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Muhammad Ali is one of my modern heroes and I am saddened to hear of his passing away. He is considered one of the greatest athletes to ever live by many-and in my opinion he was. When a great mind and personality passes away, there is usually sadness and sorrow. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the lessons I learned as I grow into the man I want to be. Coincidently, Muhammad Ali and I share the same birthday, January 17, so in tribute; here are 17 lessons I learned from Muhammad Ali.
- Stick to your values: Muhammad Ali embodied true masculine energy by sticking to hi mission and purpose no matter what the consequences were. When he declined induction to the army to fight in the Vietnam he was banned from the sport of boxing. He lost some of the most important prime years (age 25-29) of his life away from the boxing ring. He did so believing in his core values and what he stood for as a man. In hindsight, everyone would agree that Muhammad Ali was right in his decision. Let your value system run your decision-making. Focus on the process of listening to your core and let the results be as it may. At the end of the day, by following your values, you can ensure no regrets.
- Be yourself : “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want to be.” You do not need validation from others. Be yourself. Feel comfortable under your skin and improve yourself. No need to apologize if you are a person of character. Be yourself and then you’ll attract the right people in your life.
- Have a purpose: “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them–a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster. They have to have the skill and the will, but the will must be stronger than the skill.” It is not what you do that makes you a champion, it is why you do it and how you do it. Muhammad Ali was a champion because his big goal was to help others. Therefore, he was the same person (of principle) in and outside the ring.
- Be great: “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”To be great you must know you are great. You must realize that your potential to be great exists within you and it’s just a matter of showing it. No one can see the potential that you have except you. Execute! You do not need validation from others.
- Focus on the positive: After getting Parkinson disease, he kept a positive attitude. “Parkinson’s is my toughest fight. No, it doesn’t hurt. It’s hard to explain. I’m being tested to see if I’ll keep praying, to see if I’ll keep my faith. All great people are tested by God.” Enough said! What would you do if you are faced with a calamity? How would your attitude change? For every hardship and failure there are opportunities that formulate. Can you see them? Can you capture the opportunities?
- Get back up when you fall down: “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.” If you fall, pick yourself back up. Let the opportunity of falling down be a lesson on how to get back up. Learn from your failures in order to grow as a person of character.
- No pain no gain: “I hated every minute of training, but I said don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Who ever said training was fun. Stick to the habits of practicing on your craft/skill and you will reap the rewards over time. Focus on one rep, one jump, one movement at a time.
- Believe in yourself: “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” If you don’t believe in your gift and your skills that you want to give to the world, then the world won’t believe in you. Show and tell. Don’t fool yourself. Listen to the voice in your head telling you of your potential to be great. Just follow it.
- Laugh and make others laugh: “Comedy is a funny way of being serious. My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.” People like others who who can make them laugh. Some studies even say that men who are funny are intelligent. In this world of violence and problems, humor can diffuse any situation. Laugh things off and make others smile. You have the power to be a magician by changing other people’s moods instantly. This is what Muhammad Ali did to people. A genius!
- Be a good friend: “friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” A friend is someone who is there for you when it counts. Someone who is there to pick you up when you’re down and stand up for you when you are not around. Be a good friend by your actions and not your words. Anyone can wine and dine you or flatter you, but not everyone can be there for you when you need him or her, unless they are your true friend. Be that friend who is always there for your friends.
- Use your time wisely: “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.” Your time is your life. Don’t waste it. Focus on your goals and keep on going. Take it one day at a time and win more days than you loose. This follows to point #12.
- What you think is what you become: “What you are thinking about, you are becoming.” Actions stem from thoughts. If you want to control your actions then develop positive thoughts. Great thoughts lead to great actions.
- Keep learning: “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Learning never ends. If you think you know it all then you don’t know anything. Growth happens overtime. Challenge yourself to learn what you do not know so that one day you will know and help others do the same.
- Take risks and speak up: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” Don’t just remain quite, take a risk and put yourself out there. Muhammad Ali was always an expressive person. He took a risk even by speaking-not fearing any judgments, but at the end of the day, we can all say he was an influential speaker because of it.
- Fake it till you make it: “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” Before you are good at something, embrace the attitude/ persona/ thought process you want to achieve. Overtime the acting will become a new habit and you will exemplify those qualities you desire. No one is born with every skill or attribute. If there is a quality you like and you don’t have it-yet, learn how to fake it till you make it. Go!
- Love others: “If we continue to think and live as if we belong only to different cultures and different religions, with separate missions and goals, we will always be in self-defeating competition with each other. Once we realize we are all members of humanity, we will want to compete in the spirit of love.” If you want to give to others you must first be able to love others.
- Inspire and give to others : “I wanted to use my fame and this face that everyone knows so well to help uplift and inspire people around the world. You have a gift that the world needs. “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room in heaven.”-Ali. Ali was known to help the poor on the streets and be part of multiple humanitarian organizations. He was awarded the “lifetime Achievement Award.” My Kofi Annan among others.
In one of Ali’s interviews he was asked
What would you like people to think about you when your gone?
Muhammad Ali replied,
“He took a few cups of love.
He took one table spoon of patience.
One table spoon, tea-spoon of generosity.
One pint of kindness.
He took one quart of laughter.
One pinch of concern.
And then he mixed willingness with happiness.
He added lots of faith.
And he stirred it up well.
Then he spread it over a span of a lifetime.
And he served it to each and every deserving person he met.”
In short, Muhammad Ali taught me to stick to my values and therefore be comfortable of who I am. I learned that if I am myself then I can sincerely be in a position to improve and be able to give my gift to people around me. If everyone can do this then the world would be a better place. We need everyone’s gifts to shine especially in the darkness.
Rest in peace, champ.
The long and winding road to success is a life-long journey. On this path, we have many habits and actions that help move us toward our vision of success.
However, we also have habits and actions that hinder and hurt our chances of reaching the destination that we have in our heart, mind, and soul.
To help you on your journey make sure that these five traps are avoided or at least mitigated:
1. Consumer debt
The more debt payments you have, the more you need a paycheck. The need for more money coming in can keep you running a business you hate or sticking with a job after you have lost your passion. Consumer debt can kill dreams before they even start because the more that you stress about the financial piece, the less creative energy you have to build your dream. Keep consumer debt low or nonexistent to reach success faster.
“When you get in debt you become a slave.” -Andrew Jackson
2. Unhealthy relationships
Relationships either add to your energy level or rob from you. There is nothing more draining than unhealthy relationships. As Jim Rohn states, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Make sure that this average serves you well. Be honest about which people you need to distance yourself from or remove from your life to reach success.
3. Lack of boundaries
Worrying about concerns instead of responsibilities will sidetrack your success. Responsibilities are the things that you are responsible for. Concerns are things that may way on you but are not up to you. Without boundaries, you will spend much of your time and energy on things that are not up to you. Return to a life of proper boundaries and success while be much more attainable.
4. Poor health
Improper health steals your confidence, robs your energy, and shortens your life. It can be tempting not to prioritize health but in doing so, you are making everything harder. Poor health can be changed but the longer you don’t prioritize your health the more negative consequences will happen. Keep health as your focus to help you mentally and physically on your way to a life of success in all areas.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
Doubt kills so much of our success and whispers into our ears to not even start. You can end up wasting so much time worrying about your doubts that you never reach for the stars. Frozen in fear is what makes doubt so negative it puts you in inaction sitting on the sidelines and out of the game. Some level of doubt will always be there, but you must get in the habit of moving in spite of how you feel. Move to silence doubt and achieve success for you.
The journey of success will not come easy, but it can be easier if you work at removing or reducing these five success robbing traps. Focused energy in time will lead to a life that you could never have pictured.
What habits or traps have you had to change to reach your success?
Success needs the support of others. There are things you can do alone and this could take you to where you want to be fast. But there are things you need to do with others, that will take you on the further road to success.
The problem is in your ability to distinguish between those people you really need to help you to further your desires and those who cannot.
Here are 7 types of people who will certainly help you succeed in life:
1. The kindhearted friend
This type of person is willing to offer you anything from kind words, to their network list to even some financial aid for you to go ahead and pursue your dreams. The kindhearted friend is generous and desires to see you progress. If they notice your potential, they feel they owe it to you to give you what you need to be successful.
2. The die-hard optimist
When you are overwhelmed with challenges and obstacles, you need this kind of person to help you see the positive angle from where you are standing. A positive view is one that takes you in the right direction and helps you focus on results rather than your limitations. The die-hard optimist may be a dreamer or a philosopher but they definitely want to know that everything will work out for your own good after all.
3. The mentor
Everyone knows the value of a mentor in becoming successful. The mentor is who has the experience and has sailed through the journey of success. They certainly have made mistakes and have lessons from them which they can impart you with. They are concerned about your growth and are willing to provide advice, guidance and perspective as you go through your journey.
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” – Steven Spielberg
4. The devil’s advocate
As much as you need someone who is willing to dream with you and make such dreams seem effortless, you also need the devil’s advocate. The devil’s advocate is one who looks at a goal logically and critically and identifies any weakness in it. Yes this may not be a pleasurable role for anyone, as they say the truth is always hurting. However you need such person around you since they will help you identify the thorns in the rose.
5. The inspirational figure
What separates this role from that of the mentor is that the inspirational figure could be more of the role model rather than one who simply guides you through the hurdles of success. The inspirational figure can be more distant from you, but they’re solid in deeds and character. Yet they will serve as the ideal model for you to follow.
“I think a role model is a mentor – someone you see on a daily basis, and you learn from them.” – Denzel Washington
6. The loyalist
The loyalist sees you for your strengths and is a full time supporter of your cause. They want you to succeed and to them you can do no wrong on this journey to reach your goals. They have your back at any hour and would go to great lengths to help you succeed. They may not be consistent in your life but when you need them they would always come to the party. The thing about the loyalist is that they are there for you all the way, and they rarely retreat, even in the face of ridicule. They believe in you and your dreams and will always be a loyal companion.
7. The sidekick
This is more like a companion, a buddy, a full time supporter of your cause. They are there for you, not simply because they are loyal, but because they have skills that you can also tap from. They are astute and make opportunities happen. The thing about the sidekick is that they are effective because they know you like no other person does and have always been present in your life.
Do you have these 7 types of people in your inner circle? Please leave you thoughts in the comment section below!
Most articles about everyday habits offer only the overall, generic advice like: ‘go above and beyond,’ ‘get more organized,’ ‘respect others,’ etc. without offering any doable tricks or examples of what this actually looks like. What many of these articles fail to provide is applicable, basic tips that the basic layman can apply to life tomorrow and instantly feel better about their circumstances. That ends here.
Below you will find a list of Seven things that the most productive people do every day for a more fulfilled life.
1. They Maximize Down Time
There’s always something to learn, or things that need to get done. Successful people embrace this. Having a time surplus is a good indicator that your challenge is either too small or you’re not thinking big enough. (Trick: concentrate on segregating your free time – i.e. one hour video editing practice, half hour reading video editing book, half hour watching beautifully edited films of others, repeat.)
2. They Reflect on Mistakes & Grow
Carol Dweck concentrates on the fixed vs. growth oriented pathways of the brain in her New York Times best selling book Mindsets. When faced with a challenge, overcoming fear, or coming back from a “failure,” successful people are focused on growth more than they fixate on the outcome of failure. (Trick: when feeling letdown, reflect by writing 3 things that went wrong in the process and how you plan to fix them next time.)
3. They Forget About Perfection
Eric Thomas sums it perfectly with his statement, “There will never be the perfect time to do a great thing.” Successful people understand this, and don’t use their perfectionism substitute for procrastination. No matter how inexperienced, uneducated, or unprepared you might feel, right now is the best time to jump into action. (Trick: think of an endeavor you undertook and performed perfectly. No mistakes at all. Difficult? That’s what I thought.)
4. They Collect Their Thoughts Immediately
For many successful people, their best ideas, or what psychologists call ah-ha ‘moments,’ come at inopportune times like during exercise or their daily commute. Collecting those thoughts will allow you to reflect on them later. (Trick: keep a pocket-sized journal in your backpack or purse for note taking. There are apps for this, too.)
5. They Remind Themselves of Death
We have a limited amount of time on earth, and there’s no sense in hiding from how fast time goes. Successful people understand this, and use it as an advantage in letting no day go by wasted or squandered. (Trick: Envision an older version of yourself watching you throughout the day, and do today what you’d regret later in life. Creepy? Yes. Effective? Yes.)
6. They Define Success Themselves
Success is a large word thrown around by many small mouths. It’s a shame and, honestly, it’s a sham. A large bank account, sexy spouse, or lavish wardrobes do not define success in business, life, love, and other. YOU do. (Trick: look to people you idolize. Write down what you like about them. Chances are good that the adjectives and emotions you used are some of their proudest features.)
7. They Always Finish Strong
No one, I repeat, NO ONE is an off-the-bat success. From Muhammad Ali to Mahatma Gandhi, all successes have taken their bruises and lumps, and they kept on going. No matter what happens, or whatever the end result may be, seeing something through to the end will help you develop the resolve to continue taking chances, growing, and bettering yourself.
Next time you’re in the situation of becoming your own worst critic, remember that,
“The road to personal excellence has no end.”
Trust in yourself, keep your head down, and keep moving forward no matter what.
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There is excitement as we make a decision to do something big – help the homeless, start a business, run a marathon. But all too often these big dreams fall to the wayside. How do we keep the motivation to see a big goal through to the end?
Some people have called me “goal driven” because I persevere on projects that may take months or even years to accomplish. So I got thinking, what is it that helps me to keep going day after day while the end goal is still out of sight? Perhaps my experience can help other people to persist on their goals.
Here are the seven steps to help you stay motivated and stick to a big project:
1. Make sure you have control over your goal
When you formulate your goal make sure that it is something under your power to achieve. For example, say “Apply to three graduate schools”, as opposed to saying “Get accepted to graduate school”. When your goal is stated as something that is under your control you are more likely to think of ways to make it happen.
“Everybody has goals, aspirations or whatever, and everybody has been at a point in their life where nobody believed in them.” – Eminem
2. Find subgoals that can be accomplished in 4 hours or less
It can be daunting to look at the big goal. You don’t know where to start. So first make a list of the steps that are required to accomplish a big goal. For example, the goal of writing an app can be broken down into large steps of design, coding, testing, submission, and marketing.
Each day I look at the step that I am working on and choose a small goal that should take four hours or less to achieve. By concentrating on the small goal I can stay focused and not worry about everything else that needs to be done. And, each time I accomplish the small goal I feel good about myself.
I chose four hours as the magic number because frequently tasks have a habit of expanding. Often a four hour goal turns into a three day goal, but that is still a short enough time horizon that I can keep the end in sight.
3. Each morning write down the single most important thing to do that day
It really helps me to have the goal for that day in writing. Then, if I wander off topic, as I sometimes do, I can look at it and pull myself back on course. I know that if I do enough of the mini 4-hour goals that eventually I will accomplish something significant toward my big goal, so I don’t need to think about the big goal that day.
4. Live the dream
I can’t postpone good feelings until I have achieved the final result. What I am actually doing each day has to be the life that I want. If it isn’t, I have picked the wrong goal. For example, you will never achieve a goal of running a marathon if you detest having to run three or four times a week.
Having mini goals helps me to live the dream. Every day or two I am celebrating some small milestone that I have reached. When I reach a major milestone I generally take a day off and go do something fun to celebrate.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
5. Take breaks for planning
Since I work towards a series of mini goals I need to have confidence that they are adding up to the intended target. Every now and then, perhaps every couple of months, I take time off from achieving a mini goal that day, and instead spend the day on planning. I consider whether there is a major step that I may have missed, and if so, add that to my list. I think about the major step that I am working on, and whether the activities I have been doing are actually bringing me closer to that goal.
If it feels helpful, I make a list of sub-tasks for the major steps. I like to get these things down on paper so that when I am working on a mini goal I am not constantly sidetracked by trying to think about other steps. Doing this planning step allows me to get it all out of my mind so that I can focus.
6. Decide where and when you are going to do your work
Studies have shown that if you decide on where and when you will do something that you are more likely to do it. I sit down each morning after breakfast at my computer and write down my goal for that day. That helps me to get started, and once I am started I generally find it easy to continue.
7. Don’t give up
Everybody has bad days, and some things take time to become fun. For example, the first time a person runs can hardly be called fun. It is difficult and tiring and sweaty. But after a couple of weeks, as your body toughens up, it can actually be exhilarating.
So hang in there when things are tough. Face the fact that it is no fun, but do it anyway. You should be back on track in a few days.
What can you do today to take a small step toward your big goal? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
Elite athletes use it. The super rich use it. And peak performers in all fields now use it. That power is called visualization.
The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams, goals and ambitions.
Visualization of your goals and desires accomplishes four very important things.
1.) It activates your creative subconscious which will start generating creative ideas to achieve your goal.
2.) It programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.
3.) It activates the law of attraction, thereby drawing into your life the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.
4.) It builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.
Visualization is really quite simple. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine — in as vivid detail as you can — what you would be looking at if the dream you have were already realized. Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result.
Athletes call this visualization process “mental rehearsal,” and they have been using it since the 1960s when we learned about it from the Russians.
All you have to do is set aside a few minutes a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after meditation or prayer, and right before you go to bed. These are the times you are most relaxed.
Go through the following three steps:
STEP 1. Imagine sitting in a movie theater, the lights dim, and then the movie starts. It is a movie of you doing perfectly whatever it is that you want to do better. See as much detail as you can create, including your clothing, the expression on your face, small body movements, the environment and any other people that might be around. Add in any sounds you would be hearing — traffic, music, other people talking, cheering. And finally, recreate in your body any feelings you think you would be experiencing as you engage in this activity.
STEP 2. Get out of your chair, walk up to the screen, open a door in the screen and enter into the movie. Now experience the whole thing again from inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes. This is called an “embodied image” rather than a “distant image.” It will deepen the impact of the experience. Again, see everything in vivid detail, hear the sounds you would hear, and feel the feelings you would feel.
STEP 3. Finally, walk back out of the screen that is still showing the picture of you performing perfectly, return to your seat in the theater, reach out and grab the screen and shrink it down to the size of a cracker. Then, bring this miniature screen up to your mouth, chew it up and swallow it. Imagine that each tiny piece — just like a hologram — contains the full picture of you performing well. Imagine all these little screens traveling down into your stomach and out through the bloodstream into every cell of your body. Then imagine that every cell of your body is lit up with a movie of you performing perfectly. It’s like one of those appliance store windows where 50 televisions are all tuned to the same channel.
When you have finished this process — it should take less than five minutes — you can open your eyes and go about your business. If you make this part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at how much improvement you will see in your life.
Create Goal Pictures
Another powerful technique is to create a photograph or picture of yourself with your goal, as if it were already completed. If one of your goals is to own a new car, take your camera down to your local auto dealer and have a picture taken of yourself sitting behind the wheel of your dream car. If your goal is to visit Paris, find a picture or poster of the Eiffel Tower and cut out a picture of yourself and place it into the picture.
Create a Visual Picture and an Affirmation for Each Goal
We recommend that you find or create a picture of every aspect of your dream life. Create a picture or a visual representation for every goal you have — financial, career, recreation, new skills and abilities, things you want to purchase, and so on.
When we were writing the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul® book, we took a copy of the New York Times best seller list, scanned it into our computer, and using the same font as the newspaper, typed Chicken Soup for the Soul into the number one position in the “Paperback Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” category. We printed several copies and hung them up around the office. Less than two years later, our book was the number one book in that category and stayed there for over a year!
We practice a similar discipline every day. We each have a list of about 30-40 goals we are currently working on. We write each goal on a 3×5 index card and keep those cards near our bed and take them with us when we travel. Each morning and each night we go through the stack of cards, one at a time, read the card, close our eyes, see the completion of that goal in its perfect desired state for about 15 seconds, open our eyes and repeat the process with the next card.
Use Affirmations to Support Your Visualization
An affirmation is a statement that evokes not only a picture, but the experience of already having what you want. Here’s an example of an affirmation:
I am happily vacationing 2 months out of the year in a tropical paradise, and working just four days a week owning my own business.
Repeating an affirmation several times a day keeps you focused on your goal, strengthens your motivation, and programs your subconscious by sending an order to your crew to do whatever it takes to make that goal happen.
Through writing down your goals, using the power of visualization and repeating your affirmations, you can achieve amazing results.
Visualization and affirmations allow you to change your beliefs, assumptions, and opinions about the most important person in your life — YOU! They allow you to harness the 18 billion brain cells in your brain and get them all working in a singular and purposeful direction.
Your subconscious will become engaged in a process that transforms you forever. The process is invisible and doesn’t take a long time. It just happens over time, as long as you put in the time to visualize and affirm, surround yourself with positive people, read uplifting books and listen to audio programs that flood your mind with positive, life-affirming messages.
If you would like a step-by-step, comprehensive approach for defining your goals, creating affirmations for them and how to create a powerful visual support system, take a look at our Vision Boards Kits… they contains a everything you need–just add your dreams!
Repeat your affirmations every morning and night for a month and they will become an automatic part of your thinking… woven into the very fabric of your being.
Author: Jack Canfield.
Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com
Can you change your life in an instant? You watch an inspirational movie, read the best self-help book, come across a quote that reaches you deeply. Can these moments lead to lasting change? They lead to intense inspiration and motivation. However, the burst of inspiration is fleeting and the moment slips away.
You imagined shedding your old ways and lifting off into a new stratosphere of success while you were in the cloud of inspiration. You saw your best self emerge. The gravity from the beliefs, patterns of thought, and habits you built over years pulls you back to your base state. According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of New Year’s resolutions are successful. You didn’t need a research study to arrive at that conclusion.
You’ve experienced it with your own resolutions to make drastic changes. You realized it when your friend’s resolution to work out every day lasted 2 weeks. The jury is in: enduring change doesn’t happen overnight. The movie montage of the protagonist flipping tires and running sprints in an abandoned warehouse after experiencing a life-changing epiphany isn’t realistic.
While motivation doesn’t persist, you can commit to change your life in an instant. You tell yourself you’re sick of your old ways; it’s time to take action. If you embrace the moment and commit to change, the spark from that decision produces lasting change. You can use the moment to build momentum and commit to consistent, determined action until you arrive at your dream destination. Use the fuel from motivation to propel you to develop systems that facilitate the daily work that leads to your goal.
You can ride the wave of inspiration by creating the habits, plans, and systems necessary for success. You can’t ride the wave all the way to your end goal though. As your motivation dips, your inner critic begins a continuous stream of limiting thoughts. Your inner voice says you’re not good enough. Your plan will never work. You should give up on your dreams.
On top of the inner critic getting louder, you make mistakes, stumble, and fail because you’re learning a new skill or process. You don’t know the next step to take to overcome the latest setback. This seems like an ideal time to shove the dream back in the closet and quit. That’s what most people do. They turn to the safe path they’re familiar with when the going gets tough. The path that everyone else takes. There is a way to navigate around these setbacks that cause most people to quit.
The road map guides you past the roadblocks towards your dream. The road map breaks down the larger goal into smaller mini-goals. Achieving mini-goals each week provides small wins that create momentumtowards the larger goal.
In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg writes that “Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.” You can develop your plan in a way that tilts the odds in your favor. Breaking down the goal into small pieces allows you to focus on the next step rather than being overwhelmed by the mountain ahead.
You’re in control of the road map. You can sequence your mini-goals so that each challenge is an appropriate level of difficulty. When you play a video game, level 1 is easy. It builds confidence and skills that will be needed in tougher levels. You don’t start the video game in level 7. If you did, you would lose 3 times in the first minute and turn the game off. Start your goals in level 1 to accumulate small wins.
Commit to Your Dream
It’s hard to change routines and behaviors. Trying to do too much at the beginning is the quickest route to giving up. Being overly ambitious early in the process results in frequent failures that lead to feelings of inadequacy. These feelings drive you to conclude that you’re not good enough to reach the goal. You head in a different direction towards a new goal.
Repeating this process over and over in your life creates limiting beliefs and massive friction towards taking action. Why set new goals if you’re just going to fail after a few weeks? Play the long game instead with your goals. When you’re committed to a goal, failures in the journey turn into opportunities to learn and improve. Instead of quitting, you ask what can I learn from this failure? What will I do differently next time?
Commit to your dream regardless of the amount of time it takes to achieve it or the obstacles that arise along the way. If your commitment level is low, you’ll be pushed around by circumstances. On the other hand, if you MUST realize your dreams, you’ll find a way past the obstacles.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
Habits for Success
Once you determine the course of action, block out specific time on your calendar to do the work. It’s ideal for the blocks of time to be the same each week. Working on the goal at the same time each day helps you stick with the habit for the long run. Consider working on life-changing goals first thing in the morning. InWillpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, Baumeister and Tierney write that “You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it.”
You have a full tank of willpower in the morning. The world hasn’t kicked into high gear yet with e-mails, phone calls, and texts screaming for your attention. Creating a winnable plan and setting aside time to do the daily work paves the way towards success. To strengthen your game plan, build in weekly monitoring to assess your progress and identify your biggest pain points. From there, you can strategically make adjustments for the next week.
If you miss the mark on the min-goal of the week, you can scale back the actions for the next week. Adding accountability provides another layer of protection to your game plan. Asking a friend to check in with you once a week provides more motivation to follow-through on your action steps. The last step in the plan is a large dose of perseverance.
When you don’t feel like working on your goal, work on it. When fear, insecurity, and uncertainty strike, work on it. When you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, work on it. No matter how you feel, work on the plan. Trust the process. Methodically overcome each obstacle that arises. Execute the plan. Take the next step. The process leads to massive gains. It’s that simple. It’s also that hard. It’s difficult to ignore external expectations and distractions. At any moment, you could do a thousand other things than what you need to do.
When we look at successful people, we see the rewards they reap in public. We see the spoils from their years of hard word. We don’t see the thousands of hours of work that they logged in private. We don’t see that they worked towards their uncertain dreams every day, no matter how they felt. Putting your head down and executing the plan you laid out is hard. However, it leads to disproportionate results and success over time.
“The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.” – David Sarnoff
Success isn’t a nebulous or mystical process. There’s a formula for success. It’s a repeatable process.
Develop a road map, implement habits that support your goal, conduct weekly check-ins to monitor your progress, and add accountability. Then, adjust, learn, and persist until you arrive at your destination.
What habits or strategies do you implement to take consistent action on your dreams? What’s the biggest challenge you face in pursuing your dreams? Share your experience in the comments below!
Ego as defined by dictionary.com is: self-esteem, self-image or feelings. Yet the majority of society understands and or relates the term EGO to negativity. If having a high self-image means one has an ego it is not necessarily a bad thing. It takes a certain amount of ego to do many things that are required of us to succeed in the entrepreneurial world.
If we truly examine the meaning of ego we will realize that having a good self-image and self-esteem helps us to do the meaningful things in life. In saying this, people need to stop throwing around the word ego in a negative manner. Developing an ego takes a lot of work. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes years to cultivate the ego trait.
When you fly the friendly skies, the flight attendant instructs everyone, that in the event of an emergency to put their oxygen mask on before they help others. That doesn’t mean every man for himself. That means suck in some air so you can effectively assist others. That goes with ego too; you have to suck in some ego. So when you look at it from that perspective putting your ego on is no different than putting your oxygen mask on.
Yes, there are some who abuse their egos, but you don’t have to be one of those people. If you want an ego of your own, learn how to use it to lift yourself up, and catapult yourself into the life of success that you deserve and desire. People are inspired and take note of people who courageously put themselves out there, and to do so you are going to need a healthy ego.
Here are 5 things you can do to boost your ego:
1. Feed it
In order for anything to grow it has to be placed in an environment that is conducive to growth. Your ego is no different. Read some great books, take a class on self-confidence, and stay away from those who are dream busters.
Books feed your mind with information and shape the way you think about things, a good self-confidence class, programs you to have a great self-image, and staying away from dream busters keeps the toxic distractions out of your life and enables you to grow.
When you feed your mind with empowering beliefs it in turn feeds your ego and releases a new self-believing attitude and results.
2. Let go of bad habits
Letting go of bad habits helps condition us to create better habits in our daily lives. Limited self-belief creates critical thoughts and behaviors; those thoughts and behaviors send out signals to the outside world that we lack self-esteem. We have to break the bad habit of thinking poorly of ourselves.
The vibrations exchanged between ourselves and the reactions of others in return make us feel stuck, weak and unmotivated to move forward. When choosing to drown out the negative chatter in our head we are choosing to look at things positively and doing so, will empower us to feel good about ourselves and motivate us to demonstrate those actions.
“When it comes to breaking old habits and starting new ones, remember to be patient with yourself. If you’ve spent twenty, thirty, or forty years or more repeating the behaviors you’re now trying to change, you’ve got to expect it’s going to take time and effort before you see lasting results.” –Darren Hardy
3. Get a pet
According to the research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology pet ownership has been shown to increase self-confidence, combat loneliness, boost physical activity, and instill a sense of responsibility that is truly rewarding.
Perhaps it is the unconditional love that our pets give us that helps reinforce our ego. What gets noticed, gets repeated in life. When our pets do something that make us feel good we respond by repeating the same action that elicited their response. This applies in the human world as well. When someone praises us for our actions we repeat the action. Their praise solidifies that our actions are acceptable.
4. Pump up your appearance
In Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder, she talks about the importance of the different areas of your life that you should feed.
- Exercising: promotes good health, and reduces your chances of illnesses.
- Eating healthy: nourishes the body, contributes to sustained weight maintenance, elevates your moods, and increases your energy levels.
- Getting more sleep: improves your cognitive thinking as well as gives you the energy to do the everyday things in life that need to get done.
All of these things play a very vital role in your appearance and brand image. When you feel good about how you look it causes your self-esteem to elevate.
5. Walk the walk
A healthy ego builds incredible momentum. Not only in your personal image, but your brand image as well. Believe it or not, the two often go hand in hand. Have you ever seen Darren Hardy from Success Magazine take the stage? He exudes every part of the brand Success, from the way he dresses, the way he is groomed, and even the way he struts across the stage. When people think of Darren Hardy they think Success. He walks the Success walk.
If you want to succeed in the entrepreneurial world you have to remember you need an ego. So be comfortable in your own skin, learn how to walk to your own beat of your drum, start thinking of what success looks like to you, and when you do, it will give you the confidence to tell others to let go of your ego, too!
Thank you for reading my article! How do you build your ego for success?
Fear can be crippling and is the Achilles heel of many would be success stories, if only they could just submit to their abilities. Unfortunately for many, the overwhelming feeling of stepping outside their comfort zone is just too much to bear.
The truth is we all have 24 hours in the day, and we all have opportunities. I am not going to say outside factors cannot affect your chances in life, because collectively research shows if you grow up with negative role models, in a negative environment, you are a lot less likely to be successful.
However just because you are 5 feet tall doesn’t mean you can’t play basketball (this is the true story of the smallest basketball player ever, Tyrone Bogues)
If you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable then half the battle is won!
Here are 5 tips for facing your fears:
1. Do it anyway
I am going to let you in on a little secret, we are all scared. It’s fight or flight in many situations. Some choose to run away and stay in comfort, while others choose to feel the fear and keep on moving forward.
Some of the most historic moments in history are a result of scared men, women and children with their hearts racing, their palms sweating and their adrenaline pumping saying “I’m going to do it anyway.”
Sometimes it’s better to fail at something big, than to never try. So next time you are faced with a challenge, think of your biggest role model and their biggest accomplishment and tell yourself that they felt like this when they accomplished it. The difference; they just did it anyway!
“He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. Weigh up the options
In all honesty, sometimes facing your fears will not serve you. Weigh up the options at hand and see if you should proceed.
If you are scared of snakes, but live in London, maybe it wouldn’t make much sense to seek out a 12 foot anaconda just so you can process your irrational fear that you have had since childhood.
However that is only a decision you can make, so weigh up your options and face the fears that are going to wield the best results for your life!
3. Process your fears
Are your fears rational or irrational?
If you are scared of leaving your job and life and investing your savings into living on a desert island, with no future income, no previous survival skills and you will be surrounded by pit vipers and panthers. You can probably file that in the rational fears section.
On the other hand if you are scared of balloons you can put that in the irrational fears section.
If you want success in your life you have to be able to put things into perspective. Examples of irrational fears could be like making trivial phone calls, connecting with people who have similar interests or putting yourself out there in your business. These types of things need to be turned into a habit and just become part of your day to day routine.
Some of the more complex decisions which bring up perfectly normal rational fears that need to be thought through a little more, but make sure you don’t put them off just because you are afraid!
4. Visualise accomplishing your fears
Different things produce different feelings in different people. Even if it’s just little irrational things that fill you with anxiety. Don’t worry you can face it!
One great way to overcome fear is to visualise. Imagine yourself doing it before you do it, and make a deal with yourself that after you have visualised it, you will actually make it happen.
There is a reason why successful people visualise; IT WORKS! so next time you are stuck, take 5 minutes, shut your eyes and imagine yourself completing your task successfully. Then do it!
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
5. Go on a fear facing spree
This one is not for the faint hearted and only the true personal development bad asses can live up to this challenge, it really comes down to if you are man, woman or child enough to do it!
You need to make 2 lists- Irrational fears and rational fears. You get your list of irrational fears and you tick them off one by one until the whole list is complete.
Your rational fears, you think them through and the ones that make sense to do you go right ahead and do them!
Take as long as you need to do this, but don’t drag it out and take longer than is needed. Get your momentum going and get ticking and soon you will have faced your list of fears!
Life is scary at times, but sometimes you just need to macho up and get yourself back on track! So face a fear today even if it is a small one to get your momentum going!