The quality of your entire life is controlled by just three decisions you make.
One of the most powerful things you can do is to become clear on what these three decisions are. It allows you to take full control of your life. Because these three things are literally controlling everything…
They determine your happiness more than the amount of money in your pocket. And they govern your success more than who you know or what you’ve been through in life.
It all boils down to three decisions you make in every moment. When you choose to make these decisions consciously, your life will skyrocket.
Even right now, you’re making these three decisions. But you’re probably leaving them up to chance.
Let’s discover what they are so you never have to do that again.
Whenever you do anything in life — or whenever anything happens to you — you’ll be confronted with the first decision. And that is:
What Are You Going To Focus On?
You’re never not focusing on something. Focus is always happening. But it would serve all of us well to be more consciously aware of it as much as possible.
Why is focus so important?
Because whatever you focus on, you’re going to feel.
Have you ever focused on something horrible that hasn’t happened yet? And when you thought about it, you literally experienced the pain of that future failure or challenge in your life you were imagining.
But then… that horrible thing never even happened?
Some of us have a habit where if things aren’t bad in our lives, we start thinking up stuff that hasn’t happened yet (and might never happen) just so we can feel bad in advance.
Because why would you actually allow yourself to feel good, right? Oh, no… wouldn’t want that!
Remember: whatever you focus on, you’ll feel. When you start to take control of your focus, you take control of your life.
Imagine — what’s the best thing that could ever happen in your life?
According to polls, most Americans would answer something like “winning the lottery…”
But now answer me this: what’s the worst thing that could happen in your life?
When you ask most Americans, the number one answer is having someone else take care of you because you became quadriplegic.
But here’s the question:
Which one of these two people — the person who wins the lottery, or the person who becomes a quadriplegic — is happier three years after the event?
Studies clearly show us the answer is unanimously… neither one.
After three years, people adjust to whatever happiness they had before. We get used to what happens TO us in life.
One of the only things that really, truly changes happiness levels is when people change their habits and paradigms so what they’re focusing on, day in, day out, is different.
Focusing on what you have and being grateful each day is the number one place to start.
Pay attention to your focus — your awareness — throughout the day. And make it a habit to take notice of what you’re noticing. It can make all the difference.
The second decision you make is deciding for yourself:
What Does It Mean?
As soon as you look at something, think about something, and focus on something, you have to decide what it means.
Is this the beginning or the end?
Is this punishment or reward?
Is life trying to hurt me or trying to challenge me?
Or does this problem have nothing to do with my life, and it only came up because I was being lazy?
The meanings we give to things control our life.
If you think it’s the end of a relationship, are you going to behave the same way as if you thought it was the beginning of a relationship?
When the relationship began — when you were head over heels for someone — what were you willing to do for them?
Probably pretty much anything…
So when you’re in that place where you’ll do anything in the beginning of a relationship — if your partner said…
“Would you take out the trash?”
It’s probably a no-brainer to do it! But after about seven months, or seven years, or 70 years into the relationship, and they say, “Would you take out the trash”…
You’re probably more likely to reply, “What do I look like, your janitor?”
So what happened to the passion?
I’ll give you a clue:
If you want a relationship to last, and you think it’s coming to the end, do what you did in the beginning. It’s a simple shift in meaning. Change the meaning of your relationship to be the meaning you gave it in the beginning — and there won’t be an end.
Because when you think it’s the beginning you behave differently than the end.
The meaning we associate with things controls our entire lives.
This is a far-reaching topic. It can apply to your business, your health goals, or anything else you desire.
Now when you come up with a meaning, it produces an emotion. And if you and I want to look at the quality of our life, there’s only one way to find it that’s real:
How Do You Feel Every Day?
What happens if every day of your life you’ve got a billion dollars, and every day you feel guilty or angry?
You’d probably agree with me that there’s nothing worse than an angry rich person. You just want to slap them, don’t you?
You want to shake them, and say, “How do you have the right to be angry?”
But you’d be surprised at how many of them find a way.
So let’s say you’ve got a billion dollars and you’re angry and annoyed and you’re guilty all the time. What’s the quality of your life?
You can be miserable no matter what you have. And you can be euphoric having nothing. We all know this is true.
For example, is it possible to learn to let all hell break loose around you, and you could just be sitting in a chair in a centered space, feeling incredible?
Yes. That’s very possible.
But at the same time, you’re probably reading this in a jurisdiction where if you just sit and bliss out without doing anything, people from collections will come take your furniture.
So we have to be good at not only controlling our internal world, but our external world. And that’s shaped by what we do. And what people do is based on their emotions.
So It Comes Full-Circle.
These three things are totally within your control. They’re yours to use so you can handle anything life throws at you.
For years, people studied post-traumatic stress and what it does to people. But just in the last decade, there’s been a great deal of research on something totally different — called post-traumatic growth.
Post traumatic growth studies have shown that literally the same stimulus that destroys one person, other people use to grow like they’ve never grown before.
Personally I’m fascinated to see what those differences are.
Whether somebody loses an arm or their job, the first thing that separates people with post-traumatic growth from those with post-traumatic stress is that there’s a part of them where they make a decision on where to focus and what it means. Which helps them decide how to feel about it.
They say, “I will not let this defeat me.”
They might use a different language than that, but there’s something inside where they draw the line. If they do that, three things happen to someone who makes it through this post-traumatic situation and grows:
First, they really discover who they are. What their strengths are. What their ability is. People are stronger than they realize they are.
Second, they find out who their real friends are. Not their Facebook friends, but the people who are really there for you when things are going tough.
And third, they develop their own “antibody” against other forms of stress and unfortunate situations in life.
They begin to use stress instead of stress using them. And they can use it as a tool to their advantage, which allows them to become far more successful.
So if you would like high-performance and success in your life — it quite literally all begins with focus, meaning, and how you feel.