“Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.” – Richard Bach
Have you ever met someone who lives eternally in the past and always talks about what they should have done or what they wish they would have done?
I know I have, and it’s heartbreaking.
Heartbreaking because they didn’t believe in themselves enough to go for those things they wanted, and heartbreaking because they still think they’re powerless to make lasting changes in their lives.
But guess what? You don’t have to be one of them.
Starting right now you can take action, and change your life so you don’t end up living with regret.
Here are 5 ways to turn your ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’ and why doing so matters for your personal success and happiness:
1.) Stop Looking For A Short Cut, And Find Your Alarm Clock
You can’t shortcut your dreams. Building the life you want is going to take time, it’s not an overnight process.
But what you can do is stop procrastinating and start taking action right now.
Think about your favorite athlete, musician or mentor; they may have been born with natural talent (as we all are in our own way) but without hard work, commitment and dedication they wouldn’t have achieved the level of success they have.
Don’t look for shortcuts. Take action. Put in the work. Do what needs to be done because ultimately the only person you’re ever shortchanging when you don’t is yourself.
2.) Turn Your Excuses into Actions
Have you ever said to yourself:
“I can’t do (insert thing). I’m too (insert excuse).”
“I can’t become (insert goal) because I’m too (insert excuse).”
Those are called excuses, and we’re all guilty of making them at one point or another. We make excuses as a way to get out of fully committing to our goals and dreams because we’re scared, or don’t think we’re worthy or don’t believe we’re capable.
But we are capable. And we have to learn, our excuses don’t help us, they limit us.
If you have a dream, you MUST go for it. Even if that means pushing yourself to work, even when you don’t want to. Stay up an extra hour. Put in the effort. Take chances. Take action. Make shit happen.
Stop saying: “I can’t” or “I don’t have time” or “now isn’t a good time.”
You can. You must.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and the only difference is HOW we CHOOSE to spend them. So how are you going to spend yours?
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3.) Examine Your Past Failures and Find The Lessons
Have you ever done something you’ve regretted or if given the chance you’d do differently?
Maybe you didn’t study for your college final, and because you didn’t study you failed.
Maybe you didn’t complete an application for a job you wanted and therefore, you lost the opportunity.
Maybe you cheated on your significant other because of your own insecurities and you lost a great partner.
At some point in our lives (or if you’re like me, many!) we all make mistakes and fail. And you know what? That’s okay.
Mistakes are a normal part of our human experience, and they enable us to learn and grow IF we’re willing to be their student.
It’s not always easy to reflect back on your life and admit to yourself what you did wrong or could have done better. That’s a kick in the ego’s gut. But it’s necessary so don’t deny yourself the opportunity to grow!
Be a willing student. Choose to learn from your past mistakes and failures so they don’t play out insidiously in your life and you’re able to make better decisions in the future.
Make a list of your most memorable failures (fun, eh?) and write down what you’d do differently if you were given another chance.
Once you’re equipt with those learnings, you’ll be able to move forward and let go of mental blocks, the fear of failure and any regrets you have from past experiences. Doing this will enable you to take action on your dreams, and begin the process of manifesting those ‘shoulds’ into reality.
4.) Make Yourself Accountable to Someone Else
How many times have you made a New Year’s resolution or set a goal that you abandoned within a few weeks or months?
I’ve done this countless times and you know what I’ve learned? Accountability is currency when it comes to achieving goals. When you have something in your life you’d like to do or achieve, find an accountability partner. Here’s why:
- They’ll keep you focused and check in with you
- They’ll act as a sounding board for your ideas
- They’ll give you honest feedback
- They’ll highlight your blind spots
- They’ll give you emotional support
An accountability partner will help you stay on track so you don’t just start something, you also finish it.
5.) Deathbed Visualization
Close your eyes and imagine laying on your deathbed surrounded by loved ones. Your body is preparing to take its final breath and exhale the essence of you back into its true energy form.
As you think back on your life, you are filled with so many regrets. There are places you wish you would have traveled to, experiences you would have had, things you wish you would have done and people you wish you would have known.
But, now it’s too late for that. There isn’t any time left to accomplish the “shoulds“, and that makes you feel like you’re leaving this earth without having reached your full potential — because you are.
Now, open your eyes back up. Guess what? You’re still here. You still have right now. And that means you have another chance to make better choices and turn your life into what you want it to be.
As Jesus once said, “my brother, choose again.”
The question is, are you ready to choose again and turn your “shoulds” into “musts”?
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.