Imagine the navigation system you have in your car or on your phone. If you put in an exact address, the device will lead you exactly where you want to go.
If you get lost or get off track, the system will recalculate and prepare a new route for you. So, while the goal or the target remains the same, because the conditions have changed, the plan has changed as well.
Let’s now imagine, while still using the same navigation device, you do not know where you want to go. Well, as we all know, even the best navigation device will not be able to help you.
My question is, “What did you put in your relationship’s navigation device? Do you even HAVE a desired destination?”
For most of us, it takes considerable effort to clearly articulate what we want. We’re not used to doing that. But we all are pretty good at pointing out what we don’t want.
The problem is, that’s not a particularly helpful approach. It drives you away from something negative instead of focusing your mind on something else positive.
On the other hand, all the successful people I have met share a similar philosophy which can be summarized into five cornerstones:
If you have read one of my previously published articles about how to get what you want in marriage, then you already know this: telling yourself and others around you what you don’t want will only make you miserable.
That being said, knowing what you want from your marriage is not enough. You have to know WHY you want it. Why is this so important to you? Because the answer to that “why” is actually your internal drive, and the main reason why you do it anyway.
Your “why” is your internal driving force that doesn’t let anything get in the way. It’s your North Star. It’s also your safety belt, which holds you firmly in your life’s driver’s seat when your marital road gets bumpy, and others give up. You won’t. You’ll hold your driving wheel firmly and persist.
Some people set goals, but don’t believe that they can achieve them.
Why is it then that so many New Year’s resolutions are dropped after only a few weeks?
How do you get that confidence?
The answer is knowledge.
The successful are curious; they educate themselves constantly. They don’t assume they know everything. They read books, follow blogs, podcasts…kind of what you’re doing right now. They talk to others to find out what worked for other people.
They modify the learnings to suit their needs, and take it from there. That’s where they’re getting their confidence. They develop a good sense for what is the right method to tackle a problem.
Because guess what?
“Everything is going to be okay.”
Hope is fine, but you need action too. If you want change, you need to actually do something differently tomorrow, and keep doing so.
People give up too soon because they have wrong expectations of themselves and the outcome of their endeavors. They expect the way to be easy, and they are surprised when they find the reality to be the opposite.
Their enthusiasm quickly melts and they lose heart. Remember, there is no such thing as cheap success. Expect a hard job, not an easy one, and you will be mentally prepared when you encounter the reality.
Celebration is the last step that people omit, as I myself did, years ago. They forget to celebrate their successes and have fun.
We are not machines, and we achieve goals faster and with greater energy if we make things fun. It’s really important to reward yourself for the good things you have done, for changes you have achieved in your life, and in your relationship.
And it doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner or something expensive. You can celebrate in your mind first by simply reminding yourself that there is something you can be proud of.
A good way to do this is journaling, which is something I do as well. It’s my way to reflect on the successes I’ve had, including all those little magical moments that make a relationship so beautiful, but are so easily forgotten. Even though journaling is beyond the topic of this post, I have a couple of useful tips related to it in another post of mine, which includes my weekly journaling template that changed my life and made my a better husband, father and friend.
A Powerful Direction for Your Brain
Much more than specific goals, your brain needs a direction in order to find the best solution for you. You don’t need to know every little step that you need to take along your way.
That is not possible, and also not necessary, as the navigation device will adjust your route according to the new route calculation if you go off track. But you have to know where you want to go.
It’s your relationship’s North Star.
If you know what your goals are, and why you want to achieve them, you are way ahead of 95% of people.
Even if you get lost or some clouds get in the way, the next time you look up, it’s going to be there, your North Star, brightly leading you toward your goal.
How to Set Up Your Relationship’s North Star Right Today
Set some time aside when you won’t be disturbed. Take a sheet of paper and a pencil, turn off your phone, and relax. Now ask yourself
- What do I want from my relationship? When I look back on my life, how do I want to think of my relationship?
- Why is this important to me? Why does it matter?
- Imagine that you have already achieved your dream marriage. What do you see? What do you feel? How does it look? Write in present tense!
- Think about what will happen if you don’t achieve a goal. What’s the most probable consequence? You need to know that too.
Last step: Do it Together With Your Spouse
This is where your joint vision of your relationship kicks in.
Knowing what YOU want from your relationship and your marriage is the first, and absolutely necessary step. The next step is a common vision of your marriage that you do together with your spouse.
Vision of your marriage that you do together unifies your dreams in a story that propels you forward. It motivates you to do the changes necessary for your relationship to grow. It’s your North Star that you both look upon to, something that only a small portion of people actually have. You will.
To be honest, my wife and I did create our marriage vision, but only after more than a decade of marriage.
Well, I certainly wish we had done it before. But I wasn’t aware of importance of such an act.
No one told us! Well, you don’t have that luxury because I have just told you.
Think of it like you’re on a sailboat, on your voyage around the world. if you want to sail together and do so for a very long time, you better reach a clear understanding and consensus where do you want to go and how will do what. Well, marriage is no different but more complicated.