Life coaches, gurus and spiritual leaders often exhort their students to “simplify,” but this basic piece of advice is often misunderstood. To simplify one’s life doesn’t mean you have to do without. It doesn’t mean you have to give up your automobile and other modern conveniences, give up your lofty goals, or abandon your dream of building a successful business. On the contrary, you can achieve remarkable success and happiness in your life, achieve your goals, and even generate wealth, by keeping this basic piece of advice in mind.
Let’s not confuse simplicity with having no goals. A life in which you simply have no goals, with no purpose or direction, doesn’t make you happy—but a life in which you achieve your goals simply, certainly will. Let’s talk about how we can achieve your goal and get results by using simple solutions.
In the 14th century, an Englishman named William of Occam came up with a wonderful piece of wisdom, which is now known as “Occam’s Razor”. Loosely translated, it says, “The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” When you list your goals for the next year, three years, or five years, you’ll stare at that list for a while and wonder what to do next. In fact, a list of goals by itself won’t get you very far. Create a goal setting template that includes details about each goal, and a strategy for goal achievement. Coming up with that strategy is the hard part—and it may involve getting input from a circle of trusted friends and advisors, doing some research, and seeing how other people have achieved the same result. More often than not, there will be more than one way to get there and achieve the life of your dreams. Read the rest of this entry »
However, visualization can be counter-productive and even sabotage your goals if done improperly, so I believe it’s important to address this.
People who visualize taking the practical steps necessary to reach a goal have more success than those who simply visualize the outcomes, like a new house or car. So says psychologist Richard Wiseman in his book 59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change a Lot.
He cites studies that show how those who, for example, visualize themselves practicing tennis have more success than those who visualize themselves winning a tennis match.
The reason it can be ineffective to focus exclusively on the outcomes of achieving your goals is that it doesn’t prepare you for the inevitable setbacks you will face. Also, some outcomes are beyond your control, and if you focus exclusively on outcomes, you are likely to become quite unhappy when you don’t achieve your outcome, as sometimes happens. More on that in a minute.
First let’s take a look at 5 steps to help you with this type of action-based visualization: Read the rest of this entry »
Just “do the right thing.” It seems a cliché to say that these days. What is the right thing anyway? How do you go about doing the right thing? Because my work focuses on helping people with goal setting—especially setting bold, audacious goals—in the workplace and in one’s personal life, I will share with you 3 ways to focus on doing the right thing within that context.
1. Pursue Inner Peace
Although I would never recommend that you always trust feelings over logic, I ask you to think of situations where you felt totally at ease and peace with both yourself and those around you. How did you feel internally? When you do the right thing, that sense of inner peace follows and you’ll know you’re doing the right thing.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have long term goals, of course. But the forward motion you gain from focusing on getting things done quickly will help you achieve even your long term goals too.
Let me give an example. Twenty minutes after Jason Mark used an iPad for the very first time he came up with an idea for an iPad bracket. The bracket serves as a frame for the iPad, much like a picture frame. It lets you mount the iPad on a wall for presentations in meetings, displays in museums, etc.
Three days after coming up with the idea he presented it to a manufacturing company and within 21 days they had a working prototype, marketing plan, website and their first sale, which came an hour after the iBracket was mentioned on a blog. Note that this was a physical product yet still they got it out the door in record speed.
With today’s technology and social media it’s very possible for you to achieve similar things with great speed. This applies to any area of your life, like fitness goals, plans to redecorate, saving money for a vacation, etc. Speed helps everything.
Here are 5 steps for you to accomplish your goals with more speed:
1. Set an audacious goal. Make sure it’s one you are passionate about. That passion will energize and sustain you in the early going. By audacious I mean a goal that might seem outrageous on the surface or hard to achieve but one that will motivate you because the potential payoff is great.
7. Define the obstacles to achieving your goal. It may seem counter-intuitive to put any focus on obstacles, for fear of indulging in negative thinking. But I encourage you to embrace the obstacles in your way because the solution to achieving your goals actually lies in your obstacles.
Obstacles make you think harder and force you to be versatile. If you clearly define your obstacles, your mind will get to work at finding solutions. If you are using this approach in the workplace with a departmental or group goal, you’ll experience synergy as you define obstacles together and commit to overcoming them.
8. Focus on the solutions to overcoming your obstacles. Now that you know what your obstacles are you and your team can focus on the specific ways to overcome them. Remember, problem-solving is ingrained in our nature.
If your obstacle is lack of funding for a piece of equipment or software to make a certain aspect of your business run more efficiently, then brainstorm possible solutions such as cutting back expenses in other areas, like travel, conferences, etc. If your obstacle is a boss who shoots down innovative ideas, possible solutions would be a seminar on communications, talking directly to the boss about this problem in a constructive way, looking for a new job, talking to a coach or therapist about how to become more assertive, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
Today I want to take my popular 12 Steps to Achieve Any Goal and apply it to the business world. These 12 steps will help you as you advance in your career or even as you switch careers. We will cover the first 6 steps in this article:
1. Define your most important and audacious goal. This is the goal you most want to achieve, even if it seems unrealistic or not feasible. Although you don’t want to be totally unrealistic, be bold. Whether it’s to retire by age 50 or become CEO of your own company, it should be a goal that is completely in line with your true self and values. You can also set an audacious goal for your department or entire business and enlist your co-workers in this process.
2. Have a clear deadline. Unfortunately, being the human creatures we are, most of us won’t achieve our goals without a deadline. How many projects would you complete if your boss said, “It doesn’t matter when you finish this project.” How many clients would you acquire if your attitude was, “I don’t do deadlines.” You should also set deadlines for your goals. It’s so easy to not take your goals seriously and to not assign deadlines to them but I urge you to do so. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll accomplish once you start setting deadlines. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, let me share one incident that is still, 38 years later, as vivid in my memory as though it happened yesterday.
At age 10 (Grade 5), when I lived in a small town in Kenya, I wanted a bicycle, one that I could eventually ride to school. Looking back, I am sure it had a lot to do with independence, being able to go see my friends, and having my own possession. Rite of passage I suppose!
My parents, who were not well off, promised me I could have one, if I saved up for one (from my pocket allowance) and that they would match my savings once I reached the half way mark. In other words, a 50/50 split.
So for almost two years, I was very frugal, and saved hard. I REALLY wanted that shiny new red bicycle. As I got very close to my goal, I even hit up my younger sister for a loan so that I could get to my goal quicker! She kindly agreed.
When I finally reached my goal, I went to the bicycle store, reconfirmed the price (for the 10th time), and then proudly told my Dad that I had saved up my 50% of the cost.
He congratulated me, but pointed out that the family was going through a tough time financially, and that I would have to wait a bit (which to a child seems like eternity!) before he could contribute his 50%.
I was crushed at this broken promise. I had saved so hard and was so keen to have the bike . . .! Read the rest of this entry »
Your behavior tells me how you think, how you talk about yourself even when no one’s around, and what you do every single day. The real essence of truth, of who you really think you are is not found in what you say, but by what you do.
So how do you change those behaviors that don’t accommodate the goals you have set?
It can be difficult to monitor our own behavior because it’s easy to fall into ruts and unhealthy patterns. Today I will give you three measuring sticks to use, which will help you develop behaviors that will be a better reflection of your true self so you can then achieve the goals you have set.
1. Are You Consistent? - Being able to count on someone is a very important quality. People who show up on time, are faithful and steady are indispensable. We know that we can always count on them. They don’t have explosive temperaments and although they are far from perfect people, their emotional reactions to things are mostly predictable Read the rest of this entry »
In my previous post we discussed how a Vision Board can help you achieve your goals because it allows your mind to experience your goals just like they have already come to fruition. When you use all your senses so you actually see, smell, feel and taste your goals they become more real in your mind.
When they are real, you will be motivated to take the next action steps to achieve them even when those steps become difficult or time consuming.
There are 2 ways to create your vision board. You can do it physically by glueing images on posterboard or cardboard or you can purchase computer software that is designed to help you create a Vision Board on your computer.
If you create a computer generated Vision Board you can then use it as a screen saver or desktop background. Looking at your Vision Board on a daily basis will help you visualize and focus on your dreams and goals. Read the rest of this entry »
The first step to achieving your goals is to be really clear about what they are. You need to sit down and write a list of all your life goals.
Look into the all the different areas of your life such as health, relationships, wealth, family, and spirituality. Be as specific as possible. For example, if you want to create more spare time so that you can spend time with your family then what would you do with that spare time? Would you go out to the park with your children or would you take them on a trip to Disneyland?
If you want to be wealthy, how do you define wealth? Is it owning a new house, having money in the bank, donating money regularly to your favorite charities or going on an exotic holiday? Write all this down.
But as important as it is to write down your goals, sometimes words aren’t enough to make them seem real in your mind. Sometimes it’s hard to visualize them on your own. This is so important because, if you can visualize yourself accomplishing your goals and you are able to tap into how it will feel to actually achieve them, then you will be motivated to do the necessary hard work to achieve them.
I recommend creating a “Vision Board” or “Attraction Board”, as it’s sometimes called. A “Vision Board” is a collection of images that helps you to see, feel, smell and tastes everything you would like to achieve. The more vividly you can picture yourself achieving your goals, the more likely it is that you will achieve them. Read the rest of this entry »
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