Regardless of your position in life. Regardless of your beliefs, race, or education. Regardless of lucky breaks or just plain bad luck, We ALL get 8760 hours per year. How you spend your 8760 is up to you. Will you choose to spend it on improving your world or complaining about the world around you?
MAKE EVERY HOUR COUNT
We all have an equal number of hours in a year, 8760. How we choose to spend our time makes all the difference. To increase your productivity, you will need to embrace certain levels of discipline to make every hour count more. Being efficient will not even be enough; you will have to find ways to invest in every single hour, not just spend the hours. Personal achievement can only be achieved if we clearly decide what success means to us. Once we have identified success, then we can go ahead and put effort towards us realizing our personal achievement. Real wealth requires a sensible investment in both time and money. The hours you have in a day need to be invested so that you can create a future that you will be proud of. To achieve this level of success, certain adjustments need to be made. The secret lies in the following seven daily practices:
· Make success a possibility: Make sure that you have a limited to-do list but hold yourself accountable. You will need to be fully committed to everything on your to-do list.
· Plan ahead: To get more out of your time, you will need to plan ahead. Get in the habit of thinking through things before you start doing them. This helps to allocate time wisely and avoid unnecessary time wasting.
· Mind your time: To optimize your time based on reality, know how much time is required to accomplish certain tasks. If you know how much time a task will take you, you are in a better position to accomplish it in the allocated time.
· Define what work is: Clearly defined what work is and capitalize on it. Anything that does not help you move forward should be done away with. Embrace the things that increase your productivity even if it is taking breaks in between tasks. There are things which do not look like work, but they increase your productivity.
· Pursue your hobbies: We have all heard that work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You will be more productive at work if you are happier in life. Pursue your pleasures and hobbies to clear a foggy brain. This will make you more productive and you will be able to achieve more in every hour that you put to work.
· Pay in: Every day you should ensure that you have learned something new. This should be added to your career account.
· Regular practice: Practice makes perfect and the more you do something the better you become. You should ensure that every day you spend time doing something which adds more skills to your job. This, in the end, means that you will be able to achieve tasks in a timely and efficient manner.
WHAT SUCCESS MEANS
Success means different things to different people. To some, success is defined by how much they have in their bank accounts. To others, it is the things that they have been able to accomplish in life. It could even be running an orphanage successfully. It really does not matter what success means to you, but one thing is for sure. It will take a lot of sacrifice and patience from your side to be successful. Success does not come easy; it won’t occur overnight. You will need to work exceptionally hard to attain that success. You might even have to look at how successful people lead their lives and follow in their footsteps. Having a study case may help you in making the right decisions which will increase your productivity thus making you more successful. The following are 10 things successful people do before they finally make it big:
1. Avoid Excuses
Let no one lie to you that there are people with perfect lives. At some point in our lives, we are faced with injustices and variables which are not favorable. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, learn to make the most out of every situation. If life gives you lemons instead of oranges, you can make lemonade instead of complaining how life has been unfair to you. Avoid making excuses, move forward and use the experience as a learning opportunity. Remember, what does not kill you should make you stronger. Let your experience be your motivation and make the most out every situation that life presents you with.
2. Do not Be Materialistic
Having more material things will not necessarily make you happier than you already are. Material things only help make our lives comfortable. It should not be what entirely motivates you. Mother Theresa was successful not because she had a lot of material gains but because she helped so many vulnerable people. Many years later after her demise, we still remember her as a successful individual. The most successful people in the world are the people who have been able to impact changes in other people’s lives and not their own lives.
3. Be an Early Riser
The early bird catches the worm. Most, if not all successful people are early risers. Some even wake up early to go jogging, to pray or even meditate before they can start their day. You will not only have to wake up early, but be deeply passionate about what you are doing. Let’s face it, your social life might even suffer, but remember we said success comes hand in hand with great sacrifices. An early morning ensures that your focus will be entirely on your goals and objectives.
4. Stick to the Principles
We have already said you need to be disciplined. You should set principles and stick to them. Identify useful principles and morals which will guide you through difficult times. Despite what you are going through, never change or compromise your principles and morals.
5. Stay Active
Time might be the greatest resource we have but energy is equally important. Being physically active ensures blood flow to the brain which is essential in keeping our brains sharp and active. I told you earlier that successful people can even wake up early in the morning to go for a morning jog before they start their day. Engage in a physical activity daily to boost your success.
6. Have a Purpose
Have you ever heard that you can never get lost if you do not know where you are going? You should have a driving force that pushes you to achieve more. If you have a strong purpose, then failure is not an option. You will do all you can to attain your goals and objectives.
You should have undying faith in yourself even if nobody else believes in your abilities. It is okay to have doubts about your dreams ever becoming a reality. Successful people keep their dreams alive. Have that unbreakable faith that you are on the right track and no matter how long it takes you; you will finally make it.
You will be ridiculed, and you will even have self-doubt, but keep on keeping on. Always remember winners never quit and quitters never win. The only time you should ever stop is when you finally achieve your objective. The road ahead will have so many bumps which should not stop you, but simply slow you to help you re-strategize.
9. Relentless Studying
The more you learn something, the more you understand it. You can only beat the system once you have understood it. Be humble enough to take time to learn your craft better. Spend several hours trying to learn how the system works. Do not be a robot going through motions without fully understanding how things ought to be done. If you want success to come your way, take time to study your craft better.
10. Take Risks
To be successful you need to be a risk taker. Sometimes you may be forced to risk it all, but they say that the reward comes from taking risks. Do not be afraid to plunge into the deep waters if you really want to succeed at something. You could even try out something which has never been tried before. If you have the guts, you are going to finally succeed.
HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF
Do not be fooled by those courageous and outspoken individuals you see there speaking confidently. We all have those moments that we feel like the rug has been pulled under our feet. Nobody was born confident. Confidence is learned along the way. We all have our fears and insecurities that we battle with. However, the trick is that we should not let our fears control us. Do not magnify your flaws, but always work on ways to empower yourself. With determination and patience, you can empower yourself step by step:
Look yourself in the mirror and continuously affirm to yourself that you can attain anything you set yourself to. Do this repeatedly until it sinks in your head that you can do it. If you are going to make a presentation, affirm to yourself that you will make a good impression. Create your own affirmations and believe them. They say the mirror reflects what it sees. When you approach life on a positive note, you will get positivity back. Never encourage negative thoughts like you are not good enough. Remember that you are the best that there can ever be.
2. Boost Your Self-Esteem
Take an inventory of your strong points and focus more on your strong qualities. You can even get your close friends and family members to point out your strong points. You can then write them down and read them loudly to yourself. Read them more so that they can sink in your brain that you are valuable. Just like any other skill, self-appreciation needs lots of practice. Continuously affirm to yourself that you are the best and do this repeatedly. This is going to boost your self-esteem to great heights.
3. Accept That You Are Not Perfect
Yes, you are not perfect; neither is the next person. Perfection is impossible and we all have flaws. So, stop holding yourself in high esteem thinking that you are better than anyone. Trying to prove to others how perfect you are only winds up disempowering you. Accept yourself in your imperfections and strive to be a better version of you and not a perfect version. If you run after perfection in life, you will never be satisfied. You will always be trying to do better even when you have done something good.
4. Take Responsibility
Never shift the blame to others. You are the only one responsible for your thoughts and feelings. How you perceive criticism from others is your own doing. Remember that you cannot stop birds of the air from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest on your head. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that no one can make you inferior not unless you give them the permission to. Choose to think good about yourself regardless of what the naysayers think and say. You are your own person.
Consciously make more effort to be kind to yourself. Do not beat yourself too much because you failed the first time. Take a break because you honestly deserve it. Go out and spoil yourself with that spa and massage treat you have been meaning to have. Go for that hike. Play a few rounds of golf. Whatever does it for you. This will increase your productivity at work and improve your personal achievement. Self-kindness can be translated to self-love from where self-empowerment can be achieved. Remember, you deserve to be treated with kindness more so by yourself.
6. Adopting Good Posture
Walk with your head high. Always stand tall and strengthen your stance. Apart from boosting your confidence, good posture will also eliminate back pain. This means you can be able to work for long periods, improving your productivity. People tend to take you seriously if you exhibit confidence by maintaining a good posture. Good posture can make you appear more powerful and confident. Stand tall, look people in the eye as you engage them in conversation and let them take you seriously.
7. Avoid Negativity
Override negative self-thoughts by continually affirming your positive attributes. Always block negative thoughts and concentrate on positive thoughts. You alone have the power to destroy yourself so be careful with what you confess about yourself.
8. Think Before You Talk
Always, do not be too quick with words. Remember that silence is golden. When you are anxious you will tend to talk faster. If you slow down, you will be able to control your words. Anxiety can also raise your voice, and this can lower your credibility. Evaluating your words and control your emotions. Speak slowly and people will tend to take you seriously. This translates into more confidence.
9. Avoid Negative People
Ever heard of the adage that says show me your friends and I will show you your character? If you hang out with negative people, you are sure to become negative yourself. You will absorb the negative vibes from them. Sometimes it is not possible to completely avoid negative people, but you can limit the time you spend with them. Love yourself and only accommodate like-minded positive people in your life.
Faith can move mountains. Faith will make you achieve un-imaginable things. Just have faith that you are going to achieve anything that you set your mind to. Believing that there is a supreme being who is watching over you will make you remain focused on your goal even when times are hard.
Personal accountability is an important aspect towards your personal achievement. It is the belief that you are the only one responsible for your actions. This is a choice that you should purpose to embrace. The following factors will contribute towards you achieving personality accountability:
By being committed, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. You are readily accepting the consequences of your actions.
2. Plan for the Unknown
Despite how careful you might be, your objectives might run into trouble. Save yourself the agony by planning for the unknown. Identify the areas that are likely to encounter problems. After you have identified those areas, determine the probability of the problems to occur then take preventive measures. This is meant to reduce the impact of the problems that you can entirely avoid.
3. Have a Clear Understanding of What is Expected of You
When you clearly understand what is expected of you, you are more likely to succeed. Clarify your expectations by asking yourself the following questions:
– What do I expect from myself?
– What is expected of me by the people around me?
– Do the people around me understand their roles or my roles?
4. Make Changes When Necessary
At times we might need to change our course if the path we are taking is not leading us to success. You will have to exercise wise judgment in knowing when to persevere and when to change tactics. You cannot do the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. If the things you are doing are not bearing positive results, quickly make changes. Go back to the drawing board and look at the issue from a different perspective and then move on.
5. Make No Assumption
Assumption makes the best in life pass us by. Do not make any assumptions about anything. Never assume that what you are doing will yield anything, be sure that it is achieving or not. Communicate more openly, do more research and be challenging when necessary, but never assume things will work out. This is because they may not.
6. Tackle Success
At times you will have to go out of your way to embrace success. Get out of your comfort zone and change your perspective to be more successful. Be at the right place at the right time to increases your chances of you succeeding.
7. Reward Yourself
Be genuine to yourself. If you have superseded your expectations, reward yourself. If otherwise, be genuine too and admit to yourself that you did not meet your expectations and take the necessary measures to rectify the problem.
8. Make a Detailed Follow Up
Review guidelines constantly. Review guidelines and objectives to enable you to know if you are still on track. You should continue with this process until you have successfully accomplished a given task.
9. Be Involved
You are not a bystander, but a key party towards your personal account. Be inquisitive and involve others to give you a better perspective of your journey towards your success. Every day should be a learning opportunity. Engage others fully and do more listening than talking. You will be able to learn more.
A rolling stone gathers no moss. Consistency is key to building trust and confidence in you. For example, if you want to be a successful parent in disciplining your children you will need to be consistent. Your no should always be a no and not change depending on situations. You should be consistent also in how you approach your goals. If you are consistent in your actions and words, personal accountability will be attainable. This is because you have set a standard that you must consistently meet.
MAINTAINING THE GROUND
Remember, it is amazingly easy to fall from your glory. We all know of people who used to be successful, but they lost it all. The following tricks will keep you from slacking off:
1. Continue to Work Hard
Once you have attained success, you need to work even harder to maintain the status quo. Work hard even when no one is watching or evaluating you. By now you have already developed your own standard of success that you should thrive to maintain.
2. Never Arrive
Never have that feeling that you have finally arrived, and you have achieved whatever you set yourself to. Always take yourself as work in progress. Strive to find ways to better yourself and discover more. Keep on learning new things, if you are a baker, you can learn better ways of improving your cakes moisture and texture. Every day you must learn something new. Learn new techniques about your field. With the ever-changing technology, there is something new to learn. Take a refresher course, study something entirely new or just find out what others in that field are doing.
3. Be Persistent
If you can push yourself to take that extra step up after everyone has given up, you might keep on making yourself better. With time, this will become a way of life for you. Once this habit has been instilled in you, you will be unstoppable.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FOCUSING ON THE PLAN TO SUCCEED
Focus is an especially important element when it comes to success. When we are not focused; we will be distracted by the many detractors along the way. If allowed, almost everything in our personal or professional lives can distract us. When we are focused, it is easy to avoid these distractions. Here is a list of how you can re-focus and stay on the path of success:
· Unplug yourself: Switch off from technological gadgets. In as much as these gadgets have been helpful in easing communication, you can easily be distracted and spend hours on your gadget. This can make you lose your focus and end up spending time which could have been utilized better. Finding a balance is important when dealing with social media and technology. However, this is usually not the case. You might find yourself carried away. That is why, if you have an important task to accomplish, it might be wise to just unplug yourself from it all.
· Find out your detractors and eliminate them: To be able to focus more, it is important to know what distracts you from concentrating. Once you have identified the detractors put effort towards eliminating them. During planning ahead for a new task, carefully analyze your detractors and find ways to eliminate them way before you begin the task. This makes you increase the chances of you succeeding since it will be hard to get distracted along the way.
· Have boundaries: No man is an island and we all have that need of interacting and socializing with others. However, for increased productivity, you might need to set boundaries and stay away from people for a while. Setting boundaries is important when we have a task that needs our full participation. This also means that you can choose to interact with people who will help you increase your productivity.
· Find a spot: Even after you have eliminated gadgets and people you might still need to find a working spot which increases your productivity. This means that you will be more comfortable and thus be more productive. You can find a corner in your bedroom, kitchen, library, or your favorite coffee shop. It should be your go to place when you need to concentrate more on your studies or a project you are working on.
· Play music: in as much as music can be distracting, it has a soothing effect which can inspire us and motivate us when working. Music may have a nostalgic effect, cheer us, or simply help us relax. It should not be eliminated. Listening to classical music can help us attain excellence which is a mixture of so many things. Being focused, having a positive attitude, and working hard will help us reach the success levels we all desire.
EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WHO OVERCAME ADVERSITY
Success does not always happen the first time you try out something. The sayings that if you fail the first time, try again is very appropriate. Most of the successful people you know have failed so many times, but they did not give up. These individuals have gone through difficult times and even horrible experiences, but one thing is clear: they did not give up:
1. Bill Gates
Today he might be one of the richest persons in the world, but his first business failed. His first business failed terribly. He and his partner took the failure as a learning opportunity. They used that experience to build Microsoft which has gone ahead and revolutionized technology.
2. Benjamin Franklin
Franklin could not continue with his education due to lack of funds. This did not deter him from pursuing education on his own. He self-taught himself and he was eventually able to discover the bifocals and lightning rod. His school dropout status did not prevent him from becoming one of America’s founding fathers.
3. Sir Richard Branson
Richard was a poor reader and he performed dismally in standard test since he suffered from dyslexia. Instead of looking down upon himself, he used the power of his personality to develop Virgin Records which has made him very wealthy.
4. Steven King
Imagine your idea being rejected 30 times! Well, that was King’s first novel. After his novel was rejected by publishing houses 30 times, he threw his manuscript in the trash. His wife retrieved it and urged him to finish it. Today he has sold over 300 million copies. His books have also been made into motion pictures. If he gave up, he would not be a successful writer as we know him.
5. Thomas Edison
Thomas failed severally before he successfully implemented his idea. In a response to his many failed attempts at creating the beacon of light, he said that he had not failed but he had found 10,000 ways that did not work.
6. Franklin Roosevelt
He was among the best presidents America ever had. It did not matter that at the age of 14, polio paralyzed him from the waist down. He was not deterred by his inability to walk. He was a great president and he is still remembered and respected by the world as a great president.
Success means different things to different people. Some attribute success to the money they have while others it is their contribution towards society. Regardless of what success means to you, it will require great sacrifice to be successful. There are certain principles and doctrines you will have to adopt. You will require discipline and perseverance to stay on the course since it will not be an easy journey. Personal achievement requires you to have a fighter’s spirit since giving up may not be an option. Set a workable plan and stick to it. At times you might also need to change tactics if what you are doing is not yielding results. In the end, success will be sweet. So, no matter what remain focused. Find mentors and learn from their mistakes and achievements. Make each of your 8760 hours count!