Think positive. Be positive. Hold the image of what you really want in your mind and it will manifest. Imagine. And so on … These are the sorts of things that we are advised to do and they are all great. But, it will not be enough to build the life we really, really, really, really,REALLY want. We have to be On Purpose. We need to have a plan and actually do things.
Let me set out a few steps to get this week off to a great start. First of all, Prepare. Simply, that means clear the decks and get ready. As basic as clearing and organizing your space around you. Your desk, your office/room, even your car. It might not feel like it but these things are weighing on your brain and keeping you from being at your peak.
Then Plan. Start with exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Do you really believe that you can do it? As a friend once said to me a very long time ago, “Dream Big, the amount of work to get there is about the same and if you fall just a bit short you are still a very long ways along the road to what you set out for”. Try! So, write down exactly what it is that you want to achieve. What is the first step that you must take? And the next? If you are not even sure of the things that need to be done, talk to someone who has done it. Do some research to see what it might take to get to where you want to be. Write down all the action steps that you need to take. Organize them in chronological order as best you can.
And finally, Perform. Most of the time we are told to set a date by which we want to achieve something. I like that but it is actually much more important to set a time to actually start! Look at your list of action items and set a start date for as many as you reasonably can. Set the start time for at least one action for right now! And, as Anthony Robbins would say, take massive action.
We are most happy when we are working towards a worthwhile goal. Especially when that goal aligns with our purpose and values. We feel good when our surroundings are pleasant and organized. It all comes down to “Be the Best You” you can be. Live well, love always and laugh out loud everyday!
Procrastination has become a problem for me since I have unlimited and unstructured time available. We have heard for all our lives how work expands to fill the available time. What I did not realize was that anything will expand to fill the available time. Like checking out your social network accounts, like checking out just one more news media outlet, like reading just one more chapter (or six) in that book you are reading. You get the picture. Classic procrastination!
Now you might think that it is not really a problem because you really have nothing else pressing to do. But in my case I am growing so lethargic. At the end of the day I do not feel like I have done anything. But I was having trouble figuring out just what to do to break the cycle. There really are things I want to get done if I can only …
This is where a very timely article presented itself to me. The teacher appeared just when this student was ready. I read an article about productivity shortcuts written by Derek Doepker (@ExcuseProof) In it he suggests procrastinators use these magic words: “Can I just …”. In my case it has started me one a new road (actually it has helped put me back on the road I have been on most of my life). That is the road to getting things done! And feeling accomplished at the end of the day! Happy!
Can I just write one more blog entry? Can I just spend the next 25 minutes going through the things on my desk and throwing away what is not needed, filing what needs to be filed and putting things back where they belong? Can I just do cardio workouts every second day for the next two weeks? And so on. I am back to using my self management techniques that I had let slide because I thought I did not need them. I am back to feeling accomplished and productive. Even if I am not doing work in the traditional sense, I am happy anyway.
What about you? Can’t seem to break the procrastination blocker? Try it! When you are facing some challenge, break it down to a smaller bite and ask yourself: “Can I just …”
“Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
— Norman Vincent Peale
An interesting quote. The first thing you need is an awareness of your own powers. What does that means? Quite simply, what are you good at? What do you like to do more than anything else? What makes you feel happy when you are doing it? We often wonder what it is that we should be doing. Fortunately, life is well designed to help us along the way if we just pay attention.
This is not the time to be humble. Think and be honest with yourself. What are you good at? Make a list. Brag to yourself!! Now make another list with the activities that make you feel happy. This list might be a bit short at first because we do not often think this way. Stick with it. What makes you feel happy.
Now, put the lists together and see which activities are on both. Those are your real powers and are where you should be focusing your attention in doing. You can make a great contribution to the world if you focus on those activities.
I said that life is well designed to help us know what to do in most situations. If we feel good, we are doing the “right” thing. If we are not, then examine what you are doing and change. Feeling good is the signal we need to be watching for all the time. We are not feeling good when we are berating a cashier for something. Rather, switch and figure out what you are really looking for. As a minimum, understand that you are venting at the wrong person and usually for the wrong thing. As your Mom said, take a deep breath, count to 10 and move on! Mom was always right.
So, have a realistic confidence in your own powers and you “Can be Happy Anyway”.
Virtually all of the teachers in the field of achievement, happiness and abundance teach us that we need to “Be Grateful”. We need to develop and cultivate an attitude of gratitude. No matter what is going on around us we need to find something to be grateful for.
I have known and understood this virtually my entire life. However, it is only recently that the light came on for me that I have indeed been grateful virtually my entire life. You see, I used to think that it was very hard to maintain an attitude of gratitude. I thought it meant that I had to constantly focus on being grateful and being specific about what it was that I was grateful for. Sort of like taking time out and concentrating.
Certainly we need to do that sort of thing. We need to pay attention to what we are feeling about what is happening. We need to focus on what we would like to feel grateful for in order to attract that into our lives. In the present tense. But how do we do that? That is where the light has finally come on for me. I have been doing this for my entire life. Maybe you have also.
People who know me will recognize this sort of phrase from me. “I am so lucky to have chosen to be born in the right place at the right time in history to the right parents.” I use the “lucky” word a lot. You will usually hear it shortly after something “bad” has happened. I have intuitively always looked for the silver lining and expressed it out loud. I now finally realize that what I have been exercising is my attitude of gratitude! And I have had lots of occasions to exercise it!
I do not really recall being taught this along the way in my early years but it does not mean that I was not being exposed to it. I read voraciously in the achievement fields and goals fields. The concept was likely there and I probably picked it up by osmosis. But I have had this my whole life, even as a child.
So what? Has it made a difference? Do I enjoy abundance? Am I happy? Do I have great relationships? Can I do what I want, when I want to and with whom I want? Simply, yes. In my 20’s I decided that I wanted to be able to retire by the age of 50 and I did. Along the way, I helped others in ways that allowed them to do and get what they wanted out of life. Great relationships! My family life has had the occasional hick-up as all families do but it is fabulous. I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want and with whom I want. I am so “lucky”.
There is that word again. Always look for the luck/gratitude views on what is happening to you. Take the silver lining and run with it as your flag. When it is the toughest that you have ever faced, feel lucky because it is getting you ready for something greater than you could have believed in earlier times. You can be happy anyway!
Ah the start of a new year! A time when we have reflected on the happenings of the past year, considered various shortcomings in our life, and made a number of promises to ourselves (resolutions – the infamous resolutions!) to do in the coming year. Of course we will lose a bit of weight; get more fit; plan my weeks more diligently; be more patient with family, friends and colleagues; get that promotion; visit …… well you get the idea.
Our reflections typically seem to focus on what went wrong in the past year. Those sorts of memories often stick in our mind because they are linked to strong emotions. It is normal and natural but I urge you to keep the perspective of “that was then, this is now, now what”.
Make sure you focus on the great times and victories of the past year. Get those positive memories firmly to the front of the brain as you get ready to contemplate the coming year. Now you are ready to address the all-important “now what”.
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Joseph Addison – 1672–1719 writer.
How great is that as a guide to get ready for the coming year! What are you going to do? Who will you extend your love to? And, underpinning everything, what are your hopes? Hope is a key to “Being Happy Anyway“.
Hope keeps your spirits up through the tough times we all have. We hope for an end to the problem. We hope for better health or the strength to handle whatever it is that we have been handling. We sometimes hope others will change. Rather we need to focus on managing our own reactions and being happy anyway. It is a choice.
So Happy New Year. Choose hope and happiness. Enjoy the good, learn from the not so good, and look forward with great hope for”now what“.
Above all, remember to live well, love always and laugh out loud every day!