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Success in Three Minutes a Day… How To Stay Focused

Some of the most popular and famous self-help books are the ones that are short, simple and concise. Take James Allens’ classic book, “As a Man Thinketh.”  is powerful and insightful. Benjamin Franklin is remembered for his exercise around living 13 Core Values; the first ever self-help exercise.

Another short classic is a wonderful little book called, “It Works,” by RHJ. The Success Solution presented in the book is also simple, powerful and effective.

One of the greatest challenges any Executive or Entrepreneur faces when it comes to achieving goals is being focused. This process is designed to help you stay focused on achieving what you want in life and business.

 

Here are the simple steps. So, if you are ready, grab a clean journal and proceed.

1-  Write down everything you sincerely, earnestly and truthfully desire in your business and life. It is OK to have it shift from day to day or week to week as you work on figuring out what those items are. Have them be as specific as possible; use the SMART format when writing them.

2-  Go through the list at least three times a day: morning, noon and night

3-  Feel free to rewrite you list from time to time, rearrange and reprioritize it. Add and delete items as necessary. When your fears and doubts pop up in your mind, just pull out your list and reread it.

4-  Take action and don’t tell anyone what’s on your list.

5-  When items on your list start to appear, be sure and give a HUGE “THANK YOU” for them coming to fruition. Gratitude is important because it leads to true happiness in life.

6-  Repeat!

One final note, be sure that what you want will only bring on positive consequences. Remember that everything you put on the list will have both an upside and a downside that comes with it. It has to be good for you to have and also good for all of those around you.  Start with small items on your list and work your way up to the larger ones.

This simple exercise will test you to your limit because it is really an exercise in consistent, long term focus. I have to keep remembering to review, rewrite and update my list. It is fun and challenging, which means like most things that are worthwhile in life, the results will be amazing.

I would love to hear of your successes below and welcome your comments below!

If you would like more information on other classic short books that create profound results, visit: www.executivebooks.com

 

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7 Proven Techniques to Be Your Own Executive Coach

I often tell people that, “I am my own best client.” Being an Executive Life Coach gives me the privilege to meet an amazing array of successful leaders, from business owners to executives.  Together, we establish new patterns of success, explore more effective ways to approach challenges, and set up strategies to stay on track.

And although a lot happens during a call, a large portion of the work happens outside of a coaching session –namely the client has to engage the motivation to take action and implement the strategies from the call.  Here are 7 simple strategies you can use to coach *yourself* whether or not you are in fact working with an executive coach.

1-  Stop for a few moments every morning and reconnect with your life’s purpose, truths and desires. Take a look at the big picture of what you want to create, your mission, purpose, and desires for the future. Really focus on getting to your place of truth of what you most desire. Go deeper than, “win the lottery, get a date, take my kids to school and relax tonight watching tv.” Find a moment to reflect on the inner truths of your life. It will serve and guide your decisions and actions the rest of the day.

2-  Make a list of the top 3-5 very specific things you are fearing, procrastinating or just plain old scared to death to do. They should be things that are moving you towards your purpose, truth, mission, and desires from step #1. I often ask myself, “If I were to die tonight, what would I do today to die a whole and complete man, knowing that I lived my purpose? What small challenges would I overcome for my own personal triumphs?” Remember the 80-20 rule? That top 20% is the sum of the small action items where you are currently out of integrity because you may be fearful and procrastinating.

3-  Move your body to motivate yourself to kick some ass: personally and with others. Pick up that old song, move your body and sing at the top of your lungs. You have to move if you want to create energy. Remember, force = mass X acceleration. If you never move your mass, you will never start to accelerate your life and it will never have any energy. You have to move! We are made to move. Drop the expectations of hours at the gym, do something simple, stretch, walk, and find a way to move! Listen to that song, put your chin up and shoulders back, take a deep breath from down in your diaphragm. Enjoy the feeling!

4-  Break the rules. Even yours sometimes! I’m not talking about doing something to get youself in jail but if you would never roll down the windows and sing at the top of your lungs…do it. Break some small rules to experience that little emotional “Yeah” (I repeat, nothing against the law! :D)  People stuck in their lives of hum-drum will just tell you to be quiet and keep things even keeled, but emotional moment sticks with you!!! So bring in the passion!  Dare to go against expectations, take a risk or buck conventions a bit!

5-  Find a peer group to create leverage to complete items #1-4. We all need some outside support to achieve our dreams. I have three very close people (besides my wife) who help to keep me focused, energized and accountable to what I say I am going to do. It is great to have a full life and share it with others. You guys know who you are and “YOU ROCK!”  They are my greatest cheer team and they also hold nothing back in terms of direct feedback! Remember, no one stands up and the Oscars to accept the award and says, “Yeah man, I deserve this. I worked my butt off and no one helped me at all. I am the man.” Instead, they always have people to thank for their success. Who would you thank?

6-  Learn something new that is of interest to you and apply it. Read all you can and immerse yourself in developing your personal interests. It will build into your life creativity, mastery of skill, and it will become not what you know, but who you are. And, remember to apply one thing you learn everyday until it is mastered in your life.

7-  Last and best… Remember to work from you places of strength, not weakness. Remember the basic principles that define who you are and how you want to live your life.  Remember that while you may be driving to fix and change something in your life, you are also perfect the way you are now. Remember to stay focused on your basic strengths and use them. If you are a person whose strength is mastering a single task, then become the first chair soloist. And if you are a big picture strategist, become the conductor of the orchestra. Both need each other! Stay focused on who you are and what you can become. Stay away from focusing on what you are not and what you “should” become.

There might be a time when you decide that you need the support and expert guidance of an executive life coach, but there are many times when you can take the task on yourself.  These 7 steps can help you to coach yourself.

To your continued success,

James

 

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5 Ways to Not Achieve Your Goals This Year

Since the new year is right around the corner, here are a few thoughts to make sure that no matter what your goals, dreams and aspirations are, you can fail to achieve them all.

1.  Stop Learning & Being Curious

Success comes from being curious and resourceful. There are three types of learning a person can experience. There is educational learning which gives theoretical understanding of concepts, ideas and ideologies. Take some formal classes at your local university or learning facility. Second, is experiential learning. This happens in seminars, events, and trainings that require practice scenarios, role-playing and simulations. Third, is the actual application of the concepts, theories and ideas in real-life situations. You can read a book on sales, role play scenarios and then eventually you just have to pick up the phone and start to cold call. Experience is the greatest teacher. Understanding theory and role playing helps to build the confidence to immerse yourself in the real world experience. Learn, be curious and take action to apply what you learn.

 2.  Keep distracting yourself with TV & Internet

In 2009, Neilson ratings came out with a statistic that the average American watches 153 hours a month watching television. That is almost an entire week a month with nothing to show for it! The study also revealed that Americans spend an average of 29 hours per month on the internet. If you are what you eat, then isn’t your mindset influenced by what you put into it?

 3.  Keep up the “I’ll start tomorrow” thinking

Keep thinking that all of the little changes you could make today are not worth anything and you will start tomorrow. Many people start towards their goals and as soon as they experience an obstacle, get off track, and lose momentum or motivation, think that it is no use continuing. They sabotage their success with perfectionism. Success lies not in whether or not you fall off track, because you will, but how soon you can change, re-commit to your goal and get back on track. Nothing is too small to celebrate when creating change.

4.  Keep the Negative Messages Coming into your Brain

Are you surrounded by friends, colleagues, social media or environments that are negative and unsupportive? Upgrade your external influences by changing to more supportive people, places and things in your life. As they say in Feng Shui, clear the clutter in all the areas of your life that don’t support you and your goal. Clear the clutter in your mind by practicing to “say it the way you want it to be” in your life. Stop watching the new and feed your mind some uplifting, motivational, and supportive material.

5.  Stay Comfortable, Do the Same Thing You Are Doing Now

Most people don’t achieve something because they never stop and ask themselves, “What do I need to give up in order to make a space for this new goal in my life?” For example, if you want a relationship, are you stepping out and going different places, trying new experiences, and meeting new people? In an extreme, if you want a new car, are you selling the one you have now, have you test driven cars at the dealership and talked to your bank about a new loan? Are you willing to “burn your ship?” If the answer is no, how bad do you really want to experience your dreams, aspirations and goals? You have to make space for what you want to have.

 

So there you have it, five dynamic ways to ensure that you will be a total failure with your goals in the new year. You have, of course, my sincerest wish is for you to be a contrarian!!!  I wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.

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9 Quick Tips To Boost Your Self Esteem

Feeling good about yourself is a wonderful feeling. So why don’t we do it more often?

True and lasting self-esteem is a combination of feeling good at about yourself for something specific you have done and a more permanent deep-seated feeling of self-worth. That deep-rooted belief is based on the conclusions you draw about yourself over time. It’s something that can be developed and fostered.

Here are 9 simple tips to feel better about yourself and grow your self-esteem.

 

 1. Focus on your character, not simply your achievements. Challenge yourself! Take on project you find a bit intimidating and give yourself a chance to astonish yourself! Give yourself a chance to prove to yourself that you are in fact quite remarkable in many ways. You may not conquer every challenge, but each time you tackle something and overcome obstacles it provides another opportunity to reinforce and acknowledge positive aspects of yourself. And when you do overcome those challenges, resist the temptation to minimize the effort and strength it took to overcome them. For example, praise the perseverance it took to finally get that new job or the commitment it took to follow through and make that sale or stick to your exercise plan. Achieving is never an All-or-Nothing experience: you will make mistakes along the way and fall off the wagon from time to time. Those setbacks don’t define you, the character you show and develop along the way does.

 

2. Be wary of expectations. Once you have achieved a goal, it’s natural to automatically take it for granted and raise the bar. That’s a good thing! We are programmed to want more. Yet, make sure you “go for more” in a realistic way. It is more feasible to go from running a 5K race to a 10K race, instead of from a 5K race to a marathon. So, give yourself plenty of opportunities to succeed by making your goals realistic.

 

3. Acknowledge your successes. Take a moment and pat yourself on the back for what you have done –now and in the past. If you have not listed all the successes in your life to date, you will probably forget them. Stop and take stock once in a while. Recognize your past successes. Try something different and write them down. It’s called positive stacking. Just as we sometimes stack negatively and start focusing only on the negative, you can consciously direct your mind to focus on the long list of things you have accomplished that show your character. And don’t fall in the comparison trap. Being competitive can be a great motivator, but don’t let comparisons define your worth.

 

4. Stop the negative self-talk. Stand guard at the doorway of your mind, for what you let in is what you become! People who feel good about themselves, talk and think good about themselves. Watch out for negative thought patterns like jumping to negative conclusions about other people’s actions for instance and assuming they are judging you negatively (most of the time, their behavior is not about you!). Challenge your negative or flawed thinking. Just because you feel incompetent doesn’t mean that you are. Refrain from –even jokingly– putting yourself down; over time, you will start believing your self put-downs. When you realize you are engaging in negative self talk, systematically interrupting your pattern will pay off! And for goodness sake, stop saying, “I’m Sorry!

 

5. Master a skill, pastime, sport, or other life interest. Become good at something that you love and are interested in. Mastery of anything is a key ingredient in maintaining a high opinion of yourself. So master something, anything that makes you feel special!

 

6. Pay attention to the image your project. Although it may sound simplistic, by acting as if you have self-esteem, you are sending positive messages about your self-image to the subconscious. This is a form of self-respect and positive self talk that become who you are –just like habitual negative self talk became ingrained. So, don’t neglect the way you look and what you do with your body. Dress nicely, pay attention to your personal grooming, work out so you have some physical energy and pep. Be mindful of your physiology so that you walk, stand, and sit as if you felt sure of yourself. Smile. Act the part until it becomes habitual.

 

7. Focus on what you can control and influence, not what you can’t. Many things in life are out of our control and influence. However, focusing on what is within your control and influence allows you to feel more in control of your life. Always look to take positive action on what is within your control and influence and let go of the rest.

 

8. Develop a supportive social network. We all rise and fall to the level of our peer group. If you are not involved in a positive and non judgmental peer group, get a new one! Don’t be a stepping stone for someone else’s self-esteem. You don’t need to let yourself be made less of so that someone else can feel good about themselves. Surround yourself with a peer group that has the mindset, the values, and the interests that you do.

 

9. Help others. Stop thinking about yourself so much! Focus your mind outside of yourself. It is always worthwhile to make others aware of their worth. In fact, make it a habit to notice the positive in others so it becomes more natural to notice the positive traits in yourself. But more importantly, when you make a difference in someone else’s life, it is easy to feel great about yourself. Allow yourself the satisfaction that giving brings. And as a bonus, when they thank you for being part of their life, don’t be too quick to push it off or minimize it for the sake of humility. Accept their compliment as an extra affirmation of you with a simple, “Thank You!”

 

Whatever a person believes about themselves is true. Self-esteem is not something you are born with. It is a muscle that is built with time, consistency and conditioning! It takes time to integrate new practices into your life but eventually they become what you do, then show up in what you have, and eventually they become your identity as who you are.

 

This article was first published on http://ezinearticles.com/?9-Quick-Tips-To-Boost-Your-Self-Esteem&id=6544585, and shared here because it’s awesome. For more tips and strategies about increasing your self-esteem, confidence, motivation and personal effectiveness, go to http://www.evolutionforsuccess.com. James Murphy is a personal development expert as well as an executive and life coach. He can be reached directly at 919-745-7569.

As Featured On EzineArticles

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Improve Your Relationships – It’s All About Your Communication

Hallelujah ~ Praise the Lord!

Have you heard the one about the priest who trained his horse to “stop” by saying “Hallelujah”, and “go” by saying “Praise the lord?”

He went riding one day and a snake spooked his horse. The horse became terrified and took off at a full gallop. The horse was so frightened that it didn’t realize it was headed straight for the edge of a cliff. As the priest yelled, “Whoah, Jesus, Stop” and a few other choice sayings to no avail, the horse just kept charging straight for the edge of the cliff. Suddenly, the priest remembered the command for “Stop” and yelled, “Hallelujah” at the top of his lungs. Miraculously, the horse stopped just in time to keep from plunging to certain death. Relieved, the priest exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!”

How often do we forget how important positive, productive, communication is to any relationship?

It can lead a relationship to certain death or raise it to the highest levels of emotional passion.

I have a saying, “In the absence of communication and knowledge, the mind has free reign to wander.” It is dangerous for the mind to wander because it is in that place that people start to ASS-U-ME things. And we all know that assuming makes an “ASS” out of “U” and “ME.”

Why don’t people communicate more? I think it is a lack of safety. In the parent child relationship, how often is the child encouraged to be expressive, to challenge an opinion, to share their different thoughts and emotions? As a kid, were you encouraged in that manner?

How can we provide more safety in our communications with others? How can we create an easy, warm, loving environment where speaking and communicating are encouraged?

My solution is to keep one simple component in mind. No matter how the communication is happening, whether you agree, disagree, yell, scream, talk silently, write it out on paper; never have the love go away.

How can we communicate and never have the love go away? Here are some tips:


1. Address the behavior and not the person. That person is not selfish, instead you have interpreted their actions to be selfish. The person is not their behavior.

2. Understand that the other perspective is just as valid as yours and try it on for size. Walk a mile in their shoes with their beliefs and understand where they are coming from. Be empathetic.

3. Agree to disagree if necessary and have it all be OK.

4. When you both disagree, find a win-win that is a compromise on both sidets. Never seek absolutes because then it becomes a power struggle.

5. Create a safe environment and rules for communicating if necessary. Create a talking stick, like in the Native American cultures, have a pair of safety chairs, and never threaten the other person during a conversation.

6. Pick your battles carefully. Don’t lose the war over a battle in the moment.

7. Stay focused on the real outcome you want to achieve. How many times at the end of an argument you find yourself forgetting what started the whole thing to begin with? Stay on track.

8. The solution/compromise will not be found until both parties feel understood, validated, and their opinions are respected. Solutions come second, understanding feelings, beliefs and perspectives come first.

9. Say it the way you want it to be.

Communication leaves a person in one of two places: it leaves us feeling closer or leaves us feeling farther apart.

Malcolm Forbes once stated, “It is always worthwhile to let others know of their worth.”

You don’t have to always have to agree with another person in order to find their value. I hope that you can continue to increase your levels of communication to a point where the other person always leaves knowing that even if you have disagreed, the love is always present.

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