Archive for the ‘Personal Success’ Category
Moving on to the next letter in GOALS…
The second letter, O, stands for opportunity. Successful people do not wait for opportunities to turn their goals into reality; rather, they make their opportunities, because they are perfectly clear about the kind of life they wish to create. Once you have taken the time to decide exactly what you want, you will experience an endless flow of opportunities that will help move you in that direction.
For example, a young woman worked for me as an executive secretary. At the same time, she had a goal to be a successful real-estate agent and investor. So while she worked for me, she regularly took night courses to get her real-estate agent’s license and also to learn how to buy and sell real estate profitably. Over the course of a year, she and her husband bought, fixed up and sold three houses.
They made more money from their real-estate transactions than they did from their jobs. At the end of the year, she passed the test and got her real-estate-agent’s license.
Within a few days of getting her license, she and her husband were sitting in a small restaurant, and they got into a conversation with a woman at the next table. It turned out that this woman was a very successful real-estate agent who needed an executive assistant to work with her and learn the real-estate profession. They got along so well that my executive secretary was offered the job, where she would be earning double what she could earn as a secretary and have an unlimited upside potential.
My secretary did not wait for an opportunity to come to her. She set a goal, made a plan and went to work to prepare herself for the opportunity when it arose.
The letter A stands for ability. Many people hesitate to set high, challenging goals because they lack the ability necessary to turn those goals into reality. But remember that we all lacked knowledge and experience when we started out in our careers or fields of expertise.
Do you remember when you started your first job? You probably felt a little clumsy, inadequate and unsure about how to do it well. As you progressed and got more experience, you became more and more confident, and in many cases, you did an excellent job without even thinking much about it.
Since you gain the ability necessary for high achievement through knowledge and experience, if you increase the speed at which you acquire both of those, you increase the speed at which you move ahead.
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The letter L stands for leadership. Leadership is simply the ability to get results. And you begin to get results when you accept full responsibility for yourself, for your job and for the outputs required in your position.
You demonstrate leadership when you refuse to make excuses or blame anyone or anything for the problems you are having. The acceptance of the responsibility of leadership enables you to move ahead and take action.
When you are not satisfied with your job or income, and you sit down and make a written plan to change it, and then take action on that plan, without waiting for anyone’s approval or permission, you are behaving like a leader.
The final letter, S, stands for stay with it — the resolution to persist in the face of adversity until you succeed. Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.
When you look around you, you will see that all achievement is the triumph of persistence. You will see men and women everywhere who are struggling with and overcoming adversities in order to accomplish something that is important to them. And so can you.
So these are the words and phrases to remember in setting and achieving goals: The first is get to it! Get started; take the first action at hand. The second is opportunity. Begin to prepare yourself now so that you will be ready for the opportunities that will inevitably arise. The third is ability. Resolve to learn what you need to know to live the kind of life you want to live. The fourth word is leadership. Take charge of your time and your life, and accept responsibility for your results. And, finally, stay with it. If you stay with it long enough, nothing can stop you from finally winning through.
Maximum Achievement Affirmation
Continuing from last time…
The primary reason why you fear failure is simply this: You probably do not understand the role that failure plays in achievement. The fact is that it is impossible to succeed without failing. Failure is an indispensable prerequisite for success. All great success is preceded by great failure. If you wish to fulfill your potential, you have to be willing to risk failure over and over and over, because there is no way that you can ever accomplish worthwhile goals until you have fallen on your face so many times that you have eventually learned the lessons that you need for great achievement.
In doing research for his classic book The Law of Success, Napoleon Hill interviewed more than 500 of the most successful men and women in America. All of them admitted to him that they had achieved their greatest successes just one step beyond the point where they had experienced their greatest failures.
A key to succeeding through goal-setting is expecting temporary setbacks and obstacles as inevitable parts of the goal-achieving process.
Now, in order to be successful, you need to focus your mental and physical energy in a single direction toward a predetermined objective. People who are especially energetic or talented have a hard time with this. They are the ones who try to do several things at once and end up doing nothing well.
Setting well-defined goals enables you to channel your efforts and focus your energy toward something that’s important to you. Goal-setting gives you a target to aim at and enables you to develop the self-discipline to continue working toward your target rather than becoming distracted and going off in other directions.
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Let me share with you five keys that will help you to reach your goals more effectively. Each of these keys starts with one of the letters in the word goals.
Whenever you find yourself getting off the track, simply repeat the word goals, and think about how each letter stands for a key that just might apply to your current situation.
The first letter is G, and it stands for get to it. Sometimes, the only difference between a successful person and a failure is that the successful person has the courage to get started, to do something, to begin moving toward the accomplishment of a specific goal.
For example, when I was younger, I realized that because of my limited education, I was stuck in a low-paying job. I began reading the want ads and decided that I wanted to work in advertising, especially as a copywriter. I went to an advertising agency and applied for the job of writing advertisements. The head of the agency was very polite, but he told me that I was unskilled and totally unsuited for the position. He thanked me for coming in and wished me luck.
Now I was back on the street, but I had a goal. I wanted to be an advertising copywriter. I immediately took the first step, which was to learn more about how to write copy, so that I would not be turned down in the future because of a lack of ability. I went to the local library and checked out books on the subject of advertising and copywriting.
Over the next 12 months, I checked out and read every single book in the library on the subject. Meanwhile, I read magazines and newspapers and thought about how I could improve their advertising. I wrote sample advertisements and began taking them to advertising agencies.
To make a long story short, at the end of the 12 months, two of the largest advertising agencies in the country offered me a job as a copywriter, and I accepted one of those offers. My income doubled. I had worked at other jobs in the meantime. But I had never lost sight of my goal, and I had kept on doing the things that I needed to do to put myself in a position to eventually achieve my goal.
You, too, may have a long-range goal. In order to achieve it, you need to sit down and make a list of all the steps that you will have to take to get from where you are to where you want to be. Then begin with the first and most obvious thing that you can do on that list. Complete it, and then start on number two.
Don’t worry about the long term. Just concentrate on the obvious first step that you can take. Surprisingly enough, everything else will take care of itself. The Confucian saying, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step,” is so popular in so many languages because it is so true.
Wait until next time, when I will explain the meaning of the remaining letters, and help you achieve success through goal setting.
The Ultimate Goal Achieving Package
The ability to set goals and make plans for their accomplishment is the “master skill” of success.
It is the single most important skill that you can learn and perfect. Goal-setting will do more to help you achieve the things you want in life than will anything else you’ve been exposed to. Becoming an expert at goal-setting and goal-achieving is something that you absolutely must do if you wish to fulfill your potential as a human being.
Goals enable you to do the work you want to do, to live where you want to live, to be with the people you enjoy, and to become the kind of person you want to become. And there is no limit to the financial rewards you can obtain. All you have to do is to set a goal for financial success, make a plan, and then work the plan until you succeed in that area.
The payoff for setting goals and making plans is being able to choose the kind of life you want to live. So why do so few people set goals? According to the best research, less than 3 percent of Americans have written goals, and less than 1 percent review and rewrite their goals on a daily basis. So the reasons why people don’t set goals have been of considerable interest to me. I think that there are five basic reasons why people don’t set goals.
The first reason is that they are simply not serious. Whenever I speak with a man or woman who has achieved something remarkable, I learn that the achievement occurred after that person decided to “get serious.” Until you become completely serious and totally determined about your goals, nothing really happens.
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The second reason why people don’t set goals is that they don’t understand the importance of goals. We find that young men and women who begin setting goals very early in life invariably come from families in which the importance of goals is emphasized. The discussion that takes place around your family dinner table is one of the most powerful formative influences in your life. If your parents didn’t have goals, didn’t talk about goals, didn’t encourage you to set goals, and didn’t talk about people outside the family circle who had goals and were moving toward a higher level of achievement, then you very likely grew up with the idea that goals are not even a part of normal existence. This is the case for most people. And for many years, it was the case for me.
The third reason why people don’t set goals is because they don’t know how to do it. One of the greatest tragedies of our educational system is that you can receive 15 to 18 years of education in our schools and never once receive a single hour of instruction on how to set goals.
Yet we find that in certain schools where goal-setting programs have been introduced since first grade, young people become excited about goal-setting — even if the goal is only to increase the scores by 5 or 10 percent over the course of the semester, or to be on time every day in the course of a month. Children become so excited about achieving goals that by the third or fourth grade, they love to go to school. They get the best grades. They are seldom absent. They are excited about themselves and about their lives. So encourage your children to set worthwhile and realistic goals from an early age.
The fourth reason why people don’t set goals is fear of rejection. The fear of rejection is caused by destructive criticism in early childhood and is manifested, in adulthood, in the fear of criticism by others. Many people hold back from setting worthwhile goals because they have found that every time they do set a goal, somebody steps up and tells them that they can’t achieve it, or that they will lose their money or waste their time.
Because each of us is strongly influenced by the opinions of those around us, one of the first things that you must learn when you begin setting goals is to keep your goals confidential. Don’t tell anyone about them.
Often, it’s the fear of criticism that, more than any other single factor, stops you from goal-setting in the first place. So keep your goals to yourself, with one exception. Share your goals only with others who are committed to achieving goals of their own and who really want you to be successful and achieve your goals as well. Other than that, don’t tell anybody about your goals, so no one is in a position to criticize you, or to discourage you from setting your goals.
The fifth reason why people don’t set goals — and perhaps the most important reason of all — is the fear of failure. People don’t set goals because they are afraid that they might fail. In fact, the fear of failure is probably the greatest single obstacle to success in adult life. It can hold you back more than any other psychological problem.
Watch out for parts two and three, where you will learn the the primary reason why people fear failure, and other ways you can achieve success through goal setting.
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Only the truly competent individual can be free of politics in an organization.
When you’re really good at what you do, you can rise above politics. It’s the mediocrities at work who have to play games and every study shows that although they sometimes succeed in the short-term, they invariably fail when everyone figures them out.
Do What You Have To Do
Select your work carefully and if you don’t love what you’re doing enough to want to be the best at it, get out! Flee from the boring or unsatisfying job as you would from a burning building. Working at something you don’t care about is the very best way to waste your life. Remember, this life is not a rehearsal for something else.
Look for Pay for Performance
One key to getting onto the fast-track is for you to work for the right company and the right boss. The right company is one that respects its people and practices pay for performance. The right company is dynamic, growing, open to new ideas, and full of opportunities for people with ambition and initiative.
How to Make Progress
A woman spoke to me at a seminar recently and reminded me that she had asked me a question at a seminar about two years ago. She had told me that she was very ambitious and hard-working but that she wasn’t making any progress in the large company where she worked. She felt it was because most of the senior executives were men in their fifties and sixties and that women had a hard time getting into positions of responsibility. What could she do?
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Change Jobs When Necessary
I told her quite frankly that there was nothing she could do. The senior executives and the company were not going to change. If she was really as capable as she said, I told her to find a job with a young, growing company that wouldn’t care whether she was a woman as long as she could do the job.
A Success Story
She told me that she had followed my advice, quit her job, much to the disapproval of her co-workers, and found a job with a small growing company – and it was exactly as I had said. She had been promoted twice in the last 14 months and was already earning 40% more than her best year with her previous company.
Here are two things you can do to assure that you are in the right position.
First, make sure that you really enjoy your work and that you do it well. You will never be successful at a job that you don’t like.
Second, be sure that there are lots of opportunities for you to grow, develop and advance in your company. Your future is too valuable to waste where there is no future.
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Discipline yourself to do what you know you need to do to be the very best in your field.
Perhaps the best definition of self discipline is this: “Self discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” It is easy to do something when you feel like it. It’s when you don’t feel like it and you force yourself to do it anyway that you move your life and career onto the fast track.
What decisions do you need to make today in order to start moving toward the top of your field? Whatever it is, either to get in or get out, make a decision today and then get started. This single act alone can change the whole direction of your life.
Seven Steps to Success
There is a powerful seven step formula that you can use to set and achieve your goals for the rest of your life. Every single successful person uses this formula or some variation of this formula to achieve vastly more than the average person. And so can you. Here it is:
Decide What You Want
Step number one, decide exactly what it is you want in each part of your life. Become a “meaningful specific” rather than a “wandering generality.”
Write it Down
Second, write it down, clearly and in detail. Always think on paper. A goal that is not in writing is not a goal at all. It is merely a wish and it has no energy behind it.
Set a Deadline
Third, set a deadline for your goal. A deadline acts as a “forcing system” in your subconscious mind. It motivates you to do the things necessary to make your goal come true. If it is a big enough goal, set sub-deadlines as well. Don’t leave this to chance.
Make a List
Fourth, make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. When you think of new tasks and activities, write them on your list until your list is complete.
Organize Your List
Fifth, organize your list into a plan. Decide what you will have to do first and what you will have to do second. Decide what is more important and what is less important. And then write out your plan on paper, the same way you would develop a blueprint to build your dream house.
The sixth step is for you to take action on your plan. Do something. Do anything. But get busy. Get going.
Do Something Every Day
Do something every single day that moves you in the direction of your most important goal at the moment. Develop the discipline of doing something 365 days each year that is moving you forward. You will be absolutely astonished at how much you accomplish when you utilize this formula in your life every single day.
Here are two things you can do to put these ideas into action immediately.
First, decide exactly what you want, write it down with a deadline, make a plan and take action – on at least one goal – today!
Second, determine the price you will have to pay to achieve this goal and then get busy paying that price – whatever it is.
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The hardest part of achieving any goal is usually starting in the first place.
You have amazing possibilities and potentials just waiting inside you, but most of them can die stillborn waiting for you to take action. The Nike commercial contains one of the best pieces of advice in the world: “Just Do It!”
“A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step,” wrote Confucius.
Do you want to be happy? Do you want to be thin? Do you want to work at something you really enjoy? Do you want to make money?
Whatever it is, write it down. Set a goal. Take a few minutes for “Gap Analysis.” Look at where you want to be and then look at where you are.
Examine the gap that exists between the two and think about how you could close, it like building a bridge or staircase across an open space.
What would be your first step? What would be your second step, and so on? Most of all, what action would you take right now if you were guaranteed of success?
What would you do if you had no fear of failure? What would be your first step on the staircase toward your goal?
All great accomplishments begin with a leap of faith into the unknown. They begin when you take action toward your hopes and dreams before you have any assurance of success.
Most people are paralyzed by the uncertainty that surrounds any new venture. They hesitate. They stop. They turn back.
But not you. You know that “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” You know that you have to stick your head up if you want to get above the crowd.
You know you have to go out on a limb if you want to get the fruit, because that’s where it is.
Go for it! Take that first step and everything else will follow.
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Too Much to Do, Too Little Time
The most common form of stress that managers experience is the feeling of being overwhelmed with far too much to do and having too little time to do it in. In fact, "time poverty" is the biggest single problem facing most managers in America today. We simply do not have enough time to fulfill all our responsibilities. Because of budget limitations, staff cutbacks, downsizing, and competitive pressures, individual managers are forced to take on more and more work, all of which appears to be indispensable to the smooth functioning of our company or department.
Become An Expert
The solution to this problem of work overload is for you to become an expert on time management. There is probably no other skill that you can learn that will give you a "bigger bang for the buck" than to become extremely knowledgeable and experienced in using time management practices.
Be Open to New Ideas
The most foolish manager of all is either the manager who feels that he has no time to learn about time management or, even worse, the manager who, while being overwhelmed with work, feels that he already knows all that he needs to know about the subject.
Never Stop Learning
The fact is that you can study time management and take time management courses for your entire business life and you will still never learn everything you need to know to get the most out of yourself while doing your job in the most efficient way.
The Keys to Time Management
The two indispensable keys to time management are: 1) the ability to set priorities; and 2) the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing at a time.
Since there is never enough time to do everything that needs to be done, you must be continually setting priorities on your activities. Perhaps the very best question that you can memorize and repeat, over and over, is, "what is the most valuable use of my time right now?"
The Best Question of All
This question, "what is the most valuable use of my time right now?" will do more to keep you on track, hour by hour, than any other single question in the list of time management strategies.
Start With Your Top Tasks
The natural tendency for all of us is to major in minors and to give in to the temptation to clear up small things first. After all, small things are easier and they are often more fun than the big, important things that represent the most valuable use of your time.
However, the self-discipline of organizing your work and focusing on your highest value tasks is the starting point of getting your time under control and lowering your stress levels.
Here are two things you can do immediately to get your time under control.
First, make a decision today to become an expert on time management. Read the books, listen to the audio programs, and take a time management course. Then, practice, practice, practice every day until you master time management skills.
Second, set clear priorities on your work each day, before you begin. Then, discipline yourself to start on your most important task and stay at that until it is complete. This will relieve much of your stress immediately.
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When I began searching for the secrets of success many years ago, I discovered an interesting principle: success leaves tracks.
A wise man who had studied success for more than 50 years concluded that the greatest success principle of all was, "learn from the experts."
Learn From the Experts
If you want to be a big success in any area, find out what other successful people in that area are doing, and do the same things, until you get the same results. When I studied the interviews, speeches, biographies and autobiographies of successful men and women, I found that they all had one quality in common. They were all described as being "extremely well organized." They used their time very, very well. They were highly productive and they got vastly more done in the same period of time than the average person.
Be Both Effective and Efficient
High performing men and women were both effective and efficient. They did the right things, and they did them in the right way. They were constantly looking for ways to improve the quality and quantity of their output. As a result, their contribution to their organizations was vastly higher and therefore much better paid, than the contributions of the average person.
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:
First, develop a study plan today to learn from the experts in your field. This can save you years of hard work.
Second, decide what is the most important thing to do, and then decide how to do it.
21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires
Regular relaxation is essential for a long life and personal effectiveness.
Here are some techniques for relaxing physically that are used by the most successful and highest paid people in America.
Take Time Off Every Week
First of all, work only five or six days per week, and rest completely on the seventh day. Every single study in this area shows that you will be far more productive in the five or six days that you work if you take one or two days off completely than you ever would be if you worked straight through for seven days.
Get Your Mind Busy Elsewhere
During this time off, do not catch up on reports, organize your desk, prepare proposals, or do anything else that requires mental effort. Simply let your mind relax completely, and get busy doing things with your family and friends. Maybe work around the house, go for a walk, engage in physical exercise, watch television, go to a movie, or play with your children. Whatever you do, discipline yourself to shut your mental gears off completely for at least one 24-hour period every seven days.
Get Away on Mini-Vacations
Second, take one three-day vacation every three months, and during that time, refrain from doing any work. Do not attempt to catch up on even a few small things. If you do, you keep your mental gears in motion, and you end up neither resting nor properly doing work of any quality.
Take Big Chunks of Down Time
Third, take at least two full weeks off each year during which you do nothing that is work-related. You can either work or relax; you cannot do both. If you attempt to do a little work while you are on vacation, you never give your mental and emotional batteries a chance to recharge. You’ll come back from your vacation just as tired as you were when you left.
Give Yourself a Break Today
If you are involved in a difficult relationship, or situation at work that is emotionally draining, discipline yourself to take a complete break from it at least one day per week. Put the concern out of your mind. Refuse to think about it. Don’t continually discuss it, make telephone calls about it or mull it over in your mind. You cannot perform at your best mentally if you are emotionally preoccupied with a person or situation. You have to give yourself a break.
Go For a Walk in Nature
Since a change is as good as a rest, going for a nice long walk is a wonderful way to relax emotionally and mentally. As you put your physical body into motion, your thoughts and feelings seem to relax all by themselves.
Eat Lighter Foods
Also, remember that the process of digestion consumes an enormous amount of physical energy. Therefore, if you eat lighter foods, you will feel better and more refreshed afterward. If you eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products, your digestive system will require far less energy to process them.
Be Good to Yourself
Since your diet has such an impact on your level of physical energy, and through it your levels of mental and emotional energy, the more fastidious you are about what you put into your mouth, the better you will feel and the more productive you will be. We know now that foods high in fat, sugar, or salt are not good for your body. The lighter the foods you eat, the more energy you have.
Here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:
First, plan your weeks in advance and build in at least one day when you will relax from work completely. Discipline yourself to keep this date.
Second, reserve, book and pay for your three day vacations several months in advance. Once you’ve paid the money, you are much more likely to go rather than put it off.
Third, decide that you will not work at all during your vacations. When you work, work. And when you rest, rest 100% of the time. This is very important.
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The Greatest Obstacle to Success
The fear of failure is the single greatest obstacle to success in adult life. Taken to its extreme, we become totally pre-occupied with not making a mistake, with seeking approval for security above all other considerations. The experience of the fear of failure is in the words of "I can’t", "I can’t." We feel it in the front of the body, starting at the solar plexus and moving up to the rapid beating of the heart, rapid breathing and a tight throat. We also experience this fear in the bladder and in the irresistible need to run to the bathroom.
The Fear of Rejection Holds You Back
The second major fear that interferes with performance and inhibits expression, is the fear of rejection. We learn this when our parents make their love conditional upon our behavior. If we do what pleases them, they give us love and approval. If we do something they don’t like, they withdraw their love and approval-which we interpret as rejection.
The Roots of Type A Behavior
As adults, people raised with conditional love become preoccupied with the opinions of others. Many men develop Type A behavior which is characterized by hostility, suspicion and an obsession with performance to some undetermined high standard. This is expressed in the attitude of "I have to, I have to," and is associated with the feeling that "I have to work harder and accomplish more in order to please the boss" who has become a surrogate parent.
The Most Common Trap
More than 99 percent of adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection. They are caught in the trap of feeling, "I can’t, but "I have to," "I have to," but "I can’t."
The Key to Peak Performance
The antidote to these fears is the development of courage, character and self-esteem. The opposite of fear is actually love, self-love and self-respect. Acting with courage in a fearful situation is simply a technique that boosts our regard for ourselves to such a degree that our fears subside and lose their ability to effect our behavior and our decisions.
Here are two things you can do to increase your self-esteem and self-confidence and overcome your fears.
First, realize and accept that you can do anything you put your mind to. Repeat the words, "I can do it! I can do it!" whenever you feel afraid for any reason.
Second, continually think of yourself as a valuable and important person and remember that temporary failure is the way you learn how to succeed.
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