Create the Life You Want With These 3 Fundamental Life Skills
There’s nothing more you need
This is an abridged excerpt from my book, Bend Reality: Timeless Tools to shift the Illusion of Reality, Reinvent Yourself and Master Life.
When you’re seeking advice to help you achieve success in any undertaking and during all times, you want timeless principles. Not one-off tricks and tips that work for some and not for others.
After reading tons of material on self-help and personal development I’ve been grateful to find these three and focus on them without being too overwhelmed.
If you look at the world’s most successful individuals who really seem to be doing impossible things, you’d find that they’re people with great concentration powers.
They are people who can shut themselves in a room and think about a problem for hours until they get a solution. Away from their family, friends, technology, and any other distraction, they seem to burn their obstacles with their superhuman concentration.
At every level, concentration turns out to be one of the key attributes of success. While writing an exam you cannot perform well if the latest hit song is playing in your head. Or while speaking to a client, you cannot give your 100% if you had a fight with your loved one the same morning. All of these things are hindrances to success only due to poor concentration.
Here’s something fascinating.
People often think that those who are good at concentration succeed only because they can solve problems effectively. But the lesser-known truth is that in front of a concentrated mind, problems have a way of somehow vanishing.
When we see such instances, we think they’re just “lucky”. Yet, this luck comes simply due to their super concentration. Things start to happen your way without much trouble once you’ve honed the right skills.
Even people who are very willful, cannot succeed without concentration.
Imagine you’re the most determined person on the planet and you’re trying to put a thread in the eye of a needle — no matter how indomitable your will is, you cannot put the thread through until you have good concentration. (Not that putting a thread in a needle is a measure of concentration!)
So it’s clear that no matter how much energy you have, you need to hone your concentration to direct it where you want it to go rather than dissipate it in all directions.
Willpower is the next superpower that you should cultivate. When you exercise your will towards a goal, you send out vibrations to the universe. The universe then responds to those vibrations for you to achieve what you desire.
This is the law of attraction summed up.
Steve Jobs was one of such masters who set an example of an indomitable will. He always thought his will has the power to bend reality. While most people think situations are just acts of fate, Steve thought the opposite.
In 1994, Steve mentioned to his colleagues at Next that Disney had a monopoly on the storytelling business and that he was going to be the next storyteller himself. They thought it was just a rant or an irritated remark.
But in just a few years, Steve, with his company Pixar, launched Toy Story and other famous films that led to its acquisition by Disney — as a result of which Steve finally became the largest shareholder in Disney. Then he used his storytelling and marketing skills inside Apple to make it the most valuable company on the planet.
Clearly, there’s no doubt in the power of the will to bend reality.
For most of us, we could perhaps use will power in a smaller way — like breaking a bad habit, developing a good habit, being more disciplined, waking up earlier, etc.
So instead of focusing on technicalities, let’s see how you can improve your willpower:
Do one thing every day that you think you cannot do: If you think you can’t do 10 pullups, do them. If you think you can’t work for 2 hours straight, do it.
Finish everything you start: If you start working on a project, and a friend calls for a coffee, don’t go until you finish what you planned to do that day. The best of all — make your bed! Finish your sleep by putting everything the way it was- the sheet, the blanket, and the pillow. These small steps go a long way even if you think they are insignificant.
Meditation: Meditation helps you not only concentrate but also to resist impulses and restless thoughts.
Breathing: Slow breathing gives you the space between the stimulus and your response. It’s the pause-and-plan response as opposed to the fight-or-flight response that most of us are in.
Exercise: A healthy body makes a healthy mind. When you’re energetic, feeling good, and looking good, you’ll have a much easier time making such decisions.
Sleep: A good night’s sleep is essential not only for willpower but making good decisions in general. Lack of quality sleep is associated with decreased brain activity, especially the prefrontal cortex, which is the key area used to make decisions.
No Guilt: It’s important to not affirm yourself as someone who cannot quit a habit, cannot make a new habit, or just cannot do “X”. If you relapsed, it just means that you’re not there yet. Attaching emotions to it and ruminating about it will not reverse the relapse. But what it will do is tell your subconscious mind that you failed. So don’t suffer twice, once is enough.
As I write these tips, I do realize that sometimes, it can be difficult. You may have a strong will but if the cookie is right in front of you, I think it’s only a matter of time before you eat it.
Which brings me to the most important point — “Environment is stronger than willpower”
No matter how much you try to enforce a particular behavior, if your environment is not conducive to it, then the odds are stacked against you. For example, research has found that teens are much more likely to get obese if they have a friend who is/almost is obese.
So take care of your environment to make sure it’s not an obstacle to your willpower.
Everyone has a certain amount of magnetism. It is the power through which you attract all the things in life that you want.
Perhaps, you might have noticed some people emanate certain characteristics like power, dominance, confidence, love, kindness, etc, through their mere presence. We often think that it is only because of how a person talks, walks and behaves.
But an even deeper set of principles are at play here. If I start talking about the aura of that person, you would think I am being superstitious.
But consider this — animals show the effect of this magnetism as well. I’m sure you might have seen dogs get violent in the presence of some people, while the same dog can be perfectly at ease with a different person.
Some people can befriend animals instantly but other people like me can rarely get a dog to come near them!
This and numerous other examples show the power of magnetism, albeit in a limited way.
Whenever I sit with people who are irritated and angry, it does not take long for me to start experiencing the same emotion. The same is true for positive qualities and attributes as well.
The principle of magnetism can be understood easily by speaking of it in scientific terms. Just like a magnet has a force through which it can attract iron filings, living creatures are also affected by the principles of magnetism — they can either be a magnetic force or be like the iron filings, working according to the attraction forces around them.
Similarly, the objects that we want do not come to us technically, but we exert our magnetism on them in a subtle manner.
If you want to buy a car and you think about it with your will trying your best to buy it, the car does not come to you directly but the energy that you put makes such events take place so that you can get the car. For example, the price may suddenly drop or the owner may decide to sell it out of nowhere.
But before you start thinking that magnetism can only be created just by wishing about it, I’d like to mention one important point.
There are powerful magnets and there are weak magnets. And so if you do all in your power for a certain thing to happen and also positively expect it, then your chances are good.
This means that the amount of magnetism is directly related to the amount of will and energy you put out.
This is where most people lash out on the Law of Attraction and similar theories. It doesn’t say wishing about money will create money. It says if you act towards it with all your strength and believe it will happen, then it happens.
At the same time try to acquaint yourself with people of the similar magnetism that you desire. We’ve all heard that you’re the average of the 5 people you hang out with.
It’s because in this case, you are the unmagnetized bar of iron that is magnetized by people around you. If you want to be an entrepreneur, mix with entrepreneurs. The same is true for anything else in life.
Bringing It Together
While reading about the three tools we spoke about, I hope you see how all of them are interrelated. To develop great magnetism you need huge amounts of willpower combined with concentration which gives your energy a direction to move towards.
Though there may be innumerable tools to success and many other authors have written about them in the past. But I believe that instead of looking for a hundred different small tools, we should work on the fundamental truths.
Just like all colors are made from the primary colors — red, green, and blue — all other formulas for success fit into one of these categories — willpower, concentration, and magnetism.
Pursuing these three is much easier than pursuing hundreds of concepts from various people. (remember, concentrate!)
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