Action Intention, Intentionally Pursuing a Life of Adventure

The Stupid Reasons Why People Fail to Achieve Their Goals

You have a goal or dream, right? Don’t lie to me. I know you do. However, the more important question is: Why do most people, and you, fail to reach them? If we are aware why people fail to achieve their goals, then we can work to fight against it.

It’s Us Vs. Demons

Look at us, here on this website. We are the people who want more out of our life. Adventure is what we want. Our hope is to leave the world more exciting for us being here. We are those who aspire to more. There’s a lot of us out there, and most are too bashful to identify in this party.

There are also demons around every turn. They are inside our mind stopping us from doing great things, each of these demons wants us to be ordinary. They will tell us lies to keep us where we currently are.

Can You Hear Them Whispering?

They say things like “You WANT that candy bar,” “You DESERVE time to relax,” or “You NEED this new gadget.” Hone your mind to pick up on these trigger phrases. Words like Want, Deserve and Need. Be careful because these are remarks that demons use to keep you from achieving your goals. Once you start noticing these ideas pop out of nowhere, you will start seeing the demons that are speaking them. The sooner you recognize them, the sooner you can whack-a-mole them back down.

What Are You Doing on a Regular Basis?

A while back I talked about being a doer, not a dreamer. The more I work towards my personal goals, the more I realize that action, or lack thereof, is the key to success. On top of that, consistent action is the ultimate aim, but any action is what we want right now. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be the right action.

The Demons are Tempting You

Every day is a battle between you and your demons. You’re tempted around every turn because almost everyone is ordinary. Ordinary is normal, and why wouldn’t it be. If everyone were special, then no one would be special. There are only a few of us who can go above and beyond. Though, we get above and beyond by fighting temptation, daily.

We combat the attraction of the chocolate bar that isn’t on our diet. I battle the desire to watching television after a long day of work instead of writing. And some brawl with the financial temptation of buying new camera gear instead of saving for a bigger goal.

Logic and Guilt are Flawed Weapons

I could logic you up and down the block about the pros and cons of these temptations. You could feel guilted by making poor choices and leave here feeling sorry that you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to. However, neither of those is effective. Guilt is perfect for recognizing when something in your life is unaligned with your goals. Logic is fantastic for setting up a budget, outline a diet, or scheduling writing session. However, in the heat of battle, you don’t need logic. You need action.

I guess it's more of a gladiator's sword regardless, the metaphor of slaying demons to achieve goals remains

Action is the Paladin’s Sword

You already logically know what you should do, now act on it! If you’re staring at a candy bar in the checkout line of Kroger, you’re not in a position to be weighing pros and cons of the candy. Your mind focuses on one thing and one thing only: How good that candy is going to taste. Right now you’re fighting the demon of desire. What do you do?

Here is the Simple Solution

Desire is tempting you to stray from your goal. It’s tempting you to be as ordinary as possible. However, there is only one way to deal with it, and it is with a single and powerful attack. You can only counter “I want ____”  with a straightforward and emotionless “Don’t!” Followed by action that gets you away from that goal.

Put down the candy bar, turn off the tv, and don’t buy the camera gear. Then move on to the next task in your day and forget the temptation ever happened.

The Best Use of Your Energy

I don’t care if it takes all your conceivable energy to walk away from the TV and sit down at your desk to write. That’s the BEST way to use your energy all day, even if no words end up on the page. You have something you want to achieve. Focus on getting there. Everything wants you to be normal, even yourself. Walking away from your obstacles and denouncing them as stupid is the only way to get to your goal.

Is it Helping You Reach Your Goals?

I recently helped my friend lose some weight. She pointed out that I helped her by having an “If It’s Not Helping You Reach Your Goal, It’s Stupid” Mindset. When she saw a candy bar at the store and told me she wanted it, I would tell her, in a detached, emotionless tone, “don’t buy it.” It might not have been the most caring approach, but she put down the treat and after doing it enough times she reached her goal.

You Aren’t Making a One-Time Decision

How can I just walk away from something I want badly at the moment? I walk away because I know I’m a grown ass man and can drive myself back to the store to get the candy later. Kids throw tantrums at Toys-R-Us because they can’t get what they want any other way. We’re all adults here. We are more than capable of going back to the store and buying our treat. Anyone can log back onto Amazon to buy their dream camera gear tomorrow. I am capable of pushing in my desk chair and walking back to the couch to watch TV. We know there is a possible future where we can have these things.

But Today, Right Now, We Will Refuse To Cave!

You are Your Own Worst Enemy

There is a part of all of us that desires complacency and normality. I’m not sure why it’s there, maybe it’s samsara, it’s potentially because of a snake and some fruit, or perhaps it’s just the evolution of the species. Either way, it doesn’t matter why it’s there. We are what we are, and we must learn to fight it.

This girl believes in herself and will probably achieve her goals
However, you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough, scratch it out, believe in yourself, or else no one else will.

Today, Tomorrow, and Practice

Today, you’re going to beat the urge to walk away from your goal. You’re going to avoid your self-destructive action and put up a fight. Tomorrow, or the next day you may lose, but today you will win. Once you win today, it will be much easier to win in the future. Fighting is a talent that requires practice. When you practice you mess up, but every success you have gets you towards your goal.

Parting Words

Be vigilant and watch for those trigger words of desire and self-defeating actions. For me, the counterproductive action is not getting out of bed early. If I sleep through to 10 am my day is shot, it’s unavoidable. The days I wake up at 6 am and work hard for as long as possible are the days I relish. Even if I only have an hour to work, the earlier time is always more creative for me. What’s your biggest demon, the thing whispering in your ear, urging you to be ordinary and abandon your adventure?

Photo Credit: Rui Barros, Tor-Sven Berge & Steven Depolo

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