It doesn’t take much more than a slight change of circumstances in your life—or a major crisis—before voices from far and near begin telling you what they think you should do. Usually in an effort to be helpful, people you know (or random strangers on the street) are all-too-eager to dish out guidance, instructions and recommendations.
Maybe it’s something big like changing jobs or sending your kid to college, or something smaller like redecorating your kitchen. As soon as word gets out that something is changing in your life, the advice starts flowing.
In many instances, the advice includes what others define as "success" and include the things that make them happy. It also includes what they think is possible, achievable and can include their own fears and limitations.
However, too much advice ringing in your ear can become noisy and confusing. Of course, you want to take the good advice and leave the rest behind. But how can you know the difference?
Naysayers are everywhere. All throughout time, people have been saying now and declaring things impossible. What’s exciting is when something that has been said to be impossible is eventually accomplished!
In 19thcentury Britain, it was believed that a human body could not withstand traveling at more than 30 miles per hour (the speed of a typical horse at the time) and would suffocate if a person rode any faster. Obviously with train, car, airplane and space travel, we know that this “impossibility” has become possible.
Computers in the 1940s weighed 15-20+ tons and the idea of a home computer seemed impossible. Today most of us carry tiny computers around in our pockets that allow us to instantly connect with people anywhere in the world.
Our lives are something akin to the Jetsons (although the flying cars are still to come!). For the people of the past, space travel and video phones were just fantasy. But someone had to believe the dream was possible and then...
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
We all have dreams that we want to accomplish. Whether yours are along the lines of starting a business, losing weight, or learning how to juggle bowling pins, making your dreams into reality starts with many small steps in the right direction.
The beauty of dreams is that they come along with limitless possibilities. When you dream, you can fly. You can conquer the world! When you’re functioning in visionary mode, the sky’s the limit. Dream big. Aim high. Go for broke!
Setting those dreams into motion to become a reality, however, requires some feet-on-the-ground thinking. Honing your dreams into visions and attainable goals requires living in a bit more reality. That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to fly (just ask the Wright brothers), but it does mean you need to begin from where you are—with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
No matter how much we might want it to, real life doesn’t allow us to travel through time in the same way that we see in the movies or on television. Whether you imagine yourself saving the world (ala Dr. Who) or you’re just trying to pass your project for history class (more along the lines of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure), eventually you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that you can really only live for today.
We cannot change the past.
We cannot step into the future.
Ultimately, the only thing we can truly have control over is the present.
Appreciate This Moment
It’s easy to get distracted by past hurts or future worries and forget that this moment, right now, can be good. Even in the midst of hard times, we can find something to learn from and be thankful for. That flower bursting forth through the crack of the sidewalk. The sounds of laughing children on a playground. The smell of fresh brewed coffee. Each day, remember to...
Large projects. Small projects. It all needs to be finished by yesterday! Whether you are working for yourself or someone else, a whole load of tasks screams for your attention every day. Competing priorities is a struggle that most people face. Unless you want your life to simply happen to you, you’re going to need to take some initiative and make some plans.
Consider these thoughts about balancing out competing priorities:
The Tyranny of the Urgent
The difference between important and urgent may sometimes be difficult to distinguish. Along the lines of Charles Hummel’s book from the 1960s, the demands in your life can get out of order. Even though making cookies might not be first on your list for the day, if your book club president calls at the last minute to say they’re coming to your place tonight, all of the sudden you start baking! Even though you really don’t have time.
In reality, you’re trying to build your business and...
Begin with the end in mind. Start with the end outcome and work backwards to make your dream possible. - Wayne Dyer
Many people want success to come to them in a form akin to winning the lottery. They hope it will happen to them and then sit around waiting. These folks seem to be hoping that success will be an overnight, magical experience that includes a leprechaun granting a wish while they are riding on a unicorn.
Maybe you don’t think quite that fictitiously, but if you’re just sitting around and hoping that success will come to you, then you might as well be in a fairy tale!
Truly successful people understand that life is not a fairy tale. Life is a journey. It is the composite of a series of choices that we make. Something more akin to a choose-your-own-adventure book. Each day, month, and year, we can choose our own adventure. We can choose to journey on the path toward success.
Focus: In order to be able to get where you’re going, you...
Do you hear voices inside your head? If so, you’re not alone! In fact, almost everyone does. Not necessarily the kind of voices that are audible, but most people have a dialogue inside their heads.
Call it a gremlin. Call it an internal monologue. Call it the remaining influence of an overbearing mother-figure. Whatever you want to call it, it’s your inner voice.
Your inner voice has the power to be helpful and useful. It doesn’t have to fill you with fear, stress, or hesitation. It can guide you in decisions. It can encourage you to go to that job interview. Your inner voice can even remind you to enjoy life, even when you’re wanting to eat healthier but really want to choose the greasy French fries instead of the salad… “just this one time.” After all, life is too short to suck… right?
When the inner dialogue says you aren’t enough, not worthy, or lack value, the self-criticism can become an irritant that could steal...
Have you ever met one of those people whose life seems to be absolutely ideal? Someone who never seems to encounter difficulty or struggle in any way? (You know, the folks whose lives are so great that you secretly want to hate them!)
However much it may seem like nothing goes wrong for these people-with-perfect-lives, that’s simply not true. No one has a perfect life. These seemingly perfect-people-you-want-to-hate encounter struggle and difficulty the same as everyone else. They get flat tires. They get cavities. Their pet ferrets run away.
So what’s the difference between these seemingly perfect people and “normal” people?
The difference is the way they handle life’s challenges.
The difference is resilience.
Resilience is all about being flexible or malleable. Being able to recover when things don’t go as expected. Resilience is a quality that allows a person to experience difficulties and then get up, dust off, and move forward.
When you’re looking for success, for adventure, for a new way of living, you don’t need to start by going somewhere. In fact, if you’re unsatisfied with your current situation, the best thing to do is hunker down and ask yourself a few questions.
What is it that you want out of life?
What is right in front of you that you can’t see?
What are you doing that may be sabotaging your happiness or success?
What could you do today that might bring you joy?
The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Start by looking at yourself with new eyes. Most of the time, the thing that is getting in the way of success can be found simply by looking the mirror. As children, we create habits in thinking and action based on what we are either taught or learn on our own. Often times, these habits and mindsets are not based on flawed perceptions—and they are not helpful. Good or bad, these habits...
You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.
Each and every day, in the small things as well as the big ones, you have opportunities to make choices that could change your life. And while some of what you achieve has to do with ability, much of the measure of success is related to your openness toward growth. It has everything to do with how willing you are to develop within a framework of flexibility while overcoming obstacles.
Having a fixed mindset really doesn’t help to fix anything. It just causes you to become stagnant and rigid. A fixed mindset keeps you tethered to old habits. A fixed mindset clouds and dulls your shine.
People with a Fixed Mindset:
But the amazing news is that the power...
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