Saturday, 22 December 2012

Persistence is A Key To Genuine Success in Life

Once, there was a dog-named Manty. She was a typical house pet in a typical middle-income family. The family lived in a rather small house. So, home to Manty was the backyard, which was rather small too.

Manty's world revolved around the four corners of this small backyard, which was likewise used as the laundry area. Peculiar as it may seem, Manty had a favourite area in this backyard where it slept and stayed. This was the area under the sink, where most of the laundry work was being done.

Manty shared its favourite space with the laundry woman. The laundry woman stored all sorts of soapboxes, pails, basins and tools under the sink, which created obstructions for the poor dog. But still, Manty would be found crawling under its favourite area and making itself comfortable amidst these objects. At times, the laundry woman stored heavy objects in Manty's favourite spot that the poor dog had to struggle to move these objects aside just to be able to squeeze itself in. Manty could hardly move; but somehow, it still liked the spot very much.

All sorts of combinations have been done to discourage the dog from sleeping under the sink; but still, the dog always managed to squeeze itself in. When Manty found it difficult to fit itself into the spot, she would sit for a while looking at its favourite spot as if contemplating and thinking of a way to get itself into it. And in each of its attempts, it succeeded. 

Aren't you amazed at such a display of persistence? To think that Manty is just a dog makes it more amazing!

If a dog has such level of persistence, why can't we humans have the same? If we meet obstacles, we easily wave the white flag of surrender. This shows our lack of persistence, determination, and tenacity in pursuing our goals. 

It takes persistence to move forward to progress. If we stop somewhere along the road towards success in life, it is like starting from the top again. When we give up, we lose everything we worked hard for: time, effort, money, and most especially, the opportunity to succeed in life. 

We will never know how close we are to success if we surrender somewhere in-between. It is a choice between success and failure. Surrendering is accepting failure. Persistence to continue, despite obstacles, is the way to success.

We can accept failures, why not? Our mindset must be programmed to perceive failures as temporary. Failure is a pre-requisite to success and it is only temporary. When we fail, it is time to assess and learn from our mistakes. Then, we must find another way and still move on until we reach the door of success, never wavering to whatever obstacles that may hinder us.

We should open our minds and expect instances when we will be confronted with obstacles that would result to making a decision whether to continue or not. We may be undecided which course of action to take next. The best way is to examine the options and alternatives available to us. From there, we can move forward and continue to our journey towards the achievement of our goals. 

Success is never easy, and failure is part of success. The sad part is that most of us are deterred by the mere thought of failure, and this paralyses us from taking the right course of action. 

We see many people who easily give up and are satisfied with their own meagre sense of accomplishment. They simply sit back and watch successful people enjoy life while they engage in self-pity, regretting that they have given up too soon. 

The choice is ours to make.

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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Seven Ways To Radically Change Your Life

We all have moments in our lives when we feel as though we are in a rut, where nothing seems to go to plan and we feel like not doing anything at all. Most often it's just due to the fact that we have gotten ourselves in the rut but haven't yet figured out how we are going to get ourselves out. 

Here are ten ways that you can radically get your life back on track.

1. Change your image. Often changing your wardrobe can give you a radically different outlook on your life. We all know how our image can affect our perception of our selves and what we want to portray to the world. If you haven't changed or updated your wardrobe for quite some time then this is as good a time as any. Go to your wardrobe and throw out anything you haven't worn in a few seasons. You can't make room for the new unless you first create space. Now it's a matter of going on a shopping spree and spice up your wardrobe with new outfits. Give yourself permission to be bold and if possible take along a friend who you perceive as fashionable. Why not give yourself a new
 haircut and treat yourself to a facial. The results will surprise you and may even give you a new found lift in your day. 

2. Get out and
 travel. Travelling gives you an opportunity to see how other people live. You learn to appreciate other cultures and in turn may even give you a new sense of appreciation for what you have in your life. If at all possible you would want to take time off and just see the world. It needn't be expensive. Take an opportunity during your travel to pause and reflect as to where you are and where you want to go. You will be able to see your life from a totally new perspective. 

 Get a new job. We spend quite literally a third of our waking lives at our place of employment. So if you aren't being inspired or you don't enjoy your workplace then you will want to make it a priority to look for another job. A new job can give you a new routine and a new environment may also give you an opportunity to break out of your rut. We all know how excited we are when we start something new and a new job can give you that feeling. It's not to say that every time you get into a rut you find a new job, but if you find that your job satisfaction levels are quite low and you feel it is due to your work environment then why not change it. After all life is too short to spend it in a place where you aren't growing. 

4. Take up a new hobby. If you are like many people, your daily routine would involve you coming home from a days work and plonking yourself down in front of the
 television so that you can unwind. We literally can waste away as much as five hours a day just watching mindless television. That's thirty-five hours a week and not all that far away from the amount of hours you spend at work. Why waste that time in front of the TV set when you can instead spend that with your family or doing a hobby. Join a club or create activities where your family can go. 

 Find new friends. Often we get caught in our familiarity, we spend time with the same friends because it's familiar, and we follow the same route to work because it's familiar. Familiarity has it's place but if you are in a rut then it may be doing more to hold you back then helping you to progress. One way to create a new buzz in your life is to find new friends. They will be able to give you a new perspective on things and the enjoyment of building up a new relationship can be rewarding. 

6. Read inspiring books. Research has shown that many people after they complete their schooling never touch another book again. Yes, trashy magazines and fictional works don't really count. You want to read inspirational and motivational books that can really get you thinking about your life and where you want to go. There is a whole section in many bookstores on
 self-help and many give you great suggestions on getting yourself out of a rut in your life. Why not look to others to give you answers then blindly hoping that the answers will one day hit you in the head. 

7. Volunteer for the homeless or a nursing home. Learn to appreciate your life and the importance of living. By spending time with people less fortunate or lonely you can not only bless their lives but they in turn may inspire you to make more out of your life. In the end everyone wins. Find a good charity near where you live and why not set aside a few hours a week. You can certainly find a few hours out of your week to help others in need.

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Saturday, 24 November 2012

How To Unlock Your Full Potential

"I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." --Henry David Thoreau 

You may not be happy with where you are in life right now, maybe you're wondering if you are on the right track. Unless you are boldly moving in the direction of your latent potential you will never fully realize your goals and aspirations. So how do you go about unlocking your full potential and ultimately finding more pleasure with your life? 

1. Be consistent. There is nothing more magical in life then watching someone who is consistent with what they do. If you watch anyone who has achieved greatness in their life they were consistent with pursuing their dreams with complete dedication. It is well known that Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, who themselves are icons of their sports were some of the most consistently dedicated athletes with respect to their sports. They were often quoted as being the first one's at training and the last to leave. They consistently honed and improved their craft with a consistent plan and after years of hard work they were able to share their talents with the world. Without consistency, all the natural talent in the world will not have the opportunity to reveal itself without a plan to tap into it. 

2. Focus on priorities. Instead of allowing the day-to-day dramas dictate your life, learn to instead take back control of your day. Start each day with a short list of priorities that you want to complete. You want to know where your focus should be for the day and what tasks will actually help you to get you closer to your goals. Instead of dealing with unexpected interruptions and events you can now instead focus on priorities that really matter. A great analogy that I was heard was about a bowl, if you fill it first with small rocks, then sand and then try to fit the big rocks in you aren't going to find any room. The trick is putting the big rocks into the bowl first, so that you can then put the small rocks into the gaps and then fill it in with sand. If you focus on your big rocks, which are your priorities, then you can then adjust your day to deal with the smaller rocks, which are your small issues. 

3. Visualize your day before it begins. If you are like most people you probably struggle your way out of bed and go straight into your morning routine so that you can rush of to work. The key to making your day great is instead dedicate a few moments to visualize your day right at the moment you wake up. It needn't take long and it can be as little as 10-15 minutes. Visualize how you want your day to go, visualize yourself dealing with your priorities effortlessly and how resources throughout your day help to assist you with furthering your goals. If you start your day consistently visualizing your day going perfectly and effortlessly then you will start to see little changes in your day. If you aren't convinced the best way is to try it yourself, after all its only a few minutes a day. 

4. Invest in continual growth. Change and growth needn't be something we fear, after all it's only through growth and change that we really start to realize our potential. Set up goals that you want to implement that will either make your life better or will help you to grow as a person. It might be to eliminate a bad habit by replacing it with something more productive; it might be to start your fitness routine or to learn a new language. Whatever it is write out your goal and for 30 days straight commit to doing one thing that will advance that goal daily. It might be as little as spending 15 minutes reading a book or doing a new habit. Whatever it is make sure that you spend at least 15 minutes each day on a task that is related to your goal. After 30 days you will have found yourself with a new habit that is positive for you. 

5. Find yourself an advisor. Every great athlete has a coach, even those at the top of their sport who seemingly have the natural ability to win without any coaching still have a coach. If you want to unlock your full potential you need to realize that having an advisor can help you to keep focus and guide you to realizing who you can really become. Advisors can be a great sounding board and can assist you in hopefully going down the wrong tracks saving you lost time and energy. You can also learn from their mistakes and grow quicker from their wisdom. The key is to find advisors who you believe can take you to where you want to go. If you can't find someone within your circle then often paying for an advisor like a business coach or life coach can still be a worthwhile option.

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Saturday, 20 October 2012

How To Use Failure to Succeed

I know the title may seem somewhat contradictory and even nonsensical but the concept is sound. We need to realize that in order to succeed you are going to come across obstacles and even failures along the road.
This always occurs because in order to succeed in something great you have to step outside of your comfort zone, which necessitates failures along the way. This is fine though, most people fear failure, which is the very reason they never succeed at anything worthwhile. 

We have been conditioned through our school system and our parents to not fail. The school system rewards correct answers and denounces incorrect answers. Our parents in their need to protect us from harm punished us for mistakes. So we have grown up in an environment where failure is not seen as a positive thing and indeed often times negative consequences resulted from failures.

What you have to realize today is that in order for you to succeed, you will need to realize your concept of failure will need to be redefined. You need to begin to embrace the concept of failure as a helpful guide on your journey providing you with useful insights and learning’s to help you to succeed at your goals. 

Once you realize that failing is not the end of the world and that it is a positive confirmation that you are moving in the right direction then you will no longer fear jumping head on into your goal. 
The reason most people never pursue their goals and dreams is that they fear failing and looking stupid. So they convince themselves that in order to step out in the unknown they need more information so they delve into finding the information and keeping themselves busy without ever taking a step in the direction of their dreams.

If you only knew how many times some of our greatest achievers made then we wouldn’t have to fear failure so much. It is said that the average multi millionaire in the Silicon Valley goes bankrupt 3 times before hitting the big time. The actor Jim Carey was booed off many a stage while a young comedian. We have electric light bulbs because Thomas Edison refused to give up even after 10,000 failed experiments. 

So if you want to succeed you need to just jump right into it and see failure as a wonderful learning experience. What no one can ever take from you is the experience and learning that you get by doing. You can learn from books and from other people but what will help you ultimately succeed in the future are the lessons you learnt by doing both the successes and the failures. After all without failures how can you ever appreciate your successes?

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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Why Most People Can't Stick To Their Goals

If you have ever set a New Year resolution or tried to set a diet goal and failed to stick to the goal then find solace in knowing that you are not alone. Most people have goals that they are excited about and are revving to begin only to find days or weeks into the goal that it has already been discarded by the wayside for either a totally different goal or their old way of life.
Sticking to goals as you can imagine is integral in the degree of success you are going to enjoy in your life. If you aren't ever completing a goal in your life then how can you possibly grow as a person to take on larger challenges in your life and it also sends a message to inner self that goals aren't really important to you. 

If you are struggling to stick to your goals for once in your life then here are a few handy tips to help you get on the fast track to success and you'll be ticking off your goals in no time.

1. Get started today. The key is to start at the very moment that you have committed yourself to the goal. Don't kid yourself that you'll start first thing Monday morning or tomorrow. The best time to start your goal was an hour ago, the second best time to start is right now. After all you don't have any control over your past or future but you do have control in the moment.
The reason you want to start straight away is that you are at the height of your excitement and motivation. That positive energy can create a great momentum in you attaining your goals. Momentum is key as Isaac Newton famously quipped that an object at rest tends to stay at rest.
So maybe your goal is time dependent, maybe you have to weight till a class starts or something else out of your control. That doesn't mean that you wait, you still can get momentum started in the moment. Maybe if you goal is about losing weight, then clean out part of your closet to make room for your newer, smaller sized clothes that are going to be your reality. Maybe your momentum could be to go out to the shops and buy some new exercise clothes that you can be comfortable in or to just get started right now and walk around the block. Whatever you goal there is no excuse not to get some momentum in your goal right this very moment. 

2. Focus on building the habit. They say motivation gets you started, habit keeps you there. By focusing on habit you are focusing therefore on making your new goal an ingrained part of your life rather than a new exciting fad that runs the risk of losing its shine at the first sign of difficulty. You want to avoid therefore overdoing your new goal early on.
For example if it is to lose weight, don't all of a sudden go from doing no exercise to going to the gym four times a week and banning all junk food of your menu. If you aren't accustomed to this type of living you are only setting yourself up to fail because you are going to find this difficult to make a part of your habit without having to overhaul whole areas of your life.
Instead create a healthy habit of introducing healthy food options into your daily meals and go to the gym twice a week to begin with. Give your body a chance to get accustomed to your new goal and your chances of success increase measurably. You don't see athletes aspiring to win an Olympic medal go on a heavy-duty training regime at the beginning. They have a four year plan that is developed to give them the best opportunity to be at their peak come time to compete at the Olympics. 

3. Get yourself a friend. We all remember times in our lives when we made a commitment to someone and no matter how difficult it was to stick to it we made sure that we stuck to our commitment so that we wouldn't let them down. If you have a goal that you are serious about completing then why not enlist the help of a friend that can keep you accountable. Make your goal known to them and your plan to achieve your goal. That way they know when you are running behind schedule and can give you the necessary prompting to get you back on track. Why else would many elite sport athletes still enlist coaches and trainers to help? We all have bad days and days we just want to quit because it's the easy option, if we have someone there with our best interest to support us the chances of us picking back up and getting back on track to finish the goal are greatly increased. 

4. Reward Yourself. You don't have to wait until you complete your goal to reward yourself. The best way to reinforce a good habit is to give yourself pleasure in wanting to keep doing it. One-way to do this is to set smaller milestones along the path to your eventual goal completion. As you progress and complete each milestone set a reward that you can enjoy. Not only are you now one step closer to completing your goal but you have also given yourself a sense of gratification that you can enjoy right now instead of still hoping for that eventual reward at the end of the finish line. One side note to rewards is to try to avoid sabotaging yourself. For instance if you goal is to lose weight you would hardly want to set a reward that is to allow you to enjoy a bar of chocolate or eat at your local all you can eat buffet. Instead your rewards could be celebrate with friends over lunch, go on a picnic with your family or something fun.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Goal Setting As A Means Of Self Improvement

It is often easy to forget exactly how important goal setting is to self-improvement. We can have lofty ambitions for changing or improving who we are, but if we don't begin the journey with one step as Confucius once said and then break it down into smaller plans, the journey might begin to seem impossible.

The reason goal setting works as a means of self improvement is two-fold: the first part is obvious it allows us to break a really complex task down into small components that are easier to follow, more detailed, and less overwhelming. The second reason why goal setting is an effective means of self-improvement is that it provides us with constant motivation. Whenever we accomplish that goal or objective on the way to the greater goal, we feel as if we have made progress, and it emboldens us to work towards the next goal in line.

Before anyone can begin goal setting for self-improvement, he must determine what it is about himself that he would like to change and for what reason. For some people, the ultimate act of self-improvement would involve quitting smoking cigarettes. For others, weight is a self-improvement issue for which they are most concerned. For others, it might be something different, like being more assertive, more financially secure, or more charitable.

Of course, no one knows our faults better than we do. If we're overweight, we usually know just horrible it makes us feel, even if no one around us even really notices it. If we drink beyond what could be considered careful moderation, we know how it makes us feel and what it has done to our relationships.

Now, once you have identified what it is that you would like to improve about yourself, you can begin the goal setting process. Start with the ultimate goal (i.e., to lose 30 pounds). Next, depending on how large your ultimate goal is and how long it will reasonably take you to accomplish begin goal setting for objectives with timelines. For these smaller objectives, it is a good idea to tie them to actions, rather than results. If, for instance, your goal is to go to the gym three times each week and decrease your fat and carbohydrate intake, you might accomplish all of those goals, but it doesn't mean you will accomplish your short-term intended result, which was to lose ten pounds in 30 days.

If you only lose 10 pounds when your goal was 30 pounds, don't feel like you haven't succeeded. Instead, see if you followed the goals you set out to accomplish for the time period: did you go to the gym three times each week? Did you decrease your fat and carbohydrate intake? If you answered yes to all of these questions and you DID lose at least some weight, then you know your goal setting activities are on the right track, but you just need to intensify the components or increasing the overall timeline.

So, to reiterate, successful goal setting for self improvement consists of three things: creating long term goals, short term objectives, and re-evaluating the plan to make sure it is more realistic.

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