The way you choose to see the world is the way the world will appear to you.
It is crucial that you see the world as a place of opportunity, rather than a place of suffering and malevolence.
But what is more important than believing in the world you imagine is the way you choose to act in it.
If you see the world as a place that will reward you for the hard work you put in and work hard in everything you do, the world can slowly become a place full of opportunity. You will choose to be responsible for the things that happen to you in this world. You will no longer be a bystander and a wishful thinker. You will actively engage with the world that you envision and the world will also appear and interact with you in a different way.
I started a new job today. Before I walked in, I asked myself what my attitude would be on my first day. What kind of impression did I want to make? What kind of person did I want to be? Did I want to be a positive or a negative person? A sociable or reclusive person? A hard worker or an indifferent employee?
I decided to see my new position and workplace as a world of great opportunities. I decided to adopt this mindset:
“If I try hard in this present moment in everything I do, work hard on every task that they give me, and try my absolute best to learn new things and develop my skills here, I could have a better future and a better life — one that will reward the sacrifices that I am willing to make now.”
And so even when I didn’t want to, I tried to talk to other people. When I was being introduced to everyone, I tried my best to flash my friendliest smile and strike up a small conversation.
I tried my best to say thank you to everyone who helped me and remember their names.
I tried my best to make every interaction with another person the best that it could be.
I tried my best to enjoy every experience and learn from them. The awkward ones. The boring ones. The annoying ones. All of them were learning opportunities that presented themselves to me, telling me:
You are not yet the person that you are to become. You need to try harder, otherwise, this moment would have been much better for everyone involved.
I don’t think this is being hard on myself. I think this is me trying to take responsibility, or as Jocko Willink calls it, extreme ownership. He tells you to take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Don’t just take credit for the good outcomes. Fully take responsibility for the bad ones too.
How could you have done better in that scenario, even if you had only 1% participation in it? How could you have made even that 1% better? How much better is it for everyone if you just looked at your own shortcomings instead of pointing fingers at others?
Do not blame the world for what goes wrong with your life. You blame the world because it relinquishes you of your responsibility. You can’t change the world, and you know it. You just want to be a victim and not try harder to fix your current state.
If you admit that perhaps it is not the world that needs changing but it is yourself, you would need to get off your ass and change and struggle, which would expend way more effort than you’re used to. You would need to reevaluate your whole life and the habits that you’re so used to. You would need to admit that you’re lazy and you’re constantly lying and deceiving yourself so that you can wallow in your laziness.
I tried my best to be the person that I wanted to be, the person that I could be, the person that I was to become. I realized that the only way to become the person that I wanted to be was to act like I was already the person I wanted to become.
If I wanted to become someone who was friendly, great at holding conversations, and was an interesting person to talk to, I would have to actively practice being that person every day.
If I wanted to become someone who worked hard, did not take shortcuts, and took every learning opportunity that presented itself, I would have to actively practice being that person every day.
If I wanted to become someone who didn’t live his life dreaming, only talking about his ambitions but never putting them into action, but persistently chased his dream to become a writer, I would have to actively practice being that person every day.
I realized that every morning is a different battle. Every morning you can choose to see the world in a different manner. Every morning you can choose to act like the person you wish to become, that you must become.
I may have felt motivated today and felt like everything went my way today, but there will be days where things fall apart and my whole world comes crashing down. On those days I must persevere and hold onto my world view. I must realize that there will always be days of suffering, that life is a series of ups and downs, and that what goes up must come down.
If you saw every experience in your life as an opportunity to make something beautiful happen, your life will be full of beautiful things. You have the ability to choose how you view the world. You have the ability to change the world by changing yourself.
Is it a place full of endless possibilities, or is it a place that is against you and only wants to watch you suffer?
It is entirely up to you. But it doesn’t end with you changing your perception. It starts with you changing the way you live your life.
Act like the person you want to become and you will become that person.
Choose to see the world as you’d like it to be and so it shall become.