“If I had 60 minutes to cut down a tree, I would spend 40 minutes sharpening the ax and 20 minutes cutting it down.”
This is Attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but only appears after 1960 so it’s unlikely to be Lincoln.
The point is that; in planning – in refining our purpose and focussing on it; we can take a more direct route and acheive our goal in a much shorter time with less effort.
So, you have your list, and you’ve scored each item.
you can easily eliminate 80% of the items on the list.
Just select your top 2 (or 3 if it’s really close)
The goal we select must follow the ‘S.M.A.R.T’ rules. I guess you may not know what these are so here’s a quick rundown.
S = Specific, the goal should be specific like ‘I have x job’ or ‘I earn xx’
M = Measurable, the goal should be measurable, it’s no use having a goal of ‘being loved more’ or ‘looking younger’ because these are intangible things.
A = Attainable, is it a realistic goal? are you beyond yourself.
R = Relevant, is this goal relevant to you? or is this someone-else’s goal? it has to be your goal not one someone else would like you to have.
T = Time-bound, is there a clear time you want to acheive this goal by? eg I want to lose xxx lbs/kg in 1 year.
for instance a goal might be “In 28 weeks I will have lost 28lbs of weight.”
let’s break that down:
It’s specific (28lbs in 28 weeks).
It’s Measurable (weight).
It’s Attainable (if you have 28 lbs of excess weight to lose then it’s possible).
It’s Relevant (only YOU reap the benefit)
It’s Time bound (28 weeks).
check that your two (or three) follow these guidelines.
Then put them on a piece of paper with four columns.
Put goal one above the first two columns and goal two above the second two columns.
each of the two columns then gets it’s own title
PRO | CON
Remember, your two chosen goals should be so close together that you can’t decide between them.
Clearly you want to achieve both eventually, but we’re trying to select just ONE so it can be focussed on and conquered. before moving on to other goals.
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Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 3: Order – day 3.
Today it’s time to hear from our mentor and guiding light.
Yes, Benjamin Franklin.
Often, people use the quotation “if you fail to plan you plan to fail” which is atributed to Franklin but I’m afraid that someone paraphrased him and the new paraphrased quotation stuck.
What he really said was:-
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to Fail”
Nevertheless there is something of value in both of these quotations however paraphrased they may be and that is – Planning and Preparing.
And, that is where we are today – attempting to determine your ‘mission’ your ‘goal’ your ‘Raison D’etra’
Something, one thing, you can focus all your power, influence and determination on.
So, you’ve done your list? Please tell me you’ve done your list? if you haven’t you may as well unsubscribe now – because without it you are going to stay where you are. And this is not what we’re about here, we want to be the very best happy, successful and fulfilled people we can, not having a mision makes this almost impossible.
What we’re going to do now is to take your list and and go through the items on it one-by-one. giving each a score from 1 – 10.
How you score is up to you but here’s some useful thoughts you can use when deciding.
let’s start with our simple little phrase: I Can, I will, I Do, I DARE!
For each item on your list – consider it, what would this goal mean to you if you had already attained it?
I can, I will, I do, I DARE!
Score each. 1 – 10 – really resist the temptation to give everything high scores, use the whole of the 1 – 10 spectrum, think, meh, or so what, who cares? about this goal.
Take your time – don’t rush it, consider each item on your list.
Once you are done you’ll be taking the top 2 or maybe 3 scoring things these should be the ‘must haves’ that mean the most to you.
Tomorrow I’ll show you how to decide between these last few and decide which of them should be your mission.
Take your time and enjoy it a bit. Go through your list.
Taking the time for yourself to do this will put you Waaaaay ahead of most people and set you on a road to a happier more sucssesful life.
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Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 3: Order – day 2.
Welcome back – so, how did your homework go?
I’m hoping you now have a list of at least 8-10 things.
You don’t? – shame on you – look, I can’t do this for you, I don’t know what your hopes, dreams and fears are, only you know these things.
Ok, I know it’s sticky but here’s an easier way of thinking about it: Have you ever seen the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ – the first one, Curse of the Black Pearl.
In it there is one of the very cleverest devices – ever.
it is a compass that Captain Jack Sparrow uses to guide him to :-
“the thing you want most in this world”.
it gets terribly confused when Elisabeth Swann comes on the scene and Jack has to exert some self control to regain composure so the compass will work – he’s really after the Treasure of Cortés and can’t afford to be distracted by a beautiful woman.
Now, do YOU have such a compass?
Ha! I thought not. (ok, I’m cheating a bit here because no such compass exists – would that it were).
My point is: if you don’t know what your mission or goal is in life, your “Thing you want most in this world” then how are you going to focus on moving towards it every day?
You’ll end up going from point A to point C to point Z before going back to point A – yes, round in circles.
not getting anywhere, feeling stuck because of it and having low confidence and self esteem.
Does this sound familiar? Let’s break this cruel and vicious cycle and get your sail set to pull you toward “the thing you want most in this world” if you’ve done your list – great – but go over it again. if you’ve NOT done it – you know what to do.
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Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 3: Order – day 1.
What is your Mission in Life?
Don’t have one?
I’m not surprised – 99.9% of people, don’t have a mission.
But what do we mean by mission?
A mission is something like:- Building a business, Becoming a famous actor, or author, starting a charity, or a religious centre, or maybe becoming the best in the world at a sport or music or anything you want.
You see it is personal to you, it must mean a great deal to you.
Belief is everything – you must believe that this is your purpose – something you HAVE to get done.
I cannot tell you what your mission should be but I can help you to discover it.
Once you have your mission you will clearly see what activities bring you closer to your goal and what activities are taking your further away from it.
And it doesn’t have to be a world changing thing, it could be something like losing a lot of weight, getting a dream job or buying your own home.
Here’s how you can begin – Do it, you’ll be making a big mistake if you do not.
To Begin:- take some of that silent time we have been practicing the past week and mix it with a bucketful of enthusiasm we have practiced the week before – pace up and down if you have to – it works for me.
Think up every dream, hope and desire you can, Write down EVERYTHING you can think of that would be just the greatest thing if it happened – remember, there are no wrong answers.
Everything, no matter how big or small, just empty your mind.
You don’t have to show this to anyone, just get excited and empty your hopes and dreams onto the paper.
I know it’s a bind having to think and what not but let the enthusiasm carry you through.
Remember! smile – act enthusiastic – imagine you have just won and Olympic gold medal – how does that feel?
Then get that list out on paper – you’ll feel incredibly positive and energised after you do this.
That’s it for today, Please, do the homework, not for me, but for yourself, you’ll only be letting yourself down if you don’t do it.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to discover which ‘one’ should be your mission.
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Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 1: Enthusiasm – day 7.
So, what is enthusiasm anyway?
There must be something in your world that just pushes all your buttons and makes you go ‘YES!’
Hitting the perfect golf shot.
Making a sale.
Cooking your favourite meal for a loved one.
Beating your personal best time on a run.
Bowling out the other teams best player at Cricket.
or whatever it is for you – take it.
take that ‘YES’ – the excitement – the entusiasm – and apply it to everything you can.
Pretty soon you’re going to have to stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start getting excited about what could go right – so bring this enthusiasm to the fore of everything you do.
As we wrap up enthusiasm and move on to silence next week we shouldn’t leave enthusiasm behind – instead we need to take it with us everywhere we go.
that’s it, week 1 done, moving on to week 2 – you’ve taken a step up my friend you’re now one step higher.
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Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 1: Enthusiasm – day 6.
What does a key, a metal plate and an eccentric artist have to do with enthusiasm?
Perhaps one of the most under-rated and short changed tools in our quest to be more successful, confident and feeling better about ourselves is:- sleep.
Salvador Dali was known (among notable others) for taking naps, he would sit in a chair to nap whilst holding a key.
napping worked for Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein and Edison. – these guys were pretty enthusiastc, sorry ladies I couldn’t find any documented examples of famous lady nappers – but I’m sure there are some.
Please, do yourself a favour:- don’t discount this, it’s so important.
Yes, take your sleep seriously! if you are not sleeping 6-7 hours a night and rising refreshed and energised ready to get on with your exciting mission to build a better life for yourself; then something isn’t right.
some of the world’s greatest leaders can give us some clues.
Bill Gates 7hrs
Richard Branson 6hrs
Elon Musk 6hrs
Jeff Bezos 7hrs
Wether these people also take naps isn’t known but no-one can say they are lacking in energy, drive or enthusiasm.
How long do you spend in bed at night?
if it’s longer than 8 hrs then maybe you’re staying in bed too long.
You see, it’s not necessarily the quantity of sleep but it’s quality that is important, and by staying in bed too long you could be only entering a light sleep.
Try to get a deeper more refreshing sleep:
Shut off all blue light sources (cellphones, tablets, tv, laptop, computer) at least 1 hour before going to bed.
Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature.
Make sure your bedding is comfortable.
Get some exercise earlier in the day.
Avoid a heavy meal 3hrs before bedtime.
Meditate or enjoy yoga to calm your mind and body.
Think about pain and discomfort in your body – you won’t sleep well if you have some.
Do whatever it takes to make every one of these things happen.
Begin, then, by reducing the amount of sleep you are having by 15 minutes a night.
Go to bed at the same time.
Set an alarm 15 minutes earlier than you would usually rise.
Put the alarm across the room, so you have to get up to turn it off.
Once you are up, you’re up – get after your mission.
keep doing this for 2 weeks and evaluate how you feel.
keep dropping your time in bed by 10 – 15 minutes until you begin to feel refreshed and ready to get on with the day, this will probably be your optimum sleep time.
Use naps if you have to. – you will be filled with energy and enthusiasm.
but don’t over-do naps, use Salvador Dali’s technique of holding the key, when he nodded off to sleep it would fall from his hand and strike the metal plate – waking him up, he woke afreshed and ready to get back to enthusiastically creating his strange worlds.
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Where we are: 2017 – cycle 2 – Week 1: Enthusiasm – day 5.
Something we are going to be coming back to over and over again is Random Acts of Kindness.
“No Act of Kindness however small is ever wasted” Aesop.
A random act of kindness is something you can do for someone, that costs you something (time, money, effort etc) and the recipient doesn’t ‘expect’ it.
For instance you can buy the person behind you a drink in the coffee shop. you can hold a door open for someone, help someone across the road or maybe send a postcard to an old friend or relative saying how you appreciate them.
Random acts of kindness are perfect ways to practice your enthusiasm.
Call an elderly relative and talk about them.
The effect of this is that you begin to think of others in a different way, but others see you in a different light too.
it can be hard to get started so just choose something simple to begin with but whatever you choose to do, put a LOT of enthusiasm into it.
here’s a longer list of things you can do.
talk to an elderly person alone at the bus stop.
let someone go ahead of you in a queue.
Write a letter to you local paper giving thanks for where you live.
write to an old teacher and say thanks.
Give away something you don’t need anymore to someone who could use it.
Listen to someone’s problem without comparing it to one of your own.
write a note and leave it inside a book at the bookstore – also works with money and book tokens.
get a few copies of your favourite book and leave them on buses and trains and benches.
smile (enthusiastically) at everyone you see.
Say something nice about someone when the person isn’t present.
Enthusiastically try some of these (or all) then ask yourself: How do I feel.
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Where we are: 2017 – Cycle 2 – Week 1 – Day 4.
We humans are creatures of habit.
That is: we habitually do things in sequence.
Some of these habits are positive and re-inforcing others however are negative and sometimes destructive.
This week we’re focussing our attention on Enthusiasm – to build it – to experience it and to begin to use it in our lives.
But ‘talking’ about it isn’t ‘doing’ it – you and I both know that it isn’t easy to by-pass all your old habits just like that, this is where the 13 virtues scores big for us – it helps us to break down our negative programming and replace it with a better ‘program’ a better habit.
Now, we could get into this really deeply but this isn’t the place or time to write a whole book.
but, it reminds me of when I was at College – we had to program a mannequin with a robot arm, to pick up a cup of liquid and to drink from it.
Each step was distinct, in order to bring the cup to the mouth of the mannequin there was a sequence that we programmed.
This sequence was up to us, and among the group there were very many variations on the same thing.
anyway – we all failed, we forgot to open the mouth of the mannequin and the liquid dribbled down it’s chin.
We humans are programmed in exactly the same way – step by step – neuron by neuron and each sequence is LEARNED.
To us, many of these sequences are automatic, we don’t think about them at all but don’t be deceived, these are highly complex.
You don’t think at all about riding a bike now, but when you first tried it wasn’t so easy was it?
Each step in the sequence is triggered by the previous one.
The examples I’ve given above are all physical ones but the principle works the same way if you are thinking or talking.
The trick to change the sequence is to stop it at the point it goes bad (look out for it) and then replace the old bad sequence with a new better sequence.
Repeatedly doing this on a ‘problem’ will weaken and eventually replace the old habit with the new.
Today – as you are going about the world being enthusiastic – look for moments when you feel ‘resistance’ this is a clue that something isn’t quite right and you should take a closer look – you may learn a little bit of what is holding you back.
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No, we’re not visiting Sesame St, Playing the premium Bonds or Singing with Mary Poppins.
Though come to think of it those are all well known for generating huge lumps of enthusiasm.
Enthusiastic Premium Bond winners were chosen by a computer called Ernie.
Big Bird was a Unicycle Riding Canary from Sesame St who owned a Teddy Bear called Radar.
Dick Van Dyke enthusiastically played Bert the Sweep alongside Mary Poppins. (even if he had a dreadful cockney accent).
But no, these aren’t the Big Bird, Ernie and Bert that I’m talking about.
These guys are collectively known as Neutrinos (the little neutral one) and they are sub-atomic particles.
They’re so small, Scientists have been attempting to detect them in a massive experiment at the south pole they call the ice cube.
Recently they detected Big bird and recorded it’s energy readings at over twice that of any other Neutrino yet detected.
It had travelled a very long way – they investigated and discovered it’s source was 9.1 BILLION light years away.
Today, be a little bit Bert, have a slice of Ernie and drink from the fountain of Big Bird.
The version is up to you, but remember to emulate their enthusiasm.