Are You Following Your Own Path, or Someone Else's?

It's not easy to find your way through the world. You might have interests that don't coincide with the values of your parents or with those of western society.

It's important to remember that everyone is different, and while the status quo might work for the majority of the population, it doesn't work for everyone.

To have a truly fulfilling life, you must live it on your own terms.

There are plenty of forces willing to tell you what your path should be:

1. Parents.

Your parents want you to be happy and successful. Many of them also want to be able to brag to their friends about their children.

They also don't want to be supporting you financially when you're in your 30's.

Parents tend to be practical in their advice. Just remember that you'd have a similar life to them if you followed their advice. That might be good or bad.

Keep in mind that you are not the same as your parents. You also have your own life to live.

2. Educational system.

The educational system wants to turn out productive people into society that conform to their ways of thinking.

This might be great for society, but it might not be in your best interests.

What if you want to be a rockstar, or take a few years to travel and write a book, own a llama farm, or become a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka?

Your school guidance counselor might be less than supportive.

3. Society as a whole.

We live in a society that values achievement, financial resources, and personal possessions.

We're supposed to get married to a beautiful partner, have a few kids, and live in the suburbs.

It's natural to want to play that game, even if it doesn't quite suit our true nature. It's nice to have the admiration of society. Our egos crave this type of recognition.

But the type of life dictated by society isn't a good fit for everyone.

There are plenty of people that are highly successful by society's criteria that are absolutely miserable.

Plenty of people are willing to influence your choice of lifestyle and career. It's unlikely their advice will be optimal for you.

Be an individual and find the path that works best for you.

Find and follow your own path with these strategies:

1. Ask yourself what you really want to do.

Don't say that you don't know, because you do know. You're just afraid to allow it to see the light of day.

You might be concerned what others think, or you might be afraid that you're not capable of doing it. Deep down, you know what you want.

Ask yourself what you would do if you could do anything, and then listen to the answer.

2. Decide that you're going to follow your path.

One of the biggest obstacles to success is failing to make a true decision. A decision only occurs when you shut yourself off to other possibilities.

If you frequently change your mind, you're not making true decisions.

3. Make a plan.

Set up a schedule of daily tasks that will bring you closer to living the life that you have chosen. You're practically guaranteed success provided you don't give up.

Your life is your responsibility. If you find yourself stuck living someone else's definition of success, you'll find yourself all alone.

The people that influenced you to live this way will be off living their own lives.

Take control of your destiny and find your own path. Your life will be more interesting, more satisfying, and uniquely your own!

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Enhance Your Conscientiousness and Success Will Follow

Do you consider yourself a conscientious person? Conscientiousness has been found to be one of the best predictors of success in life. Conscientiousness has two components: industriousness and orderliness.

It's hard to overemphasize the impact of being conscientious. Think of the most successful people you know and consider the degree to which they have this important trait.

Use these strategies to enhance your conscientiousness and become more successful:

1. Create a schedule each evening for the following day.

It's hard to be conscientious if you don't even know what to do. Create a plan each evening for the next day.

There are calendar apps you can use on your cell phone, or you can use the paper and pencil method. Whatever works for you is fine.

Make a list of the most important things you want to accomplish and make those a priority.

Avoid over-scheduling. If you struggle to be productive, giving yourself an endless list of tasks and a rigid schedule is sure to end in disaster.

Make it very easy to experience success. You can ramp up your efforts over time.

Be gentle with yourself. You'll have a few bad days where you fall back into your old habits and accomplish little. Commit to getting back on the horse.

2. Keep your house tidy.

Use your schedule to set aside time to deal with your home. Schedule time to mop the kitchen, clean the toilets, and pick up the family room.

The natural tendency of the world is to move toward disorder. You have to combat that natural phenomenon each day.

Extend the same attention to your car, workspace, and yard. Get everything under control.

3. Develop routines.

Routines are essentially habits. They are several behaviors strung together that require minimal thought on your part. You just do them.

The less you have to think and fight with yourself, the more likely you'll be successful at performing these actions. Effective routines lead to freedom and order.

Have a morning and late evening routine to start. Get your day started on the right foot and end it in an effective manner as well.

Develop routines for house cleaning and paying bills.

Doing a little each day can be much more effective than doing a lot at once. It's easier to accomplish, too.

4. Learn to complete tasks.

Many of us are masters at starting something, only to leave it unfinished as we move on to something else.

This habit creates chaos and results in a lack of progress. It takes determination and stamina to complete anything other than a bowl of potato chips. Be strong!

5. Be aware of how you waste time and take steps to avoid those traps.

Time wasters are to be avoided! You already know how you waste time. Do your best to avoid engaging in those activities until your work is done for the day.

Conscientiousness is an important component of success. Aside from intelligence, it is the best predictor of success.

Think of the most conscientious people you know and see what you can learn from them.

Notice how neat and orderly their lives are. Also notice how life seems to go quite smoothly for them.

Improve your odds of success by taking control of your time and your life. Start by creating a daily schedule and add a little order to your life.

You'll be stunned by how quickly your life changes.

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Cheers, Helene Malmsio

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