Ready or Not Here I Come!

“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you’re ready or not, to put it into action.” – Napoleon Hill

Yesterday we discussed how there is never a perfect moment to get started on a project because that perfect moment never comes. Today we are going to take things one step further and inject a little more urgency into working on our goals. The message today is that you don’t even have to be ready in order to get started. Yes you have to have a plan of action but you don’t have to have every last detail worked out before you get started. We all tend to over complicate things and endlessly working out details which need to be resolved before we take action is just another way of making things more complicated than they need be.

One of the main reasons you don’t have to be absolutely ready is that just getting started on a project can create a momentum and an urgency all of its own. This momentum will drive you forward and now that you are taking action, problems which once seemed impossible to resolve when it was just a theory suddenly have solutions. Soon you will be anticipating problems before they even arise and working out ways of dealing with them should they occur.

But what happens if you know that you need to take action but still can’t seem to get started? Well a great way of getting started is to make your plans public. Tell a trusted friend or family member what you plan to do and then get started right away. If you do this then it is important to choose someone who you trust and who is supportive of your project. You are using this person to help hold yourself accountable and to give you that extra push you need to take the action you know you need to take. That is another reason why it is important to surround yourself with positive people; these people will help you attain your goals while negative people will only serve to hold you back.

As your plan progresses ensure that you set deadlines along the way so that you can measure your success and chart your progress. Again feel free to share these intermittent goals with your friend or accountability partner to help ensure you stay on track.

Concentrate On Today

“Every man’s life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.” – Marcus Aurelius

It is interesting to look at how other people live their lives. Some people seem to always yearn for the past, others are happy in the present while another group of people are always looking towards the future. However whatever our particular outlook, today’s quote reminds me of the stark reality that our life is what we are experiencing right now. What has happened in the past is done and gone and while those events will have helped shape who were are today, there is no reason why they must dictate our future.

The balancing act we have to do is learn to live our lives fully each and every day while making sensible plans to shape our future. Children often yearn to be adults where they have the freedom to take control of their lives and make their own decisions. However they often don’t have sufficient experiences of life to know that what they do in their formative years (such as studying hard at school) will have a huge impact on what they go on to do as adults.

While the future is uncertain for all of us we can do many things right now to help us prepare for it. Say you want to become a surgeon, top chef, lawyer, athlete or any of a thousand other things, then you will need to put in years or hard work and dedication to make your dreams come true. You will have to close some doors which may be open to you now in order to be able to open other doors in your future.

Another way of looking at this is you will have to be prepared to make certain sacrifices in your life now in order to have the life you desire in the future but that does not mean your present life does not have to be fulfilled or enjoyable.

It always saddens me when I see people who have no idea of what they are doing in life and have no ambitions for the future. Your life is what is happening to you right now and it is what you choose to do with it now which is important. If you are unhappy with your present life then you must take action right now to make your life better. Don’t wait for the perfect time or the perfect opportunity to come along because there never is a perfect time or a perfect opportunity.

Get Motivated Stay Motivated

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

One of the main barriers to success for many people is the failure to take timely action when an opportunity presents itself. Even when people get motivated to do something they often still somehow fail to take the action they should. I think this is partly because motivation tends to come to us in short bursts only. It seems to be rather like a short-acting drug and once the effects wear off then people quickly go back to their unmotivated state. So the question is how do we train ourselves to get motivated and to stay motivated?

Getting motivated is perhaps the easiest part of the problem. It helps if you find something you are so passionate about that you want to just shout about it from the nearest rooftop. It could be a hobby, your job or any part of your life that really gets you excited. Passion is important because it is this element which will allow you to find new motivation each and every day. The key to staying motivated is repetition where you keep doing what you started until it becomes a habit and so that it becomes second nature to you.

So if you are passionate about something you will be more likely to stay motivated to keep going with it long after the initial novelty of doing something new and exciting has worn off. It is also important to do things in your life which are in line with your desires and morals. If what you seek to do does not fit in with your ethical beliefs then you will find it difficult to sustain your motivation in the long term.

You must also deal with obstacles which crop up along the way as you seek to get from where you are now to where you eventually want to be. Having things go wrong can be a real motivational killer and many people just give up at the first sign of trouble. However finding your own inner strength to redouble your efforts during the tough times will pay off. Remember why you got motivated in the first place and hold those thoughts close as you work to overcome the problems in your path.

British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: “Never, never, never give up” but the sad thing is that many people give up on their goals just short of the finishing line. Don’t let that be you. Make a habit of doing the things you care about so that the motivation will stay strong to carry you past the finishing line.

Banish the Energy Vampires

“The pessimist complains about the wind…the optimist waits for it to change; the realist adjusts his sails.” – Lucio Seneca

I guess we all know people who could be described as pessimists and while we all have it within ourselves to be a bit down from time to time some people just seem to actually enjoy being depressed. These are the people who seem to be their own personal little storm clouds of doom and despair and seek to suck the very life-force out of all those around them. I bet you either know people like this in your life right now or have had known such people in the past.

The problem with people who complain about the wind (and everything else under the sun too) is that their pessimism can be contagious. If you are not careful they will bring you down with them and crush your spirit in the process. Given that we can never rid the world of negative people, the trick is to try and take control of how others interact with us.

When you find yourself in the company of someone who is being negative about everything, remember that you don’t have to follow them into a cycle of negativity. You can tell them that you don’t share their views but you don’t have to argue with them. There may come a time when the best solution is simply to remove yourself from the influence of negative people in your life. Instead start surrounding yourself with people who are smart, focused and goal-orientated so that you can be inspired by their positive emotions as you seek to improve your life every day.

Remember that your interactions with people should help you and not hurt you. Don’t wait for people to change – the chances are that they will not change – but adjust your sails and seek out the waters where others who share your goals and ambitions can be found. You are in control of your own life and that means you are in control of the people you choose to surround yourself with. Are you going to choose the negative energy vampires who want to suck the life-force out of you and leave you feeling drained and exhausted? Or are you going to choose the positive go-getters whose very actions and enthusiasm for life inspire you to even better things and challenge you on a daily basis? I know which group of people I want to have around me.

How High Can You Climb?

“Good, Better, Best! Never let it rest, ’til your good is better, and your better, is best!” – St. Jerome

It can sometimes seem that life is an endless series of repetitive tasks that we have to accomplish. We have things our bosses need us to do every day, demands made by our family, favors requested by friends and so it goes. Very often our desire is for the task at hand just to go away. At times like this the temptation is for us to settle for the merely adequate or even the rather mediocre as we declare: “That will have to do” and consider the project finished.

There is a problem with accepting second-best or even third-rate standards in that what might start as a one off soon becomes more common and then even routine. If we are not careful our entire lives can be only mediocre or decidedly average as we condition ourselves to accept standards way below those we are capable of achieving.

Now I am not saying that we should all become perfectionists – far from it. Waiting until something is perfect is often an excuse for never getting anything done at all. Instead we should always aim to produce good work in our lives. “Good” should be our minimum acceptable standard of completion for any project, be it for our work or our social lives.

But we should not be prepared to stop at good. The next logical step is to make our good work better and then strive to make it the best it can possibly be. This fits in nicely with the idea of making slow and steady progress in our business, family and social lives. We should always be looking at new ways of doing something just that little bit better than we did it before.

We can apply this philosophy to every area of our lives and everything that we do. When good is the minimum standard and there is a burning desire to be even better than you were yesterday than the only way is up and you can keep going on-wards and upwards for the rest of your life. You could tell yourself something like this:

“I am a good parent. I am going to be a better parent. I want to be the best parent I can possibly be to my children.” Note that this mantra could apply to almost any aspect of your life.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

“A jug fills drop by drop” – Buddha

There always seems to be an urgent need to get things done and in modern life it seems that the quicker one project is done the better. Then we rush headlong into the next project, get that done as quickly as we possibly can and so on.

This seems to be especially true in the online world – that fast-paced community where information is always just a few mouse clicks away and if the information we want cannot be found in seconds then we move on to the next page without a moment’s thought. It never ceases to amaze me that in the “make money online” niche nearly everyone is looking for the latest new “opportunity” where they can become rich overnight with little or no effort required on their part.

As a result there are countless thousands of sites catering for this demand with a new money making opportunity coming online almost every day. The sad thing is that this industry has a fantastically high failure rate with most people who seek to make money online never managing to make anything at all. But is it really any wonder when so many millions of people are seeking instant riches or are expecting money to magically appear in their bank accounts while they do nothing in return?

And yet despite all this there are people who are quietly making money online and making very decent livings for themselves in the process. They are not chasing instant success but they are involved with promoting products or services which all have one thing in common…they all add value to the lives of those who buy and use them.

The other thing the successful online marketers have in common is that they discover that the quickest way to make money online is by slowing right down. They start small and grow slowly. These smart marketers ignore all the promotions which claim to make them a millionaire in six months and instead seek to add one customer to their list each day or to make one new sale each day or to make one improvement to their website or their products. This way they fill their jugs one drop at a time.

The people who want to fill their jug overnight find it is impossible to do so but they won’t take the time to allow it to fill up one drop at a time. Instead they spend money on this program and that program until all their money is gone and they are left with nothing but a collection of empty jugs.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann von Goethe

Actually starting a project can often be one of the hardest parts of getting the entire thing done. I am willing to bet that you will sometimes have one of those ‘lightbulb’ moments where an amazingly good idea just suddenly pops into your head as if from nowhere. And I would further bet that if you gave it any serious thought at all then most of those thoughts consisted of finding reasons why you could not possibly do whatever it was that you had just thought of.

Sometimes you find that some months or years down the line another person has had exactly the same thought you had all that time ago but that they have gone on to change their lives by actually putting it into action. When this happens you are left holding your head in your hands and lamenting: “But that should have been me!”

So if you have a great idea that you have not acted upon or a dream for changing your life that you have been unwilling to put into action then what are you waiting for? Nobody is going to fulfill your dreams for you and only you can put them into action. Yes it can be scary taking action because you are going into uncharted waters but it will be an adventure and it could change your life.

You owe it to yourself to at least give yourself the opportunity to fulfill your dreams. Be bold and put your dreams into action and be prepared to experience the genius, power and magic within you. Yes it can be hard to start, especially when you are already telling yourself all sorts of reasons why it will not work, but at least give it a go. Just getting started creates a momentum of its own and you will find that many of the fears you had for not taking action simply disappear as you discover that the power of “I can” unleashes its own magic which overpowers the fears of “I can’t.”

Follow your dreams and stop giving yourself reasons not to do so because you will never experience the power and magic which lies within you unless you actually take action and start.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

“Some people have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.” – Willis R. Whitney

One of the things which really annoys me in life are those people around me who always have excuses for not doing something they were supposed to do. Sometimes the amount of time and effort people put into coming up with excuse after excuse is extraordinary. Here are a couple of examples which come to mind.

I was once watching the reality TV show Big Brother, a show where complete strangers share a house together and are filmed around the clock for the viewing audience’s pleasure.

On this particular show two housemates were arguing over whose turn it was to do the washing up after dinner. “I did it last night,” said one. “Well I did it the night before and I made you breakfast,” countered the other. This argument went back and forth for at least ten minutes but during this time, quietly in the background, a third housemate was at the kitchen sink washing up the dirty plates. When he had finished he walked up the arguing housemates and said: “During all this time while you were making excuses you could have got the job done.”

Further back in time when at school I always remember one teacher who would never accept any reason for pupils turning up late to his lessons. Whenever it happened he would say: “It is your first responsibility to turn up for class on time.” I loved that expression and it has stayed with me for my entire life.

It seems to me that the whole idea of taking personal responsibility is now a decidedly old-fashioned concept for many these days. As personal responsibility declines so the excuse culture thrives and this is something we must all be wary of.

It is easy to make excuses but very often it is just as easy to find the one reason to do something and get the task in hand finished.

3 Tips To Stay The Course

staythecourse

If you are an entrepreneur, you know that your success cannot depend on the opinions of others. Like the wind, opinions change…like the weather, opinions change frequently. To succeed at any endeavor, you must stay the course…no matter what the cost! Here are some surefire tips to help you on your journey.

1. Avoid Negativity. Negative people are all around us. They can include our loved ones as well as a dear friend. Most often, it is the opinions of total strangers that breeds the most negativity as if someone who doesn’t know or understand you is able to voice a reasonably thought out opinion about you.

No, you shouldn’t avoid those who are close to you, rather there are areas of conversation that are less profitable. Accept criticism constructively, but steer the conversation away from nonstop negative banter. Negativity will grow on you unless you take control.

2. Build Yourself Up. No, I do not mean for you to puff yourself up with pride, rather you can be your best source of encouragement by encouraging yourself. How can you do this? Read the testimonies of other entrepreneurs who have gone before you. Current day success stories of people who have gone from “rags to riches” [or from simple means to great influence] include personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and Bill Gates. Yesterday’s success stories are numerous and include: Thomas Edison, Harry S. Truman, and Abraham Lincoln.

3. Go Back to Square One. Should you find yourself wavering, recall those things that encouraged you to take your “step of faith” in the first place. Recall what it takes to succeed: discipline, self confidence, independence, hard work, sacrifice, etc. Look forward to the anticipated results: a good income, independence, a job you love, etc. Finally, remember the worst job you ever worked…imagine yourself working there again. Blah! Use whatever it takes to motivate you.

So, toss off the negative thoughts and embrace that which is uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, warm, friendly, and helpful. You are on track to achieving great things as long as you do not let yourself become derailed by the negative words of others.

6 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Genius

bulb idea with growing graph

Here are 6 ways you can access your natural creativity and create anything you like.

1. Think Like A Child. As adults we tend to think in a conditioned way aimed at showing how clever we are. Yet, as children, we were simply spontaneous and far more creative in our thinking. To re-capture your childhood curiosity, allow yourself to just wonder at things, to be completely present in the here and now, and to detach yourself from what you thought was real.

2. Make New Connections. To be innovative doesn’t require a university degree; it simply requires making a connection between existing ideas. For instance, did you know that ice cream was invented in 2000 BC yet it took another 3900 years for someone to come up with the idea of a cone? It’s when you take two seemingly unrelated items and use the spark of creativity that genius happens.

3. Be A Little Illogical. It is a human trait to want to tie things up in neat bundles. We prefer solutions to problems, and answers to questions. To be creative, you need to be comfortable with things that don’t fit. As in this problem: what is the sound of one hand clapping?

4. Think Outside Your Limits. Many of the products we take for granted today are the result of people thinking outside their limits. John Lynn recalls attending a computer conference in the 1980′s at a hotel when someone joked that the next thing they’d be thinking of would be computerized doors. When he went back to the same hotel 20 years later, all the doors used computer-programmed key cards.

5. Adopt and Adapt. To be creative doesn’t require blue-sky thinking. You can still be creative by adapting what works elsewhere. An American airline that wanted quicker turnarounds on their flights adopted the techniques of Formula One pit crews.

6. Remember Your Dreams. Dreaming and day-dreaming can create a rich seam of ideas, because that’s when we relax and let the subconscious mind work by itself. Most of my flashes of inspiration come when I’m walking the dog or sitting Archimedes-like in the bath tub.

Apply these 6 creative thinking techniques and make them part of your daily thinking and I guarantee that new solutions to your problems will open up to you with ease and speed.