Awaken The Giant Within (1991) argues that, ultimately, we’re all in control of our own lives, and that by changing our habits, controlling our emotions and believing in those things we want to believe, we can make our ideal life a reality.
When was the last time you thought about changing your life?
Perhaps it was New Year's Eve and you resolved to quit smoking. Or maybe you wanted to lose weight and seriously considered going on a new diet.
But did you actually manage to bring about those changes to your life?
If you didn’t, the problem was likely in how you framed your desire to change: “I’d like to stop eating junk food” instead of “I will start eating more healthily.”
To change anything about your life, you first have to make a clear decision. Then, no matter what challenges you may face, you have to stick to that decision.
This necessitates that you must be willing to adapt your approach as you meet obstacles.
Take, for example, Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda corporation. As a schoolboy, he decided that he wanted to create effective piston rings for automobiles. History shows that he succeeded in that goal, yet on the path to success he encountered many problems that could’ve stopped him in his tracks.
For example, during World War II, the Japanese government wouldn’t provide Honda with the concrete he needed to build the factories to manufacture his product.
How did he overcome that obstacle?
Honda’s solution was to invent his own way of making concrete, thus enabling himself to begin building his empire.
And while committing to major decisions may be challenging, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So, when you inevitably fail as you try to enact a change in your life, don’t be discouraged. Instead, think about what you could learn from the failure.
For example, smokers are rarely successful on their first attempts to quit. But if they use that failure as an opportunity to reflect on the obstacles to quitting (for example, the temptation to smoke is too strong around other smokers), and how they might overcome them in the future (stay away from places where smokers reside), then they can accomplish their goal.