Pam at Make the Most of U wrote a great response (and tagged me in the process) to Aaron Potts’ request for ‘Simply Successful Secrets’, an interactive research project that he’s started (which also included me, I see, but I missed the request somehow).
I really like seeing discussions like this, because when I start to think about the questions, I notice areas in my thinking that could use improvement or even complete overhaul.
Take success, for instance. When I first thought about how I would respond, my initial thought was, “I can’t answer this. I’m not successful.” Then I proceeded to list to myself all the reasons why I don’t think I’m successful (remember—the mind will give what you ask of it): there’s bills that aren’t paid because I’m not taking the actions that I should take business-wise because my brain is so messed up and there’s so much baggage that I can’t get around because I’ve tried everything I know and nothing’s worked because I’m no good at this stuff because I don’t try hard enough because I’m not worth anything…
Short story is I let myself go way off the deep end. After I realized what I was doing (it took a while, I’m not perfect), I made a herculean effort to change my internal conversation. “When I am successful, what do I do?”
“Nothing. You’re not successful.”
“Shut up. I am too. Get back in your cave, little man. Brain: what do I do when I’m successful?”
After some back and forth, the angelic little man on my other shoulder (remember the football field scene in ‘Animal House’?) told me things that I do when I’m being successful. So here’s my list, in no particular order:
1. I am.
This is the ‘being’ part of the have, do, or be anything you want in goal setting. It’s not exactly what most goal-setting coaches have in mind when they say it, but I think it comes first. Before you have and do the things that the person you want to be has and does, first you have to be that person in your mind. If you don’t know how that person would be, find someone you can model. Or find several people and take the best qualities of each.
I read constantly. Books, blogs, etc. Used to be, before I was successful, I read fiction books. I was absolutely hooked on action/suspense books. Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, J.D. Robb, etc. I still read those occasionally, when I want a little break. But now I read things that help me reach for new possibilities. As a matter of fact, part of my herculean effort above was to read. I read, front to back, a book named The Greatest Networker In The World, by John Milton Fogg. It was intended as a training tool for network marketers, but is more of a training tool for life and life changes. I highly recommend it.
3. I exercise regularly.
Lately, irregularly would be a better description, but I still do. My little spider-bite ordeal kept me from being as active as I like to be, but I have substantially recovered from that so it’s not as inhibiting. I go to the Y a minimum of 4 times a week; more if I can get there. Sometimes I work on the stair machines and treadmill, sometimes walking on the track, sometimes swimming. When the kids go, it’s all swimming. That’s the best workout I get, truthfully. My kids could wear me out!
4. I spend time with my goals.
I’m building on my vision board, which resides on the wall to the left of my computer monitors. I have my goals written down (do you?), and I spend some time throughout the day visualizing them, sometimes modifying them if they’re not quite right.
5. I spend time with myself.
In the morning, I make a special point to think about the things in my life that I’m thankful for. If I can’t think of more than 4 or 5, I know it’s time for an attitude adjustment. I also take an hour or two each day to read, to work with a Neuro-Programming program I picked up, and some time in my version of meditation. I’m not very good at the meditation thing yet, but the NP program is helping that. I’m finding it challenging to quiet my mind. It seems like it’s always going. During meditation, I accept the thoughts that enter, dismiss them, only to find that another has taken its place. Meditation is a work in progress for me.
6. I do something to promote my business.
One of the areas that I could do better in. This, truthfully, is where a lot of my personal work is taking place. Talking to people, learning to be comfortable in selling situations, just doing something. My comfort zone has not included direct interaction with other people. So, I’m improving that, little by little.
7. I spend time with my family.
Part of this is necessity: we homeschool our kids, and that does take a chunk of time during the day. There’s also piano lessons, recitals, nightly reading, RC airplanes, and of course our twice-weekly jaunts to the YMCA. I used to be a hermit in the computer room, and my family life suffered. Now it’s better. Focus, you know.
…while I’m not yet what most would term wildly successful in some areas, that will show up in it’s good time, when I’m ready for it. I understand that. All I can do is what I know — then watch, and adjust.
That’s all any of us can do.
Thanks Pam and Aaron for the shoulder tap. I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, but I would enjoy comments and linkbacks telling me what YOU are doing to be successful in your life. If you don’t think you are, tell me what you would be doing if you were successful.