Sometimes the “How to…” guide for life can be as simple as “just do it”.
I have been very lucky in my life to be able to draw to myself some truly wonderful friends. They are there for me when I need them to be and they are straight with me even when I don’t want them to be.
They have helped me to learn important life lessons. I am going to share with you a valuable lesson I learned in my very early twenties that helped in the forging of these friendships.
“Just do it. Use it or lose it.”
This isn’t just a key to creating strong relationships, it can be used in many areas of life but I’m going to use my fledgling friendships as an example.
When I was about twenty I started to meet people who wanted to be my friends. I was a waitress at the time trying to pay for my own studies. This meant that I had little to no cash flow and a new group of people who wanted me to go out with them a lot so that we could get to know each other better.
I turned down a lot of invitations because I was worried about money, even though I wanted to go out. Then somebody pointed something out to me.
I may have wanted these relationships in my life but if I kept saying “no” then my friends would eventually stop inviting me out. Nobody wants to put time and energy into something if they are only going to be rejected time and again.
I realised that I could lose the opportunity of gaining something truly amazing because I was afraid to say “yes” to it. I could use all the excuses I wanted, including finances but it would not get me anywhere.
This is so true for all areas of our lives. We can see something we want and think ‘yes I want that’ but then we think of all the reasons why we cannot have it. We use these reasons to hold ourselves back. The trick is to find the real reason as to why we are not going for what we want.
Take a moment and think about something you would like to have in your life right now. Write down on a piece of paper what it is exactly that you want. Then underneath it write down all the reasons why you feel you don’t have it. Do you perhaps want a relationship but don’t feel that you are good looking enough or intelligent enough? Write down all of your reasons, everything that comes to mind.
When you are finished, have a look at all of your reasons. At the top of the list write the word “excuses” and read through the list again. Now that you see them as excuses, they seem to take on a different light. A lot of the reasons to do things (or not to do them) in our lives are really just excuses that prevent us from getting to where we truly want to be. What we need to find is the real reason why we are doing the things we are and self-sabotaging our dreams and desires.
Let’s have a look at an example of something with a large monetary value.
For example, if I wanted to buy a house, which can appear to be a very daunting accomplishment simply because of its financial value. My list of excuses could possibly look like this:
- I don’t earn enough money every month to pay a mortgage
- I haven’t saved up enough to pay a deposit
- I have a bad credit listing
- Living by myself in the city could be dangerous
- The current market isn’t conducive to buying property
These are just a few from a possibly long list of excuses to not do something. I would now have to sit back and be honest with myself and uncover the real reason as to why I might not buy myself a home.
The first question I need to ask myself is, “have I tried?” because if I’m not trying then why am I even bothering at having this as a goal. I need to start doing something today to help me reach my goal and clear away my excuses.
- Have I looked to see if I can work harder or find another, better paying job?
- Have I opened a savings account to put money into every month to pay towards my home?
- Am I paying off my debts and clearing my credit listing?
- Am I looking at properties in areas that are safe?
- Property values might be falling still but have I been looking for bargains?
The problem with excuses is that there is always an answer that can turn it around so you cannot rely on these to not achieve your goal. If I really looked at my reasons for not having achieved this goal then I will also find the reason as to why I might be self-sabotaging my opportunity at success.
I now need to ask myself what having this in my life will mean to me. Once I’ve thought of this then another picture will emerge. Owning a house, for example, doesn’t always represent a house, it represents a home. What will my own home mean to me? Once I understand what it is I truly want then I can understand why I don’t have it in my life.
With wanting to achieve something in our lives also comes the fear of not achieving it. It does not matter how bad any of us want to bring something in our lives we won’t achieve it unless we work at bringing it into our lives despite our fears.
We all have different reasons and different fears and the key is to find out what they are. Do not let trying to discover your fears prevent you from working towards your goals in the mean time. Just do it. ‘It’ can be anything, it can be something big or small and seemingly insignificant but if it’s in line with your end goal and you are able to do it, then do it.
“Use it or lose it”. This is so true in achieving our dreams. How often do we hear about lost and forgotten dreams? If you want something in your life you have to use your resources to bring it into reality or you will lose your dream. It will forever be just that, a dream never bought into existence.
Every day is a day that you can just do one small thing and use the resources you have at your disposal to achieve your goals or you will lose it.
“Just do it. Use it or lose it”.
Don’t over think things. Actions are necessary in order to achieve goals. Thinking too much about things and situations can almost create a mental paralysis that prevents us from moving forward.
When it came to making new friends all those years ago, I learned to say “yes”. I put my excuses aside and found a way to make things work. I discovered my fear of change and my fear of rejection and I went ahead despite them and now I have the most amazing friends I could have ever wished for.
First published: 09 November 2011: http://ggclothing.blogspot.com/2011/11/nike-philosophy.html