Some years ago I was exactly there. After two years of sporting school with a personal trainer 10-14 hours a week, I was ready to go myself. I was confident about my skills and knew exactly which diet to follow and which workout routine to execute, in order to reach my goals. But still, I was somehow always in need to discipline myself. I felt like I always took myself by the neck, like you sometimes have to do with your dog to teach him how to behave. I did not understand why some of my friends, reached and even exceeded their goals and in the process, my self worth just went spiraling downwards.
I am so grateful for this experience now, because I went on a journey. A journey to find out why, and what I discovered, might surprise you!
What I found, sure came to me as an aha-moment, because it was so obvious and this is what I want to share with you.
Imagine if you could be automatically disciplined, reliable and focused. Imagine your level of achievement increasing exponentially, and that coming to you naturally and effortlessly. Let us take a deep dive into what I believe is the most important thing to add to your life, whether it is reaching health, physical, financial or career goals. These are the laws of human behavior!
Now I am going to drop a truth bomb here that might shock you. You are already disciplined, organized, reliable and focused, as much as an olympic gold medallist!
Imagine now, opening up your mail inbox and there’s a ticket to Bali, for you. In two weeks you are heading to asia’s paradise island for an 8 week adventure, with a special someone. Butterflies in your stomach start popping out, you’re visualizing your trip and all the amazing experiences ahead, you think about it and dream about it, you talk with others about it, you spend 2-3 hours a day researching on the internet for all the exciting things to do, etc. All these things, you do spontaneously. You automatically prioritize your time and energy to plan this trip and you even get so excited, that it gives you energy just to do so.
This is called inspiration. This is something you have become inspired about – setting this new habit of spending time researching and planning your trip. Does not occur to you as being a challenge, but hey, you just set a new 2-3 hours habit every day, without even trying.
You probably know already how important a habit can be and seen different studies or articles about how many days it takes, to set a habit. Now I agree that habits can make or break you and the power of habits is enormous. Maybe you have heard “It takes 21 days to set a habit” while others say it’s more like 40 days, and some even say 60 or 90 days. This makes me laugh, because with proper insights into human behavior and how to use it to your advantage, you can set new habits in 3 hours, with a specific technique. Now I do not want to sell you a fantasy that it’s easy to do it. It requires some deep work. But once it’s done, new habits just form like those from when you found out about going to Bali.
I promise we are going to make this practical in a minute. But it is so important to understand the difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is something that occurs when something outside of you, wants or tells you to do something. This can be as easy as your boss, spouse or parents. But have you ever thought about the influence of media, social idealisms and other moral codes (social acceptable ways of thinking and behaving)?
Motivation occurs when you receive pain or pleasure from absence. Carrot or stick!
- “If you do not fulfill this task within X time, you are fired” – Your Boss
- “If you make this goal this year, you will have a bonus” – Your Boss
Have you ever tried to motivate yourself to do something? I have. Plenty of times. It usually works, but sometimes it does not sustain the long term commitment through pain and challenge, which eventually, leads to frustration and procrastination. Just like some people’s new year resolution eventually fails in february. In the beginning they were highly motivated, but did not have the inspiration to follow throughout the pain and challenge their goal required.
Now this might be the most important paragraph,because I am going to share some insights about how you can distinguish inspiration from motivation, and that is the key to achieve your goals, without effort.
Everybody lives by a set of values. Your highest values are what’s more important to you. It’s what you automatically prioritize. Your lower values are what causes you to experience stress in life.
So whenever you hear yourself saying to yourself; “Need to”, “ought to” “have to” and “should”, it is a clear sign that you are not inspired from within and that you have injected values from without, that you are trying to live up to. Trying to live up to values which are not intrinsically yours, only leads to the ABCDEF of negativity:
Criticize yourself/someone else
want to Escape reality
ABCDEF of negativity is a symptom of living with lower values. In our lower values frequency, we tend to hesitate and procrastinate. Stress is also a symptom of living with lower values. When you wrap your mind around this, you will start to distinguish what is important and valuable to you. Every decision you make is actually based solely on what you believe in. Your perception will give you the greatest amount of benefits and least amount of drawbacks, according to your highest values. Now I suggest that you read this one more time.
It is wise then to understand, your highest values. And this is where most people have it wrong. When I ask people about what they think their values are, they usually answer some social idealism, like honesty or integrity. But in fact, you only have honesty and integrity, according to your true highest values.
Now, would you like to know your highest values?
I have 13 unique questions which I ask the first time I meet with a client. In fact, I don’t work with anybody, before I know their highest values. Now giving you the full scope of the significance in knowing your values, and how to use them, would require a whole book. But in short, it allows you to go from ordinary to extraordinary!
Your highest values become your destination in life or your “destiny”. I’m going to share with you 7 of the 13 questions which will help you have clarity, about your values.
- What do you think about the most?
- What do you love to read about or learn about?
- What do you spend your time in?
- What topics turns you into an extrovert, in social situations?
- What do you dream about the most?
- What do you spend your money on the most?
- What inspires and energizes you?
Answer all the questions, so you can identify your top three highest values (highly recommended).
Now, I actually do not know of any other more profound way to actualize your potential, than to take a deep dive into your own values. So do not take these questions for granted and take them into your life. This process is going to give you as much value as you put into it. No one sided fantasies of more pleasure than pain, as you’ve seen in other self-improvement. Frankly I do not believe in that. I believe in a balanced and realistic approach that aligns up with science and natural laws. Throughout my journey, it has been wise to adopt the belief of balance. These questions are highly valuable, if you want to master your life and become a master in your life. Do this process every 90 days, because your values are changing along with your life. Once you have taken this process, you are about to bring unconscious conscious upon yourself, which is something the great psychologist Carl Jung described as “The individuation process”.
Everybody is dedicated to fulfilling their own highest values and in your highest values, you are automatically inspired, dedicated, focused and reliable. Just like an olympic gold medalist, you have an area in your life, where you are equally organized and disciplined. Instead of saying “no, I am not”, go look for it and you might be in for a surprise.
Let’s imagine this trip to Bali. Do you think someone needs to remind you:
To pack your things?
To plan the trip?
To wake up early and take the flight?
Our highest values are what’s more important to us at a specific time. There is nothing else you would love to do more, than doing what is highest on your values. But sometimes we tend to live lower on our values system. There are numerous reasons for that, but for now the most significant thing you can do, is to notice whenever you say to yourself “Should, have to, need to, ought to”, because then, you know you are living outside your own values system. If you hear yourself say “want to, like to and love to” you are following your highest values. If you feel you need to go to the gym, you will probably hurt yourself. If you feel you want to go to the gym, you will probably do alright. If you feel you love to go the gym, you will by far exceed yourself!
I say that you might hurt yourself when you feel like you need to go to the gym, because you are not present. When you are there, you are thinking about everything else and SNAP, there goes your back! If you love going to the gym, you’re in this flow-state where everything seems to be perfect. You are present and alive!
Look throughout your life, when have you been in a flow state? What caused you this flow state? This is key, because flow state allows you to go beyond challenges and pain and to actually fulfill your mission. It’s when you are the most engaged.
So in order to drastically increase your level of achievement, you need values which are aligned with your goals, or goals which are aligned with your values. And there is a specific process that can help you do this, which I mentioned earlier and causes new habits to spontaneous occur.
If you want to know exactly how to do this, we will share a pdf on “how to change your values to match your goals or how to set goals aligned with your values”.