This Gives You Power Over Your Life

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    92 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    One thing for you to think about

    Responsibility is power.

    When you decide someone else is responsible for your life—be it a person, a job, a government—you give them power over you.

    When you decide you are responsible for your life, you empower yourself.


    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Two things for you to ask yourself

    Where have you neglected to take responsibility in your life? What have the consequences of that lack of responsibility been?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Take responsibility for a problem in your life that you’ve been avoiding taking responsibility for. Let me know how it goes.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    New This Week

    22 Reasons Your Anxiety Lies to You – Join me as I eat an ice cream cone and debunk your assumptions about anxiety. Warning: by the end of this video you’ll be out of excuses and have to actually deal with your sh*t.

    Special Forces Vet: On Surviving Extreme Situations, Building Resilience, and Achieving the Impossible (ft. Dean Stott) – In this week’s podcast, Dean Stott shares his unique approach to overcoming adversity, managing risk, and staying mentally tough in the most challenging situations. We explore his fascinating experiences from war-torn countries to royal family security and the psychological benefits of meticulous planning and mission-driven thinking. Dean also offers a glimpse into how he balances extreme challenges with a grounded personal life.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I talked about how motivation is actually often the result of action, not the cause of it. Many readers saw how powerful this simple idea really can be.

    For example, Lindsay realized that she needed to change her mind about the motivation in her life that used to come easy for her:

    This hit too close to home this week. I used to have a lot of motivation before the age of 25. I would exercise regularly, keep a clean apartment, get dressed up every single day, put my all into my college courses and job. It felt like motivation was just…there.

    Fast forward to today and I’m 31 with three kids, all under 6 years old, and the realities of life have set in. I’ve been telling myself for six years that I will get back into the gym, but the motivation just isn’t there like it used to be. I keep lying to myself and making excuses because life’s harder than it used to be. I tell myself I’ll workout when the motivation strikes…only, the motivation never strikes and then my 2-year-old takes a dump in the cat’s litter box and I tell myself, “Ah, this is why I never work out”.

    I may have more obligations now and the realization that life isn’t always pretty can suck, but I’m going to dive head first into a killer workout routine without any motivation to do so…here’s to hoping motivation shows itself during the process!

    Candis appreciated how this idea helps her with feeling overwhelmed by everything she needs to get done:

    This one opened my eyes. I’ve been thinking I’ll get off my ass when motivation hits me because I was so sure motivation would just show up eventually. I know that probably sounds stupid coming from a grown woman but it’s the truth. I’m going to get off my ass right now and make motivation happen. I’m starting with the small things. I overwhelm myself to the point I’m paralyzed because I think I’ve got to get everything done right then and there but I don’t! I’ve been lying to myself and just reading this made it all click. You got through to me and I’m so glad you did!

    And finally, Justin pointed out that while action can create motivation, we should also take advantage of those times when motivation strikes first:

    I have definitely experienced the fact that motivation is not the cause of action, but the result. However, I had an experience this weekend that was exactly the opposite.

    I’m training for my first marathon. It’s been hard to stick to a training plan, but I’m getting there. Every week, I run a little farther and a little faster. This past week has been a real struggle. I hurt my leg and missed a few days of training. Saturday was a miserable rainy day, so I decided to read a book called Marathon Man about Bill Rodgers winning the 1975 Boston Marathon. I read that book cover to cover barely stopping to eat. When I was done, I was so fired up about running that I put my shoes on and pounded out 5km at my fastest time yet.

    I guess motivation isn’t so simple. If you feel motivated, use it before it’s gone for motivation can be fleeting. If you lack motivation, find it by doing; it likely won’t come looking for you.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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