Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10 Things to Think About on the Road to Success (however you measure it)

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

How are you doing on your new years resolutions?  It's already mid-March and historically by now I've either already forgotten my resolutions all-together or just pushed them aside because too many other things got in the way.  This year I made a conscious effort to streamline my goals of being better, happier, more creative and yes, successful, in order achieve them.  I've made affirmations and even wrote them down since somehow seeing my goals literally in front of me makes them that much harder to ignore. 

1.  Make your own rules.  Follow them.  Break them.  Rewrite them.

One of my favorite quotes is: "Be the change you want to see in the world."  When I quit my job (almost five years ago!) I never imagined that I would be where I am today.  I still have a long way to go and I honestly don't know what's to come but back then I simply couldn't visualize any of it.  I was as nervous and unsure as I was excited and eager to get started.  When we make our own rules we're responsible for our own successes and failures.  And making a change in the world sometimes starts simply by making a change in yourself. 

2.  Shut off all the noise.

Don't compare yourself to anyone else.  Don't listen to haters but take note that they are every where and will always want to bring you down.

3.  Become educated.

Read everything you can.  Drown yourself in information.  One of my biggest pet peeves is listening to a person pretend to know about something when they really are clueless.  Whatever your field or goal, take the time to learn it and read about it, go to lectures, talk to people who have been there, done that.  Use your network and if you don't have one start making one.  You will need it and someday they might need you.

4.  Stop saying no.

You should never say "I can't."  I do it all the time and then I ask myself "why can't I?"  Usually there are only excuses in my way.  Yes, some things are more complicated than others but in my case, the only obstacle in my way is usually myself.  I am the queen of second-guessing, indecision and generally being negative when I should be better and smarter.  I have gotten better -- especially since having my daughter (who incidentally, I never would have had if I hadn't stopped saying no to myself and others).  Be engaged and be positive.  If you have to remind yourself of your accomplishments to get you going, then do it.  If you have to write down your goals and repeat them to yourself every day, then do it.  Whatever works.  Think about people who inspire you or who have had success and triumph and remind yourself that at some point in their profession or personal life they were probably feeling stressed or anxious or wanting to say "no".  It's not just luck that leads certain people to success or true happiness.

5.  Start doing things.

Just get your shit done.  Stop talking about doing it and actually do it.  My husband and I say this all the time and I really think that it was one of those little things that helped me to do what I'm doing today.  When I'm having an "off day" I just remind myself that I am a doer and not a whiner.  I am human and definitely partake in the whining and am quite adept at it but honestly, my energy is much better spent focusing on the things that I can and should be doing.  And, I always feel better when I do.

6.  Look inside yourself.

You know what works best for you.  If you always look to other people or circumstances to tell you what you need or what you should do, stop.  No one knows you better than you know yourself.  Be honest with yourself or it will keep you up at night -- along with the 7,890,945 other things you worry about, if you're like me. Your path is there, you just have to choose it.

7.  Take your time.

Don't rush through anything.  Take your time to think things through.  Celebrate your choices, be engaged in your choices and be inspired by what you're doing.  For me this means snuggling extra long with my baby at her bedtime, sitting on the couch with my husband every night listening to music and talking about our day, not rushing through every single meal because I feel like I have to get on to the next thing, work out longer and harder, stop skimming long articles, when I make up stories to tell my daughter and nieces make them extra long and always do the voices, take the long way home, seek out more opportunities for my career, write more, take more pictures, think harder.

8.  Unplug.

This one was difficult for me until I reminded myself that I don't want my daughter's memories to be filled with images of me staring down at my iPhone.  Shut off your computer and don't look at your phone, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or anything else.  The world exists in real time right in front of you.  You just have to take the time to live in it.

9.  Enjoy the moment.

See numbers 1 through 8!

10.  Inspire someone.

Listen to others and learn from them.  Teach them what you know.  Be there for another person. 

I showed you mine, now you show me yours.  Do you make affirmations or have a list?  What's on it?  How do you do it?

I recently read this and it really helped and inspired me.  Turns out, you can rewire your brain for success.

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