Living Life to the Fullest

Rock stars appear to have it all. The admiration of others. Opportunities at every turn. Pride in their accomplishments. The life of their dreams. Being a rock star isn’t as impossible as you might think. Here are some of the special ingredients to becoming what you dream about:

1. Have the desire

Do you really want to be a rock star? Someone who is respected for their success, has personal pride and self-esteem and lives a fulfilled life? Then decide this is what you really want and let your passion drive you.

2. Take control of your destiny

No one but you controls your actions, decisions and the life you create. You can decide when to exercise or tell yourself it’s too late; go to graduate school or get too busy to apply; create an outline for the book in your head or meet your friends instead for a drink. You’re a grown-up. You decide. The sooner you accept that your future is in your hands, the sooner you can begin creating the future of your dreams.

3. Create a breakthrough goal

This is the golden nugget of success. Don’t just create goals for yourself. Create a breakthrough goal that once achieved will seriously up-level your life – your career, your relationships, your income – everything around you. A breakthrough goal might be to land a big-name client, or be the keynote speaker at your industry conference, or lose 50 pounds. Whatever it is, breakthrough goals are just that – a goal like no other that will move you to another place. For me, it was writing a book. It changed my career and ultimately my life.

4. Develop a strategy

Think about it. What will it take to achieve that goal? Don’t worry about what’s required to do it. Just focus on the direction you need to take. The number of miles doesn’t matter. Being on the right road is the point. Once you have a direction, begin writing down all the little and big things you need to do. Make a list – a detailed list of activities on the path you see ahead. Creating your list will help you begin to see the path ahead.

5. Follow the Rule of One

I love this ingredient. It makes everything doable. And nothing could be simpler. Do one thing every single day towards moving you closer to your goal. No matter how big, no matter how small – one thing each day propelling you towards what you want most in your life – living your dream. Imagine if at the end of the week you have accomplished five things towards your goal; at the end of the month, 20 things, and so on. Before you know it, you have made enormous progress, just one small step at a time.

6. Be positive

Your attitude will drive your momentum. Choose to go forward with a good attitude. Don’t create barriers to your personal success and ultimate happiness. Attitude is contagious and it will help to motivate you, and even those around you, to drive you towards your goal.

7. Be persistent

Never give up. Keep moving forward one small step at a time. Progress will become a habit and success will come naturally. According to Donald Trump: “positive attitude and persistent are inseparable.” After all, it worked well for him.

8. Stay focused

Figure out the relevant over the irrelevant and focus on the few things that will move you towards achieving your dreams. Even the woodpecker knows, he can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay very busy. Or, he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner. Stay focused or you will go hungry.

9. Love deadlines

Deadlines are the pixie dust of life. Without them, nothing gets done. But a deadline has to be just right. Make it too short and you’ll end up frustrated. Give yourself too much time and you’ll lose interest and get distracted. Make a deadline the causes you to stretch, but not break. You’ll feel fulfilled every time you meet one.

10. Ask questions

A follower asks: when is it due? A rock star asks: why are we doing it? Be inquisitive. Challenge the status quo. Always look for a better way.

11. Never make excuses

Is it right or is it wrong? Are you proud of the results or do you wish there was a better outcome? No one cares about excuses, so don’t bother. Making mistakes is not the problem, making excuses is. Learn from your mistakes and move on. There is never time for excuses – ever.

12. Do what your CEO wants

No matter where you are in the organization, ultimately your job is to help the top honcho move the company forward. If you are not focused on the priorities of the organization, there’s really no need for you. Never lose track of what you were hired to do.

13. Reserve your prime time for you

Let’s face it – you’re not productive every minute of the day. Many people say they are most productive early in the morning; others claim late night is their prime time. Whatever your best time is, don’t waste it on distractions. Save your “smart” time for your priorities and schedule everyone else around you.

14. Always have a prioritized list

Without a list, you are at the mercy of the current demand or loudest scream in the room. How can anyone keep track of what’s most important when you can’t compare what’s expected? A list allows you to see everything on your plate. When a new request comes in, it’s then up to you to decide where it belongs on your list.

15. Conquer procrastination

Good news. You’re not alone. Everyone procrastinates. It’s a skill we have developed from a young age and perfected over time. But, a rock star has learned that procrastination is the enemy. It robs you of time and will derail your success. Turn it around. Promise yourself a reward for finishing a task and reap the benefits of defeating procrastination.

16. Delegate for results

Whether you’re delegating to an employee, a babysitter or your gardener — delegating well can mean the difference between satisfaction and frustration all around. Delegate the result; the process is none of your business. This usually works. When you ask your significant other to cook something special for dinner, expect a delicious meal and stay out of the kitchen.

17. Don’t let e-mail control your life

We love it; we hate it; we can’t live without it. Most professionals say they receive about 100 e-mails every day. Many agree that it takes an average of two minutes to deal with each e-mail. If that’s accurate, then it takes the average professional over two hours to read and respond to e-mail daily. That’s 40 hours per month! Stop the insanity. Take e-mail breaks during the day. Respond to e-mails in the morning and in the evening. Don’t let other people’s ramblings control your day.

18. Make small changes that will have a big impact

Ready to make some changes? Choose carefully. Make small changes that will have the greatest impact on your performance and the results you achieve. Those are the changes worth making.

19. Don’t sweat the small stuff

As they say: pick your battles — especially with yourself. Don’t lament small failures, especially if they are not important. Concentrate on the things you do well. Enjoy your success. Focus on the results that really matter and let the others slide. In the end, your success will rest on a few big wins.

20. Have fun in the process

Isn’t fun and fulfillment what it’s all about? Make it fun. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with those you love. Enjoy the ride and you’ll be cooking up something great on your way to rock stardom!

Dream it. Do it. Live it.

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