How to Move On in Life
Article by Brianna Wiest
If you feel stuck - if the day ends and you’re tense with apprehension, if you feel as though you’re walking in circles and there’s no way out - chances are you don’t know what you want.
Rather, you think you don’t know what you want.
Deep down, everybody knows what they want. But when they start to fear incapable of achieving it, they divert their attention to a thousand other less-compelling pursuits in an effort to compensate.
It never works - at least not for long.
There are two things you need to do in order to reconnect with your genuine desires and move your life forward: seek inspiration and develop willpower.
That’s it. Throw out every morning routine you’ve ever read about, every hack, every strategy, and every idea you’ve ever had about what you need to do to get where you want to be.
At the end of the day, it boils down to these two and these two alone.
You need to develop willpower not so you can steamroll your instincts and continue to pursue a life you don’t want. Rather, you need willpower because when you start pursuing the life you want, you will be met with triggers, distractions, and doubts.
Willpower gives you the ability to circumvent your need for immediate satisfaction in pursuit of a greater long-term benefit. That long-term benefit must appeal to you more than the immediate satisfaction.
If it isn’t, developing willpower will always be futile. You won’t be motivated enough to override your impulses.
But when you land on something you do care enough about - maybe it’s being able to enjoy your life and not engage in cycles of negative thinking, being able to focus on one task at a time, or being able to endure temporary discomfort for greater growth - what you find is that willpower is not actually your ability to elbow your way through pain. Rather, it’s a way to redirect your energy.
What you will notice about highly productive, healthy, successful people is that they aren’t suffering to achieve those outcomes, not long-term. They enjoy the process of working hard because they have trained themselves to enjoy it. They know the benefits they seek, and over time, they’ve built themselves a new comfort zone.
We crave what we repeatedly do.
That is the essence of willpower.
This one sounds more like a platitude you’d find on a piece of home decor, but it’s, in fact, an essential piece of the puzzle. Without inspiration, you don’t know what you’re pursuing willpower for.
Inspiration is not the acquisition of new ideas. Rather, it’s the actualization of ancient ones.
It may seem counterintuitive, but most people do not know how to find inspiration. In fact, they live most of their lives wholly uninspired, which is why they think they don’t know what they want.
When you get inspired, you are simply reminding yourself of your most essential wants. You are visualizing the realities you’ve always wanted to manifest. You are seeing in your mind’s eye what something far deeper within you has always craved. Inspiration is not the acquisition of new ideas. Rather, it’s the actualization of ancient ones.
You can look for inspiration all around you. You can explore nature, read books, listen to music, or create a vision board. However, what tends to be more effective is observing the lives of others who are pursuing what they love.
You need to witness how other people live. You need to see what they do, what works, and what doesn’t. You need to observe their patterns and their successes. You need to engage with the world and the millions who inhabit it.
You are far more inspired by the paths of those who are ahead of you than by any images you’ve self-generated about what life could be. With real-world evidence, you start to see what’s possible.
To move your life forward, you simply have to acknowledge what you want, and then develop the willpower to trust the process as you pursue it.
Most people do not want for anything more than a simple and good life: relationships, love, prosperity, and comforts. When we deny ourselves the ability to pursue them, we start reaching for greater and more impressive accomplishments.
But they are always empty, in the end, because they are merely distractions.
Instead of reaching, settle into your core desires to see what’s really there.
What’s driving you away from your most essential wants is a lack of self-discipline. What’s driving you away from self-discipline is a lack of inspiration. It’s a cycle you must choose to break.