Take a moment and reflect on some of the greatest accomplishments in your life thus far. Whether they involve a business feat, a travelling expedition, a visible six-pack, the attainment of a degree you once believed you would never get, or something that for one reason or another means a lot to you, I can almost guarantee that it didn't come easy.
In fact, a big part of what tends to lead us towards labelling something as an accomplishment is the persistence and hard work we had to put into making it a reality. Despite this clear link, and the incredible moral and emotional reward that comes with "success", we as a whole still have a tendency to regularly avoid it.
We set dreams and have an endless number of goals, yet we yearly, monthly, daily, and even hourly regularly choose to "take the easy road". I put that in quotations, because the only ease it provides is the relaxation associated with being lazy, something that despite popular belief we struggle at effectively doing more than we think.
But I'm here to wake you up and challenge you! To remind you that who you are today may be incredible, but I can guarantee is not exactly who you want to be 5 years from now. And the only way you'll avoid that, is if you step up to the plate and take on that which you know you want to do. Here is my list of 8 challenging things that could pay off forever in both video and written form:
1. MAKE REGULAR FOOD CHOICES NOT DRIVEN BY YOUR TASTE BUDS
Our taste buds are awesome. They are the little receptors on our tongue that make our food choices the highlight of so many of our days -and the primary feature of our Instagram posts. But unfortunately, a good portion of what our taste buds regularly crave has been purposely concocted (for financial reasons) by food manufacturers to be loaded with sugars, fats, salts and artificial flavours.
I'm not suggesting that you can never eat from your favourite burger and fry joint again, but I am encouraging you to do so in moderation. Challenge yourself to reprogram your taste buds to appreciate the things that may not currently be as stimulating but you know provide your body with a number of the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive long-term.
2. LET YOUR PAST TRULY BE IN THE PAST
We've all been through our fair share of challenging experiences in life, none of which I intend to disrespect through this post. What I am suggesting is that we truly recognize that we cannot change what has already happened, and we are not doing it or ourselves any favours by letting it regularly loom over our present experience.
As this father, who tragically lost his son just hours after celebrating a holiday with him, reminds us: make the hardest part of your past into your ground zero, and focus on what you can do to make things better from that point rather than regularly give your power to it.
3. ALWAYS MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION ON THE THINGS THAT MATTER
While you don't need to seek a second opinion on whether or not you should brush your teeth, you should do your research before blindly accepting what an "authoritative" source tells you. Whether it be something you heard on the news, a suggestion from your doctor, or even worse (sarcasm alert) something you read in an article online, if it deals with something you feel is important, put the work in to know it's something that fully resonates with you.
There are countless examples, one of the most infamous being that doctors once commonly smoked cigarettes with their patients, to suggest that nothing should be taken at face value.
4. TAKE TIME COMPLETELY AWAY FROM TECHNOLOGY DAILY
Tech becomes seemingly more capable and impressive by the day, but as more time passes since many modern developments were first integrated into daily life, it's also becomingly increasingly apparent how much damage this "screen overload" is inflicting upon us.
Aside from the potential damage it is doing on us physically, we all know that the increased digital connection is making us all far less physically connected than ever before. We sit on subway trains packed with hundreds of other individuals yet we all sit in our own little digital world with our necks hunched down. The real world is a beautiful place that far too many of us are only exploring through a screen.
5. DRINK ENOUGH WATER DAILY
I'm certainly not a nutritionist or dietary expert of any kind, but I am avid reader of medical advice and I cannot say that I've ever come across a piece telling us all to not consume enough water daily. Despite this being the seemingly most basic health advice out there, it's amazing how many of us still manage to keep our body dehydrated daily.
Dehydration impacts the functionality of so many aspects within our body, so stop pretending like it's not important.
6. CUT OFF THE "FRIENDS" YOU KNOW AREN'T HEALTHY FOR YOU TO HAVE
Just because you and Suzy have known each other since grade 3, doesn't mean that you need to overlook the fact that you don't have much in common with her when you are your true self. We all change, and some relationships withstand those changes, while others don't.
It's far less unhealthy to deal with the potential drama that may arise from no longer spending time with someone you were once close with, than it is to regularly not be yourself just to keep a "friendship" alive.
7. FOCUS ON JUST ONE THING AT A TIME
I've delved into why I don't believe in multitasking on several occasions in the past, and that belief still resonates with me to this day. Multitasking is the mere illusion that we are accomplishing more, while in reality we are splitting our focus and just alternating between multiple tasks in a very inefficient and accident-prone manner.
Do you want to develop a workflow that will drastically change your life forever? Try giving all of your attention to one task at a time (that includes putting away all potential distractions). You'll be amazed by how productive and peaceful it can be.
8. TRACK AND BALANCE YOUR SPENDING BETWEEN NOW & THE FUTURE
You likely don't need me to tell you the importance of monitoring your finances, but what you may need to hear is the importance of balancing your spending between now and the future. What you want to avoid is a reality where you either don't save enough to ever do any of the bigger things that you value later in life, or you save too much that you let your present years go by without any fruitful experiences.
No matter where you lie on the spending spectrum, seek a balance to ensure you have fun and are taken care of both now and in the future as much as possible.
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