Want Better Results? Focus on This
I want to tell you a secret.
This one bit of knowledge completely changed my life, and it’s something not many people know. It will save you tons of energy, and give you the results you’re looking for.
It’s the thing that the most successful leaders, visionaries, and innovators already know.
A lot of people are hustling, struggling, and sometimes failing to changes their outer circumstances. Maybe you are too. There’s a current belief (read: collective consciousness) that makes us think:
“If only ______________ was different I would be happy.”
That blank line for you might represent your job, or relationship, or family. Basically it means we believe that if we can change our outer reality, then we will finally feel the way we want to feel.
Here’s the secret: Changing your circumstances is not going to make you happy.
Bummer? Just wait, that’s not the end of the story. You can have the perfect job, tons of money, and amazing partner or relationship, and still lack the happiness, success, and fulfillment you’re looking for. Why? Your outer world is never the source of lasting joy, love, or peace of mind. Momentary happiness? Sure. But long-lasting results come from the inside.
It’s almost annoying how true this is. It’s also completely freeing, because it means you can be happy right now, no matter what your circumstances are. The good news: Your inner world is what needs to change. The bad news: Your inner world is what needs to change.
Let’s talk about what the difference between your inner world and outer world. Your outer world consists of everything outside yourself: your job, work, living situation, bank account, physical health, relationships, etc. Your inner world is everything that creates your viewpoint or filter on the world: your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, and the rules you live by. Now think about it: How much energy do you put towards changing your outer world? How much attention do you put on your inner world?
About 90% of all our challenges arise from a conflict in our inner world. And yet, we funnel the majority of our effort towards shifting our outer world. See the disconnect?
When you focus solely on the outer work (or outer blocks) it leads to putting a lot of energy into change, without much result. This is what I call “chasing the dream” or the “goal to goal hustle.” We’re always running after the next thing that will give us momentary highs, instead of building a foundation on the inside that will serve us for the rest of our life time.
Sure, there are times when you do need to change your outer circumstances. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, you might have to step away or create healthy boundaries. If you want to become an MD, and don’t have your degree, well you’re going to have to get back into school. If you want to be a surfer, and you live in North Dakota you’ll probably need to move.
Note: YOU do not need to change, it’s your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and your world that need to be updated. Changing your thoughts shifts your perspective, and your outer world will transform.
Think about what’s stressing you out the most right now.
Got it? Great, now decipher if it’s an inner or outer block that you’re struggling with. (If you’re not sure, I can help you out with that. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org). Chances are it’s an inner block. If so, it’s time to make a small update in your thinking.
For example: If you’ve been stressing about not having enough time, you might be thinking things like, “Damn, I’m behind again” or “There’s never enough time in my day to get all this done.” What do you think happens when you have those thoughts? You become a victim to time. That causes feelings of overwhelm, frustration, and pressure. This probably does not help you accomplish everything you hope to.
Imagine if instead you thought: “I have all the time I need to accomplish what I want to today.” What a relief! You have all the time you need, fantastic! Now you can focus your energy on the tasks as hand, rather than worrying about what you’re not completing.
This is the “small change BIG shift” moment. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Transformation happens from the inside out.
Powerful results come from doing the inner work, and then connecting that to outer work (goals and strategies), which lead you towards what you want with flow and ease. Check back for next week’s article when I talk about how to align your two worlds. In the mean time, practice creating one small change BIG shift moment each day. Share your experiences in the comments below.