Category Archives: Motivation

We Are What Our Habits Make Us

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We are what our habits make us. They are either moving us forward or holding us back.

Unfortunately, when it comes to habits, it's much easier to form bad habits than it is a good habit. This is because bad habits are usually easy to do. They take little effort. On the other hand, a good habit requires effort and self-discipline. They are much more difficult to acquire.

"All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits - practical, emotional, and intellectual - systematically organized, for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny whatever it may be."

-Theron Dumont

Negative habits are time wasting, character eroding, and health destroying. Once developed. A bad habit is difficult to overcome. Once overcome, one must be constantly on guard against slipping back into it. Unlike bad habits, a good habit is much easier to let go. Maintaining a good habit demands constant attention.

It would be much easier to not have formed the bad habit in the first place, but unfortunately, they are often formed in youth, when one lacks the foresight to see ahead the consequences of their actions.

Good habits, once developed, are what drive a person toward success and accomplishment.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit."

- Aristotle

One thing that can help keep you adhering to your good habits is to keep your eye on the "big picture." Keep in mind that each daily task accomplished is moving you toward your goals. It takes about thirty days to form a habit. Once a good habit has been developed, a person feels uncomfortable and ill at ease if he neglects it. Instead of a burden, a new good habit becomes a comfort and a joy.

Don't be discouraged if you slip up, either by neglecting a good habit or falling back into a bad one. Just pick yourself up and get back on the right track. Admonish yourself to show more resolve but don't torture yourself and fall into a hopeless depression.

"The greatest glory is in never falling, but rising when you fall."

-Vince Lombardi

Don't let people ridicule you for persisting in your good habits. They are just trying to pull you down to their level. You will soon leave them in the dust. People who exercise regularly or try to eat healthy are often derided as being fanatics. Those that criticize are just feeling guilty because they lack the resolve to do what you are doing.

Sit down and think for a moment about what habits you may have. What are your good habits? What habits are hindering you? People of character are the ones who have built good habits into their lives and have eliminated the bad ones. It is your life and your responsibility to govern yourself. You are the master of your ship.

The small change that creates massive results in your life.

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"It is never too late to become what you
might have been." - GEORGE ELIOT

I believe that we all reach certain key points in our lives. We all reach crossroads where our lives hit a certain threshold of "pain" that we are no longer willing to settle for. This threshold is very different for every person. I also believe that if you are unhappy with anything in your life then that is a call to action; a desire from deep within the "real" you that wants to experience more of life.

This can be very challenging for a lot of people as they have this urge to improve their lives but they don't have an effective strategy. They then do the "logical" thing which is to work on the effects instead of the cause. Here is a simple thought process that will be a wake up call to you if you feel like you are spinning your wheels.

For my life to get better I have to get better.
For things to change I have to change.
I am mine. This is my life and I am the creator of my destiny.

I can change any and everything in my life by simply changing myself. This puts me in the driving seat of my life and makes my life my responsibility. It eliminates fear and apprehension for I know that no matter what life gives me I can always get to the next level and take the next step by simply making the internal shift in my own psychology.

I can stop looking for events, people and circumstances to blame. I only need to look inside. No matter how influential you are you cannot control the circumstances and events of your life. There are only three things over which you have absolute and total control and these are all you need. It forms the total experience of life. My thoughts, my actions and my words are always under my conscious control. They are MY thoughts, they are MY actions and they are MY words AND they create MY world every minute of every day.

This is incredibly liberating. Whenever I want to have more, experience more or change anything, I need only look inwards and work on myself. Jim Rohn once said that the hardest work you will ever do is the work you do on yourself. See, you can run around and work incredibly hard at trying to influence and change circumstances, but that will only make you tired and discourage your future efforts. It's much easier to change yourself and your perception of yourself and your life. Nothing has any meaning except for the meaning you give it.

Changing external events have very little impact in your life on the long term. Small changes in you; in your perceptions and psychology might seem insignificant at first, but because the change is in you it effects all of your thoughts, all of your actions and all of your words. This seemingly insignificant change, over time changes the whole direction and end destination of your life. If a captain of a ship changes direction just one degree the end destination might be a different continent all together. Like the captain changing his course by one degree it might be unnoticeable over a short period of time, but over greater distances the small change becomes very significant.

Most people try and change the big things; they constantly try and change any and everything in their lives, but they then fail to maintain the change. Instead, making small consistent changes in yourself, in your own character you can create phenomenal results. All change starts and ends with you. If you are going to invest the time and effort to improve your life, then invest it in changing yourself. Invest your time and effort in improving "you" and let go of the superficial urges to control events and circumstances. Your whole perception and experience of life comes from you and who you are. Change yourself, improve your character and just watch the world improve and change before your very eyes.

The True Price of Success

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Standing in the gale-force winds, the kid was looking queasy. We could all see the storm was growing more intense.

The rain had already plastered his hair to his forehead and his new black suit was starting to cling to him in ways Mr. Armani never intended.

A typhoon was coming -- the seventh this summer to hit Japan -- and the kid's job, as newest employee, was to stand in front of a TV camera while the weather buffeted him about for the nation to watch. Sort of a talking weather vane.

I take my exercise along that stretch of beach every day, and today one of the most powerful typhoons on record would soon be upon us. I knew I couldn't stay too long, or I'd be caught in the wind and the torrential downpour. I'd make my walk extra-brief this day.

But the television crew had a different assignment.

They, and many other crews like them, are dispatched in satellite equipped trucks to many well-known sites all over Japan. These crews provide live reports on the progress of the storms as they rip their way up the Japanese archipelago.

And the kid in the black suit was their sacrificial lamb today. It was his job to get out there, once the storm reached its peak, and do a show and tell. That's what the people huddled at home want to see, and sponsors will pay well to bring them exactly what they expect.

If you've watched a lot of news over the years, you'll know that the greater the devastation, the higher the viewer ratings. That's the way it works -- more destruction means more interest.

In fact, you may recall that Dan Rather got his big break into national news by doing exactly what this kid was doing -- standing stubbornly in a raging hurricane and giving moment-by-moment reports to the viewers at home.

The networks find it's profitable programming to report on all the destruction, disruption and deaths.

But before we get off on an "Ain't-It-Awful" tangent, let me say right here that this scene I've just described carries one of the richest lessons you'll ever gain.

Typhoons and hurricanes cause huge disruptions. Your humanitarian heart empathizes with those caught up in the tragedies; aches for them; wants to reach out with succor and aid.

And I do applaud that urge to give comfort and help to those that life dumps on. The feelings are normal and proper.

But I suggest that sympathy alone, no matter how heartfelt, is a one-dimensional (even a poverty-ridden) way to respond to the world.

Sympathy can be a good thing, but often it's only a cheap imitation of caring. If it doesn't lead to action, it's basically worthless for anything but show.

However, it's possible to add a second layer of responses, a layer that involves going out and interacting with that world you're so empathic with.

Furthermore, since you've been seeking some way to gain wealth, let me say this. You've just found it.

It's called action.

Action -- appropriate action in response to the problems and tragedies you see around you can make you not only a better person, but a very rich one as well. It can allow you to provide far greater aid to those in need than you could ever accomplish with an aching heart alone.

And the profits from your actions will help you stay in business long-term so you can continue helping your fellowman.

Now, you may already be running a business. If so, you're providing people with some kind of solution to their problems. Are you being well paid for your solutions?

If so, that's good.

But if you're not being well rewarded for your efforts, there are only three possible reasons.

1. You're not telling enough people about yourself.

2. You're not very convincing because you don't believe you're very good at what you do.

3. You may not be solving problems that are big or urgent enough. This is probably the most common limit.

The biggest need today is for people who will do what you and I can't (or won't) do for ourselves. This includes people who make us feel better.

Consider the relative public value of a heart surgeon versus a sales clerk. A captivating entertainer or sports figure versus an office cleaner. A brilliant attorney versus a typist.

It's not my intention to demean anybody who is fulfilling any useful role in society. But the smaller paydays almost always go to the person who is more easily replaced. If nearly anybody can be quickly trained to do the job, there's lots of competition for that slot, and so the price goes down.

And the high-profile jobs like brain surgeon, trial lawyer, pro ball player, or CEO of a multinational -- well, most people won't ever try for those spots, meaning there's less competition. So the people who do try for these jobs can charge whatever the traffic will bear.

This is basic economics, right? We already know all of this. But if we already know it, why do we so seldom apply it to our own life? Why aren't we qualifying ourselves for the absolute top spot in our respective industries?

In many cases, it's because we unthinkingly shy away from "responsibility." We're scared of a bigger role... a higher profile. We keep ourselves small because... well... we just do, that's all. For example, can you tell me exactly why you're not the top authority in your industry? Can I tell why I'm not?

We do know the answer to that, though, don't we?

It's basically cowardice. We're scared spitless of making ourselves uncomfortable through doing things that we're not sure we can do perfectly. If we tried something big and super-ambitious, oh my goodness, what if we didn't do it very well?

We don't like to take chances. Don't enjoy big measures of ambiguity in the things we do. So instead, we plod along like cows coming in from the pasture at evening, regular as clockwork, utterly predictable -- and dependant upon whomever feeds us at the end of the day.

Cows don't take big chances. Neither do sheep. They stay close to the same territory day after day, year after year, clustered together, acting just alike, grazing placidly, never having any grand adventures. There are few opportunities in the fenced-in pasture. Just eat and sleep and grow old.

Ah, but the venturing soul slips through the fence, goes into unknown territory, and seeks out new things to do. Among us humans, we admire most the men and women who push past the barriers to new territory. Record-setting athletes. Inventive new artists and writers. Bold leaders who set new directions and escort the rest of us into new fields. Explorers in medicine, literature, flight, business, sports.

People who go out seeking new places to find, new levels to achieve, new problems to solve.

If you want your income and your life to expand, you're going to have to explore. Go out there past the edge of what you already know, past the comfortable, to a place where you're unsure what your outcome is going to be.

You, in a very real sense, become a gambler. But you will be gambling on the only thing in the universe that's worth the action -- yourself.

It has been said that the real reason for becoming rich and successful is not the money or the fame. It's the joy of being the person you have to become in order to achieve those goals of yours.

Know this: You'll never achieve those goals as you are now.

You really must become a whole different person. A bigger person. A stronger, more capable person.

And how do you do that? You stretch yourself. You make yourself uncomfortable, and you stay that way until you grow into it.

That's the true (and only) price of success.

The Essential Keys To Self Improvement And Motivation… Revealed!

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What are the three keys to self improvement and motivation?

1. INSPIRATION.

Inspiration is critical to staying motivated and improving oneself. If you are not interested in your business, your motivation level will never be high and you will not be able to sustain interest for very long.

Take an honest look at your inspiration level. Are you excited about going to work or is it an obligation? You would be surprised at the number of people who choose a business that looks good on paper, but in reality does not interest them in the least.

These individuals will grow weary and uninterested pretty quickly because they have no inspiration or passion to sustain them during the difficult times they will encounter as a small business owner.

If you do not like your work, then think how you can re-focus your small business to better match your needs. Or consider making a change entirely. Without inspiration, there will not be motivated to even try self improvement.

2. SETTING GOALS.

Short and long-term goal setting is vital for any business owner. If you do not set goals, you would have no definite purpose on which path of self improvement to take.

How could you possibly be motivated if you were unsure about the direction of your company?

Take the time to put your goals in writing. A business plan may sound daunting, but it is really nothing more than goals, strategies, implementation and a budget. Write your own business plan and update it at least annually.

Include "mini-goals" that can be accomplished in a matter of hours, days or weeks as well as the more ambitious "grand-goals" that may take years to complete. Refer to this plan throughout the year.

But can a business plan really help motivate you? Of course. Written goals will make you feel more professional and certainly more connected to your business. It will also free you from having to reinvent your business goals every single day.

3. NETWORKING.

Another key factor in getting and staying motivated is networking with other small business owners. No one person knows all the knowledge.

However, when a number of people begin working together, the challenges will just be there waiting to be conquered.

In fact, the isolation of working alone is of one the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur. You can never be on your way to self improvement without the help of others. Mutual support is motivating.

Make it easier on yourself by connecting with others either in your community or online. Even when businesses are not related, you will often find common ground and ways to work together.

Many successful entrepreneurs report that finding the right networking group was a turning point in the growth of the business. Working together, a networking group can help its members generate more qualified sales leads and solve problems faster and more efficiently.

Sharing ideas, expertise and experience is also an invaluable aspect of motivation and self improvement.

Your own personal team of business owners will help re-energize you when the burdens of running your own business seem too much.

With your networking team to rely on, you can accomplish more in less time and probably have more fun in the process. You will feel motivated to accomplish self improvement when you know you are not alone.

 

Self Motivation Secrets

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We all have a lack of self motivation at times. We can learn a hundred ways to improve our lives, but then hesitate to act. Something less important catches our attention, or we just don't feel like doing what we need to do. Even a person who is normally highly motivated can sometimes have a hard time getting started on an important task.

Is there a solution? There are probably dozens of them. Below are six of the best self motivation techniques that consistently work when used. Try them all, but if you find even one or two here that work for you, you'll be on your way.

Self Motivation Techniques That Work

1. Talk to get motivated. One of my favorite ways to create energy and motivation is to talk. Once I tell my wife about the article I'm going to write, I'm out of my slump and back at the keyboard. For less inspiring tasks, talk about the larger goals it will help you achieve.

2. Stimulate your desire. Seeing their potential future motivates many to sign up for get-rich-quick plans. The really good salesmen can put you in your imagined dream home in minutes, and make you feel motivated to do anything to make it real. Learn to be your own salesman.

3. Stimulate your pain. One Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique is to mentally link pain with not acting. It is like when finally stop hitting that snooze button on the alarm, and get up because you think you might lose your job. Just imagine any bad consequences that may occur if you don't do what you need to do.

4. Find a true interest. If you have no interest in what you are doing, it might mean you need to do something else. If it's just a task you dislike, but it needs to be done, relate it clearly in your mind to the greater goal. I don't like to drive, but I don't have a motivation problem when I'm driving to the mountains for a vacation.

5. Boost your energy. You need energy for self motivation. Coffee may help for a while, if caffeine doesn't create other problems for you. Exercising and sleeping well help too. Yo should also watch out for sugary foods. The "sugar blues"kill motivation. Once you find energy boosters that work for you, make a list and keep it handy for future use.

6. Take any small step. I've found if I commit to raking up one bag of leaves, I soon want to finish all the yard work. Taking any small step towards your goals is a great self motivation technique. To make this even easier, break larger goals down into small steps.

Motivation techniques really do work, but don't ask me how to get motivated to use them. In any case, you were motivated enough to read this far, so you'll be fine. Oh, and humor is number seven. A good laugh can overcome that feeling of being overwhelmed that sucks away self motivation.

The Power of Notes

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Notes are very powerful. They express your thanks, encouragement, sympathy, apology, congratulations, feelings, and requests to others.

Many people create notes on a computer and print them or send them through the Internet. However, I believe the most effective notes are handwritten. A handwritten note is personal and rare. Due to this, it will be given more attention by the reader and have maximum impact.

A few weeks ago I was in Michigan for my dad's funeral. While there I attended my mom's church on Sunday and met her pastor for the second time. While talking to him, I learned that his mother died a few months ago and his dad was critically ill. On my way home to Virginia, I had a stop at Chicago O'Hare Airport. While waiting for my connecting flight, I pulled out a box of note cards and wrote several notes and mailed them. One of those was an encouraging note to my mom's pastor. I found out later that he was so touched by the note that he took it to his church and read it at a meeting. He made it clear to those in attendance how much of an encouragement it was to him. What I didn't know when I wrote the note was that during the following week not only did his dad pass away but his wife was diagnosed with cancer. I believe God used my note to help him during a very difficult time in his life. I also wonder how many others he talked to were changed because of that note. Maybe some of them are now writing notes as well. What if I hadn't written that note?

I would encourage you to start writing notes regularly. What a simple way to influence people's lives in a positive way. If you are concerned about how to get started, the following two books on the subject have been the most useful to me:

- "The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication" by Margaret Shepherd

- "Business Notes: Writing Personal Notes That Build Professional Relationships" by Florence Isaacs

Get a note card, pen and stamp. Write a note to someone who has been on your mind today. Only God knows how much that person, and the world, will change for the better due to the few minutes you take out of your busy schedule to write a few sentences.

The Number 1 Secret of Success

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Do you know what one of the key secrets of success is - what
makes people successful in business, sport or any other
aspect of their lives?

Let me come back to that in a minute.

Ever since I discovered that I wasn't invincible and that my
body would fall apart over time, I've been a member of a
gym.

I've attended regularly over the past fifteen years and my
body deterioration is almost being kept in check.

However I've always noticed a lot of new faces at the gym,
some of which seem to disappear over a short period of time.
Most gyms and health clubs have a high turnover of members
or "churn" as the marketing people like to call it.
One club I know of loses around fifty members a month and
has to work hard to sign up that number just for the
business to stand still.

It's not that these gyms offer a poor service, on the
contrary - it's because the members - "give up."

New members join to lose weight or to get fit. They then
torture themselves on the rowing machines and all the other
instruments of agony. If, after a few weeks of sweat and
pain, they don't see any visible result - they give up.

You're probably away ahead of me on this; because the key
secret of success that I mentioned earlier is this - NEVER
EVER GIVE UP.
This is what separates the winners from the losers in
business, in sport and in life - this is what success is all
about.

If you have a mountain to climb either literally or
figuratively and you reach an obstacle - don't give up.
Find another way round - even go back a short distance and
come at the situation from another direction.

Whatever it is you're trying to achieve, whatever success
you want - never give up! Make mistakes - fall down - get up
- fall down - but get up and try again.

So there you have it - If you want success remember what
Winston Churchill once said - "Never - Never - Never give
up!"

Success Steps For Your Personal Or Business Life

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Fact: Success is something of which we all want more.

Fact: Most people believe that success is difficult.

Fact: They're wrong - it's not!

Success isn't really that difficult. There is a significant portion of the population that actually want and need success to be hard! Why? So they then have a built-in excuse when things don't go their way! Pretty sad situation, to say the least.

For those of you who are serious about having more, doing more, giving more and being more, success is achievable with some understanding of what to do, some discipline around planning and execution of those plans and belief that you can achieve your desires.

The Truth About Success

The first thing to remember about success is that it is a process -- nothing more, nothing less. There is really no magic to it and it's not reserved only for a select few people. As such, success really has nothing to do with luck, coincidence or fate. It really comes down to understanding the steps in the process and then executing on those steps.

There are basically six key areas to higher achievement. Some people will tell you there are four while others may tell you there are eight. One thing for certain though, is that irrespective of the number of steps the experts talk about, they all originate from the same roots.

From my perspective then, here are the six key steps:

1. Making the decision

2. Clarity - developing the Vision

3. Focus -- having a plan

4. Commitment -- understanding the price and having the willingness to pay that price

5. Belief -- believing in yourself and those around you

6. Taking action -- practice Ready, Fire, Aim…

Making the Decision

If success is a process with a number of defined steps, then it is just like any other process. So, what is the first step in any process?

Making a decision to do something -- this is the first step. We all know that nothing moves until someone makes a decision. The first action is always in making the decision to proceed. This is a fundamental step, which most people overlook.

So, make the decision to move forward. Commit your decision to paper, just to bring it into focus. Then, go for it!

Clarity

Having clarity of purpose and a clear picture of what you desire, is probably the single most important factor in achievement. Why is Clarity so important?

Without clarity, you send a very garbled message out to the Universe. We know that the Law of Attraction says that we will attract what we focus on, so if we don't have clarity, we will attract confusion.

Consider the following analogy:

You are going on a cruise, but when the ship sets sail, you discover it has no rudder. What happens? One of 3 things will occur:

1. You will sail along until you collide with an immovable object, after which you will sink to the bottom

2. You will run aground and become hopelessly stuck in the mud

3. You will drift aimlessly until you arrive back at the original dock

Trying to go through life without clarity is similar to sailing a rudder-less ship -- no good thing can or will happen!

The sad thing is the majority of people have no clue about what they truly want. They have no clarity. When asked the question, responses will be superficial at best, and at worst, will be what someone else wants for them.

So how do we get clarity? Simply by asking ourselves lots of questions: What do I really want? What does success look like to me? Why do I want a particular thing? How will this achievement change my life? How can I use this success to make a difference for others?

Introspection is the trick. Understand what you want, why you want it and what it will do for you. This is a critical factor, and as such, is probably the most difficult step. For this reason, most people never complete this aspect -- then wonder why life is so difficult!

Once you have a clear understanding of what you want, it is critical that you engage in goal setting -- specifically setting SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive - S-M-A-R-T. Knowing what you want and setting SMART goals as mileposts on your quest cannot help but give you clarity!

Focus

Focus is having the unwavering attention to complete what you set out to do. There are a million distractions in every facet of our lives. Telephones and e-mail, clients and managers, spouses and kids, TV, newspapers and radio -- the distractions are everywhere and endless. Everyone wants a piece of us and the result can be totally overwhelming.

So, how can we stay on course with all the distractions in our lives? Willpower is a good start, but it's very difficult to stay on track simply through willpower.

The best way is to develop and follow a plan. Start with your goals in mind and then work backwards to develop the plan. What steps are required to get you to the goals? Make the plan as detailed as possible. Try to visualize and then plan for, every possible setback. Commit the plan to paper and then keep it with you at all times. Review it regularly and ensure that every step takes you closer to your Vision and Goals. If the plan doesn't support the vision then change it!

Along with your plans, you should consider developing an action orientation that will keep you motivated to move forward at all times. This requires a little self-discipline, but is a crucial component to achievement of any kind. Before starting any new activity, ask yourself if that activity will move you closer to your goals. If the answer is no, you may want to reconsider doing it at that time.

I coach my clients to practice the 3 D's -- Defer, Delegate or Delete. Can the particular activity be done later? Defer it! Can it be done by someone else? Delegate it! Does it need to be done at all? If not, consider deleting it! Posing these questions will help to keep you focused on what is truly important!

Commitment

Commitment is something that comes from understanding that everything has its price and then having the willingness to pay that price. This is important because nobody wants to put significant effort into something, only to find out after the fact that the price was too high.

The price is something not necessarily defined as financial. It could be time, effort, sacrifice, money or perhaps, something else. The point is that we must be fully aware of the price and be willing to pay it, if we want to have success.

Belief

This is perhaps the single biggest obstacle that all of us must overcome in order to be successful.

We all carry a lot of baggage, thanks to our upbringing. The majority of people carry with them, an entire series of self-limiting beliefs that will absolutely stop, and hold them back from, success. Things like "I'm not good enough", "I'm not smart enough", "I'm not lucky enough", and the worst, "I'm not worthy" are but a few of the self-limiting beliefs I have encountered. We carry them with us like rocks in a knapsack, and then use them to sabotage our success. So, how twisted is that?!?!

The old expression is absolutely true -- whether you think you can or you can't, you're right!

One of the main areas that I work on with my clients is shedding these non-supportive beliefs and replacing them with beliefs that will help them to accomplish their desires.

It is truly amazing the damage that we, as parents, can inflict on our children. So why do we do it? For the most part, we don't do it intentionally or with malice. In the majority of cases, the cause is a well-meaning but unskilled or un-thinking parent, who says the wrong thing at the wrong time, and the message sticks -- as simple as that!

And it's not just parents that are the cause - teachers, friends, clergy members or anyone else that has influence in a child's life can be a contributor to these self-limiting beliefs!

The bottom line is that we must shed the bad and replace with good beliefs.

Taking Action

"Nothing changes until something moves" -- this is the battle cry of author and journalist Robert Ringer. And he is absolutely correct. Not all of the decision-making, clarity, planning, focus and belief in the world, will get you to where you want to be, without taking action!

Action -- putting your plans into play -- that is what will get you to the destination. Don't get caught in the paralysis of analysis, or in the conundrum of Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Aim…

Get the oars in the water and start rowing. Execution is the single biggest factor in achievement, so the faster and better your execution, the quicker you will get to the goals!

Conclusion

So, there you have it; the six steps that will help you to the fabled land of achievement and success! You now have the opportunity to push ahead and reach your potential. No more excuses - make the commitment to take action TODAY!

Figure out what you want, put a plan together to achieve it, understand the cost, believe in yourself then go and get it!

The Key To Your Motivation and Success

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What sets successful people apart from the pack? Is it luck, money, good lucks, and/or talent?

No, it is one small simple fact -- motivation.

People who are successful all share one trait -- they are motivated.

Of course, motivation really isn't simple at all. That is why there is multi-billion industry focused on self-help books, tapes, seminars, camps, and coaches.

There is just one problem with using these methods. When it comes to motivation one size does not fit all. One of the elements that makes human beings so endlessly fascinating is that we are all individuals.It is the primary reason our species has been so successful. It also means we each have different interests, goals, and motivation.

So before you can begin following any one of the thousands of motivational programs available you must first determine which motivational group you fall into.

After some thought, study, and research, I have come up with four basic motivational categories:

~ The Pessimist
~ The Competitor
~ The Minimalist
~ The Exhibitionist

The Pessimist

The Pessimist is personified by my husband. Whenever he gets the smallest bit of bad news he immediately leaps into the deep end of doom and gloom. It doesn't matter if the problem is small or large, he often reacts as if it is the end of the world. If the satellite dish has a momentary hiccup in service then he immediately assumes the bill didn't get paid and our account terminated and our credit score is now on the decline.

It took me a long time to learn how to deal with this. At first I thought it was real panic and I would try to shield him from the smaller hiccups, and even some big ones, of life. But now I know this is actually how he motivated himself.

When we face challenges, big or small, he works himself through a familiar cycle. First he outlines the worst-case scenario, then he outlines his options for action, and then he takes action. And when he takes action just get out of the way as he moves very quickly -- and successfully. Challenge faced, problem solved. It makes me crazy but it works for him!

The Competitor

My brother thrives on competition. Whether he is playing sports or working in sales, he is always more successful if he has competition.If his motivation flags he can easily juice himself up with a quick comparison of his progress toward a particular goal in comparison to others. He likes to keep score and that keeps him motivated. He wants to win whatever competition is at hand.

Don't knock this method. By almost any measure my brother is a huge success and has worked his way from a contract employee barely able to afford his two-bedroom apartment to a high-level sales executive with a six-figure salary plus bonuses to further incentivize him.

The Minimalist

Perhaps this person might best be described as having a short-attention span. They need short-term goals that are immediately visible and can be achieved within a short time span. They can go the distance as long as it is broken up into smaller projects. Each small victory will spur them on to the final goal but they need those little successes to keep them motivated. In many ways this label applies to me but I think down deep that I am really in the final category.

The Exhibitionist

I know I fall into this category because I have a very difficult time with goals that I cannot see. It is one of the reasons I hate cleaning -- sure you can see the results but with a busy family you know how long those results stay visible!

Like the minimalist I enjoy breaking large projects up into small, bite-sized chunks so they are not so overwhelming. When I grade papers for my teaching gig I always divide the pile into several smaller piles so I can feel I am making progress. I do the same with cleaning -- first straighten the room, then dust, then vacuum.

But it isn't enough for me to accomplish the task -- I need to have a to do list that I can check off as I go and then crumple up and throwin the trash at the end of the day. I need to be able to point to some visible success for the day whether it is a shining kitchen, a stack of graded papers, or a pile of completed manuscript pages.

Which category do you fall into? Once you know that much about yourself you will be better able to find the motivation technique that works best for you. Stop by the Words of Inspiration web site and vote in our motivation poll and then go get motivated!

Off To See The Wizard

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Do you remember the story of "The Wizard of Oz"? In this story we saw the characters of Dorothy, who had wanted to run away from home because she thought there was a better place somewhere. We also met the scarecrow who believed he had no brain, the lion who thought he had no courage, and the kindly tin man who assumed he had no heart.

Together the four of them set off to the Emerald City to find the wizard in hopes that he could bestow upon them these virtues and find a way for Dorothy to go back home.

Even though Dorothy had thought she had wanted to be somewhere else, once she arrived in Munchkin Land she realized that hers dreams of being in a different place were not what she thought they would be. Disappointed in the reality she desperately wanted to return to Kansas and be with her loving family.

How many of us can relate to their dilemma? For some reason we think there is greener pasture on the other side or that we do not possess the characteristics necessary to fulfill our dreams.

From a very young age, many of us are told that we can not do this or that because we do not have the talent or that we are not wise enough, or strong enough, or smart enough. What happens is that we end up living our lives in character with what others have told us about ourselves and in our personal belief system about ourselves.

This jaded view of ourselves keeps us from doing the things we dream of doing. Many of us yearn for a magic wizard that would come along and bestow the qualities we feel are missing so we can do more with our lives.

For this reason we are afraid to step forward and go for our dreams. We feel inadequate to fulfill the calling ahead of us. From past experience we can see none of the characteristics necessary for us to reach our goal, our destination.

What many of us were never told, is that we are all given those things necessary in life for us to move ahead, but because of our past experiences and lack of self confidence we tend to shrink back from going forward in our lives.

Many people do not realize that self confidence comes from succeeding in an area that we wish to excel in. Success itself is not a one time event. In fact, it takes many failures and learning from our mistakes that make us eventually self reliant and confident.

Remember when you first started riding a two wheel bike. It's something that you really wanted to do. You saw your friends riding and were certain that it was something you could do. What happened? You tried and you most miserably failed. You would go a few short feet and then wobble and then bingo! You would fall again. Did you give up?
No! You got right back on that bike and kept practicing until you succeeded.
The great baseball hero Babe Ruth was known for his fantastic batting. He could hit a ball right out of the park! Did he just get up one day and say, "Hey, I'm gonna hit every ball out of the park"? No, of course not. Sure, it was probably his dream to hit as many as he could out of the park but he knew in reality he needed to practice and practice, and hit and miss and eventually he would hit more than he would miss. Every ball player has a batting average. This means that they hit a number of balls but it also means that miss a lot of the balls or end up walking to base or striking out.

We may have specific goals. We want to hit that ball, but we must be prepared to fail in order to succeed. As we fail, we learn better how to hold the bat the next time or at what angle we need to swing the bat to hit the ball head on. Even if we become super proficient at this, there will still be times when we just miss the ball. That is part of life, but unless we get up to bat we will not be in the game.

What about your dreams, are you giving them a fair shot. Sure you may not be perfect! Who is? The thing is, that you have to go after your dreams and not let failure or lack of self confidence hold you back.

Just like the scarecrow, the lion and the tin man, we must go through the adversity and step forward in faith. Along the journey we will find that indeed we do have the qualities that we were longing for.