How often do you think about all of the great things you wish you could do in the future, but then get slightly frustrated because of today? Do you even beat yourself up over not doing enough? Did you perhaps set some goals and not achieve them this year? Today I want to try and release you from the prison of any sort of negative self talk.Let’s discuss what REAL long term success is all about. As I write this, I realize that much of this is a repeat of some of my other posts in a different way. And perhaps this post serves me just as much as I hope it serves you. I am on day 89 of my 90 day blogging challenge and we are off to go stay in a beautiful cabin on the ocean. Time for some reflection and looking forward.
But what I hope to convey in this post is that we all need to go a bit easier on ourselves. We need to stop putting this weird, unnecessary noose around our necks of “never good enough” and ask ourselves about what kind of lives we really want to live. I am trying to collect as many of my best ideas in THIS post to help you unlock yourself and go chase your goals. Stop worrying and go after them!A truly successful life does not come from doing more stuff better and faster. It comes from our willingness to focus on the things that truly matter. That is what today is about. Simplifying down to the fundamentals.
My challenge to you is to test yourself each day on these ten items below. See if over the next 30 days, you can count how many times you do each one of these. Remember that I am not asking you do this for more “stuff to do,” but rather to show you how to start with the power of observation. Trust me, if you do this 30 day activity, you will start to get some serious clarity!
And because I want to help you track this, I created this helpful worksheet to print and use for the next 30 days. Use it for each of the actions below.
1) Celebrate small victories
This is probably one of the most effective ways to keep your head in the game while you focus on the long term. Often we forget that it is all the little things we do each day, added up over time, that contribute to our long term success. And we don’t appreciate the work we do each and every day.
It’s just like if you have ever lost weight. You don’t necessarily see the results every day, but then all of a sudden someone who hasn’t seen you for a week or so says, “Wow, you look great!’ They see the changes that you don’t.
And then also, we work on various projects and once we finish, we move on to the next one.You must take the time to celebrate those small victories each day and be proud of our mini accomplishments. If we truly know they all add up, then each one of those small victories is a MASSIVE win. Did you pay a bill? Did you make a phone call? Did you make your bed? Did you finish that document? Did I write my blog post?
When you switch your mindset to this way of thinking, you relieve yourself of the huge pressures and focus on doing that one thing today, not trying to do EVERYTHING.
Action: Track each time you pause and celebrate a small victory.
2) Be honest
I see far too often people posturing and trying to pretend like everything is GREAT when in fact, they are struggling. Then we all put on this false pretense and make those around us think, “Well if they’re great, I should also say I’m great so as not to bring them down.” We then dump all of this dishonesty on our psyche and we feel totally alone.
I’m not saying go around being a “Debbie-downer” but instead discuss the REAL facts. In my post on personal mastery, this is one skill of real development. The ability to be honest with yourself and others. And in a way that is not negative.
Take the pressure off of the people around you and be straight up, Jack. The more honesty you create around you, the faster and more effectively you will be able to deal with challenges when they arise.
Perhaps it’s time to take a real look at your health, finances, relationships, or work ethic?
Action: Track each time you are honest with yourself or someone else.
3) Welcome failure
Hey, if you are not failing, guess what bud? You are not trying hard enough! Go and fail, fail, and fail some more. That is a true key to long term success. Forget about trying to be perfect and just go out and try some stuff. As I talked about yesterday, I am going to write a book. And I will see how it goes.
If no one buys it, it will be time to learn why I sucked that bad. And that actually excites me.
Can you get excited to learn from failure? Look at the crap you are working on right now. Are you playing it safe or are you pushing yourself to do more? What can you do this week, this month to totally challenge yourself to try, even if it is a massive flop?In the grand scheme of life, no one truly cares about your failures. It’s all in YOUR head. Go out and try something! Failure is good for the soul.
If you are trying to make everything perfect, you will lose your mind. The real trick is to just learn from failures and improve. But you can’t improve on something you never did.
Action: Reflect on a failure, be okay with it, and learn from it. (And as a bonus, go fail at something and have fun)
As I mentioned, this list is not intended to add more stuff to your day. I don’t want you to feel like you have one more list to track. I like to keep things simple, myself.
- I use pen and paper instead of apps
- I call instead of text
- I write out physical lists
- I say NO a lot
Everyday, things come at you fast and furiously. You are like Vin Diesel. It is always YOUR choice on what you actually need to do. Ask yourself if you REALLY need to do that one extra thing. How will you take back control of your life and eliminate unnecessary “busy work?”Do you control the day or does the day control you?
One thing that drives me crazy is when I ask people how they are doing and they tell me, “Oh, I’m so busy!” I always wonder busy doing what? And how to help them un-busy themselves. I even wrote about eliminating the unnecessary discussions that cause distractions the other day.
Action: Cut one thing out that you don’t need to do today.
5) Be grateful
Read these two posts:
See how easy that one was to simplify?
Action: Write or speak one thing you are grateful for today
6) Become a specialist
Stop trying to be all things to all people. Find one thing you want to get good at this month and FOCUS on it. Read my post on learning a new skill each month (includes a video) and you will see what I mean.
The reason I was really excited about my 90 day blogging challenge was the focus on one thing over a period of time. It allows you to get in flow and actually develop solid skills. Try it. Pick one thing to focus on for the next 30 days and do something specific to develop that skill. It could be health, money, cutting out bad habits, skill development, or relationships. Pick one.There are far too many useless generalists out there these days. Don’t be one of them. Specialize. . Make it happen.
Action: Do something today that is part of your laser-focused plan
7) Seek criticism
Think you’re perfect? Think again. I know I am not even close. I am, I would say, about at 2%. So what can you do? Ask people for feedback. When you do your journaling and reflection (you should be doing this), look at the habits you want to create and the person you are working on becoming.
Ask others how you are doing. Criticise yourself. Just like the point on failure, welcome the feedback and learn from it.
Honestly ask someone, “Hey I am trying to be a kinder person. In our last meeting, how would you rate my kindness?”
The more you seek that honesty from others, the clearer you will get on your truth. Tell people you want honest feedback and tell them why.
Action: Ask for feedback on something today
8) Give value
I can’t stress this point enough. Find a way to add value to people’s live each and every day. Have a giver mentality and over time, the world and universe will reward you. As long as you expect NOTHING in return.
Also, don’t get frustrated when others let you down. Continuously GIVE and add value.
Action: Offer help or resources to someone
9) Take care of yourself
I am not in the best shape, or have the healthiest habits…right now. But that doesn’t mean I need to beat myself up. Do you feel like everything you are doing for your health is just not good enough? Maybe you could lose a pound or twenty?
Maybe you should drink less, eat less burgers, read more, exercise more, lift really heavy weights, do more meditation, spend more time with family, smoke less, get more sleep, drink greens, and on and on…
One of the big mental challenges I see is that no matter what we do, it feel like it is never enough. Look back at point number 1. Celebrate those small victories. All I am asking you is that for the next 30 days, do ONE thing good for your body, mind or soul.
Just one. It could be 30 seconds, or it could be three hours. Just do something. And be proud. Long term health comes from the little things we do each day, and you have to start somewhere. Go for a walk and listen to an audiobook for 15 minutes.
Action: Do at least one thing for your body, mind, or soul
10) Have fun
In closing, just read this post:
That is really the big part of it all. Find a way to be joyful each day and enjoy the process. As I said, I have had a BLAST over the last 89 days and I am going to continue writing and loving it. Follow the ten points here and track them for 30 days. Get yourself a partner in this and review it each week. Have fun with it. Share it with your friends. Make this a part of your new way forward, where you go after your goals in a more focused way, more balanced way, and more fun way.