What does your future photo album look like?

In his book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma talks about the importance of painting a vision for your future. Without it, you wander aimlessly.

Having a clear image in your mind of what you consider an accomplishment also means that you reach your goals faster.

What pictures do you see of yourself next year?

Even if you are busy right now, you can afford a few minutes of thinking time to see what you would like to be next year.  Imagine yourself one year from today. What does it look like for you?

  • What kind of physical shape are you in?
  • Who are you with?
  • Where are you living?
  • Where are you working?
  • What has changed in your career? Relationships?
  • How have you grown?
  • Where have you traveled in the past 12 months?

Close your eyes and live it for a moment, acknowledging the feeling of accomplishment about where you are.  Enjoy it.

More quick reading: How to Make Progress Every Day, Even if it is in Your Mind

What to do before New Years

‘Tis the week before New Year.  If you are taking some time off of work, don’t do anything!  Well, here’s a quick suggestion:

Relfect.

Just think about your accomplishments and shortcomings in 2010.
What did you do that you wanted to do?
What did you want to do that you didn’t?
If you are so inclined, take some notes – maybe on that new iPad you got for Christmas :-)   Make two columns: left side for accomplishments, right side for things that you would have liked to have done.

That’s all for now, simply a little reflecting.

Doing some thinking now between holiday cookie breaks will prepare your mind for an energetic start to the new year.
Video: 2010 Year in Review of Google Searches, http://bit.ly/fVD5Zs

Saying is Believing

“Son, your glass is too close to the edge of the table. You could knock it over.” What happens next? He knocks it over.

Let’s rephrase that: “Son, what if we moved your glass a little away from the edge of the table? That would make it more convenient to reach.”

There are no negatives in the second phrase. It is all positive.

The mind responds to what it hears. To believe that you can accomplish your goals, say what your mind needs to believe it. And once you believe it, your conviction will make it happen.

Try This

Say this out loud: “I am thinking of any animal except a zebra.”

You can’t stop thinking about a zebra now, right? Instead of trying to visualize something else, your mind is drifting toward the black and white stripes. You might even see it in a herd on a large African plain. Again, your mind is being controlled by what you are saying.

Say this out loud: “I am breathing better, taking deep satisfying breaths.”

I’ll bet you couldn’t say that without actually taking a deep satisfying breath. It probably relaxed you just as you said it. The extra oxygen probably also made you more alert. Your mind responds to what you said to yourself.  Saying is believing.

Let’s apply this concept to your goals.

  1. On an index card, write down 3 positive statements to help you achieve one of your goals. Just 3. Come on, it’s easy!
  2. Start each statement with “I am…”
  3. Say them out loud.

Say each affirmation out loud every day for a week.  Double your chances of success by repeating these affirmations when you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Your mind will respond.

What are you thankful for today?

Keeping a journal seems like a lot of work. You feel like you need to enter a lot of information about the day’s events.

Take a different approach, one that will also lead to more satisfaction: get a tiny spiral notebook and put it next to your clock by your bedside. Stick a pen through the spiral winding so it doesn’t get lost.

Then, before you go to bed, complete this sentence:

I am thankful for …

It can be very simple. In fact, the small size of the page forces you to be brief. Here are a few examples from my Gratitude Journal:

  • I am thankful for having a delicious meal on date night with my wife.
  • I am thankful for my company’s wonderful customers. I learn from them constantly.
  • I am thankful for having the opportunity to show my kids how to dribble a soccer ball.
  • I am thankful for the joy that driving my car brings me.
  • I am thankful for my incredibly talented staff that helps grow our company.

Have your kids create their own gratitude journals. It will help them write better and also focus on the positive things that happened during the day.  You can even make this a family project.

So, what are you thankful for today?  Start a Gratitude Journal and you will be thankful that you did.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

One of the most inspirational graduation speeches was Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford University in 2005. He revealed three stories about his life that made him the man he is today.

2000 Elements That Don’t Make a Light Bulb

Thomas Edison tried two thousand different materials in search of a filament for the light bulb. When none worked satisfactorily, his assistant complained, “All our work is in vain. We have learned nothing.”

Edison replied very confidently, “Oh, we have come a long way and we have learned a lot. We now that there are two thousand elements which we cannot use to make a good light bulb.”

The Biggest Happiness Factor: Attitude

Charles Swindoll:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.