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11 Actions You Can Take Today to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

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Take a breath, sit back, and imagine for a moment.

You are in the last hour of your life. Your time has come. You have a flashback, it’s your life, from birth to death. The good times, the bad times… It’s all there.

 

What will you see?

Will you have regrets?

Will you feel fulfilled?

As your eyes close… What will be your final emotion?

 

It’s scary to think about that day. But here’s the reality: It’s going to come.

The question isn’t will it come. It’s how will you feel when it does come?

 

The Question That Can Change Your Life

 

Can you discover your purpose?

Let’s back up a little bit. What does that even mean? Your “purpose“?

Let’s make it simple. Your purpose is what you love you doing, and is your opportunity to have the greatest positive impact on this world.

So when I ask the question: Can you discover your purpose? I’m really asking 2 questions:

1. Can you discover what you love doing?

2. Can you have a massive impact on this world by doing what you love?

 

Is this possible?

If the answer is yes, and I believe it is, then you’re not only selling yourself but the entire world short if you do not discover your purpose.

 

Are You Leaving it up To Chance?

Are you being intentional with the choices you make on a daily basis?

If you have no idea what you want to do with your life will talking about how you have “no idea what you want to do with” your life provide the answer?

I’m going to jump out on a limb here and say “no”.

The problem that most people run into is that they spend so much time talking about their worries and concerns that they never take the necessary actions to solve it.

Instead of spending days, weeks, months and even years stressing about discovering your all powerful magical purpose… how about you focus on taking action to figure it out?

 

Make Discovering Your Purpose Your Purpose

Discovering your purpose isn’t something that magically occurs. It requires that you take intentional action.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s just logical. If you want to figure out what you want to do with your life… Then you should spend time each day trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.

If you don’t know your purpose, then make finding your purpose your purpose.

 Mark Twain - Find Your Purpose Inspirational Picture Quote

 

11 Actions You Can Take Today to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

This all sounds nice and dandy but let’s get practical. Below I share with you 11 actions you can take today that can help you discover your life’s purpose.

 

1. Write out Your Life’s Vision

Take out a pen and paper. Imagine that 5 years have passed. All of your dreams have come true.

Where do you live? How do you feel? What are your hobbies? How much money do you make? How do you make money? What people are in your life? What people are no longer in your life? How do you spend your days?

The more details the better.

Then after you write the vision, answer this question:

What 1 action can you take today to start moving towards that vision?

Then take that 1 action.

 

2. Start a New Hobby 

What is that one thing you have been claiming “I would love to do this if…”

Want to learn a new language? Start a badminton club? collect stamps? learn how to sow?

It doesn’t matter what it is. If you want to do it, it’s great. Go do it.

 

3. Volunteer In Your Community

Choose to volunteer for something you find really interesting.

High quality people like to volunteer. They are nice, giving, and enjoy meeting new people. So not only will you get to be around great people but you also might happen to discover your purpose along the way.

Worst case scenario you spend a day making the world a better place. Best case scenario: you discover your purpose. Win-Win.

 

4. Answer The Million Dollar Question

Sit back, take a deep breath and answer the following question:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with your life?

One of the major impediments to discovering your purpose is the money excuse. You buy into this lie that it’s impossible to make money doing what you love. So, you don’t even bother to search for your purpose.

The first step is to find your purpose, then later you can find a way to make money doing it.

 

5. Take Action Without Thinking

All too often you have a wonderful idea that’s going to change the world (or at minimum your world) and then the “voice of reason” comes in.

Sometimes it’s our own voice. Sometimes it’s from peers or family. The problem with the voice of reason is that it’s often lame, boring, lacks any sense of adventure and is… WRONG.

So, answer the following question based on your gut instinct:

What do you want to do with your life?

Great! Now don’t make any excuses. Just take the first step. If you don’t know the first step then your first step is to identify the first step.

 

6. Use Fear to Guide Your Actions

Sit back, and grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Answer the following question:

What are you deathly afraid to do? I’m not talking about a little bit afraid… I’m talking about pee your pants scared. What is it?

Fear is an indicator that something truly matters to you. Therefore you must identify that which you fear and then do it.

Commit to conquering this fear. Start with baby steps.

What action can you take today that would move you towards eventually destroying this fear?

 

7. Personify “Your Purpose”

Let’s make this personal… Literally. Imagine that your “purpose” was a human being. In fact, they are next to you right now.

What would this person be like? Would it be a man or a woman? What does it look like? how does it act? What types of activities does it do? What kind of relationship do you have with your purpose? Is it a marriage? a friend? a business partner.

Have fun with this one. You’ll be surprised how much it reveals.

 

8Read Inspiring Books Everyday

The greatest impediment you face to discovering your purpose is your own self doubt. Therefore it is critical that you defend yourself against these woeful voices of doubt and insecurity.

The simple way to do this is to commit to read 30 to 60 minutes of inspiring books everyday. Imagine feeding your mind with some of the greatest and most inspiring thinkers in all of human civilization.. everyday.

Do you think that will impact your sense of possibility?

Heck yes it will.

As you read more, your sense of possibility will increase. As your sense of possibility increases you will start to be more comfortable exploring potential purposes because you will know that you can find a way to make it happen.

 

9. Plan Out “Purpose Exploration” Activities

Look at your schedule this week. Write down 5 actions you will take to start discovering your purpose. Book it just like a doctors appointment. Write in the day and time that you will do it.

Don’t know what action to take? That’s easy. Just choose 5 from this post and add them to your calendar’.

 

10. Commit 60 Minutes to “Life Reflection”

A while ago someone said that “experience is the greatest teacher”. That’s wrong, experience isn’t the greatest teacher. “Experience reflected on is the greatest teacher”.

Set 60 minutes aside this week to think about your life. Grab a pen and paper and just write. Ask yourself the big questions:

What makes you happy?

What do you want to do with your life? 

What impact do you want to have on this world?

Write. Write. And write some more.

You will be amazed at the insights that come out of this.

 

11. Imagine The Impossible Then Take The First Step

For just one moment, imagine that you could do anything in the world you want to do. So, if that were possible, what would you do?

If you were going to do that one thing, what is the first step that you would need to take to make it happen?

Now, take that first step.

 

 

Above All Else Take Action

Above all else you must take action if you are going to discover your purpose. Take a breath… A big deep breath. Then answer the following question:

What 1 action am I going to take today after reading this post?

Then immediately take it.

 

 

Feature Image Courtesy of James Nord

Head over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to learn the critical mindset, steps, and principles to turn your dream into a reality. Izzy coaches people one on one and runs an online course to help you Achieve The Impossible. You can also follow him on Facebook to get daily inspiration.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Christopher Adom

    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Thank God we have people like you in our lives it’s so great, the starting is the problem, here man need money first after getting money ideas change BUT all the same with God all things are possible thanks Izzy.

  2. Bradley thomas Finkeldei

    Jun 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for a great article.

  3. Sola

    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Izzy for this post. Highly inspiring. I’m in my 40s and have interests in things that, to me, seem unrelated: event planning & decoration, sewing, and writing. I do not have the required skills for some of them yet but I’m thinking of acquiring the skills. The thought cripples me because I think it’s a bit late for me to start all these. I’m in a paid employment but I’m thinking of quitting anytime soon for some reasons. Can you help pls with some guide?

  4. tbabey85

    Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    i dont have an answer to most the questions asked here. i do not what i love or enjoy doing. that is so pathetic

    • Roland

      Dec 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      tbabey85… It isn’t pathetic that you haven’t figured out what you truly enjoy. A lot of us have found ourselves in the same place. Be proud of the fact that you’ve come to where you are now questioning what that might be. No one ever gets the answer to the question without asking it first. Your answer may simply just require a little digging and prioritizing as you create your list of the possibilities you choose to pursue. If you commit yourself to finding the answer, it will appear. – Believe it

  5. Onochie

    Nov 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    clay, have you ever thought of the reason why you have so much interest? That might just be your purpose!

  6. Sebastian

    Oct 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Answering the million dollar question makes me realize that having a million dollars has nothing to do with what I want to do with my life.

    Great post.

    Ps: You have the coolest dream Izzy

  7. clay

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Oh man. These are very inspiring ways. But for every number I read, there’s a question, and every question that I try to answer, still nothing comes out. “Imagine 5 years have passed.” “What makes you happy?” What do you want to do with your life?” Nothing. Not even the money question, for money was never really my purpose.

    Unlike others who do not have any interests though, my problem lies in having to many interests. I have so many things I like doing: to swim, to draw, to be an advocate, to write, etc. etc. But that’s the problem, because I dont know which of those things I love the most and would love to do for the rest of my life. Also, I think my coping mechanisms make it even more confusing. Like, I love to write, but then I’ll think “what if I only like it because I’m good at it.” Or I’ll claim I like the medical field, but eventually I reflected “Do I really like it or I just like being smart?”

    I’m screwed. help.

    • Adam

      Sep 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Clay, stop over thinking it mate… Sounds as though you just need to enjoy what you enjoy… do it, relax and enjoy. The one that you do the most will find you and that passion will open up other possibilities without you even realising. Find happiness in the comfort you have so many things you enjoy….good luck, I’m sure you’ll be great.

    • Clare

      Jan 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

      I totally understand this! I love so many things I have lots of interests which I do regularly. I have come to the conclusion that most of them fit into ” I love improving myself and others” but this is so broad I can’t fit it into one thing one career???

    • E

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Clay as I was reading your comments I felt as if you are writing my thoughts exactly it brought some strange emotions out of me..I feel just like you do I am more confused than you but I just realizes as I’m writing this that I am taking my fist step in the right path SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IS MY FIRST STEP and I’m not alone.

  8. Christopher

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    My life vision is so extensive that I am crippled by it. I may be too ambitious about what I want to do. This is the one factor that has held me back. However, I plan to document everything, and then prioritize and focus on just those things to start with. Taking action is the key to progress. This article is an excellent guide. Thanks!

  9. Shilpa

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    As everyone mentioned here, it s a grt read..
    N nothng impossible. Just beautiful insights put down very well.
    This was my today’s inspiring read.
    Thank you.
    God bless:)

  10. shobee

    Aug 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    This is such a very easy to read and inspiring post

    • alma

      Mar 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      it was great to see so many of you questioning purpose ,for awhile i though as was all alone with frustration on purpose, is the same as some those who have many interest and not one thing that stands out.I’m in my 40s so the feeling of finding purpose is very strong.thanks for sharing,,,,,,,,, with kindness and gratitude

  11. A. Solomon

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    26 year old dude from London, you have literally shifted the direction of my life, this post confirmed what I have been feeling. Thank you so much!

  12. Sachin

    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Wonderful insight! This is what I was looking for ! Life ! All answers are within us !

  13. antoniojavar

    Aug 25, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I love this article. There is so much power in writing things down. It helps us clarify are deepest and strongest desires. Thanks again!

  14. Hirantha Perera (@HiranthaPerera)

    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful post Izzy. This came just in time. I was just looking for some insight on verifying what I m doing actually what I love doing and its my purpose of living. And I gotta tell you, you life story so far had inspired me greatly. Thank you very much! 😀

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

      What’s up man.
      It’s a wonderful thing to be able to confirm the path you are heading down is the correct one.

      I’m really happy to hear my story has inspired you. That is the exact reason I share it: to prove your dream is possible and to compel you to take action.

  15. Rosie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t wait to get cracking on this. Thanks Izzy.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Awesome Rosie :).

  16. Karun

    Aug 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Take action.. and Write down what you want? These 2 tips really pushed me forward and I believe another 60 days from now, I will be a different guy who believes in achieving stuff.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi Karun :).

      Isn’t it amazing how simple and powerful those 2 things are. I can say with certainty it forever changed the direction of my life. If you do it, I’m confident it shall do the same for you.

  17. Eddie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Great article….thanks a lot .God bless you.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

      What’s up Eddie :).

      Thanks man. I’m glad it helped you man.

  18. Zeeshan Ali

    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Bundles of thanks izzy Arkin u share very very nice article. 🙂

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Zeeshan :).

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.

  19. Kevin

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Nice article izzy, hopefully i can now find my life’s purpose, thanks man

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

      What’s up Kevin :).

      I hope you can too brother. Take action, reflect on those actions and you can figure it out. I’m sure of it man.

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Life

5 Ways to Tap Into Your Intuitive Wisdom as You Design a Successful Life

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Success, true success, can only be experienced when you are living life based on your particular design. The best way to know and design a life based on this is to be in constant connection with the wisdom present within you. Wisdom that goes beyond yourself and that, very possibly, put you together originally. People call it different names and intuition is a great way to describe it.

As a spiritual person, you know the power of the intuition. Being able to live from a place of wisdom beyond yourself allows you to find solutions that surprise and delight. These solutions also give you a sense of quiet power as well as you know you are never alone and always completely guided.

For me, intuition changed my life. It took me from working my pharmacist job with no hope for a respite to being a business owner and spiritual teacher living a purpose-driven life.

Here are 5 ideas for you to support your journey to living a more intuitive life:

1. Daily Practice

There can sometime be the assumption that unless something comes to one naturally, then it is not theirs to develop. That is nonsense. Most, if not all, good habits have to be developed. A consistent practice is needed, if you are to experience the benefits of a new skill.

Success is a habit. Each morning, I wake up earlier than my household (Usually 4am) and I sit in silence. I connect with source. I seek guidance for the day ahead. This is a habit I’ve developed.

Each day, the things you make time for are designing or destroying your life. Could you find an extra 20 minutes each day to practice quieting yourself down and connecting with the wisdom within you? Be consistent with the timing each day for long enough to build a habit. Some say 21 days, others say 40 days. For this habit, I would suggest that you make a decision to do it daily and at some point, it becomes a normal and natural part of your life whatever else is going on.

“At any moment, the decision you make can change the course of your life for the better.” – Tony Robbins

2. Quiet Yourself

We live in a very busy world – There is always something happening around you. Always some stimulation to distract you. You have to consciously choose to create space to be quiet. As mentioned earlier, you want to take 20 minutes or so a day to develop a practice and in that time, learn to still your thinking as much as possible, learn to tune into flow.

I use breathing and sometimes, candles to do this. I sit in silence staring at a candle and allowing intuitive flashes to come through or I simply pay attention to my breathing until I feel a stillness come over me. Any errant thoughts that try desperately to get my attention, are written in my journal with the intention of dealing with them later. This calms me down as the thoughts feel as though they are being acknowledged.

3. Suspend Judgement & Disbelief

As you begin working your intuition muscle, you will wonder if you are just talking to yourself or if you are making things up. In the session, refuse to humour that thinking. Instead, make a note of what you are feeling, seeing and hearing. You can have an intuition buddy and you can run things by them after the session to see what they intuitively feel but while you are choosing to tap into source within, suspend all judgement and allow what comes through to come through. It is a very tentative thing to sense your intuition and if you keep rejecting what tries to come through you, the flow will feel stuck.

“Failure is not a single cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn

4. Come with Intent

This is something I teach clients because having a question you are seeking an answer to, can help with the calming of the mind. Sometimes, the intention is simply to develop my relationship with the source and so my intent is to listen. I generally then start with ‘Please speak to me’. Other times, there is something I specifically want to know the answer to and so I lead with that question. Having an intention keeps you focused.

5. No Desperation

Unfortunately, if you are too desperate about getting a specific answer, you will find it hard to still your mind. It is best to be in an open and receptive mood. How can you do that when you are actually desperate for an answer?  

Something I would do then, is to let calmness be my intention. I would seek guidance on how to still myself and reduce the feeling of desperation which also then has the effect of allowing me to think more clearly anyway. The other thing I do is write out my vision and goals first and keep my mind on those. If you focus on the need, you remain in the need and you remain reactive to the need. If you focus on the vision and the goal, then you become creator which is your true nature anyway.

Which of these 5 things will you implement today?

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4 Essentials to Keep You From Staying Satisfied in Life

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It may sound morally objectionable to not want to stay satisfied in life; however, truth be told, it is actually unethical and morally wrong to not pursue what you really want in life and realize your maximum potential.

The people around us in life, whether it’s family, friends, business associates, people under our leadership, or people in our communities, look at our lives and are impacted. They see how we live out our dreams, and how we overcome the obstacles of life and business. This inspires them to do more, better, or different in their own lives. The reality is, many people’s inspiration and reason to excel is resting on us.

With this great responsibility on our shoulders, that is the first reason we must always strive for more and never be satisfied: someone’s success is depending on your success.

In the tough times or even the times we have reaped the harvest of our hard work, always know we must keep going. Yes, savor the victory, but know that this is not the end. We must keep going. If you don’t do it for you at least think of the people that are watching you and observing your life and do it for them.

Here are some practical tips on how to be continually motivated and not easily satisfied with our successes:

1. Frequently Self-Reflect

Socrates famously stated that an unexamined life is not worth living. We should ask ourselves if THIS (certain point in our lives) is our best that we have to offer. If we are being honest with ourselves, we will truthfully answer, NO. Nonetheless, we must not beat ourselves up nor constantly criticize ourselves but always remind ourselves that there is always room for growth.

Life is all about growth and development, and the goal of all development is to realize our true potential. All organisms grow and when they stop growing, you can be pretty sure that their stage for destruction has set in. Humans are probably the only creatures that do not stop growing. While we have stopped growing physically, our other aspects such as psychology, social standing, ambitions and other areas do not stop growing at all.

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” – Wayne Dyer

2. Explore The World

You’ve probably heard of people who’ve stayed their entire lives in their birthplace. These types of people sometimes cannot believe the stories they hear from others that have travelled or lived in various places.

To truly see other people and parts of the world, other than where you come from is a must. Not only does it allow one to appreciate what you do have, but it challenges you to want to do more with your life and not settle. Some of the biggest moments of growth for many people happen when they attend missionary trips, participate in community service, business conferences, and even vacationing in other cities or even countries.

This occurs because your everyday existence and routine of life is challenged. You meet other people who may not be where you are in life or are doing exceptionally more than you. Either way, the first can remind you to always be hungry, and the other can remind you that you are not there yet and there is still more to success and growth; we still have room to grow.

So, travel, meet new people, and stretch your understanding of what life looks like and  what is attainable.

3. Be Curious

Most have heard the old saying when you were young, that “curiosity killed the cat.” Take that saying as a caution not a rule. We should be like children in the level of our curiosity. Curious children ask a lot of questions, and sometimes some of these questions even surprise adults. Because of their powerful curiosity, children think differently compared to adults and therein lies the power of having curiosity as a child.

Some very smart children are not satisfied with some answers adults give them at times, because they intuitively know that either the adult didn’t know the answer or they didn’t understand the topic at all. Don’t be satisfied, and always be eternally curious. Research topics that you know little to nothing about, and be open-minded to topics you are familiar with.

4. Be A Perfectionist

Don’t be satisfied with the present way of doing things. Progress would not happen if we did not tinker with doing things better. Consider textile weaving. People of long ago made textile for clothes using traditional weaving. If we had been satisfied with this way of making textile, we would not have discovered modern technologies of spinning and weaving to produce textiles to clothe billions of people across the world.

So never adopt a mindset that anything is ever perfect with no room for improvement. Systems and processes can always be improved.  

It is hard to work with a perfectionist, but without the perfectionist, we would not have the comfort of modern life. Machines are designed for perfection. An imperfect machine would not work, and even if it could be made to work, it would be hazardous to operate. Perfectionists are not satisfied with mediocre output. They always want the best.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

A study published in the “Journal of Personality” entitled “On the Development of Perfectionism: The Longitudinal Role of Academic Achievement and Academic Efficacy,” by Lavinia E. Damian and colleagues showed that academic achievement predicted relative increases in both perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. This is an important development because it suggests that as people become better and better, their level of perfectionistic pursuit also increases.

Never succumb to the mindset of people who achieve some level of success and say “I have arrived” and “I have made it.” For when we accept this, we have placed a ceiling over our potential and a limit on the truly limitless opportunities that await us. Always strive to be, do, achieve, reach, see, and grow more.

How are you making sure you continue to grow daily in order to be great? Share with us some tips in the comments below!

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3 Necessities That Will Help You Think Big and Stay Positive

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To think big and keep hope during difficult times is not easy. When you can’t afford to pay your bills, you haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in a few nights, and you are experiencing some relationship challenges, it can be tough to believe that things will ultimately work out. The ability to see beyond your current circumstances and understand that everything will eventually come together is the life of an entrepreneur.

When you think of a business owner, you frequently also picture the status symbols of success such as money, cars, homes, and other material possessions. However, there is another side to the entrepreneurial lifestyle that deserves attention. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the 7pm -2 am dream shift, where you dedicate time to work on your business outside of other work and family responsibilities. Committing to a schedule like this is extremely hard.

According to a Fast Company article, businesses that survive past the first year have dropped from 569,419 in 1994 to 106,789 in 2016.  The challenges that often accompany the triumphs of working for yourself can feel insurmountable.

What are three necessities for you to think big and remain positive?

1. Surround yourself with good people

For many of us, it is common to hear and read about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and productive people. My mother has stressed the importance of this trait since I was at least in kindergarten. When it comes to business, this is extremely important because others can expose you to different levels and types of success. Good people can push you to perform at your best and confirm your sanity when you are at your worst.  

“Choose your friends wisely, and also choose friends that you can trust.” –Elyn Saks

2. Commit to lifelong learning

In this competitive age, you must be willing to grow through a consistent effort of learning new talents and developing skills. As Tim Denning states “without willpower, your mind will take the road of least resistance. Practice teaching your mind discipline.” Reading books, learning new skills and techniques are essential habits of the entrepreneur. They can enable you to develop the ability to think beyond your current personal or business position.  

3. Go within to discover what’s out there

As an entrepreneur, you will need to have a reason for your business that digs deep into your soul. That’s a massive concept, and it is true. In the introduction, I mentioned that the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is not easy. Often times, a daily dosage of meditation or prayer is necessary to make it to the end of the day.

Without something within you like a burning desire to make an impact or the feeling that you work is part of a higher calling, the temptation to quit will be too strong. My recommendation is prayer and meditation to identify your purpose for business and to empower you through the difficult times.

“Discipline is the bridge between goal and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

So, what are the practical steps to big thinking and positivity? The details of the process will be different for everyone, but universally it begins with the creation of daily goals and ends with consistent execution. The small steps lead to larger victories.

Once you have the right people in your circle, the self-discipline to continue learning, and a profound reason to succeed, the next step is to make things happen. You can have all the resources and mindsets in place, but if you are not willing to take action, it is useless. Use today as an opportunity to make progress on transforming your dream into a reality.

How do you stay positive? Comment below!

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Life

6 Simple Steps to Setting Goals Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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Years ago I found myself caught up in conventional wisdom (or wisdumb as I call it). I was trying to set goals in every area of my life. I had three goals for each of my five key areas: faith, family, friends, finances and fun. I added that last category only because it started with an “F” and my OCD told me five categories was a better number than four. That’s how scientific my goal-setting process was.

By the last week of December, I had designed them with beautiful checkboxes, and I permanently inserted the sheet into my planner. It made me feel great to “have it all together.” I was, after all, part of the 3% who set goals. This was going to be the most comprehensive goal-setting method ever!

Rather than becoming an overnight success, I became an overnight statistic: I was one of the 93% of people who give up on their resolutions by February. The rest of my year was spent feeling guilty every time I noticed my goal sheet in the back of my planner.

“I should do one of these.” But which one? And, how? Where do I start? Then, “Squirrel!” After trying this for a few Decembers (I’m a slow learner), I discovered a lesson in life I will never forget: if you try to focus on 15 targets at once, you will hit exactly zero of them.

I can’t remember where this system came from but I can tell you it’s a great way to overwhelm yourself. However, these types of ideas are out there in the world of goal-setting. Apparently, people even pay money to overwhelm themselves!

Since that time, I’ve learned a lot such as studying from some of the world’s greatest achievers, and putting principles and tactics to the test. I came out on the other side with a few key insights about the correct way to set goals.

So if you’re one of the small percentage of folks who set goals, especially for the new year, let me help you avoid a few years of banging your head against the wall:

1. Define your core

When most people think of setting goals, they sit down and start writing them out without having answered some fundamental questions. People who build homes don’t start with a 2×4. They pour through stacks of blueprints and renderings before picking up a shovel so they know exactly where they are going and what it will take to get there.

It’s worth an hour or two of your time. Sit down, clear any distractions and ask yourself some fundamental questions: Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your assets? What do you want? Why do you want that? Explore all your possibilities and rule nothing out. You can always clean it up later.

2. Write a lifeplan statement

Start by identifying the single most important target. If other things you are doing in your life do not align perfectly with your plan, then do not include them in your statement. When you come across new ideas and opportunities, use your lifeplan statement as your barometer to keep you on track. There can be only one most important goal at a time. In fact, when you “focus” on more than one goal at a time, it defeats the whole idea of “focus.” If you don’t believe me, try multitasking two important tasks at the same time.

Next, break out your goals into as many action items as you can. Make sure you include things you still need to learn because the odds are you don’t know how to get there (because you’ve never been there before). Categorize these notes into monthly, weekly and daily action items.

After writing your goals, determine the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it. Finish your lifeplan statement with your purpose, vision and values. Go deep and write honestly, clearly, and powerfully in the first-person, present tense. Keep in mind, this is a living, breathing document you will update and modify as needed. Keep it handy as this will become one of the most important documents of your life.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

3. Write a dayplan on a 3×5 card

Index cards are inexpensive and just the right size. On one side, write your top five most important items, with the most important at the top. The other side is reserved for ideas so you can get them out of your head and keep you focused. Write down anything that strikes you as interesting: ideas, headlines, quotes, funny stories, etc. Carry this card around with you everywhere you go and leave it out where you can see it. Check off items as you complete them.

4. End your day holding a five-minute meeting with yourself

Look through the list and see what did not get done. Ask yourself: is it truly important? If the answer is yes, transfer it to tomorrow’s card. If the answer is no, cross it off and forget it. Finally, finish filling out tomorrow’s plan on a new card so you wake up to it the next morning.

End your meeting by filing away today’s card. Every few weeks, go through your stack of goal cards and transfer the ideas from paper to an online journaling system (Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.). You’ll be amazed at the ideas your brain will produce when you give it a chance.

5. Develop and religiously follow a meaningful morning routine

I can’t tell you how consistently this one habit is among high achievers. I see it again and again- it’s almost comical. Nearly without exception, successful people follow some kind of daily routine. I recommend early mornings but take your pick because how you start your day is generally how your day will tend to go. It’s more important that you do it, not when.

There are dozens of activities you could do, and there are no right or wrong answers. Whatever you chose, incorporate two things. First, exercise- the benefits are endless. Second, incorporate your LifePlan Statement by reading, feeling, and visualizing it every morning.

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”- Elbert Hubbard

6. Reward yourself and celebrate your wins

Take time to recognize what you did right and don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a reward for it. As you implement this system, be patient and don’t expect everything to change overnight. It’s simple, but not easy. However, when done right, this system is powerful and will change your life. If you mess up, don’t let yourself have two in a row. Regardless of how some make it seem, success is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in this for the long haul.

How are you making sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself this upcoming year? Let us know your plans below!

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5 Ways to Tap Into Your Intuitive Wisdom as You Design a Successful Life

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Success, true success, can only be experienced when you are living life based on your particular design. The best way to know and design a life based on this is to be in constant connection with the wisdom present within you. Wisdom that goes beyond yourself and that, very possibly, put you together originally. People call it different names and intuition is a great way to describe it. (more…)

Rosemary Nonny Knight used to be a pharmacist but replaced her income in her own business and now works as a Spiritual Business & Life Strategist coaching people to live the deliberate life - A life of abundance, fulfilment and freedom. Download a free copy of her book - Pray. Affirm. Receive - How to get clear, stay clear and take action to get what you want out of life - RosemaryNonnyKnight.com/freeguest.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Christopher Adom

    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Thank God we have people like you in our lives it’s so great, the starting is the problem, here man need money first after getting money ideas change BUT all the same with God all things are possible thanks Izzy.

  2. Bradley thomas Finkeldei

    Jun 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for a great article.

  3. Sola

    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Izzy for this post. Highly inspiring. I’m in my 40s and have interests in things that, to me, seem unrelated: event planning & decoration, sewing, and writing. I do not have the required skills for some of them yet but I’m thinking of acquiring the skills. The thought cripples me because I think it’s a bit late for me to start all these. I’m in a paid employment but I’m thinking of quitting anytime soon for some reasons. Can you help pls with some guide?

  4. tbabey85

    Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    i dont have an answer to most the questions asked here. i do not what i love or enjoy doing. that is so pathetic

    • Roland

      Dec 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      tbabey85… It isn’t pathetic that you haven’t figured out what you truly enjoy. A lot of us have found ourselves in the same place. Be proud of the fact that you’ve come to where you are now questioning what that might be. No one ever gets the answer to the question without asking it first. Your answer may simply just require a little digging and prioritizing as you create your list of the possibilities you choose to pursue. If you commit yourself to finding the answer, it will appear. – Believe it

  5. Onochie

    Nov 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    clay, have you ever thought of the reason why you have so much interest? That might just be your purpose!

  6. Sebastian

    Oct 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Answering the million dollar question makes me realize that having a million dollars has nothing to do with what I want to do with my life.

    Great post.

    Ps: You have the coolest dream Izzy

  7. clay

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Oh man. These are very inspiring ways. But for every number I read, there’s a question, and every question that I try to answer, still nothing comes out. “Imagine 5 years have passed.” “What makes you happy?” What do you want to do with your life?” Nothing. Not even the money question, for money was never really my purpose.

    Unlike others who do not have any interests though, my problem lies in having to many interests. I have so many things I like doing: to swim, to draw, to be an advocate, to write, etc. etc. But that’s the problem, because I dont know which of those things I love the most and would love to do for the rest of my life. Also, I think my coping mechanisms make it even more confusing. Like, I love to write, but then I’ll think “what if I only like it because I’m good at it.” Or I’ll claim I like the medical field, but eventually I reflected “Do I really like it or I just like being smart?”

    I’m screwed. help.

    • Adam

      Sep 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Clay, stop over thinking it mate… Sounds as though you just need to enjoy what you enjoy… do it, relax and enjoy. The one that you do the most will find you and that passion will open up other possibilities without you even realising. Find happiness in the comfort you have so many things you enjoy….good luck, I’m sure you’ll be great.

    • Clare

      Jan 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

      I totally understand this! I love so many things I have lots of interests which I do regularly. I have come to the conclusion that most of them fit into ” I love improving myself and others” but this is so broad I can’t fit it into one thing one career???

    • E

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Clay as I was reading your comments I felt as if you are writing my thoughts exactly it brought some strange emotions out of me..I feel just like you do I am more confused than you but I just realizes as I’m writing this that I am taking my fist step in the right path SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IS MY FIRST STEP and I’m not alone.

  8. Christopher

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    My life vision is so extensive that I am crippled by it. I may be too ambitious about what I want to do. This is the one factor that has held me back. However, I plan to document everything, and then prioritize and focus on just those things to start with. Taking action is the key to progress. This article is an excellent guide. Thanks!

  9. Shilpa

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    As everyone mentioned here, it s a grt read..
    N nothng impossible. Just beautiful insights put down very well.
    This was my today’s inspiring read.
    Thank you.
    God bless:)

  10. shobee

    Aug 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    This is such a very easy to read and inspiring post

    • alma

      Mar 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      it was great to see so many of you questioning purpose ,for awhile i though as was all alone with frustration on purpose, is the same as some those who have many interest and not one thing that stands out.I’m in my 40s so the feeling of finding purpose is very strong.thanks for sharing,,,,,,,,, with kindness and gratitude

  11. A. Solomon

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    26 year old dude from London, you have literally shifted the direction of my life, this post confirmed what I have been feeling. Thank you so much!

  12. Sachin

    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Wonderful insight! This is what I was looking for ! Life ! All answers are within us !

  13. antoniojavar

    Aug 25, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I love this article. There is so much power in writing things down. It helps us clarify are deepest and strongest desires. Thanks again!

  14. Hirantha Perera (@HiranthaPerera)

    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful post Izzy. This came just in time. I was just looking for some insight on verifying what I m doing actually what I love doing and its my purpose of living. And I gotta tell you, you life story so far had inspired me greatly. Thank you very much! 😀

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

      What’s up man.
      It’s a wonderful thing to be able to confirm the path you are heading down is the correct one.

      I’m really happy to hear my story has inspired you. That is the exact reason I share it: to prove your dream is possible and to compel you to take action.

  15. Rosie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t wait to get cracking on this. Thanks Izzy.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Awesome Rosie :).

  16. Karun

    Aug 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Take action.. and Write down what you want? These 2 tips really pushed me forward and I believe another 60 days from now, I will be a different guy who believes in achieving stuff.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi Karun :).

      Isn’t it amazing how simple and powerful those 2 things are. I can say with certainty it forever changed the direction of my life. If you do it, I’m confident it shall do the same for you.

  17. Eddie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Great article….thanks a lot .God bless you.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

      What’s up Eddie :).

      Thanks man. I’m glad it helped you man.

  18. Zeeshan Ali

    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Bundles of thanks izzy Arkin u share very very nice article. 🙂

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Zeeshan :).

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.

  19. Kevin

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Nice article izzy, hopefully i can now find my life’s purpose, thanks man

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

      What’s up Kevin :).

      I hope you can too brother. Take action, reflect on those actions and you can figure it out. I’m sure of it man.

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Life

5 Ways to Tap Into Your Intuitive Wisdom as You Design a Successful Life

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Success, true success, can only be experienced when you are living life based on your particular design. The best way to know and design a life based on this is to be in constant connection with the wisdom present within you. Wisdom that goes beyond yourself and that, very possibly, put you together originally. People call it different names and intuition is a great way to describe it.

As a spiritual person, you know the power of the intuition. Being able to live from a place of wisdom beyond yourself allows you to find solutions that surprise and delight. These solutions also give you a sense of quiet power as well as you know you are never alone and always completely guided.

For me, intuition changed my life. It took me from working my pharmacist job with no hope for a respite to being a business owner and spiritual teacher living a purpose-driven life.

Here are 5 ideas for you to support your journey to living a more intuitive life:

1. Daily Practice

There can sometime be the assumption that unless something comes to one naturally, then it is not theirs to develop. That is nonsense. Most, if not all, good habits have to be developed. A consistent practice is needed, if you are to experience the benefits of a new skill.

Success is a habit. Each morning, I wake up earlier than my household (Usually 4am) and I sit in silence. I connect with source. I seek guidance for the day ahead. This is a habit I’ve developed.

Each day, the things you make time for are designing or destroying your life. Could you find an extra 20 minutes each day to practice quieting yourself down and connecting with the wisdom within you? Be consistent with the timing each day for long enough to build a habit. Some say 21 days, others say 40 days. For this habit, I would suggest that you make a decision to do it daily and at some point, it becomes a normal and natural part of your life whatever else is going on.

“At any moment, the decision you make can change the course of your life for the better.” – Tony Robbins

2. Quiet Yourself

We live in a very busy world – There is always something happening around you. Always some stimulation to distract you. You have to consciously choose to create space to be quiet. As mentioned earlier, you want to take 20 minutes or so a day to develop a practice and in that time, learn to still your thinking as much as possible, learn to tune into flow.

I use breathing and sometimes, candles to do this. I sit in silence staring at a candle and allowing intuitive flashes to come through or I simply pay attention to my breathing until I feel a stillness come over me. Any errant thoughts that try desperately to get my attention, are written in my journal with the intention of dealing with them later. This calms me down as the thoughts feel as though they are being acknowledged.

3. Suspend Judgement & Disbelief

As you begin working your intuition muscle, you will wonder if you are just talking to yourself or if you are making things up. In the session, refuse to humour that thinking. Instead, make a note of what you are feeling, seeing and hearing. You can have an intuition buddy and you can run things by them after the session to see what they intuitively feel but while you are choosing to tap into source within, suspend all judgement and allow what comes through to come through. It is a very tentative thing to sense your intuition and if you keep rejecting what tries to come through you, the flow will feel stuck.

“Failure is not a single cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn

4. Come with Intent

This is something I teach clients because having a question you are seeking an answer to, can help with the calming of the mind. Sometimes, the intention is simply to develop my relationship with the source and so my intent is to listen. I generally then start with ‘Please speak to me’. Other times, there is something I specifically want to know the answer to and so I lead with that question. Having an intention keeps you focused.

5. No Desperation

Unfortunately, if you are too desperate about getting a specific answer, you will find it hard to still your mind. It is best to be in an open and receptive mood. How can you do that when you are actually desperate for an answer?  

Something I would do then, is to let calmness be my intention. I would seek guidance on how to still myself and reduce the feeling of desperation which also then has the effect of allowing me to think more clearly anyway. The other thing I do is write out my vision and goals first and keep my mind on those. If you focus on the need, you remain in the need and you remain reactive to the need. If you focus on the vision and the goal, then you become creator which is your true nature anyway.

Which of these 5 things will you implement today?

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4 Essentials to Keep You From Staying Satisfied in Life

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It may sound morally objectionable to not want to stay satisfied in life; however, truth be told, it is actually unethical and morally wrong to not pursue what you really want in life and realize your maximum potential.

The people around us in life, whether it’s family, friends, business associates, people under our leadership, or people in our communities, look at our lives and are impacted. They see how we live out our dreams, and how we overcome the obstacles of life and business. This inspires them to do more, better, or different in their own lives. The reality is, many people’s inspiration and reason to excel is resting on us.

With this great responsibility on our shoulders, that is the first reason we must always strive for more and never be satisfied: someone’s success is depending on your success.

In the tough times or even the times we have reaped the harvest of our hard work, always know we must keep going. Yes, savor the victory, but know that this is not the end. We must keep going. If you don’t do it for you at least think of the people that are watching you and observing your life and do it for them.

Here are some practical tips on how to be continually motivated and not easily satisfied with our successes:

1. Frequently Self-Reflect

Socrates famously stated that an unexamined life is not worth living. We should ask ourselves if THIS (certain point in our lives) is our best that we have to offer. If we are being honest with ourselves, we will truthfully answer, NO. Nonetheless, we must not beat ourselves up nor constantly criticize ourselves but always remind ourselves that there is always room for growth.

Life is all about growth and development, and the goal of all development is to realize our true potential. All organisms grow and when they stop growing, you can be pretty sure that their stage for destruction has set in. Humans are probably the only creatures that do not stop growing. While we have stopped growing physically, our other aspects such as psychology, social standing, ambitions and other areas do not stop growing at all.

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” – Wayne Dyer

2. Explore The World

You’ve probably heard of people who’ve stayed their entire lives in their birthplace. These types of people sometimes cannot believe the stories they hear from others that have travelled or lived in various places.

To truly see other people and parts of the world, other than where you come from is a must. Not only does it allow one to appreciate what you do have, but it challenges you to want to do more with your life and not settle. Some of the biggest moments of growth for many people happen when they attend missionary trips, participate in community service, business conferences, and even vacationing in other cities or even countries.

This occurs because your everyday existence and routine of life is challenged. You meet other people who may not be where you are in life or are doing exceptionally more than you. Either way, the first can remind you to always be hungry, and the other can remind you that you are not there yet and there is still more to success and growth; we still have room to grow.

So, travel, meet new people, and stretch your understanding of what life looks like and  what is attainable.

3. Be Curious

Most have heard the old saying when you were young, that “curiosity killed the cat.” Take that saying as a caution not a rule. We should be like children in the level of our curiosity. Curious children ask a lot of questions, and sometimes some of these questions even surprise adults. Because of their powerful curiosity, children think differently compared to adults and therein lies the power of having curiosity as a child.

Some very smart children are not satisfied with some answers adults give them at times, because they intuitively know that either the adult didn’t know the answer or they didn’t understand the topic at all. Don’t be satisfied, and always be eternally curious. Research topics that you know little to nothing about, and be open-minded to topics you are familiar with.

4. Be A Perfectionist

Don’t be satisfied with the present way of doing things. Progress would not happen if we did not tinker with doing things better. Consider textile weaving. People of long ago made textile for clothes using traditional weaving. If we had been satisfied with this way of making textile, we would not have discovered modern technologies of spinning and weaving to produce textiles to clothe billions of people across the world.

So never adopt a mindset that anything is ever perfect with no room for improvement. Systems and processes can always be improved.  

It is hard to work with a perfectionist, but without the perfectionist, we would not have the comfort of modern life. Machines are designed for perfection. An imperfect machine would not work, and even if it could be made to work, it would be hazardous to operate. Perfectionists are not satisfied with mediocre output. They always want the best.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

A study published in the “Journal of Personality” entitled “On the Development of Perfectionism: The Longitudinal Role of Academic Achievement and Academic Efficacy,” by Lavinia E. Damian and colleagues showed that academic achievement predicted relative increases in both perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. This is an important development because it suggests that as people become better and better, their level of perfectionistic pursuit also increases.

Never succumb to the mindset of people who achieve some level of success and say “I have arrived” and “I have made it.” For when we accept this, we have placed a ceiling over our potential and a limit on the truly limitless opportunities that await us. Always strive to be, do, achieve, reach, see, and grow more.

How are you making sure you continue to grow daily in order to be great? Share with us some tips in the comments below!

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3 Necessities That Will Help You Think Big and Stay Positive

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To think big and keep hope during difficult times is not easy. When you can’t afford to pay your bills, you haven’t had more than two hours of sleep in a few nights, and you are experiencing some relationship challenges, it can be tough to believe that things will ultimately work out. The ability to see beyond your current circumstances and understand that everything will eventually come together is the life of an entrepreneur.

When you think of a business owner, you frequently also picture the status symbols of success such as money, cars, homes, and other material possessions. However, there is another side to the entrepreneurial lifestyle that deserves attention. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the 7pm -2 am dream shift, where you dedicate time to work on your business outside of other work and family responsibilities. Committing to a schedule like this is extremely hard.

According to a Fast Company article, businesses that survive past the first year have dropped from 569,419 in 1994 to 106,789 in 2016.  The challenges that often accompany the triumphs of working for yourself can feel insurmountable.

What are three necessities for you to think big and remain positive?

1. Surround yourself with good people

For many of us, it is common to hear and read about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and productive people. My mother has stressed the importance of this trait since I was at least in kindergarten. When it comes to business, this is extremely important because others can expose you to different levels and types of success. Good people can push you to perform at your best and confirm your sanity when you are at your worst.  

“Choose your friends wisely, and also choose friends that you can trust.” –Elyn Saks

2. Commit to lifelong learning

In this competitive age, you must be willing to grow through a consistent effort of learning new talents and developing skills. As Tim Denning states “without willpower, your mind will take the road of least resistance. Practice teaching your mind discipline.” Reading books, learning new skills and techniques are essential habits of the entrepreneur. They can enable you to develop the ability to think beyond your current personal or business position.  

3. Go within to discover what’s out there

As an entrepreneur, you will need to have a reason for your business that digs deep into your soul. That’s a massive concept, and it is true. In the introduction, I mentioned that the lifestyle of an entrepreneur is not easy. Often times, a daily dosage of meditation or prayer is necessary to make it to the end of the day.

Without something within you like a burning desire to make an impact or the feeling that you work is part of a higher calling, the temptation to quit will be too strong. My recommendation is prayer and meditation to identify your purpose for business and to empower you through the difficult times.

“Discipline is the bridge between goal and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

So, what are the practical steps to big thinking and positivity? The details of the process will be different for everyone, but universally it begins with the creation of daily goals and ends with consistent execution. The small steps lead to larger victories.

Once you have the right people in your circle, the self-discipline to continue learning, and a profound reason to succeed, the next step is to make things happen. You can have all the resources and mindsets in place, but if you are not willing to take action, it is useless. Use today as an opportunity to make progress on transforming your dream into a reality.

How do you stay positive? Comment below!

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Life

6 Simple Steps to Setting Goals Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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Years ago I found myself caught up in conventional wisdom (or wisdumb as I call it). I was trying to set goals in every area of my life. I had three goals for each of my five key areas: faith, family, friends, finances and fun. I added that last category only because it started with an “F” and my OCD told me five categories was a better number than four. That’s how scientific my goal-setting process was.

By the last week of December, I had designed them with beautiful checkboxes, and I permanently inserted the sheet into my planner. It made me feel great to “have it all together.” I was, after all, part of the 3% who set goals. This was going to be the most comprehensive goal-setting method ever!

Rather than becoming an overnight success, I became an overnight statistic: I was one of the 93% of people who give up on their resolutions by February. The rest of my year was spent feeling guilty every time I noticed my goal sheet in the back of my planner.

“I should do one of these.” But which one? And, how? Where do I start? Then, “Squirrel!” After trying this for a few Decembers (I’m a slow learner), I discovered a lesson in life I will never forget: if you try to focus on 15 targets at once, you will hit exactly zero of them.

I can’t remember where this system came from but I can tell you it’s a great way to overwhelm yourself. However, these types of ideas are out there in the world of goal-setting. Apparently, people even pay money to overwhelm themselves!

Since that time, I’ve learned a lot such as studying from some of the world’s greatest achievers, and putting principles and tactics to the test. I came out on the other side with a few key insights about the correct way to set goals.

So if you’re one of the small percentage of folks who set goals, especially for the new year, let me help you avoid a few years of banging your head against the wall:

1. Define your core

When most people think of setting goals, they sit down and start writing them out without having answered some fundamental questions. People who build homes don’t start with a 2×4. They pour through stacks of blueprints and renderings before picking up a shovel so they know exactly where they are going and what it will take to get there.

It’s worth an hour or two of your time. Sit down, clear any distractions and ask yourself some fundamental questions: Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your assets? What do you want? Why do you want that? Explore all your possibilities and rule nothing out. You can always clean it up later.

2. Write a lifeplan statement

Start by identifying the single most important target. If other things you are doing in your life do not align perfectly with your plan, then do not include them in your statement. When you come across new ideas and opportunities, use your lifeplan statement as your barometer to keep you on track. There can be only one most important goal at a time. In fact, when you “focus” on more than one goal at a time, it defeats the whole idea of “focus.” If you don’t believe me, try multitasking two important tasks at the same time.

Next, break out your goals into as many action items as you can. Make sure you include things you still need to learn because the odds are you don’t know how to get there (because you’ve never been there before). Categorize these notes into monthly, weekly and daily action items.

After writing your goals, determine the sacrifices you are willing to make to achieve it. Finish your lifeplan statement with your purpose, vision and values. Go deep and write honestly, clearly, and powerfully in the first-person, present tense. Keep in mind, this is a living, breathing document you will update and modify as needed. Keep it handy as this will become one of the most important documents of your life.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis

3. Write a dayplan on a 3×5 card

Index cards are inexpensive and just the right size. On one side, write your top five most important items, with the most important at the top. The other side is reserved for ideas so you can get them out of your head and keep you focused. Write down anything that strikes you as interesting: ideas, headlines, quotes, funny stories, etc. Carry this card around with you everywhere you go and leave it out where you can see it. Check off items as you complete them.

4. End your day holding a five-minute meeting with yourself

Look through the list and see what did not get done. Ask yourself: is it truly important? If the answer is yes, transfer it to tomorrow’s card. If the answer is no, cross it off and forget it. Finally, finish filling out tomorrow’s plan on a new card so you wake up to it the next morning.

End your meeting by filing away today’s card. Every few weeks, go through your stack of goal cards and transfer the ideas from paper to an online journaling system (Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.). You’ll be amazed at the ideas your brain will produce when you give it a chance.

5. Develop and religiously follow a meaningful morning routine

I can’t tell you how consistently this one habit is among high achievers. I see it again and again- it’s almost comical. Nearly without exception, successful people follow some kind of daily routine. I recommend early mornings but take your pick because how you start your day is generally how your day will tend to go. It’s more important that you do it, not when.

There are dozens of activities you could do, and there are no right or wrong answers. Whatever you chose, incorporate two things. First, exercise- the benefits are endless. Second, incorporate your LifePlan Statement by reading, feeling, and visualizing it every morning.

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”- Elbert Hubbard

6. Reward yourself and celebrate your wins

Take time to recognize what you did right and don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a reward for it. As you implement this system, be patient and don’t expect everything to change overnight. It’s simple, but not easy. However, when done right, this system is powerful and will change your life. If you mess up, don’t let yourself have two in a row. Regardless of how some make it seem, success is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in this for the long haul.

How are you making sure you achieve the goals you set for yourself this upcoming year? Let us know your plans below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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