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Introducing the List of Incredible Aspirations

incredible listBonjour my amigos.

Today I want to tell you about a cool little addition I made to the blog.

I’ve added a brand new page that I’m kind of excited to share with you.

But before I dive into the details, let me start with a couple of familiar questions:

Why are you building a better body?

What’s the purpose of your journey?

A lot of the time, we want to do things without having a purpose for doing them. We get really excited about something and jump into it head first without setting up a solid foundation for our goals.

As I already mentioned in my motivation tool kit, a goal without a purpose is a mere wish. A goal without a strong reason behind its creation is a fragile goal. It will fall apart at the first sign of resistance.

The truth is, without that purpose, you are a gajillion times more likely to quit.

So today I want to show you a few things that keep me going. I want to show you how I’ve created a small list of items that will help me achieve my goals and aspirations.

And I want to show you how you can do the same.

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Introducing the Incredible List

I want to officially welcome you to the list of incredible aspirations.

Or just the incredible list for short.

Inspired by Jeol Runyon from Impossible HQ, the incredible list is simply a compilation of all the incredible things I want to achieve, accomplish, and experience over the course of my journey.

The list is like a continuously evolving narrative of my life. It’s fluid. Dynamic. Constantly changing. Regularly updating. Showing not only where I’ve been and what I’ve done, but also what’s coming next.

The impossible list isn’t just a piece of paper, it’s a commentary to yourself on how you’re living. – Joel Runyon

So why put this list together? 

What’s the purpose of this list?

I did it for a number of reasons…

It forces me to push past my boundaries.

As a verb, the word better means the following:

Better: to improve on or surpass (an existing or previous level or achievement) [source]

To become better is to surpass the person you were yesterday.

To become better is to progress. And to do so consistently.

The only way to progress is to continually push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and face your fears. 

If you look at my incredible list, you’ll see under Adrenaline Aspirations that I have a lot of items related to heights. 

Why?

Because I’m terrified of heights.

And the only way I’ll get over it is if I face it head on.

The list is designed to challenge me both physically and mentally so I can become a little bit better every single day.

It keeps me accountable.

We’ve all heard that the simple act of writing things down on paper makes it more likely that they’ll get done.

A study done by Gail Matthews, Ph.D., from Dominican University supports this:

The positive effect of written goals was supported: Those who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals. [source]

But the study also discovered that those who kept (and shared) progress reports of their goals were much more likely to achieve their goals than those who kept their list to themselves. 

The positive effect of accountability was supported: those who sent weekly progress reports to their friend accomplished significantly more than those who had unwritten goals, wrote their goals, formulated action commitments or sent those action commitments to a friend. [source]

This is why I decided to make the incredible list public on the blog.

I want everyone to be able to see it. 

Because sharing it with you increases my chances of actually turning these aspirations into reality.

It encourages action.

When I created the motivation tool kit, I got a number of emails from readers who told me how the simple act of putting their motivational posters up somewhere visible practically forced them to take action.

For instance, putting up a picture of your current self (that you want to change) in your bathroom where you see it every morning and night subconsciously forces you to take small actions toward change. 

It’s powerful stuff.

So I decided to follow the same idea with the incredible list.

I put it up on a separate page so I literally can’t miss it when I’m on my home page.

incredible list menu

I spend a lot of time on my blog (someone has to do the heavy lifting around here) and having my list of goals and aspirations always in front of me will force me to get them done.

It will force me to take action.

And that’s usually half the battle.

It documents your story.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” – Neil Gaiman

Your life is a unique story.

A story that will never, ever be repeated at any point in time.

You are the main character and nearly everything that happens in your story will depend on you and the decisions you make in life.

The beautiful thing about stories is that they can always change. Quickly. Drastically. Without an ounce of hesitation. You have the power to re-write the script. To flip chapters. To craft endings and start new beginnings. 

So ask yourself what kind of story you want to write. 

And then understand this…

The only way to write a story that matters is to start by doing something that matters. 

“It might be a list, but it is a list that helps give narrative to your story. It gives purpose to your actions and it gives context to your journey.” – Joel Runyon

This list will play an important role in my story because it will highlight some of the most extreme and euphoric moments of my journey.

And I have the power to control it. 

Create your own Incredible List

To help me celebrate the launch of my list of incredible aspirations, I want you to do me (and yourself) a favor:

I want you to create your own incredible list.

It’s really simple.

Grab a pen and a piece of paper and start by putting a big bold title at the top of your page:

My Incredible List

Now, using bullet points, I want you to start jotting down whatever aspirations come to your mind. 

Don’t worry about what you put down just yet. There will be a filtering process a little later.

If you have a hard time coming up with ideas, split your page into a number of categories: fitness goals, personal goals, business/career goals, places to travel, people to meet, etc. Then start jotting down ideas under each category. If you’re in need of more ideas, feel free to use my incredible list as a reference.

Remember that this is not a static list.

It will change over time.

So you don’t have to start with 100 things on your list. Start small. Start with the important things. As you grow and experience bigger and better things, you can always come back and add new aspirations.

Filtering your List

So now you have a bunch of random aspirations on your page.

Good.

Now it’s time to filter them. And we do that by going from item to item and asking one simple question:

Is this incredible?

How do we know if something is incredible?

Ask yourself this…

Would completing this item challenge you physically or mentally? Would it force you to venture outside of your comfort zone? Would it demand courage from you? Would it require you to face your fears? To do something you never thought you could do?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep the item on the list. Otherwise, scrap it.

When you’ve done this for each item, you’ll be left with your incredible list.

Take your incredible list and pin it up somewhere. Let its presence keep you accountable. Let its visibility force you to take action and start crossing things off one at a time.

At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Aren’t we really just creating a Bucket List?

The incredible list is not a bucket list. 

Joel Runyon does a great job of explaining the difference between the two, but I’ll quickly summarize it here for you.

The problem with bucket lists is that they’re static. They don’t really change over the course of your journey. They don’t evolve with your experiences. They contain a number of items you wish to do before you die that will require action some day.

The incredible list, on the other hand, is dynamic. It evolves over time. You start off with small aspirations that trigger action today. As you check things off, you begin to add new things. Better things. The list changes to keep up with your progress. It gets better as you get better. Your dreams evolve over the course of your journey. They get bigger. And your incredible list is designed to reflect this.

What will be on your list?

I hope this post has inspired you to think and to take action. 

If you think it could do the same for others, please do me a favor and share it within your social circles.

Before we end, I have a favor to ask of you. Once you have your list all set up, pick your top favorite aspiration and share it in the comments below. I always love hearing what others aspire to achieve.

Cheers!

[I’d like to send a huge shout out to Joel Runyon for inspiring this post]
Nelson Tran - June 20, 2013

Thanks for the incredible post. Currently, my top aspiration is to take more risks. Frankly, I’ve always been doubtful about what I can achieve. I can never make any new friends or change myself in a positive way. I’m gradually working my way to this goal. After I attain this goal, I’ll start a new one. Thanks for the life-changing post. I can’t think of any way to thank you!

    Srdjan Popovic - June 23, 2013

    Nelson, life is all about taking risks (no matter how big) and I’m happy to hear that you’re setting goals and grabbing life by the horns. As you achieve one goal at a time, your confidence will grow and you’ll be able to do bigger and better things.

    Here’s how you can thank me: never doubt yourself again 🙂

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