Progression means the act of moving forward.
It doesn’t state how fast or slow you might be progressing, or how big or small the steps might be, or where you started from or will end up. No, what’s important is you don’t give up.
Life has this wonderful way of surprising us with the unexpected; it’s what we do with it that really counts.
It tests our commitment, our hopes, our faith, our strength, our courage, our resilience, our beliefs, as well as our faith in ourselves, and what we believe or don’t believe in.
Perhaps a relationship isn’t working out, or you have or someone you know has an illness, or you are emotionally unsettled, or you may have lost your job or fear losing it, or you are worried about financial security, or you are questioning whether there really is a God (use whatever word feels right for you). It doesn’t matter in what form trials present themselves, what’s significant is that we don’t give up.
Yes, these challenges and many others can exhaust your patience and cause you to question your purpose and happiness. They may create fears, doubts, worries, stress and a feeling of being alone and perhaps even throwing in the towel.
It doesn’t take any more energy to focus on the negative or positive, so the question you might ask is, “Which one am I choosing to fixate on?”
Are you choosing to look at the problem or the solution?
Are you blaming and complaining about what’s transpiring or are you being inspired?
This is the time for progression; taking a leap of faith. Trying something new can be scary at the best of times, but when it seems as if there isn’t a choice in the matter or that it’s out of your hands, it can seem downright frightening.
How will you get through it; will you get through it; what should you do; where will you end up; will you be alone; will there be enough money; etc?
These are all great questions but they aren’t solutions. They are fear based and they don’t generate many possibilities and progression in your thinking.
Yet if you reword these questions, they turn from fear into freedom of choice.
I will get through this and here are steps and ideas on how.
I’m not sure where I’ll end up and that’s okay because it’s about the journey not the destination.
I’m never alone because I am connected to the greatest source of love and hope.
There will be enough money because I trust I will be guided to whatever or whomever I need at the time.
Elevate your thinking by looking closer at where you might be giving up, giving in, or staying stuck.
Befriend your fears by transforming them into opportunities to grow and evolve because that’s really what they’re about.
Giving up is easy; taking a leap of faith takes courage and is well worth the strides.
You might not know where or how things will be, but you’re making progress.
Remember, when you Shine, the world shines brighter because of you!
Keep at it until you get lucky. Isn’t it good advice? It’s concise but there is a lot of truth to it. It clearly describes the nature of success and what you need to do to achieve it.
I read about it in a post by J.A. Konrath. While the post itself is about self-ublishing, I believe that the advice applies to other fields as well. If you want to succeed in something, you need to keep at it until you get lucky.
My own experiences confirm this advice. Let’s take a closer look at some elements of the advice:
1. Luck plays a role
This is an important nature of success. Some people may not like it and think that they can control everything. But the truth is, luck does play a role. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell gives us some good examples of it.
So if you have worked hard and still haven’t succeeded, that’s fine. Don’t get discouraged or disappointed. You just haven’t got lucky yet. On the other hand, if you are successful then don’t be proud. You might not be as smart as you think you are.
2. Persistence increases your chance
While luck does play a role, it’ doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. You can increase your chance by being persistence.
For example, let’s say you flip a coin and you call heads. But the coin comes up tails. So what can you do to make heads comes up? Well, you just need to keep flipping the coin. If you do that, there is a good chance that heads will eventually come up.
Similarly, just because you don’t succeed in your first try doesn’t mean that you’re doomed forever. Just keep at it. With persistence, chance is on your side.
3. Do what you believe in
Being persistent is easier said than done. It’s not easy to keep at it in the face of failure. That’s why it’s important that you do something you believe in. Only by doing so can you keep at it even in bad situations.
So follow your heart. Is it something you truly believe in? Or perhaps you are in it just for the money or other external rewards?
In addition to helping you be persistent, there is another big benefit of following your heart: inner fulfillment and personal satisfaction. They are even more important than money or fame.
Be careful though: there is a difference between being persistent and being stubborn. If your heart says yes and you keep at it, you are being persistent. But if your heart says no and you keep at it, you are just being stubborn.
4. Learn along the way
“Keep at it” doesn’t mean just doing the same thing over and over again until you succeed. Einstein famously said that doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results is insanity. So don’t do that. Instead, you should always improve yourself so that you can do it better next time. That way you have a good reason to expect a different result.
So, if you want to succeed in something, give it your best effort. Learn from your mistakes. Repeat.
By Ciara Conlon
Focus: Effort, Attention, concentration, motivation, application, single mindedness emphasis, to name but a few of its synonyms.
Having the ability to decide at each moment what merits your attention is to me one of the secrets of success. It’s been proven time and again by sports stars and high achievers If there is something you want, fearlessly focusing on it will give you a much higher probability of achieving it.
Can we focus too much?
But what happens if we focus too much on our destination, when the object of our focus becomes our waking thoughts, our daily deliberations and our midnight meditations? Can this intense concentration bring us the results that we desire?
The answer unfortunately is no, those people who set goals and struggle daily for their goals to manifest generally don’t achieve them, holding on to the goal too tightly will not assist in its acquisition.
My husband practices archery, he has thought me the basics of shooting arrows, the stance, the technique, the pulling back but most importantly the letting go. They say the letting go is the most important bit. The energy, the focus and the goal are there but it is in letting go that the arrow reaches its target.
I heard Deepak Chopra explain the concept of letting go by using the metaphor of a gardener. The gardener plants the seed and gives the seed all it needs to survive but he doesn’t go and dig it up every day to see if it has grown. The gardener is clear about the outcome he desires, he does the work required but then he lets go or detaches himself from the outcome.
So the problem is not focusing too much but focusing on the wrong thing.
Do not focus on the goal
So the sports star should focus on the daily actions and not on the final outcome, the business person should focus on the individual tasks and not the ultimate objective. When you concentrate on the goal you are holding onto it and holding on does not work with the flow of nature and life. If you focus too intently on the goal you are not truly present, and if you are not present you cannot be open to the possibilities that life may bring.
If a sales person focuses on finalizing the sale he is not paying attention to the customer and therefore will not serve the customer according to their needs. Therefore we must remember to work with a sense of purpose and awareness of presence, if we work in this manner we will be benefiting from the increase in productivity and efficiency that being focused can bring us, but more importantly we will be moving closer to our desired outcomes in a relaxed, detached and more effective manner.
Focus on the path
And so the secret is to focus intently, but to focus on the path and not on the destination. To do all that is required to make you the best at what you do but not to concentrate on the result. If we can learn to practise and hit the best forehand that we can physically hit, the outcome we want will follow. If we do our jobs with passion and the best of our abilities then the consequences will be positive, and if we intently focus on the perfecting or doing the best possible job, our goals, our dreams and our desires should not delay in following close behind.
By practicing the art of detached focus, ironic though it may sound we can achieve more by letting go.
Motivation is the emotion that gives us the force to do something. Without motivation we would do nothing. We wouldn’t go to work without a strong motivation to pay rent and to live a comfortable life. We wouldn’t go out with friends without the motivation to have a crazy night.
It’s simple to be motivated to do those things, as they are necessities for most people. But what about things like working on your business or doing your workout that aren’t necessities? How can you be motivated to keep doing those things that you know you should do, but for one reason or another you keep postpone?
In this guide I’ll show you many ways to not only keep your motivation level always high, but also to constantly grow it.
By Dragos Roua
Slice it up in daily manageable chunks. Long term results are more often the cause of small, constantly repeated actions. A sea is the sum of all the small creeks, after all. The beautiful snow is made by millions of snowflakes. A rainbow is light transformed by billions of raindrops. Just do what you have to do daily, regardless of how you feel about it.
Half an hour of writing each day will be 365 halves of an hour. And that will be 182.5 hours of writing. At a rate of only 500 words per hour (but in time you can easily get to 1000 words per hour) that would be 91.250 words written in one year. Let’s make it a round 100.000 words. Can you even imagine yourself writing now 100.000 words of good content? I thought so.
But if you slice it up in daily chunks of repeated actions you will add up. You will build brick by brick. Step by step. While browsing through my blog admin interface I saw that my blog have now more than 450.000 words written. For a moment, I couldn’t even imagine that number. Yes, you will have good days and bad days. Sometimes you’ll write 100 words, sometimes 2000. What matters is to do it daily.
Many people want to be successful in their lives for more personal fulfillment and joy. The definition of success can have a different meaning for everyone. Although everyone has their own way of finding success, there are certain things that you need to be aware of in order to have more joy and fulfillment. Make a habit of practicing these fifteen points so that you can be the rock star of your life!
1. Do something you are afraid of doing everyday – When you make a habit of getting outside of your comfort zone, you will grow strong mentally and emotionally and will see yourself getting past a lot of mental blocks.
2. Don’t overplan - There is nothing wrong with planning your goals in life, however if you try to perfect your planning, you won’t take action on any of your goals.
3. Meet new people – When you constantly meet new people, you will see yourself learning a lot about yourself and others as well. You can then use the new knowledge to contribute and help others.
4. Practice being present - When you are engaged in a specific task/activity or are having a conversation with someone, make sure that you are fully present and not caught up thinking about the past or future.
5. Take leadership roles – Start taking leadership roles in every area of your life. Organize a workshop or plan a trip or a social event. When you start taking leadership roles, your self-confidence will rise.
6. Note down all of your ideas - Whenever an idea pops into your head make sure to write it down somewhere so you can refer back to it. There are going to be those times where your mind will suddenly get creative ideas, so make sure that you have a pen and paper handy.
7. Set aside “alone time” - Spend a half hour every day by yourself in a quiet place and take time to think about your goals for the future. Think about where you want to be in the next ten years.
8. Spend more time outdoors - Get outside the house/office more often. You don’t have to plan a big trip to get out. It can be as simple as going for a hike or walking by the beach. You will be able to think clearly and focus better on your tasks. Don’t become a workaholic and get burnt out.
9. Attend seminars - Start attending helpful workshops and seminars of topics that interest you. You will be surprised by the knowledge you will gain. You will also meet like-minded people and make new friends.
10. Read more often - Turn off the television and start reading more. Once you start developing a habit of reading, you will notice that your vision will expand and you will see the world in a whole different way.
11. Don’t talk about yourself too much – If you are ever interacting with close friends or at a social event, don’t make a habit of talking about yourself and your success. This is a sign of insecurity. Instead, take interest in others unless or until someone asks you more about what you do.
12. Spend minimum time browsing the web – When you constantly browse the web, your mind will be cluttered with different images and thoughts and you will get sidetracked from all your goals. You will start getting imaginary thoughts that will get you nowhere.
13. Go to the gym at least four times a week - When you make a habit of working out frequently you will have a lot of positive energy that will help you in other areas of your life. Put it on your calendar and make it a “must do” task.
14. Don’t delay to have fun - Some people think that they need to have a lot of money in order to have fun. They think that one day that big paycheck will solve all the problems in life. Life will have its ups and downs regardless of whether you have accumulated a lot of wealth. Don’t wait for that big day to arrive to have all your fun. Enjoy every minute of life.
15. Be honest with yourself - Be very honest with yourself about who you are and what you want out of your life. Spend time thinking about what your purpose is in life. When you are aligned with your purpose in life, you won’t get many conflicting thoughts that will leave you confused about who you are.
Have you ever noticed the ripple expansion across water when you drop an object into it?
This phenomenon can teach you a great lesson, if you feel that there is no progress in your personal and professional life.
The lesson simply is: the best way to conquer stagnation is to disturb it.
Any tiny action you take will lead to incremental outward changes.
I always advise my life purpose coaching clients that once they find their passion and purpose in life, they should act fast by taking the easiest smallest action possible in the direction of their purpose.
This small action will generate new possibilities and cause a ripple effect that will change the ground and build your momentum.
So, here’re three things you can do now to initiate a ripple effect in your life:
1. Read a new book
Acquiring new information in general broadens your perspective and creates new choices for you. You can stumble upon one idea in a book that gives you an AHA moment, and hence lead to a transformational experience.
2. Connect with new people
Networking is your greatest asset in your passionate living journey. Every new person you know can be pivotal to your success. A new connection can either introduce you to a new idea or to another person that can help you get what you want easier and faster.
Travelling to your favorite or new destinations can help you calm your mind and think clearly about how to move to the next level in your life. The busyness of life can drift you away and gives you no chance to think about what really matters to you. When you take a break and reconsider your choices and possibilities, you will definitely find new ways to accelerate your progress and conquer stagnation.
What else can you do to affect your stagnant situation with a ripple effect?
It can be hard to stay focused and productive at the best of times. But when you’re feeling low – whether that’s physically or emotionally – then it can seem almost impossible to concentrate.
Maybe you have a daunting number of things to get done … but you can’t seem to summon up the energy to tackle any of them. You might end up doing something totally counter-productive: procrastinating, or tackling the easy, unimportant tasks, or even driving yourself to tears.
Here’s how to keep yourself on track:
#1: Make a List of Tasks
This is a classic time-management technique … because it really works.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, sit down and write a clear list of tasks. What do you need to do today? What could you put off for a few days if necessary?
The act of writing down the list means that:
- You’ll get clarity. Instead of thinking “I must do something about Project X” you’ll have a clear action step like “Phone John about Project X”.
- You won’t worry about forgetting to do things.
- You can see what really has to be done – and it’s usually not so bad as you imagined!
- You’ll be able to check off each item as you complete it, which can be very satisfying.
#2: Take a Real Break
When you’re feeling low or struggling with your work, it’s tempting to take a break and surf the net or zone out in front of the television. You might feel bad about being “unproductive” – and end up trying to force yourself to do chores.
If you need a break, then take one – and make it something truly recharging. Grab a shower, take a long bath, or even have a nap. Give yourself a real break from what you’re working on, and you’ll find your motivation returning.
#3: Avoid Dwelling on Negative Thoughts
Have you ever started feeling a bit down … and ended up making yourself more and more unhappy? It’s all too easy to get trapped in a spiral of negative thoughts.
If you catch yourself thinking something negative, like “I’m so stupid – how could I have made such a dumb mistake?” or “I’m really bad at managing my time” then stop. Look at your task list and pick something to focus on. Start working steadily through it, and you’ll find that those upsetting thoughts fade away.
#4: Find Something to Look Forward To
When life seems like all work and no play, it’s easy to feel down. Plan a treat for yourself, maybe next weekend. You might:
- Book tickets to see a movie
- Arrange to meet up with a friend for coffee
- Pick a “date night” to spend with your partner
On a day-to-day basis, you can find things to look forward to as well. This might be as simple as watching an episode of your favorite television program in the evening, or buying a novel that you’ve been meaning to read.
#5: Play Some Music
Sometimes, small tweaks can make a big difference. If you’re ploughing through a mundane task – like answering emails or doing the dishes – then put on some great music.
Fast, energetic tracks can boost your energy levels and help you work faster; slower, more contemplative tracks are great if you want to feel calm and relaxed.
#6: Take Care of Your Health
Finally, however busy you are, it’s important to find time for your health. If you’re feeling physically and/or emotionally low, you can often pick yourself up by:
- Getting enough sleep – most people need at least seven hours.
- Eating sensibly – don’t go for hours between means, and avoid high-sugar snacks that play havoc with your energy levels.
- Exercising regularly – this not only helps you stay fit and manage your weight, it’s also great for your mental health.
By Leo Babauta
It’s a pretty simple process, but let’s go over it step-by-step:
- You goal should be written out very clearly. The better you can visualize your goal, the easier this will be.
- Think about the steps needed to get to your goal. There may be many.
- Can the goal be accomplished with a series (2-4) of daily or weekly actions? For example, to save money, you will need to make a savings deposit every payday, before you pay your bills. Through that regular action, the goal will eventually be accomplished. Figure this out, and that’s your habit or series of habits.
- Figure out the amount of the habit will need to be done to get you to your goal by your timeline. By “amount”, I mean that you have to figure out quantity times frequency to get your desired result. For example, I can run every single day but not be prepared to run a marathon if I don’t do enough miles or long runs. So if I’m going to run every day, I have to also know how far (and any other things such as different workouts on different days). If I’m going to have a savings deposit every week, I need to know how much is necessary for each deposit in order to reach my goal. Figure out this “amount” for your habit and make a schedule.
- Focus on the first habit for at least one month, to the exclusion of all else. Don’t worry about the other two habits (for example) while you’re trying to form the first habit. For more on forming habits, this article is good place to start.
- If more than one habit is necessary, start on the second habit after a month or so, then on the third, and so on, focusing on one habit at a time until each is firmly ingrained.
- After all the necessary habits are ingrained, your goal is on autopilot. You will still need to focus on them somewhat, but to a lesser extent. If any of the habit gets derailed, you’ll have to focus on that habit again for one month.
- After you’re on autopilot, you can focus on a new goal and set of habits.
“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.” - Spanish proverb
By Katie-Anne Gustafsson
Defining your personal goals in life is a big achievement in itself. However goals are not just there to sit in your journal or even pinned to the wall to look at when you get a spare minute. Goals are there as a destination which needs to be worked towards as your life progresses, and you are the driver in charge of the transport which will get you along that journey. So, having decided what your goal is, the next stage is to take an assertive path towards setting out how you will achieve it.
Do you hope to be one of the top international sales managers in your product line? Is your goal to one day run your own company? Do you have a goal of retiring early and being able to travel around the world? Whatever your goal is, there will be set amount of things you will need to do before achieving it. So where do you start?
1. Make the goal as tight and specific as possible.
Specific goals are more achievable than ones with “loose” edges.
In the early retirement scenario this could mean putting an age into the pot, so that the goal would be “I want to retire at the age of 50 and travel around the world.”
2. Identify the things that are essential to have before your goal can be achieved.
Self managing your goal achievement means taking control of the situation and not sitting back hoping it will just happen. Take time to consider exactly what you need to have in order to be in a position to achieve your goal.
Continuing the retiring early to travel scenario, this would mean that you have made enough money to fully pay up a retirement fund which will allow you to live out the rest of your life without worrying about paying the bills, plus having a savings fund to cover the cost of your travels. It also means that you do some research so that you know where you want to go and what you want to see of the world.
3. Take each of the steps and break it down into smaller achievable mini goals.
The steps applicable to the scenario in this article would be:
* Make an appointment with an independent financial adviser and discuss your goal with him. Ask what financial options are open to you to get an optimal retirement fund build up that will help you reach your goal in the time frame you have available.
* Start making payments into whichever retirement plan is decided to give you the best return.
* Open a special bank account which will give you a good rate of interest on your savings and commit to putting a set amount of money into this account each month.
* Consult with your financial advisor on an annual basis if the retirement plan is remains the best one for your situation or whether there is now a better option.
* Build a library of travel books that cover the areas you wish to visit.
* Would having a second language help in your travels? Investigate taking language training in French, Spanish or whichever language will help you get the most out of your traveling experience.
4. Get started on the personal goal achievement journey!
Put a note in your schedule to start the first task on the mini goal list on a specific day. Write down exactly what you will do on that day, and stick to it! Once you have one mini goal achieved, move on and schedule a date for the next one.
Make that appointment with the independent financial advisor.
5. Annual Review
Make a note each year, perhaps on your birthday, to review your goal and the steps that are taking you there. See how far you have traveled towards it, change any of the remaining steps in light of any new circumstances. The review process is an essential part of self managing your way to personal goal achievement because over time situations and desires change and your life goals need to reflect these changes.
You have moved positions and now have more money at your disposal and can increase your monthly savings.
With a proactive approach you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are journeying in the right direction towards goal achievement.