Super-Achiever Motivation for A Dime A Day

Why are some people very successful while others struggle – and fail – to live the life of their dreams? Most experts agree that it comes down to self-motivation – or the lack of it. Here’s what Albert Gray said about this:

“The common denominator of success – the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful – lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”

Just think about it… today in this Information Age we all know – or can get this information in a Google click – what to do to make a lot of money working only 4 hours a week. (Go and read The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Harris)…

And yet, most of us are not ready to do what it takes! Our motivation lets us down. So, how do you whip up the motivation on a daily basis and for very cheap, to keep working on your goals so you can live the life of your dreams?

Here are 10 secrets of achieving super-achiever motivation for just a dime a day.

  1. Positive Affirmations

Our subconscious mind is a wonderful tool for success or failure. It will do what we tell it to do. It all depends on what thoughts we feed it. So why not feed your inner mind with only positive thoughts. The following are some examples of positive affirmations you can feed your inner mind for success:

  • “Today, I will win because I have faith, courage and enthusiasm.”
  • “I see failure only as a signpost on my road to success.”
  • “When I feel stress, I will relax and release my stress before I take on my next task.”
  • “I always write down my priorities, thinking of my responsibilities. I may not get everything done, but I will do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.”
  • “I am a winner, I work for a winning organization, and because of my contribution and cooperation we will keep on winning.”
  • “Today, I will see opportunity in every challenge offered to me.”

self motivation

  1. Positive Language

Recent research has come out that 75% of daily conversation is negative. Whether it is the words we use or the body language, we need to communicate in a positive manner all the time.

The following are some examples of how you can turn negative words into positive communication:

  • Instead of saying “problem,” call it “opportunity.”
  • Instead of an action being a “failure,” describe it as a “learning experience.”
  • Instead of “I have to,” say “I choose to.” This gives control for your actions back to you.
  • Instead of saying, “There’s nothing I can do,” say, “Let’s look at our alternatives.”
  • Instead of saying, “That’s just the way I am,” say, “I choose a different approach.”
  • Instead of saying, “He makes me so mad,” say, “I control my own feelings.”

If you notice, by using the positive response, you have control over your actions and life.

Recommended further reading on positive language – Self Success Karaoke: Positive Self Talk for Wealth Attraction, Self Esteem & Positive Living”

  1. Exercise

A Gallup survey found the following among men and women who have taken up exercise recently:

  • 66 percent report a more relaxed life
  • 62 percent a new surge of energy
  • 55 percent less stress
  • 51 percent better looks
  • 46 percent more confidence
  • 45 percent better love life
  • 44 percent greater job satisfaction
  • 37 percent more creative on their jobs

These are great motivators to exercise! Next time you feel demotivated, give your body a workout. Recent research reports that as little as fifteen minutes three times a week has profound effects. Get moving. Get motivated.

  1. Take Risks

We all live our lives in comforts zones, avoiding risky situations, avoiding the potential to fail. It’s real safe for us. But in order to get ahead of your competition and master the ongoing change in your life, you must go out of your comfort zone. Start one step at a time. Try that little new thing, that different approach. It could be as simple as taking different routes to and from work. Once in a while I like to “take the road less traveled” to stir up my creative juices. Then, keep stepping out of your zone. It may seem uncomfortable at first. But the more you do it, the more it will seem natural and you will see an increase in your creative juices and opportunities you never thought about before.

  1. Positive Reading

Read about the lives of successful people. Make sure you read only those people that embrace the timeless values that make them truly successful through the ages. Not the “success today, scandal tomorrow” success stories that we are experiencing today. People like Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of Federal Express, Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are good examples. These are people who overcame enormous challenges, created real value for others, or changed other people’s lives for the better.

  1. Positive Visualizations

Condition yourself to paint your vision for success. One of the best ways to do this is the following:

  1. Go to a quiet place in your home or elsewhere. Turn off all radios, televisions, etc.
  2. Find a comfortable chair and get into a relaxed state of mind.
  3. Start thinking about one goal you want to accomplish. Remember, visualize as if you are already accomplishing this goal.
  4. Visualize taking all the necessary steps to successfully complete these goals. The better your visualization, where you can actually see, feel, hear, and touch your vision, the more real it is to you.
  5. Visualize any challenges to your successful completion of this goal and how you will eliminate this challenges.
  6. Visualize how good it feels to complete this goal. Visualize what benefits it will bring to you, your family, friends, co-workers, etc. Enjoy the moment!

Important: If you don’t take time to see it, it won’t happen!

  1. Think Big

See the big picture in everything we do. So much of our time is wasted dealing with the unimportant things in our lives (what that person said or did, the driver who cut us off this morning, and activities which don’t add value to our lives, etc.) that we forget about the big picture.

We were put on this earth to make a difference. We make a difference for our families, our communities, our organizations, and for ourselves. All of our actions must be put into action with this concept in mind. Think a little bigger today than yesterday, and you’ll create a better future tomorrow. Thinking big leads to great actions. Thinking small leads to small results. So Think BIG! Take Donald J. Trump’s advice:

“You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” ~ Donald Trump

  1. Set Goals

The fastest way to fail in life is to not set clear goals. Set goals in the financial, family, health, spiritual, and career areas. Your goals must incorporate the SMART techniques or else it’s just a “conversation in the park.”

  • S for specific
  • M for measurable
  • A for attainable
  • R for realistic
  • T for time-based

For example, you might have a goal of achieving $2 million for retirement in twenty years. After doing your research, a SMART goal would be the following:

“I will acquire $2 million dollars for retirement by 2024. I will do this by contributing $20K, or $1667 per month, to my various retirement funds each year. Of the $20k each year, $2k will go to my IRA, and $18K will go into my organization’s retirement program.”

Remember the most detail you can add, the more realistic your goal becomes.

  1. Positive Appearance

Super achievers are very careful about their appearance and their movements. They know that looking good translates into feeling good. Billy Crystal, of Saturday Night Live and movie fame, once played a character that was known for saying, “It is better to look good than to feel good.” What he was really implying was the “fake it until you make it” concept. In other words, if we are feeling down, then think positively and your mind will tell your body to follow suit and act positively. Also always dress the part of an achiever. Model the dress, actions, and behaviors of someone who is successful and embraces the long term values of successful people. This will also tell your mind that I am an achiever.

Don’t let that be the deciding factor on being motivated. You can easily distinguish those who are motivated from those who are not motivated just by looking at their appearance and their movements. The motivated move forward, onward and upward with confidence.

  1. Helping Others

Develop an obsession to help others. Share your special talents without expecting a reward, payment, or commendation. And above all else, keep your good deed a secret.

You know what, if you apply the helping techniques to others, it will automatically come back to you tenfold in a number of ways.

First, the enjoyment of knowing that a special talent you had made someone else’s life better. Second, because you didn’t seek it, word will spread about you and your deeds. This will be translated into unexpected riches and opportunities. Third, you will gain a new level of confidence in knowing that you can make a difference. Super achievers find motivation and meaning by helping others.

Now, I’m sure you will agree with me…most of these things you could do for a dime a day, maybe not even that. Money shouldn’t be your excuse. Don’t be like most people – go forth and do the stuff failures don’t like to do. Go for it… and get started now!

*

This article is adapted from “10 Secrets to Motivating Yourself to Great Accomplishments” by Ed Sykes – professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building

Harnessing Your Power To Your Passion (part 2)

“For each of us, there’s one thing that will lead us to being a success. And yet, for most of us, we often do everything but that one thing.”

One of the timeless secrets to a long, happy life is to love your work. The golden thread running through the lives of history’s most satisfied people is that they all loved what they did for a living. When psychologist Vera John Steiner interviewed one hundred creative people, she found they all had one thing in common: an intense passion for their work. Spending your days doing work that you find rewarding, intellectually challenges and fun will do more than all the spa vacations in the world to keep your spirits high and your heart engaged.

Thomas Edison, a man who recorded 1,093 patents in his lifetime, ranging from the phonographs, the incandescent light bulb and the microphone to the movies, had this to say about his brilliant career at the end of his life, “I never did a day’s work in my life: it was all fun.”

When you love your job, you discover you will never have to work another day in your life. Your work will be play and the hours will slip away as quickly as they came.

Today, we’re going to look at another side of success — choosing the right path to the top.

Thirty years or more ago, I read a little book called “A Programmed Guide to Office Warfare.” On going through the book, the reader was presented with a number of possible scenarios, and a decision point. The decision you made limited your future decisions.

Just like that book, our lives can be largely limited by the decisions we make. For example, if we choose to follow a particular course of study, breaking away to do something totally different further down the line becomes more difficult. Once you’ve got a degree in English Literature, you’re going to find it exceedingly difficult to break into Dentistry, at least not without a lot more schooling.

Sometimes, we choose paths that aren’t right for us, at all. A person with poor math skills may choose a job that requires statistical analysis abilities. A person who stands only five feet, six inches tall (that’s 167 cm for people who don’t live in the United States) is going to find it difficult to break into professional basketball. He may love the sport, but professionally, he’s going to have a difficult time making any money playing it, when his competition stands quite a bit above his head.

We all are limited, therefore, as to the types of jobs we can do. Our basketball fan could make a living managing a basketball team, or marketing a basketball team, but he’s not going to make many slam-dunks on the court.

Earl Nightingale, known as the “dean of personal achievement,” spoke about how we can best find positions well suited for our abilities.

Earl said people basically separate into two kinds of achievers: those who have a natural ability in an area, and those who have to develop ability. He used Mozart as an example. Mozart was a child prodigy, composing and performing early in his youth, at a high rate of excellence. He was, Earl said, in his “river of interest.”

Earl went on to explain that many people have a “river of interest” where their talents are superb, their abilities “natural.” While in that river, they find everything easy to do; they excel naturally and effortlessly. They have, whether the result of past experience or genetics, a predisposition to excel in a particular discipline.

When people in that river of interest get outside of their area of specialty, however, they don’t do as well. Mozart was a marvelous composer, but I bet he’d have been a pretty poor plumber.

Sometimes, in life, you’ll run across people like this — perhaps you are one of them – who manage to make everything they do look easy. They have found their river — or rivers — of interest, and they excel marvelously.

Other times – perhaps more often – you’ll find people who may be “naturals” in every sense of the word, but because it has come to them easily, never put the effort into learning how to become excellent at their craft. They are the “natural” writer, who never learns how to properly spell, but who can create a marvelous story; the “natural” programmer, who can create code that makes other programmers jealous, but who never can deliver a project on time and on budget; or the salesperson who has a natural ability to deal with people, and yet who never learns the simple techniques that can help make him or her great.

We usually refer to this as “flawed genius” –  someone who could be great, but probably never will be.

Secondly, we can see people who have never found their “river of interest,” but who steadfastly work at learning a subject, until they become excellent at it. Earl referred to these people as “goal-driven,” meaning that unless they set a goal to achieve something, they likely were never going to get it.

Goal-driven people are usually the majority of us – people who choose a profession because they want the rewards the profession can deliver.

My previous dentist was one such person. When I first got to know him, I asked him why he became a dentist. “Simple,” he said. “I wanted to make money, and I heard it was a good way to make some.”

Well, he made quite a bit of money from me over the years. He was goal-driven, and he persisted until he achieved his goal. I came to regret his decision at times, but I stuck with him until he retired. I learned how goal-driven he was, when he charged me $20 for a 2-minute lecture on proper flossing techniques.

Obviously, since we don’t all have the same abilities, we’ve got more chance of success when we decide where we want to go, and choose a path that maximizes whatever we have to offer.

Let’s take salespeople as an example. Some salespeople, for example, never learn how to close a sale. They are willing to deal with the customer, happy to golf with their boss, and interested in learning more about sales, but they just don’t have the ability to ask someone to buy their product.

They usually don’t succeed in sales, until they learn how to add that missing component – and some of them never learn.

On the flip side, there is the salesperson that has a lot of natural ability, and yet never bothers to learn the techniques to maximize his/her worth. They are like the basketball player who, blessed with large size and physical ability, never bothers to learn how to become the next Michael Jordan — simply because it’s easier to just slide along.

Then, there’s the salesperson who has no ability at all. His/her father was an insurance salesman, so he became one as well; he was laid off from his job, and took up sales until something better came along; or he just went after it, because, like my dentist, he heard it paid pretty well.

Like my book on office warfare, life is a series of decisions. We can make good decisions, bad decisions, and mediocre decisions. We can choose to be swept along by whatever breeze is blowing at the time, or we can decide to set our rudder, lift the sails, and determine our own port of call.

It’s rarely too late to make a change in our lives – if we’re on a dead-end path, now is the time to turn around, and choose a different road. If we’re swimming in our “river of interest,” but not excelling, we can choose to learn techniques that help us deliver the quality we’re capable of. If we are goal-driven, and after an area where we can just fit in, we may have to learn a few things to become excellent — including modeling ourselves after people who are the “naturals” in our area of interest.

If, however, we’re working in an area where we have no potential – if we’re the five-foot-six basketball player looking for a professional career — we’re likely wasting a life that could be better oriented toward an area where we could do some good. We’re well outside of our river of interest, and we’re drowning.

Some years ago, I spent a couple of years living in Japan. While I was there, I learned a Japanese “kotowaza,” or proverb, which states “Many paths lead to the top of Mt. Fuji.” While that’s true, (at least where Fuji is concerned) there is usually a path that is best for each of us to follow. One of the great adventures of our life is finding that path, and maximizing our contributions, so we can make a difference in our own lives, and the lives of others.

If you’re not on the right path, turn around. If you are, press ahead. If you don’t know if you’re on the right path, stop, evaluate your position, and get a map if needed. Maximize your investment in your life by choosing the right path to follow.

Going from Flawed Genius to Creative Genius

Let’s look at another side of success – choosing the right path to the top.

Thirty years or more ago, I read a little book called “A Programmed Guide to Office Warfare.” On going through the book, the reader was presented with a number of possible scenarios, and a decision point. The decision you made limited your future decisions.

Just like that book, our lives can be largely limited by the decisions we make. For example, if we choose to follow a particular course of study, breaking away to do something totally different further down the line becomes more difficult. Once you’ve got a degree in English Literature, you’re going to find it exceedingly difficult to break into Dentistry, at least not without a lot more schooling.

Sometimes, we choose paths that aren’t right for us, at all. A person with poor math skills may choose a job that requires statistical analysis abilities. A person who stands only five feet, six inches tall (that’s 167 cm for people who don’t live in the United States) is going to find it difficult to break into professional basketball. He may love the sport, but professionally, he’s going to have a difficult time making any money playing it, when his competition stands quite a bit above his head.

We all are limited, therefore, as to the types of jobs we can do. Our basketball fan could make a living managing a basketball team, or marketing a basketball team, but he’s not going to make many slam-dunks on the court.

Earl Nightingale, known as the “dean of personal achievement,” spoke about how we can best find positions well suited for our abilities.

Earl said people basically separate into two kinds of achievers: those who have a natural ability in an area, and those who have to develop ability. He used Mozart as an example. Mozart was a child prodigy, composing and performing early in his youth, at a high rate of excellence. He was, Earl said, in his “river of interest.”

Earl went on to explain that many people have a “river of interest” where their talents are superb, their abilities “natural.” While in that river, they find everything easy to do; they excel naturally and effortlessly. They have, whether the result of past experience or genetics, a predisposition to excel in a particular discipline.

When people in that river of interest get outside of their area of specialty, however, they don’t do as well. Mozart was a marvelous composer, but I bet he’d have been a pretty poor plumber.

Sometimes, in life, you’ll run across people like this – perhaps you are one of them – who manage to make everything they do look easy. They have found their river – or rivers – of interest, and they excel marvelously.

Other times – perhaps more often – you’ll find people who may be “naturals” in every sense of the word, but because it has come to them easily, never put the effort into learning how to become excellent at their craft. They are the “natural” writer, who never learns how to properly spell, but who can create a marvelous story; the “natural” programmer, who can create code that makes other programmers jealous, but who never can deliver a project on time and on budget; or the salesperson who has a natural ability to deal with people, and yet who never learns the simple techniques that can help make him or her great.

We usually refer to this as “flawed genius” – someone who could be great, but probably never will be.

Secondly, we can see people who have never found their “river of interest,” but who steadfastly work at learning a subject, until they become excellent at it. Earl referred to these people as “goal-driven,” meaning that unless they set a goal to achieve something, they likely were never going to get it.

Goal-driven people are usually the majority of us – people who choose a profession because they want the rewards the profession can deliver.

My previous dentist was one such person. When I first got to know him, I asked him why he became a dentist. “Simple,” he said. “I wanted to make money, and I heard it was a good way to make some.”

Well, he made quite a bit of money from me over the years. He was goal-driven, and he persisted until he achieved his goal. I came to regret his decision at times, but I stuck with him until he retired. I learned how goal-driven he was, when he charged me $20 for a 2-minute lecture on proper flossing techniques.

Obviously, since we don’t all have the same abilities, we’ve got more chance of success when we decide where we want to go, and choose a path that maximizes whatever we have to offer.

Let’s take salespeople as an example. Some salespeople, for example, never learn how to close a sale. They are willing to deal with the customer, happy to golf with their boss, and interested in learning more about sales, but they just don’t have the ability to ask someone to buy their product.

They usually don’t succeed in sales, until they learn how to add that missing component – and some of them never learn.

On the flip side, there is the salesperson that has a lot of natural ability, and yet never bothers to learn the techniques to maximize his/her worth. They are like the basketball player who, blessed with large size and physical ability, never bothers to learn how to become the next Michael Jordan –  simply because it’s easier to just slide along.

Then, there’s the salesperson who has no ability at all. His/her father was an insurance salesman, so he became one as well; he was laid off from his job, and took up sales until something better came along; or he just went after it, because, like my dentist, he heard it paid pretty well.

Like my book on office warfare, life is a series of decisions. We can make good decisions, bad decisions, and mediocre decisions. We can choose to be swept along by whatever breeze is blowing at the time, or we can decide to set our rudder, lift the sails, and determine our own port of call.

It’s rarely too late to make a change in our lives –  if we’re on a dead-end path, now is the time to turn around, and choose a different road. If we’re swimming in our “river of interest,” but not excelling, we can choose to learn techniques that help us deliver the quality we’re capable of. If we are goal-driven, and after an area where we can just fit in, we may have to learn a few things to become excellent – including modeling ourselves after people who are the “naturals” in our area of interest.

If, however, we’re working in an area where we have no potential –  if we’re the five-foot-six basketball player looking for a professional career –  we’re likely wasting a life that could be better oriented toward an area where we could do some good. We’re well outside of our river of interest, and we’re drowning.

Some years ago, I spent a couple of years living in Japan. While I was there, I learned a Japanese “kotowaza,” or proverb, which states “Many paths lead to the top of Mt. Fuji.” While that’s true, (at least where Fuji is concerned) there is usually a path that is best for each of us to follow. One of the great adventures of our life is finding that path, and maximizing our contributions, so we can make a difference in our own lives, and the lives of others.

If you’re not on the right path, turn around. If you are, press ahead. If you don’t know if you’re on the right path, stop, evaluate your position, and get a map if needed. Maximize your investment in your life by choosing the right path to follow.

Adapted from an article originally written by Daryl Gibson for SalesStar.com

How To Combat Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt

FUD or Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt are 3 very notorious demotivators that that sometimes work in tandem to stop people moving on their big goals to change their lives. If you want to change so you can live the life of your dreams you’ve got to learn to overcome FUD. Here’s why…

FUD is keeping you rooted in your comfort zones that are really not comfortable – zones that are really not where you want to be!

FUD also fires your self-limiting beliefs. It’s easy to say “I can’t do this or achieve this and that” because then you won’t have to try – and maybe fail?

FUD causes you to fear failure – where you shouldn’t. FUD kills persistence.

FUD wants you to stay “fat, dump, and happy” in your mediocrity.

If you’ve failed before in any endeavor, it’s likely you have FUD to blame. Now you fear even to try… because you could fail again.

This is what Sir Winston Churchill said about success and failure:

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm” ~ Winston Churchill

Here’s how to combat fear, uncertainty and doubt…

I was reading a book last night by Dr. Murray Banks, a psychologist during the 1960s who made a living out of giving popular talks on the lecture circuit. The book is long out of print – I happened across a copy of it when an Amazon.com customer put one up for sale, and Amazon.com sent me a note about it. $5 later, I’ve got the book. The book is full of Banks’ famous humor lines, (“our cows aren’t contented; they’re working to do better”) some of which haven’t aged well, but it also contains some interesting insights into human nature. One of those insights was about the things that make people refuse to act, even when action would be in their own best interest. What is it? Our old friend FUD: fear, uncertainty and doubt.

I found his insights to be quite interesting. As an observer of human nature, I’ve always been amazed at how many people actively work against their own best interests. I’ve watched how the lives of my friends and myself have been harmed by this nature — to avoid doing taking the correct course of action, because of an  almost paralysis against taking that all-important first step.

I believe that wisdom is formed by experience, knowledge, and introspection. We can have the one or two of these, but without the third, we don’t really gain wisdom. Whatever wisdom I have gained over the years has taught me that often, I have to push myself into moving on items where the FUD factor is high.

What kinds of high-FUD items would this be? For a salesperson, it may be fear of being rejected by a customer. That fear might be grounded in the fears of adolescence, where a young man or woman worries about being spurned by a prospective date. It may be grounded in the past, where a customer turned away from buying your product. It may be grounded in the present, where a family member may spurn your love.

For an overweight person, that high-FUD item may be the fear of failing a diet: that fear may stop the person from even trying to watch their eating. For a person stuck in a non-satisfying job, high levels of FUD may mean that a desired career move may never happen. This person will continually think, “The devil we see is better than the devil we don’t see.”

Give in to FUD, and all of a sudden, the shadows under your bed turn into monsters, every passerby is an enemy, and the future becomes a terrifying experience.

Fortunately though, there’s an easy remedy to Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Rather than giving in to the FUD factor, we need to give in to the GUTS factor.

It’d be nice if I had a nice little set of words that “GUTS” could go with, making it into an acronym like SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) or RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging), but I don’t. Guts means just what it sounds like — having the internal drive and desire to get going, while all around you are sitting still.

Guts means getting up in the morning and going to work, even when your mind is telling you to call in sick. It means learning how to speak before a crowd, even though you’re terrified of public speaking. It means balancing your checkbook, even though you don’t have much money left in it. It means actively working for the future, even though your present life may be uncertain.

If you’ve got guts, you do something that you’re afraid of, because it has to be done. You actively seek truth, to eliminate your uncertainty. You seek information, so you can make your doubts vanish.

In the final analysis, having guts means to act, even when your stomach says “stay put.”

A currently-running ad for a car company shows a groom trying to decide whether to get married. The ad shows him alternately driving to the church and fleeing from the church, and finishes with him hitting his head against the plastic door panels of his new car. I don’t know how well it sells cars, but it succinctly shows the difference between FUD and Guts. Anybody who remembers their wedding day (some people block it out, others were intoxicated at the time) is likely to remember the FUD they may have felt, leading up to the wedding. Most of us had the Guts to go through with the wedding. A few let the FUD overtake them, and never show up for the ceremony.

Firefighters, police, and military members are taught to manage their FUD, never letting it overtake them in a dangerous circumstance. It’s something that we can learn for our everyday lives.

So that brings us to our rule for today: No matter how much FUD you feel, you can manage it, get through it, and put it behind you if you remember one key: You have the guts to get going.

We all have our bad days, and I have the occasional bad day were all I want to do in the morning is to lay back on the bed and stare at the ceiling. Obviously, that’s not a good thing to do with the rest of my life. Before too long, the little voice inside of me takes charge, and with one phrase: “Get going, Daryl”, I get off the bed, turn off the light, and get on with the day.

You probably don’t stare at the light on the ceiling, but you likely have your own avoidance behaviors: solitaire, FreeCell, pinball, talking by the water cooler, reading the newspaper, or answering e-mail are all well-worn avoidance behaviors.

Whatever it is, your FUD Factor can be instantly reduced by just saying to yourself, “get going.”

You have the Guts to get going and overcome FUD. You don’t have to have the Guts of a John Wayne-style character. You just have to have the Guts to believe that you can do it, FUD and all.

*

Adapted from an article originally published by Daryl Gibson for SalesStar.com

How To Harness Your Power To Your Passion

I think I have seen it once or twice on reality TV… the participants are given clues and the first one to discover the hidden treasure takes it all. Usually it’s something very valuable; money perhaps.

Let me ask you  his… if you were given a treasure map, showing the site of a hidden treasure, and you knew that this treasure was worth a million dollars – no TV, no pictures, all very safe and private – would you follow the map?

Sure you would. I would too.

Everybody wants a hidden treasure. Why? Because it means instant wealth! I once played the lottery… same thing.

You get mesmerized by the thought of the discovery – of the sight of all that wealth, and what you would do with it.

And yet, you’re sitting on one of the greatest possible treasures that can come your way – and all you need to do is to draw a map to it. You already know where the treasure lies – it’s deep within you.

Most of us already have a treasure buried deep within us… we just haven’t figured out where it is yet. Or we know, but haven’t taken that first step.

Your “buried treasure” is that part of you that could radically make your life better – if you’d only take the time to find it.

In order to find your hidden treasure though, the thing or things you are really good at, you need to do a little bit of work.

Here’s how:

Find a piece of paper. Don’t spend a lot of time finding it – we don’t want you to get distracted.  If you don’t have a piece of paper handy, use a newspaper, a napkin, an envelope …anything. We’re going to make a list. At the top of your list, write this title: THINGS I CAN DO WELL AND EASILY

After you’ve put down the title, take no less than ten minutes, thinking about what you can do. The quantity doesn’t really matter, but the more the better. As you’re writing, try combining individual elements. For example, if your list includes items like WRITE and DRIVE CARS, then a natural combination could be WRITE ABOUT DRIVING CARS.

Let’s assume you have the following qualities on your list: speak in front of groups, teach others, be enthusiastic, manage effectively – it would follow that you would also be a great corporate trainer or lecturer on management techniques.

When you’re making your list, initially concentrate on the individual elements. Include anything you are good at even if it seems insignificant. On my list, if you remember, I said I’m a voracious reader – with the memory of an elephant, and darn patient too… I could read for hours and hours every day, if I didn’t have to go out and make a living…

What could I do with it that could keep me well-heeled like Edison? In other words, how do I monetize this “passion?”

Well, I’m monetizing it right this minute. Can’t say I’m well-heeled as I write this, but this is what I have done with Achieverz Club… I read all these self-help and personal development books, and then I condense all the wisdom for you in a single article such as this one, or a Kindle edition.

Like Dan Kennedy said, I make you laugh and I take your money.

It saves you tons of time and maybe money… plus, you guys get to feed my family!

Nobody has complained yet… And I could be doing this for years to come… actually I just got started!

Another example: I’m passionate about politics and how I’m governed – and very argumentative about it. So, a political blogger perhaps is a great combination.

Thanks, but no; maybe when I’m 75… Syndicated Political Columnist has a nicer ring to it, don’t you think?

Well, you get the idea…

To continue… after you’ve finished listing most of your individual elements, try combinations, as shown.

Remember… take at least five minutes. Start now. We’ll wait… start the counter, Jonny!

Tic, tac, tic……………………………………………………………………………………………

We are back…

If you haven’t done the exercise, now’s the time to do it, because you are not deceiving anyone but yourself if you didn’t!

Putting it off until later this evening is fine – but come back to this section after you’ve done it.

Include things you’ve overlooked in your life. That includes talents that have been moved to the back burner, financial opportunities that you’ve overlooked (like 401K funds, stock investing, savings plans, IRAs) or business ventures that you should have taken earlier (businesses that you always told yourself that you could do, if only you had more time).

Through this silly little exercise, most people will find a number of fascinating possibilities about themselves. They may find they have a hidden talent, or they might find a new path to follow for business. This simple little exercise can help you see businesses that can be started, and goals that can be set.

Exercise two (how others see us)

This next step is a bit more difficult for most people – but then you’re not most people. You are a creative genius, remember? A high achiever to boot!

Give this same little exercise to one or more of your friends and co-workers, but have them use you as the object of the exercise. It may help if you explain to them what you’re doing, and have them complete the exercise for themselves to begin with.

Ask your friend or co-worker to list your abilities, as he/she sees them. Ask them to take at least five minutes, if possible. After they’re done writing, ask them to mark what they consider to be your top five attributes, and number them in order.

If they choose to do the exercise for themselves, you’ll likely wind up doing this for them, as well. Be generous, but above all, be accurate.

Most people who do this exercise find that their friends see them somewhat differently than they see themselves – at least to the extent of ranking their best qualities. Trying this same exercise with multiple friends may show you even more insights.

When you’re done, compare your list with theirs. They will likely find some additional areas where you excel. They may be discounting some areas where you feel you are strong. At any rate, at the end of this exercise, you will be left with a better understanding of where your treasure really lies.

If you are married, you should get your partner to help you find your hidden talents, strengths, and abilities – or your passion. Their answers could surprise you. Your spouse or partner probably knows you better than your mom and everybody, combined.

The next exercise is really about acquiring the treasure.

Exercise three: making a map to the treasure

At its very best a map is merely a description of moves necessary to get to a destination. Once you have determined where your “hidden treasure” lies, you need to outline the goals and steps necessary to take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Like a person planning a trip, break your path down into segments – “bite-sized” chunks that you can do a little bit at a time. Set a completion goal, and a “treasure acquisition date” that you want to be your “D-Day.” Decide to gain whatever training or learning you may need to become the best at your chosen goal – and then take the first step. Start on your quest – and uncover your hidden gem.

Take your time and try to discover your hidden gems. Don’t forget, ne of the timeless secrets to a long, happy life is to love your work. It has been said that for each of us, there’s one thing that will lead us to being a success. And yet, for most of us, we often do everything but that one thing. Very sobering…

Need extra help to find your passion? Before I give you my reading recommendations let me use this opportunity to clear the air. Me, I’m not the expert… I’m just your friend in overalls….I scoop and serve!

Like Thomas Edison said (I love that guy!):

“I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

With that out of the way, here are my further reading recommendations:
The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

Adapted from an article by Daryl Gibson originally written for SalesStar.com

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