Updated: May 17
Willingness - a desire to take action
Profound change comes about through inspiration or desperation, they say, but both have a role to play. Desperation often triggers us to start looking within ourselves and inspiration enables us to take ourselves to the next level.
In Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod offers an interesting statistic: only 5% of us will be successful, while the other 95% will continue to struggle with one of the biggest personal challenges in modern history - how to fulfil our potential. So he naturally asks the fundamental question: “what can we do now to ensure that we don’t end up struggling, like the 95% majority will”?
I’d like to take that question one step further.
What can each one of us do to ensure that this figure drops significantly?
See, personal development isn't just about us. Yes, it is about improving ourselves, but the benefits of becoming a better version of yourself will ultimately impact everyone around you: your family, your significant other, your friends, your colleagues, and your clients. You name it. Becoming the best version of yourself is a must, not only because it will help you grow in all the different areas of your life (personal, financial, spiritual, etc.), but mainly because it will enable you to leave a lasting impact on each and every person you encounter, day in and day out. What’s the point of becoming better, of growing, of achieving all your dreams, if all this doesn’t enable the people around you to do the same?
At this stage, I’d like to ask you a few questions.
Are you living the life you want to live?
Are you travelling as much as you’d like to?
Are you passionate about what you do for a living?
Are you satisfied with the way you conduct yourself on a daily basis?
Are you surrounded by people who support you and help you become a better person?
Are you seeing drastic improvements in your life compared to 6 months or a year ago?
Unless you say yes to all of these questions, there is room for improvement. Truth is, a large percentage of us need to improve one or more of the above, and if you happen to be in a position to say yes to the aforementioned questions, I’d like to ask you whether your daily routine is having a positive impact on the less fortunate? Have you inspired anyone today? Have you supported someone with a few kind words to help them on their journey?
If you’ve still said yes to every question, I commend you.
If you haven’t, let’s see how we can improve ourselves.
One step at a time.
Fundamentally, the one characteristic which distinguishes those who live life on their own terms, and those who do not, is willingness. It’s not intelligence, it’s not talent and it’s certainly not luck. There are situations where each of the above may have played an abnormally large role, but overall, willingness is what really makes the difference. An intelligent person needs to be willing to continue to learn. A talented person needs to be willing to improve his or her craft. A person who experiences x amount of luck, won’t have that luck forever.
Having read a significant amount of the existing literature on personal development and self-help, I've noticed that most books make an attempt to help us achieve our BIG goals: work for ourselves, grow our business, become millionaires, find true love, travel more.
The list goes on and on.
While there is nothing wrong with this approach, the truth is, a large percentage of readers, including me, find these books fascinating, but rarely apply the teachings. Why? Because big goals are complex. Although many authors have made significant attempts to create daily plans to help readers follow through on what they are being taught, most will not put down the book to go online, print the material, fill in the sheets etc. I certainly don't.
See, people don’t have time to do all of the above, and a lot of people need things to be simplified so that they can be applied on the spot. As a reader, I want quick tips which capture the essence of what I need to do today to feel better, to be more productive, and to make a bigger impact.
Anything with a process that focuses on the long-term increases the likelihood of us not following through, so my aim is to contribute to your journey by making it a bit more tangible.
How will I do that?
By focusing on the micro.
Macro aspirations focus on the long term and when I’m looking 2, 3, or 4 years down the line I automatically feel less inclined to make necessary changes because I don’t feel as if I’m making any progress at this very moment. It’s tough for us to understand that what we’re doing today will benefit us a couple of years down the line. Not to mention that it’s quite naive to take the present moment for granted by making it a means to an end.
Instead, by focusing on the micro, in other words - what are we doing this very moment - it will be easier to lay the foundations for personal fulfilment.
Make choices that take the micro into consideration. Doing that will automatically put you in a position to achieve everything and more at the macro level.
This moment is all that really matters, and to fulfil your potential, you have to say yes to making changes. Right now.
1. Commit to being in the 5% and growing that number by inspiring those around you
2. Understand that willingness > intelligence, talent, luck
3. Ask yourself whether you are living a fulfilled life
4. Focus on the micro, consistently