Stop! Live the Life You Want.

__________________________________________________________________

Image for post
Image for post
Graphics by Cerina Gillilan

Why did this happen?

I later learned that I found myself in this situation in part because of a common thinking error which scientists call the mere-exposure effect. This term refer to our brain’s tendency to believe something is true and good just because we are familiar with it, regardless of whether that something is actually true and good.

So what happened next?

After my big realization about medical school and the conversation with my girlfriend, I took some time to think about my actual long-term goals. What did I — not someone else — want to do with my life? What kind of a career did I want to have? Where did I want to go?

3 steps to prevent this from happening to you:

If you want to avoid finding yourself in a situation like this, here are 3 steps you can take:

  1. Now review your thoughts, and see whether you may be excessively influenced by messages you get from your family, friends, or the media. If so, pay special attention and make sure that these goals are also aligned with what you want for yourself. Answer the following question: if you did not have any of those influences, what would you put down for your own life purpose and long-term goals? Recognize that your life is yours, not theirs, and you should live whatever life you choose for yourself. This approach is part of a broader strategy of dealing with common thinking errors by considering alternatives, which research shows is a very effective way for avoiding thinking errors such as the mere-exposure effect.
  2. Review your answers and revise them as needed every 3 months. Avoid being attached to your previous goals. Remember, you change throughout your life, and your goals and preferences change with you. Don’t be afraid to let go of the past, and welcome the current you with arms wide open.

What do you think?

  • Do you ever experience pressure to make choices that are not necessarily right for you?
  • Have you ever made a big decision, but later realized that it wasn’t in line with your long-term goals?
  • Have you ever set aside time to think about your long-term goals? If so, what was your experience?

Written by

Best-selling author, consultant, coach, speaker on #decisionmaking and #leadership; CEO, Disaster Avoidance Experts http://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store