This is a guest post by Marc (and Angel) Chernoff. They are the creators of Marc & Angel Hack Life, which was recognized by Forbes as “one of the most popular personal development blogs” and the authors of the new book, Getting Back to Happy. Through their writing, coaching, course and annual live events (where Thanh Pham, founder of Asian Efficiency, has contributed and spoken twice), they’ve spent the past decade sharing proven strategies for getting unstuck in order to find lasting happiness and success.
Are you willing to spend a little time every day like most people won’t, so you can spend the better part of your life like most people can’t?
Think about that question for a moment. Let it sink in. You ultimately become what you repeatedly do. The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing—growing happens only when what you know changes how you live on a daily basis (most people miss the second part).
And isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different? That’s the power of daily rituals.
Now, it’s time think about your rituals—the little things you do every day.
Because these little things define you.
All the results in your life come from these little things.
Regardless of your unique life circumstances, or how you define success, you don’t suddenly become successful. You become successful over time based on your rituals.
Failure occurs in the same way. All your little daily failures (that you don’t learn and grow from) come together and cause you to fail…
- You keep failing to check the books.
- You keep failing to make the calls.
- You keep failing to listen to your customers.
- You keep failing to innovate.
- You keep failing to do the little things that need to be done…
Then one day you wake up and your business has failed. It was all the little things you did or didn’t do on a daily basis—your rituals—not just one inexplicable, catastrophic event.
Think about how this relates to your life.
Your life is your “business!”
And your rituals make or break you, gradually (that’s why rituals are a key focal point of our new book).
Even the seemingly insignificant rituals you engage in can produce ripples of consequence, for better or worse.
So, how have you been managing your rituals, and thus your life?
Are the little things you’re doing every day working for you or against you? If you think the answer might be the latter, you will find incredible value in this tiny daily ritual (which also happens to be an excerpt from our new book):
Wash your dishes.
Yes, I literally mean washing your dishes. It’s just one small step forward: When you eat your oatmeal, wash your bowl and spoon. When you finish drinking your morning coffee, rinse the coffee pot and your mug. Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter for later. Wash them immediately.
Form this small ritual one dish at a time, one day at a time. Once you do this consistently for a couple weeks, you can start making sure the sink has been wiped clean too. Then the counter. Then put your clothes where they belong when you take them off. Then start doing a few sit-ups every morning. Eat a few vegetables for dinner. And so forth.
Do one of these at a time, and you’ll start to build a healthy ritual of practicing self-discipline, and finally know yourself to be capable of doing the little things that must be done… and finishing what you start.
For now, though, just wash your dishes. Mindfully, with a smile.
And as mentioned, in our new book, Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs, Angel and I build tinier, life-changing daily rituals like this with our readers. It’s an active practice of taking life day by day and focusing on the little things that make a lasting difference. This book represents the culmination of hundreds of hours of work with course students, and lots of one-on-one work with each other, too.
We’re sincerely excited to share Getting Back to Happy with you, so we’re also giving away over $50 in bonuses (including One Day at a Time — The 60-day workbook for implementing life-changing daily rituals) to Asian Efficiency readers that order the book today. You can get details here.
Above all, what you need to remember is that nothing will change in your life unless you make daily rituals that reinforce what you hope to achieve. Believe me, over the past decade Angel and I have successfully worked with hundreds of course students and live event attendees from around the world who were struggling to achieve things. So, this strategy is well-tested.
If you’re not willing to make it a daily ritual, you don’t really want to change your life as much as you say you do—you don’t really want to achieve that “important” life change or goal. You only like the idea of learning to build a business, be fit, write a book, sell your art, get back to happy, etc. You don’t actually want to do it, every day.
But if you DO want it as much as you say you do, it’s time to build the right daily rituals.
And, it’s time to start today, one dish at a time.
About the author: Marc (and Angel) Chernoff are the creators of Marc & Angel Hack Life, which was recognized by Forbes as “one of the most popular personal development blogs” and the authors of the new book, Getting Back to Happy. Through their writing, coaching, course and annual live events (where Thanh Pham, founder of Asian Efficiency, has contributed and spoken twice), they’ve spent the past decade sharing proven strategies for getting unstuck in order to find lasting happiness and success.
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