Four Keys to Greater Self-Discipline

“No person is free who is not master of himself. “– Pythagoras

Feeling stuck? Unmotivated?

Does it seem as though you’re drifting, not really achieving your goals or making progress in life?

First, you are not alone! Second, if you’re reading this you are on to something,

Discipline is both the key and the bridge to take you from where you are right now to where you want to be in life… and, here’s something you’ll rarely if ever hear, it doesn’t have to be difficult!

I’m going to repeat that, “Discipline can be simple once these key ideas are understood and then applied!”

Believe!

Belief almost always comes first.

There’s almost no point in trying to become better and more disciplined at anything if you don’t believe it’s truly possible. Too often people will say, “Well I’m just not that disciplined.” With that sort of self-talk and mindset where can a person truly go from there?

Believing / knowing you can be a disciplined person is the first step!

Do you believe?

Visualize!

See your ideal self in your mind’s eye. What would a more disciplined you look like? Rather than trying to encompass every possible disciplined aspect of your life, focus on ONE simple discipline and say to yourself, for instance:

* I see myself passing up the cookies

* I see myself reading every night before bed

* I see myself controlling my reactions/anger

Track Your Behavior

How can you tell if you’re making progress if you don’t track your behaviors (your habits)? How are you going to know if you’re eating better, losing weight, etc.?

Plus, there is a great secret bonus to tracking— self efficacy! It simply means that you are able to produce a desired result. Then, guess what happens? That’s right, you become happier (because you are controlling directing your behavior/producing a desired result AND you gain momentum! ; )

Tracking your habits produces discipline or to be more accurate the discipline habit. The Habit Factor provides this FREE handy, PDF tracking sheet or a free app (Google Play store and iOS) — it  is amazingly effective.

Patience

“The man who masters patience masters everything else.”

Patience can not be over-stated! All too often people bail on the process of self-improvement because they fail once or twice. You can and will “fail” a few dozen times… but that doesn’t matter. The most disciplined among us have just kept trying. EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY!

Change is simple but not necessarily easy, and patience is the difference maker. Those that succeed are patient with themselves and keep trying. They keep plugging along, keep moving forward and of course that bring us full circle to Key #1…. they keep believing!

So there you have it. Four simple keys to improving your self-discipline. Abide by these tenets and you WILL find success.

 

The Ultimate Habits and Goals Tracking Template

Brian Tracy likes to say, “Success equals goals; all else is commentary.” This is a man who’s written 60-plus books about personal development, so it’s safe to say he knows a thing or 12 about the subject.

That’s an important consideration, really, because if you want to become a dentist, you study dentistry. if you want to become a biologist, you study biology. However, something strange happens in our society in that 100{17e3bfd9a07c0de986581ed5697b485698805caa8353107ff911cf28c852f548} of us start out wanting to become successful, yet, few — very few — study the subject matter of “SUCCESS”.

Putting the obvious aside for a minute, this brings us to a simple formula:

If success is goals, what are goals?

Goals, it could be argued (very successfully mind you), are the RESULT of supportive habits.

Supportive habits create the realization of any goal!

For instance, the goal of writing a book is — and can only be — the RESULT of the writing habit! The goal of running a marathon will be the RESULT of developing the running habit. Becoming stronger is the result of the weightlifting or push-up habit.

On and on it goes.

So, to get to our endpoint, we just invert the formula:

Habits -> Goals – > Success!

A Powerful, Paradigm-Shifting Book

If you’d like to learn about aligning positive, constructive habits with your goals, check out The Habit Factor. There’s also an app with the same name (free and paid) and you can track those habits that will help you achieve your goals more easily.

A Powerful, Free Habit Tracking Resource

This habit tracking worksheet (below) is FREE and it’s powerful. It helps greatly to keep me focused and organized, and provides instant visual feedback and motivation.

tracking sheet

Try it!

After just ONE week of tracking I feel even more motivated and have great momentum… I’m excited to see all that I’ve accomplished and begin to believe in what is possible!

So check out this free tool and give the habit-alignment method of goal achievement a shot. Go easy on yourself if you miss a day, two or even a week of tracking… just stay after it!

Here’s to your sucCcess!

Five Tips for Overcoming Anxiety and Fear

Being stuck in endless cycle of anxiety and paralyzing fear is no way for anyone to live… I know, I’ve been there.

Worse yet, it keeps us from moving forward and becomes literally crippling. Forget about goal achievement, constant fear and anxiety turns into a battle just to get through the day.

It’s easy from the outside to see how this sort of thinking can be so damaging to one’s growth— but, from the inside, it’s another story and can be truly debilitating!

Here are five tips you can use to instantly destroy and eliminate those anxious feelings fearful thoughts— to move yourself from literally paralyzed to a place of greater peace.

#1: Take Inventory of the Situation

In Buddhism there is something known as, “right understanding” or, “right view” derived from The Noble Eight-fold Path.

When you become extremely anxious and fearful, ask yourself while your in the moment— what is truly terrifying you? It’s likely that the moment itself is actually quite safe and that you are projecting out into the future with negative visions?

What, in the present is so dangerous?

Unless you are being car-jacked or chased by a bear through the woods or perhaps some similar immediate danger, chances are good, you are crafting a story about your impending demise!

You are using your imagination— creating visions, in your mind eye about a future filled with frightening and unfavorable events.

Thus, the counsel is simple; take stock in the moment, in yourself and your present thinking. Do your best to gain a healthy perspective about the actual situation, in the moment.

Often realizing it’s just a dire forecast (not necessarily an accurate or correct one)  and knowing that the future is in fact, unknown…  ask yourself, “Could not the exact opposite occur?” Then ask, “How many other possible outcomes are there?” The next question to ask, “Has anybody else gone through this — or worse — and made it through successfully?”

#2: Shift Your Focus

It’s been said, “What you focus upon expands”. Further, in my experience I’ve noticed that whatever I focus upon I tend to feel or have emotions about.

If I focus upon a great time, a great memory, I tend to feel great.

Focusing upon a great memory, or holding a thought of gratitude and appreciating something can instantly change your mood, emotions and feelings in the present!

And, since you can only hold one thought at a time, the quickest way to banish fear and anxiety is to replace those thoughts with something favorable.

#3: Challenge Your Emotions

Could fear just be excitement? The answer is YES – it could be…. There is a great video about this by Simon Sinek (bottom). Could your worry or fear be instead an exciting opportunity? Often a situation that presents itself as scary is a powerful opportunity for growth. There are two sides to every coin!

Think about the situation that’s giving you fits of anxiety and fear. List at least five different ways this could result in a superb opportunity if your thinking was flipped on its head.

#4: Take Action!

Fear drives insecurity, and insecurity creates inaction and hesitancy.

Henry David Thoreau says it best: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life he imagines, he will he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

This simply means we must take action and move confidently — even if it’s slowly — toward our goals. And, here’s the kicker, even if we are uncertain and not confident!

“MOVE CONFIDENTLY in the direction of your dreams.”

The truth: NOBODY knows the future, those that are moving confidently in the direction of their dreams are doing so as blindly as everyone else yet, they believe and are hopeful!

#5: Accept the Fear

Finally, accepting and understanding fear can be a useful tool.

Fear has its origins in pressure and ultimately when we understand it better we can chose to refract the pressure positively.

Don’t believe me, ever hear of Lincoln, Gandhi, Churchill?

The “reality” is, we all have the ability to refract pressure away from fear, toward a hopeful, positive future anytime we can wrap some awareness around it (by acknowledging it!).

On one end of the spectrum is hope/faith on the other is fear.

I’m sure you’ve heard Yoda’s great line:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Choose hope and optimism by accepting and not rejecting the pressure and refract it toward the positive!

By acknowledging the fear, we take responsibility for it. When we become response-able and not just reactive! We regain the driver’s seat and thus have the ability to steer that fear toward hopefulness, opportunity and faith.

 

When Do You Start Counting?

Enjoy the pain

By: S. Kelley

When Do You Start Counting?

Let’s be frank (or Joe for that matter).

Most of us don’t like pain. Arnold Schwarzenegger, champion bodybuilder and erstwhile Terminator, viewed Muhammed Ali as a great role model for success. He recounted a terrific story about The Greatest in an interview in the ‘70s.

As Schwarzenegger explained it, Ali was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t know”. “I don’t count my sit-ups… I only start counting when it start to hurt! When I begin to feel the pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.

More Schwarzenegger and his “Six Rules of Success” can be found in our previous post here! But stick around first and try to FOCUS! ; )

So, what do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali and even great Olympic curlers have in common? Yes. They may all seem to be strange bedfellows, but they embody a basic tenet of success and goal-achievement:

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

While watching the 2018 Olympics the other day, I found myself mesmerized not by snowboarders or skiers and their death-defying leaps. No, it was curling that fascinated me. An ordinary-looking guy was sort of ice-bowling a disk while his partner furiously swept alongside the sliding granite stone. It almost looked . . . easy.

The announcer must have been reading my mind. “Don’t forget, folks. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.” Turns out that hurtling a 40-pound rock down a sheet of slippery ice while trying to hit a small target takes (certainly) some level of athleticism, patience and an enormous amount of SKILL.

In short, becoming an Olympic curler is likely to take years of hard work, training, sacrifice and involve some pain.

Piers Steel, author of the Procrastination Equation, talks about an elite cyclist’s trick for pushing past the pain threshold: micro-goal-setting. “Ivan Basso (aka Ivan the Terrible) is one of the best mountain bike riders of all time. One of his motivational tricks is to set a series of targets for the race, each one within sight and as short as thirty seconds if negotiating a series of bends. One at a time, he focuses on finishing each one.”

Steel recounts a similar story about micro-goal-setting — but one with life-or-death consequences.:

“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch; yard by yard, life is hard. How powerful is this mantra?

Joe Simpson, in one of mountaineering’s greatest survival stories, used it to save his life. Left for dead at the bottom of a crevasse in an isolated Peruvian mountain with a shattered shinbone, he had three days to pull himself to a base camp through five miles of truly treacherous glacier field or be really dead.

He was already utterly exhausted from an arduous marathon of an ascent, with no food and only a little water, so this journey should have been impossible, except for one critical survival tool: his wristwatch. With it, he set goals. Setting the alarm for twenty minutes at a time, he made for a nearby rock or drift — he was elated when he reached it in time and he despaired when he didn’t. Battling exhaustion, pain, and eventually delirium, he repeated the same process hundreds of times and ultimately reached the perimeter of the base camp just hours before his friends’ intended departure.”

(Read the entire article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-procrastination-equation/201207/breaking-the-pain-barrier.)

Crazy, right?

It ALL comes down to pain. Or, to be more accurate, your pain threshold. How much pain and frustration can you endure before you give up? Can you be like Ali and Schwarzenegger and use pain as the signal to BEGIN counting?

Challenge yourself every day — starting today. Become uncomfortable with comfort. Brian Tracy likes to say that “Comfort is the great enemy of success.”

Become comfortable with discomfort AND pain. DO the work until it hurts AND THEN START COUNTING!

More PAINful advice here:

A great article in Runner’s World, “Tricks To Push Through Midrace Pain,” (https://www.runnersworld.com/psychology/mental-tricks-to-push-through-midrace-pain) offers some advice for making it through a seemingly impossible challenge, with techniques that can be applied to any discipline, not just running. The author discusses how to stick to the grind despite the pain by recalling past sacrifices, practicing gratitude and even meditating.

Another insightful article similarly discusses the idea of “training for pain.”  (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/fashion/29FITNESS.html). Pushing your training in intervals, it points out, increases your tolerance for pain and exertion naturally. Tricks such as external distractions and relaxation exercises can help nudge you farther on your quest (be it a race or another type of goal achievement. If all else fails, we are advised to: “Suck it up.”

So, dear reader, one final time, when do you start counting?

 

Top 7 Reasons Your ADHD / ADD Can Accelerate Your Goals Achievement

ADHD-Positives-

By: Sarah F. (guest post)

It’s generally assumed that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a problem if not an actual disease. This is implied in the very word “disorder.” However, if you really think about it and look at all of the implications of having ADHD or ADD, you’ll find that there are advantages as well as disadvantages.

Whether you look at ADHD as a disorder or opportunity is partly a matter of perspective. It also depends on your environment. For example, a student with ADHD might be labeled disabled in one school and gifted in another. The same is true for professions and careers. The same quality that’s criticized in one context may be praised in another. Let’s look at some of the often overlooked advantages of ADHD.

1. You’re Full of Energy

If you’ve been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, chances are good that you have high energy levels. This is one reason you have trouble sitting still for extended periods of time. While this is often framed as something negative, you can look for situations where this quality is valued. Athletes, public speakers, high-ranking executives, people in the military and many other professions require high levels of energy.

2. You’re More Ambitious Than the Average Person

People with ADHD are often very ambitious. They place a high value on achievement and tend to have a variety of goals. If this fits your personality, you may think it’s a mixed blessing. It’s true that you have extra challenges when it comes to focusing on one task at a time. On the other hand, it’s also likely that you’re willing to tackle more than the average person. If you’re an ambitious person with ADHD, the trick is to learn to harness your ambition. If you can find a way to delegate smaller tasks to others, you can focus more on long-term goals.

3. You’re Extremely Creative

People who have difficulty with attention span are often more creative than average. This quality is not always rewarded or appreciated. In school, for example, you’re expected to focus on one specific subject or assignment at a time. Many conventional jobs are similar in this regard. Your mind may see all kinds of possibilities that others miss. The challenge is to find a work environment that matches your creative personality. This may involve having your own business or working in the arts.

4. You’re Good at Solving Problems

When you have an ADD or ADHD type personality, you have a tendency to think outside the box. While others may look at problems in a conventional manner, you’re more able to see alternatives that haven’t been previously considered. This quality, which overlaps with creativity, is not always appreciated. In many situations, conformity is valued above innovation. If, however, you’re a consultant, inventor, entrepreneur or creative type, your ability to come up with innovative solutions can be a real benefit.

5. You’re a Risk Taker

As with most traits associated with ADHD, there are both pros and cons to being willing to take risks. In certain fields, such as finance, sports and starting new businesses this quality is helpful. On the other hand, you have to learn to keep it under control so that you take calculated risks. This is definitely one of those qualities where there’s a delicate balance. A risk taker who is out of control may become a gambler or someone who starts new endeavors without doing the proper research. On the other hand, if you can discipline yourself a little, you can channel this trait in a positive direction. If you can do this, you’ll often succeed and leave your more cautious colleagues behind.

6. You Have the Ability to see the Big Picture

The difficulty you have keeping your attention on one detail for extended periods of time has a positive counterpart. Because you’re constantly shifting your focus, you tend to see the big picture. Some researchers call this being a hunter rather than a farmer. Hunters must use their enhanced focus to scan the area for prey and potential threats. In the modern world, you can use this quality by looking for new opportunities, possibilities and solutions in whatever you’re working on. Remember that in any organization, the people at the top have to see the big picture. That’s why many entrepreneurs and CEOs have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.

7. You’re Restless

People with ADD and ADHD are notorious for having a low tolerance for boredom. While this makes them annoying to teachers and managers, there’s definitely a positive side to this trait. Being restless is a virtue in many circumstances. You may, for example, enjoy travel more than most people. This opens up many career possibilities that can make life interesting. Even if you stay put geographically, restlessness can inspire you to seek out new horizons while others are satisfied with the status quo.

There are positive and negative implications to each of the above qualities. All too often, however, people focus only on the downside. By recognizing that there are advantages as well as disadvantages to ADHD, you can work on using your natural tendencies in a way that benefits yourself and others. This may require you to seek out people and environments where your particular qualities are valued.

Turning your ADHD into an asset is not easy. You may need to change some of your habits and, if necessary, seek help in keeping some of your symptoms under control. What’s important to remember is that your “disorder” can actually help make you more productive and successful.

The most important SKILL you can learn? SELF CONFIDENCE and Why you’ll want to write yourself a letter

Self confidence is a skill.

How do you develop it? Check this out — the answer is a bit of a no-brainer but bears repeating. Here’s a clue – how do you develop any HABIT? Plus, why writing yourself a letter is a good idea and how you process feedback is essential. All good messages shared by Dr. Ivan Joseph in his Tedx talk, The Skill of Confidence.

Remember, if you aren’t going to believe in you… who is?

Enjoy!

P.S. check this out for a related podcast – How Life Expands!

“How Can I Be Happy?” A Timeless Lesson told by a Personal Development Legend


How can I be happy?

If you Google “how can I be…”
Care to guess what Google will autofill? No guessing required… (see image below)

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 2.37.11 PM
only here is the dilemna.

“The art of happiness is to serve all. To be truly happy, we must think not only of how we can help ourselves, but how we can help others.” ~Anonymous

I wrote extensively about this here (see post)

I love the above video, here Jack La Lanne underscores all the above! Watch it at least three times this week and see what happens!

Enjoy!
~mws

It’s an incredibly exciting thing, this one, meaningless life of yours. Good luck.

A brilliant commencement address which, like most things genius, requires not one listen but multiple. And, while I don’t expect you to watch it over and over, my request is that you revisit this in about a month. Tim’s bio and background are here.

A few of the highlights and at the bottom is a link to his personal blog and you can read the entire transcript if you’d like. Enjoy!

Highlights:

1. You Don’t Have To Have A Dream.
I never really had one of these big dreams. And so I advocate passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… you never know where you might end up. Just be aware that the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery. Which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.

2. Don’t Seek Happiness!
Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Contented Australophithecus Afarensis got eaten before passing on their genes.
>>NOTE: if we’ve said it once we’ve said it a thousand times in this blog ; )! Happiness is a choice, it’s a responsibility it’s what the Buddha meant when he said, “there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” see post)

3. Remember, It’s All Luck
You are lucky to be here. You were incalculably lucky to be born… I suppose I worked hard to achieve whatever dubious achievements I’ve achieved … but I didn’t make the bit of me that works hard, any more than I made the bit of me that ate too many burgers instead of going to lectures while I was here at UWA.

Understanding that you can’t truly take credit for your successes, nor truly blame others for their failures will humble you and make you more compassionate. Empathy is intuitive, but is also something you can work on, intellectually.

>>Comment: Taking credit for even your hard work is fool’s gold. Everything and everyone have helped you to forge that work ethic — take NO credit, remain humble!

4. Exercise!

I’m sorry, you pasty, pale, smoking philosophy grads, arching your eyebrows into a Cartesian curve… You can’t be Kant, and you don’t want to be.

Play a sport, do yoga, pump iron, run… whatever… but take care of your body. You’re going to need it. Most of you mob are going to live to nearly a hundred, and even the poorest of you will achieve a level of wealth that most humans throughout history could not have dreamed of. And this long, luxurious life ahead of you is going to make you depressed!

But don’t despair! There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise.

5. Be Hard On Your Opinions
A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.

We must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs…Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privilege.

Most of society’s arguments are kept alive by a failure to acknowledge nuance. We tend to generate false dichotomies, then try to argue one point using two entirely different sets of assumptions…

By the way, while I have science and arts grads in front of me: please don’t make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another….If you need proof: Twain, Adams, Vonnegut, McEwen, Sagan, Shakespeare, Dickens. For a start.

6. Be a teacher.
Please be a teacher! Teachers are the most admirable and important people in the world. You don’t have to do it forever, but if you’re in doubt about what to do, be an amazing teacher.

7. Define Yourself By What You Love
… We have tendency to define ourselves in opposition to stuff; as a comedian, I make a living out of it. But try to also express your passion for things you love. Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire. Send thank-you cards and give standing ovations. Be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff.

8. Respect People With Less Power Than You.
I have, in the past, made important decisions about people I work with – agents and producers – based largely on how they treat wait staff in restaurants.

9. Don’t Rush.
You don’t need to already know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life… I said at the beginning of this ramble that life is meaningless…

You will soon be dead. Life will sometimes seem long and tough and, god, it’s tiring. And you will sometimes be happy and sometimes sad. And then you’ll be old. And then you’ll be dead.

There is only one sensible thing to do with this empty existence, and that is: fill it!

…life is best filled by learning as much as you can about as much as you can, taking pride in whatever you’re doing, having compassion, sharing ideas, running(!), being enthusiastic. And then there’s love, and travel, and wine, and sex, and art, and kids, and giving, and mountain climbing … but you know all that stuff already.

It’s an incredibly exciting thing, this one, meaningless life of yours. Good luck. Thank you for indulging me.”

Hope that provides you a sense of guidance and strangely comfort ; ) (comfort in the meaningless of it all). In many ways it’s a recipe for happiness and a fulfilling life…

Set goals. Work hard. Go after it. Be humble. Exercise. Assess your own beliefs and opinions regularly. Be a teachers —share your genius. Define self by what you love not what you hate. Respect everyone. Slow down.
(you can find the entire transcript here).

Thanks Tim!

Until next time friends,

5 Keys to Breakthrough Stress

I challenge you to watch this five times! Yes! five times!

Something pretty incredible happens around the third time, particularly if you’re taking notes. Now, I’m not saying you need to watch it five times in just one sitting. But, try to watch it at least 3x in one sitting (and take notes!).

The video is ONLY 2 minutes so you’d be INVESTING 6 minutes to alter/shift/change direction of your life (if that is what you’re looking to do.

Enjoy!

Procrastination and the Monkey Brain

This should help you understand the forces at play that both control and direct your behavior and subconscious thinking as it relates to getting things done and procrastination. While the presentation itself could use a little improvement, the message is great. Notice how many times he mentions “HABIT” toward the end.

A few key points, the importance of visualizing the outcome and even the steps being completed! The idea of thinking about thinking (meta-cognition). Planning for resources and the process not just the goals. Recognizing and anticipating setbacks and roadblocks – actually, planning for failure and knowing how you are going to respond!

Finally, the ability to recognize there is no perfect time to BEGIN! To get STARTED! Whether it’s giving money to charity or writing your book or planning your goals for the upcoming year or quarter. NOW is always the best time and he shares a Napoleon Hill quote to underscore that.

Enjoy!