Success. Ah, the Holy Grail of social standing. What is success? Well, we have yet to determine that. I have talked with several people while “researching” for this book. All of them have had their own ideas about what success is, and how to attain it. One of my favorite responses during all of these discussions came from Jon ‘maddog’ Hall, Executive Director of Linux International. He said, “success is all in perception; it’s in the eye of the beholder.”
Now, I want you to think about what this man is saying…. Success isn’t this magical thing that just happens overnight. It doesn’t just show up on your door with a UPS sticker. And it’s not something you can count. It’s a mindset. It’s a way of life. Not a standard of living, a way of life. Do you feel successful? Do people look at you and see you as a success? Well, I’d say you’re a successful person. However, you had a reason to visit our website and actually purchase this e-book, so I’m guessing you’re not answering yes to those questions…..yet.
Okay, gang, we’re taking a little trip to Successville. Population: YOU. Want to come with us? We’ve got candy, get in the van.
Managing Your Assets
Not those assets…. That’s a whole other book. The assets that we’re going to discuss in this chapter are your:
This theory has been pushed upon my classmates and I over the course of the entire semester by our Management professor, Aaron Griswold. Along with having an MBA, he’s also owned and sold several businesses. The guy knows his stuff. He’s been there, done that. I’ve learned many things from him, not only in a business sense but in life as well. I now consider him as not only a teacher, but as a friend and a mentor. Now, I will be passing this knowledge along to you.
Not only will I explain to you why these are considered assets, but I will also provide you with tips on how to use them to their full capacity both effectively and efficiently. “Learn many things, you will”, as Yoda would say.
Time management is one of the most underrated qualities in society today. We have so many excuses as to why we are late. We have so many things that can distract us and lead us down that wretched path of procrastination. Everyone finds themselves in these situations. However, to be more successful, you should really try to limit the occurrences of these situations.
The government has decided that everyone’s time should be worth a minimum amount of money for every hour. They call it minimum wage, I call it a reason to increase the price of your time. Think of your time as money, as it truly is. Now, each day you have a determined amount of money that you have available. In case you aren’t following along, we’re about to discuss how budgeting your income and managing your time are exactly the same thing.
Time can be invested into performing tasks that you can benefit from later. If it wasn’t, then why would you go to class each day? You’re spending that time learning new concepts, ideas, or vocational talents so that one day you can look a person in the eye and say, “I want $___ for every hour of work”. And much like monetary investments, there is the concept that the more you risk, the more you can potentially gain (or lose, if you want to be negative about it).
Tips for Improving Your Time Management Skills
Make lists. By making a list, you are setting goals for yourself. Attainable goals only, please. This will save you and I a tremendous amount of stress, anxiety, and headaches. Keep the list fairly shortened as to not become overwhelmed by your future endeavors. Check off each task as you complete them. This will not only give you a sense of accomplishing something, but will also give you incentive to complete more tasks. You’ll become so focused on completing the task at hand that you’ll forget about all of the other tasks that lie on the horizon.
Do NOT procrastinate. I had a guy once tell me, “don’t wait, procrastinate”. Sounded like an interesting concept. NOTE: Do not fall victim to believing something just because it rhymes. Do you know what that guy does? He flips burgers for minimum wage at McDonald’s. Don’t be that guy. Instead, grab your clock by the horns. Don’t sit around and wonder where your time went….tell it where to go! *Same rule applies to money, as well. Get off of Facebook when you’re trying to accomplish something. Those ‘friends’ of yours probably don’t even like you, much less care about your little farm. You probably have a smartphone, everyone does these days. Download the TweetDeck app, in order to get your social networking fix on the go (but not behind the wheel) and still be able to focus on the goals that you have set. Because if anything is going to get in your way, it shouldn’t be your friends.
Deadlines. Nobody likes them, everyone needs them. Deadlines cause you to become stressful, therefore increasing your heart rate and your adrenaline. Adrenaline, as most of us know, is your own personal fuel reserve. Use this trick to your advantage by setting a goal, determining a deadline, and by all means completing that goal by the specific timeframe in which you were aiming. Don’t feel bad if you finish ahead of schedule. This just means you have a window of to either prepare for your next goal, or spend more time on improvements if any are necessary.
So many things can be said about one’s mind. I’ll just make this as easy as possible for you. Your mind controls roughly (just throwing a number out there…..) 110% of everything that you do. It is your very own personal CPU. Relaying information from the sensor to the receptors. But, I could write an entire library about how important your mind is in every aspect of your life. Instead, I’m just going to provide you with a few bullet points on how to improve your mind (in various capacities) as painlessly as possible.
Learn new things.
Remain positive in your abilities and infinite potential.
Try to understand things from another’s perspective, even if you disagree or do not understand
Practice mental toughness by continuing forth as the struggles greaten.
The more positive mindset you have, the more willing you are to learn new things from various vantage points and you are more likely to carry on through any form of adversity that you encounter.
A vital asset (pun intended) that is very difficult to summarize. Heart is an intangible asset that either makes or breaks an individual. You’ve heard it on multiple occasions, that, “he has the ability and the potential, but he lacks heart”. What is heart? Heart is the fire that burns inside of you whenever you are doing something that is of utmost importance to you. Most often referred to as: desire, or determination. Heart is the reason why some people are said to have a “never say die” mentality. It is the difference between being successful and having the potential to succeed. I don’t know if I can give you any tips upon how to improve your heart, other than diet and exercise; and I’ve heard that Cheerios go a long way as well.
Oh, sorry, my facetious is showing. The only thing I can honestly tell you, is to find something that you believe in strongly and use that as the reason behind everything that you do. You are only as strong as your desires, remember that.
Much like the mind, your body has a great amount of versatility and infinite potential. Of course, as far as growth and development are concerned, there are certain limitations but that is irrelevant here. What I am going to do, is fill you in on several ways that you can, not only improve your body’s performance but also to increase your range of physical abilities.
Learn how to perform physical tasks.
Complete a workshop class such as pottery or woodworking.
Become more active. Run, swim, play a sport.
Do not give up if you fail at something. Try harder.
Take up a physical hobby such as kayaking, or mountain climbing.
By keeping your body active you are not only improving your skills set and adding to your already astounding potential; you are also honing your skills that you already have, as well as maintaining your physical well being that is just as important of an asset as any.
“It’s all about who you know.”
Very true. Being successful has a lot to do with the personal connections that you form and maintain. We go through our lives each and every day walking by “strangers” (more on that in a bit) without even giving them a second thought. Just a simple “Hi” could lead into a better job, a new friend, or anything of that nature. Think of each person that you meet as a brand new shiny opportunity. Now, take advantage of that opportunity. Say hello. Introduce yourself. If they respond well, then do not hesitate to insert yourself into conversation, keeping it casual at first and slowly begin to purge for details. Where do you work? What do you do? What are your hobbies?
If you start getting the feeling that you could use this person in your life, in one capacity or another, then do not be shy about exchanging contact information. Once the information has been given, thank them for their time, and part your separate ways. Whenever you contact them, be sure to include your full name along with where you met and what you discussed. Keep in touch with these acquaintances until the time comes that you need them for something.
Always be willing to do favors for someone, because there may come a time where you need a favor from them. Use your relationships wisely and they can take you many places. Through each contact you make, there is a chance that they will introduce you to even more individuals in which you can utilize (not exploit) for your benefit.
The most unique asset that you have, lies in your experiences. There is no person on this planet who has accomplished, learned, endured, or encountered the exact series of things that you have. This is a very important thing to a lot of people. It is why we ask questions, and why we can answer questions. (“I’ve been there, done that”) We look to others who have done the things that we wish to know more about.
I’ve always suggested that a person keep a social circle that includes all walks of life, all levels of education, and most areas of general interests. This practice not only provides you with a constant welcome change of pace in your day to day life, but it also gives you access to almost everything you’ll ever need to know in order to become successful. Let’s say that you’re doing a research project for class… you’re not very familiar with the topic, but a friend of yours has a great deal of interest in the subject and is able to provide you with ideas on how to find the information that you need.
In order to improve upon your experiences, may I suggest you increase the amount of various things that you experience. As I read once, “to become a more interesting person, one should have more interests”. Walk outside of your comfort zone and try different things. Watch new TV shows, read a new genre of literature, become involved with social groups that you would normally not find yourself.
In a way, it’s almost the same as improving your relationships. You simply just do something that you would not normally do, and you find yourself enjoying new things and learning new things, and could easily find yourself on an alternate route to success than originally planned. And that, my friends, is not always a bad thing; as long as you are going in the right direction, it doesn’t matter which route you select.
This, is going to sound absurd. But, it’s one of those things that you have to DO to actually see the results. They are called “affirmations”. It’s a simple process that solves the most complex problems. Try this the next time you’re feeling undeserving of success. When you feel that you have reached the plateau of your potential….. When in fact, you’ve only begun to scratch the surface.
Your mind is a powerful thing, as stated before in the previous chapter. The ideas and thoughts that have surrounded us throughout our lives, have molded the way that we think and act today. Having a positive mindset is a very important factor of success. No successful person has ever doubted their ability to do something, and neither should you. If you think that you are not capable of doing something, and you fail, you are merely affirming your original belief. Instead, bring a positive ‘can-do’ mindset into a situation. And when you succeed in doing whatever it is that you originally set out to do, you will not only feel confident in yourself and your abilities in completing that task but you will also gain confidence in everything that you attempt throughout your life.
Here’s how to begin, and continue your affirmation regimen:
Buy a notebook about the size of a large index card. (8x5 should be enough)
Keep this notebook somewhere that you will see it on a regular basis.
Each day, write down an affirmation (or two) anywhere from 4-25 times per day.
Continue this process for… well, forever.
Examples of affirmations:
I deserve to be successful.
I deserve to be wealthy.
My job is the pipeline by which I tap the infinite wealth of my U.S. economy.
My affirmations work for me whether I believe them or not.
By writing these affirmations down each day, you commit them to memory and engrain them into your daily mindset. Once they have sunk into your mind, they become more of instinct rather than rational memorization. Whenever someone asks if you deserve to be successful, you will automatically respond with a “YES”. Use this form of mind control to alter your mindset as you wish. However, be careful as to never use negative affirmations. Because if positive thoughts generate positive actions or occurrences…. Then negative thoughts are the classic example of setting yourself up for failure.
Habits to Consider
The First Three Habits surround moving from dependence to independence (self mastery)
* Habit 1: Be Proactive
Taking initiative in life by realizing your decisions (and how they align with life's principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Taking responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow. Getting things done.
* Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life. It is always better to try and foresee situations. Predict outcomes and then think of worst case scenarios, will help come up with informed decisions.
* Habit 3: Put First Things First
Planning, prioritizing, and executing your week's tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluating if your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals, and enrich the roles and relationships elaborated in Habit 2. Prioritization is the key to the success of any business or in any walk of life. Being proactive rather than being reactive leads to success.
The next three have to do with Interdependence (i.e. working with others)
* Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely striving for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Valuing and respecting people by understanding a "win" for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way. Everyone will feel inclusive and involved. A better environment of trust and loyalty establishes.
* Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be understood
Using empathetic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving. This can also avoid situations where the problem does not actually exist and its just a matter of misunderstanding. It is always said that listen double to what you talk since we have 2 ears to listen and one mouth to talk.
* Habit 6: Synergize
Combining the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. How to yield the most prolific performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership. Everyone is a master of something and not everything. Positive potentials can be put together to achieve better results.
The last habit relates to self-rejuvenation;
* Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
The balancing and renewal of your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable long-term effective lifestyle. This is constant improvement of one's self in order to be a better human being and to sharpen one's skills in order to achieve better results.
Steven Spielberg - Dreamworks
Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Born in Cincinnati on December 18, 1946, and raised in the suburbs of Haddonfield New Jersey and Scottsdale Arizona, Spielberg always had a love and fascination for the movie industry. As a preteen, he charged admission to his home movies (which involved wrecks he staged with his Lionel train set) while his sister sold popcorn. At the age of 12, his first production was complete, including script and actors. Just one year later at the age of 13, Spielberg won a prize for a 40-minute war movie he titled Escape to Nowhere. In 1963, at the young age of 16, his 140-minute production of Firelight (which would later inspire Close Encounters) was shown in a local movie theater and brought in $100 profit. Today, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world.
Sam Walton - Walmart
* After Sam got out of the US military he decided he wanted his own department store. He wanted to make enough money that he could support his family. His dream came into reality in the fall of 1945 when he purchased a store in Newport with the help of his father-in-law. Sam borrowed $20,000.00 from his father-in-law and had $5,000 saved from the military. Wal-Mart first opened in 1962 and became the world's number one retailer. Wal-Mart's success has also given many people today an opportunity for a bigger job market. More than 600,000 Americans work at Wal-Mart. The reason for its popular success it still follows Sam Walton's values: by hometown identity, each person is welcomed personally by People Greeters, each store honors a graduating high school senior with a college scholarship, bake sales to benefit a local charity, associates determine where charitable funds are donated, and the prices are low and customers do not have to wait for a sale to see savings. This is only to name a few of the things that Wal-Mart does for the community.
SUMMARY FOR SUCCESS
Tips and Tricks for Increasing Your Odds of Success:
Improve and maintain a firm grip on your time
Focus on being a positive person
Set goals, and meet them.
Meet new people that can benefit you in your life and career.
Take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.
Create opportunities for yourself.
Learn new skills, concepts, and information.
Never give up. Never
See every “failure” as a lesson learned.
Learn from your mistakes, as well as mistakes made by others.
Believe in yourself.
Work hard to fulfill your desires.
Use these to continually improve your chances of being successful. And always remember, “success is all in perception; it’s in the eye of the beholder”. Keep that in mind. Okay, so maybe you’re not earning a six figure income or driving a Mercedes nor do you have a house in the Hamptons. But, if you are meeting your goals and constantly finding ways to increase the value of your assets, then you are doing just fine.
I hope you have found this publication to be helpful in one capacity or another. My hope is that you will be able to use these lessons as a way to become a more successful individual; not only in your career, but in life as well. I want you to take advantage of this opportunity to gain the ability to believe in yourself as much as I believe in you.
Publication Date: 04-05-2011
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