9 Mar, 2020

What A Man Can Be He Must Be

“What A Man Can Be He Must Be”

So said Abraham Maslow when describing the pinnacle of his Hierarchy of Needs.

The ‘self-actualisation’ need he describes is something we can all recognise. We need to achieve. We want to grow. We love a challenge and the sense of success when we overcome the challenge and come through to the other side.

Over the years, this drive has been given many names: a calling, ‘Syntropy,’ purpose, the meaning of life… to name but a few.

This desire to grow is within all of us and when we are living our life in line with our desire of self-actualisation – when we are achieving – we feel alive and energised and fulfilled in every part of life.

So why do so many of us feel challenged by living our life toward a higher purpose?

The competing forces in our lives

For every moment you feel fired up by life and motivated to move forward, there is a moment when you ‘just don’t feel like it.’

This negative force is also  in all of us (and if you want to learn more about how to overcome it, check out my previous podcast series on willpower).

Whether it is doing the washing up, exercising to get healthy or sitting down and writing the weekly blog, when we consider these mundane but necessary steps toward our goal, we feel pain. The primal part of our body – the part designed to keep us safe by keeping us where we are (i.e. on the sofa where it is warm and comfortable) sends a whole load of signals which encourage us to think that the effort of doing the washing up is less desirable than the spotless kitchen and the delight of our partner in having done this little chore.

And these primal instincts often win, simply because that part of our brain has been around much longer than the part that takes us forward towards out goals.

The long and short of it

So, if the brain is trying to stop you, what can you do to overcome its resistance?

It all comes down to long-term thinking and short-term action.

So many people stress the importance of having goals  – and yes, knowing what you want to achieve and then making those tangible in the form of goals and objectives is really important. But are they clearly defined and really transformative? Are they underpinned by strong foundations? And do you have what it takes to make them happen?

And, most importantly, are you doing something today, in the here and now, that will make those goals a reality?

So, when you ‘don’t feel like it’ connect to that goal of the future, imagining how that will feel. And then, come back to the task at hand and imagine what it will feel like when that one thing is done.

Because, you see, the sense of achievement you get from finishing is probably the greatest achievement of them all.

If you have goals and want to test whether you have everything you need to turn them into reality, check out my new goal-setting assessment at https://discover.petecohen.com/#/

 

 

 

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