(#11) Life Goals

What up y’all.

I recently received some solid advice from Dr. Orville Easterly (listen to my podcast with him here) that I wanted to share with you as I feel it applies to a variety of people in a variety of situations.

During one of our sessions together, I expressed my frustration about how my motivation, optimism, and outlook on my podcast/blog/etc. tends to vary… meaning that some days I feel more excited and encouraged to put out content and seek out awesome interviewees, and some days I feel more discouraged, unmotivated, and pessimistic about what I’m doing. This fluctuation was driving me nuts, and I couldn’t figure out the root cause nor the solution. Easterly’s advice was twofold and helped me tremendously. I’ll do my best to explain it here. I also want to add that this advice can be applied to really any venture in life - sports, a project, a career, a task, education - the insight below will help redirect your thoughts and reestablish your motivation in whatever you’re doing. Below are the two concepts that helped me:

  1. The original goal: When these feelings of discouragement and pessimism arise, think back to the original goal of what you’re doing. What is it that you set off to accomplish? For me and my content, the original goal was this: spread goodness and health through information that helps/helped me. That’s it. That’s why I’m doing what I do. The power in the simple acknowledgement of that truth has been highly motivating and is exactly what I need to #KeepHammering (shout out my guy Cam Hanes). But beware!.. if you can’t identify your original goal, or if your original goal is something rooted in pride, lust, self-gain, selfishness, jealousy, or anything else unhealthy, you need to check yourself… and perhaps stop pursuing whatever you’re doing. This exercise will be eye opening for you either way.

  2. Separate feelings from truth: Feelings are real, but they are certainly not reality. Feelings are not truth. Feelings are not reliable. Feelings are simply bodily sensations that arise from thought patterns. That’s it. You feel a certain way because you thought a certain way, and unfortunately our default thought pattern is negative (listen to this podcast to find out why). Because of this, we must strive to separate our feelings from truth and reality. The first step in this process is to actually identify a feeling as, indeed, a feeling… nothing else. This is surprisingly uncommon, but easy adopted once practiced. And when you’re able to: identify a feeling as just a feeling, separate the negative thought patterns from that feeling, replace the thoughts with truth, and discard of the feeling - you will be set free.

Combine these two practices together and you’ll find yourself with a new outlook on whatever it is you’re doing. It’s almost like hitting a quick reset button. Whenever I find myself struggling for motivation, thinking negatively about what I’m pursuing, or anxious about outcomes - I revert back to these two practices.

Much love to you all.

Nick

Nick Carlile