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...
Every morning you get out of bed and make a decision about what you’re going to wear. Maybe, like Mark Zuckerberg, you don your “life uniform” of a grey t-shirt and blue jeans. Or maybe you’re more like Lady Gaga, choosing between dressing like a geisha, channeling your inner lightning bolt, or simply wrapping yourself in bacon for the day.
In the same way that you decide what to wear on the outside of your body each day, you also decide (with intention or by default) which mindset will drive your day. This choice that you make every day could make or break your ability to achieve your goals.
With decades of research under her belt, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck ascertains that your mindset will predict your outcome.
If your mindset it fixed and immoveable, you’ll fail and get stuck. If your mind is geared toward flexibility and growth, you’ll move forward in life.
If you expect to fail, you will.
But if you expect to succeed...
Armed with the knowledge that happiness can be in an indicator of health, and health can predicate longevity, we would all be wise to consider ways we might be able to usher a bit more happiness into our lives!
Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.
Each day we can decide whether to see our circumstances as “ordeals or adventures”.
As difficulties or opportunities.
As problems or prospects.
Some people seem to naturally be more cynical/negative/unhappy than others. We have all met our share of grumpy-Ebenezer-Scrooge-types. Maybe you are one! These negative people, regardless of circumstances, seem to have a natural bent toward being more of an Eeyore than a Tigger. But even the deepest melancholy can often be overcome with positive thoughts.
If “look on the bright side” doesn’t chime with you at first, don’t be alarmed. You aren’t destined to fail at being happy. But you may have to work a...
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