Atomic Habits: New Horizons

“When your dreams are vague, it’s easy to rationalize little exceptions all day long and never get around to the specific things you need to do to succeed.” Atomic Habits, Chapter 5 by James Clear

I think this is my problem. In order to get what you want, you must first know what you want and be willing to work day in and day out to achieve that end. On a good day I’m capable of being highly motivated but my efforts always seem to crumble, whether it be in a single afternoon or gradually over the course of several weeks. Each new self-improvement kick lasts for a couple weeks until my work schedule changes and newly developed habits inevitably go by the wayside. 

Growing up, I was always a little envious of the dreamers, those people who seemed to know exactly where they were going from the very beginning. The focus, clarity and defiant determination with which these individuals pursue their dreams is staggering and something I’m constantly trying to imitate. For them, there is always a vision, a guiding light and a next step to take, however difficult that step might be. Life rarely goes according to plan and detours are inevitable but, when you know where you want to end up, decisions become far less complicated. While never easy, they will at the very least adhere to certain guidelines which can be considered by answering the following question. 

  • Will this action bring me closer to my goal?  

It’s a very simple question and yet impossible to answer without a highly specific and concrete goal in mind. The dreams you leave for someday will always stay there like the distant horizon, tragically out of reach no matter how many mountains you summit. You can’t go to the horizon but you can journey to a point on a map. X marks the spot. What are you doing today?


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