Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Vision of Success through Life Mapping

Success is more than economic gains, titles, and degrees. Planning for success is about mapping out all the aspects of your life. Similar to a Holiday trip, you need to define the following details: origin, destination, vehicle, backpack / travel bag, landmarks, and route.

Origin: Who you are

A map has a starting point. Your origin is who you are right now. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m William and I am a 48-year old, Freelance Computer Technician.” It does not tell you about who William is; it only tells you his present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Upon introspection, William realized that he was highly motivated, generous, service-oriented, but impatient. His inclination was in the service and technology field. Furthermore, he believed that life must serve a purpose, and that wars were destructive to human dignity.

Destination: A vision of who you want to be

“Who do I want to be?” this is your vision. Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view. If you hardly know yourself, then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Your destination should cover all the aspects of your being: the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Continuing William’s story, after he defined his beliefs, values, and principles in life, he decided that he wanted to have a life dedicated in serving his fellowmen.

Vehicle: Your Mission

A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be analogized to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself. Bases on William’s self-assessment, he decided that he was suited to become a businessman, and that he wanted to become one. His chosen vocation was a Computer Servicing Specialist. Describing his vision-mission fully: It was to live a life dedicated to serving his fellowmen as a Computer Specialist in the country.

Travel Bag: Your knowledge, skills, and attitude

Food, drinks, medicines, and other travelling necessities are contained in a bag. Applying this concept to your life map, you also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision. Given such, there is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present and what you need to gain along the way. This two-fold assessment will give you insights on your landmarks or measures of success. William realized that he needed to gain professional knowledge and skills on Computer Technology so that he could become a Computer Specialist. He knew that he was a bit impatient with people so he realized that this was something he wanted to change.

Landmarks and Route: S.M.A.R.T. objectives

Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track while the route determines the travel time. Thus, in planning out your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. These measures must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Thus you cannot set two major landmarks such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of three years, since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is two years. Going back to William as an example, he identified the following landmarks in his life map: completing his studies and National Service by the age of 24; completing Sales and Computer Servicing knowledge by the age of 27; earning his specialization in Computer Servicing by the age of 29; providing Computer servicing and related support to his fellowmen since 1989 till today.

Anticipate Turns, Detours, and Potholes

The purpose of your life map is to minimize hasty and spur-of-the-moment decisions that can make you lose your way. But often times our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control. Like in any path, there are turns, detours, and potholes, thus we must anticipate them and adjust accordingly. In the case of William, he realised that the Computer Servicing industry is no longer as lucrative as before therefore he is exploring the potential of doing business in the web which is growing at an exorbitant rate as well as finding a network marketing business which can grow through a concept known as Time and Effort Compounding.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why is Setting Goals Important ?

Ever wonder why some people could not even achieve an inch of what they dream of becoming? Blame it on pure dreaming and lack of goals setting for achieving their dreams.

Setting goals is very significant to your success and it’s a sign of positive accomplishments. It is like scaling a 20 feet building and marking early on the steps you would take to reach by a specific period.

People who set goals literally create a map of their target achievements in life, marking where they should begin, where to pause, where to deviate a bit, and where and when to stop. Once this map is created, it allows the planner to keep track of where he is during the process and whether or not he is making some achievements that will take him closer to his goals.

By setting goals, people will know how and what they should be doing to achieve their targets or dreams in life. They will know if they can relax or if they have to double their efforts when they are falling short of what is expected of them.

Goal setting means a person is proactive in dealing with challenges that may affect his plans. Being proactive means one is able to outline possible difficulties that may occur during the process and also having the solutions to these difficulties. By doing this, a person is not easily scared or defeated when challenges really occur because he has already prepared the contingency plan for it. He already knew that they can happen and he has even prepared a solution or strategy for it when that time comes.

Setting goals helps people to track their progress in whatever endeavor they have set out to do. It also helps them to become more confident in themselves as well as more motivated to achieve their plans.

However, goal setting itself is not enough, as this should be accompanied by a positive outlook and self-discipline. A person may have a blueprint of where he wants to go, but if he does not have the necessary discipline to carry out the plan, then nothing will come out of it.

To be successful in goal setting, the goals that one has set for himself should be realistic and based on his capabilities. Being too ambitious in setting up goals can make the goals become unrealistic and difficult to achieve. However, do not set goals that are too low because it will affect one’s vision to obtain a higher achievement.

It is also necessary that the person setting the blueprint for his direction should also include a time frame within which the goal will be achieved. This way, he is able to determine if he has to fast track his strategies or to slow down a bit. Goal setting will also help a person check if he is performing within his plans or if he is doing things that brings him towards the achievement of his plans.

Once the goal have been achieved, even a little bit of what you had hoped to achieve, you should always give yourself a pat on the back to keep yourself motivated. However, do not be too complacent with that little achievement, as this may cause you to backslide.

Setting goals can be used in all aspect of one’s life - from one’s personal or family life, to his career and finances. Goal setting can be as simple as setting a target to lose that weight of yours to earning your first million in the business.

Congratulation ! You have actually achieved your goal by reading this article from the beginning to here. It is just that simple !

Sunday, October 5, 2008

5 Easy Steps To Staying Motivated

Lately, with all the tensions generated by the financial institution worldwide, its no wonder that many workers are worried if they were going to be the next "victim". Some might have already lost plenty when the share market slides up and down like a Roller-Coastal ride. Nevertheless, we must still look forward to tomorrow earnestly by staying motivated

Motivating yourself to excel at your job or to be an example to your employees, should not be something you do only when the spirit moves you. It’s an ongoing process that should include every facet of your business or working life. This means your mental attitude, physical well-being and appearance, work atmosphere, your interaction with others (clients and employees alike), and your off-the-job environment.

Motivational experts get paid big bucks to tell professionals, striving for success, that they must constantly examine these factors. How do you do that? Follow the 5 tips that follow, and watch the changes.

1. Maintain a Positive Attitude – Let’s realize that life is only 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. We’re responsible for our own actions and attitudes, and changing them when appropriate. When you’re around people/things that are uplifting and positive, you will feel the same way. You have more confidence in yourself, and know you can change whatever needs changing. If you can make your workplace such a place you’ll find happier workers and higher production. You might even find your employees look forward to coming to work!

2. Leave Personal Troubles Home - Everyone has problems, but they don’t belong at work. Turn your attention and energy entirely to your on-the-job tasks. This will actually be good for you because you’ll get a mental break from your troubles.

3. Create Positive Affirmations - The reason for writing goals for your business is the same as creating positive affirmations on paper. What your eyes see and ears hear, your mind will believe. Try it! After you’ve written them down, read them aloud to yourself – and do it every morning when you get into work. You’ll be amazed at what happens. Come up with a set of new ones every month. Statements such as, “I’m an important and valuable person,” or “I know I’ll make good use of my time today.” Repeating them out loud everyday at a set time will help reinforce positive actions. There is also a saying "Speak NOT what you have that you DON'T WANT but speak what you DON'T HAVE that you WANT". Its also known as the Power of Spoken Words.

4. Break Times Are Really Break Times - This is an area where most bosses/entrepreneurs fall down. You become so intense about the project or situation you’re working on that you don’t ease up. Thinking that it’ll be solved in the next few seconds, and then getting a cup of coffee can lead you right up to quitting time. Regularly adhering to a specified break schedule, even if you’re the boss, releases the tension. The worse is working on a Computer because before you realize it – you’ve been working in that same position for hours. The best thing you can do is to set yourself a reminder on your appointment calendar for every 2 hours, so that the alert will remind you to move around.

5. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise - I know that lately it seems that “exercise” is the cure-all to every physical ailment or your love life, but despite that there is some truth to that ugly word. By “exercise” I don’t mean that you should go out and join a gym and spend your lunch-time, 3-days-a-week there working out. What is really beneficial and workable is that at those chiming alerts from your computer, get up and walk around your desk or room.

Maybe go outside and get the mail and enjoy the sunlight (if you’re an entrepreneur that has a home office), or just get up and do a few stretches. Concentrated, tense thinking – typing - plotting plans - or whatever your work, makes all those muscles tighten up and knot up. Then when we move we “ooh” and “ouch” because we’ve knotted up into a ball of tension.

Periodic stretching, even at our desk, or just getting up and walking over to the window and getting a different view can help. One of the greatest disservice modern business d├ęcor has done to us, is making our offices pristine, sleek, unencumbered spaces. There is nothing more relaxing than getting up from your desk and walking over to a peaceful, serene, seascape or pastoral painting and just drinking it in visually. Momentarily transporting your mind out of work and into that place does wonders. A few good paintings and less shiny chrome in offices would benefit us all.

It only takes a little concentrated effort on our part to keep motivated and productive, which leads to success. I know you’re going to hate hearing this, but it’s true anyway – and that is, “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOUR LEMONS – MAKE LEMONADE!”