Your Answer to this Question will Determine Your Success in Life

Your time on this beautiful planet is brief.

The more consciously awake you become, the more you realize how short life really is.

You have no time to waste on pursuits that aren’t taking you where you want to go.

If there is any form of internal conflict at all in the decisions you are making, you need to get clarity as to why. Chances are, if you’re feeling conflicted, there is something wrong.

Your deepest intuitions know best.

According to control theory, having dysergy, or conflict, between your goals creates emotional distress.

Dysergy is the opposite of synergy. It happens when the pursuit of one goal impedes you from achieving your other goals. Having conflicting goals generally comes from seeking social and cultural (e.g., financial success, popularity) goals at the expense of your true and intrinsic goals.

You can’t get that time back.

Again, the closer you get to living in alignment with your vision and highest values, the more precise you must be with your time. You can’t justify pursuing even great things at the expense of the absolute essential. Time is a very costly resource. To waste even a little bit of it, when you are vision-driven, is painful.

Research has found that dysergy of goals leads to:

  • Frequent negative emotions and rare positive emotions
  • Low satisfaction with life in general
  • Long periods of unhealthy rumination, less goal directed activity over time, more somatic symptoms and more frequent physician visits

Hence, the late Zig Ziglar, famed motivational speaker, would frequently ask himself:

“Will reaching this goal bring me closer to or further from my major objective in life?”

Good < Better < Best

When you’re clear on what you want, you cannot justify pouring even minimal time into something you don’t truly believe in.

Pursuing your dreams is not easy. Although you know what you want, it’s not exactly clear how you’ll get there. As a result, most people quit premature, and thus settle for something less than they really wanted. Said Robert Brault, author of Round Up the Usual Subjects, “We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

When you are presented with a clear path toward a goal you would not have chosen for yourself, it’s important to check your motives. For instance, I was recently offered a high-paying position to write articles similar to this. However, my motivation for doing so was wrong. I was interested in doing it, but only for the money. Not because I believed in the content I would be writing.

It took a few weeks of internal turmoil, but I came to the conclusion I couldn’t do it. It was a “great” opportunity, but it would take me away from the absolute essential. A short-term gain filled with enormous opportunity cost. Even a few hours per week on something you don’t really want has enormous opportunity cost. You’ll never get that time back. You’ll never get the work back you would have done during the time you spent on something else.

Your time on this planet is very short. The more you put on your plate, the faster your time will go. The less time you’ll have for those things which matter most. Said Jim Rohn, “A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.”

The more you justify doing things you genuinely don’t want to do, the less “successful” you will be. Said YouTube star Casey Neistat, “What is the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it’s not how much time you spend doing what you love. It’s how little time you spend doing what you hate.”

If you lack a clear and compelling vision (WHY), you will frequently be swayed by lesser goals. In such a case, you’ll be driven by achievement and/or external validation. Hence, there is an enormous difference between true success and achievement. Success is how you feel about yourself, and can only comes from living in alignment with who you truly want to be. Achievement is an external indicator of something you’ve done, which in itself doesn’t qualify you for success.

You can only be successful spending as little time as possible on things you hate.

Your External World is a Reflection of How You See Yourself

Your self-perception determines your possibilities in life.

If your life is filled with things you hate:

  • You lack the confidence to create a life you love
  • You are playing small
  • You’re justifying short-term gains for long-term losses (i.e., lesser goals)
  • You’re internally conflicted

Until you can change how you see and feel about yourself, you won’t be able to create or believe in a better life for yourself.

There is a cyclical relationship between our behaviors and how we feel about ourselves. For example, you go to the gym because you want to be healthy. Yet, the very act of going to the gym has to power to improve how you see yourself.

By consistently making good choices, your confidence will increase. Indeed, you can’t have confidence if you consistently make poor choices.

Want to feel better about yourself?

Do something great today, even if it’s simple. Choose to eat healthier. Choose to be more patient, or more thoughtful. Spend less time distracted on social media. The more time you waste, the less confident you will be.

Ask yourself: Is this activity bringing me closer to or further from the person I want to be?

Every moment matters. Even this one.

There is no neutral ground. Every decision you make has inherent meaning and consequence. Every decision you make also reflects what you truly believe, far louder than any words you speak.


So, if you are currently pursuing something, which we all are, I challenge you to consider Zig’s question:

“Will reaching this goal bring me closer to or further from my major objective in life?”

What is the cost in pursuing whatever it is you’re pursuing? Nothing in life is free. Expessially your time.

Are you majoring in minor things? Are you seeking external validation or what you truly believe in?

There is no time to pursue goals that take you from what you ultimately want to do in life. Your life is too short. Every moment matters.


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