Skip to main content

The Best Answer

David Rosales strives to create meaning in a universe of possibilities.

Your Successful Breakthrough

When you find yourself trying to come up with the best solution to any challenge, you may either feel confused by the wide variety of possible answers or frustrated by the lack of seemingly plausible ones.

You have searched, dug out, and inspected every part of the problem. Not all of what you find makes sense, but you can grasp how opening a window will allow you to hear the melody that inspires you.

But the road before you seems to be littered with useless things only. You listen for more, and there is only silence…

You keep applying pressure to the situation, you stay up late, scraping the hard surfaces of the problem to try and take a hold of a solid victory this day. And you watch as it all becomes hazy and dark under the gaze of your eye.

Is it possible that you have stared for so long at the same picture that you cannot notice anything clearly?

That you have maintained the same rhythm and sustained one tone for so long that only the loudest sounds cut through the monotony of it all?

Time-sensitive requirements make the need for a response all the more urgent, introducing a measure of stress into the mix, a sour note that spoils any beauty you could have found in the activity.

A fascinating and wonderful breakthrough lies on the horizon, though. And it only takes one of the following to happen for a satisfying change in the prospects to appear:

  • Reveal what you cannot see by drastically changing perspective.
  • Change your system and methods altogether.

How to Find What You're Looking For

Revealing Astonishing Results

Imagine that you are helping someone apply for college or university. There are obviously different things to consider. Among them, whether or not the individual in question has enough resources to pay tuition, and their credentials such as SAT scores and what not.

You look over the list you two have produced after hours of filtering for desirability and availability. Tired and sleepy, you proudly invite your friend to pick out her favorite choices from the bunch.

Somehow, the results that she sees there do not strike a chord with her. It is not the songs and bells of heavens that she hears in the background, but an uneventful silence.

After all your hard work, you feel that there is an entire world of options available right in front of you two and that she needs only reach out and take it for herself.

And so you ask her, “What’s the matter?”

But your friends doesn’t really have answer. None of them feel right to her. She knows that most people would go for the most salient options. A combination of best ranking and most appealing campus and location.

You decide to call it a night and go to sleep. And this really is for the best as a tired brain will not make optimal decisions.

Overnight, you let yourself dream of the best prospects for your friend. Unencumbered by excessive realism or limiting beliefs, you wake up the next day in the best mood and ready to let your friend hear the best news she could hope for.

Scroll to Continue

Once again, you bring a set of universities and their stats for your friend to look over. In a better mood than the previous night, she smiles and tells you that these are wonderful options, and thanks you with a bow.

As she is under the impression that you are only joking, she picks out one of the universities and hands you back the paper you gave her.

You rummage through a folder and, to her surprise, hand over a piece of paper with more information on the university she selected.

Acting a bit funny, she indulges what she thinks is only your way of making her feel better. But as she reads through the paper, her eyes open wide, become tearful and she lets out a cry of joy.

She realizes that even though she does not have the regular qualifications nor the money to pay the tuition of this prestigious university, alternative programs would allow her to get in without incurring debt by just putting a few extra hours of work per week.

Improving Your System

What just happened?

You completely altered your way of looking at things, which in turn made the shape and feel of the problem to become malleable to you. You were in control.

Rather than letting the world dictate conditions to you, you announce to the world what you want, and then focus on how you are going to get it. The incredible power of this way of acting is that it produces solutions exclusively for you.

Your initial attitude led you to try to accommodate yourself to the situation, to make the best of an underwhelming situation. But the new method you now use creates a powerful flow of intention and attention that at last guarantees that you will move in the direction you want.

And this is only the beginning. Exciting as this moment of triumph is, the system only works if you keep feeding it, making every moment and effort special.

Not surprisingly, what most improves a system for getting results is love. Love for yourself. Love of LIFE.

This means that you will not give up, and you will not put a price tag on your dreams. Instead, you come to see that everything you do towards your goal is an enjoyable part of life.

Remember, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't right for you.

So, you need to set up small habits that work towards your goal. If they are the right fit for you, you will find them enjoyable.

And when your energy wanes, take a moment to breathe. Remember your goal and how it makes you feel, bring those sensations into the present and into your daily work towards that destination.

The upsurge of energy that inspiration, attention, and constancy bring are extremely rewarding.

Keep going.

Never give up.

  • James Clear - Atomic Habits
    James Clear is a writer and speaker focused on habits, decision making, and continuous improvement. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits. The book has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Related Articles