Personal Development: Living Versus Existing


Personal Development: Living Versus Existing

When I established michaelgregoryii, it was challenging because I was only familiar with telling people this sort of advice in person. But I’m aware of the variety of people who need a source of awareness from across the world. They need someone to open their minds to the possibilities that’s sleeping in their mind. 

A habit many people easily wrapped themselves into, especially during difficult times, is repeating the same schedule every day. You easily transition into auto-pilot mode and live in the future rather than the moment, which hurts your personal development mindset.

The average person works a 9-5 job where they focus on the end of the day or the end of the week when the weekend finally arrives. And even then, they’re already imagining themselves returning back to work Monday morning.

That’s the beginning stage of failure we place ourselves in while going about our lives. We stop living, we stop our personal development cycle, and we stop growing.

These type of thoughts poison our society after decades of adapting this lifestyle. We live in a society that waits for the future rather than looking at the present. I remember conducting this type of behavior in the past. I would sit in my office and stare at the clock wondering why it hadn’t reached the end of the day yet.

My days would start off by waking up in the morning and staring up at the ceiling, counting the days away from Friday. I was familiar with eating the same foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I knew the routine route when I visited a local store and greeted the same cashier who gave me my energy drink. (Back when I was addicted to it.)

In a way I became a total zombie with no free will in my decisions. It was until one day while I took a walk at a park when my mind opened to what was around me.

It’s hard to imagine what triggered the thought, but I reflected to myself as I watched other people living their life. They all shared deep intimate moments with each other like I had seen at the end of most movies.

They had a vibe of living in the moment and not worrying about the future. Though I have no clue of their life story or the difficulties they faced, I couldn’t help but ask myself the “living versus existing,” question.

Not too long ago, I met a few men from Australia who shared a experience with me. They had the mindset of not worrying about the big issues in life and only concentrating on the small things they could complete to get to the next level.

Though they had future goals, their focus were set on things which was relevant to them in the moment.

Thanks to several events I attended in regards to looking into this question, seeds were implanted in my head that eventually grew into ideas I forgot existed. I realized there was a burning passion still in my heart, which I had forgotten about due to my daily zombie schedule.

Why is it we fall into the existing category?

People who live by the same schedule easily follow the same routine for years. They do so much, and yet nothing at all. They don’t take a chance at anything new and become comfortable going through their everyday routines because that’s what they know best. And to a certain degree, it’s all they desire.

But should that be the case?

Let’s take a look at an average person’s life. We’ll name him Bob because that name really sticks out to me.

0700 – Bob wakes up in the morning by the same irritating alarm

0800– Bob gets ready for work and takes the same route there

0900- Bob prepares to work throughout the day

1130- It’s lunch Time for Bob and he goes to the same place he usually does

1230- Bob returns to work, excited he’s halfway done with work

1730- Bob gets off work and prepares to drive home the same route

1830- After fighting through traffic, Bob is back home to relax

1900- Bob either eats his leftovers or pick-up food from his local restaurants

1930– Bob eats while watching TV/goes on the internet/plays video games

2100- Bob is shocked it’s already 9 PM and he talks on the phone with someone

2200-2300- Bob decides to go to bed after a long day


To the average person, this sounds like a fitting day. Bob is comfortable; he works and when he returns home, spends time to himself. He doesn’t worry about much and lives happily. I’m not saying this is a bad way to live. I’ve done this many times.

What I’m saying is that this type of routine can become so comfortable that we forget there’s other things to do in the world. It could be bothersome, but you need to force excitement into your life. I’m not suggesting to do something crazy, but try an activity you’re not familiar with.

Take risks to build more personal development skills. Try out a new dish to eat, speak to strangers, or go out at night. The goal would be to add “stories” into your life so you could share them with others in the future.

So how can I escape this type of lifestyle? You’re asking me to change. But I don’t have the energy to do something crazy because by the time I get home, I’m tired.

This is how we easily fall under the same routine on a daily basis. We’re mentally and physically tired after a long day of work and all we want to do is rewind ourselves so we could start all over the next day.

We search for things to escape reality, whether it’s watching movies, playing video games, or eating unhealthy. We search for desires to enhance our minds, which often lead people to excessive alcohol or drug behaviors.

People do desire change in one way or another, but the way we go about it could affect us entirely. So what is the best method to escape this routine practice? Rather than saying something as simple as, “Take control of your life,” I’ll give you a better answer:

Take control of your mind by just starting.”

To explain what I mean, the average person could do almost anything they set their mind to. The only thing that puts a barrier between them and their dreams are: Consistently, Persistence, and Patience.

Without these 3 factors to govern their mind, they eventually fail and return to their daily rituals. I’ll like to take you to the side so we could discuss the fundamentals for keeping your mind in this state.

Why do I need to be Consistent? You just said not to do the same thing every day?

When I say be consistent, don’t repeat yourself by doing habits that continues sending you in the wrong direction. For instance, if you’re a constant smoker and want to quit, don’t continue smoking every day, praying that the heavens put a spell over you to remove that habit.

Instead, keep a consistent thought process so you can move closer towards your ultimate goal. If you want to quit smoking, don’t do it immediately because though you’ll be fine at first, there is a good chance you’ll return back to it with a stronger urge.

When people develop a nasty habit, their body and mind will never take it lightly if it was suddenly stripped from them. You’ll become cranky, rude, and unpleasant to be around. The key is to slowly draw away from bad habits from step at a time.

Learn to keep a consistent thought pattern by setting goals and keeping them. If you want to quit smoking, smoke one less cigarette a day than you normally do. If you want to eat healthy, substitute one fatty food for one healthy one.

From there, you could build on and by the end of the year, find yourself no longer needing a cigarette. Think of it like baby steps. You’re not asking your child to run a marathon when you’re teaching them how to walk.

You start off teaching them how to stand properly, and then take their first steps. From there, they continue the process on their own up to the point they’re running all over the house.

Okay, I understand being consistent, but being persistent is hard. I don’t have the energy to do extra things every day. I barely have the energy to read this crap.

At some point in your life, you may have heard of people like Thomas Edison, who tried 9,999 times to create a light bulb before he got it right on the 10,000th attempt.

Or Michael Jordan, who practiced non-stop to dribble a ball and perform slam dunks. I could continue on about the people who fought to get to where they’re at, but this isn’t about them.

This is about you.

Whenever you hold onto something as powerful as persistence, the greatest battle will be in your head. Because your biggest enemy is yourself. When you try something new whether it’s going after your dreams, hobbies, or interests, you’re going to encounter moments where your mind will stir away from that drive. 

Your mind will act as a bully when you try something new and not comfortable with, because all your brain wants is your safety. And if you continue the same pattern that’s keeping you safe, your brain will want you to remain that way.

To cut out of that mindset, you need to fight those internal thoughts.

Accepting that you suck at something is expected, and something you should be proud of. Because rather than sitting at your place doing nothing productive, you’re trying something new whether it’s learning how to speak another language, writing a book, or learning to draw.

You may suck at first, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes. Only a small population of people in the world could easily grasp something at the first attempt, but there’s no need to be like them. It’s the journey that makes it count towards the end.

We expect results so fast these days and we tend to hate the process of getting anyone that requires a long period of time. But we don’t read books by only reading the ending. We start from the beginning and go on from there until we reach the last chapter.

To better yourself towards being consistent, learn to manage your time effectively. If you know you’re not going to do anything productive on the computer, take your interest to something else such as reading a productive book, taking a walk outside, or working out.

Because to ignite anything in your life, you need to practice it everyday.

Who has time to be patient and wait for things? I want results now!

Patience is perhaps the main reason people never go through anything they desire. Especially in today’s world, where we expect results within seconds or days. People don’t like to wait for results longer than they should because we all have things we’d rather do instead.

It’s the reason we feel like it takes forever to complete anything that’s supposed to take time and effort. The inability to hold patience is what causes people to look at the future, where they think it will be better. They dwell on those thoughts and to a degree, stop caring about the present.

I’ll admit it. Patience sucks and it should. It’s not easy to wait around and do nothing because our thoughts tend to fly into our imaginations, questioning what we should be doing.  But patience is a virtue that can be cultivated and nurtured over time if you allow it, opening a new world for you. 

When you become impatient, you receive a mix array of emotions that ranges from anxious, worried, or unhappy due to the circumstances that halted your life. We lose focus of ourselves and our priorities. We see the difficulties of reaching the end and begin doubting ourselves.

And rather than wasting anymore time on the project we’re working on, we back away from it.

This rule applies to actors and actresses, who think they could land big roles simply because of how they look or who they know. And that may work from time to time, but when it comes down to it, it really determines how patient they are to achieve that dream.

Never rush towards success, envisioning wealth, or the love people will shower you with. If anything, prepare yourself for tears, hatred, and isolation. You’re going to exhaust yourself when you chase after your dreams while expecting things to magically happen to them.

People don’t get famous overnight, and if they do, that fame never lasts more than a few weeks. (I say that because of YouTube videos).

So how do you fix this pattern? Look at the big picture so you know where your final destination is, but don’t continue looking at it. Envision it once and think small from there. Build baby steps that will get you closer to your final designation.


In final thoughts…

In the end, you need to keep a positive outlook on life. You are in this world alone and the one person who will continue pushing you down are your inner thoughts. Don’t live a life where you merely just exist. Live, and do what you want.

Though continuing the same habits everyday could seem fun and relaxing, it’s not something you want to reflect on in the future. Try something new because it’ll create vivid memories. You want to gain experiences versus just doing what you’re used to doing or reading about them.

By committing to these ingredients, you will better yourself.


About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He's traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)

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