Why is Success So Elusive?

Our society emphasizes success. However, success often seems complicated to come by. We are taught many things in school, but how to be successful is not one of them. One thing is for sure; if you want to achieve greater levels of success than you are currently experiencing, you will have to change. A change in your results will require a difference in your approach.

Understand why you have not been as successful as you would like:

  1. You do not know what you want. The accomplishment of something unique is rarely accidental. It would help if you had intention and purpose over a while. If you do not know what you want, you can not expect that anything significant will happen.
  • Do you know what you want? Do you have an intention for each day? What did you try to accomplish today that will enhance your life in the long term?

    2. You have detrimental habits. Whether you are too flabby, poor, lonely, or ignorant, your habits are to blame. The small actions that you take each day to determine your long-term outcomes.
  • Proper eating and exercise habits ensure a fit body.

  • Regular saving and effort to increase your income ensure wealth.

  • What habits do you currently have? Can you see how they have to lead to your current circumstances?

  • 3. You have poor self-control. Some degree of self-control is necessary to be successful. Humans like comfort. Sitting on the couch with a movie and a snack sounds good to the average person. Successful people are good at controlling themselves where it counts. If comfort is your primary objective, success becomes much more difficult.

    4. You waste more time than you realize. How much time do you waste each day? The TV, internet, e-mail, and gossip are a few examples of time-wasters that suck many of us into their vortex. When we emerge, more time than we imagined has disappeared.
  • Consider the most effective actions you can take each day and measure how much time you spend on them. The small amount of time you spend each day productively will amaze you. Just imagine the results you could obtain if you changed that trend.

    5. I suppose you might be wrong. Achieving success also requires making effective decisions. None of us is correct 100% of the time. If your view of the world situation, in general, is incorrect, you are bound to struggle. If you believe the pet rock will make a comeback, and it does not, you will not be successful.
  • This issue is not easy to rectify. However, at the very least, you can examine your beliefs and ask yourself why you believe them.

    6. You give up too soon. The most successful people have endured numerous failures. Persistence is the most important attribute you can have on the road to success. If you can make a small amount of progress each week, you can eventually accomplish anything.

    7. You are not growing as a person. The person you are today might not be capable of making ten times your current salary. You will have to learn, grow, and adapt. You can not stay the same and have your life unfold. You may need to become more knowledgeable, a better communicator, more disciplined, more friendly, or have more focus.
  • Think about the person you need to become to accomplish your objectives.

Success is not complicated, but it also is not easy. You are becoming more successful in making good decisions, using your time wisely, and being persistent. Decide what you want and determine the actions required to get there. Never give up and keep evolving. You will grow your knowledge and skills to reach your full potential.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Focus on Gratitude

“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out, and the tide of love rushes in.” Kristin Armstrong

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Gratitude is something we should all express. I thank God every morning I wake up. As the day passes and things happen to make for a good day, I thank God. It does not matter how small or large the gift; I still thank God for His blessings.

Last week I helped a friend, and she insisted on taking me to breakfast for my help. Usually, I would have said that was alright. She did not have to pay for my breakfast. However, I saw how important it was to her, and I remembered another friend telling us we must learn to accept a gift when presented because it is a reward from God.

The next day I received a proofreading assignment. It was the second request to pay me doe proofreading. That was so amazing because I had proofread for people before, but I did it for free.  It was such a liberating feeling; I felt like I was walking on cloud nine or sitting.

To round the week out, a third person asked me if I would proofread for them. It seems I am in the journaling and proofreading business.

That was last week. This week has started with me in negotiation for another proofreading assignment, and I have a new client who not only wants to journal with me but has requested my help with writing her book.

So my gratitude is bursting at the seams for the exciting things that are happening in my life. I am grateful for all that is taking place. The more grateful you are, the more you will receive. Again by focusing on the good, the disappointments we experience are forgotten.

Until next time, stay focused on the good in life, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Follow Your Dream

People who are in control of their destiny make their own decisions. What your values in life are, form the basis of who you are. It takes a lot of self-confidence and self-belief to follow the life you want for yourself and the goals you wish to achieve.

It can be especially so when friends and family disagree with your dreams and what you want personally from your own life. Knowing your values and what will make you happy frees you from emphasizing outside influence.

You do not feel pressured to change your dream because of the opinions and expectations that other people have regarding how you live your life.

That has helped me immensely these past months. I am working on my dream, and I see the benefits of clarity, focus, self-belief, journaling, and knowing what I want. So simple, and yet so hard to do. Follow your dream.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Multitasking

Multitasking: another thing that we do to trick ourselves into believing we are productive. Yet, the sad truth is, multitasking wastes a ton of time.

It is counter-productive when your attention becomes divided among several tasks at once.

Today was my day of chaos. I had so many things that needed my attention. I felt overwhelmed because each item was a priority. I know. You think some were more of a focus, and you are right.

In other words, it is just another form of distraction.

However, because there was only me to take care of these jobs, several still went undone. They move to the number one spot tomorrow.

The Fix: It is simple. Just put all your attention and focus on one task at a time. When done, move on to the next task, and so on.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

How to Stay Focused in an Increasingly Distracting World

Absentmindedly, you reach for your phone. You open your favorite app. Nothing has changed since you last did this 10 minutes ago, but you forgot that you had just done this. So, you open a different app… but you were just there, too. Does this sound familiar?

Sometimes, we convince ourselves we are super productive by staying up to date with the latest news and happenings on social media and responding to emails immediately. The reality of the matter, though, is you are distracting yourself from more important things.

When you are at work, your focus should be on work. When you are at home your focus should be on your home life. It’s time to take back control.

  • No More Notifications

Open your phone settings right now and go in and turn off notifications. You do not need an update about who sent what Tweet yesterday, but it is time for you to see it now. You do not need a constant stream of distressing news updates breaking your focus. Check your social media at set times, do the same for email, and ignore it the rest of the time.

  • A Healthy Routine

You can improve your focus by establishing a healthy daily routine. When you set your routine and get used to it, you do not have to waste time thinking about what comes next. It is why people like Steve Jobs did, and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same outfit.

  • Prioritize

What does your day look like? What is on your to-do list? The best way to avoid distractions is to rank your tasks in order of priority. It can be overwhelming when you think about all of the things you need to do. By putting them in order, you remove the stress and overwhelm.

  • Say No To Multitasking

Are you a multitasker? If yes, are you good at it? If yes, you are wrong. Sorry. Your attempt at multitasking slows you down, reducing your productivity, and you are not doing each task as well as you could be. By multitasking, you contribute to distractions.

  • Renew

When your schedule is going haywire, it is challenging to take a moment for yourself when the world throws distractions in your face. However, renewal is vital. As your energy dips, memory is fading, and you can feel the stress creeping in, you must withdraw from that and take time to regenerate.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.   

5 Tips to Eliminate Distractions to Gain Better Focus

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes and can ruin even the best laid of plans and intentions. Some distractions you cannot help or ignore (fire alarms or crying babies), but many of our daily interruptions can be. Keep reading for five simple steps to minimize and eliminate disturbances that keep you from focusing on what matters most.

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  • Turn Off Notifications

We love notifications from our phones, from our computers, from everything. Turn them off. You do not need to know every time you get a like or a retweet. You can also turn off notifications from other apps (health, email, news, coupons) and do the same with messages that come from your computer for emails and ads. It will significantly lower the number of distractions you will have throughout the day.

  • Put Away Your Phone

If at all possible, put your phone on silent or away for a set amount of time. You will no longer have the temptation to check in needlessly every few moments, and when it does go off, you will not know it. The vast majority of messages received throughout the day do not need immediate responses anyways. If you still worry about missing important calls or texts, change your settings to allow notifications and calls from specific people.

  • Only Necessary Programs

If you are working on your computer, be sure only to have open the necessary programs for your project. Are you working on a spreadsheet? Close your email and internet browser. Closing the unneeded programs will limit distractions, and having the programs you need already opened will save you time and energy.

  • Clear All the Clutter

Clutter comes in many forms, physical clutter on your desk, visual clutter (notes stuck to your monitors), or mental clutter. Get everything put up, cleaned up, and out of your head so you can focus on your task at hand and not worry about distractions.

  • Prepare Your Needs

Preparing your needs is about setting up your environment. Make sure your room is the right temperature or that you have a blanket if you tend to get cold. Ensure you have a beverage, a snack, and any other tools or supplies you will need. Having everything ready means you will not be leaving your work area frequently to get distracted and wander off.

Taking a few moments to prepare yourself and your work area can go a long way in helping you to maintain focus and complete projects promptly. Looking around your room, what steps can you take now to eliminate distractions?

Until next time, please stay safe, and keep the faith. 

Stop Multitasking – It Kills Your Focus

Humans are not good at multitasking, despite what many will tell you. They end up doing a bunch of tasks poorly. We are not machines and therefore can not slice up the time in ways that will be the most productive. Computers are pretty good at doing this, but humans are not at all.

You may be able to get away with doing two items at the same time. But, remember, most tasks will require full attention, and it is impossible to do them simultaneously. Even computers have to emulate multitasking when the number of functions required is greater than the number of processors. However, they do everything in an entirely programmatic way. So, they know how to handle the emulated multitasking.

If you can use computers to do multiple tasks, that can help you get more done in less time. However, you still will need to manage the time for those tasks to ensure it has all the inputs required and take care of whatever is produced.

Another problem humans have with multitasking is that we can not help our minds wandering off when doing mundane tasks. We forget what we were doing. It often requires us to retrace our steps to figure out what we may have missed.  It is certainly possible to develop a system where you write down where you left off, etc. But even here, the more tasks you try to do this with, the more challenging it will be to manage.

The situation gets complicated when managers expect you to get multiple tasks done, and they do not seem to take into account the amount of time needed for all the charges. If this is your situation, try to find ways to offload or delegate to others. You may be able to convince management to outsource aspects of your job to external resources. More companies are implementing this as it is pretty cost-effective. There are some challenges when doing this, as you will need to manage those resources and deal with company trade secrets, etc. But, if you can make this work, it can be a tremendous productivity booster.

Your focus will improve if you can keep your tasks to one item at a time. You may need to determine the critical paths of the tasks you are responsible for. When you show your manager that you get higher quality work complete by working on tasks one at a time, you should convince him or her this is a better approach.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

EMBRACING UNCERTAINTY

No matter how blessed your life may be, you will never be free from uncertainty. To live is to be uncertain. Even with the best-laid plans, you can not know what is coming next. If that is the case, you have two choices – you can fret and worry about the uncertain or embrace it. If you want to be the type of person that embraces uncertainty, then follow the tips below.

  1. Acknowledge Your Uncertainty

Acknowledging uncertainty is the first step towards embracing it. It would help if you realized that life is full of suspense and nothing you can do about it. Once you have accepted that universal truth, you can focus on embracing uncertainty.

  • Reframe Uncertainty as Excitement

Yes, it can be scary when you do not know what is going to happen next. But guess what? Not knowing what is next can be exciting too! Your future is full of opportunity. What new adventures and discoveries await you? Embrace the excitement of the unknown.

  • Remember, You Can Handle It!

Never forget that you are a healthy, capable person who can handle anything that comes your way. Life is full of trials and tribulations. Who better to conquer them than you? Focus on building your self-confidence, and you will notice the fear of uncertainty begin to slip away.

  • Embrace Imperfection

You can try your very best, but not everything is going to work out precisely the way you want. That is OK! By letting go of perfection, you free yourself from worrying about everything going exactly right. It is great when things work out, but sometimes life’s most rewarding experiences happen when they do not.

  • Prepare for Different Outcomes

One way to deal with uncertainty is to be as prepared as possible for it. An easy way to do that is to prepare for different outcomes. You can not possibly plan the outcome for every situation, but that is OK. If you focus on the most likely results, you will feel much surer of yourself.

  • Focus on the Things You Can Control

Listen, a large part of our lives is simply out of our control. That can be an overwhelming feeling for some people. If you are feeling this way, try and focus on the things you can control. It will help you feel more in control. You can not change the things out of your control, so why waste energy trying?

  • Live in the Present

Sometimes we struggle living in the present. We should not be taking life for granted, but we often fret about the future or obsess over the past. When we live in the moment, we get to enjoy our experiences truly. As a bonus, focusing on the present is a great way to stop worrying about the future’s uncertainty.

  • Remember Everything You Have

While you are worrying about the future’s uncertainty, do not forget to reflect on the past. All your past experiences were once an uncertainty after all. Take stock of all the great things you have in your life. Appreciate where you have come. You will worry less about the future when you recognize just how far you have come.

  • Welcome Failure

One of the biggest reasons we fear uncertainty is because we are scared of failing in some way. The thing is, failure is nothing to be feared! Failure is nothing more than a lesson learned. The task may be painful, but it is almost always impactful. If you look at the loss as a regular part of your journey, you will feel much more comfortable with uncertainty.

That’s it for now. Over the weekend, I will post quotes. Take care until next time. Stay safe, and keep the faith.