The biggest misconception that I’ve ever heard of is that in order for us to find success in anything, we must be willing to give up something else. Whether it’s our career, wealth, relationships, health, something must be given up in order for the other to thrive.
After several years of improving myself, learning about myself, and helping others grow as well, I’ve come to realize that that isn’t true. We can be living a fuller life and there is no sacrifice necessary at all.
As I and others grew, the reality was that several other things were stopping us from living a more fulfilling life. Below are some of the most common issues that you’ll face along that path.
On the surface, limitations are the things that stop you from achieving something. However, digging deeper, limitations are also the things that keep you restricted in the same life cycle.
You’ll keep facing the same problems, forced to make the same choices, and perform the same actions repeatedly. They define your current circumstances and to that extent define your quality of life.
You can break free from that by taking four steps:
- Look for a hidden opportunity. We tend to focus on the negative when faced with a challenge or a setback. The thing is, that’s life! Train yourself to think about opportunities instead.
- Plan your progression stairway. It’s essentially finding your North Star. It’s the greater goal that you’re looking to achieve that allows you to set smaller goals on the path you wish to take.
- Invest by energy, prioritize by time. I created a Breakthrough Framework which is essentially that. The idea is to avoid distractions or scattered efforts and invest in your energy (to help you focus on what matters), and your time (to help set priorities, deadlines, and take action).
- Make a self-sustaining engine. Everything we do is connected. Most breakthroughs aren’t one-offs. Keep using this system and building on it as you’ll face more challenges and obstacles that this system can help you overcome. One great addition is a feedback loop which I consider a tool to learn fast and master any skill.
One piece of advice I’m sure you’ve heard is that you need to be working smarter rather than harder. It’s a simple piece of advice, but it’s not always clear cut how to be working smarter.
It wasn’t until I brought myself to burning out mentally and physically that I started to understand how to be working smarter. I discovered this early in my career and developed two concepts: life aspects and Life Multipliers. If you can equip yourself with these Life Multipliers, you’ll excel in these life aspects (a.k.a living a Full Life).
I’ve developed the Full Life Framework to help people live up to their potential. In the Full Life Framework, I’ve identified 6 life aspects that you need to recognize and leverage from. You’ll also need to strike a balance between all of these aspects too. If you neglect one, it creates a domino effect that hampers everything.
Case and point, when I burnt myself out, my health dropped. As a result of trying to recover, I lost all energy and motivation in pursuing my career. This declined my self-confidence and my creative abilities.
As such, the 6 life aspects are as follows:
- Physical health
- Family and relationship fulfillment
- Work and career prosperity
- Wealth and money satisfaction
- Spiritual wellness
- Mental strength
From those life aspects comes core skills. I consider enhancing these core skills as Life Multipliers and ways to transform your life. If you want to learn about these core skills, just check out my courses at the Lifehack Academy.
At the same time, when you lack these aspects, they serve as barriers that keep you from living the life you want.
One of those barriers is a lack of self control.
It’s common as we all have some aspect about ourselves that we don’t like. Maybe you’re someone who drinks a lot of alcohol or smokes. Maybe you have a large sweet tooth and can’t help yourself from munching on those things. When you have a lack of self control, those habits are going to remain with you until you find some way to remove them.
Some people have tried stopping the habit, but I find it’s better to find a replacement habit instead. For example, if you tend to drink a lot of alcohol, train yourself to order water or fruit juice. Repeat this for a month or so and you’ll find you’ll prefer ordering those items instead.
Imagine being told something devastating the next day that puts all your effort to waste. Your job being replaced or maybe a loss of a major client. Many people aren’t expecting those kinds of things to happen and are likely to feel shocked, or angry at the situation.
While we shouldn’t bottle up our own emotions, it’s key to learn how to manage your own emotions about our situation and what needs to be done to get to where you want to go.
I say this because events like these happen all the time and the emotional backlash can lead to you losing confidence in certain areas. You may never build another business if your first one crashed and burned for example. That is until you “snap out” of that negative emotional state and begin looking for a way forward.
As soon as you focus on positive actions and positive emotions, you build yourself up and can tackle new situations with more confidence in yourself.
Our ability to come up with creative solutions for our problems stems from our ability to learn and adapt. If you’re not learning anything, you’re not progressing.
Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Learning never exhausts the mind.” and I believe it. Make a habit of learning something new every day. This keeps your mind fresh and active and can make you a more open-minded individual.
When you get stuck on something, you are never truly stuck. It means that what you are currently doing isn’t enough to get you over the next barrier. You don’t have to be working hard to overcome that barrier, rather change your thinking in how you’re approaching the problem.
Through the methods above, you’ll be able to overcome several obstacles that life throws at you. Give it time and keep working at it.
Having been listed as Business Week’s #4 “Top 24 Young Asian Entrepreneurs,” Leon Ho is the Founder and CEO of Lifehack – a productivity blog he started in 2005. He has grown Lifehack into one of the most read self-improvement websites in the world – with over 12 million monthly readers. Grab his latest book The Full Life Essential Guide here.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.