It doesn't matter if they are wealthy, poor, middle class, fat or thin: everybody is trying to change something about their life today. The problem is that too many of these well intentioned people believe that in order to successfully change something about their lives, all they need is the will to do it. This approach is not wrong necessarily, it is just incomplete. What I have learned is that the best way to affect real and lasting change is to combine that same level of will power with faith and forward thinking.
Whenever you are in the process of carrying out change, will power alone will not help you. Why? Because will power rarely gets you past today. And whenever you attempt to change, today is always going to feel incredibly difficult; that is just the nature of the beast. If you are trying to lose weight, then getting off your butt and going for a half hour walk every day is probably going to be really hard at first. If you are trying to quit smoking, then getting through the next 24 hours without a cigarette is also going to be hard. So to get through these tough "todays," you have to mix that will power with a little bit of faith and forward thinking if you truly wish to succeed.
Think of these three change elements in the same way you would the three most common macro-nutrients that are so vital to human life: will power is similar to a carbohydrate (quick burning fuel), faith is like protein (the building block), and forward thinking is like fat (long term energy/fuel).
Without these three macro-nutrients, the body would not be able to sustain life for very long. The same can be said about our three change elements.
Will power might get you through the first day, or maybe even the first week. But if you have no faith and you are incapable of envisioning what your life will ultimately look like once you achieve your goal, your dream will likely die.
I believe this is the reason why the majority of people fail so miserably when it comes to creating positive change in their lives. For whatever reason they believe that will power alone is all they need to get them through the hard parts and see them through to the end. But it never works that way does it?
I can recall numerous times in my life where I foolishly believed I could will myself into quitting or adopting any given habit whenever I pleased. Unfortunately it took me several years before I finally understood that I had it all wrong: I could not do it on will power alone. I had to have something to look forward to every day. Something that I could put my faith into. Something that let me know without any doubt that I was on the right path to achieving my goals.
Let me give you a few examples of how this method has helped me in my life:
- When I decided to quit smoking, I knew that for me to succeed I had to keep my attention off of smoking and shift it somewhere else. So every day, rather than obsess over not being able to smoke cigarettes, I chose to obsess over putting the $5.00 a day (that I would have spent on cigarettes) into my savings account instead. Before I began, I had complete faith that this would work for me. After 30 days, I seriously could not have cared any less about smoking. I was so excited to see that I had money in my savings account that the idea of wasting it on smoking was not even an option anymore.
- When I decided to lose weight, instead of focusing on how hard it was going to be to exercise and monitor what I was eating every day, I put my faith in (and focused only on) the end result: the healthier, thinner, happier version of me. I held (and still hold) on to that mental image every single day. In the mornings when I woke up and that voice inside kept nagging and telling me to give up and go back to sleep, that image is what kept me going. Why? Because my will power faded quickly, that image of my future self did not.
All you have to do is apply these three simple change elements to your life and you will be well on your way to experiencing all the wonderful dreams that you hope to achieve in your own life. Real and lasting change is possible, all you have to do is believe in yourself and you can make it happen.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!