Changing Your Outlook

The things you do every day as part of your routine do an awful lot to shape your perspective on life.

If you hate your job, you’ll feel that hating your job is normal and find it really strange that others hate their job.

If you spend a significant amount of time each day watching television, then watching television will seem incredibly normal to you and people who don’t do it will seem strange.

If you buy name brand products at the store and avoid store brands and generics, it will seem strange to switch. The same is true if you only buy store brands and generics.

The hardest part of bringing about significant change in your life is disrupting your routines and changing your outlook.

The simple shift from hating your job to looking at it as an exchange of your time and energy and talents for money and opportunity can be a major change in outlook, but doing so makes it much easier to be successful in the workplace.

The simple shift from watching television as a significant part of a daily routine to a television-limited life can be a major change in outlook and routine, but doing so will expose you to an abundance of free time and opportunities to try and experience new things.

The simple shift from buying name brand products exclusively to trying mostly store brands might make you feel uncomfortable at first, but the discovery that they often work identically to the name brands while also saving you money can have a significant lasting effect on your budget.

The big secret to professional, personal, and financial success is simple. You have to be willing to try new things quite regularly and then objectively compare the new things to the old, keeping the ones that work the best.

Here are some examples of what I mean.

Try making a new meal at home. If it’s good, then you can add it to your meal repertoire. If it’s not good, then you can discard it. If you do it when the key ingredients are on sale, you’re only out the cost of one very inexpensive meal.

Try looking for a task to take on at work without someone telling you to do it, particularly one that will make a routine task easier for everyone at work. It might stretch you and it might mean that you don’t have as much free time for a while, but you’ll complete something that not only helps everyone at work, but will usually help your career over the long term and often give you a new perspective on your job.

Try going without television for a week. Try buying all generics when shopping at the store. Try turning off your computer for a week. Try reading or hearing the news from different sources than the normal ones that you use.

Try something different than your normal routine for a while, then see if it makes things better for you. If it does, then you’ve improved. If it doesn’t, you can just revert back to the way things were before.

Almost every time, trying something new and changing your outlook a bit is nothing but a positive over the long run. Every new way of doing things that you discover will either unlock a better way or show you that the way you’ve been doing things is pretty good after all. Either way, it’s a victory.

Trent Hamm
Trent Hamm
Founder of The Simple Dollar

Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 after developing innovative financial strategies to get out of debt. Since then, he’s written three books (published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press), contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

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