Think about how many times you have said to your friends or yourself, “One day, I’d like to …,” or “I would love to start a …,” or maybe you have always done things for yourself as long as you can remember the same exact way because that’s how society demonstrated you should be, and you accepted that life doesn’t get better than this. In other words, you have settled for less.
Well, let’s take life a little further today. Let’s assume you are going to live into your 70s or 80s, and I want you to imagine yourself being in the same place you are in right now 10, 20 or 30 years down the road. Is that where you really want to be? If so, great, but I’m sure most of you want to achieve more stuff, see more things or even start a business, start a different job or get out of a bad relationship. But, how do you get out of your comfort zone and start enterprising yourself? And what is enterprising?
Enterprising means you are ready to undertake projects of importance in your life.
In other words, you have this undiscovered or discovered passion and talent, and you want to figure out how to utilize it, or maybe you just want to be in a happier place. Whether it’s starting a business, building a platform in the community to help others, or just breaking out of a negative environment, everyone has their own unique path they want to create.
Enterprising is an art. It begins with a process of self-reflection, goal setting and execution of your plan. Life always happens, so it’s normal to return to different steps and reflect again.
DETOXIFY YOURSELF AND WAKE UP
1) LET GO OF THE PAST.
Our bodies are designed to experience past events to help us grow and become healthier versions of ourselves. The past is not now, so stop living in it. ALL of us have those childhood issues and hurt from past relationships that can haunt us. Don’t let those nuisances consume you. You can’t go back and change things and you can’t predict the future. Open up and release it.
2) DISPOSE YOURSELF OF SELF-DOUBT & NEGATIVITY. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.
Get rid of saying that “Life is not fair.” Let’s open our eyes and look around. We have this earth with an infinite amount of opportunities and resources everywhere. Hello, the Internet! I would conclude that LIFE IS FAIR. For every challenge, there is opportunity. Why not take advantage of this world and explore it a little more? That’s certainly better than letting those obstacles beat us up. Learn to appreciate progress instead of perfection. There is no such thing as perfection, and being the best at something doesn’t get you any further than if you were second best or just good at something. Life is not a competition, and YOU ARE good enough.
3) STOP EXPECTING OTHERS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR YOU & TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF.
Dependency on others will only create expectations which can lead to disappointment, which ultimately evolves into resentment, a negative attitude and feeling entitlement. I don’t care what society and the media tell you. We all know they try to paint a picture of “What it’s supposed to be…” Have you ever caught yourself stating, “It was supposed to be…,” or “He was supposed to…?” This is a result of that template we have been taught to expect when we “grow up.” This is a fantasy and does not exist anywhere that I know of.
This results in blaming others and creates excuses for why you didn’t do something. Don’t blame someone else because you didn’t achieve something or thought it was magically going to be one happy life without any problems. You are responsible for yourself, not your mom, not your dad, not your significant other, not your dog, not your cat, and not anyone else. How do you expect something to happen if you aren’t taking the initiative? Recognize the power of choice by taking responsibility for yourself.
4) GET OUT OF THAT TRAP! Don’t live your life to please others and stop lying to yourself. You are unique, which means you are not the same as anyone else, including your biological family. So why live a life just to avoid disapproval from someone? Life is not about living up to somebody else’s standards. Stop wasting your time. Guess what, it’s YOUR life, not your parents’ lives, not your friends’ lives and you don’t have to follow society’s trends to be happy. Nobody can tell you what you should do to be happy. Only you know this – Embrace it and speak up.
5) DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING.
Focus on improving your life. If you center your life on what others are doing, you are letting them control your life and you may develop jealousy, resentment, and just plain out negativity. It’s normal to have feelings about others, but vent to your friends briefly and focus back on yourself. This also includes learning to say “no” to helping everyone else around you. Sometimes we forget that we have to take care of ourselves.
NOW THAT YOU’RE AWAKE
6) FIGURE OUT YOUR STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES, SO YOU CAN BE PREPARED TO HANDLE THE NEXT OBSTACLE.
For the record, you have a lot more strengths than weaknesses. Realize that EVERYONE has weaknesses or disabilities. Don’t let those stop you and don’t make them an excuse. Work with them to the best of your ability. Treat them like any other external barrier in your life. Think about how you could provide tools to help others with similar weaknesses so life can be easier.
7) ALWAYS BE NICE TO OTHERS.
If you are one to judge others, it’s harder to become successful. Sometimes the people you are hateful to are the people who could be giving you the tools you need to succeed. Don’t waste any opportunity. You never know who will change your life.
8) YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD OR TOO YOUNG TO START SOMETHING NEW.
In Japan, it’s normal for people in their 50s to pursue new careers. Nowadays in the United States, there are many people in their 40s who explore new jobs or obtain new or different college degrees. There is nothing wrong with that. Go out there and do it! Employers love seeing people who strive to educate themselves and consider those people to be higher valued employees. This demonstrates pride.
9) TALK TO PEERS ABOUT YOUR IDEAS THAT YOU WANT TO EXPLORE.
Everyone is unique. Think about how you can fit into the needs of the community. Start volunteering or shadowing a professional to gain more insight. Research the internet. Go to a local community college and talk to the admissions department. Don’t want to go back to school? Figure out what environment makes you happy and explore how to get there. Look into the resources in your community. This is the scariest step to enhancing our lives. It’s like learning to walk again – baby steps, then it becomes easier and easier. There’s nothing to be afraid of. If a baby can do it, you can too.
10) STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU’RE WORTH.
Don’t settle for less. Once you have set and executed new standards in your life by means of getting that new degree or business plan, don’t accept the first offer an employer makes. An employer tends to give you the low-ball offer and EXPECTS you to negotiate. Studies have shown that women typically accept the first offer because they are tickled that somebody values them that much, and they are afraid that if they speak up they will lose that opportunity or get confused about what salary they want rather than deserve.
It’s easier for employers to offer you a higher salary IF you negotiate because it saves them time from having to look for another candidate, and it shows that you respect yourself and aren’t easily taken advantage of. It’s also worthwhile to negotiate because it is an investment in your future. For example, if you negotiate for $2000 more a year, that means you’ll get a higher raise the next year (percentage increase based on current salary), and also a higher contribution to your retirement account because that 4% the company matches in your 401K will end up being more.
That same concept applies to your happiness by making sure you stand up for yourself and not bounce back into a destructive environment.
Your future and happiness are worth it.
PRACTICE GRATITUDE EVERY DAY. Don’t try to be perfect because perfect does not exist. Instead, focus on progress. Expect more challenges on your journey. Without challenges, you won’t grow! These struggling times are a way to check up on yourself and re-evaluate when life may be off-balance. Love and take care of yourself and don’t feel guilty for it! You have one life – embrace this gift and go for it.
Enterprising yourself is an art.
Throughout our lives, we have setbacks (I personally like to call them experiences), but if you possess the tools, you can create any masterpiece you want. Everyone has to start somewhere, and we can’t expect to paint our own picture if we don’t pick up our brush. Be self-aware, embrace ALL of the opportunities you have in this world, and don’t stop. The only thing that’s in the way of doing this is yourself. Realize that there is NOT one specific yellow brick road to follow, so create your own path and up your ability.