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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

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem: How You Can Build Both

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Self-esteem can be defined as the confidence in your own abilities or worth. Self-compassion, however, can be defined by the ability to be gentle with yourself, even if you have misjudged or made a mistake.

You ask yourself from time to time, how is self esteem related to success? Having a sense of low self-esteem can really become a barrier for building your career and ultimately, living the life you want.

You may be completely competent in your skills and abilities but be too afraid to show the world your talents or too hesitant to apply for that job. Low self-esteem may hinder you in your personal life by leaving you with feelings of inadequacy or you may always be comparing yourself to someone else.

Self-esteem is not something that can be instantly repaired overnight. Building your self-esteem can take time and, most importantly, self-compassion. It is most important to be kind to yourself and accept that from time to time, you will make mistakes.

Creating a strong sense of self-compassion can ultimately bring more to your life than just a newfound sense of self-love.

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem

When looking at self compassion vs self esteem, which is more important? Self-esteem can be volatile and emotional, while self-compassion can allow you to remove your self-esteem from your value judgments of yourself.

Knowing this will allow you to look at your decisions and actions from a non-judgmental mindset. You will be able to look at your traits, both good and bad, and accept that all of them are a part of human nature.

New studies suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key that allows you to achieve more growth because you can take your best traits and cultivate them while look at your worst traits objectively.

It can be argued that improving self-compassion will ultimately serve you better in the long run than improving your self-esteem. Even if self-compassion is more important, you can still have room to improve your self-esteem while you are at it.

Here are some tips to tell you how to work on self esteem and self compassion:

1. Be Gentle with Yourself

No one is perfect and, as humans, we will all make mistakes. It is important to recognize and accept our flaws and mistakes as imperfect. Embrace that there are people that care about you, despite your flaws.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has many reported benefits for improving your mental health. You can use mindfulness by becoming aware and present in the current moment. Using mindfulness can help you look at your thoughts objectively and decide “Is this a fact about myself or a judgement?”

By staying mindful of how you are speaking to yourself, you can identify where your thoughts are becoming negative and redirect your thinking to more positive thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness will help you look at the current moment without judgements or preconceived ideas about yourself and allow room for growth.

3. Allow Room to Grow

We all inherently have traits that can be seen as undesirable, yet it’s what we do with those traits that decide whether we grow or remain where we’re at in life. By looking objectively at your flaws with a growth mindset, you can transform your life.

Allow yourself to take the things about yourself that you are uncomfortable with and learn from them on how to better yourself. The takeaways would be to focus on one thing at a time and take baby steps.

4. Be Grateful

It is easy to compare ourselves and what we have, or don’t have, to those around us.

Everyone around us is putting the greatest highlights of their lives on social media, and we end up making comparisons that we shouldn’t. It is important to remember to be grateful for what you do have such as the ability to be a great writer or excel in mathematics.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

Secondly, we need to be mindful of our positive traits, and how they can benefit the world. Think about how your specific skills have served you in the past. Perhaps, you are great at taking the lead and because of that, you’re the main leader on work projects. Remember that your positive traits deserve acknowledgement and praise.

5. Do Good

It has been proven that participating in improving the well-being of those around you will aid in improving your own well-being. Doing good and helping those around you will only have a positive effect in your life.

It is not beneficial to tear others down in an effort to build yourself up. Saying and doing helpful things for others around you will not only improve their self-esteem but yours as well.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

It will take some time and commitment to truly work on your self-esteem and self-compassion. This is not a commitment to yourself that you should take lightly. Decide that now is the time for action and truly commit to remaining consistent in bettering yourself.

You may see the successful people around you and how they seem to be so confident in themselves and wonder to yourself, is self-esteem the key to success? Truthfully, the answer would be no.

The key to success lies within many factors, and self-esteem and self-compassion are only two of the factors. As far as building both areas, practicing these strategies listed will help you learn how to get better in self-esteem and self-compassion.

Which one of the above factors resonated most with you in your pursuit of building your self-compassion and self-esteem? Let us know below!

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Life

7 Strategies to Get Anything You Want From Life

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Success is tricky. There is no shortage of information about what creates success, but there are secret saboteurs in your thoughts and beliefs that may be sacking your accomplishments.

If you aren’t where you want to be in life, consider the following:

1. Choose accuracy over history

Your beliefs are not necessarily accurate. Your perception of the world is based on your personality traits, such as neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or openness. In addition, what you learned in your early childhood environment and what was role modeled for you play another part.

Your views are more about your history than accuracy. Not to say that everything you set store by is wrong, but just because you think it, doesn’t make it so. Look for proof.

2. Be aware of your biases

Your brain uses mental shortcuts to evaluate new information out of necessity. Those shortcuts, however, influence how you perceive the world. Though there are hundreds of proven biases, here are a few more commonly known ones that impact what you believe.

Confirmation bias makes you more likely to accept new information that supports beliefs you currently hold about the world. This one makes you unlikely to change your mind once it’s made up.

Availability heuristic makes you more likely to overestimate the importance of information that is easy to remember. Lastly, there’s conformity bias which makes you want to conform with other people.

A 2015 article in Business Insider cited 58 biases that screw up the way we think and subsequently, what we do! Being aware that your brain may be limiting you and having some idea what the most common biases are can help you be more critical of information you take in and help you to be open to ideas and knowledge different from your beliefs.

3. Recognize, refute and replace negative self-talk

You have 50,000 to 80,000 conversations in your head per day on average, and some percentage of them are negative self-talk. For many people, that percentage is less than 50%. I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, or I can’t are all examples of negative self-talk.

Begin to recognize these thoughts and refute them by stating reasons why they’re not true. Lastly, replace them with something better such as “I have what it takes to do what I am meant to do,” or, change your “I can’t” to “I can.”

“Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown

4. Choose optimism

Optimism is defined by Merriam Webster online as, ”an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.” In short, it means to be hopeful which does not preclude healthy skepticism.

Martin Seligman is one of the founders of positive psychology, and in his book, Learned Optimism, shares strategies to grow your optimism. In the book, Dr. Seligman shares that “most people catastrophize. Learned optimism is about accuracy, and works not through an unjustifiable positivity about the world but through the power of ‘non-negative’ thinking.”

5. Rely on grit over talent and passion

Psychologist Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, states that “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” She talks about how it’s easy to be in love with what you do but more challenging to stay in love with it. That takes grit. Pursuing something because you have a passion for it is not enough to keep you going.

You must be willing to hone your skills, develop your creativity and grow what you do. Discover, develop, deepen. Moreover, don’t expect talent and innate ability to do more than open doors and create opportunities. These are little more than clues to your passion. Grit is what creates success.

6. You figure out what you love over time not overnight

You also figure it out by trying many things and getting out of your head. Most people are not born knowing what their soul’s purpose and passion are. To figure out what you love, try different jobs, volunteer with different organizations, look for clues, and look for mentors to help you.

Knowing what you don’t like is important to the process of figuring out what you love. Dr. Duckworth shares, “most grit paragons I’ve interviewed told me they spent years exploring several different interests, and the one that eventually came to occupy all of their waking (and some sleeping) thoughts wasn’t recognizably their life’s destiny on first acquaintance.”

As someone who studied classical ballet, accounting, finance, international business, French, fashion and psychology in college, followed by positive psychology, coaching, and writing, I can vouch for it taking years, and thousands of dollars to find what I enduringly love doing.

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos

7. A growth mindset wins over a fixed mindset

You will be more successful if you believe, not that you are ready, but that you aren’t. If you have a growth mindset, you know that to be successful you will have to learn new things, face challenges, and adapt.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck shares that, “in the growth mindset, you don’t always need confidence…even when you think you’re not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it.”

When you are open to new information, whether it is consistent with your current beliefs or not, you have the opportunity to grow.

Whether you are cultivating optimism, finding or deepening your passion, or dialing down the influence of biases, having an open mind and expanding it can turn you into a high performer. If you feel stuck, try something new.

Tony Robbins says, “Don’t quit. Try a new approach.” You may be holding yourself back either by negative self-talk or old programming. If doing what you always did hasn’t gotten you where you want to be, try something new.  Start by challenging your thoughts and beliefs.

Which one of these points resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Life

The Power of 7 Day Goals: 5 Behaviors to Make Them Successful

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When most people think of the goal setting process, they think of large auspicious goals that tend to occupy a lot of mental and behavioral space. Most of us, when we think of goal setting, think of bigger and more commodious housing, sexier automobiles, vacations, relationships, and any of the other bigger chunks of our lives that we would like to make changes in.

While larger goals are fine and help keep us focused in the direction of our lives’ objective, it really doesn’t hurt to focus on smaller goals; goals that can be accomplished quickly, maybe even in a week.

The two types of 7 day goals you need to set

There are two types of seven day goals that we should set: one is a larger goal broken down into a behavioral step that we can finish this week. By that I mean, if your goal was to lose 50 pounds, your goal this week might be to research gyms. You see what we’ve done here,  we took a larger goal, that of losing 50 pounds, and broken it into actionable steps; the first being to go to several gyms, trying them out and seeing which one we like the best.

The second type of seven day goals is very simple; it revolves around doing something that we know we should do. Let me give you an example. In my face-to-face, multi-week trainings, I asked participants to set a seven-day personal goal. Something small. Something that was bothering them and that they know they can accomplish in seven days. Perhaps it was a disorganized closet or washing the car. The whole idea was to practice the goal setting process, seeing results, and then celebrating your accomplishments.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

While going around the room and debriefing, one woman in the class said that she did in fact accomplish her goal; it was to remove her Christmas decorations from her ironing board and put them in the closet where they would be stored until next Christmas. I found this to be somewhat amusing since the class was being held April. I asked her where did she do her ironing? She said that she put her clothes in a basket and took them upstairs to the kitchen where she proceeded to iron on the kitchen counter.

I asked her how she felt about looking at that ironing board with the Christmas decorations on it and she said that when she viewed the ironing board, now Christmas decoration storage container, it made her mad or depressed. I asked her a second level question, how long did it take you to put those Christmas decorations in the closet, where they should’ve been for the last four months? She said about 10 minutes. 10 minutes to stop feeling angry or depressed!

Think about the power of goal setting. For four months this woman was feeling emotional overhead every time the visual anchor of the Christmas decorated ironing board was observed. She set a goal to remove the obstacle and in 10 minutes was able to clean her ironing and store it in the necessary location. I asked her how she felt after the ironing board was cleared. With a smile on her face she said, “delighted!” So, a 10 minute behavior, based upon a 7-day goal, transformed her anger/depression into feeling delighted!

As you can see, the power of the whole process is not only apparent in those gigantic chunks of achievement that we want to accomplish, but can also be evidenced in smaller, actionable steps that we can do quickly.

Here’s a couple ideas to move you in the direction of positive goal setting and successful behavior:

1. Set a seven-day business goal and a seven-day personal goal

Everyone has something in their business that they would like to accomplish. Perhaps it’s cleaning out a desk drawer that has for years been a black hole. Perhaps, it’s sorting through the file cabinet purging unnecessary files. Regardless, there is something at work that is most likely anchoring you negative emotional overhead and can be resolved quickly with setting the seven-day goal to change whatever it is. The same thing applies to home. Is there a closet that you’ve been meaning to clean (for several years)? How about that corner of the garage? A room that needs to be painted? Instead of rationalizing why you can’t do it, why not do it?

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

2. Don’t only set the goal, schedule it

Put it in your calendar and make it an appointment. That way at the appropriate time you will naturally fall in the habit of action.

3. Stay enthusiastic

Don’t accomplish your goal with drudgery. If you do, you will most likely not set any more goals. Instead, attack your goals with enthusiasm and unbridled abandoned. Because it is that very action that is instilling in you the success attribute of positive goalsetting, one of the strongest behavior modifiers human kind has ever known.

4. At the end of the week analyze your results

What behaviors did you modify to accomplish your goals? What rationalizations did you hold dear that perhaps kept you from accomplishing your goals? Be honest with yourself! Add more of what you should, and delete that which was not helpful.

5. Celebrate your victories

Each small goal is an accomplishment. Each one is a celebration of your successes. While I’m not suggesting a two-week Caribbean cruise for cleaning out your closet, perhaps a pizza for dinner instead of cooking might be in order.

So, there you have it. The idea that all goals do not have to be gigantic, and that small goals are just as important. Success has been defined as the progressive, realization, of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals. That means that success is based on goal setting and that success is a habit.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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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

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem: How You Can Build Both

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Self-esteem can be defined as the confidence in your own abilities or worth. Self-compassion, however, can be defined by the ability to be gentle with yourself, even if you have misjudged or made a mistake.

You ask yourself from time to time, how is self esteem related to success? Having a sense of low self-esteem can really become a barrier for building your career and ultimately, living the life you want.

You may be completely competent in your skills and abilities but be too afraid to show the world your talents or too hesitant to apply for that job. Low self-esteem may hinder you in your personal life by leaving you with feelings of inadequacy or you may always be comparing yourself to someone else.

Self-esteem is not something that can be instantly repaired overnight. Building your self-esteem can take time and, most importantly, self-compassion. It is most important to be kind to yourself and accept that from time to time, you will make mistakes.

Creating a strong sense of self-compassion can ultimately bring more to your life than just a newfound sense of self-love.

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem

When looking at self compassion vs self esteem, which is more important? Self-esteem can be volatile and emotional, while self-compassion can allow you to remove your self-esteem from your value judgments of yourself.

Knowing this will allow you to look at your decisions and actions from a non-judgmental mindset. You will be able to look at your traits, both good and bad, and accept that all of them are a part of human nature.

New studies suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key that allows you to achieve more growth because you can take your best traits and cultivate them while look at your worst traits objectively.

It can be argued that improving self-compassion will ultimately serve you better in the long run than improving your self-esteem. Even if self-compassion is more important, you can still have room to improve your self-esteem while you are at it.

Here are some tips to tell you how to work on self esteem and self compassion:

1. Be Gentle with Yourself

No one is perfect and, as humans, we will all make mistakes. It is important to recognize and accept our flaws and mistakes as imperfect. Embrace that there are people that care about you, despite your flaws.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has many reported benefits for improving your mental health. You can use mindfulness by becoming aware and present in the current moment. Using mindfulness can help you look at your thoughts objectively and decide “Is this a fact about myself or a judgement?”

By staying mindful of how you are speaking to yourself, you can identify where your thoughts are becoming negative and redirect your thinking to more positive thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness will help you look at the current moment without judgements or preconceived ideas about yourself and allow room for growth.

3. Allow Room to Grow

We all inherently have traits that can be seen as undesirable, yet it’s what we do with those traits that decide whether we grow or remain where we’re at in life. By looking objectively at your flaws with a growth mindset, you can transform your life.

Allow yourself to take the things about yourself that you are uncomfortable with and learn from them on how to better yourself. The takeaways would be to focus on one thing at a time and take baby steps.

4. Be Grateful

It is easy to compare ourselves and what we have, or don’t have, to those around us.

Everyone around us is putting the greatest highlights of their lives on social media, and we end up making comparisons that we shouldn’t. It is important to remember to be grateful for what you do have such as the ability to be a great writer or excel in mathematics.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

Secondly, we need to be mindful of our positive traits, and how they can benefit the world. Think about how your specific skills have served you in the past. Perhaps, you are great at taking the lead and because of that, you’re the main leader on work projects. Remember that your positive traits deserve acknowledgement and praise.

5. Do Good

It has been proven that participating in improving the well-being of those around you will aid in improving your own well-being. Doing good and helping those around you will only have a positive effect in your life.

It is not beneficial to tear others down in an effort to build yourself up. Saying and doing helpful things for others around you will not only improve their self-esteem but yours as well.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

It will take some time and commitment to truly work on your self-esteem and self-compassion. This is not a commitment to yourself that you should take lightly. Decide that now is the time for action and truly commit to remaining consistent in bettering yourself.

You may see the successful people around you and how they seem to be so confident in themselves and wonder to yourself, is self-esteem the key to success? Truthfully, the answer would be no.

The key to success lies within many factors, and self-esteem and self-compassion are only two of the factors. As far as building both areas, practicing these strategies listed will help you learn how to get better in self-esteem and self-compassion.

Which one of the above factors resonated most with you in your pursuit of building your self-compassion and self-esteem? Let us know below!

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Life

7 Strategies to Get Anything You Want From Life

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Success is tricky. There is no shortage of information about what creates success, but there are secret saboteurs in your thoughts and beliefs that may be sacking your accomplishments.

If you aren’t where you want to be in life, consider the following:

1. Choose accuracy over history

Your beliefs are not necessarily accurate. Your perception of the world is based on your personality traits, such as neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or openness. In addition, what you learned in your early childhood environment and what was role modeled for you play another part.

Your views are more about your history than accuracy. Not to say that everything you set store by is wrong, but just because you think it, doesn’t make it so. Look for proof.

2. Be aware of your biases

Your brain uses mental shortcuts to evaluate new information out of necessity. Those shortcuts, however, influence how you perceive the world. Though there are hundreds of proven biases, here are a few more commonly known ones that impact what you believe.

Confirmation bias makes you more likely to accept new information that supports beliefs you currently hold about the world. This one makes you unlikely to change your mind once it’s made up.

Availability heuristic makes you more likely to overestimate the importance of information that is easy to remember. Lastly, there’s conformity bias which makes you want to conform with other people.

A 2015 article in Business Insider cited 58 biases that screw up the way we think and subsequently, what we do! Being aware that your brain may be limiting you and having some idea what the most common biases are can help you be more critical of information you take in and help you to be open to ideas and knowledge different from your beliefs.

3. Recognize, refute and replace negative self-talk

You have 50,000 to 80,000 conversations in your head per day on average, and some percentage of them are negative self-talk. For many people, that percentage is less than 50%. I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, or I can’t are all examples of negative self-talk.

Begin to recognize these thoughts and refute them by stating reasons why they’re not true. Lastly, replace them with something better such as “I have what it takes to do what I am meant to do,” or, change your “I can’t” to “I can.”

“Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown

4. Choose optimism

Optimism is defined by Merriam Webster online as, ”an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.” In short, it means to be hopeful which does not preclude healthy skepticism.

Martin Seligman is one of the founders of positive psychology, and in his book, Learned Optimism, shares strategies to grow your optimism. In the book, Dr. Seligman shares that “most people catastrophize. Learned optimism is about accuracy, and works not through an unjustifiable positivity about the world but through the power of ‘non-negative’ thinking.”

5. Rely on grit over talent and passion

Psychologist Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, states that “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” She talks about how it’s easy to be in love with what you do but more challenging to stay in love with it. That takes grit. Pursuing something because you have a passion for it is not enough to keep you going.

You must be willing to hone your skills, develop your creativity and grow what you do. Discover, develop, deepen. Moreover, don’t expect talent and innate ability to do more than open doors and create opportunities. These are little more than clues to your passion. Grit is what creates success.

6. You figure out what you love over time not overnight

You also figure it out by trying many things and getting out of your head. Most people are not born knowing what their soul’s purpose and passion are. To figure out what you love, try different jobs, volunteer with different organizations, look for clues, and look for mentors to help you.

Knowing what you don’t like is important to the process of figuring out what you love. Dr. Duckworth shares, “most grit paragons I’ve interviewed told me they spent years exploring several different interests, and the one that eventually came to occupy all of their waking (and some sleeping) thoughts wasn’t recognizably their life’s destiny on first acquaintance.”

As someone who studied classical ballet, accounting, finance, international business, French, fashion and psychology in college, followed by positive psychology, coaching, and writing, I can vouch for it taking years, and thousands of dollars to find what I enduringly love doing.

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos

7. A growth mindset wins over a fixed mindset

You will be more successful if you believe, not that you are ready, but that you aren’t. If you have a growth mindset, you know that to be successful you will have to learn new things, face challenges, and adapt.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck shares that, “in the growth mindset, you don’t always need confidence…even when you think you’re not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it.”

When you are open to new information, whether it is consistent with your current beliefs or not, you have the opportunity to grow.

Whether you are cultivating optimism, finding or deepening your passion, or dialing down the influence of biases, having an open mind and expanding it can turn you into a high performer. If you feel stuck, try something new.

Tony Robbins says, “Don’t quit. Try a new approach.” You may be holding yourself back either by negative self-talk or old programming. If doing what you always did hasn’t gotten you where you want to be, try something new.  Start by challenging your thoughts and beliefs.

Which one of these points resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Life

The Power of 7 Day Goals: 5 Behaviors to Make Them Successful

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When most people think of the goal setting process, they think of large auspicious goals that tend to occupy a lot of mental and behavioral space. Most of us, when we think of goal setting, think of bigger and more commodious housing, sexier automobiles, vacations, relationships, and any of the other bigger chunks of our lives that we would like to make changes in.

While larger goals are fine and help keep us focused in the direction of our lives’ objective, it really doesn’t hurt to focus on smaller goals; goals that can be accomplished quickly, maybe even in a week.

The two types of 7 day goals you need to set

There are two types of seven day goals that we should set: one is a larger goal broken down into a behavioral step that we can finish this week. By that I mean, if your goal was to lose 50 pounds, your goal this week might be to research gyms. You see what we’ve done here,  we took a larger goal, that of losing 50 pounds, and broken it into actionable steps; the first being to go to several gyms, trying them out and seeing which one we like the best.

The second type of seven day goals is very simple; it revolves around doing something that we know we should do. Let me give you an example. In my face-to-face, multi-week trainings, I asked participants to set a seven-day personal goal. Something small. Something that was bothering them and that they know they can accomplish in seven days. Perhaps it was a disorganized closet or washing the car. The whole idea was to practice the goal setting process, seeing results, and then celebrating your accomplishments.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

While going around the room and debriefing, one woman in the class said that she did in fact accomplish her goal; it was to remove her Christmas decorations from her ironing board and put them in the closet where they would be stored until next Christmas. I found this to be somewhat amusing since the class was being held April. I asked her where did she do her ironing? She said that she put her clothes in a basket and took them upstairs to the kitchen where she proceeded to iron on the kitchen counter.

I asked her how she felt about looking at that ironing board with the Christmas decorations on it and she said that when she viewed the ironing board, now Christmas decoration storage container, it made her mad or depressed. I asked her a second level question, how long did it take you to put those Christmas decorations in the closet, where they should’ve been for the last four months? She said about 10 minutes. 10 minutes to stop feeling angry or depressed!

Think about the power of goal setting. For four months this woman was feeling emotional overhead every time the visual anchor of the Christmas decorated ironing board was observed. She set a goal to remove the obstacle and in 10 minutes was able to clean her ironing and store it in the necessary location. I asked her how she felt after the ironing board was cleared. With a smile on her face she said, “delighted!” So, a 10 minute behavior, based upon a 7-day goal, transformed her anger/depression into feeling delighted!

As you can see, the power of the whole process is not only apparent in those gigantic chunks of achievement that we want to accomplish, but can also be evidenced in smaller, actionable steps that we can do quickly.

Here’s a couple ideas to move you in the direction of positive goal setting and successful behavior:

1. Set a seven-day business goal and a seven-day personal goal

Everyone has something in their business that they would like to accomplish. Perhaps it’s cleaning out a desk drawer that has for years been a black hole. Perhaps, it’s sorting through the file cabinet purging unnecessary files. Regardless, there is something at work that is most likely anchoring you negative emotional overhead and can be resolved quickly with setting the seven-day goal to change whatever it is. The same thing applies to home. Is there a closet that you’ve been meaning to clean (for several years)? How about that corner of the garage? A room that needs to be painted? Instead of rationalizing why you can’t do it, why not do it?

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

2. Don’t only set the goal, schedule it

Put it in your calendar and make it an appointment. That way at the appropriate time you will naturally fall in the habit of action.

3. Stay enthusiastic

Don’t accomplish your goal with drudgery. If you do, you will most likely not set any more goals. Instead, attack your goals with enthusiasm and unbridled abandoned. Because it is that very action that is instilling in you the success attribute of positive goalsetting, one of the strongest behavior modifiers human kind has ever known.

4. At the end of the week analyze your results

What behaviors did you modify to accomplish your goals? What rationalizations did you hold dear that perhaps kept you from accomplishing your goals? Be honest with yourself! Add more of what you should, and delete that which was not helpful.

5. Celebrate your victories

Each small goal is an accomplishment. Each one is a celebration of your successes. While I’m not suggesting a two-week Caribbean cruise for cleaning out your closet, perhaps a pizza for dinner instead of cooking might be in order.

So, there you have it. The idea that all goals do not have to be gigantic, and that small goals are just as important. Success has been defined as the progressive, realization, of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals. That means that success is based on goal setting and that success is a habit.

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