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5 Smart Ways to Reclaim Control of Your Life and Design It To Your Taste

How to start creating the life you will be proud of.


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Joshua Idegbere

3 years ago | 5 min read

What you agree to attend to determines the direction your life goes. And the direction that your life goes determines the outcome of your life.

Far more than we can imagine, what we pay attention to has so much influence over our lives. What we experience per time results from the things we attend to. As a result, the quality and nature of those experiences determine the quality and nature of our lives.

As Maura Thomas rightly said, our attention determines the experiences we have, and the experiences that we have determine the life we live. To control our lives, therefore, we must control our attention by choosing where to place it every single moment.

While focusing on distractions messes up our lives, focusing on our goals and priorities is the way to living a life we can be proud of 5, 10, 20 years from now.

Each of us has the power to reclaim control over our lives. All we need to do is to build our lives around the goals and priorities that matter the most to us. Here are five smart ways to do that.

1. Identify Your Goals and Priorities in Life

What are those things you would look back in 2, 5, 20 years from now and be glad you achieve them? Identify them and write them down. Those are your life goals.

Then break those goals down into subgoals and every day, week, and month, strive towards achieving them.

Setting goal is the first sign that you're serious about your future.

Living without a goal shows nonchalance about the future. It tells how much you don't care how it turns out. The problem with that approach is that the control of your life slips off your hand.

Instead, you start with identifying where you need to be years from now and then use goals to bridge that destination with where you are today.

Identify your dreams and priorities as early as possible. That's the first step to reclaiming control of your life.

2. Think Up Strategies on How to Achieve Your Goals

This is what most super successful people do with their minds: drawing plans and thinking up strategies to achieve their goals.

It is not enough to have goals. If you must achieve those goals do what highly successful people do with their minds - draw plans and think up strategies to achieve those goals.

The benefit of tasking your mind this way goes beyond coming up with strategies. It is a mental exercise that trains your ability to concentrate, improves your focus muscle, and ignites your creativity.

Remember, it is not those that write new year resolutions who smile at the end of the year. Instead, it is those who went a step further to draw up plans, think up strategies, and go after them.

If you don't have a plan, having a goal won't help.

3. Stay Away from Toxic People and Unhealthy Relationships.

The friends and relationships you keep are about the single strongest factor that determines the outcome of your life.

Do you know why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer?

Very simple: The people and relationships they keep around them.

As long as a rich keeps rubbing minds with other rich minds, there is a constant flow of strategies, tricks, opportunities, on how to make the next million dollars, win a contract worth thousands and millions of dollars, and build a company that will keep generating revenues 80 years ahead.

You don't find those dimensions of thinking in the gathering of poor minds. That's why they keep being where they are.

Only a change in the people you keep around can transform your life. Jim Rohn is a good example: 5 years before he met his Mentor, he was broke and frustrated with life. But five years after he became a millionaire, happy and living a fulfilled life.

Jim Rohn made this truth clear many years ago, you are the average of 5 people you keep around you.

By staying away from toxic people and unhealthy relationships, you create space for yourself to meet the right people that will influence your life and set it towards the direction of achieving greatness with your life.

4. Teach People Around You to Respect Your Time

I learned this from a friend of mine in Med School. On weekends, he doesn't leave his room till 12 pm. Find what to eat and then lock himself up till 5: 30 pm.

Initially, I found it uncomfortable to live in the same house with someone who I call my friend and don't even get to see on weekends.

But with time became used to his schedule.

There are people in your life you can't stay away from. Even if they are toxic. Especially if you live in the same apartment.

Since you can't avoid them, what you should do is to teach them to respect your time. Have days and times that you just have to be alone. Lock your door and don't open except it is an emergency.

Sometimes members from his fellowship breeze in just to say hello. But no matter how long they knock and hang around, he won't come out.

Soon we all learned to live with him that way. He succeeded in training us to respect his time and we did.

You can do the same.

5. Control Your Thoughts

Of all we have looked into, this is about the most tricky and difficult. But with practice, sticking to those four above, you will get better at this one too.

Controlling your thoughts doesn't mean determining the traffic of thought into your mind. We don't have absolute control over thought entering our minds. But we can determine which of those thoughts we pay our attention to. And that is what I am I mean with controlling your mind.

Another way to do this is to jot other thoughts down to be attended to later. That practice keeps your mind clean and gets you organized as you execute your daily activities.

People who can control their thoughts are usually more productive, organized, and creative. The ability to control your thought is itself a genius skill to develop. And it opens the door to bigger things. For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he, and as he continues to think, so he becomes.

Final thought

We can control the outcomes of our lives by determining what we pay attention to.

While we can't prevent the things that clamor for our attention each day, we can choose which ones align with our goals and attend to them and get the rest behind us. That's how to become productive and successful in our everyday life.

And a few smart behaviors can help:

  • Identify your goals and dreams
  • Think up plans and strategies to achieve those goals
  • Stay away from toxic people
  • Teach people to respect your time and lastly
  • Control your thoughts.

If you can do these, nothing can stop you from reclaiming control of your life and designing your future to your taste.

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Joshua Idegbere

I am Joshua Idegbere and this is my column. Stories with actionable tips to help you make the most of your life, career and relationships. Welcome!


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