To simplify, we could say that there are three phases in which one's life can be. Sometimes everything is going wrong, or at least everything is statically in a bad place, and the goal is to find one area to fix to create a foundation on which to build.
Maybe most common is a scenario where one's life is going well but there are one or two big things on which to work. Life is good but you need to make more money, or just find a boyfriend or girlfriend. That's a pretty obvious one to work on.
But what do you do when everything is going right? A few things.
Appreciate and Accept it. Sounds trite, but so many people don't do it. Whether through skill, luck, persistence, or all three, you've reached a high point. Enjoy it and be grateful for it. If you aren't able to fully appreciate the things you achieve, there's not all that much point in striving for them.
We always react to our training. If we've been forever striving, trying to fill in holes in our lives, we may find it hard to accept that everything is going well. That can cause us to self-sabotage or to begin fixing problems that don't actually exist.
Cement the success. What can you do to make this success permanent rather than fleeting? How can you make your relationships stronger? How can you invest your money so that it works for you and isn't spent? What can you do to make your business or career more resilient?
Focus on little things for a while. Sometimes when making big changes in life we ignore small things in favor of making big gains, and that's often the right thing to do. When the big things are going right, it's a good time to take a break and shore up all of the little things to give yourself a fresh slate again.
Have a broad view when considering your next big focus. Options that weren't available to you probably are now, and your priorities may (and probably should) have shifted. Maybe the best return on your time is now to help other people. Maybe it's to look inwards and develop yourself rather than focus on external things. The least satisfied people seem to be those who keep trying to do the same thing long after the marginal returns have diminished.
I think people have a tougher time than one would expect when things are going well. They can become complacent, paranoid, self-destructive, or inefficient. Look at people who rise to fame or fortune quickly. It can be a time of change, and that's not always something people deal with well. When you've checked major boxes in your life, be aware of it and make sure you continue with the same level of conscientiousness that got you there, even if it's aimed in a different direction.
Photo is the concrete supports in a subway station in Budapest.
My family is coming to visit in Budapest tomorrow. So excited! First time they've traveled with me.
Can't believe there's only one comment for this post so far. I like your viewpoint and I think it has a lot of validity. Some people are too busy or too negative to acknowledge the positive things in their life even when they're numerous. I think whichever phase you're in, there's a lot to be said to 10 minutes of positivity, and also life reflection, goal setting and acknowledgement. Also, having intent to achieve things but to limit the amount of emotion invested in the outcome, especially the short term outcome. Thanks for this post!
If everything is going well, then you would think that you'd feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude, joy of being alive, and stoked on life. If you don't, then everything probably isn't going as well as you think. ;)
P.S. Sett seems to be buggy for me in Chrome. It won't let me login and ends up deleting the text I wrote. So I have to post in Firefox.
Steam rises from my little glass teapot. It's the fifth brewing of the Tung Ting Oolong, so it's a little bit weak even though the color is still a clear gold. Employees of the tea shop are in front of me, an older couple across the way, and a single girl behind me. In the other room are more groups. The chatter rises above the music, but I can't understand any of it because it's all in Hungarian.
I'm here by myself. Two friends visited, but one had to go home to London, and the other to a conference in Zürich.
I have a tendency, when traveling alone, to stay holed up in my AirBnb. But after a day of that I wanted to get out. This place is perfect. I can drink my tea, feel like I'm around people, but not be distracted by their conversations.
My favorite game to play by myself is to imagine a kid version of myself could see me now. What would he think? Usually he'd just be surprised, I think. How random is it that I'm sitting in Budapest, by myself, writing? It's not significant in any way, but I wouldn't have guessed it, either.
Ever find yourself on the internet refreshing Facebook every 10 minutes? maybe reddit? or your email? In most cases, you know that nothing life changing is going to happen. Someone is not going to randomly message you on facebook offering a fully payed flight to Tahiti; very rarely is something on reddit going give you the motivation to pursue the life you want, whether that be playing video games all ( like Kripparian ) or travelling the world like the nomadic matt, unless of course your goal in life is to live on reddit, then by all means go ahead. So why does it seem so urgent to refresh that page? and most importantly, how can we apply that to ones goals?
For the most part Facebook and reddit manage to keep you hooked because of their social aspect. Every time you refresh you are looking for social validation, or maybe for that perfect moment to post that perfect comment, or you just might be afraid that if you don't you will be kept out of the loop. Urgency is very high. You want those internet points.
In the real world, some of the best ways to do this are the things I mentioned in my post about pressure. Just as crucial to the success of your goals is not only the social pressure you surround yourself with, but also the perceived importance of your goals. 90% of the time starting and establishing the right mindset is more conducive to reaching your goals than any amount of information. Here are some crucial aspects of the urgency mindset.
1. You have to believe what you are doing is going to make a big difference in your life. You have to believe being fit WILL change your life. You have to believe learning a language WILL be useful. You have to create this urgency, this sense of importance, in reaching these goals. Sometimes, you might no even know why it will be useful. Maybe you have this vague thought "being fit is healthy" pushing you to take some action, but not enough. If this is so, read 4.
2. You have to take action and surround yourself in situations where being the desired way seem ridiculously important. in the prior post I wrote about how surrounding yourself with people who embody who you want to be is the ultimate cheat code to taking action. But this doesn't always have to be just making friends. Going to Japan and being in an environment where you KNOW learning Japanese will come in handy is bound to create a sense of urgency.