I was relying way too much on my parents till the age of 20, probably. I thought that since my parents made me, they had to take care of me and my constant needs. I was looking for independence, yet I was so dependent on my parents. Not that they wanted me to be like that. I was simply too lazy to get my shit together and start handling life on my own. Since the age of six, I was looking at the other kids, the rich kids and I was both jealous of them and angry at my parents. I held my parents responsible for my lack of money. I thought that they failed for not providing me with enough things. Instead of managing my own life, I was constantly complaining and blaming others. It took some time to finally realize that I had it all wrong. I was the one responsible for my own failures and I was the only one that can make a difference.
The ability to take care of your self without too much help from outside people is a true mastery. We survive and thrive as a species thanks to the ability to work together. Yet, some of us act like a parasite. Never managing to take care of themselves and constantly relying on others to help them
When we’re little, we rely solely on our parents for food, clothes, and shelter.1 As we grow, our needs grow as well. We need attention; We don’t need attention. We need money for new things: gadgets, school materials, clothes, going out, a car, and etc. Of course, we, again, rely on our parents for acquiring these things. Slowly but surely, we get used to this easy way of living: You need money? You go to mom and dad. You need someone to talk to? You go to mom and dad. You’re sad or angry? You’re mom and dad are the ones to blame.
How to Manage Your Life
Managing your life is quite like managing a company or organization of some kind. In order to reach more users, to grow, every company needs adequate leadership. As owners of our bodies, and obviously our lives, we need the same way of thinking as executives at big companies. We need a clear strategy on how to progress and grow as individuals.
I’ve compiled a list of five simple steps that will give you clarity on how to become more independent human being and how to manage your life:
1. Set Direction, Goals
Before anything else, take your time to think about where do you want to go in your life. Set clear directions for the different aspects of your life: “Do you want to live in the town your living right now for the rest of your life?”; “Do you want to continue to eat junk food and let your health decrease?”; “Do you want to work for others or you want to work for yourself?”
Think about your current situation, your current surroundings, financial status, mental and physical health and think about where you want to be heading. When you know, it’s time to think about the goals and the ways to reach them.
There is a lot written about goals around the net with a reason: Yes, you need to set clear, well-defined goals, if you want to improve, get better at your craft, grow as a person.
A CEO of a company will set goals and plan the different aspects of his business: How to increase profit; How to build the brand in the eyes of others; How to maintain a positive atmosphere in the organization. Of course, there are people helping him and you might think that this is the reason he is succeeding and you aren’t. However, you have people on your side have as well. You probably don’t use their assistance or advice as much as you should be. Your friends, family members, and spouse will surely give you advice on how to become better, save money, and hold you responsible for your weight. Additionally, you can grow by observing others and learning from them indirectly. Reading books, articles, videos about other peoples lives will give you an idea what to do and what to avoid. Learning from other people mistakes is a great way to avoid doing them.
I’ve actually wrote a whole short book about planning
2. Organize. Everything
Successful, independent people, are well organized and have clear idea what needs to happen next.
Organizing doesn’t only mean arranging your workspace. It means systematize every aspect of your life: your house, wardrobe, business, the decisions you’re making, and the things you need to do.
Divide the work into achievable small activities that are relatively easy to complete. You don’t prepare for a marathon by running 42 kilometers in your first run. You start small. You add a kilometer each week till you’re capable of running the long distance. The same should be done with your goals. Categorize the work and trim the big chunks into smaller tasks. Think about what you need to achieve and organize your time to start working towards these tasks.
Wasting your time on unimportant things is a huge bummer along the way towards greatness.2 Everything around you is asking for your attention. Organizing also means to organize your thoughts. You will probably drift away or go watch a video on YouTube several times while you’re doing a task. We’re doing this because our thoughts are not well arranged and they’re looking for a distraction when they hit an imaginary brick wall.
Keeping your desk clean all the time is not recommended only because your desk will be clean and will look nice. Having well-arranged desk will mean that you will sit down and work without having to search 10 minutes for a pen. The same applies to every aspect of your life. When you’re organized you’re productive. And when you’re productive, your reach your goals faster.
3. Motivate and Communicate
Motivation is something very broad and inconsistent. Different people have different motivation level in regards different things. For example, every morning I get up at 07:00 in the morning to train for around 30 minutes or to go for a run. I don’t need someone else to tell me that I have to get up and train. I do it because I want to lose weight and get in shape. Do I want to get up every morning so early? No. Every single morning, I have a conversation in my mind. It goes something like this:3
Me: “I need to get up.”
Michelin devil: “No, you don’t. You need to go back to sleep.”
Me: “I have to train if I want to lose weight.”
Michelin devil: “You look OK. Your jeans still fit you and you already found someone who loves you. You can leave it for later. Go back to bed.”
Me: “No. I really need to get up. Now.”
Michelin devil: “OK. Take at least five more minutes.”
At that moment I get up because I know if I sleep for five more minutes It will become an hour.
Motivation is something that needs to happen on a daily basis. If you really want to become independent human being and manage your life the way you truly want, you need to show up every single day. You can easily lose sight of your goals and ambitions from all the noise around. Even if your partner is constantly pushing you to advance, you will never succeed if you’re not disciplined enough, yourself.
Watching motivational videos and reading self-help books will help at some point but don’t get too comfortable with these platforms. A lot of people end up wasting their time consuming without executing enough.
To keep your motivation going, keep communicating. With the people around you, with yourself. A great way to have an honest conversation with your own thoughts is to keep a journal and to document your struggles and successes. Hold yourself responsible for what’s not yet done and ask yourself why there is a delay.
The first step was setting directions and goals, of course, if we don’t measure our actions we won’t know if we’re going to the right direction or we’re only wasting our time.
If your goal is to lose weight, for example, you will seek results within a week time. If the scale shows the same number after a few days, or let say weeks, then something is not right. You’re either not doing everything correctly or the exercise and the diet plan you’re following is not the best fit for you.
The fourth main element of a successful living is measuring your actions in every aspect of your life:
- How are you spending your time?
- How are you spending your money?
- What’s your emotional condition?
- Are you satisfied with your social life?
- Are you and do you feel healthy?
Few people ask themselves such questions. That’s why few people are truly happy and satisfied with their lives. Managing your personal life is not an easy task if you really want to move forward. That’s why it requires some tough questions to be answered first.
Your goals will be your measuring criteria. If a specific action is moving you forward towards your goals than you should proceed with executing it. If not, change the way you do specific things and tailor your actions.
5. Develop and Grow
When I graduated school, I was so happy. I thought that I will never have to study again, read a textbook, or do a homework. This way of thinking is quite expected. We go to school for more than 10 years. Even if we enjoy it at first, the school soon becomes a burden and a constant struggle for grades. Eventually, we end up hating learning and we even swear that we won’t touch a pen once we’re out.
Of course, we can go in that direction and earn an average salary. And that is OK for the majority of people. Reasonably secure job, good looking home, few credits, big screen TV, vacations once per year. If you’re fine with that lifestyle, I can’t blame you. It’s fine for a lot of people. Still, I believe that there is more to life than that.
Our cells are in constant motion. Why shouldn’t we also?
If you don’t clean your apartment, it will soon become a mess. If you don’t take care of your car regularly, it will soon break. If you don’t take care of your teeth and your overall health, you will eventually have to go to the doctor and it won’t be for a good reason. The same applies to your brain. Your brain is a muscle and requires regular exercises.
Becoming better at your craft, and life, requires consistency. As technology evolves, so should we. Each year we see faster, better-looking gadgets on the shelves. Yet, we are quite the same.
You see, it’s all about you. You, you, you. You don’t like something, you need to change it. Don’t wait for mommy and daddy if you want a salary increase or a sandwich when you’re hungry. Thinking that your own failures and setbacks are someone else’s fault is just childish behavior.
Manage yourself by setting clear goals, organize your actions, motivate yourself, measure your results and make the necessary changes and, last but not least, keep track of your own development.
It’s quite tiring to do all of these things by yourself but as I mentioned several times, it’s your life and you’re the only one responsible for the outcome of it.
- Humans need at least 3 years to become aware of their surroundings.
- I’ve probably opened Facebook and YouTube 20 times while I was writing this article. It’s so hard to resist the temptation mostly because it’s so easy now. You’re on a click away from a funny video or an interesting post from a friend.
- I refer to my other self, my low-self esteem self, as Michelin devil. I mention him for the first time in this article: Running Long Distances