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  • Stephen Scott Johnson

How to have what you want

Do you lay awake at night despairing that freedom from a life of constant struggle is unattainable? Do you long to escape the daily grind, to feel safe and secure, and to experience lasting happiness? Do you find yourself defaulting to jealousy or regret, and choose to remain in the shadow of other’s success with a voice in your head saying that “it’s impossible” or “that will never be me”?


Over the years, I’ve learned that we often fail to achieve what we want in life for one of two reasons: we become so entangled in the drama of our circumstances and can no longer see beyond the pain and reactiveness of our situation; or simply because we plan poorly (or don’t plan at all). And whatever the reason – shame, fear, exhaustion, lack of belief – when we don’t set goals and act accordingly – we limit ourselves and can never realise true potential. It’s like a thoroughbred racehorse stuck in the stable while the race is happening.


Writer and activist, Diego Perez aka ‘Yung Pueblo’, tells us that one of the most important qualities to develop in life is having a strong determination. “At some point you just have to put your foot down and say, I am going to move in this new direction and no person or situation is going to stop me”. Whatever you aspire to – wealth, a relationship, a new job, more time, less angst – consider that great transformations always have a beginning. Likewise, in Atomic Habits, James Clear writes, “your life today is essentially the sum of your habits”. Consider that what you repeatedly spend time doing and thinking about ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality you portray. In essence, this means that with determination and discipline what we want can be realised through small, consistent habits or actions.


Think about a time in your life when you felt truly carefree and happy. Where were you, and what were you doing? What would it take to experience that again? What would you need to stop or start doing, let go-of or gain, in order to change your circumstances? What would make the biggest difference personally?


Until next time...