Tuesday 27 February 2024

Focus and Action Go Hand in Hand

What good is having focus if you don’t take any action? Conversely, if you take action without a focus, how will you know you are doing the right things? As you can probably surmise, focus and action go hand in hand.


The concepts reinforce each other. Suppose you decide that you need to increase sales, or whatever your goal happens to be. You plan out the steps and use that to set your focus. Then, when you execute the plan by taking action, you will learn that your focus was correct. Or, you will learn that it didn’t work out for some reason and that you need to consider alternate plans.


The last sentence of the previous paragraph is important. Not everything you plan will work out and you need to keep that in mind. If you find something isn’t working out, and you don’t believe it is going to get any better, don’t hesitate to find something else. Otherwise, the focus-action loop will get stale, and you will get frustrated. This is a negative reinforcement that will only serve to help you fail.


Failure is part of the process. Your actions should be iterative along with measures of what is happening. It can’t hurt to have alternative plans defined at the beginning of the cycle if that is possible. If not, just determine those alternatives when they make sense.


When you continue in this manner, you will find your focus is more intense. This is because you believe the actions you take will lead you to the desired results and you’ll shift your focus if it doesn’t. 


If you need to extend this entire concept to a team, make sure they understand that the possibility of failure exists. This will help you guide them to different paths. Of course, if a few of the team members are not doing their part, this is another path you will need to deal with. These members may not be clear on the benefits of the plan. When that happens, they will lose focus, and they won’t be able to take action. Or, the actions they do take will not coincide with what the team is trying to deliver.


When you approach your goals in this way, you will likely excel at your job or business. You’ll have a renewed sense of purpose, and you will bring the business to new heights.


Friday 23 February 2024

Reasons Why You Should Become an Action-Taker

What's stopping you from taking action? Is it fear? Perhaps you're waiting for the right break instead of making your opportunities in life? Or maybe you believe you're not smart or talented enough? These negative beliefs are holding you back. 


There's a reason why so many intelligent people fail. They tend to overthink everything and are often afraid to take risks. If that's your case, here are some powerful reasons to become an action-taker: 


Get Rid of Doubts 


If you don't take action, you'll keep wondering What if? You will struggle with self-doubt and question your decisions. Taking action builds experience and boosts your confidence. It also allows you to discover new resources and information that will contribute to your success. 


Your Time Is Limited 


Steve Jobs once said that remembering you're going to die is the best way to stop thinking you have something to lose. Your time on this earth is limited. You never know what’s going to happen a month or a year from now on. 


You might never get a second chance to rent that perfect office space in your area, go to that meeting you've been postponing for weeks, or apply for your dream job. Take action today! Don't settle for anything less than you deserve! 


One Thing Leads to Another 


Getting started is often the hardest yet the most important step to success. No matter your plans, you must take action to bring them to life. 


Once you make that first step, everything else will fall into place. It may or may not work out as you hope, but it will lead to something new. Think of it as an opportunity to grow and learn. 


Let's say you want to apply for a job that sounds perfect for you, but you know you aren’t quite qualified enough. Yes, it’s scary to apply, but what’s really at stake? Even if you don’t get the job, you’ll get practice interviewing for your dream job. You’ll also get feedback on what you need to focus on to get a similar job in the future. When you start taking action, you get results. 


Develop Your Skills 


Whether your projects succeed or fail, there's always a chance to learn new things. Taking action will help develop your skills, leading to greater confidence. 


The next time you want to take action on a dream, you'll feel better prepared and have more experience. On top of that, you’ll approach things from a new perspective and won’t repeat the same mistakes. 


Tuesday 20 February 2024

3 Secrets to Help You Take Action Now

Some people are just better at taking action than others. At least, that's how it can often seem when you want to take action but can't figure out how you should go about it. The truth is, you can transform yourself from a thinker to a doer using the following three secrets. 


1.    Stop Waiting For The Perfect Time


The most obvious difference between a thinker and someone who is a doer is that doers don't worry about waiting for the perfect time. This is because perfection is a myth. There is no such thing as the perfect time. You will always have a full schedule; you will always have other things to do. It is time to accept that there is no time like the present for whatever you wish to accomplish. So stop waiting, and start doing instead. 


2.    Write Your Plan Down


Many people don't take action now because they aren't sure where to start. If your plan is quite large, like a career change, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. What helps with this is to sit down and make an outline of your plan or goal. Break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Then, start with the first manageable piece that you can do. For the career example listed above, the first step would be to update your resume to apply for new jobs. Seems much more approachable than just thinking you want a new career, right?


3.    Overcome Your Fear


Are you afraid to take action now because you don't think you will be successful? Or maybe you are afraid that you will make mistakes along the way? You aren't alone. Most people who aren't doers don't take action because they are afraid of what could happen. Either way, it's time to overcome these fears so that you can take action now. And the best way to do this is by recognizing that you are human and that making mistakes is part of life. Don't worry about thinking you may fail; this is okay too. Remember that all successful people have had failures too. This doesn't mean they didn't eventually achieve their dreams! 


Taking action now can seem like a tall order, but when you have these three secrets up your sleeve, you may find that taking action is easier than you originally thought. So, if you have big plans for your life, don't sit around waiting for them to happen on their own. Take action today and make your dream a reality. 


Friday 16 February 2024

4 Techniques for Handling Negative Emotion

We don’t always do the right thing. We eat too much. We stay out too late. We make mistakes, break promises, and live a life that isn’t always in keeping with our goals.


All of this leads to negative emotions: guilt, shame, even anger come creeping in to derail your attempts to get back on track. How can you handle these kinds of negative emotions without letting it ruin your day?


We start by looking at three ways you have used to handle it and then move on to one technique you should be using all the time.


Avoiding the Emotion


Don’t we love pretending we can make the emotions go away? We bury them, suppress them, explain them away, sometimes even turning to things like drugs or alcohol just to make them stop. The problem? Anytime you’re avoiding something because of negative emotions, you’re letting the emotion control you. The better solution? Give yourself room to understand it, and deal with the underlying cause. 


Pretending the Emotion is Not There


This coping mechanism is a little different. You fall into it by denying you ever felt the negative emotion in the first place. Here the problem is, the more you deny an emotion, the more it grows until it can’t be ignored any longer. Your solution, this time, is simple. Acknowledge the emotion. Accept it for what it is and let it fade on its own.


Becoming the Emotion


Sometimes the negative emotion is so powerful it becomes part of who you are. At some point, you might even start taking a certain amount of pride in it. You start saying, “Well, I’m just a mad person” or even bragging about how worse off you are than anyone else. Now you’ve become the emotion. The solution? Let the feelings process. Journal, talk to a friend, whatever you need to do, do, to let the emotion move on. Pro tip? Start encouraging positive emotions, allowing them to come in and replace the negative.




Learning the lessons of your emotions is perhaps the strongest technique of all. When you realize negative emotions are useful in your life and are there to teach you about yourself, doors start opening. You begin to see different possibilities. Feelings as educational tools have no power to control you at all, but conversely, have the power to change you in very positive ways. Like when you’re feeling angry about injustice, and you use this anger to create positive change in the world.


Tuesday 13 February 2024

How to Deal With a Difficult Emotion Using Mindfulness

Mindfulness has a great many uses and is often prescribed by self-help gurus, doctors, writers and others as a tool anyone can use to improve their mental health.


Often these focusses on the long-term benefits of being more present and aware. At the same time though, mindfulness can also be used like a scalpel to deal with more acute problems. Here we will look at how it can be leveraged for instance to tackle specific emotions as they arise.


Turning Towards Emotions


Normally when we experience negative emotions, we react either by trying to ‘fight them’ or by trying to suppress them. This can be described as almost ‘turning away’ from our emotions to try and deny them their power over us.


Unfortunately, this ultimately tends to result in our becoming more stressed or upset as the emotions bubble under the surface, or as we frustrate ourselves in trying to fight them.


Instead, mindfulness teaches us to turn towards our emotions. What this means, is that you are going to listen to the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing and then simply acknowledge them. Now you say ‘I am stressed’, ‘I am embarrassed’ or ‘I am upset’. Don’t be ashamed or upset that emotion exists but simply recognize that you are currently in that state.


People get upset sometimes. People get angry sometimes. But if you’re simply aware of your condition, then you can be aware that perhaps the thoughts you’re thinking aren’t completely objective. What’s more, you should keep hold of the knowledge that emotions aren’t permanent. In other words, you’re feeling angry right now and as such your thoughts shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But in a few hours, you will likely feel better and then the world will seem like a brighter place again.


This creates a subtle but powerful shift. No longer is the world a terrible place and thus you are upset, now you are upset and thus the world seems like a terrible place. The difference is that you now know that belief is not true.




What’s more, being aware and accepting of your emotions in this way will allow you to assess them in a kind of ‘debriefing’ and to look at what triggered them, how you dealt with them and what they made you think and do. The more you break down and intellectualize your emotions, the more you will find you gain control over them.


Friday 9 February 2024

The Four Building Blocks of Every Emotion (and Why This is Important)

What are emotions, really? 


We know enough about emotions to be able to define them fairly well. We can talk about being 'happy' or 'sad' because we've understood these concepts since we were small. But truly understanding an emotion can seem complicated, especially when you're pushed to explain it.


Every emotion is made up of four parts. Let’s explore first what those parts are.


The Stimulus


For an emotion to happen, you need something which will inspire it. This can be anything at all. Generally, emotions come from outside sources, though they can also arise from your thoughts. You never know what might raise an emotion – a smell, a taste, a memory, a person, a place, or even an activity you're taking part in will inspire emotions. Even babies will be inspired to emotion through simple things like being hungry, uncomfortable, amused, or even by the smell or sound of their caregiver.


Your Awareness


A situation alone won't be enough to inspire emotion. At some point, your mind will become aware of the situation. This can be a conscious or even unconscious thing. We start paying attention, and this stimulus suddenly matters to us in a way the other things around us don't.


The Judgement


Are you okay with this stimulus? Your unconscious self already knows your likes and dislikes and is already steering you toward either a positive or negative emotional response. 


The Reaction


Your physical self is already figuring out the situation and is responding. For example, you might not have noticed the spider that just scuttled across your hand, but your eyes have widened significantly, and you might have felt a chill. This is followed very closely by the physical reaction (in this case, pulling your hand away) and possibly even a verbal expression (a scream, perhaps, if you're afraid of spiders).


Why is this important?


If you want to change your feelings, start with these building blocks. You'll always have a stimulus, and your awareness of things isn't always within your control. But how you feel about the stimulus can be reshaped. Go back to the spider example. If you don't want to be afraid of spiders, you might rehearse a different reaction, starting with a new judgment. You tell yourself spiders aren't scary and try not to react when you see one. Eventually, you won't feel the 'fear' anymore but might move to disinterest or even curiosity when you see a spider.


This takes time, but taking control of your emotions is invaluable. The key? Be consistent as you work on this change; soon, it will come naturally.


Tuesday 6 February 2024

3 Uncomfortable Things That Will Make You More Successful

Doing uncomfortable things is difficult, mainly because they put you in a position where you aren't comfortable. It's hard to follow through on tasks when you are uncomfortable. The harsh truth is sometimes these uncomfortable things can make you more successful, especially if you do the following three things. 


1.    Develop Healthy Habits


Have you ever seen a successful person that stays in bed all day and eats nothing but junk food? Exactly, they don't exist. The number one uncomfortable thing you have to do if you want to be more successful is to develop healthy habits. These habits include getting out of bed earlier, eating healthy, and exercising at some point during the day. These things aren't fun, but they must be done if you want to be successful. Start developing these habits right away because your old habits aren't good for you anyway. 


2.    Taking Risks


What do you consider successful? Do you want a different career or live in a different city? Why haven't you done it yet? You are probably still in your current situation because doing either of the above would involve taking a risk. Taking a risk can be scary and quite uncomfortable at times. However, if you never take a risk, you will never be successful because you will remain exactly where you are. 


This applies to money as well. Many people think it is safer to store their money in a savings account, or maybe not save at all. But if you can invest your money in something riskier, like your own business, or stocks, this could lead you on the road to success—you just have to take a risk to get there. 


3.    Admitting You’ve Made a Mistake


This is a tough one, but everyone makes mistakes at some point in their life, and it is uncomfortable to admit that you may have. When you admit to someone you made a mistake, this shows responsibility and increases the persons' respect for you. This can take you a long way in the business world. It can also help you mend friendships and network more efficiently because people will see you as the type of person they want to associate and work with on a professional and personal level. 


Are you ready to be successful? Then it's time to take note of the above three uncomfortable things that you will need to be able to handle before you can be successful. If you can manage these three things, then success is probably right around the corner. 


Friday 2 February 2024

4 Tips for Taking Risks and Living Life Intensely

If you really want to live your best, most authentic life, you have to learn to be comfortable with risk. Modern society tends to value security. There’s a lot of pressure to get a good education, find a good job, and stay on the path to homeownership, a family life, and a secure future. 


But there’s more to life than the same old nine to five. How will you know what you’re capable of if you don’t break out of the security mold? Living with intensity means really pushing your potential. It means making your mark on the world. Here are some tips to help you make friends with risk and live a more intense, more rewarding life. 


1.    Step Away from Fear


So many people live a small life, too afraid to step out of line and take the risk of doing things differently. You can decide to step away from fear and worry over the small stuff. Taking risks doesn’t mean being reckless, but it does mean you prepared to live a bit closer to the edge!


2.    Get Comfortable Outside Your Comfort Zone


It’s called a comfort zone for a reason. It can feel pretty safe and secure inside there. But it can be stultifying and limiting. And, be honest with yourself: how likely are you to reach your full potential if you never step out of your regular routine? Where do your dreams, your heart-centered goals fit into your life right now?


3.    Commit to Positivity


No one ever achieved anything big with a negative mindset. It’s easy to find reasons not to do something, there will always be a ready excuse - waiting until you get a better job or when the kids go to college. 


Take the risk of thinking positively. Focus on success and what you really want from life. Find allies and champions who will cheer you on your way. Look for role models and mentors who will help and inspire you. 


4.    Take control of Your Risk


Living more intensely doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There’s no rule book, no standards. When it comes to living an extraordinary life, it’s totally up to you where and how much you want to turn up the volume and where you want to do it. You might choose to stick to your regular job but take up skydiving or become an entrepreneur on the side. 


Inviting a little risk into your life can be liberating, even exhilarating. All you have to do is decide to make the jump.