Monthly Archives: September 2013

10 Things Successful People Do

1. They set goals and follow through on them.

It is one thing to set a goal and it’s another thing to achieve that goal. Almost everyone sets goals but only a few possess the guts and discipline to follow through on those goals. At the beginning of every year, we all make resolutions about things we want to start or stop doing. If you look back to the first day of this year, can you proudly say that you have achieved 40% of your goals? Anthony Robbins is a very good example of someone who knows how to follow through on his goals. This amazing guy went from earning $38,000 to $1 Million in just one year. The great oil billionaire H.L. Hunt once said that there are only two real requirements for success: first, he said, is to decide exactly what is it you want, second is to determine the price you are going to have to pay and resolve to pay that price. Obey this rule and you will be successful; ignore it and you will remain a local champion.

2. They are consistent.

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that 10,000 hours of guided practice is the key to success. While some scientists may not totally agree with that principle, I believe that there is more truth in it than lies. For you to become truly excellent at whatever it is you do, you need to be consistent at it. Cherish every opportunity you have to do what you love and do it well. All successful people know this secret.

3. They make the best of every situation.

Horatio G. Spafford had just lost his son to scarlet fever and his lifetime investments were lost in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. On a trip to Europe in 1873, his wife and four daughters were involved in a tragic ship wreck which claimed the life of his four daughters. After the incident, Horatio’s wife, Anna sent him a telegram to inform him of the accident. On receiving Anna’s telegram, Horatio immediately left Chicago to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that they were now passing the spot where his daughters drowned. That night, alone in his cabin, Horatio Spafford wrote one of the greatest hymns of all time “It is well with my soul”. He turned adversity into advantage and for that reason; he became one of the few men of his time that are still remembered today. If you are going to become successful, you must be ready and able to make the best of every situation because tough times will definitely come.

4. They take responsibility for their lives.

Nothing ever happens to us by chance. Our life today is a reflection of our past decisions and the choices we make today will shape our future. In the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006), the story of Chris Gardner was told. Christopher Paul Gardner’s childhood was marked by poverty, violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse, and family illiteracy. He didn’t even know his father and he was taken away from his mother at a very tender age, as he lived in foster homes for a large part of his childhood. He is now a CEO, investor, motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist. In fact, his book spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times best seller list and has been translated into more than forty languages. You can see that despite his unfortunate childhood, he didn’t accept the fate he was handed. He took responsibility for his life and he resolved to make a difference. He used what he had to get what he wanted.

5. They form valuable relationships.

Behind every successful Steve Jobs is a Steve Wozniak and there is a Paul Allen behind every successful Bill Gates. You need to have people that will help you achieve your dreams; believe me, you can’t do it alone. You need mentors, partners, employees, spouse and so on. Some of the criteria for finding good partners and mentors are compatibility, experience, similar values, loyalty, and mutual benefit among many others.

6. They make unusual sacrifices.

A man was born in 1918; he disappeared from view in 1964 after giving a four-hour speech at his trial where he was convicted and received a life sentence. He spent 27 years in prison because he wouldn’t compromise his political beliefs. Released in 1990, he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, became the president of South Africa in 1994, and has since then received more than 250 other honors. As you have probably guessed, his name is Nelson Mandela. He made a huge sacrifice for his nation and he finally got what he had dreamt about for over three decades.

Let me tell you another story. In order to generate $1,350 in capital they used to start Apple, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen microbus and Steve Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard calculator. They each made what was then a big sacrifice but it was really a small price to pay considering the fact that Apple is currently worth over $80 Billion. You need to make your own sacrifices now so that people can tell your story in the years to come.

7. They never give up.

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is currently worth over $2.7 Billion, not bad considering the fact that he was previously indebted to the tune of $900 Million. The world didn’t end for him when he lost all he had and was bankrupt. He actually borrowed more money and kept trying until he made it.

Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 times to make a light bulb before he succeeded. We would probably still be in darkness now had he given up. The toughest card life deals you and me is the test of time. Only those with resilience and the willingness to persevere will pass this test.

8. They take risks.

Every successful man or woman is a risk taker. When we were children, the society and the people closest to us shaped our lives. For instance, your parents probably told you to go to school, finish with good grades and get a good job. Everything our society preaches to us is get security and this is why whenever you want to take any big decision in life or do something out of the ordinary, you get scared. The difference between a success and a failure is that a failure runs away from his fears while successful people run towards their fears. “Do one thing every day that scares you,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. If you don’t take that advice, you are never going to grow and you can as well forget about becoming successful.

9. They cherish hard work and discipline.

Brian Tracy defined self discipline as the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it whether you feel like it or not. I write everyday not because writing is so interesting but because I have to do it if I’m going to succeed as a writer. You need to really develop this habit because there is no other way to become successful. Rose Blumkin founded Nebraska Furniture Mart which is now owned by Warren Buffet. She worked every day at her store till the age of 103; she got ‘work sick’ the only time she took a vacation for about a week. She knew the value of hard work. To become successful in life, you need to find what you love doing and do it with all your heart. “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve,” said Muhammad Ali.

10. They create value.

Value attracts wealth and attention. Becoming successful can be simply defined as solving a problem. Find a problem that your skills, passion, dreams and potential are programmed to solve and solve that problem. Increasing demand for pizza better and faster access to pizza gave birth to pizza delivery. Business men and women needed faster means of transport to business meetings all around the world and boom, the private jet was made. You have been made to solve a particular problem, solve that problem and success will be yours.

All the points mentioned above are just principles and will not make you successful until you decide to make them habits. Make a decision to succeed today and nothing can stop you.

source: http://www.lifehack.com

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10 Ways Happy People Prioritize Their To-do List

“What can I start doing today to make my life happier and more fulfilling?”

This is one of the most common questions readers ask us via email, blog comments, and social media.  So today I want to share some simple, actionable ways to improve your happiness and wellbeing on a daily basis.

In the seven years of this blog’s existence, Angel and I have had the pleasure of meeting, coaching and interacting with hundreds of truly inspiring, happy, prolific people.  And the more we have interacted with people like this, the more we realize the similarities in how they prioritize their lives, and how their priorities align with our own.

What becomes evident is that, to sustain happiness, we must focus our attention on the right things, in the right ways.  Every growing human being (that means all of us) has resource constraints: limited time and energy.  It is critical that we spend our resources effectively.

Here are 10 ways to prioritize your life and your to-do lists for increased happiness and fulfillment:

1.  One thing at a time, with full presence.

In other words, make the thing you have chosen to do the number one priority while you’re doing it.  Focus with your full attention.  See the value in where you are, while you’re there.  Enjoy what’s happening, while it’s happening.

In the end, you will come to realize that the best days are the days when you don’t need anything extreme or special to happen to make you smile.  You simply appreciate the moments and feel gratitude, seeking nothing else, nothing more.  That is what true happiness is all about.

2.  Family and close friends are at the top.

Nurture your important relationships in such a way that when you tell the people you care about that you care about them, you’re simply reinforcing what they already know based on how you have prioritized them into your life.

Give them your full attention.  Let them see their own beauty in your eyes.  Let them find their own voice through your listening ears.  Help them discover their own greatness in your presence.

Make the people you love a top priority, always.

3.  Focus on importance, not urgency.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

Truthfully, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.  Sadly, most of us spend too much time on urgent things and not enough time on important things.

So do yourself a favor and implement these three action steps every time you’re building or sorting your to-do list:

  1. Think about the difference between what is urgent and what is important.
  2. Review all the obligations on your list.
  3. Do what’s important first.

Sometimes everything on your list will look important, which might be true to an extent.  But as you practice prioritizing, you will get better and better at it.  And eventually you will know, without question, when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones, like spending quality time with loved ones.  (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)

4.  Keep your efforts aligned with your purpose.

Getting anything worthwhile done is a matter of connecting with why you have chosen to do this thing in the first place.

Don’t allow others to confuse you.  Don’t let them convince your heart what is right for you.  Your heart already knows.  Listen to it.  Don’t let anyone else dilute the power of your inner voice.  You’ve got to stand up for something specific, on your own two legs, or you will achieve nothing worthwhile in your own mind’s eye.

Within you there is a formidable and undeniable sense of purpose.  Happiness comes from making a solid and persistent connection to that purpose.  When your intentions are supported by a “why” that has meaning, you will find the “how” to bring them to life.

5.  Play to your strengths and delegate when it makes sense.

When it comes to tackling big projects, you can try to do everything yourself, or you can reach out and find the right people to help you.  The first choice will raise your stress and blood pressure; the second choice will raise your consciousness and effectiveness.

Choosing the right perspective is so important; you CAN see life’s challenges as opportunities.  When an unexpected obstacle is suddenly standing in your way, don’t get overwhelmed.  Take a breather and regroup.  Someone else nearby knows how to get around it.  Find and engage them.

For example, if your website is suddenly having glitches with a new web browser, don’t read a giant book on web design.  Hire a professional web designer.  See the problem as an opportunity to delegate.  Life is trying to teach you that most long-term, worthy endeavors are team efforts, and so much more palatable when shared with others.  Every unexpected obstacle in life is a lesson on teamwork in disguise, solvable with the right team of people.

6.  Socialize and share with peers.

Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s always easier if you have a group of people who understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what challenges you’re facing.  Staying in touch with these people and sharing ideas with them will accelerate your effectiveness and happiness.  Best selling author, Seth Godin, refers to these people as your tribe members.

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another via an idea, movement or common goal.  For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another.  Godin says, “A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

Every single one of us craves the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves.  By nature, we are tribal, but oftentimes we become disconnected from our tribe.  We know our people are out there – somewhere – but we feel lost and disconnected from them.  If you’re feeling disconnected, open up to your peers and initiate a conversation.  Tap into your tribe.

7.  Give what you can, as you seek what you desire.

In many ways, life is a circle – what you put in to it comes back around.  When you make a positive impact in the world, the world will have a positive impact on you.

If you want to be rich, be generous.  If you want to make friends, be friendly.  If you want to be heard, listen.  If you want to be understood by others, take the time to truly understand them.  If you want to live an interesting life, be interested in the happenings around you.

You won’t always get back exactly what you wanted or expected, but when you give what you can you almost always receive what you need.  (Read The Secret.)

8.  Leave the past behind as you plan ahead.

Let old problems remain where they belong – in the past.  No matter how many times you revisit the past, there’s nothing new to see.  Don’t let what once happened get in the way of what is happening.  Just because you’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean your mistakes get to make you.  If something important didn’t work yesterday, figure out what changes can be made today.

Tame your inner critic; let go and move on productively.  You must make a conscious effort to do this, it won’t happen automatically.  You will have to rise up and say, “I don’t care how hard this is.  I don’t care how disappointed I am.  I’m not going to let yesterday’s problems get the best of me.  I’m taking the lessons and moving on with my life.”

9.  Commit to self-respect, regardless of the issue at hand.

Whenever you catch yourself in a rambling bout of negative self-talk, stop and ask yourself, “If I had a friend who spoke to me in the same way that I sometimes speak to myself, how long would I allow this person to be my friend?”

Remember, the way you treat yourself sets the standard for others, and the world at large, to follow.  Above everyone else, YOU deserve YOUR respect.  So make sure your decisions, behaviors and actions reflect your self-respect as you carry out your plans.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

10.  Leave room to breathe.

Things don’t always go as planned.  Good things can’t always be planned.  Be flexible and open to life’s twists and turns.

Organize, but don’t agonize.  Keep your space and time ordered, but your schedule underbooked.  Create a foundation with a soft place to land, a wide margin of error, and room to think and breathe…

Freeing yourself from an overbooked schedule lets you experience more of life’s good surprises, and also provides you with flexibility when the unforeseen disrupts your foresight.

Afterthoughts

So, in summary…

Focus on your priorities, but take things in stride.  Make decisions, not excuses.  Live one moment at a time.  Count your blessings, not your troubles.  Let the wrong things go.  Look for lessons in unforeseen obstacles.  Ask for help.  Give as much as you take.  Make time for those who matter.  Laugh when you can.  Cry when you need to.  And always stay true to your values.

source: http://www.marcandangel.com