How to see what’s holding you back

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“The question isn’t what are we going to do. The question is what aren’t we going to do.”
– Ferris Bueller

Matthew Broderick is an American actor who played Ferris Bueller.
Matthew Broderick is an American actor who played Ferris Bueller.

There are many things you can do in life.

In fact, you can do just about anything.

Right now.

You can do anything you want.

Each thing you do may lead to many others.

So many possibilities!

The things we do become habits

Over time, many of the things we do become habits.

As such, they become our daily routine.

They become who we are.

They take our time

Every. Day.

They. Take. All. Our. Time.


  1. Do you know a smoker, an athlete, or a hobbyist who seems to organize their life around their smoking, athletics, or hobby activities?
  2. Do you notice how your “habits” dictate your schedule most of the time? For example, if you’re like most people, you set an alarm clock every night, wake up, have a consistent morning routine (a series of habits), commute to work on the same roads, have a routine at work, commute home on the same roads every day, have a typical routine in the evening, then set an alarm clock again. How much of your life is not habitual?

There’s nothing wrong that the majority of our lives are habitual.

Auto pilot.

Unless those routines …habits… aren’t delivering the results we want.

Practice #1

Name some things you do routinely. They don’t have to be good or bad. Just name whatever you do as a matter of routine, or that you’ve been accused of doing habitually. Include this list in your Power Board.

Habits become our life

Eventually, habits block out many other activities we could do instead.

They just take too much time.

People notice them.

Sometimes people tell us about our habits.

Or theirs.

Sometimes we are acutely aware they’re not working for us.

Chosen wisely, our habits make us who we want to be.

Chosen wisely, our habits make us who we want to be.

Chosen less thoughtfully, our habits may become a sign of what’s not working in our life.

They become an example … and not always a good one.

From this perspective, success (however we define it) may be a matter of the things we avoid doing, more so than the things we do.

Only by NOT doing things that our inconsistent with our goals, can we free the time and resources to do the things that will move us toward our goals.

Practice #2

Answer the following questions, and include the answers on your Power Board:

  • What do you want, that you haven’t yet achieved?
  • What has prevented you from doing it?
  • What are you doing, that may be serving to hold you back from your goal?
  • What could you do differently, that would move you one step closer to your goal?
  • Are you willing to do it (or begin it) today?

Next: Consider new actions

Lovely Couple in Follow Me To Pose on Braies Lake Pier, Italy by Photo by Viktor Hanacek via pic

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