Heeding the Advice of Others

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?

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Live & Lead As If Anything Is Possible

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...

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Aim High & Start Where You Are

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
–Tony Robbins

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.

Aim High!

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.

Start...

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You Are Not a Time Traveler!

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...

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Working with Competing Priorities

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...

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Life Getting You Down? Learn the Skill of Resilience

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.

  • Get Up. ...
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How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything!

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.
—Marcel Proust

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...

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Fixed Mindsets Don't Fix Anything

You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.
–Marianne Williamson

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:

  • Become rigid and static
  • tend to criticize anything that doesn’t go their way
  • see obstacles as threatening
  • shrink from challenges
  • miss opportunities
  • believe that they cannot change
  • are threatened by other successful people

But the amazing news is that the power...

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Mindset Matters! The Choice is Yours

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...

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Resilience Helps Us Grow Through Rough Times

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...

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