I’m AFRAID that too much of the time we know how to become the best versions of ourselves and are just UNWILLING to pay the price to become them…

I have thought about this statement a lot because I think it applies so directly to my life. When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror who do you see? Do you see the person you want to be or a lesser version of your ultimate self? When you envision the person you wish you were is it really untouchable or unattainable or do you know what’s missing? Sure we sometimes might wish we were an NFL player or looked completely different than we do but if we look at things realistically, when you dig down deep, don’t you really know how to become the best version of yourself and you just aren’t willing to do what it takes?

It isn’t good enough for me anymore to feed myself the excuses that I can’t get up any earlier, I just need the sleep. It isn’t good enough for me anymore to tell myself not to speak up because my idea probably isn’t any good anyway. It isn’t acceptable anymore to say that someone else had more opportunities than me, that is why they are excelling and i am not where I want to be.

Don’t we feed off the lies we tell ourselves that others just have more innate talent, more opportunity, more money, more connections than we do and that is why they are successful? doesn’t that lie make us feel better as we slump into our easy chair to watch Sportcenter or the newest chick flick instead of learning and developing a skill that would make us better? Don’t we love to tell ourselves that we will change tomorrow, next week we will start on our path to success, next month when our kids go back to school will be the perfect time to change? IT IS ALL A LIE! Procrastination is the dream killer. Stop excusing your failure, confront your inaction and change it or scrap your dream. Because believe me, you are wasting your time thinking about it day after day, week after week and not doing a thing about it.

The brilliant author Malcomb Gladwell talks in his book “Outliers” about a theory he calls the “10,000 hour rule” that basically states those who are extremely skilled/successful at their professions had at least 10,000 hours of practice doing it. That principal includes elite athletes, musicians, and technology titans among others. Yes, some people are crazy brilliant, some have God-given athletic ability at birth, but even so they have to pour every bit of themselves into their work to make it extraordinary. I have listened to many preachers including my father be able to quote passages from memory and think “wow, I wish I could do that.” But have I put in the time to memorize the scripture? They didn’t just wake up one day and know the bible because they are preachers. My wife is an amazing musician, sure its possible she is predisposed to excel at playing the violin but without the hours and hours of daily practice she could only be a fraction of the musician she is. The point is simple to understand and difficult to implement. It takes tons of work to be great. the good news is its possible if you are willing to put your head down and get to work.

4 tips to becoming your better self:

1. Find time everyday to devote to making yourself better:

John Maxwell said: “You will never change your life unless you change something you do on a daily basis.” What is the number one thing you want to change or improve? set aside some time, maybe only 30 minutes or an hour a day and get started.

2. Learn:

There are many great and inexpensive ways to learn new skills or improve the ones you already have including:

3. Tell yourself you are already the person you want to be:

you have to have the confidence that you can achieve your goals, that you can be who you want to be. If you believe you can be that person you will become a self fulfilling prophecy.

4. Work:

10,000 hours is a lot of time but if you want to be great at what you do it’s going to take a long time. Are you committed to what you are doing? If not get out now and find something else that you love. Also, its ok to be “good” and not “great” at something if thats what you want but if you are pursuing greatness you have to be willing to work.

So what is it going to be? Are you going to go through life continually dreaming of who you will become “one day”? Continually dreaming of all the people you will influence, the money you will make, the life you will have? Or are you going to step up to the plate and choose today that you will head in the right direction. No more excuses, no more rationalization. Today you will be successful not just dream of success. Today you will meet your potential not just dream of it. You will be who you truly are, you will overcome the weak shadow of yourself that is holding you back. Today, you will be YOU.

J. Matthew King: Twitter – @mking1988