Get Yourself Focused

It’s way too easy to get distracted these days. There have always been the demands upon us for our time with family, friends, and work needs. Past that there were commercials on the radio and TV, billboards, and various forms of print advertising. To shut those off we pretty much just shut of the TV and radio and skipped the newspaper and magazines.

Nowadays we throw in a constant stream of cell phones, text messages, email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube… And it all comes to us on a handheld device you can literally put in your pocket. In fact if you’re not reading this on your phone, it’s a safe bet to say it’s within reach of wherever you’re reading these exact words.

All of these things can be handy and even enjoyable, but overdone they can take away from what it is we should really be focusing on. It can take some extra discipline at times to keep focused on what most needs to be done. Try turning off the phone, all the additional distractions, the social media notifications when you most need to concentrate and see what happens. Getting your primary tasks out of the way first will make you far more productive and you can add those other things back in later on as you have the time.

You Gotta Be Bold!

Smart and bold aren’t always measured correctly in this world.

Too often we think we have to wait until we have all the answers before we take any action. We can get ourselves stuck, looking for one more answer, one more fix, trying to get “smarter” until we get ourselves so confused and stuck in an endless circle that we forget we need to at least take the first step.

That’s where boldness comes in: having faith that we know at least enough to get ourselves in motion and adjust along the way as we learn. Growth never comes from inside the comfort zone. In fact that’s not even a proper name for it; we’re better off thinking of it as the “familiar zone” because let’s be honest, are we ever really comfortable when we’re having a hard time paying the bills or wondering how we’re going to get off the plateau we’re currently stuck on?

Go ahead and get a little wild and do something today that stretches you outside that familiar zone. That’s both bold and you’ll be amazed and how much smarter you get along the way.

Do it Now!

It’s pretty straightforward.

The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet, which leaves us only the present. Time is the only resource we can never renew and the clock is ticking. Why would we waste another minute once we know who we are what we’re aiming for? And when is there ever going to be a better time?

Is there anything else to say?

Accept Responsibility For ALL of it…

Let’s be blunt: if you truly want to succeed in life and business you need to take responsibility for everything you have ever done and said. Not just the parts where everything is shiny and perfect, but all the bumps and rough spots, too.
 
Not only is a function of being honest about who you are and what you stand for, it’s a function of integrity and doing the right thing. This doesn’t mean we have to beat up on ourselves when something hasn’t gone according to plan. One would hope your intentions are good and that the mistake just boils down to a miscommunication or error in calculation. That and accepting responsibility for our mistakes is also the fastest path to making corrections so we can put things back in order for the benefit of everyone involved.
 
The bigger bonus is this means we also get to accept responsibility for our triumphs as well. As long as we don’t get carried away into ego, we’re then also free to celebrate our successes for a job well done in solving the challenges in front of us. This boosts morale for all improved and keeps everyone on the team focused forward for the next round.
 
In both experiences we’ve grown, conquered, and ready to tackle the next great thing we’re ready to do. Accept responsibility for all of it, and you’ll be at the top of your before you know it.

Don’t Compromise

Ah, the sweet temptation of quick rewards. We’re not overly patient as a species and tend to like getting things as soon as we can. For example, answer the following question honestly: how many times have you stopped the microwave a few seconds before it’s done just so you can have your plate of food that much faster? Sure, there’s the excuse of not wanting to hear the beeps, but you promised to answer honestly…

It’s a similar reason so many of us end up in the workforce in jobs we don’t like. The illusion of a safe and steady paycheck can be a mighty lure when money is tight and the prospects are bleak. Of course we need to generate income and sometimes a job is what we need to do as we work on other things, just as some find great fulfillment on account of what they do for work.

Yet there are countless more that settle; just clinging to the job they hate while they complain about the bosses they also hate, thinking that this is as good as it’s going to get and give up ever trying for other things that truly call to them.

How many of us decide that that last slice of cake isn’t a big deal and we’ll start working out over the weekend? Or maybe we skip out on the date of a lifetime because why would a person like that be interested in someone like us?

These might be some odd examples, but they still point to a common theme of giving up what we most want in exchange for something we can have right now. It’s quite natural, but if we want to have bigger and better things in our lives it means sometimes we’re going to have to give up a short term gain in exchange for a larger reward down the line. The long game might not always be as fun, but the rewards are so much greater.

Take the Dare

It’s amazing how powerful our imagination can be. We discussed yesterday that thoughts are things and how we must be careful in how we craft and cultivate them. 

To match yesterday’s theme, it’s amazing how often we spend countless time and energy waffling over a decision to act. We start picturing all the reasons why something won’t work and then do all kinds of things to sabotage ourselves before we even start. Set our imagination for negativity out of fear or anxiety and it’s amazing how much more difficult tasks can become. On the other hand imagination set to task in positive thinking and success and suddenly the great things become just a matter of process.

After a while we’ve created this giant, formidable task in our minds, loaded with all this negative thinking and energy and it’s no wonder daring to do great things becomes such a difficult thing for us to do.

Yet even the great things we want to do get done the same way everything else gets done: one step at a time. And when we can break down our tasks into simpler steps and just get to it, it’s remarkable how we manage to do these incredible things more easily and rapidly.

The key ingredient? Take action. Set the intention and get to work. It’s amazing how much stuff you’ll figure out on the way.

Faith and Fear

Fear and faith are opposite sides of the same coin. They are both based on our belief systems and are driven by the same energy. The difference is in whether we use that energy to build walls or foundations.

To suggest we don’t have a choice is to give away the single greatest gift we have, which is our individual power. If we could only fully understand just how creative we really are, that our ability to think makes us limitless, there would never be a reason for us to ever fear anything again.

We could build anything we desire. We could go anywhere we want. Just look at the course of human history to see how the power of our curiosity has literally opened up the entire globe for us to explore. Heck, we’ve left the surface of the planet and we’re on the hairy edge of another space race which will take us to Mars and beyond.

Think on these things as you consider your goals and dreams. Because you are limitless. You can build anything and go wherever you want.

All it takes is a little faith.

Persistence

The true test of your character will be in what you do when things don’t go right. It’s easy to get frustrated and disappointed when things don’t work exactly as we planned and we have to return to the drawing board again and again to dial in what we’re working on. A conscious decision to proceed regardless the challenges and setbacks is what will see us through to our goals.

Persistence is a trait we don’t talk about very often. Sure, there’s the motivational stuff about “keep going” and “you can do it” and it’s all relevant, but what of the times we just don’t feel all excited and the bumper sticker quotes aren’t working? These moments don’t happen very often as our mindset improves, but they can still pop up.

These are the moments when we show our true character. These are the moments we decide if our fears and challenges are worth more than our goals, if we’re going to let the moment defeat us, or if we’re going to dig our heels in and see it through to the end.

That’s persistence.

That’s dedication to ourselves and our goals.

It’s inevitable that we’re going to make mistakes along the way and have failures. It’s because we don’t have every last bit of information we need. If we did, there would never be any mistakes and honestly, it would be BORING, because there also wouldn’t be any reason for growth. And the bottom line is our failures become permanent is when we sit back and decide it’s not worth another try.

Keep at it.Keep going. Keep persisting and you WILL get there.

Opportunities Abound!

Never in all of history has so much information and opportunity been so readily available to so many. We are practically drowning in it! The advancements of the internet are changing the way we communicate and we’ve barely even begun to see the long range effects, but it’s not hard to see it’s going to be a wild ride! It’s more important now than it’s ever been to know what it is you want out of life.

As you consider all the opportunities in front of you, remember you also have the option to not pick any of them and create something entirely new. There are countless untapped angles waiting to be explored. You have knowledge and expertise others don’t, and even if it’s an area that’s already been covered, nobody has your particular point of view.

Why not shed your light on the topic? Why not sure what the world exactly what you know? It’s okay if it’s outside what we’ve already seen. In fact that’s even better! All the tools are available for you to step out on your own: all they need is your decision to do something with them.

Facing the Odds

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.”  –Elon Musk

Actually pretty much whenever when we dare to do anything great the odds are not in our favor. If they were, we would already have all the knowledge and resources we need to accomplish what we’ve set out to do and it would have already happened.

There wouldn’t be any stress, or any challenge, or setbacks to our progress.

There also wouldn’t be any growth and it would be BORING.

Setting our goals properly absolutely stretches us. Yes, we have to face the odds, unknowns, dig for new knowledge to accomplish what we’ve set out to do. But we also become far greater versions of ourselves, expanding our capacities and we become capable of even more.

We’ve borrowed from Elon Musk twice this week for a reason. Odds were highly against him starting a private rocket company, yet he’s conquered a historical first in landing rockets vertically, and is drastically reducing the costs of spaceflight along the way. His goal is Mars and while he doesn’t have everything in place to accomplish it yet, just watch.

It’s a similar story for Tesla. Electric cars face overwhelming odds against the oil companies that still hold the majority on how our cars are powered. Even though Tesla is such a small player in the automotive field, Musk has rattled plenty of chains and made the major automotive makers take note that there might be a better way to think about cars.

We could even talk about the birth of the automotive industry, the moon mission, or when a child first learns to walk and talk… The odds are constantly against us and we beat them all the time. Yet it’s amazing how once we tackle “impossible” things how quickly they become the new norm.

So the heck with the odds. You’re wise to calculate the risk so you can adjust accordingly, but great things are ALWAYS done in the face of opposition.