Why Long-Term Goals Lead To Deeper Fulfillment

We are what we repeatedly do. — Aristotle

One of the skills that many of us can improve is our ability to make good decisions in spite of tempting short-term distractions. I’m probably just as guilty as the next person when it comes to being easily distracted, so I wanted to share with you a perspective that has helped me greatly ignore distractions and focus.
When it comes to decision making, most of us know the better decision, but we don’t necessarily do the better decision. This inconsistency comes from a lack of a challenging long-term goal that can give purpose and direction to our short-term goals. Without a challenging long-term goal, many of us end up living a mediocre complacent life consisting of unrelated short-term goals with no real direction. Buying a house, entering a serious relationship, having children, owning a business; other people are doing it and they seem happy, so we should too right?

We sometimes compare our decisions with others to see who is happier, but most people are just as clueless as we might be. Continuing to chase happiness in the dark and leaving things to chance will disallow us from achieving a deep level of satisfaction that comes from building something with purpose. Internalizing this truth is an important step towards truly understanding ourselves. If we know better, we should do better for the long-term goal. Many of us may have learned to focus on short-term thinking for a variety of different reasons. Learned habits from childhood, the illusion and seduction of temporary benefits (both material and pleasure), underestimating small harmful actions as being insignificant. Regardless of the reason, thoughts don’t have power unless they are manifested into the physical world through action. The smallest good action will have more gravity than the most evil thought and vice-versa. Our long-term goal should be coupled with massive actions completed through our short-term goals.

For good ideas to have the greatest positive effect in our lives, we must combine great thoughts with great action. We need to do as much as possible to cultivate and improve ourselves.The more we enrich ourselves spiritually, physically and intellectually, our words and actions will create an equally enriching life. Our actions are a testament to the way we think. As Aristotle once observed: we are what we repeatedly do.

The more we learn about others, the more we learn about ourselves. As Bruce Lee once said: “All knowledge is self-knowledge.” A good example of people achieving difficult long-term goals are artists and musicians who’ve successfully translated their abstract spirit into tangible art. We venerate these creative geniuses for giving shape to the abstract (seemingly) effortlessly, after many years of unseen practice. Leonardo da Vinci spent years observing cadavers just to figure out how muscle fibers, tendons and bones connect to one another. Frida Kahlo turned tragedy into deep self-exploration when she fell ill and spent many months confined to her bed.

Our physical world is shaped and transformed by our actions, so it’s especially important to make better decisions towards a specific long-term goal. Our job as a creative human species is to turn the abstract into the tangible–feelings into words, emotions into paintings, intensity into music–to achieve a level of unparalleled satisfaction. We are the artists and creators of our own life and the happiness within it. The words we speak and decisions we make can have consequences that will last much longer than our own short time on this planet. If we choose to live a happy life, that happiness will spread into the lives of those around us, seeping into the upcoming generations. Creating a positive, memorable and happy life is arduous work, and a privilege reserved for those of us willing to endure hard work and grow. Set your eyes on the big prize, and let everyone else fall for the shiny objects on the road. We have work to do.


This article was originally posted on Medium.

“Why Long-Term Goals Lead To Deeper Fulfillment” by Jay-Ram Rajendra https://link.medium.com/fnDR0dpSNU

Happy 2019! We Have Infinite Potential, Tap Into Yours This Year

We can always improve ourselves in small ways. But when we stop believing in our ability to make a change, we begin to suffer. If we try to live a life detached from reality (usually characterized by a false defeatist mantra of “life sucks”), this can translate into trying to live vicariously through others (i.e. parents’ expectation for their children, friends expectation of friends, etc.) because we relinquish accountability for ourselves. Sometimes, we expect so much more from people other than ourselves, that we forget that we are the only person that we have the most over. The foremost person we should expect anything from is ourselves, and the rest is just icing on the cake. We all have the infinite potential to create an inspired, joyful life; but only if we believe that there is more to life than our current difficulties.

@itsjayram

Quote: Tom Bilyeu

Pain is Guaranteed, but Suffering is Optional

Whenever we revisit the past, we must make sure to enjoy the good moments as much as we scrutinize our bad moments. It’s easy to spend time scrutinizing every mistake you’ve ever made – who else besides us knows every mistake we’ve ever made? But for some reason, it’s so easy to forget the things we do correctly: the good decisions. The decisions where present-day you would be proud of younger you for making that choice. Most of us (when invited) would easily celebrate the victory of a good friend or someone else we care about, but why do we forget to celebrate our victories as greatly as we scrutinize our pain? Perhaps we’ve contlditioned to look for the faults in others, instead of improving ourselves, because the former is much easier than the latter – judging others is easy, yet changing ourselves requires a lot of failure, pain and introspection. Is there a painless way to learn? No. Pain is an integral part of the human experience. Suffering however is optional. What we choose to do with the pain is what ultimately transforms us into the person we want to become. We’ve learned to become who we are from the pain of our mistakes. Pain is guaranteed, but suffering is optional.

Remember the Goal

Whenever you have a lot of big changes happening all at once, the most important action is to focus on one thing at a time. If you try to focus on everything, you focus on nothing; so we have to prioritize. This is difficult because everything right now may seem important. But when we get overwhelmed, usually its a reminder to take a step back and remember your major goal right now. And then focus on that thing first. And then knock it off the list. The other things further down on your goal list will be there if they’re meant to be there. You won’t regret prioritizing your goals over them.

Applying Laws of Motion Into Our Daily Lives

If you’re unfamiliar with Newton’s First Law of Motion, it states that an object in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an equal and opposite force. So how can we apply this law of physics into our personal lives?

Okay, so imagine yourself as a moving object (which you are): a person with their own thoughts and energy, going about their day and interacting with various different people and situations. Maybe you get a phone call with some bad news, or have to work with an insufferable coworker. Or maybe you got a promotion at work, or finally asked that person out on a date. If you’re like most people, your thoughts and temperment will change several times throughout the day: you’ll be in many different mental places. But regardless of how we feel, we all somehow manage to make it to the end of the day, going through the highs and lows of life.

Many of us look for ways to make our lives easier and happier, especially when we notice an imbalance towards negativity. Life can become overwhelming and exhausting. While this may be the end for some people — quitting on their endeavors or feel as if nothing is worth it anymore — this is not the case for powerful people. Because we recognize that there is no obstacle greater than the potential within us – the potential that we can convert into the moveable kinetic. The only thing that can completely destroy our dreams and motivation is any obstacle that we think that is greater than us. But there are very few people and obstacles that can equal our energy. To stay in motion towards our goals, it is important to acknowledge and believe in the inherent power within us: no obstacle is greater than you. Keep moving towards your goals, and recognize that often the obstacle is the way.

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

One of the things that many of us have in common is a past we cannot change. We’ve often heard many life coaches and motivational speakers talk about continuing to work on the present and moving forward, that we should keep the past behind us. As appealing as this advice may be, I feel that ignoring an important part of ourselves isn’t really complete advice. Ultimately at the end of the day when we are by ourselves and we become introspective, where does our mind go? Often to the past.

Since the past isn’t something we can change, it’s important that we look at it from different perspectives. Just like with people and situations in our lives, if we can’t change them, it’s important to change our perspective. As I sit here, I think about all of failures I’ve had in the past. For some, reflecting on things that’ve gone wrong might be debilitating and discouraging. But with the right perspective, it can be liberating. Each time we’ve failed at something, it means we’ve displayed courage and took a risk. And most importantly that we’ve survived.

We fell down seven times, but something made us stand up an eighth time. What was your reason for continuing to keep trying? And can we cultivate that into a passion that keeps us interested in life?

Be Like Water

Bruce Lee would’ve been 78 yesterday. So to commemorate his birthday, I wanted to talk about one of his most popular sayings, of being “like water.”

Water can represent so many things: it is ever-present in our ecosystem. It can change shape from solid to liquid to gas. It moves everywhere, through many things, without doing much. It has no form, which then allows it to take the shape of anything.

In Taoism, this malleable form of water is what makes it such a common metaphor for the universe. There are many things in play in the universe – undiscovered energies, planets, stars, etc. And we as humans are also a part of this vast universe. It is no secret that one of humanity’s greatest strengths is the ability to adapt and survive. We’ve developed technology, communication and culture to find various ways to survive over the years — all products of adapting to the changing environment.

I feel that one of the things Bruce Lee talks about while advising us to be like water, is to be malleable so that we can adapt to life and its challenges. If we are complacent and rigid in our life, we take away our greatest strength as humans, and subject ourselves to a life of suffering. But to be formless means that nothing (external) defines you. You define you, nothing else. Then, our ego is minimized and we become capable of living to the capacity of our full potential. We become more aware and more powerful: two things that I would wish for everyone to be.

@itsjayram

It Doesn’t Matter Where You Start; Great Journeys Have Humble Beginnings

How are you today? I hope you’ve been well. Today I wanted to share some wisdom I recieved that helped me respect the idea that small, consistent changes are often prerequisites for big change.

There’s a popular Taoist quote that is often misattributed to Confucious: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” I recently learned that this version was a mistranslation of the original Chinese text. There was no symbol or character that represented “one” or “single” to signify the step (and of course they didn’t use miles as a measurement of distance then). A much better interpretation is the following: “The small piece of ground beneath your feet is the starting point for a long journey.” Epic adventures begin from the point on the ground where you stand. Seeds become trees, water vapors become torrential rains and great journeys have humble beginnings; most great things are a result of many small actions over a period of time.

If there are changes you’d like to make in your life, try not to underestimate the smaller actions. Many people might think it’s pointless, or a waste of time, but many of them lack foresight and humility for real change. Try not to be fooled by the words of nearsighted people when your goals are much bigger. Persist and win.

Dear Friend, Love is Worth it

This is a letter I wrote to a younger friend about why it’s important to believe in positive things, especially love. It might not work out like you planned, but positivity gives you the strength and humility to learn in any process. I hope you find value in this as did I in writing and reflecting on it.

Dear Friend,

I understand that it can be difficult to find the right person to date. But I can’t just stand by and let you believe that just because it’s difficult, that it’s not worth it. When you find the right person, maybe you won’t be together forever. Maybe things will go wrong. But you will most definitely learn. We often see perfect relationships on social media, but these are ultimately fiction — a fragment of people who are a lot more dynamic and strange than just a few snapshots. Try not to be fooled by any narrow concept of what a relationship should be. Get out, be vulnerable and get to know someone. And don’t believe that a handful of negative people represent the whole: it’s simply not true; this type of thinking only propogates negativity and suffering. I’m sure that right now, someone valuable and worth it might be thinking the same thing of other people out there. And maybe like you, they have a friend telling them that not all people are the same, and hopefully they’ll snap out of this negative thinking. We cannot let negative thoughts ever stop us from achieving our goals, be it career or love. The path you’ve chosen for your life is probably difficult. I’m sure there are many people who tell you that it’s not worth it, or that you’re crazy for pursuing it – but you still pursue it regardless because it gives you and others around you happiness. Romance and relationships are the same way friend. We cannot let the world convince us that it’s not worth it. Everything that’s worth it will take time, right? Let’s encourage others to not only give happiness, but hope that their dreams about love and success are valid and attainable.

Your friend,

Jay-Ram

Let Yourself Fail (Sometimes)

Here’s an interesting idea, especially for those of us who are good at many things — a jack of all trades, but master of none — mastery requires giving up things we are good at so that we can focus on becoming the best at one of those things. This is the first step in cultivating your passion.

The primary fear holding most people back is often, “How do I know I’m picking the right thing?” The truth is that this often doesn’t matter, and is actually a hidden fear of rejection. Most people cannot imagine investing so much time and energy into something, only for it to possibly be failure and rejected by society. However this fear is exactly why many people do not succeed at mastering something — they tie their self worth to their results, and let their failures define them. But failure is not final unless you stop trying; failure is not apart from success, but rather is a part of success.

Before beginning any project, consider fully (all of your choices) and then act decisively (pick one). Decide under which circumstances you’ll give up. Then, do not quit until you achieve your desired outcome. There will be times where you’ll feel like your work is meaningless and opinions insignificant, but plowing through this self-doubt is the necessary process of growth and success. Those of us willing to put their soul into the furnace, can forge their spirit into the ultimate weapon. Being good at many things is fun and safe, but mastering something is risky yet necessary for fulfillment.