Monday, March 31, 2008

Staying focused on What’s Really Important

At one time or another, we all have doubts, questions and concerns about our personal productivity. Most of us are overwhelmed by the responsibilities that we face daily. There are always errands to run, bills to pay, dinners to cook, lunches to make, children to worry about, and husbands or partners to attend to.

Ever since that milestone 40th birthday, it seems that time has been moving faster and faster. In order to slow down time, or at least increase my productivity, I decided to sit down and outline what is really important to me at the moment and what I should focus on.

By now, most of us know what we really want out of life. Yet, for some reason most of us don’t do much about it. As we get older, our priorities change, and I have found that taking the time to write down what’s most important can help to see the bigger picture -- and usually a clearer one, too.

A few months ago, I watched a very powerful movie called “The Secret.” What is this secret and why didn’t I hear about it 20 years ago? It has to do with the “Law Of Attraction,” meaning that we attract what we think about. Thoughts become things, and every thought has a frequency. As a result, we consciously or unconsciously attract the energy around us.

Remember the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” Until I watched this wonderful movie, I couldn’t comprehend its true meaning. Now I completely understand that what we want and what we believe in is what we will become.

To begin our journey to live the life we want, we need to alter a few things in our daily behavior:

First and foremost, we need to write down our goals. Goals should be divided in two columns -- immediate and future. Everyone should have goals in both categories.

Second, we need to prioritize. Prioritizing allows us to move forward and achieve success.

It’s all in the attitude. I barely stand 5’4”, and that’s on a good day. Yet, most people will tell you that I’m 5’6” or taller. Why? Because I come with the right attitude. If you’re positive, upbeat and happy, people will cling to you like bees on honey. Conversely, if you’re constantly down and miserable, no one will join your party.

Stay focused and track your progress. Set out your plan and follow it, but be realistic. If something doesn’t work, alter your plan and work through it.

Eliminate “failure” from your vocabulary. If something doesn’t work right away, view it as a stepping-stone to success rather than a permanent setback. Life has many lessons for us, and only when all of them are learned do we achieve what we set out to do. If it was easy, we wouldn’t appreciate our success.

Remove everything that interferes with your success. In other words, don’t give in to temptation or allow yourself to be distracted. If you can see it and feel it, you will own it.

Use the power of positive reinforcement. Five years ago, I would have laughed at this statement. Today I consider ongoing positive reinforcement (through self-help books, CD’s, DVD’s, tapes and positive surroundings) as the ticket to life-changing experiences.

Before going to sleep every night, think of all the wonderful things that happened to you during the day. Tell yourself that tomorrow will be a very good day.

Before getting out of bed in the morning, think of all the good things that will happen to you today.

Finally, remember that the first 30 minutes after waking should be very positive because they set the tone for the whole day. Think of how good your day will be if you sit down and write a few things that you would like to accomplish on that day. I usually write seven things that I want to achieve during the day, and when I lay down to sleep I usually smile to myself knowing that everything on that morning’s list got done. My day was a complete success -- and tomorrow looks even better!


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