How Not To Worry

When we think we have no time, we really don’t. It’s easy to be lazy, because we don’t have to do anything, which means that all that we need to think about is what we want to do. But when we have to make a serious commitment, as any entrepreneur knows, it’s time to focus. We may actually have to get up from the couch and look for our keys or get someone else to put the car in gear. But we must do it, or we will lose the edge on the road we’ve just begun.

You do not have to think about what you’re going to do tomorrow or this week or this month. It may seem like something that we have to be worried about, but actually the most important thing in your life is the kind of person you are. It isn’t that you have to be a lawyer or a computer scientist. It is just that you ought not be a lawyer or a computer scientist. And it is not that you have to be a writer or a computer engineer. To be a writer and to be a computer engineer are entirely different things.

We live with our heads in the clouds. We tend to think that other people know more than us and that our future will be somehow different. But that will never happen. What can happen is that you can develop the kind of person you’re going to be. And to develop that, you ought to do some things.

It is a good idea to have a plan. It is a good plan to have a goal. And if you set the goal at a reasonable level, it is easy to stay on track with that goal. If you set the goal at a ridiculous level, you tend to lose sight of it. Some people, who are really good athletes, really do train six days a week. They don’t do many things that people might consider training, but they stick to the basic things such as running. So that’s a good goal.

Now if you’re someone who is always trying to be the best of the best, who is always seeking new ideas and new experiences, you cannot be motivated by your goal. And if you can not stay motivated by its very definition, you cannot develop the type of person you aspire to be. What’s more, you are likely to end up doing things that get you nowhere, as the famous American actor John Wayne once said in a film: “My mind is so full of pictures that I can’t stop to think of what I’m doing”.

So the key to growing into the kind of person that you really ought to be is not to become something else. It has to do with changing your habits. Changing habits is so important in your life that it should be included in your list of goals. To change the habits that you currently have, you must simply break them. That means that you should take away the things that you’ve done for too many hours of your life and you must start your life anew.

And the hardest things that you must get rid of are your habits; it’s not hard, it’s actually easy, for example, to get rid of a bad habit. In fact one of the reasons why the habits in our life are so difficult to change is because once they become ingrained they are like roots. We can’t get them out.

I know of a woman named Helen, who is one of the world’s leading experts on habits. And she uses a very simple habit breaking method. She takes three pieces of tape, each about 8 inches long. She sticks them to the inside walls of her house, at a distance of about 15ft. She then tells her housekeeper to go in the house from time to time and count the number of times that people enter and leave. That was Helen’s method. And she says that in six weeks it was impossible for her housekeeper to count the entry and exit times. In order to break a habit, you’ve got to actually do something and do it a lot — because, if you only do a little bit of it, the habit stays stuck. If you actually keep doing it a lot of times, it just starts to get easier.

That is what you ought to do — and that is not easy. That is not easy at all.