The road to success is rarely straight. Anyone who has achieved success in any area of their life will likely tell you that their journey was not an easy one. Roadblocks, dead ends, disappointments, bad decisions, and failures (collectively referred to as “experience”) are often the stepping-stones that forge the path to success.
Most people who have achieved success have also hit rock bottom somewhere along the way. But it was the experience of hitting rock bottom that gave these individuals the motivation they needed to make dramatic changes in their life and propel them towards success. As the attitude and achievement expert Dr. Willie Jolley once said: “a setback is a setup for a comeback.”
If you wake up one day and realize that the life you’re living is not the life you want, don’t beat yourself up about it. Accept where you are, and more importantly, accept the responsibility for changing where you’re going to be.
You cannot change your life overnight, but you can most certainly change the direction of your life overnight.
Here are 12 things you can start doing immediately to turn your life around and get back on track to achieving success:
1. Read daily
If you want your life to get better, you need to start making better decisions. To make better decisions, you need to equip yourself with new ideas and better information. Get into the habit of reading at least 10 pages of great information every single day. At this rate, you’ll be able to finish at least 1 new book per month, for a total of 12 new books per year.
Don’t read fiction. In most cases, fiction is meant to entertain you, but not empower you. You should alternate between non-fiction categories that have a direct correlation to the areas of your life you want to improve. Examples of good categories include: health, personal finance, wealth creation, relationships, business, self-help, spirituality, productivity, success, and inspirational biographies. The wisdom and ideas you will get from these types of book will undoubtedly help you to succeed.
2. Put your goals in writing
Without question, the most successful people in the world all have goals. Their goals are the benchmark against which they measure their results. People without goals often have no direction. Like a hamster on a wheel, they move but go nowhere.
Turning your life around begins with identifying exactly what you want to achieve and then creating a strategy for achieving it. Give your goals deadlines, and identify the resources you will need and the actions you must take in order to accomplish them. Read your goals every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep to ensure your mind stays focused on your objectives.
3. Dissolve relationships with people who hold you back
There may be some people in your life that you are better off not spending time with. Not everyone has habits or attitudes that are conducive to success, and unfortunately those habits and attitudes are contagious. Like crabs in a bucket, these people are the first to pull you down the moment they see you trying to climb to a higher level. You may have friends, coworkers, or even family members who fit this description.
It is not always a good idea to abruptly cut people out of your life (doing so typically arouses resentment). Some relationships should be dissolved gently. Gradually decrease the amount of time you spend with the people who you don’t want around you as you move forward. Use the time you would otherwise be spending with them to build new relationships with positive people who support and encourage your success.
4. Stay hydrated and exercise regularly
Success doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of hard work. In order to put in the work necessary to get to the next level without burning out, you need to build up large reserves of physical and mental energy.
The first thing you can do to immediately increase your energy levels is to drink more water. Water helps replenish your system, improve digestion and eliminate waste from your body. Many people make the mistake of thinking they are tired or hungry when in reality they are just dehydrated. Drink a large glass of water as soon as you wake up, drink a few glasses throughout the day and before each meal, and drink another glass in the evening before you go to sleep.
The second thing you should do is exercise for at least 30 minutes (go for a run or go to the gym) no less than 3 times per week. Regular exercise helps strengthen your heart and lungs, improves your flexibility and strength, helps manage your weight, prevents illness, decreases stress, and it even helps you to get better sleep – all of which have positive effects on your energy levels, overall health, focus and productivity.
5. Start a savings plan
There’s an old Chinese Proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” When it comes to saving money, this philosophy is just as valid. If you haven’t been saving a portion of your income for investment and future use, the best time to start doing so is now. Most financial planners would agree that you should be saving a minimum of 10% of your monthly income on a consistent basis. Unfortunately most people spend the majority of what they earn (sometimes more) and invest very little for the future.
Don’t make the mistake of working hard for money, and then using that money to pay everyone else except you. Pay yourself first. If you don’t think you have the discipline to do this, go to your bank and arrange for a percentage of the income you deposit to be immediately transferred to a savings or investment account. Learn to live off of at least 90% of your income. Your future self will thank you for it.
6. Turn your car into a classroom
If you work full-time, you probably spend somewhere between 5 and 10 hours per week commuting to and from work. Instead of listening to music or the radio during this time, start listening to inspiring and educational content. Most books have an audio version, and there are plenty of great podcasts that you can listen to for free on iTunes. With an abundance of great content on virtually every subject at your disposal, you don’t have to go back to school to get more education.
7. Stop watching TV
If you pay for a monthly cable subscription then do yourself a favor and cancel it. Seriously. Watching television is arguably one of the most toxic, unproductive, time-wasting activities of modern society. Stop wasting precious hours of your day on negative news, sports, advertisements, and reality shows that add no real value to your life. Start using the hours you waste channel surfing on activities that are more productive.
If for whatever reason you just can’t live without watching a specific game or episode, then add it to your schedule, watch it online (on Apple TV or Netflix, for example), and make it a social event by inviting friends or family to join you.
8. Practice public speaking
The ability to speak confidently and communicate articulately is one of the most valued and rewarded skills in the marketplace today. People who are good communicators are able to navigate their way through life with ease and enjoy more success than those who are not. They earn promotions, they build key relationships, they present their ideas clearly, they resolve disputes, and they typically earn the respect and admiration of the people around them. They are leaders in their organizations, their families, and their communities.
Most people are terrified of speaking in public, and they will do almost anything to avoid it. This presents a tremendous opportunity for those who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and develop this rare skill. One of the places you can go to practice your communication skills in a non-threatening, positive environment is your local Toastmasters club. Most of these clubs host weekly meetings where anyone is welcome to attend and participate. As you become a stronger communicator, people will begin to perceive you as a leader, and more opportunities will come to you as a result.
9. Stop complaining
One of the worst habits a person can have is the habit of complaining. People who complain are usually negative and pessimistic by nature. Don’t be one of them. If you encounter problems or challenges, don’t complain about them. If you catch yourself complaining about something, bite your tongue and reframe the situation. Complaining about a situation doesn’t change it. Get proactive and focus on finding a solution. A Napoleon Hill once said: “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” Look for the benefit in each situation.
10. Learn a new skill
A great way to bring some more excitement into your life is to learn something new. Consider learning to play an instrument, learning to speak a new language, joining a club, taking a class, or playing a sport you’ve never played before. The purpose of doing this is to ignite your sense of wonder and creativity, while simultaneously getting you out of your comfort zone and into new experiences.
11. Start a business
If you don’t already own your own business, there is no better time to start one than right now. Advances in technology have removed virtually all barriers to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs. Anyone with an internet connection and a credit card can start a business, and there is no shortage of training and resources available to help you get started.
For about as much as it costs to stay in a hotel for a weekend, you can buy a web domain, create a website, print some business cards, place a few ads online, and start promoting yourself to the marketplace. You could sell a service (graphic design or consulting, for example), sell your own products, or promote someone else’s products in exchange for a commission.
12. Look for opportunities to help others
Most people think only in terms of what they can receive from others instead of what they can give to others. But the law of reciprocity teaches us that if we want to receive, we should give. Giving ignites the receiving process.
If you want to feel good, one of the simplest yet most effective ways to feel good is to do something to make someone else feel good. If you want people to treat you with more respect, start treating other people with more respect. If you want your life to get better, help someone else’s life get better. The more you do for others, the more others will want to do things for you.
Give and you shall receive.
8 Things You Can Do to Rise Above Failure and Attain Success
Highly successful people have tasted failure more than success. Whether its Nikola Tesla or Michael Jordan, everyone had his/her fair share of failures before rising to the pinnacle of success. Yet, most people I know are averse to the idea of failure.
When ambition fuels your desires, you become so conscious about avoiding failure that you forget to learn how to cope with it when you actually experience it. So, when you come face-to-face with adversity, it often overwhelms you.
This brings us to the question, how can you train yourself to overcome these difficulties and use them to your advantage? Here’s how:
1. Acceptance is important to overcome failure
When the going gets tough, one of the most frustrating things you may get to hear is “stay positive.” The idea of positive thinking has been misconstrued, misused, and abused continuously. Contrary to popular belief, positive thinking has nothing to do with smiling and being happy with everything that happens to you all the time. Anyone who preaches that is either lying or crazy.
Use positive thinking to learn, grow, and evolve from the experiences we gather in life. Positive thinking simply means that if you are faced with a setback, you work hard to overcome the challenges. When you experience hardships, it is alright to feel upset and disappointed. Our objective, however, is not to stay down.
2. Be honest with yourself
The most crucial part of dealing with a failure involves pausing for a couple of minutes and pondering over what happened. You need to be completely honest with yourself on why it happened.
It is easy to pull out the Smartphone, turn on the laptop or find other forms of distraction. Most people would do anything to distract themselves and keep their eyes shut to the mistakes they have made.
However, if you don’t confront, you don’t learn. And if you don’t learn, then you are setting yourself up for failure again. Albert Einstein famously stated that it was insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. If you don’t derive a lesson out of mistakes and failures in life, then you are doomed to keep repeating them, whether you realise it or not.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
3. Don’t beat yourself up over a temporary setback
When you have experienced a setback, many of you may succumb to the feeling that you’ll always keep failing. It is easy to convince yourself that you are indeed a failure. Don’t let such destructive ideas or thoughts creep into your head. Instead, keep reminding yourself that just because you failed today, it doesn’t mean you’d fail the next time as well.
It is also important that you treat your failure as a passing phase. When you keep moving forward, focus on the right things, and keep learning. Perceiving the setback as a temporary phase rather than something permanent is vital to developing an optimistic attitude in life.
4. Focus on nurturing and improving yourself
Failures don’t discriminate, and it comes to everyone at some point. The trick lies in learning to deal with it and what you do about it that makes all the difference. In many cases, failure happens because a person wasn’t prepared, didn’t invest time on planning or was ill-equipped. It can also be because Lady Luck decided not to shower her favours.
Except for the last one, the rest of the issues can be fixed. Prepare a list of all the things that you think resulted in your failure. Start working on them one at a time. Do everything in your capacity to rectify, improve, resolve, and develop.
5. Find inspiration and support in abundance
Interacting with someone close can be more helpful than you think. You can also learn from people who have been through similar situations and have achieved what you hope to. Gain insights on how they managed to sail through the setbacks or low-points before and during the moment of success.
Or you can gain the motivation or enthusiasm by listening to someone else from an audiobook or podcast for maybe 30-60 minutes. It doesn’t have to be focused on your current setbacks. Change your mood and mindset back towards optimism again.
6. Adopt a constructive approach and learn from the adverse situation
Consider it as valuable feedback and take home something you can implement in the process of overcoming your failure. The following are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:
- What is the lesson for me?
- How can I rectify myself to avoid making the same mistake and do better next time?
- What can I do to enjoy guaranteed success?
You don’t need to rush through the process. Some of the answers may be immediate, while others might take an hour, a day or even a week to pop up. The significant thing is to start thinking about the situation from this perspective. Also, you need to be constructive about things rather than getting stuck with denial, negativity and apathy.
7. Stop mulling over and move on
Processing the situation and accepting it is the ideal way to deal with failures. Any individual who has experienced failures will know that it is quite easy to stay stuck in the loop of similar thoughts. In fact, this may go around and around for weeks or even months.
Now, in order to be free from this trap, the one habit that might help you is the set of questions like the ones shared above. You can also create a rough plan for how you wish to move forward from here. So, take some time to sit down and write them down.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
8. Purge out all the negativity
Another impactful way to handle the emotional meltdown and the thoughts that emerge from experiencing failure is to purge out all the negativity. In order to let everything out, you need to confide in someone close to you. There are two ways to go about it: Engaging in a conversation with someone will allow you to see it from a different perspective. The person you talk to can assist you in grounding yourself in reality again and motivate you to look for a way forward.
Or you can simply vent about it while the other person who is listening can sort things out for you. He/she can help you accept what happened and boost your spirit by instilling a sense of hope.
The significant thing to remember is that while you can’t stop obstacles from appearing in life, you can devise smart ways to handle them. If you persevere, you can easily discover opportunities that have been waiting for you on the other side. Now, as you become more efficient at dealing with the failures, you will allow yourself to see the positive side in even the toughest of scenarios.
How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life
Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:
1. “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2. “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?” (more…)
The Truth About the Law of Attraction
When we want something, we generally imagine the form it will take when it manifests. If we’re not careful, however, we can find ourselves attached more to the imagined form than the actual desired outcome. This is like placing an online order and expecting it to come in a blue box shipped by UPS. If we then receive a red box delivered by FedEx, we might not realize that it’s what we ordered, and never even open it!
For example, most of us say that we want money, but when money comes in the form of a free coffee or a gift or a discount, we don’t see it for what it is. We overlook it, and maybe we even say “No, thanks” and decline the gift which is, in one way or another, still money. In doing so, we fail to appreciate the value of the discount, the gift, or the freebie. If it isn’t cash being handed to us, we don’t see it as a manifestation of our desire.
The law of attraction is a funny thing.
It is much more complex and much more intricate than what it seems to be and yet, at the same time, it’s so very simple: We always get what we want. We always receive more of the energy at which we vibrate. Always.
However, if we’re acting from the energy of “I don’t deserve it” or “I don’t think I’m worthy,” then whatever it is that we receive will be negated and essentially unseen. On the other hand, if we are open, observant, and maintaining an abundance mindset, we will receive our request on numerous levels and from plentiful sources!
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
This is because we “place our order” not only through our words, but through our actions, our beliefs, and our thoughts.
Last month, I was open to receiving a new client. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I’d set my intention: I was going to get a new client. That night, out of nowhere, I got a message from an old student of mine. She was looking to hire me again as her coach for the upcoming college entrance exams in the U.S. But wait! I didn’t want an entrance exam client.
What I actually wanted was to get life and business coaching clients. This student was my “red box from Fed Ex.” I wanted to decline at first, but as I was about to reply, something made me stop. I asked myself, “Why am I rejecting this?”
This student is an amazing client. She pays on time. She’s not needy. She does her part. Best of all? She doesn’t short-change me. So I said yes, because I realized that the Universe was simply responding to the essence of my desire.
You see, my “Big Why” in everything I do has always been to facilitate an accelerated personal and business growth for my clients, and this student fit the bill in every way. She wanted the personal growth, she was ready to go all in and she reached out to me.
It didn’t look like the package I was expecting so I didn’t recognize it at first—and I nearly turned it away—but she was the perfect answer to my request.
Serving people like her has always been a driving force in my life.
The Universe knows that. It also knew that I wanted a client asap so that I could re-invest the money into my business, so it responded in the most ideal way… but in an unexpected form. And I came so close to missing it!
How many times have I missed other opportunities like this? How many times have I dismissed a “red box” because it wasn’t “blue?” I’ll never know. But I do know that, had I not stopped myself from sending a “No, thanks,” I would have felt as though the Universe wasn’t listening.
That’s the thing: the Universe is always listening.
The more open we are in receiving, the more we thrive. The more open our energy is, the greater the possibilities. Don’t just return that red box to the post office and keep waiting on a blue one. Ask yourself, first and foremost, if what you’re receiving at the moment matches up with your underlying desire.
See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it.” – Rhonda Byrne
The key is to be willing to receive anything and everything. How? Keep on reading1
1. Get clear on your “underlying desire.”
Identify exactly what it is that you really want—in my case, it was an ideal client (underlying) as opposed to a coaching client (surface)—and focus on that. Clear out all the mental noise and static that clouds your awareness.
2. Be flexible
Keep your eyes and mind open for anything that fits the description. When you ask for money, recognize that free coffee for what it is: $3 you were going to spend anyway, that can now remain in your pocket. Every penny on the ground, every coupon, it’s all money.
3. Keep an attitude of gratitude.
The more you appreciate what you have, the more that comes your way. Your grateful mindset opens the energetic door for more to flow your way, because “where attention goes, energy flows.” The more you focus on the things you want, the more you will draw them into your experience.
Remember, that the Universe responds to our requests in whatever way fits best within the big picture.
It’s a picture so big that we couldn’t possibly begin to see how it comes together. Trust it. Know that when you ask, you will receive. It may not come in the form you anticipate, but always in a form that responds to your underlying desire. You just have to be ready to see it.
7 Simple Ways to Master Your Emotions When Making Decisions
A lot of people have big regrets when lying on their deathbed. These regrets are often related to bad decisions or decisions not taken. Thus, as it turns out, decision-making is dependent on great self-confidence. A person who has confidence in their decisions has an easier time making them.
Emotions also play a big role in all of this. This is a debate that has confronted two great thinkers. According to Descartes, “decisions are the product of the rational mind.” In other words, decision-making is essentially based on facts and mathematics.
But this thesis was refuted and proven to be wrong by Antonio Damasio in one of his works called “The Error of Descartes”. This was partly based on the story of Elliott, a kid that was very smart, who had above average rational capabilities, but incapable of making a decision, after a surgery to remove a brain tumor on the surface of his frontal lobes. After all his work in that matter, he concludes that a person who is incapable of emotion is incapable of making the most rational decisions.
The management of emotions is therefore completely inherent to good decision making, especially when making the most important decisions. To this end, here are 7 tips to put into practice to really master your emotions thus making the best decisions possible and never regreting them.
1. Take a step back
You must learn to take the time to identify and understand your emotions. Since physical reactions are emotionally related, also take the time to detect the reactions you have to some of your emotions. To be able to take the distance necessary to make decisions, it’s important to refer to your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain responsible for reasoning. To do so you need to put yourself in a stress-free environment for a few minutes.
The best way to do this is to learn to breathe deeply. This will allow activating your prefrontal cortex again, therefore, to have better control of your emotions so you do not react to them, let alone to the event that causes these emotions. Do this exercise for at least 15 minutes. It’s amazing how you can train yourself never to react, no matter what the situation. Ideally, let at least 24 hours go by before responding to a situation that would normally cause tension.
3. Pay attention
Once you are in the prefrontal cortex, put one hand on your abdomen, at the level of your intestines, and the other hand on your heart, and take the time to listen. These two parts of the body are the two major centers of vibrations and emotions. This is why it’s important to listen and pay attention to them.
The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of your gut and heart. What you need to remember is that the only person you need to trust is yourself. By practicing this exercise, one thing will become very clear: what the emotion you feel seeks to convey to you about the decision you have to make.
Since everything is energy, first make sure that the vibration of the decision you are about to make and that of your heart and gut are in sync. You will then know whether to go ahead with your decision or reject it based on whether you feel serenity or heaviness.
4. Discern untruths
It is important to know whether your nervousness is the result of an untruth you’ve told yourself. These can corrupt the vibrations that should help you make the right decision. You have to throw out all of these untruths and come to the decision-making without any filter. Stop thinking that you’re unlucky, that you’re in a bad situation, that your life is a failure, or that you are a victim.
5. Become aware of your emotions instead of avoiding them
To become aware of your emotions, you must learn to coach yourself. Ask yourself questions: How did you feel the last time you had to ask these types of questions? What did you get in return? Rename what you felt and the result you obtained from what you decided to do. You will thus be much better at assimilating, understanding, and welcoming your emotions.
6. Be as present as possible
There is no point in focusing on the big events surrounding the decision you want to make. Concentrate instead on the present moment, without analyzing the events. Judge based on emotions rather than the event. By being more present, you will be better able to listen to your emotions and feel them.
7. Make your emotions your allies
Each of your emotions speaks to you through the physical and physiological reactions that they generate in you. Look to the weight of their impact on you as an indicator. Only by listening to them, using them, and managing them can you manage your emotions.
Habit comes with practice. With time, these 7 points will become much more natural and will become automatic. You will make better decisions for yourself. This is one of the best ways to not end up with one of the big regrets.
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