3 Reasons Why Self-Discipline is Freaking Awesome

3 Reasons Why Self-Discipline Is Freaking Awesome

true freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline – J. Adler Mortimer

Do you associate self-discipline with pain and constraints?

In this article I’m going to give you 3 reasons why self-discipline is in fact freaking awesome. Are you ready?

#1 Self-discipline leads to freedom

So you hate self-discipline because you value your freedom more than anything else right? And there is nothing worse to you than having too many constraints in your life. I get it.

But, what if I tell you that you can’t really enjoy freedom without self-discipline?

Think about it for a moment. How can you expect to be free when you have so limited control over your body and your mind? How can you be free when you can’t resist eating junk food or drinking alcohol, when you are constantly depressed, angry or unhappy?

The sad truth is that most people have very little self-discipline. They can’t control their diet and fail to achieve most of their goals. They are totally enslaved by their mind and have very little control over their emotions and thoughts.

Self-discipline is what allows you to create freedom in your life. Imagine the degree of freedom you would have if you were in total control of your body and your mind? Imagine how your life would drastically change if you could focus on your long-term vision rather than going for instant gratification like junk food, TV or video games?

Yes, self-discipline is freaking awesome

Still not convince?

#2 Self-discipline dramatically increases your self-esteem

Most people don’t realize that self-discipline is highly correlated to self-esteem. If you can’t trust yourself to do what you intend to do, can you reasonably expect to have a deep love for yourself? Nathaniel Branden, the most renown expert on self-esteem defines self-esteem as the « reputation we acquire with ourself ». If each time you said you are going to go to the gym, study or work on your business you watch TV and eat junk food instead, what kind of reputation do you think you’re going to have with yourself? Sure you can always pretend that it is okay, but do you honestly believe that?

People who meditate for hours or challenge themselves to accomplish extremely demanding feats are not crazy. They simply understand the important of self-discipline and how it positively impacts their self-esteem and level of fulfillment in life.

Yes, self-discipline increases yourself esteem. Pretty cool isn’t it?

What about you? What reputation do you have with yourself ?

Still not totally convince?

#3 Self-discipline allows you to achieve significantly more in life

Do you really want to get results in life? Guess what? The more you are in control of your body, your mind and your action, the more things you will get done. Having self-discipline will allow you to complete the tasks you said you will do and to deliver results consistently. If you want to know what real self-discipline looks like, try read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin or Templeton Plan: 21 Steps to Personal success and Real Happiness by Sir John Templeton. Even more intense, read The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei. (learn more about the marathon monks in this article)

Disciplining yourself to accomplish goals consistently is one of the best ways to build self-esteem (if you haven’t set any goals yet you might want to check my book on goal setting)

Self-discipline isn’t something to be despised. It feels great to be able to consistently achieve your goal knowing that you can trust yourself. Self-discipine gives you more control over your life and thus more freedom, and allows you to achieve significanlty more. If anything, you should be pretty excited to watch yourself becoming more and more discipline day after day.

What you can do today to build more self-discipline

Setting goals or implementing habits on a daily basis is a great way to build self-discipline. Here are two things you can do:

Your 30-day challenge

I really want you to get results in life so I would like to invite you to participate to a 30-day challenge starting from today. Just select one of the two options previously mentioned:

  1. Set your goals everyday for 30 days
  2. Implement one new daily habit and stick to it for the next 30 days

Leave me a comment below to tell me whether you choose option 1 or option 2.

BONUS : one thing you can do when you struggle to discipline yourself

It is not always easy to discipline yourself to take action on a consistent basis. I personally struggle a lot and failed many times when trying to implement positive habits.

One thing that I found powerful is to invest money in high-quality programs that specifically meet my need. By investing your hard earned money you commit yourself to take action and significantly increase your changes to get results.

To give you an example, for quite a while I’ve been wanted to adopt a daily morning ritual that would help me condition my mind for more happiness and success, but I could never follow through.

So when I came accross a program called Morning Ritual Mastery online, I decided to buy it. The truth is that I can find the same content for free online, but I would never had been able to stick to that habit if I didn’t invest my money in a program and commit to take consistent actions.

I really recommend this program if you want to build a morning ritual to help you experienced more gratitude, joy and motivation in life. It’s an affiliate product which means that I earn commission if you buy it using the link in this article. If you are interested you can get it here. Otherwise you can check the free video with a similar content here

What program could you invest in that would support you in getting the results you want?

Resources:

Article:

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

7 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting The Results You Want in Life

7 reasons why you aren't getting the results you want in life

 

Are you struggling getting the results you want in life?

In this article I’m going to give you 7 reasons why you aren’t getting the results you want in life. But, WAIT! Before you start reading just tell me: are you really going to take action after reading this article? If the answer is yes, go ahead.

Reason #1 – You are not investing in yourself

Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you can make a living, if you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune! – Jim Rohn

The quote above is one of my favorite quotes ever. You should constantly be investing in yourself and learning new skills. Communication skills, both oral and written, are probably where you want to get started. Your ability to communicate effectively, to express ideas clearly and to convince people will largely determine your success regardless of the career you decide to pursue.

For oral communication I recommend you to check out Toastmasters. This public speaking organization is present in many countries around the world. You can visit as many clubs as you want for free and select the right club for you.

You don’t want to be the guy getting laid off at age 50 unable to find another job. It is your responsibility to educate yourself. Never rely on the government, your current company or anyone else to support you financially. Think of yourself as a freelancer rather than an employee. What service and value can you deliver to your current company? What other services could you offer to your company or other companies?

Continously learning and growing is absolutely necessary (and quite fun too), so don’t hesitate to spend money in programs or courses that will help you become more valuable in the job market and better as a person.

If you have Internet, you really have no excuse not to educate yourself.

Reason #2 – You don’t have the right mindset

So you’re telling me: I failed because I didn’t have the resources. And I’m here to tell you what you already know: resources are never the problem. It’s a lack of resourcefulness is why you failed. – Tony Robbins

You are sick. The disease you have is called “excusitis”. Beware, it is an extremely dangerous disease that will prevent you from getting the results you want in life. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money. I’m too old. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know the right people. Sounds familiar?

Yes, one of the reasons you don’t get the results you want in life is because of your poor mindset. Your mindset and attitude is everything in life. It will determine whether you will be successful or not. I just can’t stress that enough.

I see all the time people imposing artificial limits on themselves. They are so convinced that they can’t do such or such thing that it drives me crazy. Why would you tell yourself that at 40-year old you are too old to learn a foreign language or change career? Not long ago I was talking to a woman that was telling she didn’t believe she could earn more money than she does now. She was earning a below average salary. That was her belief. Where do you think she will be 10 years from now? More or less at the same place! My personal belief is that there is no limit to the amount of money I can earn if I keep improving myself. What is your belief?
Below is a great one-minute video of Tony Robbins on resource vs. resourcefulness. Check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQHGJjsbz5c

Reason #3 – You don’t have specific role models

It is extremely difficult to get the results you want if you have nobody around you that have already achieved what you are aiming for. Make sure you have a role model that resonates with you (either online or offline). Once you found your role model just follow absolutely everything that he is advising you to do. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; when someone already has the blueprint that will get you where you want to be, just stick to it! Do you know how Arnold Schwarzenegger became Mr Universe? He came across a magazine featuring Reg Park, Mr Universe at the time. In this magazine the whole blueprint was laid out.

Sounds too easy? In a sense it is, but here is the trick: you must stick to one role model for each major goal you have. The common trap is to look for all the possible role models out there and try to learn everything you can from them. It sounds like a great idea on paper, but it is doesn’t work. How do I know that? Well, it is what I have been trying to do for several years.

It doesn’t work because it leads to an overflow of information. It is just not possible to come up with a realistic working plan out of it. You will end up feeling overwhelmed and give up or will get medicore results.

Finding a role model that you can trust and sticking to his teaching is way more powerful and will get you significantly better results.

The two key points are:

  • Stick to one role model that really resonates with you
  • Have total trust in him and his teaching and take consistent action

Reason #4 – You are doing too many things at the same time

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to make changes in their life, is doing too many things at the same time. You shouldn’t focus on more than one or two major goals at the same time. You should spend most of your time either thinking about your main goals or taking actions that move you closer to your main goals. You want to make sure that you do something everyday to move closer to your goals in order to keep building momentum.

Pick one or two areas in your life where you really want to make major changes and focus on them for the next 6 months/year/2years/5 years or more if needed. Focus! In many occasions you will be tempted to pursue other goals but don’t. That’s why it is crucial that you really select goals that matters the most to you so that you can stick to them.

Major areas of your life include relationship, career, finance, health and spirituality.

Which area(s) are you going to focus all your effort on until you get results?

Reason #5 – You are not taking enough action

Are you the type of person who is obsessed with learning everything he can, but don’t get concrete results? I’ve been there too. Really learning can only come from doing. You can learn all the theory you want about how to build a business or seduce a men/woman, but as long as you aren’t doing it, you have no idea what you are talking about.

The most common mistakes we do is to believe that we need more knowledge. It is usually not the case. What we need is more action! How often can we say of someone: “you are taking too much action”? The average person will generally spend 50% of his time learning and 50% of his time taking some actions (at best). I recommend you spend 80% or 90% of your time taking action.

Be honest with yourself, what percentage of your time are you spending taking action towards your goals?

I want you to take more action today. Just start building some momentum. Send that email you’ve been thinking of sending for a while, go to that dance class, buy this online course you’ve been wanting for weeks. TAKE ACTION. Action! Action! Action!

Reason #6 – You lack patience

Are you giving up too easily? The truth is that getting results takes time. Usually, there is a tipping point where you suddenly get massive results, but it can takes 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or more. If you give up easily, it is probably because you don’t have a clear and compelling long-term vision to help you persist.

I tend to forget the big picture and the long-term vision. When I’m totally focused on something, it becomes so important to me that I often make a big deal out of insignificant setbacks and lost all perspective. In fact, when you are extremely focus on something it is as if time was distorted. One day suddenly seems like one year and you start feeling that you are running out of time. Does it happen to you too?

When that happens it really helps me to step back a little bit and remind myself that I still have plenty of time, and that it doesn’t matter if it takes 2, 3 or 5 years to get where I want to be. Discussing with a friend is also a good way to help me put things in perspective and relax a little bit!

Remember: you have time! For sure, there will be a lot of ups and downs, but as long as you keep moving forward and take consistent actions, you’ll get there.

Reason #7 – You don’t know what you want

I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacation with better care than they do their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change – Jim Rohn

Do you have a clear vision of what your ideal life looks like? Not being specific enough about what we want in life is also a serious issue.

For instance, do you know what your ideal career looks like? Do you know how many hours do you want to work per week? How much money do you want to earn? When do you want to retire?

If you don’t know what you want and how you are going to get there, you are probably not going to go far. Don’t be the guy who says “one day I will open a restaurant”. Everybody knows he won’t. Don’t have wishes or dreams, have goals!

If you haven’t set clear long-term and short-term goals yet, I highly highly encourage you do so as soon as possible. (you can check out my book on goal setting here)

What about you? What is the main reason why you don’t get the results you want?

Leave me a comment below and share with me the reason why you don’t get the results you desire in life and what concrete action you are going to take.

See also:

Additional resources:

My book on goal setting

Goal Setting: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Goals That Truly Excite You – highly recommended if you haven’t set any clear goals yet

On mindset

On patience

Be Fucking Patient! – How to Deal with Lack of Results (44 min video), Actualized.org

On taking action

Taking Action In Your Life (8 min video), Project Life Mastery

Wait! Before you leave don’t forget to SIGN UP to get your FREE copy of my ebook. It has been downloaded more than 2,000 times now 😉


The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Step 4: Find Your Life Purpose

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You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And 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. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle… – Steve Jobs

Do we have a purpose in life? Are we here on earth for a reason or do we have to find our own purpose in life? Honestly, I don’t really.

The article is the fourth of the following personal development plan series:

So do we have a purpose? Whatever may be the answer, I believe that having a life purpose gives us direction in life and inspires us to do great things while bringing us higher levels of fulfillment at the same time.

In the step 3 of this personal development plan we talked about core values. Identifying your core values will help you find your life purpose as you will be able to better understand what is really inspiring, what really matters to you. It is hard to find your life purpose if you don’t know your core values.

Do I Really Need A Purpose In Life?

Having a clear purpose in life gives you directions and enables you to better focus your energy on a long-term goal that is inspiring you. Focus is the key element to success and without knowing what you want you just can’t focus.

Having a lifetime goal that is based on your deepest values is what will make it possible for you to persevere and to keep going when things are getting tough. As Jim Rohn used to say: when the why is stronger, the how gets easier. It will also allow you to design worthy goals that revolve around that purpose.

How Specific Should Be Your Life Purpose?

Your life purpose doesn’t have to be extremely specific to be valuable. Your life purpose is rather here to give you directions and make it easier for you to make choices in life. You may in fact derive a lot of different goals from your life purpose.

Sometimes, people who really love their job become depressed after they retire or when they happen to lose their job. They suddenly lose their sense of purpose and direction in life. However, if they had a bigger life purpose that goes way beyond the scope of their job in the first place, they would have been able to find another way to express it and would have maintained a strong sense of purpose in their life.

For instance my life purpose is:

“Improving myself every day, living up to my full potential, and helping others realize theirs so that they can live happier, more fulfilling lives.”

It may sound very general to you but it totally resonates with me. It goes beyond the scope of any job. The current way for me to express it would be to have a successful personal development blog, to write books and to coach people to help them improve their lives. Let’s assume now that none of these activities actually work out for me. Then, what would I do? I would find another way to express my life purpose. I could become a teacher of some sort or maybe a counselor and could probably come up with many other possibilities.

The Characteristics Of A Great Life Purpose

I got most of the following points from  the life coach and blogger Celestine Chua’s free e-book Meaning of Life: How To Discover Your Life Purpose (You can get it here). I think they are great points to consider when looking for our life purpose.

A great life purpose should be:

  1. Timeless: If you could use a time travel machine and go back in time or travel to the future, your life purpose would remain the same.
  2. Universal: If you were born in a different part of the world your purpose would still be the same.
  3. Inspiring: Your life purpose should be truly inspiring and allow you to unleash your full potential and experience a real sense of fulfillment. When your purpose resonates within you, what you’re doing doesn’t feel like work.
  4. Transcendent: Your life purpose should allow you to transcend your ego. Most of us work to make a living, to gain recognition, or to feel accepted by the society. A genuine life purpose should come from a place of love, not fear. When you have a clear life purpose, you no longer act out of fear. Although we may not be able to eliminate our egos, we should aim to control it and act from a place of love as much as possible.

Let’s look at my current life purpose now to see if it fits the characteristics mentioned above.

1. Is it timeless? Yes. If I were born one thousand year ago it would still work.

2. Is it universal? Yes. If I were born in a different country it wouldn’t change.

3. Is it inspiring? Yes. For me it is inspiring.

4. Is it transcendent? Yes. At least, I’m trying to act ouf of love, but I should mention that my ego definitely gets in the way in many occasions.

Finding Your Life Purpose Through Your Challenges In life

Sometimes, your greatest difficulties in life can give you strong meanings. Overcoming your challenges and helping other to do the same might very well become your life purpose.

For example, you may have been abused when you were young and decide to spend your life helping others people in the same situation. By doing so, you transform your difficulties into powerful forces for change. You refuse to be seen as a victim and empower yourself and other people.

These kinds of goals fit well the characteristics of a great life purpose. Generally speaking, helping other people overcoming difficulties is universal, timeless, inspiring and transcendent.

What are your biggest challenges in life? Can you leverage them to give you meaning? Can you use them to help others better their life?

What Is It That You Can’t Help To Do?

One more question you can ask yourself is: “what is it that I’m always drawn to? What is it that I can’t help from doing?

Personally, I’m naturally drawn to study. I spend considerable amount of time reading books, but it is also true that I have a terrible memory and have a very hard time remembering what I’m reading. A few years ago, I became so frustraed that I thought about stopping reading books and studying altogether.

However, my desire to study, to learn and to grow was so strong that I actually ended up studying even more. For me, it seems like I cannot escape from studying. I cannot not study.

Looking at what you are constantly drawn to might give you some indications about what may be your calling. You might call it destiny if you like.

Stop Making Finding Your Life Purpose A Big Deal

You may be trying hard to find your life purpose. However, your life purpose doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. Simple things like being a great parent or the great teacher you can possible be may very well constitute inspiring life purposes. It doesn’t really matter if you inspire one person or one million people. If your intend is pure and if it gives you a clear meaning and sense of fulfilment in life, then where is the problem? Whatever it may be, if it is exciting you and giving you intense drive why not follow this calling?

To Go Further

To go further you might want to read Steve Pavlina’s popular series of articles on life purpose here

One final question to help you find your life purpose:

“What would I do if I had all the money and time in the world?”

I hope this article was useful to you and gave you some insights on what your life purpose may be. Leave me a comment below and share with me your life purpose. I would love to know what it is.


 

Also, don’t forget to SIGN UP to get your FREE copy of my ebook. It has been downloaded more than 1,000 times now 😉

   

 

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

This Magical Question Will Guide You Through Your Entire Life!

The Magical Question That Will Guide You Through Your Entire LIfe

Are you overwhelmed by all the personal development websites and resources available online? Are you stuck not knowing in which direction you should go in your life? The magical question I will share with you in this article should put you back on the right track.

I spent a considerable amount of time reading books on personal development and working on myself and oftentimes got lost not knowing what to do. In this article I would like to introduce you the one question that became my go-to question when feeling stuck in life. However, before doing that, let’s have a quick look at the major trap many of us fall in when doing personal development work.

Are you addicted to personal development?

Have you noticed how, sometimes, reading personal development books becomes a way to escape our real problems? We become personal development junkies desperately in need for our dose of inspirational articles.

Research has shown that sharing our goals may have drawbacks. Indeed, we start to believe that we already achieve what we are talking about, or that we are moving into that direction just by talking about it. It may become counterproductive as it prevents us from taking real action since we already feel good about it just by sharing it with other people around us.

Similarly, many people believe that they already accomplishing something by simply reading personal development articles. They are what I would call “personal development addicts”. They read through one article after another browsing through a variety of personal development websites to get their dose of daily motivation; they spend hours and hours watching videos on Youtube. (I know that from experience!).

They do get momentarily inspired by their reading and even think they are going to use some principles, tricks or hacks they found online. However, the reality is that we cannot change our life with simple tricks or hacks we applied here and there.

Become addicted to action not motivation!

We may easily become addicted to motivation and start having all these dreams. However, being addicted to motivation is often a disguised way to escape reality and to refuse to face our problems. I have nothing against getting a daily dose of motivation and actually recommend it, but what we should be addicted to is not motivation but action!

Actually, I believe that one of the reasons why the personal development market is so big is because there are too many personal development addicts that don’t manage to make really change in their life. People would go seminars after seminars and buy book after books for years and years.

So, what should you do? First, if you have been reading and watching personal development resources for years now and didn’t notice significant changes in your life, you may want to have a closer look at what your personal development is really about. Are you addicted to motivation or to action? Getting inspired without taking action is the beginning of delusion.

The magical question is…?

It’s now time to reveal to you the magical question. Myself, I have been reading many books on personal development and on various related topics. However, I reached a point where I became stuck. Should I go for spiritual enlightenment and get rid of my ego or should I stay in the mainstream “Become-a-winner-and-achieve-as-much-as-possible-to-become-someone” type of thinking. Both ways seem to be quite opposite, don’t you think so?

Then, I discovered this one magical question that helps me get back on track and gives me a sense of direction. Here is the question: “Are you getting rid of your fear?” Once I started asking myself this question things became easier for me.

Each time I feel stuck and don’t know what to do I would ask myself “Am I getting rid of my fear or am I running away from them?” By being honest with myself, I would instantly know what needs to be done. (Hint: follow your fears and they will give you the answer you are looking for). If you take a look at the reasons why you are not doing what you want to do, you will always find fears.

Are you getting rid of your fears? Are you acting out of love trying to serve people or are you trying to get something from them?

What fear is

So what fears am I referring to here? I’m talking about fears as manifestations of the ego. (For a better understanding of how the ego works read my article: “What Is The Ego”). We all have fears and these fears manifest in many different ways. For some people it is through shyness, for others it is through anger, and for others jealousy. Other examples include fear of failure, fear of success, fear of death, fear of other people’s opinion, fear of public speaking, fear of being seen as a fraud etc.

Fear also manifests itself through procrastination. A common problem is putting of a task we dread to do. Of course, we may put of a task because it is more comfortable not to do it now! However, in many cases, it is because of fear. We fear that we may not be up to the task. Or we are afraid to send this email to someone because we feel like we are not qualified to do so.

However fear is not a tangible thing. Most fears when they are face through action will in fact lose their grip on you. Fears, when not faced, will prevent you from reaching a higher level of fulfillment in life. Your fears will blind you from seeing your real potential. So, are you getting rid of your fears?

Getting rid of your fears is all there is

Getting rid of your fears is the noblest thing you can do. Actually, it is probably all you can do.

When you don’t feel good enough and try to compare yourself to other people around, just ask yourself “Am I getting rid of my fears?” If you are doing your best to get rid of your fears on a regular basis, then, you can stop self-criticism entirely. In life all you can do is eliminate your fear and remove your ego in order to keep growing. Everything else is secondary. There is no need to compare yourself to anyone else. Your IQ, your personality, your experience, your memory, your dreams, your talents, your weak points, nobody has the same combination, nobody will ever be like you. Ever!

Sucking at something is fine, not facing your fears is not

Let’s be honest, there are many things in life you suck at! You may spend a lot of time and energy being ashamed and trying to hide it. Or you may try hard to get better at it. Why not just sucking at it? Sometimes it is okay to embrace your “suckiness”.

Sucking at something is fine as long as it is not an excuse to escape from your fears. If you’ve never really tried something because you are scared of it, then you will likely suck at it. For instance, if you’ve never given a speech in public because you are afraid of it, you won’t be very good. How could you?

I will make you a confidence: my memory sucks! Not the short-term memory you can train through games but the long-term memory. I can hardly remember movies, I forget most of what I’ve read if I don’t take notes and review them regularly. Recently, on several occasions I met people that seem to remember me quite well, but I didn’t remember them at all! I used to compare myself to others, but what did I do for me? Nothing. Nothing good came out of this.

You don’t have to be perfect

Most of us can find something in our life we have a hard time living with because it is not  the “norm”. At some point we just have to stop giving a f*** about it. If you can be honest with yourself, recognize your fears and face them a little bit every day, then you are truly doing an awesome job. Much better than most people in fact.

You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to be rich, famous, smart, handsome or anything else that society may be telling you; you just have to confront your fears little by little and outgrow them.

So, let me ask you that question again: Are you getting rid of your fears? How would you honestly respond to me?

Make sure you ask yourself this question on a regular basis. Make it your go-to questions and you will be fine.

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

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Goal setting: Brian Tracy Shares His Seven Step Method To Achieve Goals

You can take a masters degree at a leading university and never receive a single hour of instruction on goal setting and goal achieving. Fortunately, setting a goal is a skill. – Brian Tracy

Do you have clear goals? Many of us don’t!

In this article I would like to introduce you a video by Brian Tracy on how to set goals.

Here is his 7 Steps Methods:

1. Decide exactly what you want

It is hard to achieve your goals if you don’t know exactly what you want. Unfortunately, many people are not very clear about their goals (when they do have goals). Losing weight, making money or being happy are not goals, they are merely wishes. Goals that aren’t specific, measurable are unlikely to be achieved. Once you have clear goals, you will have your subconscious work for you.

2. Write your goals down

Only a few percent of people write down their goals (3% according to Brian Tracy). Writing down your goals activate your subconscious and start turning your goals into reality.

3. Set a clear deadline

Having a clear deadline activate your subconscious mind and force you to move forward. Keep looking at your deadline on a regular basis

4. Make a list of everything that will help you achieve your goals

Make a list of everything you could think of that will help you achieve your goals and keep writing until the list is complete. Having a list helps you chunk down your goals and create sub-deadline when necessary. No matter how big a goal is, it is always nothing more than a successful of small tasks.

Think strategically:

  • How can I cut my learning curve?
  • Who can help me?
  • What kind of action took people who achieved similar goals? What was their mindset? What was their action plan?
  • What kind of person do I need to become to achieve these goals?

5. Organize your list

Once you have your list, organize it, first by sequence and then by priority.

You are probably familiar with the 80/20 rule. 20% of the tasks that are on your list will bring 80% of the results. We generally spend too much doing things that are not really important. I believe there are mainly two reasons for that. The first one is simply because we didn’t take the time to identify the key tasks, and prioritize our work accordingly. The second reason is because we are afraid to tackle those big tasks. For that reason, we procrastinate by focusing on petty tasks (more or less consciously) and aren’t really making progress. Are guilty of that too?

The best tip I can give you is to start working on your most important task first thing in the morning. What I like to do, and find the most effective, is to start working on my most important task even before having breakfast or taking a shower. If you work from home, that is a good thing to try. (Make a list of your task fro the day, the day before or first thing in the morning)

To identify your most important task you can ask yourself the following question “Which task would make me the happiest and bring me the most relief, if I could complete it today”.

6. Do something immediately to achieve your goal

Right after you set your goal, take immediate action while it is still fresh in your mind. As Jim Rohn says “Here is the time to act: when the idea is hot, and the emotion is strong. That is the time to act“. I find it to be very true. A month from now, this great idea you have now will only be a remote memory. It will be gone forever. If the idea is hot, and your emotion is strong, take action!

7. Do something EVERY DAY

It is vital that you take action every day in order to move closer to your goal. In order to make it easy for you to do so, it is important to create daily habits that will support your goals. Your willpower is limited, so simply relying on motivation is not a good strategy. It is far more effective to implement two or three daily habits that will help you achieve your goals than to rely solely on motivation. To learn more about habits see my article How To Form Habits Effortlessly -The Power of The Compound Effect

Brian Tracy’s Exercise:

Make a list of ten goals that you would like to achieve next year or so and write them down. Then ask yourself: “If I could only achieve one goal on this list, which one goal woud have the greatest positive impact on my life? Circle that goal.” This becomes the goal you will constantly focus on. Follow the 7 steps above and keep thinking about your goal. Review your goals before going to bed and when you wake up in the morning. Lastly, and more importantly, take action!

What about you? What is your most important goal? Leave a comment below and share it with me.

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

My Goals Report For 2014

Nothing happens, no forward steps are taken until a goal is established. Without goals individuals just wander through life. They stumble along. Never knowing where they are going, so they never get anywhere. – David J. Schwartz, The Magic Of Thinking Big

Goal Setting

Taking the time to set goals and make them measurable is a determinant factor of our success. Having goals means we are moving towards a direction we have clearly identified instead of hanging around just hoping that good things will happen in the future. A pen, a piece of paper and your brain is all you need to set goals so why not setting your goals for 2015?

My goals report for 2014

Coaching

  • I will definitely coach 10 people for free  (5)
  • I will definitely create original business cards for my coaching business (work in progress)
  • I will definitely meet 5 life coaches  (2)

Public Speaking

  • I will definitely give one speech in a school or any other institution – not accomplished
  • Toastmasters
    • I will definitely give 7 speeches (4 in Japanese, 3 in English)  
    • I will definitely be Toastmaster of the evening one time  
    • I will definitely be Topicsmaster (one time in English and one time Japanese) not accomplished
    • I will definitely be evaluator one time – not accomplished

Personal Development

  • I will launch a blog that generate 20,000 pages viewed monthly in December 2014  (10,019 pages views per month)
  • I will definitely have 20 articles published on my blog (21)
  • I will definitely record 10 videos and put them on Youtube and on my blog  (15)
  • I will definitely publish a 20-pages e-book on personal development on Amazon, selling easily 100 copies a month (17,000 words written so far)

Finance

  • I will definitely generate a cumulated revenue of ¥200,000/month in December 2014 (part time job, blog…)  ¥110,000

Health

  • I will definitely move towards becoming a vegetarian:
    • I will buy books about vegetarianism 
    • I will experience vegetarianism for one month
  • I will definitely meditate for 20 minutes every single day without any exception I was pretty consistent but didn’t do it every single day. Since I created a chain of habits about a month ago. I’ve been doing it consistently every single day.
  • I will definitely run/walk every morning without any exception  I’ve been walking but not necessarily every day
  • I will definitely join the 10 Day Vipassana meditation course, write an article about it, and publish it on my blog. Course was cancelled. Still thinking whether I should apply this year.

Relationships

  • I will definitely approach a total of 1,000 women in bars, shops or in the street  75

1,000 women is too much! After having work on it for one month or two I dropped that goal because I didn’t have enough time or motivation to pursue it. I’m thinking about what I could do this year to work on my confidence and get out of my comfort.

 

Few takeaways from setting goals

Be flexible: over time, as we change, our goals are likely to change. Goals that were exciting a few months ago might not be exciting anymore. We should remember that goals are here for only one reason: to help us grow and improve our life. If some goals are not relevant anymore, if we prefer to spend more time on other goals or if we discover more inspiring and exciting goals, we should not hesitate to drop some of our original goals.

Goals are personal: sharing our goals publicly should not make us feel like we have to achieve them no matter what. We don’t have to prove anything to anyone. What we do we our goals is our business.

About sharing goals: sharing goals might be a powerful way to motivate ourselves but it might backfire if we announce publicly goals are likely to change in the future. We might feel like we must accomplish them in order to keep our promise, or we might be stubborn or want to prove people that we can achieve them even when they don’t really matter anymore to us. Keep that factor in mind when you decide to share your goals. Sharing goals that are unlikely to change, like deciding to quit smoking might be a good idea but sharing other goals might not necessary be in your interest.

Some studies show that when we share our goals to someone, it tends to become part of our reality and we feel less need to work towards that goal. It is as if we already accomplished it in our mind and we didn’t need to work that hard to achieve it. Be aware of that too.

 

See also: Why Goal Setting Is Important? – A Powerful Method To Achieve Your Goals

My Goals For 2014 – Set Your Goals Too

 

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How To Form Habits Effortlessly – The Power Of The Compound Effect

how to form habits effortlessly - The power of the compound effect

Have you ever try to form a new habit but fail multiple times? Me too. Unfortunately, our willpower is limited and this is the reason why we fail to follow through new habits or discipline ourself. What makes habits so powerful is that they require no or very limited willpower and allow us to accomplish way more things that we could if we were to rely solely on our willpower. In this article I show you how to form new habits effortlessly

The common mistake that we make is:

  • To implement too many habits at the same time
  • To build them in a way that requires too much willpower to be sustainable

Some successful people seem to have incredible discipline or willpower, but what really differentiate then from other people is that they understand the power of the compound effect and how small steps and daily habits can create great results in their life. The quality of your habits will greatly determine the quality of your life. That’s why it is important to master the process of forming habits.

The 21 days Myth

You probably heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. However, the reality is that it depends on what kind of habit you are trying to form and how much willpower it requires you. Simple habits like drinking a glass of water when you wake up can be formed in about 20 days but other habits might take up to 80 days or more. Be patient!

How To Form Habits Effortlessly

Consistency over intensity

Generally, what we want is habits we will stick to for the rest of our life or at least for a long period of time. However, often people are too focused on the short-term and want to see major changes quickly. They use too much willpower to try to maintain their new habits. Inevitably they fail. Diet is a perfect example of that situation. If you are to commit yourself for a health habit, a productivity habit or any other kind of habit for the rest of your life, who cares how small you start. What matters is consistency! Start small and do it every single day.

Implement a daily habit

What is the daily habit that would have the most impact on your life in the long run? How can you make it easy to follow through every day?

Examples of daily habits

  • Meditating
  • Drinking a cup of green tea
  • Eating an apple
  • Exercising
  • Reading self-help books or books in your field of expertise
  • Cleaning your place

You could choose to form the new habit of meditating everyday for 2 minutes if it sounds reasonable for you, or to start running for 3 minutes. It is entire up to you.

How to know how small you should start?

First be totally honest with yourself. You should be able to answer the following question by yes: “If I’m doing XX for XX min, would I be able to keep doing it everyday even when I’m sick, tired or busy?”

If it is so easy why most people don’t do it?

The answer is simple: because it is easy not to do.

If you don’t meditate for a week, nothing is going to happen to you, but if you do it consistently for years, the impact on your life will be huge. Similarly, if you don’t eat an apple a day, what’s the big deal? Nothing right? At least, in the short-term. What about in the long-term? What if eating an apple a day seems so easy to do that you decide to also drink a cup of green tea. Then, to put only one sugar in your coffee instead of two etc. What do you think will be the impact on your life of such a seemingly small and insignificant habit like eating an apple a day?

Attach positive emotions to your new habits

Starting small with a limited amount of effort that you are confident you can go through every day will make it easy for you to consistently keep building and reinforcing that new habit. You might even enjoy it! If you want to keep a habit for the rest of your life, what not try to enjoy it as much as possible. What you want to do is to condition yourself to associate positive feelings to your new habit.

Here is one you can do:

  • Make it a rule to feel as excited and happy as you can about what you are doing. It’s a great opportunity to improve your acting skills at the same time 🙂 Talk out loud to yourself and express how excited you are. Have fun.
  • Find a way to make whatever you are doing funny or enjoyable(be creative, try to find a new way every day)
  • Take a few seconds to celebrate and congratulate yourself each time to reinforce the positive association
  • Make a list of all the benefits that the new habit will bring in your life. Why is it beneficial to you? Don’t hesitate to look on internet to find even more benefits. Then, select the benefits that are the more appealing to you and remind yourself every day of those benefits while working on your habit
    • Ex: A few benefits of meditation: (see Is Meditation for Everyone? and Meditation For Busy People – How To Find Time In Your Schedule To Meditate)
      • Reduce stress
      • Increase happiness
      • Improve emotional stability
      • Increase concentration
      • Increase self-awareness
      • Increase creativity
      • Increase your energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
      • Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
    •  Cleaning:
      • Increase self-esteem (“Self-esteem is the reputation you we acquire with ourselves”. When we have guests we clean our house. Why? Because we respect our guests. Treating ourselves as important guests in our home is a proof of self-respect)
      • Increase productivity (A clean room, a tidy desk and a well-organized computer creates a distraction-free environment and foster productivity)

These are just examples. I’m sure you can find many benefits you will get from forming whatever new habits you want to implement in your life.

What is the trigger for your habit?

There is always something that triggers our habits. For instance, waking up is a trigger. What do you do when you first wake up in the morning? What do your do after taking a shower? What do you do when you first arrive at work? Decide now what would be the trigger for your new habit?

Ex: Taking a shower and getting dressed is my trigger for my cleaning habit

Create a chain of habits

You can create a chain of habits by connecting habits with each others. One habit becomes the trigger for another habit.

Ex: In my case finishing cleaning is the trigger for boiling water for my green tea. Boiling water is the trigger for taking my vitamins, having my green tea ready on my desk is the trigger for meditating etc… After a while everything will become automatic.

It’s your turn now

  1. Choose a habit that would have a positive impact on your life
  2. Set up the rules so that you feel confident enough to follow through every day
  3. Make a list of all the benefits that the new habit will provide you with
  4. Select the trigger for your habit
  5. Do it everyday

Don’t implement more than 2 or 3 habits at the same time or you won’t be able to sustain those habits. If you think you can manage it and that it would be beneficial to you, progressively extend the time you spend running, meditating or doing whatever you are doing. Or you might want to add a cup of green tea to accompany your apple. When you feel like you really master a habit, you can form a new habit and so on. Don’t forget to create a chain of habits whenever you can.

What new habits do you want to create in your life? Share it with me by leaving a comment below. Thank you 🙂

See also: Is Meditation for Everyone?

Meditation For Busy People – How To Find Time In Your Schedule To Meditate

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

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The Power of Visualization – A Simple Example of How You Can Use Positive Visualization

Photo du 16-09-14 à 23.50 #2
The Power of Positive Visualization

In this article I would like to show you how to use visualization to achieve your goals.

You nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a « real » experience. In either case it reacts automatically to information which you give to it from your forebrain. – Maxwell Maltz, Psycho-Cybernetics

Visualization As a Way to Practice

Our imagination is probably one of the most powerful tools we have to develop ourself and improve our life. Our imagination allows us to create in our mind any kind of experiences at any time. You can practice anything in your mind as often as you want and for free. Actually, professional players, chess players, golfers, generals in the army, CEOs and many other succcessful people are using visualization everyday. You are using it too whether you are aware of it or not but chances are that most of the time it is to visualize negative things. You might be worrying about the future and visualizing yourself losing your job or failing an exam, or you might be dwelling on the past.

The reality is that we cannot clearly distinguish real experiences from “fake” experiences, which means that we can trick our mind by simulating desired experiences through visualization making it believe that it is real. The more details you visualize, the more your brain will interprete that experience as real. If you believe you have a poor imagination don’t worry; imagination is like a muscle. Take the practice of visualization as a good opportunity for you to improve your imagination.

In the 1960s an experiment evaluating students on their ability to score free throws at basketball under different conditions was conducted. Students were divided into three groups: one group was asked to train 20 minutes a day for 20 days, one group was asked not to train at all, and one group was asked to practice free throws but only in their imagination 20 minutes a day for 20 days. What the experiment revealed is that, the group who practiced only in their imagination performed almost exactly as well as students who actually practiced. Students who practiced improved in scoring 24% while students who practiced in their imagination improved in scoring 23%. Students who didn’t train didn’t show any improvement. This experiment was replicated many times and showed similar results.

Change Your Self-Image Through Visualization

The more you practice visualization, the more you will start to feel that what you are visualizing is becoming real. Visualization will help you deal with your limiting beliefs and change your self-image. Indeed, all your current belief system is regulated by what you’ve experienced through your life, what your professors, your parents or the media told you and that you accepted as the “truth”. What visualization allows you is to create new experiences and accumulate them in your brain. By doing so you can progressively reshape your self-image by reaching your subconscious mind.

It is no exaggeration to say that every human being is hypnotized to some extent, either by ideas he has uncritically accepted from others, or ideas he has repeated to himself or convinced himself are true – Maxwell Maltz

By visualizing everyday the life you want to have and the person you want to be, you will start to affect your subconscious mind and modify your self-image. Our subconscious mind accept any kind of information it received as true. Thus, if we create new experiences by using our imagination, new beliefs will be created, our interpretation of the world will change and our self-image will be reshaped. Our subconcious mind, which Maxwell Maltz calls an automatic goal-striving machine, will accept those new experiences as true and will work towards achieving the goals we have set based on those experiences. That’s why it is important to have clear goals. The clearer your goals, the better your subconscious mind will support you.

Ideally you should constantly visualize where you want to be in 5 years or 10 years. In your mind, you should already be where you want to be years before you actually get there. Visualization is like meditation, you should practice everyday to alter progressively your self-image and move towards your goals.

 

A Simple Example of How I Use Visualization

I used to feel awkward when talking with teachers. I considered myself as inferior to them and hadn’t the confidence to really talk to them. When I bumped into teachers I would say “hi” but would feel awkward having a conversation with them or asking them questions. One day I came up with the idea of visualizing myself bumping into them and imagined they smiled at me as if I was their best friend. In my apartment I would literally imagine myself opening my arms and hug them, or high five them while saying out loud “How are you doing man?” or “What’s up bro!”.  I repeat this exercise everyday for about two weeks. After that, I bumped into several teachers but strangely enough I didn’t feel awkward anymore and actually I had small conversations with them and asked them some questions.

If for instance, there is someone you are not at ease talking with, you might want to try this technique. I would be curious to know how it works for you.

Practical Exercise

As I mentioned in my article about meditation don’t make things complicated or find excuses not to start something. Let’s make it simple. Don’t worry if you are not good at visualizing. Our imagination is like a muscle it has to be trained (I suck at visualizing. That’s why I want to practice too).

In this article I would like to challenge you to practice visualization for just 5 minutes a day for a month.

Here are some guidelines (for more details check the video below)

– Sit down and close your eyes

– Focus on a specific goal (being confident, being slim, earning a specific amount of money, doing your dream job…)

– Visualize your goal with as much details as possible and as if you already accomplished it (How do you feel? What do you do? How do you behave? What do you hear?)

– Focus on the same goal for a month

The more you will practice the clearer your goal will become and the more emotion you will attach to your vision, the powerful it will be.

I must admit that I haven’t seriously dug into visualization yet. For that reason, I declare here that I will commit myself to the practice of visualization for at least 5 minutes a day for a full month (from September 18th to October 18th).

Let’s practice visualization together for a month and see how it goes! Leave me a comment below and share with me what is the goal you want to focus on.

Video explaining how to practice visualization

 

A powerful motivational video about Arnold Schwarzenegger where he talked a little bit about visualization

http://youtu.be/XZXSC5j0Glw?list=PL-cGIHnfcmneofURWli3fCDE0S_PuNq_5

See also: Is Meditation For Everyone?

The Power of Visualization – A Simple Example of How You Can Use Positive Visualization

Why Goal Setting is Important? – A Powerful Method to Achieve Your Goals

wy goal setting is important - a powerful method to achieve your goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is goal setting so important?  Why do people set goals? One of the main reason why setting goals is important is that it is human nature to strive when in pursuit of a goal. Having great goals makes us feel alive, gives meaning to our life. That’s the reason why many people feel empty after they retire from their job if they don’t take the time to set new goals to achieve.

In our professional life, we generally have goals set but we usually don’t take the time to set clear goals for our personal life. Many people spend a considerable amount of time to plan their next vacation in details, looking for the best location, comparing prices, buying the necessary equipment but how many people really take the time to plan their future? If you start planning everything in advance and constantly setting goals you will achieve way more that you would normally achieve.

However, there is no point setting goals you cannot achieve. That’s why you need to have a clear strategy to ensure you will achieve your goals. With the right strategy, most of your goals are achievable. Most of the time the reason people fail to achieve their goals is not because their goal is to hard, but because they don’t have the right strategy.

How to achieve personal goals


The biggest mistake is to set goals that are vague. For instance, “I’m gonna lose weight” or “I want to become rich”. Your goal should be very clear. Clarity is the key!

I will lose 10 kilos by March 31st

I will earn $10,000 per month by December 31st of next year

Decide how much and when.

Decide on the day or even on the hour by which you will achieve your goal. The clearer the better. It is very important! You should constantly try to find a way to measure any of your goals, because otherwise you cannot be held accountable and cannot track your results. When you find a way to measure your goals it will become suddenly more real, more tangible.

Choose a goal that you know you can achieve but that will be quite challenging

You want a goal that will push you out of your comfort and make you feel better once you achieve it. If the goal is out of reach you will have no motivation or you will feel desperate and your self-esteem will suffer. Don’t compare yourself with other people. No matter how small is your achievement, if you had to push yourself a little bit to achieve your goal it is a big success that you should celebrate. It might not be a big deal for others but it is for you. And you matter!

Ambitious goals are good, but they should be followed by massive actions in order to be achievable.

Write all the reasons why you want to achieve that goal

Why is it so important for you? Make sure your goal truly matters to you and is not something you are doing just for your family, your friends or your colleagues. Intrinsic motivation is always better than extrinsic motivation. Make sure you don’t spend years pursuing a goal that is not going to make you happy.

Write down your goals. 

Writing down your goals makes them more real. A pen and a piece of paper can work wonder when you think about your life! Make sure you write your goals using positive words and read your goals everyday.

Make the necessary preparations before starting your goal

If you would like to be thinner, spend all your time with skinny people. Have all your meals with skinny people – Vasant Lad

You have a limited willpower. Save it as much as possible. Don’t try to become a vegetarian if your father is a butcher! (just an image :)) Try to create a friendly and supportive environment that will help you achieve your goal. If you want to become a vegetarian buy recipe books, fill you fridge with vegetables and fruits, join a vegetarian association before getting started.

Share your goals with as many people as possible.

For instance, if you want to lose 10 kilos, make a public announcement at work in front of your colleagues. Tell all your family members about your goals. Whenever possible, tell people you encounter that you are on a diet and you will lose 10 kilos by March 31st. You should commit yourself so that you have no way backwards. Make it your reality. If you don’t feel confident enough to do that, it means that your goal might be too ambitious for you right now and or you don’t really want it. In that case, you might want to check whether your goal is achievable or not and modify it if necessary.

When talking about your goals, avoid using vocabulary such as “I will try”, “I think”,  “Maybe”, “If it goes well” but use “I will”, “When I will achieve”, “I know I will”, “I definitely will”.

Anticipate all possible ways it can go wrong and elaborate a strategy. 

The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate – Thomas Watson

We tend to be overoptimistic regarding our ability to achieve a goal and more than often we underestimate the amount of work and the time necessary to perform a task. Ask yourself what things can happen that will prevent you from achieving your goals? If your goals are long-term goals, chances are that you will face multiple setbacks before you succeed. In the past I had many goals but I didn’t achieve most of them. One of the reasons was obviously my lack of confidence. Other major reasons were that I was overly optimistic and was not prepared mentally to face major setbacks. I would try to create a blog about Japan but would give up due to the many technical difficulties I encountered. I would wait for everything to be perfect before launching the blog. This blog was never created. I planned to make videos of my trips abroad and publish them; it never happened. Once I understood that failure was actually part of the process and not an anomaly it helped me significantly to achieve my goals. Here is how I see setbacks or failures: setbacks are here to test you, to see how bad you want it. When you set a goal, you have to be clear not only about your goal but about what you are ready to go through to achieve that goal. If you already made your mind that huge setbacks are likely to occur, you will be prepared to face them and be able to keep pushing and move forward. You should already know how you’re going to react to potential setbacks before they occur.

Avoid putting yourself in difficult situations

If your objective is to lose weight or to stop smoking for instance, you should avoid temptation. Identify all those situations where you are at risk, think of what makes you fail in your previous attempt and see how you can avoid those situations. Maybe you like to have a cigarette when you are drinking coffee, when you eat outside or when you are under stress. Identify those kinds of situations and come up with an effective strategy.

Sharing goals with other people is a great way to push ourselves to take action. Do you have any goals you are working on currently? Please leave me a comment below and let me know how it is going.

 

See also :

My goals for 2014

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