The Most Important Question You Will Ever Ask Yourself

Jae Jae the tiger at London Zoo
“What am I actually doing to change my life?”

Think about that for a second. I’ll wait…

Seriously, what are you currently doing to change your life situation?

Are you one of these people who ‘talks the talk’ but when actually pressed for a bit of action, you retreat back into your dreary existence, wishing and wanting but not doing anything about it?

That’s fine. You’re normal, and nobody will ever hold that against you. But why do we aspire to be just ‘normal’? What benefit is there in being average? Why don’t we just fucking do something extraordinary for a change?

Within each and everyone one of us is the capacity to achieve greatness.

We can have anything we want if we work hard enough for it. None of this ‘Law of attraction’ nonsense where all you have to do is close your eyes, wish really hard and somehow it will manifest itself in your life. I’m talking about real, back breaking effort and determination.

You will never achieve anything if you just sit on your fat ass, living your life vicariously through the characters on your shitty favourite TV shows. They are not real, just like your life isn’t ‘real’ unless you actually start living it.

So ask yourself again – “what am I actually doing to change my life?”

Do you have a good answer yet? Do you even have an answer?

If that question scares you, then good, it should. If it scares the crap out of you then go and change your underwear, come back and embrace that feeling.

You need to be asking yourself that question every single day. No excuses!

But, I have responsibilities…

So what? Well done. You have people that depend on you and bills to pay. You’re therefore a real human being and not a figment of someone else’s imagination. Do you want a medal? Tough, you’re not getting one.

Do you think that people can only become successful if they have nothing? Do the world’s greatest leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists stop working when they have a family? Do they rest on their laurels just because they work 80 hour weeks?  Do they quit trying to better themselves and the world because they are already doing something worthwhile with their time?

You already know the answer to that.

It’s your own fear that is stopping you from becoming the person you want to be.

If you’re reading this at work, take a look around the office. Do you REALLY want to come here every freaking day for the rest of your life?

“But I’m only here for the short term; I’m looking for something else”

Bollocks.

You mean to say, “I’ll start looking for something else, one day, when I can be bothered”

The truth is that you’re lazy. You want shit handed to you on a plate, but the fact is everyone else is too busy shovelling their own shit to worry about you and your needs.

Your friends and family are merely nothing more than team mascots. Offering you support and a welcome presence in your life but they won’t be joining you on the field of play because they have their own lives to lead. You’re on your own. The buck stops with you. Eventually the whistle will blow and the game will be over. Will you emerge victorious or will you enter the locker room full of regret and missed opportunities?

Do something, anything!

If you don’t start now then you never will. Fuck convention. There are no rules. As long as you aren’t setting out to hurt anyone then literally anything that you do will be an improvement on your current situation.

Don’t wait until you’re on your disease ridden death bed before suddenly having the urge to make your time count. It’s too late. You lost. You gambled on a future that didn’t exist and the house is claiming your life as compensation.

If we’re all going to die, at least make a pact with the devil.

Do something badass.

Do something now!

 

Ask yourself this question and let me know your answer in the comments.

As always, if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your social media using the little buttons below.

Photo – Jae Jae the tiger at London Zoo 02/11/13

About Jamie

Jamie is a guitar teacher and writer who hates the typical 9-5 existence. After quitting his job to enter the world of guitar tuition, he created this blog to document his thoughts and struggles as he takes on societies norms armed with nothing more than his cheeky wit and undeniable charm - Give his Facebook page a like, add him on Twitter or follow his Google+ page and he will repay you with even more awesome words!

Comments

  1. Christine says:

    Wow, loved the article. The words just stung me, ouch! So true, so sad that you’re talking to ME. Let it all sink in and hurt a little more and then I’ll get off that couch, switch the TV off and start sending cv’s! Respect for saying what I’m thinking but refusing to acknowledge it.

    • Hey Christine, thank you! I was writing this, almost talking to myself so I think everyone will see a bit of themselves in the words. Well I hope so anyway. I’m glad you liked the post!

  2. Wow, this is exactly the motivation I needed. I have been fighting my fear for a while now, back and forth. I asked myself the question and while I have made some changes recently to start bettering my life (I’m recently back in school and working hard on paying back all my debts), after thinking on it for a while those changes didn’t seem big enough. I wrote the question down…What am I actually doing to change my life?… and I plan to ask it everyday and my goal is to answer it with things that make me really proud, and I am excited to see what amazing things come from this. I have been reading your blog for a while and you are always so on point and so inspiring! Thank you! Thank you!

    • Hey Callan! The good thing is you are already challenging yourself so keep it up! Making yourself proud is a great philosophy because we have to reach our own standards as often as possible. Thanks for reading and your comment!

  3. That was great. How about making it into a mp3 so that that I can listen to it on my ipod? Put some good music in the background, like they did in You versus Them promo. I’m serious, I love motivational speeches and this was a good one.

    • Hey Martin, I had to Google that. I can’t believe I have never seen that video before. Thanks for your comment!

  4. A heartfelt article, I must say, but I disagree with its contents. Pursuing change for the sake of change makes little sense to me. I do not see anything particular beneficial or courageous in the pursuit of constant change. Unless you know where you are going, you cannot evaluate if change is going to take you there. Random changes are as good as random eating. It fills you up but not necessarily with what you need.

    • Hi John. I never said that we must seek constant change. When I suggested that we ask ourselves this question ever day, it is meant as a reminder, not as a means to find something else to do. If you pick one major change, such as leaving your job for a better one, for example. You can ask yourself the question, ‘what am I actually doing to change my life?’ every day as a reminder not to drop the ball and to revert back to your lazy ways. I don’t suggest picking something new to do every day as that would lead to chaos and isn’t sustainable.

      Using the previous example, one day you could re-write your CV and another day you could apply to 2 jobs. The next day you could grab a pen and paper and have a big brainstorming session for potential career ideas. The day after that you could have a chat with a temping agency to see if they have anything worthwhile. All these actions belong to just the 1 change, but they are all responses to the main question.

  5. Jamie! Glad you asked. I finally purchased the Bosu ball and I am going to make my belly flat. And I am practicing like a mofo to become a better guitarist each day. I never bet the house and I always laugh with the sinners. Great read, man….
    cj recently posted..Leaving the “Comfort” ZoneMy Profile

    • Hey CJ, glad you commented! Keep at it with the flat belly project. Remember diet is always the key. I am also embarking on a stricter practice regimen on guitar. Great minds think alike!

  6. Great insight there mate! We all need a kick every now and then to get started. My problem is sustaining that momentum. I get all enthusiastic and start on my “projects” and then the enthusiasm just whittles down! Need to work on that…

    • Hey Sagheer. Momentum gets me sometimes too. The important thing to remember is that momentum and motivation is always temporary but discipline is permanent.

  7. Hi Jamie! I’ve only recently discovered your blog and this is my first comment. But first, I just want to say I really like your blog. Also, visually you’ve done a good job. I don’t only use it for self-reflection but also to practise and polish up my English, as I’m not a native speaker myself. Anyway, about the article, I agree with what you wrote but I’ve got one thing that bothers me a bit. You wrote “we can have anything we want if we work hard enough for it”. Well, yes and no. And you know, I don’t want to sound pessimistic, tell me if I do, but I’m simply trying to be more realistic, that is, what is really doable for me? I mean, there is this notion like ‘nothing’s impossible’, ‘you can be anyone you want to be’ etc. I don’t really totally agree with it. I prefer to think that, okay, anything’s possible but within the talents you already have. I deliberately said talents, because a skill, on the other hand, it’s something that anybody can achieve if they work for it, as you said. But what I’m trying to say is that instead of telling people ‘anything’s possible’ it’s better to say ‘discover your talents and then work hard to be better every day’. This comes from my observations really, of people who’ve been told anything’s possible, and they’re trying to do something they don’t really have the talent for, but I myself can easily see what they could be really good at, and I’m just thinking why they choose something against the talents they already have. Acknowledge your weaknesses, be honest with yourself as what you actually can and cannot do. What do you think about that? Do I sound pessimistic?

    • Hi Jagoda! Thanks for taking the time to comment and also for enjoying my blog.

      There are obviously limitations and things that we can’t achieve. For example, if you’re 35 and have never ran in your life, then you will never be a top class 100m sprinter. That is just common sense. But if you’re 35 and have never written a story then you could easily become a best-selling author. All you need is a lot of practice and determination to succeed.

      I don’t believe in talent in the same way a lot of others do. There are obviously physical talents such as strength, speed, reflexes etc but even these can be improved upon with practice. Anyone can change their job or career path. Anyone can go back to college or university and gain a doctorate in any subject they wish.

      Learning a musical instrument, flying a plane, gaining fluency in several languages, building your own house. All things that have nothing to do with that limiting word called ‘talent’. They just need time and effort. That’s all.

      Whether you think you can or can’t do something is nothing to do with ‘realism’ it’s a state of mind, which again, can be trained to think differently.

      Who knows, maybe something is out of your reach but if you haven’t at least attempted it then how will you know for sure?

  8. Jaime,

    Bravo! What a great honest and motivational post. Change doesn’t just “happen” you have to get out there and bust your ass to make it work!

    Since 4 hour workweek came out (a book with some darn good tips, but more motivational than actionable, imo) I have seen so many people come and go, thinking they could create a future simply with a little bit of effort.

    Nope. You get in what you put out. Period.

    Law of attraction and all that BS may help for motivation, but it is all worthless if you sit on your couch waiting for the luck fairies to come and make everything work for you!

    Love what you said here. Obviously I totally agree!

    -Steve
    SJ Scott recently posted..How Curse Words Can Strengthen Your Willpower [30DHC]My Profile

  9. I have been doing a lot to change my life. Actually my motivation is also to make a better life for my daughter. I’ve written two books, and am working on the third. I’ve written hundreds of songs. I blog. But here’s the problem:

    Although I’ve put a lot into my writing and blogging, I still see very little results. So I decided to do something more practical. I just bought a house and will be spending more time doing home improvement and less time writing and blogging. But I won’t quit.
    Dan Erickson recently posted..update on the book giveaway contestMy Profile

    • Hi Dan! I sometimes feel the same way about blogging as you do. I can go months without any real changes in traffic when suddenly it jumps up. It’s not a linear process and the Google machine is very unpredictable too. Just keep at it and over time things will always move upwards. Thanks for your comment!

  10. So many people just talk the talk… I hate it. I usually just do. Blame this on years of having a stutter. I never had the ability to talk… So just started walking ;)

    What am I doing?

    I’m a bodybuilder. I workout until I can’t see straight. I’m doing boxing three times a week until I get lightheaded. I play guitar every day. (Yea I know so do you, I’ve seen your YouTube videos. Are you a metal guy?)

    I also sing every day. This is my passion (even more than guitar). I do funny/inspirational YouTube videos every week. I write every day. I have my blog.

    Finally, I make sure to pass out every night. If I don’t pass out, it’s because I’m not tired enough which means I was being lazy throughout the day.
    sebAstian recently posted..Fear Of Failure… Screw ThatMy Profile

    • Keep up the guitar related tomfoolery and pumping the weights. I do both of those and it’s definitely helped me in every aspect of life. I don’t sing though, that’s just stupid. :-)

      Interesting thoughts on passing out there. I suppose it makes sense to be mentally and physically drained at the end of each day but we all need a rest at times!

  11. I keep a whiteboard in my room with a bunch of wise things on it. One of those things is a question:

    “What can you do NOW?”

    By repetitively thinking this way I find that I become more action-oriented.

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