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6 Attributes of Highly Successful People

Successful CartoonIf you could study successful people and copy their traits and characteristics wouldn’t it be much easier to become successful yourself? These 6 attributes of highly successful people will help you to do just that. Success leaves clues. We can model successful people and follow in their footsteps if we do so effectively – which is why modelling and finding a mentor or coach is always highly recommended.  [Read more…]

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Longterm Thinking Vs Short-Term Thinking

WinnerHave you ever considered how longterm thinking vs short-term thinking can affect the decisions you make? Take the obesity epidemic as an example. We live in a culture of instant gratification. We all know that by taking care of our bodies by exercising daily and eating nutritious food that we’ll be healthier; we’ll have more physical and mental energy, have healthier minds, improved self-confidence and self-esteem, increased chances of attracting and keeping our ideal partner, enhance our sex lives etc. The list of the benefits of keeping in shape is endless. [Read more…]

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Alternative Ways To Focus On Your Goals

Alternative Ways To Focus On Your Goals

If you’re bored of hearing about goal setting, or are frustrated that you’re not meeting your goals, then these alternative ways to focus on your goals will be of interest to you. In fact, Nir Eyal, for Psychology Today says that you should not set goals, which initially I thought was highly controversial. Reading on though, I realised that what he is saying does actually make a lot of sense. We often set ourselves unrealistic goals, or goals that we won’t enjoy working towards, so he recommends rather than setting goals we should create productive habits which make our lives more enjoyable.

Alternative Ways To Focus On Your Goals

Step 1: Have no goals
Now I’m not saying setting goals never works. I’m saying it only works in certain contexts. In situations where someone else is asking you for output, like at work, goals are critical. Goals are also helpful when training to become an expert. However, most of us aren’t shooting to become world-class experts. You’re likely not struggling in competition with others, but with yourself.You are really confused right now, aren’t you? Everything you’ve learned about getting what you want in life has centered on the importance of setting goals. You’ve probably heard that you should always start with the ends goals first. I beg to differ.

See if any of these goals ring a bell:

“I’m going to lose 20 pounds by summer.”

“I’m going to run a marathon.”

“I’m not eating carbs for a month.”

How did those work out for you? Did any of these goals make your life better in the long run? Yeah, I didn’t think so. That’s because these kinds of goals aren’t optimizing for what’s really important, namely living an enjoyable life.

I call these kinds of goals “BUT Goals” because they are Big, Un-fun, and Time-boxed. These kinds of goals add misery to your life and people are biologically programmed to avoid things that cause them pain. If your goals are not enjoyable, you’ll quit. Therefore, when creating a productive habit, remember: hard work doesn’t work, so dump the goals.

Instead, forget the end destination and begin a journey. Your journey must be enjoyable, endless and easy. It is along a journey that your productive habits will form. A journey sounds something like this:

“I want to cultivate a love of exercise.”

“I want to learn to enjoy building wealth.”

“I want to enhance my enjoyment of time with my family.”

You’ll never complete these journeys and that’s exactly the point. It is only through consistent practice that you will actually form habits and fulfill your potential. What you do along the journey is less important; you’ll figure that out as you go. The important thing is to keep walking the journey free from the pressure of completing a specific goal. But how can your ensure you keep walking your journey?

Read the full article here

These alternative ways to focus on your goals are probably great for some goals, but not for others. If for example, your goal is to make £5,000 per month in 6 months time, then this financial target will help you to break down what you need to do in order to reach that goal. I’m not sure creating habits like “I want to learn to enjoy building wealth” as he suggests will be so effective. How will you break down your journey? How will you plan your days/weeks? What do you think?

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Ways To Focus On Not Giving Up

If you’re one to give up easily, or others perceive you as one to give up easily, then this article on ways to focus on not giving up will be of particular interest to you. It’s highly motivational and written by a reformed drug addict, Adi Jaffe, Ph.D who now writes for Psychology Today. A lot of people regard failure as detrimental to success, or that it creates some kind of stigma. I think failure is key to success, as does Dr Adi Jaffe;

Ways To Focus On Not Giving Up

We’ve all heard these stories–Abraham Lincoln continued to run for office after losing five political races in a row.  Thomas Edison conducted over6000 experiments in two years before he developed a reliable light bulb.  J.K Rowling was rejected by twelve different publishers before finally finding a home for the Harry Potter books and a level of success beyond her wildest imaginings.

As Edison put it: “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

This simple mindset makes all the difference.  For those who will succeed,failure is not an option; it’s not part of their vocabulary.

So how can we mere mortals adopt this sort of thinking, this lexicon of success? How can we develop an unfailing belief in our ability and allow that belief to drive us forward no matter what?  Simply put, we must change our definition of failure and, in doing so, change our relationship with our struggles, our world, and ourselves.

You see, psychologists have long known that the best functioning individuals–those who seem happy and well-adjusted–don’t actually view the world realistically. They consistently overestimate their chances of success and their own performance. You might be thinking to yourself, “Shouldn’t I be striving for as objective a view of reality as I can muster?” Apparently not–not if you want a formula for success.  It may be counter-intuitive, but if the old ways haven’t worked, we don’t have much to lose in trying something different.

Read the full article here

The Element By Sir Ken RobinsonIf these ways to focus on not giving up were motivational and thought provoking for you, then please share. As the author of the article points out, there are a number of highly successful people who have persevered through what must have felt like endless set backs, or what others would perceive as failures. As creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson and author of The Element points out, if we are afraid to be wrong, then we’ll never try anything new, which leads to a lack of creativity. Kids are not afraid to be wrong, but as adults, we perceive being wrong as failure and there is a false sense of stigma attached to it.  Why not regard failure as a temporary set back? Most highly successful entrepreneurs have got something wrong or plenty of things wrong at some stage – if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be where they are today. What do you think?

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Ways To Focus On Adding Value As An Entrepreneur

Whether contemplating starting your own business, or if you’re already a few years down the line as a business owner, these ways to focus on adding value as an entrepreneur may just help to get your focus back.  It’s easy to get side tracked when running your own business with admin and non-value adding tasks.  I’ve had this experience myself and other friends who are entrepreneurs have said the same, whether they work purely for themselves, or run a small team.  This advice is written by Dr. Jeffrey R. Cornwall, Director of The Center of Entrepreneurship at Bellmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

Ways To Focus On Adding Value As An Entrepreneur

Adding Value As An EntrepreneurIt is almost always best to identify and focus on one or two things that will make your business stand out to customers.  Focus on the most important need or problem the customers are facing.  Offer that feature to the customers with excellence in mind, making sure all employees understand its importance.  And make that key feature the heart of all of your promotion and other communication with the customer.

The best way to develop the key features that are at the heart of your value proposition is to listen to your customers, as while you may think you know what the customer wants, most of the time you will not have it quite right.  You will probably have to adjust your product or service to fit with what the customer actually wants or needs.

You may have started with something that is too complex and confusing to the customer.  What you thought would be one of many features of your product may need to become the only thing you focus on.

Once your customers affirm that you are offering the right value proposition, it needs to become the focus of everything you and your employees do every day.

Read the full original article here

I changed the title from the original to Ways To Focus On Adding Value As An Entrepreneur for a reason. If you don’t focus on adding value, then you don’t have a business. Businesses don’t survive unless they’re solving a problem in some regard or satisfying a specific need, thus adding value. It may be perfectly obvious to some but to others, maybe not.  I’m not sure about the term ‘value proposition’ – it sounds a little too much like business jargon to me. As Lord Sugar quite rightly points out, be rid of the business jargon and focus on what you’re actually trying to achieve, namely making sales and adding value.  He didn’t it in those exact words, but that’s the gist! A little gem I read recently was along the lines of:‘For as long as you add value to the lives of others, money will come to you‘.

 

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Manage Stress In Order To Focus

If you suffer from stress, it’s highly likely that it’s inhibiting your ability to focus and concentrate.  This is why it is necessary to manage stress in order to focus.  Stress is not only detrimental to your ability to focus, make decisions, concentrate etc, it’s actually dangerous for your health when sustained for lengthy periods of time.  Here, psychologist, author, and philosopher, Neel Burton, for Psychology Today, explains how to identify with stress and then how to manage it.

Manage StressEmotional symptoms: Anxiety, fear, irritability, anger, resentment, loss of confidence

Cognitive symptoms: Difficulty concentrating or making decisions, confusion, repetitive or circular thoughts

Physical symptoms: Dry mouth, tremor, sweatiness, pounding or racing heartbeat, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, muscle tension, headache, dizziness

Behavioural symptoms: Nervous habits such as nail biting or pacing, drinking more coffee or alcohol, eating too much or too little, sleepingpoorly, acting brashly or unreasonably, losing your temper, being inconsiderate to others, neglecting your responsibilities

It’s often not easy to identify with the fact that you may be stressed which is why these pointers are particularly handy.  Here are a few of Neel Burton’s tips on now to manage stress:

Other general strategies that you can use for reducing stress include listening to classical music (for example, Bach or Chopin), taking a hot bath, reading a book or surfing the internet, calling up or meeting a friend, practising yoga or meditation, and playing sports.

Lifestyle changes can help both to reduce stress and to increase your ability to cope with stress. Lifestyle changes to consider include:

—Simplifying your life, even if this means doing less or doing only one thing at a time.

—Having a schedule and keeping to it.

—Getting enough sleep.

—Exercising regularly (for example, walking, swimming, yoga).

—Eating a balanced diet.

—Restricting your intake of coffee or alcohol.

—Taking time out to do the things that you enjoy.

—Connecting with others and sharing your thoughts and feelings with them.

—Changing your thinking style: having realistic expectations, reframing problems, expressing your thoughts and feelings, maintain a sense of humour.

Read the full article here

If these tips on how to manage stress in order to focus were useful for you, please share with friends, family and colleagues.  Tackle stress before it tackles you.  If you want to read more about stress, there are a number of articles on this site under the category of Dealing With Stress, such as Stress Causes Your Brain To Shrink.

Neel Burton wrote The Art Of Failure: The Anti Self-Help Guide and Hide And Seek – The Psychology Of Self Deception.

 

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Declutter Your Home To Declutter Your Mind

I thought this article was spot on and decided to rename it to declutter your home to declutter your mind.  I felt the point needed to be accentuated.  It’s written by Evan Zislis for PostIndependent.com and I’ve excerpted my favourite points as usual.

Declutter Your Home To Declutter Your Mind

Brain Focus

Declutter Your Mind And Focus

What we forget is that it is as natural as breathing. The simple act of breathing can alter our mood, our physiology and our ability to regulate cognitive function. We breathe fresh air into our lungs, which provides oxygen rich blood to our brain, which reminds our body to work.

We exhale, and let go of carbon dioxide toxins building up in our lungs. Fresh air goes in, toxic gas goes out. In. Out. We get what we need, and then we let go. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. It feels wonderful, especially when we do it with thoughtful intention.

The same way that holding our breath can become poisonous to our bodies, holding on to the things we no longer need can strangle our ability to regulate healthy lifestyles.

Read the full article here

That last paragraph is rather poignant wouldn’t you agree? It’s imperative in my opinion that you declutter your home to declutter your mind if you haven’t already done so.  Once you have decluttered your mind, you’ll be able to establish focus with far greater ease, make decisions more easily, plan, organise and generally live a much less stressful life.

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How Exercise Can Help You Focus

If you’re a regular on this site, you’ll know that there are a number of articles about the benefits of exercise in general and how exercise can help you focus.  Regular exercise is absolutely key for your body and its vital organs to function properly but there are added benefits too, three of which I have added below.  They are written by Jennifer Cohen for Forbes.com.

How Exercise Can Help You Focus

Increases Energy

The more you move, the more energized you will feel. Regular physical activity improves your muscle strength and boosts your endurance, giving you the energy you need to think clearer and come up with new ideas. A good 15 minutes of moving around, even just around your living room, makes your body produce more energy on a cellular level.

Sharpens Focus

Dr. John Ratey, author of “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” says that exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterwards.  If you have a presentation or speaking engagement try to work out beforehand; you’ll be at your peak when you have to perform. In the long term, it can even help starve off brain aging and Alzheimer’s. This works on the cellular level through neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to improve itself with blood flow and levels of brain-derived protein. He calls it “miracle-gro” for the brain, and it all comes from regular exercise!

Helps Impulse Control

Exercise helps trigger endorphins, which improve the prioritizing functions of the brain. After exercise, your ability to sort out priorities improves, allowing you to block out distractions and better concentrate on the task at hand.

Read the full article here

Of all the articles I’ve read about how exercise can help you focus this is the first time I have come across exercise as being an aid in impulse control.  This is a little gem of advice as I for one, act on impulse a little too frequently and struggle with decision-making.  From this day forth, I shall make decisions only after a decent workout.  Will you do the same? Share your thoughts below!

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Set Goals To Help You To Focus

Why do career advisors, successful entrepreneurs and athletes harp on about setting goals? Firstly, set goals to help you to focus.  Secondly, if you don’t know where you want to head, how are you going to get there? This is a great post written by a management and career consultant, V Pradeep Kumar, for the Decan Herald.  I have excerpted a few favourite points.

Set Goals To Help You To Focus

Set smart goals

Use the power of your imagination as well as skillful planning to set your professional goals.

Integrate goals

It’s a good strategy to have multiple goals in different areas such as your professional career, personal life, financial and asset creation, health and fitness. These goals in different aspects of life should complement each other and not contradict them.

Why is goal setting so important?

Life is all about making the right choices and goal setting is the process of making those choices. Goals enable you to focus, act as strong motivators and improve results. Follow your dream; but be sure you love the profession. You may start with a job; turn that job into a passionate career.

Career success is a destination you want to reach. Let the goals be specific like setting a needle in your compass. From then on, the compass knows only one point, faithfully guiding you through the journey ahead. Look forward to the destination, but appreciate and enjoy the journey.

Read more of the original article here

No matter where you are in life, whether you’re still at school, finishing university, half way through your career, or even in retirement, if you haven’t already done so, set goals to help you to focus.  Without your destination in mind, you’ll be like a lost puppy in a jungle not knowing which way to turn, or how you’re going to get there, because it’ll all be mystery!

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