“Be careful what you tolerate, you are teaching people how to treat you.”—Unknown
“Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men.”—Benjamin Disraeli
“Commitment is a statement of what ‘is’. You can know what you’re committed to by your results, not by what you say your commitments are.”—Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Klemp
“Like attracts like.”—Richard Bach
“There are no mistakes, only lessons. A lesson is repeated until learned.”—Cherie Carter-Scott
The five quotes above are both sobering and exciting. Here are some foundational truths which spring from these quotes:
- You get in life what you tolerate
- If you have bad relationships, money, or health, then you tolerate and have accepted those things in your life
- Everything about your life—happiness, health, money, etc.—is what you’re committed to
- If you were committed to something else, you’d have something else
- You train the external world how to treat you
- Your environment is a byproduct of you
- You’ve trained your current situation, just like you train the internet to feed you information and advertisements that fit your interests
Everything in your life has been trained to be the way it is. Your health has been trained. Your identity has been trained. Your environment has been trained. Your relationships have been trained.
You’re the trainer of your external world.
Your world is a reflection of you.
Everything in your life right now is simultaneously what you tolerate and what you’re committed to. The beauty of this fact is that you can change what you tolerate and you can change what you’re committed to.
Doing these things is, of course, the crux of the whole matter.
How do you change what you tolerate?
How do you commit to something different and better than what you currently have?
Dan Sullivan, the founder of Strategic Coach, put it this way: “All progress starts by telling the truth.”
Step 1: Own The Truth
The first step is fully owning that your current situation is the product of you. Yes, certain things have happened both in and out of your control that have led you to this point. However, you’ve played a part in this game. And that’s what you must own. Until you can own that your situation is yours, and that in order for it to change, you must change, then you will continue pointing the finger outside.
Step 2: Own What You Really Want
It’s rare for people to own the truth of their current reality. It’s just as rare for people to fully own what they truly want. People hide their dreams from others out of fear. Part of being honest is being completely honest about what you truly want for yourself. You’re as sick as your secrets. Let them out. Stop suppressing. Tell your goals to everyone. Stop making your story what has been and start telling the story of what is going to happen.
Step 3: Do One Thing (Right Now) Consistent With Who You Want To Be
Courage is the doorway to change. Courage is the willingness to fail. Courage is the key to vulnerability, which is at the heart of telling the truth. Courage is an action. You must actually do something, not merely want to do it, in order to BE courageous. You have to BE courageous, not just WANT to be courageous, in order to improve your life. Therefore, you must DO something right now. Do something right now that more accurately reflects your future self.
Step 4: Make Your “Future Self” That Standard For Who You Are, Today
Once you finally admit to yourself who you truly want to be, and you start admitting that to others, you’ll feel more compelled to start acting the part. You’ll more fully see the incongruencies in your current behavior, language, relationships, and environment. You can only see what your brain is looking for. You train your brain to look for what you want by writing about it, talking about it, researching it, visualizing it, and most importantly, taking imperfect and emotion-filled steps forward. The more time you spend in the identity of your future self on a daily basis, the more you are living as the person you intend to be.
Step 5: Tell The Truth (Again And Again) Even When It’s Inconvenient, But Do It With Love
If you’re no longer committed to what you currently have, then you need to have some challenging conversations. You need to re-negotiate your relationships and environment. Some of your relationships will likely have to end. Many if not most of your relationships will have to alter, at least a little bit. But you need to tell the truth about your new boundaries. You need to start living up to the higher commitment. This isn’t about being rude or judgmental. On the contrary, you need greater compassion and empathy than ever before. By re-negotiating your relationships, your re-training your environment.
Step 6: Remind Yourself Every Single Day
Just as you must retrain your environment, you also need to re-design your environment. As Stanford psychologist Dr. BJ Fogg explains, “Design beats willpower.” You must design an environment that reminds you, and even triggers you, to be the person you want to be. You need continual reminders. You also need daily practices to trigger the identity of who you intend to be. You do this by going to bed with a purpose and waking up with intention. You don’t get sucked into distraction, but instead, frame-out and create your world. You do this in your mind but also on paper. Write down your goals every morning. Then, begin acting like the person on that paper. The more intentional you are, the more peak experiences you will have. The more peak experiences you have, the more flexible your identity will become, allowing you to confidently and courageously pursue the life you want, not the life you’ve had.
The world around you has been trained by you. Everything in your life is what you tolerate and what you’re currently committed to.
What are you going to do about it?