Have A Clear Vision

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” — Joe Dispenza

If you can’t see what you’re aiming at, you can’t expect to hit it either.

You need a clear vision of your future. Because without it, you might end up somewhere you absolutely wouldn’t want to end up.

Paint a picture of your ideal future, so that you can start to implement strategies that will get you there.

You can have what you want, but you have to specify what it is first.

Who do you want to be?

What outcome do you want in life?

What does your version of an incredible future look like?

To find out, you need to get still and look inside.

  • Reflect.
  • Meditate.
  • Visualize.
  • Write.

Picture it all in your mind; see your future; live through it before it happens.

“The best way to succeed is to have a specific Intent, a clear Vision, a plan of Action, and the ability to maintain Clarity. Those are the Four Pillars of Success. It never fails!” — Steve Maraboli

Gaining clarity can take you a while. But if you deliberately set out to find it, you’ll discover that your picture will become increasingly clearer. And, having just a little clarity is better than none.

Align Your Being

“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.” — William Shakespeare

You can dream all you want, but only action will make it come true.

Don’t keep your dream only a dream.

Align your behavior with the clarity you’ve found, and you can achieve anything you want to.

Here’s how:

  1. Make behavioral intentions that fits with the future you want.

They’re influenced by:

  • The attitude you have towards the behavior. What are the positive consequences of it?
  • Subjective norms. What do other people think about the behavior, and do you care?
  • Perceived control. Can you perform the behavior?

2) Implement those intentions.

  • Specify when and how you will do it.

3) Be consistent in your behaviors.

  • Do it repeatedly. You are what you do on a daily basis.

If you do this — if you align your behaviors with your clarity— you will eventually get to where you want.

Realize that 1+1 > 2

The notion of self-improvement is close to my heart. I’ve improved massively since I first started to work on myself.

I’ve leveled up.

However, I’ve come to understand that something more is needed to reach even higher levels of improvement: other people.

If two (or more) people go together, with a common goal of improving — there’s virtually endless possibilities to what can be achieved.

1 + 1 > 2

“It is the principle through which you can accomplish in one year, more than you could accomplish without it in a lifetime, if you depended entirely on your own efforts for success.” — Napoleon Hill

It’s synergy.

When I think of self-improvement, I think of how I could improve so that everyone around me gets to improve as well.

And, for the sake of reciprocity, I hope to inspire the people around me to do the same as well.

This way, new highs of improvement can be reached.

Each person should seek to improve themselves. And at the same time, they should seek to improve the relationship, so that the relationship itself can bear even more fruits.

The old adage ‘two heads are better than one’, rings true.

One plus one is more than two, because if there’s more people involved, there’s:

  • New ideas
  • Different perspectives
  • Massive support
  • Transformation
  • Inspiration
  • Innovation.
  • Care
  • Courage
  • Accountability.

Helmut Schmidt said,

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”

And with more people, that room is far easier to fill.

Conclusion

Will you stop waiting?

Will you shape your future, or watch it happen?

Will you take control?

Will you grow?

Will you be curious?

Will you have clarity?

Will you align?

Will you realize that with more people, you can have an even greater future?

And most importantly; will you live?

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Jonas Ressem

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Psychology student. I’m currently (and probably permanently) exploring life and what it means to be myself. http://jonasressem.com

The Startup

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