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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Can You Keep a Secret?: The Strength Within

It's that time of the year when people begin to put their thoughts on paper and make this grand new decision on how they're going to start this year fresh and change their lives.  Most people start of strong... but eventually get back into their old habits.  A few manage to continue the new path and end the year with success.  So how do they do that?  The thing is that there are many tools out there that can help an individual become stronger.  There are studies that shows how people can put themselves through certain paths in order to reach success.  There are also superficial ideas where people look at the 'good ideas' and judge basing it off of how they feel by looking at it... and failing to understand it to a deeper level.

Here's my method of success.  First, you write down what your goals are.  After you write them down, figure out the steps you need to take them.  Write them down.  Live your life according to those steps.  If whatever you do prevents you from getting to your goal, then don't do it.  If it helps you get to your goal, then do it.

That's all.

Can it be this simple?  Yes.  HOWEVER, people mess things up by adding extra steps to this simple equation.  They feel the need to be accountable and ask others... which can be okay to a certain extent.  If you tell someone and ask them to keep you accountable, you end up less likely to do it.  Rather, if you had not asked them but told them the exact steps you are currently undertaking, you will be more likely to do it.  If you share your goals, your mind gets this euphoric feeling where you feel as if you've accomplished something by sharing... but have you really?  Not in the slightest.  Instead, you made yourself feel like you did something without doing anything, and therefore, you are less likely to actually do it, because you already have that sense of satisfaction ingrained in you because you shared your goals to someone else.

Instead of sharing goals, if you share the step you are doing, and stating it as a fact rather than a plea for accountability, you put pressure on yourself.  It's that pressure that allows you to figure out if you really want to take the steps towards your goals.  It's that pride that you have, the integrity, the strength within that allows you to reach your goals.  If you already feel good about yourself getting to your goal without actually doing anything, it's getting yourself further away from reality.

So why do I share my goals with you?

It's really simple.  When I share my goals, I'm not looking for an accountability partner.  I am not asking for encouragement to get to my goals.  I am sharing with you the path that I am taking so that I can live a life of encouragement.  I put that kind of pressure on myself so that I can encourage other people and push them to become the best they can be.  As a motivator, it's important that I share.  I share so that I can help you.  It does make me a little weaker.  It makes me less likely to push myself as hard, but if it's to help others get closer to their goals, it's worth making my path a little more difficult.

Step by step, I progress, and as I share my goals, it becomes a little harder for me to push on, but because of a habit, and because I keep reminding myself of my goals and putting pressure on myself, when I achieve the little steps, that's enough to keep me pushing towards my next step as I climb the ladder towards my goal.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

3 Steps to Plan for Success

Once upon a time, there was a boy who signed up for a race.  He trained hard, and when he arrived to the race, he saw a starting line, but nothing else marked.  He wasn't exactly sure where they were going, so he asked another person, "Which direction are we running?" and to that, the person replied, "I don't know, but I'm going to do my best."  The boy went to another person and got the same reply... in fact, everyone around him seemed to be ready to go and do their best, but not one of them had any idea where the finish line was.

The thing is, there are a lot of people that want to succeed.  However, they miss the most important part.  They don't have a dream... a goal that they are striving for.  Sure, they may have a vague understanding of it, but what good is knowing that there is that 'finish line' but failing to figure out what the course was and understanding how to get there?  The desire to finish is very important, but being able to envision that finish line is just as important.

First step:  Look at where you were.

If you don't know where you come from... or accept that that's where you came from.  You won't really know how you're doing now.  Also, when you look back at where you were, you'll be able to know that you're going the right direction, and have a sense of pride in the distance you've traveled.

Second step:  Look at where you are.

If you know where you are, you have an easier time to discover what your next step is.  If your foot is stuck in a bear trap but you ignore that and continue forward, heading towards your goal... it's not exactly productive.  First know that your leg is in that bear trap, get it out, and THEN move forward.

Third step:  Look at where you're going.

Have that goal in mind.  After knowing where you were and where you are, the next obvious thing that still eludes people for some reason is to have that ultimate goal or dream.  If you don't have the finish line in mind, and work towards that, you might not even be going in the correct direction.  If we put all our efforts into something that goes against where we want to go... it's counterproductive.  If you have that clear and concise goal that you're working towards, then you can put that energy to reach it.

These simple three steps are simple in theory, but when actually put into practice, it will be crucial to you making your plans towards success.  Once you have a plan, it's up to you to follow that plan and work hard towards your goal.  Obviously, there's more to it than this, but once you figure out where you were, are, and want to be, you have just taken a critical step towards achieving success.