I must say I am addicted to the whole driving analogy when it comes to the topic of success.
Following the last blog post about heading to success (on your terms) without a GPS, today I want to address the importance of trusting yourself as the driver. Stay on the damn lane.
One of the most importance skills in life might just be knowing how to make decisions. Every tiny choice you make has a profound effect. Choosing to get Maccas takeaway tonight might break the habit of healthy eating, and in the long term you give up trying to get 6 packs, or it might cause health problems. Of course, it won’t be that bad if you have discipline on most days. That’s the importance of building good habits. Ultimately, every day you are making small and big choices that will alter the future.
Noises are everywhere
So now you have made the decision to take the leap and put all your effort into achieving a big goal. You are committed, you show up, you grind, you take baby steps consistently. In this journey however, there will always be people who don’t understand what you’re doing. Your close friends and family members might even think you are insane to take a seemingly unconventional path. Then one night, when you are taking a 5-minute break from your work, you decide to scroll social media and you see your mates living the “best lives”. Sunshine and beaches, hot girls and Porsches, 6-course dinner, and the list goes on. And you are alone in your room, no make-up on (or you haven’t shaved for days), trying to build a product that would change the world. And you just found a bug on your website that you couldn’t solve. What the hell was going on, and how did you end up here?
The voices in your head can be your worst enemy if you’re not careful. At least that’s the case for me. There are only two ways out: you either confront yourself, or you eliminate the chances they show up. It doesn’t matter if those voices arise from your own self-doubts or from others’ opinions. Once they show up, they ruin your schedule, your momentum and potentially your life.
How do we stop feeding ourselves with the ideas of “perfect lives” and instead, stay in our own tracks and focus on our own goals?
Remember, You are the driver
I can’t say I have the definite answer for this. What I am doing now is visualise every morning the ideal life I want to live and the emotions I want to feel, take a moment to really feel it, and start doing the work. I need to build up the belief and desire of the ideal “perfect” life I have in mind. This way others’ standards won’t affect me. Working on the mindset is crucial. The second thing I do is to read stories of successful people you want to learn from. Surround yourself with people in the same “channel”. After all, you are the one determining the course of your life. You create the standard and the definition of what a “good life” means to you.
I am the designated driver ever since I got my first car. Despite the fact that I have trouble remembering the routes, I have the most experience driving in Sydney comparing to the rest of my family. You have no idea how much I resonate with the whole driving analogy in the book “The Millionaire Fastlane”. There have been countless occasions when people in the passenger seats grab their phones out and start recommending alternative routes, while I already have one in front of me. Mine knows how to avoid traffic, mate! Maybe it’s due to the fact that I don’t remember the routes so I look lost, then people decide to “help” me.
Rule #1: only the driver gets to control the wheel.
Rule #2: don’t listen to people who aren’t living the type of life you want to live. Even if they are your parents.
At times you may doubt whether you are really on the right track. You can increase the confidence in yourself through experience. That’s why you need to do the work first, in order to build the confidence. It’s a skill you can perfect and master. Take the first step, and the rest will follow.
In a nutshell
Everything comes down to a choice.
You choose to listen to your guts over other people’s opinions. You choose to delete the Instagram app during weekend so you can focus on your work. You choose to read Steve Job’s biography during downtime over getting wasted.
The ultimate solution to staying focused on your own track is to develop a stronger mindset. Believe in the value you have to offer the world, trust the process in achieving the goal, take advice from people who have been in your position, keep grinding, gain experience from trial and error, and repeat.
Oh, and there’s the last thing: you are the driver, but there are no shortcuts. Surely there are tools and “hacks” that could boost productivity and efficiency, but you still need to go through the process. I can guarantee that the satisfaction you gain along the journey is much more valuable than the moment you reach the destination.
So, in order to make it more enjoyable, just add fun to the journey and enjoy the ride 😉