Everyone wants success but are you willing to change?
Without change, there can be no growth. And in order to get what you never had, you must become someone you've never been. Before you go into the woods, you'll need a map. Rest assured others have forged the route before you and their experiences can guide you to become your best self.
On Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, authors Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy help you become the architect of your own life. Most of us make plans for everything: vacations, dinner, or children's school functions but rarely does a person make a life plan.
If you finally want to live with more intention and purpose in your life or become an entrepreneur now and not later, then your extraordinary life is on the other side of your life-planning design process.
Related: Are You a Candidate for Reinvention?
Living Forward offers solid advice in several key areas:
• Understanding why you need a plan (because as humans, we drift and get distracted).
• Learning how to create your life plan beginning with the end in mind (answering, "What legacy do you want to leave behind?").
• Making it happen (triaging your calendar and scheduling your priorities).
Many of us see change as threatening. Some even regard it as the destroyer of what is familiar and comfortable rather than the creator of what is new and exciting. Unfortunately, comfort is the enemy of excellence.
“For the timid, change is frightening, for the comfortable, change is threatening, but for the confident, change is opportunity," motivational speaker Nido Qubein writes in Stairway to Success: The Complete Blueprint for Personal and Professional Achievement.
Decide what you'll do with your current opportunity. In order to grow and achieve new heights in your life, you must make a commitment to change. Focus your attention on growing in areas that will add personal and professional value. Don’t let your comfort zone kill the excellence within your reach. Make your life plan today.
Four key attributes
New York Times best-selling author Brendon Burchard believes there are four cornerstones to achievement. In The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive, he writes that if you truly want to succeed in your career, you must develop four attributes: desire, direction, discipline and distraction radar.
Desire. You have to really want it. Your new endeavor should make you feel alive—it might even keep you up at night. Your desire to develop greater KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) will lead to you becoming a better person in the process. The challenges you encounter will test your boundaries, forcing growth.
Direction. Desire is one thing, but you need to harness it by learning to stretch your competency. You must be willing to educate yourself in new ways. You might take a class or attend a seminar, read a new biography, participate in a webinar, ask for help or seek out mentors. Learn how others have achieved a goal, model it, and mimic their strategies while you carve out your own path. Be a student of life. Continue to read and expose yourself to new ideas. Never stop learning.
Discipline. Success is within your reach if you're willing to be more consistent than ever before. You must establish habits and repeat them every day until they are second nature. Ask yourself, “What discipline could I consistently follow to get me where I want to be in my career?” Don’t think of discipline in a negative way. Think of discipline as the joyous pursuit of your dreams.
Distraction Radar. You will be inevitably distracted from your goals. Many things compete for your time—emails, social media, television—the list goes on. The world will toss its agenda in front of you. You have to be savvy enough to recognize distractions and move them out of your way. Listen to those moments your distraction radar sounds a warning and take away these interruptions' power to sap your time and energy.
To begin thinking more intentionally about these four attributes, ask yourself a few pointed questions tomorrow morning: What do I desire today? What direction will I take today? In which area will I be disciplined today? To which distractions will I not succumb today?
Plan how you'll deal with resistance to change.
In order to continually implement these four attributes, you need a system to which you continually return when you fall off the motivational wagon. It’s resistance at work, and it happens to the best of us.
In Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art, he puts it quite bluntly:
“Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable," Pressfield writes. "Resistance aims to kill. Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us. Resistance means business. When we fight it, we are in a war to the death.”
Start each day focused and productive
How you wake up and start each day is vital to your levels of success in every area of your life. Author Hal Elrod makes a compelling case in The Morning Miracle: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM).
He writes that “Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably create a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive and mediocre days and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.”
Aren’t you excited by those words? I know I am. Remember, when you start changing your habits, you are changing who you are becoming. It's by far the greatest determinant in your quality of life now and in the future. Still, most people avoid change. This will not be you. This is your time to banish self-limiting thoughts and share your gifts with the world.
S.A.V.E. yourself from an unfulfilled life
The framework that helped Hal Elrod can also be effective to you. He identifies six practices as Life S.A.V.E.R.S, with each letter signifying a purpose.
The first "S" is for silence. Elrod starts his day silently to reduce stress and anxiety. During his silence, Elrod likes to meditate, pray, reflect, do some deep breathing and concentrate on gratitude.
"A" is for Affirmations. Elrod challenges readers to identify five simple outcomes that create personalized affirmations: What you really want; why you want it; to whom you commit to being; what you commit to do to attain it and which philosophies you'll read to influence your thoughts.
"V" is for Visualization, a tool most successful athletes use. I like to call it intentional daydreaming. Visualization enables you to see a future you want. When you do it often enough, you'll look for ways to make that future your reality. Visualization can be a powerful aid to overcoming self-limiting habits such as procrastination. It helps you find the willpower to take necessary actions and achieve your goals.
"E" is for Exercise. Author and thought leader Robin Sharma said, “If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.” Get moving. You might never feel like working out, but remember that emotion follows motion. Once you start moving, you'll feel good you did it.
"R" is for Reading. It's said that “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” You must develop a love for reading—or at least remember the previous point about emotion following motion.
The last "S" is for Scribing, or another word for journaling. When I get something out of my head and onto paper, I see it more clearly. Journaling can help you gain mental clarity as you reread your own thoughts in black and white.
Devote six minutes every morning
You might think all this will take too much time to do each morning. Do you have at least six minutes to spare? Then you have enough time. Just take one minute for each.
Minute 1: Wake up and say a prayer of gratitude.
Minute 2: Repeat your affirmations to help tap into your unlimited potential.
Minute 3: Visualize yourself smiling and laughing with a loved one.
Minute 4: Write down a reason you have to be grateful today.
Minute 5: Read a page or two in a personal or professional development book.
Minute 6: Run in place for 60 seconds.
Realize it takes daily discipline to form new habits.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments,” Charles Duhigg writes in The Power of Habit. “People do not decide their future, they decide their habits and their habits decide their future.”
The key is consistency.
Elrod echoes such belief and says it takes at least 30 days to solidify a habit. You might feel discomfort or even some pain in the first 20 days. The transformation comes in the last phase, when the new habit becomes a part of your identity. It transcends the space between something you’re trying and who you are becoming then leading you to associate pleasure with your new habit.
To achieve real, meaningful change, you must first design your life and then emulate the four attributes every morning. The first step begins with dedicating yourself to this new purpose.
Question is, will you commit?
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph.