9 reasons why should you think like a CEO

Life is your core business, and you must run it. Most of us simply ignore that fact, instead we choose to focus on other things while our own lives disintegrate. It is a sad fact that without our own active participation in creating our own lives, what we aim at achieving is never gonna see the light of day. How often do you put blame on other people? How often do you see problems in everyone else around you but yourself? How often do you expect others to help you through your goals while you do nothing?

Well, to succeed, you must know that you are accountable for your own life, and nobody else can do anything about it. You are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of your own life, and you must act accordingly.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I have long pondered on this question. Finally, I realized that, each individual life is more like a business but most of us  are simply unaware and take things for granted while we are quick to blame our mistakes on other people. You must understand that, you, like all of us, are the CEO in your own life, and you must be accountable for whatever transpires in it.

Imagine, in everyday living – you have to convince others. You help and advice others through their goals.  You help others grow and find their true cause in life. You face challenges and learn from them. You seek advice from other professionals to improve the quality of your decisions. At times, you take initiatives to better the lives of others, and in turn, your life improves.

What does that mean in the grand scheme of things? Well, it means one thing – you have the power to make ultimate decisions on what goes on in your life – who comes in, what is done, and what is left out. These roles are similar to those of  a CEO running a big company, only in an individual scale. If that’s apparent to you, then you must acquire the CEO-like mindset to run your own business – and that is your life. Otherwise, true progress is nearly impossible.

How you lead your life accounts for its quality. The quality of your life determines how happy you become. You must understand that, happiness is the product of knowing that your life is in continuous progress towards what you want, no matter how slow. But in reality, people are simply anything but accountable. To lead your life well, you must be accountable. Be accountable for your happiness, be accountable for your own progress, be accountable to whatever comes your way. If you acquire that mindset, then you are the CEO.

As the CEO, you have the task of being director, decision maker, leader, manager, and executor of everything in your life. You also have the responsibility of setting the image of your own life to the outside world, choose goals to lead and execute them on daily basis.

It is ideal to think like a CEO of your own life. With such kind of thinking there is much more to gain than losing. Here are a few points that will realize this idea.

1. Your life is your business and you should run it.

If you are responsible for your own life, then you will not take it for granted. As the CEO, you have the top mandate to your life and that includes the knowledge of how it turns out in a long run. You must know the price and value of everything you do and every choice you make because they are determinant on how your life turns out in the end.

2. You become more responsible for your own life

The most crucial part of being responsible with your life is to decide where it goes. This is not a simple and easy decision. Deciding what leads our lives, to most people, is probably one of the most difficult part in life, yet the most underrated. If you want to climb the ladder of success fast and easy, you must have a long-term plan for your life. This ensures that you are aware of everything that you do in the meantime that has to lead you to success. Long-term plans always lead to a better life, and as the CEO, you must know that already.

3. You’ll ensure efficiency in accomplishing goals

As a CEO, you have the mandate to oversee your life, see what works and what does not. This enables you to allocate necessary resources that lead to improved efficiency in achieving your goals. In return, progress ensues.

The most crucial resource you have to manage efficiently is your own time. It is free but priceless. It is a non-renewable resource that determine how productive you are in your own life.

4. You become better at seizing opportunities

A part of being the CEO is to seize all the possible opportunities that come your way. This means, you must weigh and see how to turn the opportunities before you into a valuable means that thrusts your life to success. With such a mindset, you will always look for opportunities out of everything you do. In the end, you train your mind to seize the best opportunities that come your way and create what you want in life – that is your role as the CEO.

5. You acquire a broader and higher perspective in life

You are more than your setbacks, problems, and challenges in life. If you look at your problems and magnify them, you will definitely end up disappointed and quickly give up. In the book, Your Inner Child Is Calling it says, “Life throws us what we can handle, but overestimating the challenge and underestimating our abilities results to getting less than what life had previously planned.” Having a CEO-like mindset means you look at your life’s problems from a higher perspective, that way

  • All problems seem short-term and never really obstacles
  • You learn from your challenges and failures
  • Ultimately, you look for the best in each challenge and failure that contributes to your ultimate success

When you look at problems from the higher perspective, you become the master and they have no power to break you. That way, you have the final decision on what is to be done to get your life back on track. You can always consult other people who know better when the need arise. A CEO knows that it takes other people’s contributions to get things done because acting alone makes a small setback seem like an insurmountable problem.

6. You prioritize your life

Prioritization is focusing on what you want and removing attention from what is less important in your life. This is crucial because what you choose to focus on is what determines your future. As the CEO to your own life, your crucial decision is to look for opportunities that will lead the company according to the vision and let other distractions pass you by.

If you choose one pursuit, you choose to ignore others. If you choose to engage into one particular interest, you choose to ignore the rest. In this way you will:

  • Spend time looking for what matters to you and create your own plans in the process
  • You’ll seek advice from people who can help you succeed in meeting your goals
  • You’ll carefully choose what is important to take your precious time. That includes people and opportunities that do not suit you or your pursuit in life.

7. You handle failures more constructively

It is undeniable fact that life is full of challenges. When faced with some difficulties, only those who are willing to skillfully navigate the rough seas finally reach the shores. To live a life of your choosing, you must know how to turn failures to your own advantage. Instead of lamenting and dreading, you must face and seize whatever opportunity presented with such failure. That way, you will understand how everything in your life conspires for your ultimate success, especially the ones disguised in form of failures.

As the CEO, you must know how to absorb the shock of failures. If you handle it well, then you will make better decisions concerning your life especially knowing that risks are necessary to make you grow and failures are part of life. Failure can either make you or break you, that is your choice. If you are responsible for your life, you won’t risk to trade your life with failures, but you’ll use them to propel you to prosperity. That is having a proactive mind towards your own failures in life.

8. Every day is an opportunity to learn

Life is a continuous lesson, and you must learn every day. To be current and in possession of the required skills to determine where your life goes,  you must have the most recent knowledge on how to meet your goals.  You must improve and become better with time. You must beware of what goes on around you. To stay alert you have to be clear of the changes that come with time. That way you learn every day and that is the best way to progress.

9. It is an opportunity to help others

It is often said; when you are able to deal with personal suffering, you can then begin to deal with the suffering of others. If you aren’t able to solve your own problems, how can you even be able to look into other’s problems? Being responsible for your own life gives you a rare chance to help others. You can’t advice others to do what you have never tried to accomplish before. The best way to teach others is by inspiring them through your own actions. Likewise, your experience will serve to improve the quality of your decision and that can benefit those who seek advice from you.

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How to be the best at what you do

In life, to achieve success, you must be the best at what you do, and to be the best is to achieve greatness in your calling.

It is a known fact that we are destined for greatness and inside all of us there is that seed of greatness lying dormant awaiting nurturing. Greatness is that urge to awaken our potentials and consciously aiming for the best results from our efforts.

However, sprouting the dormant seed, one’s inherent initiative is vital. Too bad, only a few get to germinate that seed, and for the rest,  that potential lies dormant and unexplored. It is so much of a waste for such a powerful force to go unused. You must understand that, no external force, however powerful or influential, can awake your potential if you don’t take deliberate efforts to explore it to the fullest. That means, greatness or becoming the best is a choice and doesn’t happen by luck or chance.

This article is about greatness. It looks at two facts about achieving it, and later it explores the ways to achieve greatness. Finally it concludes by leaving you a question to ponder upon as you pave your way to achieve greatness in your calling.

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” ― William Shakespeare

We love greatness. In fact, greatness inspires awe to anyone who recognizes it. Too bad, nobody wants to take the initiatives getting there. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius once remarked, “Waste no more time talking about great souls and how they should be. Become one yourself!”

We sometimes tend to think that greatness comes as an inborn character. Or perhaps only talented people should reach that level of greatness. Or only those with some invisible powers or luck are destined for greatness. But, that is not entirely true. These people, like so many others, made a choice to become what they are. If you want to get there as well and feel you don’t have what it takes, then this article will give you the hints.

What Is Greatness?

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Greatness is a state of deliberately putting your best efforts to attain the outcomes. It is a state of realizing that your deliberate thoughts while taking simple actions produce the intended outcomes. Greatness is a character among people who exercise excellence.

Fact: You don’t need talent to achieve greatness

Don’t get me wrong, talent has its place in making you thrive in life and perhaps even achieving greatness at what you do, but talent alone without deliberate efforts hardly guarantees greatness. I have personally met very talented people during the course of my life, some put efforts and some didn’t. As you would expect, the results were different – some made it, some didn’t. It’s a fact that talent can only take you so far. In the course to greatness, talent is just a small spike among the vast array of things needed to achieve success. If you are talented, then it makes it easier. If you aren’t talented, don’t despair, you still stand a chance to achieve your goals.

Fact: It takes 10,000 hours to be great at anything

Macolm Gladwell in his book The Outliers argues that there’s a 10,000-hour rule towards greatness. The idea is based on the theory put forward by the Swedish psychologist, Dr. K. Anders Ericsson. It literally means that, to be great at anything you must put in at least 10,000 hours of efforts on deliberate practice. Does it sound too much? It surely does if you have no passion with what you want to achieve.

But, how long is 10,000 hours? The answer is simple; it depends on how much time you dedicate to your goal. If you want to see how know how it will take to reach your goal, use this calculator.

However, I suggest you look at it this way, consider 10,000 hours as lots and lots of hours you set aside to put efforts and aim at improving yourself over a very long time. That is, you set aside a few hours every day over a long-term without breaking the habit. Remember the saying that goes, practice makes perfect, don’t you? This is what it means. You must do a lot of practice to be the best at your area of expertise.

How To Practice Greatness

Greatness, like any other means towards success, requires self-discipline, self-awareness, and absolute belief in yourself and your abilities. Without those qualities, greatness is simply a day dream for you. However, this article puts forwards more ways towards greatness as listed below.

1. Love What You Do

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”  ―Steve Jobs

A lot of people will tell you to do what you love, but that is not always the case in this world. In this world, we don’t always do what we love. It’s also certain that, not everything that we love doing can put food on the table, pay the bills, and lead our lives. That idea may not always work in the real world, so what’s the alternative? In my opinion, I suggest you fall in love with what you do. Yes, that’s the best thing you can do.

If you fall in love with what you do, it will certainly love you back. If you love what you do, then putting best efforts won’t be a dreadful thing to do. That way, greatness is simply a matter of time. It’s at this very moment that you turn a “job” in to fun. That marks the beginning of achievements.

2.  Do Your Job Diligently

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”- Samuel Johnson

Doing your work diligently doesn’t mean merely producing results, it literally implies putting your thoughts in whatever you do. That way, you get things done and get the outcomes worth your efforts. Diligence is supposed to create a mindset of working towards achieving your goals, and that is what you need towards being the best at anything.

3. Maintain Consistency  and Aim For Improvements

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” ― Anthony Robbins

As you read above, there is a 10,000-hour rule, but practice is one thing and improvement is another. There is a lot more in achieving greatness than simply the humdrum routine of practicing. When you practice, you must aim at improving oneself, or else you never get to the level you want.

Your consistency determines how you fair towards achieving greatness.

If there’s one thing you must ensure while practicing in your area of calling is consistency. You must put time and do the necessary everyday, regardless of the hardships. This is where self-discipline and passion come to play.

It is certain that, knowing something is good enough, but the difficult part is to improve gradually with time. For most people, the growth curve is very steep at first when embarking on a new goal or starting to learn a skill, but with time, the growth curve stabilizes and they enter the period of little or no growth. This is a moment when most people give up or stagnate.

What makes the difference between the mediocre and the great minds is how they handle this very moment. If you have to achieve greatness, you have to ensure constant growth and constant improvement in yourself in all areas. Make it a rule to evaluate yourself and aim to do better each time, that is how you become great.

4. Embrace  Challenges

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ― Albert Einstein

Challenges are a part of life, in fact, a necessary part of life. You choose what to do with the challenges, but they are always there. Some choose to learn and become better, some choose to succumb to it and fail. It is not a challenge that brings you down, but your will to give in does so. If you are willing to face your challenges then you become better and that makes you grow. Greatness is all about learning on the way. When life pushes you around, be attentive and learn the best you can in the process. That is the most and natural way to getting better. Embrace and face your challenges, don’t run away from them.

5. Choose your heroes, but choose wisely

We all have heroes, these are the people we look up to and they magically inspire us to action in our own lives. We have had heroes since childhood. In the course of a lifetime when changing careers and growth, we may also change our heroes. Robert Kiyosaki in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad wrote, “Heroes do more than simply inspire us. Heroes make things look easy. Making it look easy convinces us to be just like them.

Who is you hero?

To aspire to greatness means copying how great people do things. Your definition of greatness may differ, but know that it always start from simple daily actions.

Look around you, a hero is just close to you

At times if you look further and above to those people high up in your line of work, you may feel small and insignificant. This is especially if your hero is someone you can only dream and never get to meet, if that’s not the case to you then well and good. But what if you look for great peoole around you? There are heroes everywhere; even around you right now there are heroes. It just takes a minute to analyze and see them stand out from the rest.

I have always had the privilege of meeting motivated people. These people are very disciplined and really love what they do. I have learnt a lot from them. I have seen myself grow with time and do things differently to improve as a result to sharing moment with these inspiring people. It is always worth more than you can ever imagine.

But I warn you, be careful who inspires you, as it was said in the book Your Inner Child Is Calling, “The mind is the most precious and yet the most vulnerable of all your possessions. Its vulnerability is due to its ability of unconsciously acquiring negative habits from external influences that adversely affect your life.” You are prone to succumb to ideas of those you admire, those who inspire you. Hence, choose wisely, because your choices dictate where your life goes.

What are you great at?

You are great at something. I know you are, you probably don’t take time to analyze it, but I know you are. Now, you have to find it. It is easy to develop your skills in things you feel strong attraction towards them, than going for something that you are less enthused with. Doing what makes you happy strengthens your passion, and that is the best thing to let you exercise your powers. Doing what makes you unhappy weakens you and that might hurt your pursuit in career in long-term.

Do your best, achieve greatness in your area of expertise.

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How attitude counts towards success

The characters that lead our lives are so intertwined that one can simply be confused of its complexity. It is best to know that some characters and conducts are more prevalent and powerful in determining where your life is headed. In this case, your attitude towards people, circumstance, or anything in life determines your ultimate success.

This article discusses attitude, the habit that may go unnoticed but yet it has major influences on your life . This article defines attitude, how it forms, how it affects your characters in major areas of your life, and finally it touches on how attitude drives you to excellence.

Your attitude determines everything in your life. The question is, do you have the right mental attitude towards success in life?

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You always have attitude, in everything; yes, you have attitude. It determines whether a person or a circumstance appears positive or negative towards you. In fact, attitude plays a greater role in your life, whether you know it and accept it or not. That is the reality of life and you must understand it.

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” – W. Clement Stone

What is attitude?

An attitude is the way of evaluating things in a certain way. Attitude determines how you perceive people, situations, circumstances, and everything else you come into contact. Simply put, attitude is a complex combination of your habits, beliefs, and characters.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson

There are two forms of attitude, positive and negative.

A positive attitude sees the positive side of everything in life. It is a major defining character for optimists. Whether the situation is good or bad, there is always a seed of positivity in it.

Here are examples of positive mental attitude: “I always wake up looking forward to a productive day.” “It went wrong this time, but I am certain we will get it right next time.” “I couldn’t make it happen this time but next time, I will.” “I always manage to get things done on time.” “I love the people I am working with; I find them easy to work with.”

A person with a negative mental attitude sees difficulties in everything, whether positive or negative. Their minds are skewed towards pessimism. For such people, nothing goes well, no matter how positive the outlook.

Here are some examples of negative attitudes: “Monday is the worst day of the week.” “I feel that most people are prejudiced against me.” “Most days I wake up in a very bad mood.” “I don’t like talking to these kinds of people.” “I hate my job.” “I find such people abhorring and obnoxious.”

How attitude forms

Attitude is a learned trait. You acquire attitude from the surroundings, and later it develops to a habit. This makes you conscious or unconscious of some of your attitudes, and just like habits, some of your attitudes are so beguiling and constantly leading your actions and you may be powerless to change them. That is the reality of life.

Attitude is best formed with emotions. Emotions are reactions pertaining to how you feel towards people, objects or circumstances in life. Emotions such as anger, jealousy, hatred, disgust, fear, may lead to a negative mental attitude.  On the other hand, the emotions of happiness, joy, empathy, euphoria, desire, pride and others may lead to a development of a positive mental attitude.

Attitude shows how you experience your surroundings. It is a good reflection of how you get by with your own beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The attitude you display when confronted with a situation or a person talks more about all these traits, combined.

How attitude affects you

Your attitude plays a big role in leading your life. Attitude shows your favor or disfavor of people, circumstance, or any other thing in life. In reality, your attitude is more than your education, your skills, your charms, and all the books you have read. Let’s see where the attitude plays a role.

Relations

“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.” – Earl Nightingale

Are you prejudiced against certain people? Are you freely engaging with all sorts of people? How do you react to small matters in life? Do you forgive? Do you look for good or bad in others?

Your attitude towards your relations, either personal or professional determines your success in handling them. Relations are simply indispensable, and you need strong relations to keep you going in life.

Attitude makes you judgmental. If you have a negative attitude towards people, they will likely respond the same. This narrows your chances of learning and gaining their support towards your success and growth.

Attitude determines your perception towards people. But you must know that, people are indispensable ingredients towards success. If you have a positive attitude, you are likely to garner a lot more from them on your path towards success.

Career

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Raymond Chandler

What determines your level of success in your career is seldom skills and qualifications but mental attitude. It is your attitude that does the job. The role of attitude in this case is twofold.

First, how you act towards your duties – do you dread doing tasks or do you give your best towards results worth your efforts. Are you good at time management or time holds no value to you? Do you plan and prioritize tasks or act on impulse when you are near the deadline? All these show your attitude towards your career and the results are vivid if you prefer one to the other.

Second, how you act and show support to other people in your career. A good example is how a very skilled and qualified employee that is always egoistic and display rudeness can get kicked to the curb without second thoughts because of his attitude. That happens; people are in favor of attitude to skills. Attitude determines how well a task is done, and skills without the right attitude will never give you the best. Attitude determines how far you climb in your career towards success. No matter how skilled you are, if you possess the wrong mental attitude, then you are likely to suffer the consequences of your attitude during the lifetime of your career when a chance presents itself.

Life decisions

“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” – Michael Jordan

How do you view life? How do you perceive circumstances in your life? How do you analyze things when they happen? Do you have a positive or negative outlook? This is crucial. If you have a negative attitude, then you are likely to resort in pessimism, which hinders your chances of taking chances and risks towards growth and success. A positive attitude makes you thrive and grow towards the ideal self.

It is true that there are more things to determine how life goes, but attitude plays a major role. Your attitude skews your decisions in life, whether positive or negative. It determines how you see things and that gives them a meaning.

Most of us want to have everything but we don’t want to give anything in return. We want to have all the good things but we refrain from paying the price. How is that possible? Do we get gratifications before we do the hard work? That is certainly the philosophy of the indolent.

Your attitude controls your life decision, it controls your ways of life, and it controls how you perceive things. For instance, how do you perceive the spirit of hard work? How do you perceive abundance? How do you perceive money? How do you perceive quality of your outcome?

Easy catches are everywhere, but with easy catches you don’t get deep gratifications, like the name suggests, you only get superficial gratifications. Deep gratifications come from what you truly earn from your efforts.

Attitude towards excellence

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell

Excellence begins with a positive mental attitude. The best part is, if attitude can be learnt, then you can certainly learn to acquire the positive attitude towards excellence. You can learn to have the right attitude towards everything in life. Remember, everything counts towards your success. Your relationships are key to getting anything done in life. Your decisions lead your life. The circumstances you face each day determine how well you fair in a long run towards success.

Attitude is a decision. If you aim for excellence, that is achieving the best by improving your day-to-day actions, then the right mental attitude is not an option but a necessity. You have to acquire it, practice it, and ingrain it in you so that it becomes your second nature.

If you do not have the right attitude, then you are heading towards a bottomless pit of suffering in this world. Nothing can save you from that because what determines your life is not what you see on the outside, but what you perceive in your mind – and that is your attitude.

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Doubts: Do they Kill you or make you stronger?

In the beginning of the journey to personal development, I had mounting doubts on almost every occasion. Whenever I set to accomplish a goal and the results didn’t turn out as expected, I started doubting. I was skeptical of my conducts. I doubted the principles. I was uncertain of my capacity to undertake decisions. I doubted the time I spent on the goals. I questioned whether I was on the right path in life. It was really disturbing, but every time I doubted, I read an empowering book and I got the energy to move on.

Thanks to the spirit of persistence, I finally got used to those troubling times. That marked a crucial phase towards growth and has led to profound changes on how I persisted towards attaining my goals.

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

This article discusses doubts. It discusses what doubt is, what is behind a doubt, and how it helps you. Then it looks on the negative side of doubts on how they distract you towards reaching your goals. Finally, the article suggests ways to deal and eliminate your doubts towards reaching your goals.

Doubts stem from “What if.”

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Doubts express uncertainties, worry, fear, or disbelief. In such a state, one is in a precarious position regarding their convictions on their goals. If you are in such a state, then don’t worry, doubting is normal and sometimes healthy. Similar cases happen to many others, and if you properly channel your doubts, they must thrust you towards success.

In my opinion, if you want to embark on a meaningful goal, then doubts are inevitable. When you dream big, you end up setting big goals. This is crucial to advance further, and some goals are so big that just the feeling of it scares you. In his classical book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill listed six definite practical steps for transmuting desires into financial equivalent. His fourth step quotes, “Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.” Such is a way to obtain anything you want. I used these very principles in the course of writing my book, Your Inner Child Is Calling.

In such circumstances, doubts are inevitable because sometimes you embark on goals without skills or state of being ready for it. As you move one-step further each day, doubts crowd your mind. You question whether you are capable to accomplish your desires. You question your abilities. You question whether it’s possible.  However, with persistence and steady belief behind your desires, everything else falls into place.

At times, during the course of writing the book, I had doubts. When faced with such dilemma, I referred back to Napoleon, I regained the energy to move on. I was motivated. I persisted and took the proper action towards my goal. I finally proved that he was right, because my goal finally came to life.

Perhaps the best question is, are your doubts helping or weakening your efforts towards reaching the goals?

What really makes you doubtful?

It is your convictions. Yes, your beliefs and principles pertaining to your desires are key to raising doubts. The book Your Inner Child Is Calling touches on the subject of beliefs and I quote, “Beliefs are core foundations to success. It is true that people may give up on their plans to success over numerous reasons but belief in their convictions and desires takes a lead.”

Beliefs are core to everything in your life. In fact, they are essential survival skills to help you through life. Beliefs help you get along easily with your external environment. In short, beliefs  influence your decisions. They are not inherently bad, but the problems arise when the belief deters your progress when it contradicts with your heart’s desires. This is when beliefs raise doubts. If you are not very careful, this process might lead you to endless failures and procrastinations, but it really shouldn’t.

It is certain that doubts arise due to lack of strong faith towards your goals. You should know that your level of faith pertaining to your desires is seldom constant. Sometimes it varies depending on the circumstances you face, especially the ones which raise questions and doubts.

However, doubts are not necessarily bad to you; sometimes they are helpful towards reaching your goals.

How doubts help you?

 “It would make life much easier if I could have total faith and not question everything all the time, but I can’t do it and I won’t do it.” – Joey Skaggs

It is a fact that we can’t be doubtless. A small amount of doubt is necessary to make us face our lives and make conscious decisions about our everyday lives. Doubts have uses, especially for intelligent beings like humans. That helps us interact and understand our environment better using our intuitions.

  • Doubts improve your decisions

Doubts make you curious. Curiosity is good to find answers. In fact, with curiosity you get to uncover more about what you desire. It is ideal to question your desires before embarking on them. The more you question, the more doubts you eliminate and in turn that process leads to tremendous improvements on your final decisions.

  • Doubts are ways to evaluate your goals and clarify your convictions

When you raise a doubt, the curiosity allows you to evaluate yourself – You observe your actions – You observe your conducts – You clarify your convictions towards your goals. This is a crucial stage because it makes you analyze your desires from the different perspective. That gives you a good and clear picture on what to change in case there are problems and where to improve for better results of your actions. This way, doubt acts similar to a good evaluation tool.

The evil side of doubts

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ― William Shakespeare

Doubts are not negative, but how you handle them may lead to negative outcomes. Because of this, most of your doubts lead to detrimental results.

Doubts make you question integrity of others. Worry about life. Question your own beliefs. Doubts lead to stress. Doubts lead to frustrations, despair, and fear to embark on goals. This is detrimental if you don’t know how to handle your doubts.

Take a simple example, if you doubt your abilities to take actions and accomplish a goal, there is no way you can accomplish anything. Your mind, instead of focusing on your actions, it resorts to questioning everything, all the time. This way, you can hardly produce results, because you are uncertain of what you do. This kind of doubt is detrimental. If such doubt is not tackled, it results to adverse effects that lead to anxiety of embarking on similar goals in the future.

How to get rid of unnecessary doubts

This is really a question of how to purge limiting beliefs. Doubts are nurtured in the conducive environment created by your limiting beliefs. In such a case, it is wise to tackle the problem from the root cause.

Here are five ways to get rid of these beliefs:

  • Examine your doubts

Analyze the cause of your doubts. Where do these doubts come from? Are they solid or groundless? This process sheds light on the reason behind your doubts. With critical observations, you must come up with a good reason behind your doubts.

  • Prove it wrong

The second crucial step is to try to do what you doubt. There is no best way to eliminate a false doubt like proving it wrong. If it’s something that requires action, then do it. Refute its existence once and for all. If you can’t do it, don’t give up just yet, go to the following step.

  • Seek advice from someone who knows better

There are people who have answers to most of your doubts, find them. Ask them. Find someone you trust and who has expertise behind what you doubt. You will be surprised on how good this turns out. However, even after asking, I suggest you do the following step.

  • Try it yourself

When you have answers from experts or someone who knows better, then try it again. This is the best way to kill your doubts. Your doubts, once proven wrong, will never haunt  you again. This is crucial if you need to move ahead towards achieving your desires.

  • Analyze and purge your beliefs

As you have noticed above, beliefs provide rich soil for doubts to stem. So, beware of all the limiting beliefs and negative perceptions you harbor against your desires. If you do not know that, you will not solve your problem at all.  Ask yourself, what are the things you think you are not capable of doing? What can be a potential setback? Do you believe in what you desire? If there are any, try to see how to refute them. Only then you can be free with your life.

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Are you a perfectionist?

I remember back in school, one of the Professors said, “There are always three presentations for each that is done. There is the ideal one in your head – the one you wish you could do. There is one that you are capable of doing – if you could eliminate all other factors. Then, there is that you end up doing – this one is earth bound.

The idea was plausible. On my mind, I quickly applied it to other different life’s scenarios and it seemed to work perfectly. Ever since, I adopted it to all my goals. It saved me a great deal of frustrations and in a way got rid of my perfectionist tendencies.

“A principle is the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practice perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice.” – Mahatma Gandhi

This article is about perfectionism. It walks you through the ideas of perfectionism – what causes it, how it occurs, how it differs from striving for excellence, and positive and negative effects of perfectionism.

To start with, what makes a perfectionist?

Being a perfectionist is a state of mind, as perfection does not exist in the physical realm, but only in your mind. Perfectionist wants the outcome to be the exact replica of what is on the mind, without the slightest differences. It is a fact that, ideas are always shining and sparkling in your head, but once put into action, the results are earth bound, so is everything else under the sun. You can only go so far. Sometimes, the not-so-perfect things are just good enough for a starter, but a perfectionist would never buy such an idea.

Being a perfectionist means setting standards and goals that are either too high or unrealistic. In other words, it implies aiming at achieving the impossible, most of the times.

Perfectionism is a habit, and like any habit, you can be a perfectionist without your awareness. Habits are subconscious, but its effects are not. The effect of your obsession to outcomes is vivid, for instance you can see how it affects your moods, morale, perception, self-esteem, motivation, and others.

How do you know if you are a perfectionist?

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Well, you are a perfectionist if you:

  • Fear failure before embarking on a goal. You have  no sense of spontaneity in trying and doing just the best you can. You always want to achieve perfection.
  • See things in black and white. It is either right or wrong, no middle ground.
  • Take too much time refining ideas but still getting unsatisfied. Sometimes the idea ends up boring inthe process and left undone.
  • Lack confidence by having a sense of hopeless inadequacy in your abilities to deliver quality results
  • Attach too much to the outcomes and it becomes personal to the extent of being detrimental
  • Always finish tasks near the deadline due to wasting alot of time over minor and trivial details
  • Measure achievements according to what is in your mind, nothing else matters
  • The ability of self-reproach due to unavoidable mistakes
  • Distrust the ability of others to accomplish goals. You may not delegate tasks to others fearing they won’t deliver to your expectations

There is a thin line between perfection and excellence.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

There is a very subtle difference between striving for excellence and perfection, and this difference comes down to how you view the mistakes and accept them.

  • Excellence is giving the best of your abilities and accepting what you deserve in end, not so much what you desire. This means that excellence is a journey of continuous improvements towards ideal results. In the process, you accept failures to fast track your growth towards better outcomes. In excellence, failure is a necessary ingredient towards improvements.
  • Perfection is about getting exactly what you want and not accepting anything less, which is sometimes unrealistic and unachievable. Perfectionist sees either success or failure, and anything falling short to the expected outcome is a failure. Failures impede perfection and are unacceptable. Likewise, inability to attain the expected outcome is painful to an extent of cutting the overall motivation towards embarking on other goals.

In my opinion, the best way to remain focused during the pursuit of excellence is to avoid too much attachment to the results. Take things as they come and understanding that the real outcome is, most times, different from the ideal one in your mind, which is both good and bad, depending on the gravity of the situation. However, no matter the outcome, you always have a chance to improve next time around.

 Potential dangers

1. Procrastination

If a perfectionist finds that he lacks the necessary ability to deliver quality results, then he can easily delay taking simple actions or completely abandon the goal. This result to inaction and the task may go unaccomplished.

2.  Depression

Falling short from the envisioned outcomes  always lead the perfectionist to depression. Perfectionists always take things personally. If they can’t achieve what they want, then fall into serious emotional stress. Depression usually contributes to short life spans for most perfectionists.

3. Inability to meet deadlines

Most perfectionists struggle to meet deadlines due to their tendency of refining ideas too long. They waste time on trivialities and not on major milestones.

4. Lack of Trust

Due to lack of trusting others’ abilities to deliver quality results, a perfectionist may end up unconsciously sabotaging his position by avoiding delegating tasks. This hinders others from having a chance to give their best when engaged in the same activity. A perfectionist feels others may not deliver quality results. This may result to overwhelming duties and tasks piling up.

5. Lack of Perspective

Perfectionists are concerned with small matters in a grand scheme of things. They may lack looking at bigger picture because of focusing on minor details, which at times don’t count in the whole process.

How to get out of this tendency

“The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Be spontaneous and accept failure 

    Try new things more often. When doing the unfamiliar things, you must fail. Accept failures as means to grow, then move on.  This is the best avenue towards becoming anything you want while being able to face the challenges with a positive attitude.

  • Accept criticism

Perfectionists are concerned with the impression they make on others. If you are afraid of failures, then lead to deal with criticism. It is true that, whatever impression you have on your mind is always worse than what the reality. Accept criticism with a positive attitude and don’t let the ego get on the way. When your ego is in control, you are certain to be blinded from the truth.

  • Avoid attachments to the outcome

You are not defined by your results, actually it’s different. Too much attachment to the outcome makes you rigid, if you change that, you see the whole process more clearly. Only then you can grow to a better and ideal self.

  • If you have an idea, think of it and share

If something needs refining, think of it and share. This way you cut down the time to mull unnecessarily over an idea. Other people’s contributions may lead to better results and save you the hustles of procrastination.

  • Learn to deal with self-reproach

Stop blaming yourself for some unavoidable failures. Some things are meant to fail to lead you to better options. Being responsible is to accept the outcomes, learn from it, and do better next time around. Anything more than that is simply harmful.

  • Accept growth

Set achievable goals, take action and improve on simple results. Understand that everything must continually grow. Growth takes place when you refine mistakes and improve on what you do – that is continually becoming the ideal self.

  • Take babe steps

If you find yourself stuck in a situation and can’t deliver the results you aim, then think of it like you are temporarily hindered by lacking the abilities to undertake the activity. Don’t let the situation paralyze you in any way. You must always do the little you can and improve as you go. This may sound childish if you are a perfectionist, but in the end it saves a lot of depressions, frustrations and guess what? At least with simple babe steps, you end up with results than nothing. This eventually breaks the habit of procrastination.

Perfectionism is not always bad

“Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.” – Lord Chesterfield

However, perfection is not totally a bad thing. In fact, most high achievers are perfectionists. They are where they are due to the perfectionist tendencies. This explains that there is a healthy side of perfectionism.

Nonetheless, the differences between the healthy perfectionism and the unhealthy perfectionism are so subtle that sometimes it is easier to cross the line and being unaware.

Below are some of the positive traits of healthy perfectionism:

  1. Produce tangible results
  2. Outcomes stand out with quality
  3. Motivated and always deliver results
  4. Dependable in accomplishing goals
  5. Can excel in any calling with their ability to achieve the best

At the end of the day, perfection is never attained in the physical world but only in your head. Remember, even the universe isn’t perfect, that is why there’s life on earth and you are alive in this very moment. Strive for excellence instead.

Do you have desires or mere wants?

In the book, Your Inner Child Is Calling, I recounted one of the episodes in the past saying, I had waited so long for this moment, the time when the lifelong dreams, which were once so vague, came true. I achieved everything I had dreamed of – education, career, life, and money. I once imagined such moment would be the happiest, but I was not. Life had not turned out as I once envisioned it.

I tell you, there was a missing piece in the puzzle, and I felt the urge deep within. That feeling of lack and scarcity raised the most profound question, what is the purpose of life? When I started pondering on life, my whole past was laid bare before me. I could, for once, see where I was wrong. I accepted it and decided to change things to improve my future judgments and choices in life. That is how I came to understand the big difference between wants and desires, and today, I would like to share these ideas with you. I am sure they will prove useful in certain areas when you want to make major life decisions.

This article addresses key issues in our lives – how to distinguish between desires and mere wants. The article concisely reveals major distinguishing characteristics between wants and desires. It also talks on how each plays a role in your life, and which is more important in acquiring a more fulfilling life . The article then shows you how to succeed in life by trading carefully between desires and wants. Finally, it talks about how to manifest your desires and lead the life of your dreams.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” – Jesus of Nazareth

There is a very thin line between wants and desires, especially for someone who doesn’t have a critical eye. However, with this article, you will come to understand that these two things hardly mix.

First, let’s analyze wants and desires.

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Wants

  • Have you ever wanted something so bad but the moment you acquired it, you couldn’t even figure out why you wanted it in the first place?
  • Have you ever longed for something so bad, but the very moment it showed up you immediately grew tired of it?

Well, I am sure we all have. During our childhood, it was the norm for everyone. Children always want new toys, but the very moment they possess them, they lose interest. Eventually they grow tired, bored, and keep on wanting more. It is surely a bad habit but children always want their demands to be fulfilled, that’s human nature I guess.

Unfortunately, some people carry such bad habits to their adulthood. They constantly want things they rarely need. Shortly after the acquisition, they grow tired and want more things to appease their addictions. Is that how you lead a life? How long will you keep heeding to superficial wants and never take time to recognize your desires?

Want is something superficial to satisfy what is on the outside. It is what you see, admire, and wish to have, but there is no real energy or commitment behind it. A want may go unexpressed and sometimes you might even need a trigger to remind you of it.

For instance, a couple of days back I went to the supermarket, there was this little lovely girl crying over candy. She always picked one but  her father told her to put it back. She slowly returned the candy to the shelf and resorted to crying. That distraction made her forget about it for a while, but whenever she looked at the shelf full of candy, the idea struck her and again, she went for it. That is a want, her eyes were attracted, and she wanted to have it.

You also want so many different things in your life on daily basis. You may want money, love, expensive shelters, expensive attires,  fame, exotic trips, recognition and so much more. You may go out of your way just to have them. May be I should ask you a simple question, out of these things, which holds more value than the other? What do you really desire? Is there any real energy connecting you and the things you want?

Eyes can be treacherous. They see beauty in the world. However, the same beauty brings the sense of lack, envy, jealousy and all the negative feelings. Is it necessary? Do you have to want everything that comes your way?

Desires

“Every desire is the effort of an unexpressed possibility to come into action. It is power seeking to manifest which causes desire. That which makes you want more money is the same as that which makes the plant grow; it is life seeking fuller expression.” – Wallace D. Wattles, The Science Of Getting Rich

Desires are better and much more fulfilling. A desire is something that resonates with your heart. Normally a desire is already there, inside you, seeking expression through you.

Soon you will understand why recognizing and following your true  heart’s desires lead to personal excellence.

Think of anyone who’s talented in their own endeavor. Talented musicians have found their desires for expressing their feelings and touch hearts of many people through music. Talented teachers have found their desires for spreading knowledge. Just observe for yourself; you can see people who have found their heart’s desires and work to fulfill them. They don’t strain to do things, it comes more naturally because that force comes from within them.

Desires resonate with more energy, and if you follow your desires, you’ll commit to it. If you have a true desire, nothing else can distract you from achieving it. You don’t need triggers or moments of reflections to remember it. Desires never die away; they always resurface on your mind until you attain it.

It is time to observe a few keys facts about desires and wants. These facts will enlighten your mind to analyze if you really desire or want things in life.

“When I stopped dreaming, I stopped searching and life stopped giving me more. I could not take time to see the life I wanted; life stopped giving me more because it never knew what I desired. That is how life stops being a miracle. – Colin Mtita, Your Inner Child Is Calling

That is how I made a distinct demarcation between desires and wants. Let’s start with wants.

Characteristics of wants

  • Wants are superficial, unfulfilling, and not always necessary
  • Wants are short term, easily to attain and fulfil.
  • Wants bring more wants. You become slave of your superficial needs,  and that cycle is a bit tricky to overcome.
  • Wants are ways to fill the void of the lack and scarcity superficially without understanding what causes it on the deeper level.
  • Wants lead to frustrations, feelings of scarcity, lack, envy, jealousy and more.
  • Wants lack commitments and energy, which mostly lead to failure
  • Wants depends on where you are, changes with time and may even lose touch as you evolve to a more mature being.

Characteristics of desires

  • Desires are precious and priceless but attainable.
  • Desires are always sought with long-term goals, can’t be easily attained in short-term.
  • Desires, once fulfilled, makes your life complete.
  • Desires are like a perfect missing piece of the puzzle, when you find it your life improves.
  • Desires require efforts to analyze and meet them. In the end, desires lead your life.
  • Desires are constant, universal, in your world. Desires hardly change with time, age or become unimportant as you grow.
  • Desires bring deeper satisfaction e.g. a fulfilling career is a met desire
  • Desires can be fulfilling life, relationship and career, success, achievements, family love, knowledge

Do you want or desire success?

To succeed in life, it is important to be certain if you merely want or desire success. Have you analyzed what you really desire out of life? I know you want many things, but out of those wants, what are your true heart’s desires? What makes you stay awake at night as you contemplate how to acquire it? If you really desire to achieve something big in your life, your mind won’t let you sleep. It may keep you awake, sometimes for days. That is a desire seeking expression; you dream while awake.

If you need to succeed in life, you have to focus on what you desire and not so much on mere wants. If you are a slave to your wants and they control your mind, you hardly focus on what is important in your life. As I said, desires, once known, lead to excellence. This means, you’ll easily delay gratifications, which is mere wants, and focus on what is important, which is desires.

My personal desires are:

  • Share knowledge with people, especially those who need it.
  • Contribute to the society through inspiration
  • Lead a life that will inspire others to see that success is more than wants, but something that comes deep down inside.
  • Inspire the young generation to take control of their lives and understand the implication of their free will

What is your desire? Can you write it down?

Why desires hardly manifest?

Well, that is a good question, but the answer is simple – we always go for wants and we are less interested with desires. We are enticed with what we see. Isn’t it amazing that we love being unsatisfied and want for more? Well, you be the judge.

  • Desires are not known – desires hardly manifest because people do not know what they desire. Desires are powerful to seek expression but rarely sought after by many. If you don’t take time to analyze your desires, there won’t be magical means to unveil it.
  • Only wants are apparent – We seldom look at what we desire because our whole world is filled with superficial wants and we want quick gratifications. In the end, we fail to lead fulfilling lives, instead we go for a life filled with mere wants. How is that possible?
  • Thinking is painful – thinking is really the most crucial thing to divulge your innermost hidden desires; otherwise you will hardly know what you have inside you. However, as Bertrand Russell concluded, “Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so”
  • Lack of faith – desires are powerful. A desire can be so huge that defies understanding and have no reasonable ways to see how to accomplish them. This is where your faith comes to play. If you take steps towards it, the way opens for you. If you lack faith, as most do, how can it manifest?

How to manifest desires?

It is certainly not bad to want, but you must not waste time to want something if your desires are much bigger and better than your mere wants. Sometimes failures in life aim to redirect your efforts from what you want to what you really desire. If you are keen enough, you will always find your way.

How do you get to know and manifest your desires?

  1. Think – Take time and think of what you truly desire. That open doors to what you truly desire in your life
  2. Have faith and persist even in face of adversity. If you truly desire, it must be attained.
  3. Self-awareness – You must know yourself with all the weakness and strength
  4. Analyse your thoughts – See what comes to your head every time, do you envy or something deeper?
  5. Take action – Don’t be shy to go for what you desire.  In fact, it is a possibility seeking expresssion through you, so go for it
  6. Observe what resonates with you and can’t seem to disappear easily. That is a desire, go for it
  7. Turn it to a goal – Sometimes a want may also feel like a desire. As there’s such a thin line between wants and desires – turn any want to a goal, create plan, set timeline, and take action towards achieving it. If you achieve it, then it’s well and good. Just take advantage of every single opportunity that presents itself.

In my opinion, we take walk of faith through the journey of life, but we rarely look in to the right place. We are so much distracted with what our eyes see and miss the best parts of our lives. Eventually, that  fills our lives with constant misery of wanting more.

I believe that the secret to our live is hidden inside us. And that is place is none other than our own minds. If you take time to ponder on your life, you’ll discover it. Otherwise, you won’t discover what your true calling is. A want can resonate so powerfully with your mind, more like a desire, but at times, that powerful effect is due to hopeless lack and scarcity you have in your life. With time, the very thing that used to arouse your senses may seem banal.

Those who follow their true heart’s desires, succeed and fulfill their lives. Those who follow their mere wants may also succeed, but they never find satisfaction with what they have. The difference is, the desire asks how, and the want asks what. How leads to a quest for more profound answers, but what merely looks for superficial ways and never really grasp the meaning. That is how you end up wanting what you can’t have.

Life is abundant and simply gives you whatever we want. If you have a strong desire to achieve anything in your life, you will attain it.

Your life is unique, perhaps you don’ t know; but it is. If you want to lead a good life, take time and analyze your desires. If you desire a good life, you will apply the same principle in all areas of your life. Start today and do the necessary; this is the beginning of the best moment in your life, the moment when you will start to see the difference between desires and wants.

Tell us, Is there something missing? Please share and improve on our ideas. You know what? Ideas are always worth sharing, and this website is here for just that – to share quality and empowering ideas that improve our lives. How do you think we can improve on the quality of our articles to give you the best information?

Effective ways to practice excellence in your life

This is the third article in a personal excellence series. The first article is Personal excellence, the to success and the second article is 7 effective habits for achieving personal excellence.

This article shows you how to practice excellence in your life. Until this moment, it must be clear that excellence is not only limited to achieve the best in your career, but a way of achieving greatness in all areas of your life. That includes career, relationships, finance, spiritual growth, and many others.

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Excellence aims at growth, which means achieving greatness even in minor things in your life. That is the best way to towards better and bigger results. The beauty of excellence is that, if you practice it in one area of your life, eventually your whole life improves. It’s more like inflating a balloon. The air freely spreads around the grows the whole balloon, and not only a portion of it.

Remember that, excellence is the way of thinking while taking action, so that your effective mind gives you the best out of your efforts. Excellence is contagious, not only to yourself, but also those around you – it is the best way to inspire others.

I believe if you can diligently accomplish your duties with the best possible efforts, you can succeed at any calling. Success is a mindset. You merely succeed by just doing the necessary. You succeed by how you do it.

Getting rich is not due to doing things which others fail to do, for two people in the same business often do almost exactly the same things, and one gets rich while the other remains poor or becomes bankrupt. From all these things, we must come to the conclusion that getting rich is the result of doing things in a certain way.” Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich.

To move towards excellence,  you must first build the right mindset.  Your mind works best with patterns, otherwise it becomes inefficient. To create patterns, your mind  learns from new things you face every day by relating to what you already know. Everything you do is a pattern you created some time ago. To build the right pattern for excellence, you must give your best in everything you undertake. In doing so,your mind replaces unproductive with productive patterns to brings excellent results out of everything you do.

I am sure you are practicing excellence anyway. If you ever did your best to accomplish anything and felt proud of the outcomes, no matter how trivial, then you practiced excellence. However, to get the most out of it, you have to scale it up and intentionally apply it in all aspects of your life. In doing so, you instigate changes towards the better and ideal you, and that my friend is practicing personal excellence.

How to practice excellence in your life

1.       Believe in yourself

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” – Muhammad Ali

Belief is core and an indispensable factor to achieve excellence. If you cannot believe in yourself, the journey will be challenging towards achieving your aim. Belief is the small engine that pushes you towards action when you can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is like taking simple steps through the darkest alley and counting only on your instincts. That always works, because life is that darkest alley we go through every day.

Beliefs are important. It is how the mind works; they simplify life in a big way. The problem arises when the belief is not helping but hurting you.

Beliefs are of two kinds, empowering and limiting beliefs.

  • Empowering Belief is that Inner voice that says, “You can do it” while your body feels otherwise. Follow the inner voice – clarify your convictions on goals, and evaluate what life means to you.
  • Limiting belief, like the name suggests, hinders you from doing the right action. If you hold contradicting beliefs pertaining to your desires, you must work to eliminate it. Otherwise, you are heading for the failure before you even start.

To practice beliefs towards excellence,

  • Be clear on what you want. Take time and analyze your beliefs pertaining to your desires. If you hold beliefs that support your desires, that becomes a fuel towards success; otherwise, prepare to face huge challenges and even dismal failures.
  • Believe in your abilities. Start by believe in your talents – and everyone has so many. Believe in your accomplishments – just observe and appreciate your efforts.  Believe in your desires – then you will acquire them. Believe in your efforts – that gives you energy to persist.
  • Believe that you can have whatever you want and nothing can stop you. If you want to move to a career, believe you can do it. If you want to accomplish a goal, believe you can do it. Remember that, before your desire comes to the physical realm it must manifest in your mind.

2.       Improve self-discipline

In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.- Harry S. Truman

Excellence is a continuous journey towards greatness. It is not a destination. You define what you want to achieve and work towards it on daily basis.

You have to understand that your level of self-discipline seldom stays the same but fluctuates depending on how much you exercise it. It’s like a muscle, if you don’t work out, it weakens. If your discipline is weaker, you must improve it.

When you practice a habit long enough, it becomes subconscious and goes unnoticed. If such a habit is bad, then you are headed for  misery, and you may call it fate.  You won’t be aware that you are the source of the problem. How do you know which habits are in control? The article 7 Effective Habits for Achieving Personal Excellence covers on how to discover if you are on good or bad habits.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

To get more practical, analyze the following key areas and see how you fair.

  • Goal setting

    “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” -Tony Robbins

Goals are certainly the best ways to lead your life. To best align your desires with your daily routine, have the ability to set goals on daily basis.

  • Set clear goals on what you want to achieve
  • Plan your day and week ahead of time as explained here
  • Plan milestones to evaluate your achievements

When you practice the habit of daily goal setting, you build a pattern of focusing on your desires, which makes your mind more efficient in looking for ways to achieve them. If you combine this method with gratitude, your life will be better of.

Goals are necessary to rid your mind with distractions such as worry, scarcity, fear and others. When you define clear goals, every day is an opportunity to achieve more than you ever expected. It is the challenges that make life more interesting; otherwise, it becomes another boring mess.

  • Hard work

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

Excellence is the art of living a full life by giving your best efforts to ensure the best returns. Do what it takes to gain the spirit of hard work. Hard work is absolute necessity to achieve excellence.

    • Carefully and diligently perform your duties to ensure efficiency
    • Maximize your potential in a day’s work by putting your mind to it
    • Employ the simplest possible means towards your goals. There is always a simple and more useful way to tackle a problem. That is how to give your best. However, simple doesn’t equal easy. Simple it better but easy cultivates indolence.
    • Evaluate your performance and incorporate feedback to change your attitude towards your duties
  • Persistence

Persistence is patience with continuous action. You may possess all the good qualities to achieve excellence, but the lack of persistence may totally disqualify you. To build the discipline to achieve your goals, you must persist.

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill

To persist:

    • Follow through each goal to the end
    • Set to achieve a meaningful goal. Set milestones, evaluate yourself, and improve on your ways to tackle it. Most importantly, make sure you finish it.
    • Purge all the limiting beliefs pertaining to your desires.
    • Avoid starting too many tasks at once. Focus on one major idea at once, stick to it until the end.

As I said earlier, this is about building patterns. Once you give up on a goal or desire, you enforce that pattern in your mind and you are likely to repeat in the future. Avoid giving up on your desires. Persist until you get results. In the process, your mind creates patterns and learns that anything is possible if you persist.

3.       Decide what you want to achieve
You are capable of achieving anything, if you know exactly what you want. For instance, if your goal is to improve your productivity at work, then decide now and take simple steps towards your goal. That is how to build the pattern and adopt to the habit.

If you want to raise your productivity from nothing to 8 hours a day for the entire week, start with simple steps and build the pattern. If such pattern of productivity doesn’t exist in your mind, you’ll never do it efficiently. Here is what to do:

  • Take babe steps
    Set aside 1 hour to concentrate and finish a task efficiently. If that’s too much, scale it down to your level. Avoid overwhelming yourself. The mind detests pain and loves taking things in a more natural fashion, at its own pace.
  • Stick with that choice for a while, may be three to four days to habituate your mind.
  • When you are comfortable, upgrade it to 1 hour and 30 min or even 2 hours. Stick with it for a while; let your mind absorb the change.
  • Successively increment the time towards your goal.
  • Constantly evaluate your performance. Feedback is important towards efficient outcomes. Eliminate weakness and build strength whenever necessary.

In this process, you replace ineffective habits with effective habits. The process is more natural to you and the mind. Your mind creates new patterns,  eventually, you don’t strain to perform as productivity becomes your second nature.

4.      Practice thinking as a routine

In the book Your Inner Child Is Calling, I insist on thinking as a way to solve your life’s problems. You hardly get to the root of your problems without thinking about it. This is because:

  • Thinking stimulates your subconscious mind. That aligns your conscious and subconscious thoughts to work together in harmony to solve a common problem. That is how you figure out any problem in your life.
  • Thinking is the best way to complete tasks with absolute efficiency. If your thoughts and actions align while you work, you always give your best and get impeccable results. That is what excellence is about.

To do that,

  • Spend 30 to 60 minutes a day in solitude, and think. Think of your life. Think of your day – how could it have been improved? What needed to change? Take this time as necessary to ponder on your life.
  • Fix your schedule at the same time every day, so that your mind creates a pattern that is not easy to break.
  • Be flexible in your thinking. Explore more options and possibilities towards your challenges and desires.
  • Read something new regularly. Make it a habit to read every day and cut time on watching TV.

The mind that doesn’t think, stagnates. A mind is made to think, if you don’t give it good thoughts to ponder upon, it thinks of anything but productive thoughts. Effective habits require a lot of energy and concentration. The mind, to be efficient, defaults on power saving mode. To avoid losing a lot of energy, it avoids productive thoughts and regularly ponders on trivial thoughts.

We all think, but everyone chooses what to prioritize. If you dwell on scarcity, lack, poverty, and wants, that’s well and good because you get that in the end. If you ponder on prosperity, success, and achievements, that is what you get also.

It was simply stipulated in the Proverbs 23:7 “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Literally, where your mind goes, your life follows.

5.    Improve your skills

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” – Pearl S. Buck

You hardly qualify to achieve the best with only rudimentary skills in any calling. To thrive, you must improve your skills. That way, you meet your duties and get best results from you best efforts. Everyone wants to be an expert in their own calling, that’s human nature. We love greatness. We admire excellence. Imagine how proud you become when your skills are recognized. You feel more vivacious and your self-esteem rise. That shows how important skills are.
To acquire the necessary skills,

  • Learn something new about your career. Keep in touch with the current trends in the area of your expertise.
  • Upgrade your skills whenever necessary.

i.      Go for professional training.

ii.      Attend seminars.

iii.      Ensure that you have the latest tools possible at your disposal. The current world is fast and requires speed but no hurry. If you upgrade yourself, you will end up using less efforts to produce better results.

  • Imitate how your idols do things. If you observe and copy how great people perform things, you are likely to improve yourself.
  • Join groups or forums that have experts on your line of career or even diverse field that have something in common with what you do. Learn how others do to succeed. Then, transfer and translate that to your own area of expertise. Knowledge opens doors to a lot more opportunities in the world.

6.       Practice gratitude

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ― Epicurus

I am yet to find anything that surpasses gratitude in keeping your thoughts in alignment with your desires. Gratitude is simply heavenly. It is a way you tune your mind to focus on possibilities and hopes of attaining your desires. Your mind then gives you the right ways towards your desires. Did you know that if you are so grateful you could hardly spend a bad day? Gratitude is the best medication for your mood swings and unexpected turn of events.

  • Be grateful for the life you live
  • Be grateful for the family, they are source of your happiness and hope in life
  • Be grateful for your friends, for being your best companions
  • Be genuinely grateful when someone offers you their help
  • Be grateful for your happiness. That is what makes you wake up looking forward to a brighter day
  • Be grateful for challenges that make you grow.

The list of gratitude is endless. Be grateful for everything in your life. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes to notice what you are greatful for, but the energy it brings takes you through the rest of the 24 hours in the day. Would you lose your day over these 15 minutes? I bet not.

  • Write down your gratitudes in the morning before you start the day. It will fill your mind with energy to go through the day
  • Write down your gratitudes at night before you retire to bed. That way, you will give your mind something to ponder upon and wake up in a happier mood.

Your subconscious mind works best in the absence of the supervision of the conscious mind. That means, if you count your blessings before going to bed, you are likely to wake up in a good mood to start the day.

7.       No Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”- Neale Donald Walsch

Comfort zone is a prison that enslaves your mind. The virtual barriers become stronger with time, and without deliberate efforts, you may never grow to as you are supposed to. The more uncomfortable you get doing something new, the more you grow. Pain instigates change and growth.

  • Stay away from people who always say yes and pet your back, even when you are wrong. There is no positive growth there.
  • Face challenges with the best of your abilities. Thatis how you notice the best opportunities the world offers. With each challenge you face, the stronger you become, and the more aware you are.
  • Practice something new every day, no matter how small or trivial.
  • Get to conversations with total strangers.
  • Opt to volunteer at a service that does not relate to your career.
  • Visit new places and explore culture.
  • Start a business on area of your choosing.
  • Cut down time for watching TV, surf the web. Read books instead.
  • Leave your car for a week and commute with the public transport.
  • Confront your worst fear – try to do something that you never expected in your life, just for exercise.

Learning something new, visiting a strange place, or practicing new skills, puts your mind on learning mode. That way, it quickly absorbs and adopts to situations. I always find it useful doing new things regularly.

I love exploring on psychology and philosophy. That brings many fresh and practical ideas about life. With such knowledge, I change habits towards what I find appropriate for me. Excellence is about experimenting towards improving yourself in all areas.

8.       Take full responsibility of your life
You are responsible for everything that goes on in your life. To lead the path to a better life, avoid taking easy ways out of problem and challenges. Avoiding growth retards your progress. Challenges come with blessings; unveil what blessings come in disguise.

To be responsible,

  • Silence the Negative Inner Voice
    • Beware of what you hold in your mind. Do you have that little voice that says negative things? Then, change it to something positive and empowering.
    • Do you have limiting beliefs pertaining to any situation in life? Then, work to eliminate it. That way, you will be free from all kinds of negative thinking.

Being optimistic doesn’t mean running away from challenges. It simply means facing challenges with a positive attitude.

  • No Excuses

Don’t look for excuses when facing a challenge or adverse outcome of a situation. That’s not helping. Be responsible. Accept criticism and analyze the situation. Learn before you make excuses, because you are responsible for everything in your life.

  • Stop Blaming

Do you see others as the source of your misery? Do you blame others for not being helpful enough? If you do, then change it. Your mind, if acquainted to such thinking, will literally end up thinking you are the victim of circumstances.  Take full responsibility of everything in your life and stop looking or scapegoats.

I visualize the world that everyone has plenty. I picture the world that people are efficient and achieve their dreams with certainty, the world that people share empowering ideas towards the collective progress. As I contemplate, I see no better way to get there than personal excellence.

With personal excellence, you build a solid foundation on what works and what doesn’t. You recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness is crucial to determine your path through life. It helps you channel your strength in doing what you are capable for the best results. Only then, you can live a full life.

Tell us, Is there something missing? Please share and improve on our ideas. You know what? Ideas are always worth sharing, and this website is here for just that – to share quality and empowering ideas that improve our lives. How do you think we can improve on the quality of our articles to give you the best information?

How to get the most value with little efforts in a week

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” – Alan Lakein

 Life is about progress. To advance, you must carefully set goals, create plans, and take action towards the outcomes with absolute efficiency.

This article shows you how to get the best out of your week. It discusses the practical approaches that ensure you get the most value by putting the minimum efforts in accomplishing your week’s schedule. These methods are results-oriented, efficient, and simply work. This article also explains why the proposed tactics are crucial to ensure your fast climb up the ladder of success.

How to get the most done

planning-the-week-aheadBefore I embark on the subject, I must insist, to get the best value out of your efforts, you must define clear goals to achieve. I can’t overstate its importance  because goals have no substitute when it comes to improving your life.

Likewise, you will realize that nothing is as important as proper planning in determining how fast you move up the ladder of success in your career and life as a whole. If your life’s desires are in shambles, you hardly see improvements. In fact, how would you measure progress?

The good news is, we all plan our lives, either consciously or not. That means you have the basics of planning. For instance, you may foresee the day and analyze how busy it will turn out. You may plan to attend meetings. You may plan time for lunch. You may plan to attend anniversaries. You may plan to go on a date. All these are plans, but may not hold the same value in improving your life.

It is a fact that planning activity differs from one person to another. The differences come down to the impact of the plan in the future perspectives and the kind of tasks we choose to prioritize. Nevertheless, the planning process determines the quality of the outcome, which is better than not having a plan at all. To reap the most benefits, you must know how to plan, even better, you must know what to focus on.

The best thing is, both planning and goal settings are skills, and like any other skills, you get better with practice. To get there, you must learn how to do it. To help you get the best, the article 7 Effective habits for achieving personal excellence hints out some aspects of goal settings and planning. If you want to learn the whole process, I recommend the eBook Your Inner Child Is Calling. The book, will tell you a lot on how and why goals and plans is simply the best way to go.

Now, let us see how to reap the most benefit out of the week.

1.       Plan your week ahead

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Planning is key to getting the best returns out of your efforts. You must know that goals and plans dictate where your life goes. Hence, planning must be done when you are most alert, clear headed and with a good state of mind to think.

First, when is the best moment to plan?
In my opinion, Sunday is the best day to plan the week. I choose this day for two major reasons.

  • Sunday, for most people, is the moment to relax and prepare for the week ahead. Sundays come with clear and stress-free mindsets, after spending Fridays and Saturdays, hence the best moment for planning.
  • Sunday, especially the late evening, is a great moment to reflect on how best to spend the week. The moment of reflection is crucial to visualize and give your mind something to work on. This is simply important and worth practicing.

I discourage Mondays. It is not the ideal time to plan your week because it is the first day of the week and tends to be a bit tense and busier. To spend the best moments and love your “blue” Mondays, plan ahead, and know exactly what to doand acquire from your efforts. Then, you will notice how productive your routine becomes.

Then, how do you plan?
That question leads us to the crucial part – the planning process. Here is how it’s done.

  • Identify key goals for the week and jot them down. Be critical and analyze your schedule. Goals must be written down either on paper, computer, or whichever convenient to you. Just put in writing.
  • Break goals into small doable tasks. Tasks can be processes or steps you will go through to accomplish the goal. List all of them down.

Use the list of tasks you come up with as an input to the following step, Prioritization.

2.       Prioritize tasks

“One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.” – Chinese Proverb

Prioritization is key to getting the most done with time. Prioritization here means you identify what is crucial and more significant towards achieve your week’s goals. You have to understand that, tasks don’t hold the same significance and importance towards achieving your goals. For instance, going for coffee or tea doesn’t have priority over finishing a crucial report with a strict deadline. That is when prioritizing comes to play.

From the list you generate after breaking goals into simple tasks, here is how to prioritize them:

  • Most important tasks first
    • Arrange your tasks in order of priority, from the topmost important to the least important.
    • Start doing the most important tasks first.
    • Put only minimum number of tasks in a day’s and week’s schedules. It is crucial that to aim at meeting your goals with high efficiency and produce quality outcomes. Remember, it is not the quantity but the quality of the outcome that matters.
  • Know your peak times
    • Identify your most productive times of the day and schedule your most important tasks for those times. It is the ideal moment to accomplish tasks demanding too much brainwork.
    • Work on minor tasks during nonpeak times. That way you efficiently utilize your day.
  • Worst comes first
    • You are likely to avoid doing unpleasant tasks. That shouldn’t be the case. To kill procrastination, schedule the worst tasks in the early morning.

3.       Manage time efficiently

“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” – Lee Iacocca

Time management is key to efficiency. You measure efficiency by the quality of work done within a set period. To ensure you manage your time well, do the following.

  • Keep a busy schedule
    This works for me, every time. My mind automatically knows that there’s a limited time to finish tasks, hence, every second counts. When the mind is conscious about the value of time, it automatically defaults to efficient mode and prioritize on what must be done. You will concentrate. You will avoid distractions. You will not lose or waste time. You will complete tasks efficiently to avoid redoing the work – because that is a huge waste of time.
  • Don’t lose time, both yours and that of others
    Avoid wasting time by engaging in both unproductive chats and tasks. Planning avoids unproductive patterns because you know what awaits you and must be done before the end of the day. When you get to work, simply do your job. That is why you are there. Don’t engage in any unnecessary activities, unless is it more important than what is on the schedule. Even then, it must be put on the schedule to merit your time.

    Avoid distracting others. Unnecessary chats waste invaluable time, if used productively, could lead to tangible results. Do you know when you distract someone they may possibly never gain their level of concentration again during the entire day? Think of that when you want to unnecessarily distract someone. Let them work. Likewise, if someone comes to you with trivial subjects, tell them you are busy, simple. No hard feelings. Don’t entertain small talks when you are at work. You are wasting a very precious asset – that’s time. Keep doing the necessary and get it done on time.

4.       Evaluate your efficiency
Evaluation is crucial to determine your progress towards the outcomes. It gives feedbacks on various dimensions like the quality of the outcome, the weaknesses in doing the tasks, the resources needed to complete a goal, and the time it takes to get the desired outcome.

A good plan channels your best efforts to accomplish the most important tasks, in turn you get the best outcomes. That way, you employ minimum possible efforts to get a lot more done with time that couldn’t be done otherwise.

How to evaluate efficiency?

When you plan, you envision the outcome of each task. This is a goal in itself. To evaluate, you must measure what you finally achieved with the expected outcome. For instance, if you planned to finish a report by Tuesday afternoon, then you can evaluate the efficiency at the end of the day if you have met your goal or not.

This process is crucial in determining how efficiently you achieve goals and revealing your weakest areas that might need some fixing.

In my opinion, for maximum efficiency, it is essential to do this process periodically, especially on daily basis to know what to improve on the following day’s schedule. That way, you incorporate feedback on the subsequent tasks on real time basis.

However, you can evaluate yourself on weekly basis at the completion of each task or milestone as set on your plan.

5.       Get enough, healthy sleep
Well, resting is crucial and should not be underestimated. Your body is the perfect machine and must be cared for to ensure efficiency. A good sleep has a therapeutic value to your body and mind. It is ideal to sleep at least 6 hours every day, but 7 to 8 hours is recommended. You cannot sacrifice your sleep for too long and expect to be efficient at what you do; that is absurd. Your efficiency reduces with each day you deprive your body with enough rest.

You must regularly practice physical exercises. Exercise makes you feel better and more alert because when you exercise, your body produces the feel-good hormones – endorphin. It is more of a natural happy drug. This hormone is crucial to make you more alive, happier and look forward to doing a lot more in a day. In the end, you are more alert and more efficient at work. Exercising gives you so much energy during your working days and leads to a healthier life.

These methods can work monthly, quarterly, or annually. The only difference is how you manage tasks depending on the period you choose. Either way, you get the best value of what you do.

This is what you gain in the process

Now that we have seen how the week can be efficiently spent, let’s see why the process is essential to ensure success in your life.

1.       You efficiently get more done in a short time
Planning is the only way to get things done efficiently and produce best results. When you plan, you choose to concentrate and accomplish tasks that are more crucial and lead to your desired outcomes. This way, you maximize the return of your efforts and get the best value. Your major focus is on the goals that advance you to next steps in your life and career. In doing so, you eliminate distractions by denying them time on your schedule. The efficiency at which you undertake the routine determines how fast you move towards the quality outcome of your desires.

2.       You are conscious of what to achieve
You certainly can’t efficiently meet any major goal if you are vague in what resources are required to accomplish it. When you plan, you identify the demands towards accomplish your tasks efficiently. This avoids acting on impulse, which is not the best things to do especially when it comes to success. These demands may be money, skills, or any other thing necessary to make you meet your goals.

3.       You foresee obstacles
Planning entails knowing in advance any possible glitches and obstacles that may lead to avoidable failures. You can change your plan to avoid or mitigate failure.

We face challenges in your everyday life. It is true that challenges make us grow, but some challenges simply reveal the ignorance, inefficiency, and lack of vision in your desires. These challenges may lead to unnecessary failures. Hence planning makes you aware of the uncertainty of the future.

4.       Evaluating your performance
Evaluation is a great feedback mechanism on how far you are from reaching your goal. It also shows you how to arrive at the quality outcome. If you properly analyze your performance and use the feedback to improve on your routine, then your efficiency is bound to improve quick and with no time. This simply means that, you are conscious of what you do on daily basis and you work to improve the quality of your outcomes. Feedback is the best ingredient to advancement in any area of your life, and is not only limited to the career.

5.       It is the best way to lead a fulfilling life
Planning is simply essential. Of course, you can lead a life without planning, and most people do that. However, to lead a more fulfilling and meaningful life, planning becomes a necessity. Once you understand that, you will see the need to incorporate planning in all other areas of your life, starting from how you manage your finances, relationships, career change, family, and others. Planning is the way to lead a life with purpose.

Tell us, Is there something missing? Please share and improve on our ideas. You know what? Ideas are always worth sharing, and this website is here for just that – to share quality and empowering ideas that improve our lives. How do you think we can improve on the quality of our articles to give you the best information?