Self-actualisation lies in the present not the future
What if this year was the year you made the choice to fully take control of your life? No more sacrificing what you really want, or settling for second best, or struggling with lack of clarity or direction. No more letting other people dictate your dreams and life path for you. Here’s the truth: whatever your life looks like now, you have the power to turn it into your personal definition of a masterpiece.
A masterpiece is the life that is lived on your terms. A life where your dreams and potential are beautifully realized. A life you fall in love with every single day, and that you’ll look back on decades from now and think ‘wow, I can’t believe I did all this!’ what better time than now to give yourself this priceless gift? But this kind of life doesn’t happen by chance. It happens through a conscious process that only a tiny minority of the world’s most successful and fulfilled people have mastered.
You probably spend a lot of time thinking about a beautiful future that does not yet exist. Don’t worry I do too. I can’t wait until I’m a writer. I can’t wait until I become wealthy. I can’t wait until I get X so that I can get Y. I try to do that less now. Not long ago, I realised that that sort of thinking leads to a whole lot of pain and suffering. It ultimately leads to dissatisfaction with what you have, because you’re not thinking about all the good things that surround you. However, there is a far better approach to becoming who you want to be. You have to understand that whatever action you take now will be the same as the action you will take later.
Are you living by someone else’s rules?
If you’re like most people, you’ve spent your entire life being told what to think, what to aspire to, and what to believe in. You may have lost a big part of yourself along the way. You may have taken on a self-identity that’s not truly yours. You might be chasing goals that don’t align with your heart and soul. You might even lose sight of the unique gifts and talents you were born to share with the world. Those who settle into this paradigm often spend decades of their lives going down the wrong path, and never truly discovering what they’re capable of, or even what they really want.
As a coach, what do you imagine you’ll be doing if you become successful and an authority in your field? Sure, you might get lots of stage appearances, or write a few books, give interviews or fly off around the world to meet with some superstar who has asked you to coach him. But these are the products of the coaching you have been doing. If those are the things you are after, or whatever perks come with becoming an ‘expert’, you’re missing the point.
It should be the coaching that is your main priority and passion. Everything that comes from that is secondary. If you are doing it for everything that comes later, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Take a hard look at why you’re doing what you’re doing. As an aspiring coach or a successful coach, what is the one thing that doesn’t change? The coaching itself.
Waiting for something means abandoning the present moment
If you’re waiting for something better or waiting for success, you’re wasting the moment you have in the present, wishing for something that does not yet exist. If you always wish for something that does not exist, you’re not invested in and enjoying the act you must perform to get to where you want to get.
Let’s say the day finally arrives when you feel you are self-actualised, you’ve worked long and hard, waiting for this day to come when someone famous calls you to become their motivation coach, will you be happy? But what about the next day? Surely you won’t stop coaching. One big contract doesn’t mean you’ll be set for life. You’ll have to keep going, and you’ll be back to the grind in no time.
The question is, how do you want to spend the grind? In agony waiting for the next big break? Or enjoying every minute of the action you must take?
Here’s how you become who you want to become immediately: you act and behave like who it is you want to be. Want to be a great coach? Coach every day and enjoy it. Want to be an entrepreneur? Grow your business every day and enjoy it. So, if you coach every day, you’re a coach not an aspiring coach.
Stop waiting for success, and start being successful. Become who it is you want to be now, through your actions. When you reach success, the actions will remain the same. Whether you love them or not is up to you.
Who do you want to become? What skills do you want to develop? What qualities would you like to possess? No matter what your answers are, there’s no reason to wait until you’ve arrived to start dressing like the person you want to be. Dress like the person you want to become and your behaviour will naturally follow. Obviously the clothes you wear won’t magically create the skills and traits you want but they will prime your brain to be more disciplined in developing them. So, get dressed for success.
To be who you want to be, you need to accept who you are
The internet is full of advice about how you can get to X or do Y, how you can become who you want to become. It gives you actionable quick steps but that’s not a cure, it just covers up the real problem that lots of us suffer from. The real problem is that many of us don’t feel good about who we are, where we are or what we’ve got right now. Quick fixes don’t work in the long run. Why? Because you don’t have self-contentment. The biggest cause of human unhappiness is not accepting ourselves the way we are. By comparing ourselves to others we are brainwashing ourselves into feeling inadequate.
The more negative self-talk you indulge in, the more you start to believe it. In order to change your life you have to change your mind. Only after you come to peace with yourself, the way you are now, can you grow into the person you want to become. Remind yourself of your inner strength and find gratitude for the things and people in your life. The more you learn to accept yourself the way you are right now, the more you understand that there’s no place you can’t reach. What you have now is enough. If you work from here upwards, everything you achieve is a bonus.