I don't know who originally said, "Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die." As it turns out, of course dying is a prerequisite for entry into Heaven. But the logic applies to most anything you might want—you may not have to die for it, but there’s always a price to pay.

It's possible that you have wanted—or even needed—something for a long time, while never coming close to acquiring it. If that’s true, the reason you don't have what you want is because you haven't yet paid for it in full. It's easy to be a dabbler, doing a little bit of work toward what you profess to want, only to go back to a deep pattern of habits that has never proven capable of reaching your target.

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The Reason You Don't Have Better Results

When you want some result, it’s easy to tell yourself that you are going to, once and for all, make the changes certain to produce that result—no matter what it takes. The first day you are all in, burning the boats at the shoreline to eliminate any chance of retreat. The second day, inspired by your first day, you still do the work, though with a bit more weariness. By the third or fourth day, what was once inspiring is now just another task, and you hit the snooze button three times to get your schedule back to a comfortable normal.

The single reason you don't have what you want is because you haven't yet become the person capable of acquiring it. Until you change and become that person, your deepest desires will elude you.

What One Can Do, So Can Another

Some people have a set of natural attributes and circumstances that allow them to produce a result with less effort, and perhaps more support, than a person with fewer talents or advantages. But most of what you want doesn't require some superhuman capacity, let alone a trust fund and an Ivy League degree. Mostly, having what you want means making the changes that allow you to produce the result you want.

Humans generally seek predictable goals: better health, greater wealth, more time with their family and friends, more time for the things they enjoy, and a sense of certainty about their future and those they love. There is nothing about these results that isn't already known. Amazon will happily sell you hundreds of books on improving your health or creating wealth, some better than others (I highly recommend The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel, one of the best I have read). Your priorities here are important: if you have your health, you can pursue the other things you want. If you have wealth, you can have both certainty about the future and the freedom to spend more time with the people you love and the things you enjoy.

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Why You Don't Have the Result You Want

Paying the price for the things you want means committing to the disciplines you need to reach them. As John Dryden, the English poet and playwright, wrote: "We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." You and I are both made up of our habits, and those habits cause our results—good and bad.

At one point in my life, one of my habits was to push the snooze button three times each morning, each press granting me an extra nine minutes of sleep in a warm and comfortable bed. Later, after gaining a better sense of clarity and purpose, I disciplined myself to get out of bed the minute my alarm went off at 5:00 AM, allowing me to write a blog post every day for twelve years now. The habit I created allowed me to move the alarm to 4:00 AM with no trouble. The result I wanted didn’t magically appear the first time I forewent the luxury of the snooze button, but that change helped me pay for my future results.

If You Can Create a Bad Habit, You Can Create a Good One

At first, creating habits requires self-discipline, especially because the change you need to make is often unpleasant at first. One way you make it easier to acquire a new habit and replace one that no longer serves you (if it ever did) is to do the necessary work as early in the morning as you can, when your willpower is stronger and the world’s demands on you are weaker.

Even before I started rising at 4 A.M., I have practiced this strategy of doing the worst thing first each day—a project, a difficult phone call or conversation, or, in my case, any sort of administrative work, especially any form sent by a bureaucrat requiring checked boxes and tabulated data. I have found that doing what's worst first makes it easier to form a new habit, as my self-discipline seems to wane after a full day of work.

You are pure potential. You can be something more than you are now. All humans are a fixer-upper, a project that needs more than a little attention. That remodeling can be frustrating, but know this: no matter who you are now, the person that comes after the person you are now is still inside you, waiting for you to release them.

 

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Post by Anthony Iannarino on January 20, 2022
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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