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.
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...
Learn to Think (and Act) Like a Millionaire
After hearing about a young person who became a millionaire by the age of 22, all kinds of thoughts may enter your mind. Or that story about Kylie Jenner on the threshold of becoming the youngest-ever-billionaire? Well, she’s certainly living up to her potential and more!
Becoming a millionaire (or billionaire) by the age of 22 would be an amazing feat. However, while it’s not ideal to focus on impossibilities, this is something that is rather unlikely for most of us. Because, if you’re reading this then, ahem, 22 probably happened awhile back.
But just because you might be a bit more mature than these money-making youths, doesn’t mean you can’t take millionaire advice and head in the right direction.
Have you ever noticed how resilience is held on a pedestal? It’s that intangible something that allows people to rebound after setbacks, tragedy or suffering. And it turns out that most people really are resilient. It may take some longer than others to move through adversity to a happier time, but most eventually recover their joie de vivre.
What are some of the factors that foster resilience? Strong, trusting relationships; holding a positive view of yourself; the ability to make realistic plans and stick to them; managing emotions effectively; viewing yourself as a fighter, not a victim.
The American Psychological Association offers 10 suggestions for building more resilience. Here are five of them:
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. Interpret and respond to stressful events in a way that gives you hope for change rather than a sense of despair. Don’t blow a situation out of proportion.
Accept that change is a part of living.You might not be...
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” — Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and consultant
Have you ever considered the mixed messages about failure in our culture? Riding a bike is the metaphor we often use in talking about failure. We encourage children to believe that they can learn the tricky balance required to ride only by falling repeatedly, brushing away the scrapes and the tears and trying again. Yet as they move through elementary, middle and high school, children are often given the message that failure is sign of weak character or for losers. The message is this: Failure is not an option!
We suggest that the first message is the right one: Failure does, indeed, ultimately open the door to success. Here are a few other things to keep in mind about failure:
Failure helps you learn...
Often, we long for something, but don’t know what it is. We dream our big dreams, but don’t know how to achieve them. Having a clear vision — clarity — is often difficult when it comes to deciding what we want in life. But it’s so vital to setting goals and achieving them!
Here are some ideas to help you get the clarity you need:
Put it down: Put your dream life on paper, but think ahead to the life you’d like to be living in five or 10 years. Is it filled with friends? Does it entail a partner or children? Do you see yourself reveling in being alone? What makes you happy? What do you visualize yourself doing — making music, teaching, brokering business deals or gardening? How would you like to make a living? How much of a living? Flesh out the dream with details. Do you want to live in a city, a small town or the country? Which region of the country or the world?
Consider relationships: If it’s in your relationships with...
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