4 Principles Everyone Should Live By

Keith Horton
May 9, 2020 · 5 min read

When it comes to getting things done, typically, we only have two options. There is no in-between.

  1. You can follow through with the plan.
  2. Or, you can find a reason not to.

Number two is always an easy option. It’s the option I have unfortunately come to know too well in my 25 years of living.

Option number one, on the other hand, sounds relatively easy to do. But it can be the most difficult to accomplish. It’s one most of us struggle with, or at least have in the past.

Choosing between the two is a doozy. However, knowing these four principles should help you decide on a better option.

Shall we begin?

You’ll never get anywhere by continually choosing the easy option.

Most of the things that we obtain easily aren’t worth much in the end. Nothing successful comes from choosing to do what’s comfortable.

It’s comfortable to sleep for most of the day. It’s easy to watch hilarious YouTube videos for hours a day. And gosh, do I love me some hilarious TikToks.

But it’s hard to get up and finish that article you started when you want nothing more than to sleep in. It’s challenging to do that workout regimen every day you scheduled to do it.

The benefits of getting through difficult tasks far outlast choosing to do what’s comfortable. And those tasks probably aren’t that difficult anyway.

Our brains tend to think more about a situation than it is. It’s not that talking to a room full of people is hard to understand or that it’s as hard as lifting 750-pound weights on ice.

It’s worrying about the reactions they’ll give. You start to question if they’ll like what you have to say. Will they clap at the end? Is there something on my face?

Overthinking is what gets us all nervous and confused. We start to think so much that we forget that we already know what to do.

The problem comes into play when we avoid it because we think it’s difficult or impossible to accomplish.

The moment you choose to stand up to fear and use it to your advantage is the moment you start accomplishing your long-term and short-term goals.

And I’m not talking about the goals you made trying to skip the ones that haunt you in your sleep. I’m talking about the life-changing ones, the ones you don’t think are possible.

Pushing things back is not a habit you want to develop.

I started doing this years back, and it became so natural for me to tell someone I wasn’t going to make it to an appointment that I barely met up with anybody other than family — if that.

At some point, I got sick of blowing people away with my desire to do what was comfortable and not go.

And I told myself that there would be other times. I wanted to do what I felt like doing in those types of situations, which was usually the most convenient option.

Then I also realized that I hurt people along the way. Some of those people genuinely wanted to link up. They saw something likable about me and wanted to build relationships.

I can’t forget those days if I tried. All I have is the thought of what could have possibly happened if I had gone to that event or met that one person at the coffee shop that we arranged. But I blew the first impression.

The thing about first impressions is that they last. You can make up for those times, but the memory of what happened never leaves. They will remember it, and so will you.

I hated myself for doing those things. So, I took a step back, evaluated my shortcomings, and took steps to change.

Do you know what I concluded?

I stopped telling people I’d be there. Anytime someone asked, I would tell them no. Saying no then became the natural thing to do. After all, I didn’t hurt anyone, and I didn’t let myself down either. I thought for sure this was a win-win.

Saying no to everything is not the answer you’re looking for.

Replying with nos every time someone asks something of you only backs you into a corner.

It won’t take long for you to be alone, wanting to be close to someone but can’t because you’ve hurt most of the people that were once in your life. All you thought about was what you wanted to do and how you felt.

Saying yes changes the game. By game, I mean the monotonous, normative way you live your life. If your life is boring now, saying no to everything and everyone is not going to change that. Saying yes could.

And trust me when I say it takes you far from your comfort zone.

But being uncomfortable can turn out to be a good thing.

Putting yourself in those uncomfortable situations can help you improve on things you know you should. After a while of doing the same thing, you’ll no longer be afraid to jump into those situations again.

Now you shouldn’t say yes to everything. By no means am I telling you to become a pushover. I’m just saying take advantage of more opportunities that come your way. Who knows when those opportunities would ever come back again?

To my knowledge, we only get one chance to live. We might as well make it count.

Get the struggle to fight what’s difficult away from your thinking and do what you dread.

Going against what makes you comfortable can turn out to be very beneficial in the end. How? Because one of those yesses could change your life.

ClickForTaz is a YouTuber who is known for her spoken word poetry and entertaining vlogs. On her channel, she talks a lot about going out of your comfort zone and doing the things you wouldn’t want to do on any given day.

One day, she ended up on Good Morning Norway. It doesn’t sound like much much, but this is something she never thought she’d be doing.

But all of it came down to her being open to going outside of what she was most comfortable doing. She just wanted to see what would happen.

You may be scared to death.

By the way, you should go ahead and expect to feel this way.

The thought of public speaking gives me nightmares, even though I’ve done it plenty of times. I know it’s not one of my strong points. It’s one of the things I need to overcome.

Running from it won’t do me any good. Facing it and being upfront about how I feel when it comes to things like public speaking is the beginning of me changing how much it impacts the way I live my life.

Fear is real. But it does not have to be a barrier.

Only by doing, despite what you see, will you get over the hump and do things you only dreamed of accomplishing.

You will one day be up against a decision to say yes or no.

Which option will you choose?

Keith Horton is a full-time student, writer, and musician. He is a contributor for The Ascent, The Startup, HopeTree, Publishous, and more.

Thanks for reading.

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