Imagine someone who lives an awesome life. A rock star, a millionaire, a professional surfer, a monk, a bestselling author — whatever comes to mind.
Photo by TravOC
What do they have that you don’t? More importantly, how did they get it?
All the awesome people I know got there by following these 4 steps.
The bad news: They’re not easy.
The good news: They’re doable. They’re skills you can practice and master.
Step 1: Know Yourself
Awesome people have lives full of what they want, and devoid of what they don’t want. The first step to getting there is to know yourself, so you can figure out what you truly want, and how to get it in a way that works for you.
Accept yourself as you are. This allows you to know yourself as you truly are instead of as how you wish you were.
Learn how to access your subconscious desires and fears, so you can know your whole mind, not just your conscious mind.
Start to notice repeating patterns in your life. The first step to changing something is to become aware of it.
Practice choosing your reaction to events instead of simply letting them happen to you. Focus your awareness on the point where you choose your reaction — make it conscious instead of subconscious.
Forgive grudges that you’re hanging on to. Not for others’ sake, but for your own. Let go of the weight you carry.
Step 2: Trust Yourself
Awesome people, once they know what they want, act boldly on it. They don’t constantly second-guess themselves. Most of us haven’t had a lot of practice at trusting ourselves, but it’s something we can all improve at if we try.
When you’re afraid, ask yourself “How will this hurt me?” until you get to the bottom of your fear. This can turn a huge-feeling fear into a manageable one.
Make up a random opinion instead of saying “I don’t care, we can do whatever you want.” This sounds silly, but it really does help build your self-confidence muscles.
Ask for what you need, and say no to what you don’t want in your life.
Practice handling criticism from a place of self-confidence instead of insecurity. Even if you’re not a self-confident person, you can borrow that feeling of self-confidence and paste it on to the criticism. Confidence is a learnable skill, not a personality trait.
Step 3: Communicate
No one, no matter how awesome, is an island. Everyone achieves their goals with a little help from their friends. Communication is the bridge between yourself and others.
Realize that everyone is acting from their own reality, and that their assumptions might not match up with yours. This is the root of most miscommunications, and knowing it gives you the ability to fix things when they go wrong.
Learn the two reasons people communicate, and how to tell them apart. If you try to help someone solve a problem when they just want to feel heard, you’ll both end up frustrated.
Find common ground, even with someone you view as an adversary. Starting from common ground can turn a fight into a win/win situation.
Step 4: Take Meaningful Action
Many productivity gurus make the mistake of helping people get to where they’re going faster without helping them figure out where they want to go in the first place.
Illustration by onlypencil
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
-The Cheshire Cat, in Alice in Wonderland
After practicing knowing yourself, trusting yourself, and communicating with others, you’re ready to take meaningful action in the direction that’s right for you.
Arrange your environment in a way that helps you achieve your goals, so you don’t have to motivate yourself every single day.
Create systems that help you remember things, so you can stop worrying about them and focus on what’s most important to you.
Learn about the 80/20 rule, and apply it in all aspects of your life.
Find your best creative time, and honor it. Block it off and keep it sacred; keep your commitments to yourself just like you would keep your commitments to someone else.
4 steps. Simple but not easy. If it sounds like a lot, you’re not alone. You can’t just read a blog post and suddenly start living an awesome life. (If you disagree, please comment with a link; I want to read that blog post!)
But the good news is that there’s no gaping chasm between you and that awesome life you imagined. Just 4 steps.
It’s up to you to take the first one.
Pace Smith is the co-leader of the Connection Revolution, teaching people how to change the world through connection. She and her partner Kyeli created the 52 Weeks to Awesome e-course for people who want to live an awesome life, and are willing to take 52 baby steps to get there.