How bad do you want it?
There are things we’d all like to change, or want to change, but at the end of the day it all comes down to one thing – how bad do you want it?
Changing my situation
When I was 30, I left everything I had known my whole life to start a new life in Australia. With $1200 in my pocket and very basic English, I flew to a country where I knew one person. I had plans to continue working as a financial adviser in Australia.
I felt like something was missing from my former life and I thought if I left my country, I would find it, whatever it was. Some things are a lot easier said than done!
In my first year here, I spoke minimal English because it was so frustrating having to figure out what I was trying to say in Hebrew, translating that into broken English in my mind, trying to get my mouth to say what my brain wanted and at the end of all that, not being understood. I was working as a locksmith at the time and making good money to enjoy life as a bachelor. Without the stress of being in the rat race, I had gotten comfortable with this new and very different way of life. But I was nowhere closer to reaching my dream. My family questioned what I was doing. I questioned what I was doing. At the end of that year I felt lost and confused. Had I made the right decision?
One day I took a day off from work, booked myself into a hotel in the city and reflected on my life – a ‘reflect-a-cation’ (yes, I just made this word up). What was I doing here? Why had I chosen to come here? What did I want to achieve? What was standing in my way?
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I realised that I had changed my situation, but I hadn’t changed myself. I was still the same me, just doing different things in a different country. If I was going to achieve my dream, I would have to change myself.
I decided that every week I would check in with myself and see where and how I had grown. I brainstormed ways I would be forced to speak English. I started taking weekly English lessons and looked for opportunities to make friends who only spoke English. That’s how I started dancing again and met my wife. By the end of my second year here, not only had I improved my English, but I was also actively working on achieving my goal.
I’ll be honest with you; it wasn’t easy especially with my dyslexia. But my experience with burning boats came in very handy here. Pushing myself out of my language comfort zone not only gave me opportunities; it also gave me the momentum to step out of my other comfort zones. This included leaving my job as a locksmith and focusing all my energy on making my dream of becoming a financial adviser come true. Once I changed my mindset and burned the boats that were keeping me in my comfort zone, I was able to focus all my energy on ways to change myself and change my situation.
I realised my dream of becoming a financial adviser in October 2016. Funnily enough, at the beginning of this year I realised that I didn’t actually want to be a financial adviser. What I really wanted to do was to be a financial trainer. If you’re wondering what the difference is, head on over to my blog article “3 Signs You Need to Hire a Financial Trainer”.
What does this have to do with my money situation?
Saving more. Budgeting. Getting another job. What do all these things have in common? They’re ways of trying to have more money in our pockets. But these solutions can often just be temporary. How many of us are able to diligently save for a couple of months but then suddenly splurge on a shopping spree. Or how many of us have started a budget, but then given up after awhile because we don’t seem to be able to stick to it? And that extra job can eventually become stressful and make us wonder what made us start it in the first place.
Movement versus progress. The above are all examples of changing a situation. But without changing ourselves, they’re only a short-term fix.
What if we looked deeper to understand our money behaviour, where it came from and what triggers it. What if we acted to change our thoughts and feelings about money. If you change your thoughts and feelings about anything, by default your behaviour towards that thing will also change. We’re changing ourselves. We’re making long-term change. We’re progressing, not just moving.
In a nutshell
A lot of times we want to change something in our lives – just not bad enough to step out of our comfort zones. So, we trick ourselves into thinking we’re changing by changing the situation.
In my case, I drastically changed my situation, uprooting myself from family, friends, work, a life I had known for 30 years to start a new one. But without changing myself and my mindset, I moved but I didn’t make any progress. I was doing a lot, but none of my activity directly related to achieving my goal.
Is there something you’ve been trying to achieve? Take a closer look at what you’re doing. Are your changing yourself or your situation? Are you engaged in purposeful activity that will help you achieve your goal or outcome? Or are you just doing a lot of activity, but not actually getting much done?
As Jim Rohn said, “Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?”