Can you really design and build a life that you love? Yes you can if you have the necessary desire, tools and strategies, as well as the persistence and grit to make it happens. These are the essential areas and goals you should focus on:
- Values and mindset
- Priorities, passion and purpose
Values and mindset
The foundation of a successful life is solidly based on a positive mental attitude (PMA) and a healthy self-esteem. Without these attributes, there is no chance of living your dream life. In addition, your life needs to be based on a set of humane values. One of the best ways to achieve all of that is to learn to be your best friend, and thus give yourself the best advice all your life.
Priorities, passion and purpose
No doubt your first priority is to develop and nurture your PMA and self-esteem on a daily basis. Hopefully, developing your relationships with your family and friends will be among your top priorities. Discover and understand what you are passionate about, and determine your purpose in life through deep introspection.
Work on all aspects of your health and well-being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Financial and relational health are also important but are discussed separately. Practise daily activities and exercises that will consciously maintain and enhance your health and well-being, like exercising, eating healthy food, relaxation and sleep, prayer and meditation, etc.
Think like an entrepreneur whether you are working for others or for yourself. Develop effective strategies to strive for your financial independence and freedom as early as possible, like investing in real estate and the stock markets. Start your wise investments early, time and compound interests will be huge advantages for you. With financial freedom, you will have no more financial issues and stress, and a lot more options for yourself and your family.
Loving relationships matter. Life is really a series of relationships. The rest is just the mechanics of life. Without loving relationships, there is no meaning to life. So spend much of your precious time with your family and friends and create memorable occasions, reunions and celebrations. Financial wealth will give you more discretionary time with your loved ones with much more opportunities.
By putting all the above together and with continuous learning, we can achieve your lifetime success in alignment with your humane values and beliefs. Of course, you will have to make many choices and decisions. For sure you will have challenges and make mistakes along your journey to success. Don’t worry about them, learn from them and forge ahead. Hopefully, when you are living your dream life, you don’t forget to pull along your family, friends and others along the way. Enjoy it, you deserve it!
The above ideas and concepts are taken from my book: Become your best. For more detailed principles and strategies, consult my book: Become your best.
An idea, message, behaviour or product can spread rapidly just like viruses do. The name given to that one dramatic moment in an epidemic when everything can change all at once is the Tipping Point. It is the moment of critical mass, the threshold, or the boiling point.
However there are many ways to tip an epidemic. The author call the three agents of change: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor and The Power of Context. The Law of the Few means that a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work. The Stickiness Factor says that there are specific ways of making a contagious message memorable and impactful. The sensitive to their environment than they may seem.
Gladwell’s book affirms that human beings are profoundly social beings, no matter how much technology are introduced into our lives. In some rare instance an exchange can ignite a word-of-mouth epidemic. The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement people with special social gifts and persuasive force. People are actually going to have to be persuaded to do something via social media or other information medium.
At times, relatively minor changes in our external environment can have a dramatic effect on how we behave and who we are, infecting the whole community ethos. In some instances, peer pressure can be much more powerful than the management directives. You all know of a colleague with great persuasive power of his or her personality who can influence your office atmosphere much more than your boss.
Starting epidemics requires concentrating resources on a few key areas. There are times when we need a convenient shortcut, a way to make a lot out of a little. For example, by reaching those few special people who hold so much social power, we can shape the course of social epidemics. The theory of Tipping Points requires that we reframe the way we think about the world. People can radically transform their behavior or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus.
If you want to be successful in life, you need to change the habits and beliefs that are holding you back, that is change your mind state. When your mindset is on the right track, you are much more likely to be successful and fulfilled in life.
You need to understand that human brain is set by default on negativity, scarcity, fear and anxiety. Your brain tends to perpetuate your limiting beliefs, negative thoughts and old traumas. However the good news is that you are not stuck with the brain and mindset you have. You can change your brain by training it to think differently, hence change your mindset as a result.
You need to be vigilantly mindful and protect your brain from negativity and limiting beliefs. Use your brain to your advantage by focusing it on what really matters to you and by targeting directly what you want. Demand absolute clarity fin your thinking and decisions. Visualize the outcomes and results with as much emotion as you can. Recognize and release your limiting beliefs and unproductive habits. Know your SWOT, that is your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Manage your fears and doubts. Be flexible, resourceful and committed to change your brain and mindset.
Stay very vigilant and enhance your mindset and attitude continuously. Don’t let the brain gets in a rut and revert to limiting beliefs and negative patterns. Now go ahead and focus your brain on how you can make your life more successful, meaningful and fulfilling. Your mindset and outlook will be much more positive. As you begin to believe in yourself and think like a winner, there will be more abundance, gratitude and fulfilment in your life.
In her book, Amanda Lang shows how curiosity and the ability to ask the right questions fuels innovation, and drive change in business as well as in our personal lives.
She argues that curiosity requires habits of thought that most of us don’t cultivate. For example, curiosity requires the courage to risk of failing and being wrong. If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.
There are good practical reasons to encourage curiosity. It drives innovation, which in turn powers productivity. To progress and innovate, we need to challenge ourselves and each other. This process keeps your mind engaged and pushes you to novel way of acting and thinking.
The most successful and innovative businesses in the world promote a culture of diversity and inquiry throughout the organization. This promotion of the culture of diversity and inquiry does not come as a result of crisis, but rather as their normal business strategy. They are good at asking why reinvent the wheel if they can borrow and adapt one from another field. In other words, they take what already exists and push the boundaries to see how much better they can make it. They often look for answers in unlikely places. They explicitly reframe mistakes as necessary steps in the creative process.
At heart, innovation is about approaching the world differently. It’s about asking “Why?” and “Why not?”. Asking these questions makes life richer, more interesting and more fulfilling.
Communication skills are essential if you want to succeed in your family life, in your work and in your social interactions. We all spend the large majority of our waking time communicating or interacting with other people. You need to communicate in order to share ideas, experiences and feelings, to solve problems and to form relationships. You do it by listening, speaking, reading and writing. Research has shown that in the work environment people spend on average 45% of their communication time listening, 30% talking, 16% reading and 9% writing. Practicing effective communication can help you shape your world as you would like it to be. Communication is basically an interaction between you and one or more individuals, who most likely have different needs, goals, outlooks and values. It is a two-way transfer of information and meaning. You want your communication to be effective. A good interaction achieves a satisfactory completion of the transaction and enhances the relationship between both parties.
A good communicator sends and receives messages in the context of an open, supportive and empathic relationship. There are strategies for good communication that you should be aware of and practice on a regular basis. The strategies discussed below are mainly for oral communication and some of them are obviously not applicable if the method of communication is different. Some of the important strategies in communication are:
- Prepare the message with a clear-cut objective. Know what you want to say or write.
- Present yourself and your message in the best light. Be honest, clear, concise and coherent in your communication.
- Gain and maintain the attention of the receivers. Learn how to match the other party’s language.
- Respect the needs and interests of others. Identify the benefits to the listeners.
- Use simple language and emphasize the main points. Know what the audience likes and is interested in.
- Avoid barriers to communications. Create a good atmosphere in which communication can take place.
- Listen attentively and clarify misunderstandings. Be an active and empathic listener.
- Close the conversation effectively. Follow up and maintain relationship.
You need to know exactly what you want to communicate and what you wish to achieve. Clarify for yourself the purpose, intent and content of what you wish to say. Keep your objective in mind and come to the point as quickly as possible. A well prepared and focused communication has a better chance of being understood. Present yourself as a person with empathy and understanding every time you speak. Nonverbal messages make big impressions. A smile, a firm hand shake, open posture and eye contact convey confidence and respect. Try to match the other party’s language, verbal and nonverbal. Make sure that you have the attention of your audience before you begin to talk. You may need to spend time preparing the receiving party. Identify what benefit they might gain as a result. Use simple language; be clear, brief and specific. Try to be concise, while giving an appropriate amount of information. Avoid unnecessary detail and emphasize the main points and benefits. Do not criticize, put down, order or threaten the other party. Show your sense of humor whenever appropriate. Practice empathic listening and clarify what you have not understood. You have to determine when and how to end the communication appropriately. If the receiving party is not receptive and wants to end the communication, do not disapprove of his or her need for withdrawing. You may summarize what has been achieved and suggest ways forward or a follow up. In many cases, you need to follow up to get something done and maintain the relationship.
Excerpt from my book: Become your best
The wisdom, warmth, compassion, and disarming candor of Simple Abundance have made Sarah Ban Breathnach’s a trusted voice to millions of women. Now Sarah invites us on a bold, brave, and beautiful continuation of the journey to authenticity, the search of something more.
In Something More, the author encourages us to dig in our past, unfulfilled longings, forgotten pleasures and abandoned dreams to uncover our authentic self.
In today’s harsh materialistic world, millions of people unfortunately called their survival a success. They eventually settle in a job or profession, and often accept indifferent marriages and relationships. In the fast changing environment, we all have a lot of responsibilities, worries, anxieties and fears. Our authenticity is buried in the small details of our daily routine at home and work, and with our family and friends.
The conscious search for something more is a sacred adventure that will provide you profound turning points and provocative choices to live your life without regrets. While you may be petrified to make the wrong decisions, your choices are in fact spiritual gifts that you open with your free will. You will need to bravely embark on your spiritual path and embrace it. With meditation, self-awareness and enlightenment, you will be guided by your inner self and intuition.
You have to willing to relinquish the need to live through others and acknowledge that you deserve a life of your own choosing. To achieve authentic success, we don’t need to compare ourselves to others. Discover your own path and style. If you are to lead a deep, rich and fulfilling life so your soul can soar, passion must fuel your flight. Believe it or not, you are meant to wake up every morning invigorated and exhilarated, with gratitude and a smile in your face.
Whether you are comfortable with this truth or not, you were conceived in passion, born in passion, and will die in passion. The pursuit of Something More is simply the soul’s plea to live passionately.
The most important person in the world to whom you should be loyal and faithful to is yourself. Everybody else will leave you at one point or another in this life. You are the only person who can’t ever leave you until you die. So you better have a great relationship and understanding with yourself right at the start if you can. You definitely need to understand yourself first. Unfortunately, most people don’t really know themselves, and have not taken the time necessary to reflect on their core priorities, desires, beliefs, and values.
First, as an infant and a young child, we don’t even have the notion of self. We are just being ourselves which is great. Slow but surely, we start to understand the notion of self and being selfish with others. For example, we want things, food and toys for ourselves. We start to grab things from other children, and we start to discriminate who we want to let into our inner play circle. Gradually at school, we start to choose our own friends and reject others. As a youngster and teenager, you form your self-esteem mostly from external factors,
from your environment, parents, teachers and friends. If you were bullied at school like some were, you most likely had a low self-esteem of yourself. Your relationship with yourself would tend to be negative and self critical. On the other hand, if you were lucky to have a loving family, supportive siblings and friends, you develop a healthy self-esteem and a positive outlook of life. Then your relationship will yourself tends to be healthy and wholesome.
As young adults, most people understand the importance of developing a healthy relationship with the self. Unfortunately only very few actually consciously put the necessary effort in cultivating and nurturing such a relationship. The excuses are that you are too busy doing more important things like having an education, earning a living and dating. You forget the most important person in this world, namely you. So the relationship with one’s self is taken for granted and there is a false assumption that you treat yourself well by default.
In actual fact, most people tend to have a somewhat negative relationship with themselves. You tend to be critical of yourself through your thoughts and self talks. For example, you don’t like the way you look, you don’t like your job, you don’t like your weight, and you are dissatisfied because you aren’t happy and rich. Some people are their worst critics. They are never happy with who they are, what they do and where they are in life. The root of their misery and lack of contentment are their attitude towards life and their low self-esteem. Of course, their relationships with themselves are very poor and negative.
Spend time cultivating and nurturing your relationship with yourself. It is certainly one of the most important things you can do in order to live a meaningful and fulfilled life. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself in your mind. Learn to talk to yourself as a friend would. Develop a positive mindset and a hopeful outlook to life. A positive and hopeful mindset can alter your thoughts and can definitely change your relationship with self for the better. Be aware of the power of your mind. You attract to your mind the predominant thoughts that you are holding in your awareness. So choose your thoughts carefully, as your current thoughts are creating your future life. One way to master your mind is to learn to quiet your mind through meditation.
Nothing comes into your experience and existence unless you summon it through persistent thoughts. Your thoughts are the primary cause of everything. Everything else you see and experience in this world is effect, and that includes your feelings. Imagine that you are given some very bad news, most likely you will feel very sad and depressed. Your feelings are therefore an immediate signal for you to know what you are thinking. You are the only one who knows how you are feeling at any time.
Believe in yourself and be confident that you will succeed in life by reaching your goals. Your ultimate goal is to learn to become your best friend. Imagine spending the every moment of the rest of your life being with your best friend. What a wonderful life it would be!
Keep your thoughts positive, they become your words.
Keep your words positive, they become your behaviour.
Keep your behaviour positive, they become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, they become your values.
Keep your values positive, they become your destiny.
- Old Chinese proverb.
An excerpt from my book: In pursuit of relationships.