HOW TO DEVELOP THE ONE TRAIT ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS

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Success has many determining factors, including dumb luck. But I’ve been thinking of one lately that’s largely indispensable and totally learnable: persistence.

Have you ever felt like bailing on that one thing you know you’re supposed to do? As a teen I picked up guitar and started a rock band. But it took a long time to sound better than cats fighting in an alleyway. I had good feel for the instrument, but I had scales and chords to learn, songs to memorize, and a sound to mesh with other musicians.

There were enough moments of frustration I could have quit and done something easier. I’m glad I didn’t. Not only did I develop my skills, but sticking with it taught me something essential about success in every other area of life, especially business.

The Importance of Persistence

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. We’ve all seen talented, smart, and well-trained people bottom out. Success takes something more – the willingness to keep going even when the odds are bad and our enthusiasm has waned.

Think of the developers of virtuality reality technology, tablet computers, or ebooks. After initial spikes of interest all of these faded as failures. Yet today they are all going concerns, including virtual reality, because people kept working, tinkering, improving, and waiting. Finally the line of preparation and opportunity came together, and it can happen for us too if we stay persistent. And the good news? Persistence is something we can all develop.

Six Tricks For Gaining Persistence

1- Set goals Some tasks are simply too big. Maybe you’re recording an album, developing new code for a website, writing a book, launching a new product, or taking your business into a new market. Dicing it up into manageable pieces is one way we can stay on task instead of getting overwhelmed.

2- Keep the end in mind – Don’t just think of small goals. Think of the big win. What will persisting to the end do for you? If the reward is big enough, we can stay on task when the difficulties become discouraging. This trick has seen me through seemingly impossible circumstances more times than I can count.

3- Improve your pace and renew your enthusiasm – If you can set goals, you can measure progress. Working against deadlines and milestones enables us to accomplish more, more quickly. And the progress we make can keep us energized for the long haul.

4- Run and walk – When we’re working on a big project, it’s impossible to go all out all the time. But proper pacing improves endurance. Running coach Jeff Galloway has been teaching people to run marathons for years using his run-walk method. Alternating periods of intense effort with moderate efforts can keep us going longer. The method applies in other areas too; we can go farther if we take breaks, go easy, relax, and rejuvenate.

5- Kill the distractions – Exercising our determination is like exercising any other muscle. This relates to No. 5, but instead of taking breaks or going easy, the answer is removing the extraneous stuff working against our determination and wears us down. How many meetings, hobbies, projects, pastimes, even relationships are making it impossible to keep up our determination when it matters most?

6- Change your self image – The most important trick for getting more persistent is to see ourselves as persistent people. When the urge to quit arises, the first and best response is that quitting is not part of who we are. We are people who stay the course, we deliver, we get it done.

Yes, there are good reasons to quit all sorts of things. We can all be grateful that Steve Jobs quit college, for instance. But he quit because it was pointless, not because it was hard. When we have a calling or a dream, the most important factor to seeing it realized is persistence.

Can you recall a time when persistence was the determining factor for the success of a project or something even bigger in your life?

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THINGS YOU SHOULD GIVE UP IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL

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Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things – we need to give up on some of them. There are certain things that are universal, which will make you successful if you give up on them, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.

You can give up on some of them today, while it might take a bit longer to give up on others.

Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle

If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First you have to take care of your health, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind:

– Healthy Diet

– Physical Activity

Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.

Give Up The Short-term Mindset

Successful people set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day. These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you embody.

There is a difference between: “Working out to get a summer body” and “Working out because that’s who you are.”

Give Up On Playing Small

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

If you never try and take great opportunities, or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential, and the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved. So voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to fail, and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed.

Give Up Your Excuses

Successful people know that they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures.

Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting. And when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally. Own your life; no one else will.

Give Up The Fixed Mindset

People with a fixed mindset think their intelligence or talents are simply fixed traits, and that talent alone creates success without effort. They’re wrong. Successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives.

Remember, who you are today, it’s not who you have to be tomorrow.

Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.”

Overnight success is a myth. Successful people know that making small continual improvement every day will be compounded over time, and give them desirable results. That is why you should plan for the future, but focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1% every day.

Give Up Your Perfectionism

Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much we try. Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents us from taking an action and putting our creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if we wait for the things to be right.

Give Up Multi-tasking

Successful people know this. That’s why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what it is – a business idea, a conversation, or a workout. Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable.

Give Up Your Need to Control Everything

Detach from the things you cannot control, and focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude towards something. Remember, nobody can be frustrated while saying “Bubbles” in an angry voice.

Give Up On Saying YES To Things That Don’t Support Your Goals

Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues. In the short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.

Give Up The Toxic People

People we spend the most time with, add up to who we become. There are people who are less accomplished in their personal and professional life, and there are people who are more accomplished than us. If you spend time with those who are behind you, your average will go down, and with it, your success. But if you spend time with people who are more accomplished than you, no matter how challenging that might be, you will become more successful. Take a look at around you, and see if you need to make any changes.

Give Up Your Need To Be Liked

Think of yourself as a market niche. There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individuals who don’t. And no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make the entire market like you. This is entirely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself. The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that the growing number of “haters” means that you are doing important things.

Give Up Your Dependency on Social Media & Television

Impulsive web browsing and television watching are diseases of today’s society. These two should never be an escape from your life or your goals. Unless your goals depend on either, you should minimize (or even eliminate) your dependency on them, and direct that time towards things that can enrich your life.

I wish you all success ever.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE?

mentor (2)Ever since I began blogging, productivity has been one of my most popular topics. But I’m convinced we’re not always productive for the right reasons. Maybe this is why many people are productive but miserable.

Over my career I’ve been entrusted with a lot of responsibility. At one time, I was responsible for the well-being of over one hundred employees and a company legacy twenty years in the making.

I found unplugging difficult. I couldn’t rest because I was always on. If I didn’t perform well and efficiently, disaster loomed – lots of people would be hurt. At least, that’s how it felt. But that meant my focus was sometimes on the wrong thing.

Make It Happen, Faster

This mindset didn’t just happen. It is deeply rooted in the history of the productivity movement.

When industrialization ramped up in the twentieth century, factory owners hired experts to improve efficiency. Armed with stopwatches, these experts roamed factory floors trying to spot needless activity and waste. The faster someone fashioned one thing and assembled another, the more profitable the business could be. Henry Ford is the classic example of what greater productivity meant for a business.

It used to take workers half a day to assemble a car. After installing the first full automobile assembly line in his plant in 1913, he cut that down to two and half hours! The benefits were massive. His profits soared. But there was an unexpected trade off, too.

A Wrong Paradigmbusiness-meeting-1_91130032

Instead of work existing for people, people began to exist for the work. The most famous of the efficiency experts, Frederick Winslow Taylor, said it this way in 1911: “In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first.”

Can you see what’s underneath that statement? The person needs the system, but the system doesn’t always need the person. As a result, we accidentally created an anxiety machine where fear became the driving force of productivity. Corporate life became like running from the wolf. The faster you moved, the better your chances for survival.

By the time I entered business this mindset was well engrained. Its influence was pervasive. I adopted it unconsciously. Sadly, though my commitment to excellence usually drives my productivity, many times, I’ve found myself motivated by fear – when, for instance, my business failed; or when the Great Recession threatened my company.

Whenever I started thinking of the wolves, I saw more wolves. Pretty soon I was more consumed with running from them than running my business. Not the best paradigm, right? Fortunately, there is a better way.

Productivity Is About Stewardship

I believe Universe has entrusted us all with certain ideas, talents, and resources. We’re responsible to improve and increase what we’ve been given. If we shrink back from this in fear, seeing it only as an opportunity to fail, we’ve embraced the wrong paradigm. But if we embrace it with gratitude, seeing it as an opportunity to grow – to step into our abilities and exercise our gifts – then we’ve embraced the right paradigm.

It’s like trying to beat a personal best on the race track. Instead of running from the wolf, we’re running toward a goal. Anticipation, not anxiety, pushes us forward. To view productivity this way involves a conscious change of thinking – one from scarcity to abundance, from fear to hope. But it’s worth it.

Unplugging finally becomes possible. Rest, too. And the unexpected bonus is that this paradigm actually enables more productivity because it’s finally for the right reason.

5 Questions for Self-Evaluation

So how can we discover our primary motivation? As I think about increasing my productivity, I use these five questions. They work best when I can apply them to particular circumstances. See if they help you:

1- Do I feel proactive or reactive in this situation?

2- Do I feel that my self-worth is tied up in the outcome?

3- Do I dread the outcome, even if I win?

4- Do I feel like victory will be short-lived?

5- Do I feel energized or drained?

To be truly productive, we need to have the right focus. Productivity driven by anxiety is unsustainable. But seeing productivity as a chance to grow what you’ve been given can radically change what’s possible in your work.

So say: Did you start this week running toward the goal or away from the wolf?