Ride the Wave of Momentum

When looking at people Zuzzuillo@FreeDigitalPhotos.net ID-10076595around, have you ever observed that successful people are likely to become more successful? Sad people tend to be even more sad? Enthusiastic people get more and more enthusiastic? Rich people get richer? These people know where they are and have a projection of where they want to be. If you see yourself depressed in the future, this is the path you will be following. Same if you think you will succeed big. Some people would call this virtuous or vicious circle. Regardless of how you call it, momentum is more than a buzz word.

What is momentum?

Momentum is when you have found a pattern and you follow it to bring you to a desired result. When you got a new job, your spouse loves you and your health keeps improving, you feel you have gained momentum. This is a relentless force that comes from a combination of past performance and future expectations. Think of momentum as a wind that can carry you forward or push you back, based on what direction you choose to sail. Momentum is when you break out through procrastination and decide to take action, consistently, every single day.

Momentum can be harnessed

Why it’s possible? Because I have quit eating junk food and the results are still visible today, it totally shifted my approach to food and living a healthier life. I can enjoy more energy and feel better about my choice when it comes to food. The moment I feel tempted to eat that tempting burger and say “No, I have the power to carry on”, that’s when I harness momentum. It’s day to day choices that you make consistently that add up exponentially that generate momentum.

Momentum drives motivation

You need motivation to reach momentum, but once you ride the wave, every single reinforcement of your choices, every milestone achieved for your master plan is in turn strengthening your motivation to keep on going. Momentum and motivation go hand in hand, creating positive spirals.

Momentum reveals unlimited possibilities

What if you would read 30 pages per day for the next 10 years? What if you could improve your business just 0.1% per day for the next 5 years? How would you feel to increase your revenue by 10% each quarter? What if you would meet a new person a day? How many sales would you make if reaching out to 10 potential customers daily? How many distinctions would you make by attending one seminar a month? Momentum opens up a world of possibility by building up resilience in your day to day activities, putting you in line with your most ambitious plans.

How to ride the wave of momentum?

First of all, acknowledge there is at least one area of your life where you have to break the pattern. Whether it’s your addiction to a certain “drug” such as television, smoking, fat or computer, or simply a lack of desire to get out and meet new people, there is definitely something that you would NEED to change in order to reach your goals in a particular area of your life.

There are 5 steps to achieve momentum:

  1. Decide what it is you want to change
  2. Define an implementation plan
  3. Start now, do not postpone for tomorrow
  4. Repeat the new activity to transform it into a habit
  5. Praise yourself each time you are consistent

Breaking through barriers against momentum

On your journey to reach momentum and transform your life, there will be moments when you would feel like quitting. There will always be some people criticizing you, letting you down and showing how you won’t be able to quit smoking, build up your savings account or start your own business. These are people that are projecting their own reality and beliefs on yourself. Don’t blame and don’t judge them.

On the other hand, you have no liability to spend your time with average people that don’t support you. Focus your energy instead on doing what drives you forward and spend more time with people that help you achieve a state of high energy and determination. If an approach does not work, change it. If someone criticizes you, reply “Thank you for the feedback” and in your mind say “NEXT!” Be persistent with your dreams, you are the only one that can harness the power of momentum and fight for your causes. Else, you will end up working for someone else’s dream and that might not be as enticing.

Are you ready to ride the wave of momentum?

Check what I call your “change resources”: either you are so fed up with the status quo, that you say “No more! I am going to make a change NOW!” or you are so driven towards something you really like, being ready to go all the way to get what you want, either positive or negative motivation works. Ideally, use both to create a state of urgency. There is no other option than to change and be consistent in whatever you have chosen to do for your transformation journey.

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Create Accountability and Stay on Track

franky242@FreeDigitalPhotos.net ID-100198992As long as you believe that things just happen to you instead of you taking control of things, it’s hard to feel responsible about the trajectory of your life. Yes, there are definitely situations out of your control, but whatever you can influence should be on your radar. Now this is a double edged sword. Thinking that you can change your surroundings, including yourself can summon the creative genius inside you or can give rise to frustration from not taking the steps to actually think about these shifts you can make and actually implement them. I shall mention it is easier to adopt a passive attitude and believe in destiny, luck or acts of God. While the divinity concept shall not be denied, even if you are extremely religious you shall remember God gave us the power to choose. It is this critical element that makes a huge difference. We make decisions every single moment. Whether to walk or stand still, if to eat pasta or pizza, if to attend law or medical school, etc. The lack of decision is a decision in itself.

The impact of decisions on your energy levels

Did you ever feel how painful a bad decision can be? What about the uplifting feeling when doing the right thing? Decisions are an early trigger for how you will feel later, when the effect becomes noticeable. Learning how to make faster and better decisions help you not only experience joy when finding out you’ve chosen right, but also gives you pleasure at the moment you decide: you already get excited by anticipating the rewards of making that particular choice. Shying away from decisions is letting someone else take charge of your results. If you do so, be ready to bear the consequences.

Don’t let someone else drive your car unless you can accept you can be involved in a crash you could have avoided should you have opted to be on the driver seat instead. Link pleasure to taking decisions and pain to postponing or outsourcing them to someone else. To put it more extreme, if you recognize to yourself that you run away from decisions, why do you live in a free country? You’re wasting most of the potential freedom has to offer. Don’t behave like living in a dictatorship when you live in a democratic country. You have options. You are responsible for your actions. You have been given the choice to design your life. Instead of getting angry at the enormous amount of decisions you have to make, be grateful that you have a wide range of options.

How to create accountability?

First step: Enroll in decision making

If you don’t enroll deliberately in a challenge, it’s hard to feel accountable. For instance, if you never volunteered to find a solution for increasing the company’s income by 20% by year end, can you really be responsible for this? Not quite. You need to join in and take the lead. Don’t wait to let odds choose in your place. Pick the games you want to play and always ask more from yourself than anybody else could humanly expect.

Second step: Stop blaming others

It’s hard to resist, you know it. Making others wrong, holding them accountable and finding excuses makes you feel less guilty of your lousy results. “I didn’t have the time”. “I’m too young”. “I don’t have the money”. “It’s only his fault”. “I got distracted”. “If only I knew this before”. These are nothing but very common excuses, trying to pass on the responsibility.

What if you were a client of a top restaurant, paying 70 bucks for a fancy meal, it turns out to be marginally edible and when calling in the waiter to explain your situation, you get the following reply: “It’s not my fault, the chef messed up your dish”. Then the waiter walks away and you have to admit you paid 70 bucks for a meal that’s not even worth 10. Would you go to the same restaurant? Would you recommend it? Definitely no. Could it have been different? Yes, if only the waiter took responsibility. That’s what you do to yourself when putting the blame on others. You cut your chances of trusting yourself and being trusted by others. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather employ someone that tries hard to succeed, fails and takes the blame instead of someone never trying or passing on the guilt to some person or circumstance. In the world of business and generally in our society, true leaders stand up, speak for what’s right and admit their mistakes.

Third step: Develop metrics and track progress

Peter Drucker, the father of modern management claimed that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. Obviously, if you don’t know how you are standing, you are not going to find a consistent way to improve. When making a decision and taking on a new challenge, establish specific goals and milestones. Use numbers or contingencies to define exactly what success means. Lay it on paper, make it easily reachable. Revise your plan and track your metrics as you progress. Make adjustments and keep looking for ways to improve. Know your metrics.

One of the fundamental differences between a manager and a new hire is the knowledge of key metrics. While an intern might have spent hours on building an accrual while closing the books, it will take some good minutes to check if it’s correct. The manager however has a brief looks and sends back the e-mail: “Approved”. Is it skill? Probably not, considering it took only one minute. That person knows the range for that metric in an out. If the monthly average for that accrual is EUR 300K, coming with a result of EUR 400K is surely not passing without further investigation. Does this make the EUR 300K right without auditing? Definitely not, but at least it does not raise big concerns. It’s an easy way to manage.

Fourth step: Share your goals

Let others know what is your wildest plan, your burning desire to reach the next level. You say: “Whaaat?! I don’t want others to inflict bad luck, demotivate me or even laugh at me.” If this is the case, are you really convinced your goal is what you want? If you are ready to face criticism, it means it is strong enough to be worth the risk of making it public. Some people even mention being afraid of getting their ideas copied. However, people that keep everything to themselves rarely hit it big in life. Why? Because we are dependent on others in some way or another at some point when climbing the ladder. There’s so much of the road we can walk alone. The main real reason why people don’t share their plans is fear of failure and the accountability that comes with it. They don’t want to take the blame. But if you don’t take the risk, you don’t take the opportunity either. You stay in the same mundane median bracket of the average people, producing average results. If this is what you want, keep it for yourself. If you want to improve, be accountable and take feedback, talk to others about your ideas, get new insights and filter the so called “toxic people” that let you down and tear apart your dreams. Choose people that support you and by telling them what you intend to do, you inherently let them hold you responsible for your outcome, while getting valuable feedback in the process. Ready for the challenge?

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The Why Beats the How

artur84@FreeDigitalPhotos.net ID-100151975When the “why” is not strong enough, the “how” does not even matter. Why? Because when you don’t have a clear justification for setting a goal, there are endless reasons for derailing you from achieving your outcome. Today, too many people are overly concerned with the “how”: how to make 1 million dollars, how to become the best tennis player, how to get the highest grades in University. In case they don’t reach the target, they feel powerless, defeated. When they do get there, they say to themselves: “Is this all there is?” The happiness vanquishes immediately and there is a feeling of insecurity, of lack of meaning. Did you ever achieve something big in the eyes of others, but felt worthless? How others perceive success can be very different from our own definition.

Clarifying why you want to get something has tremendous power. If you want to become the best comedian in your town, why is it so? Being a comedian is a means to an end. You want to be a great comedian because you make people laugh. Why would you like to see people laughing? Is it because you like to analyze their reactions? Not necessarily. Is it because it makes you feel important? Maybe. What about choosing to be a comedian because you were always ignored by your family and friends and had a pretty sad life and you don’t want others to go through the same? What if you try to mask your own drama? Then, is comedy the best way to achieve that feeling of joy and fulfillment? Can joining an NGO have a comparable effect? If yes, then you need to revisit your “why”.

The WHY in the corporate world

Just to give an example as to why it is important to figure out the real reason behind an action or a plan, let’s consider the reports processed in an FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis) department of a corporation. During audits and also as part of the VSA (Value Stream Analysis) or simply team meetings concerning current activity, it becomes obvious that certain reports are still maintained for historical reasons. Sometimes you cannot get a single reason as to why certain formulas are used or even entire spreadsheets are built. “That’s the way we used to do things here”. Why?! Nothing can get a new manager or a new team member crazier than this last phrase. A lot of resources are wasted on doing things that are not relevant for the current situation. We put significant effort into improving what shall not be done at all.

The WHY in day to day life

What stands out immediately:
• The medicines prescribed by a doctor. You have a flu, you get antibiotics. You have a headache, you get Ibuprofen or a generic painkiller. Why do we treat the effect and not the cause? Why do we use the same old approach? Simple: because the “how” matters more than the “why”. Getting things done, that’s why!
• Friends outguessing your mood. You don’t have to have a reason for drinking, staying out late or smoking. Your friends decide that’s how you get to change your mood and it’s hard to resist.
• Parents making wrong assumptions. “If I did it, you can do it”, “You must be a straight A student”, “You need to learn how to be the best soccer player”, these are all parent ambitions that are backed up by valuable advice, but neglect almost entirely the most important element: does the kid want to do all this and what’s the meaning for him or her?
• Governments deciding how to implement new taxes. Why think about the impact, we need more money. The population is ageing, we can’t keep up with pension expenses. These are all legit comments, but why increase taxes when you can find other ways to leverage innovation for instance and foster growth? Getting the solution right is not enough. We first need to evaluate why shall we make a change and what that change will bring.
• Deciding that a person is not capable. So many times there are instances when people focus on how someone can fail, at which magnitude, that it’s unbelievable. Why not seeing the motivation and drive behind someone’s actions and judging just the means of achieving that goal? If I am a gardener today, talking all day about becoming a great writer, why do I need to hear how I would miserably fail?

Get your WHY right

It sounds overly simplistic, but there are countless instances when we focus on how to do things better, how to improve, how to outperform others and we lose track of what’s important. Every single thing we do uses up time, our most important resource. You vote with your time. If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, sooner or later you will end up with regrets. Take your time and understand why it’s important and what you are ready to sacrifice to achieve that ultimate level of achievement. Then, you are unstoppable!

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Achieve Happiness by Changing Your Master Plan or Changing Your Life

If you ask everyone what’s the purpose of life, there will be different responses. If you ask enough times, finally the outcome is happiness. The problem with happiness is that each of us has a different scale to measure it. You see people well off financially, having friends, family, being intelligent and attractive and they are sad or even on ant-depressants. Sounds crazy, isn’t it?

Happiness is at the intersection of your life plan and the actual situation. If there is a disparity between how your life is and how you’d want it to be, this is a source of dissatisfaction. There are 3 methods to solve this imbalance:

  • Find excuses about why your life is not as you would like (this is not a solution)
  • Change your life and achieve the level of success you planned for
  • Change the plan: make it easier to feel worthy and loved

(Do not) find excuses

Blaming events, circumstances or other people is a self defense mechanism to drive away self guilt and feel better about a situation. This is only short term, during moments when we are true to ourselves, pain and helplessness install. The first indicator of slippage in the game of life is when you find yourself coming up with too many excuses.

Change your life

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This is the most desirable path – taking all the pain from being in a difficult situation and transforming it into motivation to change. If you are overweight and dislike it, take a last look in the mirror and say: “This is the last day of my life I will allow this to happen!” Get out and run. Eat less. Take action immediately. There are situations when this is impossible. For instance, what if you have a medical condition that makes it impossible or dangerous to lose considerable weight? What if you can’t make enough effort to become a professional athlete because your knee is permanently destroyed? Then, inevitably you have only 2 options: deep dive into pain, blaming others and hating your life or find another way to contribute and achieve greatness. That could be painting, programming, singing or whatever your physical condition allows. Sometimes you need to change the master plan, having in mind that there are different ways to trigger happiness. Nick Vujicik is a tremendous example of possibility for all of us: though highly challenged physically, he impacts tens of thousands of people with his charisma, optimism and wisdom. A great spirit that is shifting how we think about impossibility. If he can overcome high adversity, what’s your excuse for not taking control of your life now? Don’t wait for life to make you change, take the initiative – it’s always better to do it by option.

Change your plan

We all know people that burn out trying to be perfect in all aspects of their existence: a perfect mother, a brilliant business woman, a kind wife, a healthy woman and a good friend. This sounds like a lot to most of us, however, there are people depressed though they have it all. Why? Typically because whatever they try to achieve is not and end, it is a means to an end. It might be a refuge from a deeper fear of loneliness that nobody knows. It could very well have to do with caring too much about what others say, if the person has an external frame of reference. In this case, no wealth, no beauty trick, no measure of success will bring happiness.

The person needs to dig deeper into the “why” of everyday actions and tomorrow’s goals and seek what is the need trying to fulfill. It could be that she/he is chasing a train that is not going in the right direction. If a woman is seeking attention through a dozen of ways, it is often not because she wants to show off and make others feel offended, but most likely because she needs to be loved. Similarly, a straight A student might spend 14 hours a day studying not because of extreme passion for learning, but because this is a safe heaven from the outside world, it could be a way of isolation that everybody else understands as academic success, while he/she can suffer for not being able to do enough to gain the friendship and social acceptance of others. No academic appraisal will do the trick in this case. If there are different ways to achieve happiness, why stick to a plan that does not work?

Change your life and change your plan

Ideally, if your plan is the gear box and your life is the engine, then you need to make sure you accelerate and shift gears at the right pace, otherwise you might end up blowing the engine. Find the sweet spot between changing the plan and adjusting your lifestyle.

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Passion for Learning, Highway to Tremendous Success

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The culture of celebrating failure in Silicon Valley was not coined for no reason. “Fail often, fail fast”, “iterate”, “test assumptions” are phrases you hear on all streets of San Francisco. The startup lingo is spreading fast and it has a good reason to do so: it promotes experimenting and fast learning, having the customer on top of all priorities. Learning in itself is not enough on today’s fast paced startup scenes – accelerated learning and un-learning are more appropriate terms for the days we are living right now.

Founders in love with the money and only money experience a road block sooner or later. Visionaries and people keen on learning and improving the quality of life for others, such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, people who brought computing at the fingertips of millions, allowing knowledge sharing worldwide. If innovation is the key to market dominance, then innovation would be impossible without a constant focus on learning.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” (Thomas Edison)

When you get stuck, don’t just surrender, change your approach. If it does not work, change your approach. With each cycle, note down what you have learnt and get more confidence thinking you are a step closer to getting it right.

Learn to love learning

Unless you got caught up in the positive spiral of getting curious, accumulating knowledge and benefitting big from it, there are a dozen ways to take things as they are, put out fires, get busy entrenched in daily routine and walk away with limited learning and a ton of wasted potential. You don’t realize you have a knowledge gap unless you look back and see your progress is stagnating. From time to time, stop and contemplate your evolution for the past year, past 5 years, past 10 years and put it in perspective with where you are and where you want to be. You need to start to get curious, genuinely interested in finding more, this is the trigger to easy learning. Before it feels natural to like studying, get in the habit of digging for valuable information. Be discoverer.

Share to internalize learning

Back in 1930s, Lev Vygotsky wrote a lot about the interconnection between cognition and language, inferring that the one who talks learns the most, suggesting that students learn faster when teaching their colleagues. In the 1980s, Jean-Pol Martin used extensively the method of learning by teaching to accelerate learning with his students during French classes, having spent more than 30 years of his life perfecting this model and gathering a huge network of teachers interested to adopt this new method.

Implement to profit from learning

When learning, always try to make connections with the knowledge you already have and start to think of applications. This becomes extremely easy for entrepreneurs. The way they sort noise through the daily avalanche of information is thinking: “How does this help me grow my business? Can I use this now? What about 5 years from now? Sounds promising, I’ll write it down.” In the same way, a researcher builds bridges between different theories to gain a wider understanding and ultimately come up with a new method to approach the subject. You are no different from an entrepreneur or researcher, your life and success are as important. As you learn, start implementing immediately what’s possible and write down what’s useful, but not yet possible.

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Develop Creative Routines Like a Genius

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We’ve been familiarized with assigning a negative cast on the word “routine”. It so much refers to boredom, it almost makes us sick. Some people think even about 9-5, Monday to Friday and generally job dissatisfaction. Just as there is positive and destructive energy, so it is the story of routine.

If we look at geniuses throughout time, they all had routines to fuel productivity and even creativity:

  • Albert Einstein required 10 hours of good sleep to operate at full capacity.
  • Mark Twain let his family know that if they wanted to distract him from his work office, they needed to blow a horn. Mark developed an obsession from isolating himself from distractions during his most creative hours.
  • Ernest Hemingway would be up at 5.30 AM sharp even if he stood up late the night before.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven had a surprisingly simple but effective habit for triggering creativity – long walks on his own through the forests around Vienna.
  • Anthony Trollope had only a 3 hour writing session per day, but he pushed himself to write at a rate of 250 words per quarter of an hour.

Inevitably, some patters emerge.

  1. Create a work space free of distractions.

Focus is critical for creative and meaningful work, try to keep your desk uncluttered and to set certain time frames for answering emails or making phone calls.

  1. Wake up early

Not only you will feel refreshed, but while others are sleeping, you will have more time to get ahead of the game and avoid being disturbed in your most productive hours.

  1. Sleep well

Sleeping requirements are different for each individual. While some need only 6 hours of sleep, others might need 8-9 to feel fully refreshed. It’s during night time when the brain carries out the maintenance, where any toxins accumulated are released, the knowledge over the day is classified and all the other essential metabolic processes are carried out. Sleep deprivation is career suicide.

  1. Define clear metrics

You can’t know where you stand and can’t drive accountability if you don’t measure consistently your results. Start tracking progress and don’t change the rules during the game.

  1. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

Be it a walk, a jogging session, fitness or cycling, you name it. The important point is to set it as a daily task. Physical exercise refreshes your mind and calms you down after a long day in the office.

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Build Resilience and Break Through Any Obstacle

Toa55@Freedigitalphotos.net ID-100201447Resilience is the extraordinary ability to face adversity and distress. It is fueled by having a clear vision that needs to be fulfilled at any cost. Resilience is not motivation and not perseverance, it combines both and adds up self confidence. Resilience is not opposing change, it is embracing it as long as it can provide a shortcut to the end goal. Nobody’s born resilient, it is a product of self discipline and it can be greatly influenced by the environment.

When life strikes you, instead of falling and waiting for things to happen, you hit back. Mental power is all it takes to overcome every wave of despair. When things get tough, instead of collapsing, a real fighter will say: “This is temporary. It will pass just as wind passes through the stones. I will not surrender. I am here to continue my journey and there is nothing that can prevent me from reaching my goals. I am unstoppable!” It is that moment when you decide nothing can stand in front of your success.

Can you see adversity in another light?

Is it a challenge or a problem? Do you learn from a mistake or do you blame yourself? The reasoning you have behind every problem defines how well you are geared emotionally to pass through that difficulty. If your energy would be stored in a battery, then the meaning you give to a certain situation can either charge or discharge it. It’s really that simple.

Why most people are not resilient enough?

If you give up quickly, that’s because you value more the escape than the fight. Why is that? Your goal is either non existent or not strong enough to pull you through the pain. Does it mean that you need to fight every battle, to be over the place? No, definitely not. You need to pick your battles tactically and play 20% to aim for 80% of the outcome. Hard work does not equal steady results. Play smart and make sure you have a compelling goal. If it’s not scaring and thrilling you at the same time, you probably need a better pick.

I have a compelling vision, now what?

Now get there in the field and demonstrate you can bend, but you can’t break. If it feels nice and easy, you’re probably doing it wrong. Not difficult enough. You’re probably playing it in the amateur league. Who wants that? Set your standards high and your expectations even higher. Demand from yourself more than anyone else could ever think of. Execute your plan over and over again. Fail fast, fail often. Learn from every iteration and develop your resilience muscle.

Take a Leap Out of Your Comfort Zone and Boost Your Self Confidence

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Lack of self confidence comes from a series of failures. But this is just a part of the story. In addition to this, the meaning given to the particular defeat matters a lot. Is insuccess a chance to learn or a confirmation of your own limitation? Does the meaning chance the way you think about yourself?

Another important factor smashing your self confidence is fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. The constant “what if” is eating up your energy for actually going out there and trying. While psychologists, psychiatrist and NLP practitioners have scientific tools to alleviate fear, there is a general reluctance to seek such resources because they are costly and there is a stigma associated to them in some societies. Therefore, these techniques evolved to a more socially accepted form and one great example is the comfort zone challenge.

“Getting out of your comfort zone” became so overused, it is now considered a cliche. However, it’s one of these cliches that still work – if only people would take the time to actually apply. It is always easier to come up with an excuse about how to avoid an obstacle than a way to overcome that barrier. Imagine thinking about public speaking. Isn’t it better to write an article for the company’s newsletter instead? Can’t you send an e-mail? Isn’t there a way to postpone it, till it will become obsolete? You aren’t a talker anyway, you’re a doer. There can be so many examples of sidestepping.

Before building the next excuse, consider the following mood lifters:

  1. Take care of your physical image

Inevitably, if you dress well, you will have a better opinion about yourself and stop downgrading when comparing to others. At this point it is more important to have a seamless appearance, than wearing $1000 dollars suits.

  1. Make health your first priority

Eat well. Exercise often. Sleep enough. You know the recipe. There are thousands of articles of how to improve your health. This has a tremendous impact on the way you feel each day.

  1. Wake up immediately

Jump out of bed, don’t procrastinate on starting your day. The way you begin determines how your day will be. Start confident and you will achieve more throughout the day.

  1. Project a positive image about yourself

You’re not yet fit. Or perhaps not as knowledgeable as you would wish. Or you don’t have that much style. Who cares? This is only the present and it doesn’t equal the future. See yourself as you would like to be, not just how you are. Visualization combined with consistent action will take you where you really want to be.

  1. Stop feeling like Big Brother is all over

There are so many conspiracy enthusiasts, we don’t need more. The world is not revolving around you, believe it or not and there is a high likelihood people do not even notice your little imperfections. And if they do, they might not care. Try sitting on the ground reading a book waiting for the metro and observe how many people really notice you, how many smile and how many look as if you were a weirdo. You would be surprised how exaggerated your fears really are. In the end, even if you would be perfect, there will still be people talking. So stop caring unnecessarily.

  1. Adjust your posture

Now this might seem elementary, but it’s extremely important and often overlook. Keeping your head up, having a sharp look and pushing the chest forward will transmit a certain message to your brain. You can’t physically act as if you’re confident and be depressed at the same time. Your emotion follows the patterns of your physical body. Try to smile and be sad at the same time. It’s impossible!

  1. Take up a challenge every week

Break out the status quo and make a change. Start small. Perhaps it’s a new way to arrange your hair, a new model of shirt or watching a different genre of movies. Then you could go more extreme such as unexpected interviews on a busy road, holding a speech, doing a cold call, connecting with someone unknown but interesting, traveling in a hot air balloon and the list can go on at least as much as you have budgeted in the bucket list.

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How to Get in a Peak Energy State

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How do people like Tony Robbins get the energy to keep thousands of people engaged for tens of hours during several days events? How does an entrepreneur find the juice to work 10 hours a day for 6 days a week?

Tony Robbins gets “in the zone” by sparing around 10 minutes before stepping on the stage. He jumps, fist pumps, spins around and raises his arms in a series of power moves to unleash the power within. He is well aware that motion creates emotion and that it’s emotion which gets you in a peak energy state. It’s because it sounds weird that most people won’t do what it takes to perform at their best. Is it more embarrassing to do power moves or have a poor performance? You better believe it’s the latter.

If your energy is on the average side, the stress of being in an uncomfortable position such as presenting in front of a big audience can only erode your energy level in the beginning. That’s why it’s critical to start powerfully.

Where are you energy wise on a scale from 0 to 10?

While zero means you’re totally inactive and 10 means you’re basically bouncing off the walls, where are you now? What if you start doing your power move, such as strengthening your fist, stepping repeatedly or moving your hand as if you’d won the competition? Is there any difference? I bet it is! Once this becomes a ritual through repetitive exercising, the performance will never be the same.

What’s your power move?

It doesn’t have to be jumping on a trampoline or kickboxing, simple gestures that generate power and confidence work well. You would have to think of moves you would be comfortable to do with a restricted audience, such as the preparers of a conference or your colleagues before a boardroom meeting with top management. Don’t postpone it. Take your time to experiment and choose your power move now.

Are you willing to commit to your power move?

Choosing a power move and fantasizing about having peak performance is like buying a yacht and keeping it in the docks. You can only unleash your full potential by getting into that higher energy state and one of the best ways to achieve it is by changing the way you use your physical body. Don’t shy away and start now. If you’re not sure it works, try it for the next 10 high stake meetings. If it works, stick to it, no matter how many smiles you get while doing it. If you look goofy, it’s for a good cause. You just follow your path to the top.

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Are You Making Better Decisions?

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What can turn our lives around? What can we do to arrive to where we want? What does it take?

A lot of people have a strong inclination to believe history is destiny, that there is little control. No doubt, you get what you believe in. At the roots of studying human civilizations is the idea that decision shapes destinies. Leaving the life to flow randomly will offer the illusion of no control, of pure adversity.

It was decision that led Thomas Edison to work tirelessly and try 10,000 times before coming with a sustainable design of the bulb. It was a bold decision of Bill Gates to drive all his efforts to put a computer in the hands of millions of people by making software available to the general population. Steve Jobs took the decision to fight competition through disruptive innovation, bringing user experience and computing to a total new dimension, literally – isn’t it amazing to have a computer in your pocket while two decades ago this was unimaginable? Is this all by mistake? It would take a dozen of crazy men to believe there was no logic in all these. Luck alone is not enough, you can win so many times by playing it random.

Decision is brings tremendous power. There are a couple of impactful decisions that will either launch you through the roof or tear you down:

  1. What do you pay attention to?

Are you devoting time and energy to things that excite you or things that make you feel anxious? Whatever you focus on, you feel it and it soon it becomes real.

  1. Are you going to take action?

If you were to drive on dangerous roads, would you rather be on a driver’s seat or on the passenger’s? If you don’t act, others will and it might not always be to your advantage. You need to step up, take action and follow through.

  1. What is your belief?

Is this going to work or not? Are people cheating or supporting you? Is it an opportunity or a challenge? Are you curious or judgemental? The way you think about an idea or an event determines how you feel, amplifies or destructs your energy, your personal power.

Are you making better decisions? To make better decisions you need to train your decision making muscles by simply making more and more decisions. And you have to ask better questions.

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