Most of us want more out of life. This is not to say that you’re unhappy with what you have. Indeed, the secret to happiness is wanting what you already have! But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be constantly striving to scale higher heights of happiness and success because there is no standing still in life and, indeed, there are no limits to where we can go in life other than those that are self-imposed by ourselves in our own minds.

However, quite apart from the fact that a lot of people are relatively happy and content (although that’s only relative to a norm of happiness that falls far short of what we can get out of life), I’ve worked with quite a few people who are abjectly unhappy with their lot in life. And there are a lot of similar people out there. Surveys continually show that the majority of people appear to be unhappy in their job or in the work that they do. And a frightening number of people worry about their finances – not having enough money or not being sure that they’ll be able to meet their financial commitments. And then there are people who are simply and often deeply unhappy with themselves as persons – people who are uncomfortable around others, who lack self-confidence, people who suffer from low self-esteem.

However, regardless of which category you fit into, you will never get more out of life by wishing, wanting or by being dissatisfied with what you think you currently have or have not. Wishing, hoping or wanting simply reinforce your feelings of discomfort and unhappiness. If you want something more out of your life, something’s got to change. And the one thing that is stopping you getting something different out of life is the blindingly obvious fact that, as a normal adult, you tend to do everything the same. Keep doing the same things and nothing will change. If you want change in your life, you’re going to have to do something different.

But what? Like all great journeys, changing your life starts with the first step. A small step will suffice because what you’ve got to do is recondition your mind – to get yourself used to the idea that, in every single thing that you do in the course of your everyday life, you have a choice to do something new, something different – or even something the same in a different way. I’ve been working in this field for over fourteen years now and one of the most powerful exercises that I suggest to my clients is that they use the very routine, that has transfixed them in their normal mundane life, to destroy the habitual, repetitive, automatic patterns of behaviour that have so constrained them, their view of life, their own self image and blinded them to the endless opportunities and possibilities that life, in actual fact, holds in store for them.

I commend the same powerful exercise to you. Use your routine to break routine. Each morning, you have a long list of minor habitual tasks that you’ve been doing in a routine manner all of your adult life. From showering to breakfasting, from shaving to dressing yourself – research shows that we perform all these routine tasks in an habitual way which leads to us doing them completely mindlessly – without paying them any attention. Research also shows that, as a result, we end up doing almost everything without paying attention. And yet research also shows that our ability to be happy and successful is directly correlated with our ability to pay attention. You’ve got to re-learn how to pay attention, be attentive, focus and be single-minded.

As I said, a small step will set the ball rolling. If you were to brush your teeth with the hand with which you do not habitually brush your teeth, you will have achieved two, potentially life-changing, milestones. Firstly, you will have awoken yourself to the fact that, in every single thing that you do in your life, you can exercise choice. This realization will enable you break every single destructive habit that is holding you back in your life – once you break small habits big habits simply tumble down. Secondly, by virtue of the fact that you will be brushing your teeth differently, you will need to pay more attention to the task. This is what highly successful people call focus. Focus means paying attention – not to what you want out of life, but to what you’re doing right now.

Your life is made up of moments – each moment that you pay attention develops your ability to be fully focused and fully aware. Each moment that you pay attention develops your mental focus, tears your subconscious focus away from the self-beliefs that are holding you back. And when you pay attention and become focused, you become present to the only place and time that life is actually lived – the here and now. And when your present you have what normal people call presence – and your presence of mind will ensure that you will be fully aware of what needs to be done when the big decisions in life call for real action – not the habitual reaction of the normal doomed-to-failure mind.

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton has been enabling his clients live their dream since he launched is now acclaimed two-day Personal Development Seminars all the way back in 1996. His clients include top leaders in major corporations such as Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Merrill Lynch, Wyeth, KPMG, G4S and Allergan together with everyone from the stay-at-home parent to sports-people. An Irish ex-banker and ex-accountant, he lives in the French Alps from where he travels the world as a much sought after motivational speaker and mentor. In 2008 he launched Gurdy.Net where is self-help seminars are now online. For more information visit Willie Horton’s Personal Development Website Gurdy.Net