Each and every year about this time my thoughts, and probably yours, turn to what I have to celebrate about the year winding to a close and what I am committing to for the year to come.
And every year, for the last 10 years, I celebrate the limitations I’ve successfully challenged and target the ones I intend to blow up in the next 12 months. I’ve distilled my methods for living an unlimited life down to one tip for each month. You can work on one a month, tackle them in groups or all at once. You might be relieved to know that not one tip involves resolutions, or even goals.
1.) Be yourself, only yourself, and fully yourself.
This isn’t as easy, or as simple, as it sounds. We have so many influences in our lives, so many idols to imitate, so many peers whose admiration we crave and so many gurus telling us what we have to do to be successful. Just remember that your success plan isn't sustainable if it depends on you being anything you aren’t, or anything less than everything you are.
2.) Walk the path of your desire, and let everyone else go their own way.
We’re offered so much advice meant to be encouraging. People tell us how great we could be if we’d only pursue the goals they set for us. They tell us our dreams are too small or that we “should” want more for ourselves. We’re prodded into chasing someone else’s picture of success. You cannot chase more than one vision at a time. So if you’re chasing what someone else says you “should” want you’re moving away from what you truly desire.
3.) Give yourself permission to dream any dream that delights you.
Walt Disney is famous for saying, “If you can dream it you can do it.” The converse is true as well. You can't achieve what you didn’t even allow yourself to dream of doing. So say "yes" to your dreams, and be especially mindful not to give anyone permission to hold you back from pursuing them.
4.) Always test your personal truths.
What was true yesterday may no longer be true today. What is true for someone else may not be true for you. And two truths that seem related may not be cause and effect.
5.) Never stop fantasizing.
Fantasy isn't just for children and lovesick fools. Your fantasies are a trigger for self-discovery and self-inspiration. Only allowing yourself to visualize what you believe to be possible limits the scope of your imagination. And your imagination is one of the greatest assets you have.
6.) Watch your language.
You cannot say anything to anyone else without hearing it and you always believe yourself even when you know you're lying. Don’t limit your beliefs and possibilities by putting yourself down or beating yourself up – even in jest. Because your brain is a very literal computing unit and it doesn’t get the joke.
7.) Have a vision for your life.
It doesn’t have to be a detailed vision. In fact, since it’s unlikely everything will happen exactly as you planned, getting too specific about the details can create new limitations. Be clear about your own definition of success. What are the critical factors? What are the things you cannot live with and the things you refuse to live without? Write that vision down, refine it and return to it daily.
8.) Make a friend of your fear.
Fear creates a lot of energy that will propel you forward if you don't let it hold you back. Fear is natural and not something to ignore, deny or be ashamed of.
9.) Know the difference between boundaries, barriers and barricades.
A boundary is something you’ve set as a line you will not cross. A barrier is what stands between you and what you want. A barricade is something you’ve created to keep out what you fear. Some you honor, some you walk through, some you just blow up!
10.) Only expend your energy pursuing what you really want.
Otherwise you’ll waste a lot of energy on a virtual hamster wheel. If you aren't 100 percent sure you want it you'll never give 100 percent to getting it.
11.) Play by your own rules.
You set yourself up for failure every time you let someone else define how you can or cannot achieve success.
12.) An unlimited life includes doors that are closed to you.
Of course doors will close, but there are an infinite number of other doors to which you hold the key. The doors you focus on will define your life -- choose wisely.