Every year we’re told the same things, we establish the same goals.We try to lose the same amount of weight, aspire to the same boring stuff. Forget about boring stuff. Forget about boring goals.
So here are the five simple steps to becoming a total badass in 2014.
1. Make a list of all the toxic people in your life. Then eliminate them.
Get a pen and a paper. Now write down the names of your 10 or 20 closest friends. Think about the contribution of each one of those friends to your life. Are they adding value? Are they being good friends? Are they encouraging you to pursue lofty goals? Or are they simply discouraging you from pursuing your dreams? If the former, please keep them. If the latter – which, believe you me, is the norm – eliminate them at once. Delete them from your Facebook right now. Delete them from your life. You say, “But, Pedro, you don’t understand.” You are right, I don’t. And I don’t care. Stop making excuses. They have already drained too much productive energy from you with their toxic personalities and problems. Now it’s time for you to shine. And no, you won’t be lonely. Once you cut those people from your life, you’ll make room for great people to show up. You attract what you are. Be the person you’d wish to have by your side.
2. Put yourself in a ridiculously uncomfortable situation.
In 2005, at the age of 15, I came to the United States without being able to speak a single word of English. Really, not a single word. At school, someone had the bright idea of placing me in an advanced English class. Even though I had no idea what was going on, the simple act of being there, uncomfortably there, made all the difference. I was forced to grow. If I didn’t learn English fast, I was going to flunk. So I got to work.
3. Do less of something and learn how to say no.
Have you noticed how people want to spend your time more than you do? There is always a new request, always something else to do. Something, by the way, that will contribute nothing to your well-being. If you want 2014 to be a badass year, you will have to learn how to say no to all sorts of requests. Family, friends, colleagues, whatever. Say yes to what’s important to you. I am not saying that you shouldn’t help others. Quite on the contrary, you should, but you should only do the things, and favors, that will not leave you in anger, regretting afterwards.
4. Don’t wait for someone to pick you.
Most people go through life doing exactly what’s expected of them, and waiting for people to pick them for things – for a job, for a promotion, for a good grade, for a spouse, the list goes on. If you are waiting for that, I have bad news for you. No one is going to pick you. No one is going to give you an envelope with a million dollars in it. No one is going to say, “wow, what a great office manager you are. Here, takes these keys. You deserve a new car!” No one is going to pick you. So what do you do? You pick yourself. You choose yourself. You give yourself permission to dream huge dreams and to pursue them. Great accomplishments are the result of relentless pursuit.
5. Relax, but not really.
One of the most powerful quotes I have ever read comes from the great Kafka. In Metamorphosis, he writes, “I am in chains. Don’t touch my chains.”
Doesn’t it summarize our attitude towards life? We’re chained by our habits, often bad, habits, and when someone points that out to us, we immediately get defensive and angry. We say things like: “Who are you to call me lazy?” In sum, all you are saying is: “Please, don’t touch my chains, mister. I’m too busy watching TV.”