It is indeed true that if you know better, you will live better.
I had a very bad banking experience that caused me to go back to my old bank. I used to have an account that had a monthly charge with one of the big banks. As I became more informed, I realized that I shouldn’t be paying to maintain a transactional relationship. So I switched to a local bank that had an account that did not have maintenance fees.
The local bank, caters to the masses and thrives in bare minimums because the masses don’t seemingly ask for much. The bank then provides their superior products come at a premium. This week, I visited the bank to reset my debit card pin. It took me a precious 15 minutes to realize that I was going to be there for a long time. There and then I remembered my old bank – it’s efficiency, customer support, and reliability. In a huff, I left having decided to go back to my old bank which as of today has a zero maintenance account. I opened a new account from the comfort of my home and now I’m transacting on the account. This is efficiency built into the customer experience and it is not even an option with the local bank, to whom I have said goodbye.
To know better is to live better
Our lives thrive, shrink or stagnate based on how and what we feed our minds. By reading, listening, watching and even teaching others, we stimulate our brain to produce new neurons and we grow our capacity. This growth allows us to process new information which when applied, gives us the impetus to live better.
Knowing and learning, however, is not enough. You also need to apply what you have learned for it to become a part of your system.
Take a moment and think through these issues that are key to your life:
- Healthy living
- Increasing your income
- Reducing your expenses
- Growing the relationships that are important to you
- Exercising your spirituality
- Advancing your career/ business
Against each of these can you identify what new thing you have learned and consistently applied every day?
Consistency in application is the key that unlocks the potential of the knowledge that we acquire. It is what makes a difference between growth and stagnation.
Did you know that stagnation and retrogressing are results of consistently failing to do what is required? When a gymnast fails to work out every day, they begin to gain weight and their muscles lose the flex required to perform well. See how Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley changed, once they stopped playing and working out.
Here are some 5 tips to help you live better based on the knowledge you may have gained.
1. Pick one thing
Allow me to let you in on what I advise some of my clients. Growth in life is similar to you sitting down to enjoy a buffet meal. You have all these foods and drinks presented to you with only one mouth, two hands, cutlery, one main plate and a side plate to use. Too much on your plate will lead to overspill and waste. Too little will be denying yourself the good things in life. Indecision about what to serve yourself will lead you to hunger.
It is important to pick one thing to apply in your life and succeed in it, rather than pick yen and fail in all. The success of one thing motivates you to another and in the process, you experience growth.
2. Make the one thing a part of your routine
New things in life remind me of intersections on the road. You don’t just happen into them. You incorporate them into your daily routine. If you want to learn how to take a glass of water when you wake up in the morning. Start putting a bottle of water on the nightstand next to your bed. That way, it will stand there waiting for you and reminding you, “drink me”. If you decide to be walking to work, or waking home every day from work, learn to keep your walking shoes where you will see them. Putting new things as part of your routine is a great way of doing them as if they are normal.
3. Work in 4D – Decide, Do, Delegate, Discard
For everything that comes in your life, you decide what to do about it or with it. If your doctor advises you to eat healthy after a routine check-up, it takes a conscious decision to do something with that advice. You may choose to follow it, then you start the process of new eating and living. Having made your choice for a new lifestyle then the requirement of consistency checks in. If you are unable to make yourself the healthy meals, then get someone to make for you or a place to source them. Overall, if you can’t do what needs to be done, maybe it should be discarded.
4. Know yourself
Some people are known to change progressively and others are instant changers. Instant changers are those that say, “I will stop doing this from today,” and that will be it. The stop and never look back. Progressive changers need time to eventually be different and adopt a new thing. Both are fine but their success depends on your personality. Take a moment to reflect on some of the changes you have made in life. Did they progressively take root in your life or was it an instant cutoff and new way of doing things? Knowing yourself is the first step to making changes for the better.
5. Celebrate your growth
About a year ago, I wrote an article about celebrating your wins (3 reasons, 3 Ways & 3 Spaces to Celebrate in your Journey).
Everyone is busy with their own lives and in this noisy world, your important moments are primarily important to you only. They only become important to others because you get to highlight them as being important to you. If they are not important to you, why should they be important to someone else? You are the only one who knows what went into making that great achievement you have; the one who paid the price; and did the work. Shouldn’t you be the one to celebrate it’s coming together as a success? If it had fallen apart and there was no success, it would have been you picking up the pieces. So why not celebrate it?
As you reflect on this conversation, I invite you to learn from Dr. Caroline Leaf on Why Change is hard and how to train your brain to deal with, and love change