The Success of a Snowball

The Success of a Snowball

At the start of your career? A career is created through a succession of efforts large and small, each one building momentum and substance. A snowball starts out as a single snowflake, like a single idea.  Combine that with more ideas, and know how, and inspiration and you’ve got yourself a snowball. Keep adding to that, and eventually the smallest snowball can grow to monumental size.  By becoming proficient in several areas, you can help that snowball grow as surely as by rolling it down a mountain.

 

Expand your learning

Once your career starts to accumulate some success and your snowball gets noticeably bigger, you may be inclined to let it roll down that mountain on its own. Of course, that would be a mistake. Without your constant attention, it could roll off a cliff, it could hit a tree and break apart, it could hit a relatively flat section and stop altogether. One of the best ways to keep that snowball on course is by consistently improving your skills. Learn new things. Expand your areas of knowledge, especially as they pertain to your career. Meet with experts in your field. Get inspired by them. Learn and take your career into new or different directions.

 

Don’t celebrate success by spending inordinate amounts of money

Even if you’re accumulating some wealth, it’s important not to get ahead of yourself by spending an expected income, or even spending to your current limits. You want to always be adding to that snowball to help it grow. Think about your future. Instead of spending, save. Let that money build on itself.

 

Force yourself out of your comfort zone

Your comfort zone is like a leveling off on the mountain. An area where there simply isn’t enough of a decline for the snowball to keep moving, and if it’s not moving, it’s not growing. People stay in their comfort zones because they get lazy, because they’re scared, because they’re comfortable. No great career is built by a lazy, scared, comfortable person. It’s built by someone willing to take chances, willing to try new things. Willing to fail in order to succeed.  According to Jacob Morgan writing for Forbes, getting out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do for your career.

 

Beware of time thieves

Of course, you have a life outside of your business. If you don’t – get one! That being said, there are some things you can do with your free time that will lead to your betterment, while there are others that will in no way help. Have fun, enjoy physical activities, talk to interesting people, volunteer, initiate a community project. Putting your free time to good use makes you feel great. It invigorates you. Of course, you can still enjoy things like TV, but it’s one thing to enjoy your favorite television shows. It’s another thing altogether to lose yourself to the hypnotic pull of Netflix for four or five hours at a time on a regular basis. Despite the fact that it’s called free time, if you waste it, you can be sure you’re paying for it!

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A Couple Of Tips For Rising To Success

A Couple Of Tips For Rising To Success

As each of us strives to achieve the success we’re after, there are some days where we do great. And others where we fall short of our goals and aspirations.

 

To help those do-great days outnumber the less successful ones, here are a couple of things to keep at the top of your daily to-do list or on the first page of your journal.

 

If you want what few have, you’ll have to do what few will

 

We all say we want success, but when the alarm clock rings in the morning do we push the snooze button and try for another five minutes? Or do we jump out of bed ready to tear up the day?

 

When the choice is take that extra course or be satisfied with where you are what do you choose? What about working late? Or reading more books related to your goal?

As Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Every time you choose your goals over an easier or more fun alternative you are doing what few will do. Choose long term success over short term gratification.

 

New habits can transform your life

Just about everything you do is based on some habit or other. What you do in the mornings, the route you take to work, how you feel about certain situations or people. Usually we do what we’ve always done because it’s easy to follow in the ruts of life we’ve created by doing the same things, thinking the same things over and over.

Is there something you could do, or a thought pattern you could change that would directly impact your life and career? Before automatically thinking change is impossible think about the possibilities.

How could you make that change? Make it one day, then make it again the next. New habits are not easy to form but they are entirely possible. Instead of following in your usual ruts, realize this is your life. One where it’s up to you to can create brand new tracks.

Create A Roadmap To Your Destination By Starting At The End

Create A Roadmap To Your Destination By Starting At The End

 

We all know it’s impossible to reach a destination without a clear sense of where we’re going. Sometimes we know our destination, but  have no idea how to get there, so we end up stuck right where we are.

 

Short actionable steps

 

The best way to get the ball rolling to is break your goal down into short actionable steps. You want to run the marketing department of your company, but you are in an entry level position.  Sitting in your chair thinking about moving up will keep you in chair. Write down concrete steps you can take on a daily/weekly/monthly basis that will get you incrementally closer. Figure out the purpose of each action. Where it will get you? Whose attention it will capture?

 

Demonstrate your abilities, your dedication and your ambition and you will be invited into that comfortable office. 

 

 

Don’t float, steer!

The problem many people have is they float through life, just doing whatever comes up with no real direction. You may end up where you want to go that way, but who knows how long it will take. Or what kinds of eddies you’ll have to spin through on the way. Better to take control of the winds and use them to steer your vessel where you choose to go.

 

Write it down

Goals are the key. Clear, defined, and plausible. Know your endpoint, and know all the steps you need to take to get there. If you are confused go back and re-read your goal map. It will probably need revising along the way so don’t get waylaid by that. Adjust as necessary and press on.

 

Keep your goals top of mind you will keep yourself motivated. When your attitude wanes, remind yourself, “Right now it’s hard, but by staying the course I will navigate my way to that marketing director chair in the corner office.”

What Makes You Happy?

What Makes You Happy?

“What makes you happy?” Should be an easy question. You know what makes you happy right? But as many of us know, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes when we’re down, we’re not sure how to get back up. If you feel like you’re not as happy as you should be, and you’re looking for ways to be happier, we’ve got some ideas to help put a smile on your face.

Be Generous

When you ask yourself, “How can I be happier?” you might assume the answer is about what you can do for you. However, when outlining his 10 tips for happiness, Pope Francis listed “Be giving of yourself to others” as number 2. Giving of your time and efforts for the benefit of others has a weird way of making you feel good.

Turn Off

Falling into the habit of being busy all the time leads to stress and fatigue. When we are constantly on the go, we don’t give ourselves time to decompress. “Have a habit of disengagement.” says Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer. Everyday Joel goes for a walk in the evening to clear his mind and reboot. This gives him the time to work through things and find solutions to the day’s problems.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Moods and attitudes have a way of rubbing off on those around them. If you find yourself in the company of people who are often negative and ornery, chances are you’ll slip in to the same mood. The same is true for surrounding yourself with happier, positive people. If you’re around happy people, slowly you’ll find you can’t help but smile.

Get Some Sleep

If you’re tired, remembering happy things is actually more difficult than remembering negative things. Being rested also helps with productivity and will improve your reaction to negative emotions.

Drink Water

Hydration is important. You’re about 60% water and maintaining your hydration is essential for a variety of reasons. Water carries nutrients and detoxifies the body. Drinking the right amount of water per day (about 8 glasses) keeps you from getting too irritable and helps you stay mentally alert.

 

If you take time to focus on your day-to-day well

Take the Initiative, Make A Difference

Take the Initiative, Make A Difference

 

If you are not a writer, you might wonder what writing a book has to do with your career. At first glance, maybe not much, but if you look a little closer you will see it has a lot to do with your initiative, and with getting ahead in your career and your life.

 

A question of initiative

If there’s a better way of doing something at work, should you wait for someone else to figure it out or should you go ahead and do something about it? It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to hope someone else will change things. However, hoping and complaining do not, in general have any effect on life’s outcomes.

 

Even if you feel like it isn’t your place to step in and make suggestions, go ahead and do it anyway. Best case scenario your efforts will help make a change that will benefit you and everyone else who has to deal with that situation. Worst case scenario, your efforts will be noticed and appreciated.

 

Improvements never happen by leaving things the way they are

Maybe it’s not a question of figuring out a way of doing something better. Maybe it’s a question of a complete overhaul. A brand new way of doing something. Or a brand new way of thinking about something. Less a question of building a mouse trap and more a question of realizing a mouse trap needed to be invented in the first place.

 

Obviously writing a book – or figuring out a new way of doing something is a big undertaking and complaining and wishing someone else would fix the problem are much easier. But remember effort and reward are usually proportional to each other. So the harder you have to work to get something done, the greater the reward in your accomplishments.

Productivity Hacks

Productivity Hacks

Some people have a knack for getting things done. Productivity is no problem for them. They’re more organized than the rest of us and they don’t let themselves get distracted by whatever curveballs the day throws their way.

 

For those of us who have to work a little harder to achieve the same results here are a few productivity hacks to get you going.

 

Mornings

Did you know that morning people are generally more proactive? Here are a few small things you can do to get you going earlier. Set your alarm five minutes earlier each day until you achieve the new wake up time you’re looking for – about an hour earlier than usual.

 

Once you’re up don’t waste your newly acquired precious time scrolling through Facebook or looking for dinner recipes. Get yourself into productive mode. Start with a glass of water. Your body needs a dose of hydration (other than coffee) to get you going.

 

Exercise for 10 – 15 minutes, meditate – even a short 10 meditation is beneficial. If you can do both great. If not alternate or choose the one that means more to you.  Make yourself a good breakfast that includes protein. Protein is known to get you going.

 

Finally spend ten minutes writing. It can be a journal, it can be notes about the day, it can be related to long-term goals. Deliberately sitting down to write everyday lays down a path of productivity for the rest of the day.

 

Commute time

There are lots of things you can do during your commute. You can seethe at the other drivers or commuters. You can listen to music. You can daydream. Or you can use the time to your benefit. If you drive to work, podcasts are a great way to educate or entertain yourself. So are language apps.

 

If you’re on transit the commute is the perfect time to catch up on articles you’ve bookmarked for later, for goal setting or for online classes.

 

If work isn’t too far, the other thing you can do with your commute is use it to get in shape. Cycle, run or walk to work – it feels great and puts everything in forward motion!

 

First part of your day

Productive people have a routine. Start work at the same time each day. That puts your mind and body in work frame. Don’t check your emails first thing because they are a time and energy suck. Give yourself an hour to get settled and get your most important tasks underway first.

 

If you haven’t already prepared a to-do list for the day get that done. Prioritize it. Start with your top priority. Get that out of the way, them move down the list. Give yourself deadlines for each task.

 

You have probably heard that you have 90 minute sleep cycles at night. Well, those 90 minute cycles don’t suddenly stop once the sun rises. In general you can focus well for about 90 minutes at a time. After that you’re brain is tired and you lose productivity so you might as well break every 90 minutes. It doesn’t have to be long, but get up, stretch your legs, get a drink, break it up every 90 minutes. Switch tasks.

 

Do not multi-task. Even if you think you’re a good multi-tasker you are not. You are still doing one thing at a time then switching. If you want to do something well then give it your full attention then switch to something else.

 

After lunch

Some people work equally well in the afternoon as they do in the morning, but most have a little more trouble focusing in the latter part of the day. That’s why you want to get your most important tasks done early. Watch your posture in the afternoons. If you notice yourself slumping over sit up straight. If you can get yourself out for a sort walk in the afternoon. A quick walk around the block can do wonders to bring productivity back into the day.

 

Afternoons are a good time to do the work that doesn’t require as much concentration so save those for after lunch. It’s also a good time to let your mind wander a little to pursue a little creative thinking.

 

Evening

Although it might be tempting to take work home, the most productive people know there needs to be a cut off time. Your body and mind need a full stop to recoup from one day and rest up for the next.

Only You Can Change Your Life

Only You Can Change Your Life

In fairy tales when the hero or heroine is down on their luck or the situation seems hopeless, a fairy godmother or some other form of chance or circumstance steps in and saves the day. Life however isn’t a fairy tale – it’s more of an adventure! Sometimes people do step in to help, but if you count on that you could end up stuck in the same place forever.  As much as we may hope for intervention from mystical realms the people that achieve success are the ones who make it happen.

 

Take charge

When Carol Burnett was in school it was her intention to take playwriting, but in order to do that she had to take some acting classes. Guess what she found out she excelled at? Carol Burnett found her passion and changed her outlook and life to peruse it.

 

No one is happy with their situation or circumstances all the time. Some people choose to complain, some people choose to believe things will never change and there’s nothing they can do about it. Other people choose to make changes.

 

Create lucky circumstances

Does it seem to you that some people are luckier than others? Maybe you should step back and have another look at what’s going on with those supposedly lucky people. You’ll probably find that they do a little more than others. They work a little harder, they’re a little more optimistic, they set out to meet people who can help them.

 

If you take two steps toward the changes and situations you want to see in your life you will often find the situations and circumstances you’re looking for will take a step toward you. Lucky breaks happen to people who have put themselves in the path of luck through their focus on the end result.

 

Don’t just think about changes you want in your life. Take a step toward them.