One of the greatest skills you will ever learn is the ability to move yourself; the ability to take what you know and act upon it. In life it is rarely a case of knowing what to do that is holding you back. It is mostly a case of just doing what you already know. The human mind is always pursuing something. Whether you are consciously pursuing a dream or whether you are unconsciously pursuing mere survival, your mind is always driven by an ‘image’ of something that it ‘needs’ to ‘find’ or ‘accomplish’.
There is always something, even if it’s only in the back of your mind, that you feel compelled to do (or not do). You can either choose what it is or you can just leave it to chance. Either way, you should know that whatever it is, you will gravitate towards. Whatever is important to you is what you will notice and consequently pay attention to. There is a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System that is designed to act like a filter to your cognitive perceptions and experience every second you are alive.
At any moment in time there are quite literally millions of things happening, both inside you and around you. The beating of your heart, the taste in your mouth, the sensation of the wind on your skin, the winking of your eyelids – all these things are happening right now and you were probably unaware of them until I made you aware of it. Your Reticular Activating System determines what you will pay attention to by filtering out that which is unimportant to your conscious perception.
It is for this very reason that it is so important to have very clear and specific goals and to know exactly what you want. They are like commands to your Reticular Activating System that ‘tells’ it what’s important to you and consequently your experience of life will start to change as you will start to notice all the things that will help you achieve it. From this perspective, your goals quite literally drive you for it determines what you pay attention to and what you experience.
If your mind is always pursuing something then you better take control of that. Like a ‘servo-mechanism’ you are always moving towards a target and this target is nothing but an image that you hold in your mind; an image of what you want to achieve or where you want to go. Whatever it is; you will automatically, move towards it. Even when you are thrown off course your sights will be firmly ‘locked’ in on the target. Life is never static and you are always moving and in the process of becoming.
Achieving your goals and living your dreams often requires a lot of persistence. This is there by design for setting really high goals will bring along your path great challenges that you would have to overcome. In overcoming them you have to become better as a person. There are no such thing as a lazy person. There are only people with dreams that are too small and uninspiring. With a big enough and strong enough goal and dream anyone can be moved to action. Only big and lofty dreams, with the promise of great rewards and an exciting journey will give you the necessary persistence to go until.
The level of persistence you will need is in direct proportion to the size of your goal. Most people, out of frustration and lack of patience have very little persistence. Yet, persistence is you most valuable resource. Having a compelling outcome is the driving force of persistence. Never scale down your dream to make it easier to achieve. Do the opposite: Double your dream. Make it more compelling. This will give you what you really need which is inspiration and an inner drive that makes it worth it. You don’t need a ‘more realistic goal’ – you need a bigger drive; a more compelling outcome. Remember that your greatest resource is resourcefulness. Your mind is always pursuing something – whether it be to pay your bills or to make a million dollars. It is simply a matter of choice – if you choose to. To your mind there is no real difference and regardless of the size, your mind will serve and guide you. Use it!
This article is published with the permission of the author, Deon Du Plessis. He is the founder of The Self Improvement Gym, and author (in)action, a groundbreaking new action guide on eliminating procrastination. For more of his in-depth insights into personal development and access to his free self improvement library visit http://www.selfimprovement-gym.com