Author: Victoria (page 2 of 5)

10 Effective Writing Strategies for Starting a Writing Habit

I decided to put together a list of 10 writing strategies that have helped me start a new writing habit because I noticed there are many out there who want to become writers but don’t know where to start.  I can relate as I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In fact, in one of my earliest memories I find myself reading an essay I wrote on family values back when playing the classic version of the snake game on your computer was all the rage—way before Nokia took it mobile. A decade or more later, I have found that I have been a writer all along just because I make it a point to sit down and write. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page (pun intended).

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29 Things You Ought to do Before You Turn 30

Well, I just turned 29 on Monday.  I realized then that everyone is talking about the 30 things you should do before you turn 30, but I believe that being 29 is in itself a big deal as it is, after all, the last year of your 20’s. So why not carpe diem the heck out of being 29 and accomplish these 29 items before you turn 30? That way, while you are 29 you can just marinate on your awesomness in preparation for the actual big 3-0 birthday.

Yes, some of these items may seem cliché, but they are what can make the difference between an exciting life and booooooriiing. If what you are looking for is a sense of accomplishment in your life, then you ought to get into action with this simple list of things you can easily accomplish.

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Re-defining Growing Up: A Manifesto For A Better Life

I remember the look from my grown up friends when I declared I wanted to work 20 hours per week (or less) and earn an annual salary of $200,000. We were all fresh out of college and had no idea what life held in store for us in the wake of the largest financial crises of our conscious lifetime. Why couldn’t just admit that we were all growing up?

To have a job to pay your bills was a hot commodity and something you better be grateful for gosh darnit. How dare I make such a bold declaration when I should have been grateful for earning one sixth of what I desired to earn?

Their disapproval was palpable and their condescension of my big vision unbearable.

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10 Motivational Quotes To Help You Find Your Life Purpose

A couple of months ago I shared 10 of my favorite success quotes and sayings for 2015.  Today, because I am giving away Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist, I wanted to share 10 of the motivational quotes that inspired me most after reading the book.

Before we get into the motivational quotes, I wanted to clarify why I am so inspired to give away this particular book:

I loved the book so much that I finished reading it within a 48 hour period.  Ever since finishing reading the book I was left a little shaken up because the idea of pursuing my dreams really put my life into perspective.  If you are interested in owning the book, why not join my giveaway, it’s free!

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The Most Important Tool to Make Your Dreams Come True

Ok, so you have something you would like to do.  A dream in the making perhaps and you’d like to be able to say “my dream, or a New Year’s resolutions that got forgotten about a week ago due to lack of will power.

But you are human, and you need something to look forward to.  A sort of vision that pulls you in the direction of something greater than yourself.  Something that gives your life more meaning.

Isn’t that what dreaming bigger is all about anyways?

If you want to become a writer, do what you must to become a writer.

If you want to run a marathon, then do what you must to run a marathon.

If you want to fit into your high school jeans, then do what you must…

But you don’t do it because you get in your own way.

And I am here to tell you to never, ever, let your mind get in the way of making your dreams come true. 

I am all about making my dreams come true–I went to Japan in 2014, I am planning a trip to see Orca whales in their natural environment in September, and I am hoping to publish a book that I’ve written 40k words for in the last two months.   And now that I’ve had the pleasure of reading Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, I feel even more inspired to follow my own Personal Legend.

And quite honestly, I want you to feel the same way.  For that reason, next week I am going to be doing a giveaway of the book The Alchemist, amongst a couple others of my favorite personal development books, so stay on the lookout by signing up to my newsletter below.

Heck, I have been getting up at 6:30 a.m. every weekday to be able to share all of my knowledge and be of service to you.  That is why today I wanted to talk about the most important tool you need to have to make your dreams come true.

How do you make your dreams come true?

Not that long ago I came upon an inevitable truth: Mindset is everything. That truth is actually the tag line to my blog and website:

As Lao Tzu once said: When you correct your mind, your life will fall into place (you should totally tweet this!).

Not only does the right mindset have the ability to provide a foundation for a new and better you, it is also one of the most important tools you can use in achieving your goals and making your dreams come true.

In fact, I’ve come to realize that any problem can be solved when you change the way you think about it.  The problem is that we often times don’t even know that thinking differently about anything is an option.  As a matter of fact, that is why in the past I’ve written about the entrepreneurial mindset and why being an entrepreneur is more about how you think to come up with solutions, rather than it is about starting a business.

And so I found that if you want to make your dreams come true, reach any goal, or even keep your New Year’s resolutions, then you ought to have the right mindset.

I also want you to think of the fact that you can make your dreams come true, reach your goals, or keep your New Year’s resolutions is your sole responsibility in life.  There is no better reason to make your dreams come true than knowing that your personal satisfaction will create ripples of hope amongst anyone that comes into your life.

So, what is this mindset thing and how can this help you make your dreams come true?

What is mindset?

I believe mindset to be the set of instructions that your mind has recorded throughout your psychological development (remember? I am a total Psychology nerd). These instructions I speak of range from “I am not good enough” to “I have what it takes” and direct the way you live your life and how you experience your reality.

Your mindset is the filter through which you experience the world. 

Are you familiar with the phrase “she sees the world through pink-colored lenses”?  That is mindset, and everyone wears their own brand of lenses through which they experience the world informed by past experience.

The only problem with mindset for our purposes? Most of what creates the foundation of your mindset is unconscious to your conscious mind.  I have shared in the past an unconventional formula for success, and wrote about how one of my previous employers would often tell me that you can’t think outside the box if you don’t know what the box looks like.

That box is your mindset.

Why is having the right mindset so important?

You may have already guessed that when your mind is telling you that you are not good enough, then you are most likely not going to try and make your dream come true because you don’t feel worthy of achieving success. On the other hand, you know that if you feel and think that you are capable, then the sky is the limit.

That belief that you are either good or not good enough is part of your mindset.

I want to challenge you to a little experiment:  Make note of 5 successful people that you follow, whether it is an internet entrepreneur, celebrity, or family member. Then observe their behavior through whatever means is possible. Watch their YouTube channel, read their blog posts, or have a conversation with them.

What do you see and hear? Are they hunched over, mumbling, and telling their audience that making your dreams come true is not possible.  Do they ask you, why try? Better to be safe and not risk what’s going well for you.

Or are they telling you to go for it and stay on your game as one of my mentors, Marie Forleo, likes to say?

When you have the right mindset about making your dreams come true or achieving anything at all, you are more likely to be satisfied with your accomplishments, and, I even dare say, reach your goals.

What is the right mindset?

So what is right mindset?

The right mindset is pretty much anything that serves the purpose of what you are trying to accomplish in your life at any given moment in time. I have written much in the past about self-serving thoughts, well, this is exactly what I mean by it.

When the circumstances say nay, your mindset is I am not giving up, I am just starting over.

When your circumstances say nay, your mindset is how can I learn from this so that I can be successful as a result of this failure?

When your circumstances say nay, your mindset is I know I can.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m a MexiCAN, not a MexiCAN’T.

Your mindset will account for 100% of the results you achieve. After all, as Henry Ford once told us, “whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Your second challenge for today:  ask yourself what thoughts you have around your dream or (long lost?) New Year’s resolution. Do you feel and think that it is impossible to achieve? Or do you think and feel that it is impossible not to achieve?

Which will it be?

In the upcoming weeks I will be writing about how to change your mindset and why having the right mindset is only half the equation in making your dreams come true.

 

Conclusion

1.  It is your responsibility to make your dreams come true.  It may sound tacky or childish to think of “dreams come true.”  But what else do you live for as a human being?  What gets you out of bed in the morning excited to face the world if not your dreams?

2.  If you want to make your dreams come true you are going to have to support yourself through the process.  That means that you have to think thoughts that are self-serving to your goal or dream.

I will be writing more on the subject to help you move from the “I’m not so sure I can make this happen” mindset, and into a “I can and I will make this happen” mindset.  So sign up for my newsletter so you can receive more tips on being successful, reaching your goals, and living life to the max!

 

 

I want to know what you think.  Let me know in the comments what is holding you back from making your dreams come true and what you will do about it!

And as always, thank you for reading!  It is my personal mission to share aaaaaaall that I’ve learned through my studies in Psychology and through my own spiritual journey with you, and as I said above, getting up at 6 a.m. every weekday is all done for you.  So help me reach and help more people by sharing this blog post!

Gracias.

Reprogram your Subconscious with a Vision Board on Pinterest




I hope last week’s tips on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions was helpful in shifting the way you think about how you go about reaching said resolutions. Because I am preparing a piece on why mindset is so important, I wanted to set the stage by teaching you how to create a digital vision board on Pinterest.

Now, last week I explained that the way a vision board works is very similar to how advertising in magazines, and/or TV works. The vision board serves the purpose of programming a desired behavior or emotion onto the subconscious mind—which by the way is the one that pretty much runs the show in your life in case you haven’t already noticed.

What is a vision board and why would I want to create one?

As I wrote last week, vision boards are a popular way to represent what you are trying to accomplish with images.  The reason they work is because the subconscious speaks a different language than our conscious mind does—the language of the 6 senses.  In this case, a vision board creates a visual and emotional representation of what you are trying to accomplish.

When you use your vision board, what you are doing is keeping your focus on what you want to accomplish.  More importantly, you are also creating that reality inside your mind… but more on that later.  For now, visit MakeAVisionBoard.com for more detailed information about vision boarding.

The important takeaway here is that if you have a certain New Year’s resolution that you’d like to really, really connect with, then you ought to make sure you are creating an environment that supports your resolution. A vision board is an excellent way to keep your resolutions in front of you at all times.

Vision board

Vision boards work! Don’t believe me? Read my article on my experiences on traveling to Japan!

Well… kind of. You see, I hadn’t been very successful at creating vision boards because depending on how you decide to create yours, they can be bulky and overall inconvenient. Check out my old vision board made out of magazine cutouts glued onto a rather large and bulky photo album.

It’s beautiful, but I had abandoned it to one of my bookshelves because it was hard to keep it in front of me at all times.

How do I create a vision board?

There is a couple of ways you can create a vision board. You can go the old-school, pre-internet way and grab a bunch of magazines and cut out inspiring pictures and arrange them onto a collage (which is what I did in the picture above). Or, you can create a new board on Pinterest specifically for your resolutions.

Enter Pinterest, the social media platform dedicated to helping you create and share collections of images of your liking and/or around a specific theme.

The benefits of a digital vision board that is hosted on Pinterest are simple. You can see your board anytime you need to, because, let’s face it, most of us are glued to our smart phones (and if you aren’t props to you!).

I mostly used Pinterest to keep track of fashion (I drool over Alexander McQueen, Elie Saab, and Japanese street fashion), dresses I’d like to make or food recipes I’d like to make someday.  But then recently it dawned on me that I could carry my vision board around with me if I created one on Pinterest.

Genious!  Doh.

So, how do you create a simple, yet effective vision board on Pinterest, and what do you do with it afterwards?

1.  Make a list of what you would like to accomplish and write keywords related to your goal.

In my case I wrote keywords that spoke to what I want to experience in my life on 2015: passion, freedom, empowerment, awe/wonder, and gratitude, just to name a few. I also wrote keywords for some of my goals, such as orca whales, debt-free living, and writing a book.

Vision board

Note to self: For future vision board, include something about learning how to take better photographs.

 

2.  Create a new board on Pinterest and label it Vision Board. You can either choose to keep your board private or public.

visionboard01

3.  Search for the keywords you selected earlier.

Using the Pinterest search function, do a search for each of these keywords and pin away! I like to pin one or two pictures for every one of the keywords I chose.

visionboard02

4. You are not limited to searching for keywords.

I always like to search for quotes. For example, I knew the quote by Henry Ford “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right” was something I wanted to be reminded of constantly. So I did a search for the quote and pinned the picture I liked most.

5.  Review your board.

Once you are done pinning, review your board as often as possible.  Especially when you are feeling down on yourself about your ability to reach your goals. The best times to review your goal, however, are right when you wake up, and right before you fall asleep.  I also like to review mine in the middle of the day sometimes.

6.  Create the experience of having accomplished your goal in your mind.

This is the most important part of the entire vision board process!  Research has found that the subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between what the conscious mind thinks is real and isn’t.  In other words, whatever your imagination can conceive of is as real as the computer, phone, or tablet you are using to read my blog.

When you review your vision board and feel, smell, taste, see and hear what it would be like to accomplish your goal, you are telling your subconscious “this is real right here.”

 

Conclusion

So there you have it.  That is how I created my Pinterest board. And true to form, I make it a point to look at it early in the morning when I wake up, and at night before going to sleep.  Because the vision board is not on a “board”, I even get to review it everywhere I go (because let’s face it, my phone is glued to my hand).

All that is missing are two elements to the equation in manifesting your goals: the right mindset, and taking action—two subjects I will be writing about over the next few weeks. So, stays tuned if you want to be the first to hear about it by signing up to my newsletter below or at the top of the page.

 

I’d love to hear from you.  Have you created a vision board and found it useful in reaching your goals?  Tell us about your story with success boards!

How to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions

I’m more of a #itstartstoday kind of gal.  Therefore, I am not one who sets New Year’s resolutions. I just say “let’s get it done right now,” and thus like to call them “let’s get it done right now” resolutions.

BUT, I also can’t deny that this time of the year is full of juicy passion, excitement, and positive anticipation. Hence, making it a ripe time to ride the wave of resolution and set some goals for yourself for the year to come.

I wrote in the past about how researchers have found that only about 8% of Americans actually succeed at keeping their New Year’s resolutions.  That is an appalling number if you think about it. It reminds me of the 1% analogy popularized by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The reason 8% sucks is because it tells me that approximately 8 out of every 100 people in this country experience the satisfaction of reaching their goals. I’d honestly like to see that number be much higher.

You know how it goes with New Year resolutions… you set out to hit up the gym and you are incredibly successful for the first few weeks, but sometime around the last week of January (if you have made it that far) you… well… didn’t make it to the gym.  And it goes without saying that your New Year’s resolution goes downhill from there.

The downside of this is that you are training yourself to not trust yourself when you make a decision in the future.

So, instead of hating on the 8%, or the 1% for that matter, focus your attention on asking the right questions, like… how do I become one of the 8%?

How do I keep my New Year’s resolutions?

Ok, first, I recommend that you go read my friend Susan F’s tips on making your New Year’s resolutions stick—she’s got awesome tips!

But, if you feel like you have failed at keeping your New Year resolution, you may want to keep in mind my 5 tips for keeping your “let’s get it done NOW” resolutions:

  1. Know that you can.

ford

Last year in January, I made the decision that I was going to travel to Japan.  I had doubts whether I was going to be able to pull it off—between raising the money for the trip, getting the time off from my day job, and re-learning Japanese, I wasn’t sure I could make it happen.

But I kept my focus on the idea of making this trip happen. Soon, things started to fall into place and my doubt was replaced with excitement and butterflies (the kind you get in your stomach).

You have surely heard the saying “energy flows to where attention flows.”  Had I focused my attention on the obstacles in front of me that could limit me from going to Japan, I probably wouldn’t be writing about it right now (or have written two blog posts of my experience traveling overseas).

So, as Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”  So you might as well know that you can.

  1. Have a plan to make it happen.

goalsettingjpg

So don’t just declare you are going to run a marathon and sit on your couch in front of the TV all day.  I don’t know what it takes to run a marathon (I’m not much of a runner after all), but you’re going to have to have a plan if you want to be motivated to get off the couch.

One of my resolutions this year is to publish a book.  In fact, I have wanted to publish some sort of book for many, many years now.  And it is only until recently that I joined NaNoWriMo that I realized that if I wanted to make it happen I had to take small steps towards the ultimate goal.

So what did I do?  I found out the average length of a novel:  50,000 words?  No problem.

I broke my 50,000 word goal down into a writing schedule I felt was reasonable and realistic for me to accomplish considering all of my other obligations.  I have been writing for the last two months and have now completed 2/3’s of an unedited manuscript.  That is about 30,000 words in two months.

What is the next step? Edit my manuscript sometime in mid-February after I reach my word count goal.

  1. Get in the habit.

jimrohn2

Of course, saying I was going to write every day was easier said than done.  In fact, I only wrote about 30 out of the 60 days.  But even though I skipped weekends, my productivity kept increasing.  I started out writing 500 words daily and increased my word count to 1,000 words daily—sometimes more.  I would even dare say that my writing skills have improved because of this effort.

But creating new habits or destroying unwanted habits (like that ^*&%@ bad cursing habit I have) is not as peachy as it seems.  It is a process of trial and error that requires that you understand how habits work.

  1. Have you set the right resolution?

motivation

Did you set your New Year resolution to get a better paying job because you want to have more financial freedom, or because dad will be proud of you?

This is most certainly one of the trickiest things about achieving our goals: knowing why we want what we want, and why we answered that question the way we answered. In case that sounds like a tongue twister, what I mean to say is that self-awareness goes a long way in reaching your goals. And having the right reasons to reach your goal is the only motivation needed to get you there.

Tweet this:  Having the right reasons to reach your goal is the only #motivation needed to get you there.

So, when in doubt, ask yourself why you want what you want. When you have an answer, ask yourself why again, and again, until you can no longer ask “why”. I promise you this, you will be in awe of your answers.

  1. Do you have a vision board?

Vision boards are a popular way to represent what you are trying to accomplish with images.  The reason they work is because the subconscious speaks a different language than our conscious mind does—the language of the 6 senses.  In this case, a vision board creates a visual representation of what you are trying to accomplish.

Think of all of the TV and magazine ads for cigarettes and/or alcohol, and ask yourself for a minute what the advertisement is trying to accomplish.  Is the advertisement trying to communicate that if you consume the company’s product you will feel sexy, liberated, and exciting?

In my case, I grew up with commercials of people enjoying coffee drinks early in the morning. These commercials depicted men and women experiencing such satisfaction when they drank their coffee that I couldn’t help but be curious about coffee since I was young. Needless to say, I found that I drink coffee purely out of enjoyment, not for the caffeine.  And I do it to emulate that warm and fuzzy feeling of satisfaction that was programmed into my subconscious.

That, my friend, is the power of advertising and using images to program a desired behavior.

A vision board works in a similar way.  Again, it is a visual representation that communicates to your subconscious what it is you want to experience in your life.  Constantly reviewing your vision board is a surefire way to keep your resolution in the back of your mind.

You can use magazine cutouts and poster board to make one, OR you can create a digital vision board with Pinterest.  In fact, check out the one I created over at my Pinterest account.

So there you have it.  Happy pinning and happy New Year!

Conclusion.

I hope that 2015 brings you much joy and that you find the satisfaction of accomplishing the goals that you are so looking forward to accomplishing. And if you are scared of setting resolutions because you are afraid to fail, know that by getting started you have won half the battle already.

As for my New Year’s resolutions for 2015, I’m proud to declare that I do have several this year:

  • Travel to Friday Harbor, WA to see Orca whales in their natural habitat in September.
  • Read all of the new books that I own that need to be read (and re-read some old classics).
  • booksFinish and publish my book.
  • Continue having “the perfect morning”.
  • And keep this plant alive because I am not one to keep plants alive for very long—but I intend to change that:

lavender

And the way I am going to accomplish my goals is by trusting in my ability to succeed, having a plan, getting in the habit of success, keeping in mind the reasons I want to accomplish my goals, and mentally rehearsing success.

 

What about you? What are your New Year’s resolutions and how do you plan to keep them?

How do you Measure success? Hint: Comparisionitis is NOT the answer!

One of the major themes that comes up during coaching sessions with other entrepreneurs is that of success. My clients often want to know “how do you measure success” and/or “how do you become successful”. I always tell them that the answer, of course, is always up to you, the entrepreneur or undertaker.

Truth is that measuring success is not quite the black & white process we wish it would be.  So when my clients answer this question for themselves during our coaching sessions, they would always, inevitably compare themselves to other successful entrepreneurs.

“I’m not doing this right and he/she is.”

“My website sucks and his/hers is the bombdotcom (literally).”

“His/her life looks like it’s all in order, I’m such a mess.”

Etc.

Does this look, sound, and feel like you?

Do you often ask yourself “how do you measure success?” and find yourself beating yourself up over not being able to live up to the standards other people have set?

Let me guess: then, after beating yourself up, you experience incredible resistance and lack of productivity. Consequently, you beat yourself up again, but this time over not being productive.  And there you are, caught in a vicious cycle of “I’m not good enough” because you compare yourself to others, and because you don’t do what needs to get done.

It’s quite the conundrum, isn’t it?  It really is no surprise you are not moving forward in the direction of your goals.

Story time:  How I went from “proud seamstress in training” to “worst seamstress ever” in less than a fraction of a second.

If you’ve read my about page then you already know that I take Fashion Design classes at one of the Art Institutes. Making clothes has been something I have been interested in since I was young and I am very fortunate that I get to pursue this dream of mine now.

As a side note, you need to know that most people have NO idea about how much work the process of creating a garment entails. In fact, more often than not, people see Fashion Design for what the media wants us to see: the glam, the red carpet, the beautiful people; when in reality, Fashion Design is a creative process that involves a lot of hard but rewarding work.

The class I just completed was an advanced class in which I learned the process for creating a custom fitted dress. Truly a dream come true, as through this class I created a custom-fitted pattern (known as the basic sloper) that fit me and my body type perfectly.  Mind you, when I say I was taking an advanced class I do it only because I haven’t taken the classes in order, which has contributed to some of the mistakes I make in the process.

Anyways, the final project for this class was to model a dress that you designed for the class. Well, with my brother’s graduation in Albuquerque, NM this last weekend, I didn’t have time to completely finish my final dress. Nonetheless, I was super proud of the progress I had made and how great the dress looked despite the setbacks.

That is until another student’s model walked in with a gorgeous, completely finished, open-back, white dress. In less than a fraction of a second I went from proud seamstress in training to worst seamstress ever.

Answer time: How do you measure success when the grass looks greener on the other side?

I shared my story with you because I wanted to illustrate the idea of accomplishments as a process that involves hard work and dedication.  How you see this process, the end result, and the feedback you take, is what I would say answers our question:  how do you measure success?

I also want you to know that I can totally relate when you feel bad about your accomplishments because someone else has set the bar high.  Comparisionitis is a deadly disease that kills many dreams and confidence anywhere it goes.

Fortunately, I did learn a thing or two (ok, five things) that I want to share with you as a remedy for Comparisionitis.

1.  Stay present

Truly the only way you will ever be able to keep yourself from comparing to others is by staying present. Do not, under any circumstance, entertain thoughts of failure. As I mentioned above, thoughts of failure will only take you on a landslide of other problems that will result in resistance.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself “what will I choose to focus on?”

2.  Set your own standards for success

Be realistic about what you can accomplish. One of my clients loves freediving and can hold her breath for five minutes. To supplement her accomplishments, she has a wonderful nutritional plan to help her achieve the results she’s getting.

Realistically speaking, there is no way most people could hold their breath for five minutes anytime soon. Arriving at that success marker is the result of hard work and dedication.

Ask yourself, what small incremental step can I take on a daily basis that is realistic for me to accomplish?  Can I hold my breath for a minute?  Two minutes?

3.  Set the bar low

Uh, excuse me? What?

Yes, set the bar low, and then challenge yourself.  This is kind of a mind hack that works well for a lot of people because not everyone has learned to confidently go after and accomplish their goals.

I’m going to sum this up with a quote by St. Francis of Assisi:

Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible (Tweet this out!).

When you set your bar high and you do not achieve the results you wanted you are likely to feel down about not accomplishing what you wanted. This could result in negative self talk and could potentially derail you from your commitment to achieve the results you desire.

When you set the bar low and you accomplish small tasks, you feel accomplished and want to do more. But that is exactly why it is important that, as you accomplish small tasks, you also push yourself to the next level. You will eventually be doing what you initially thought impossible.

4.  Honor the progress you’ve made

Going back to my own example, it is way too easy to say/think/feel that my dress was an absolute horror compared to the other student’s.  WAY TOO EASY.  But I felt confident that, in the last three years that I have been sewing (I also taught myself how to sew) I have refined my craft exponentially.  I may not be where I want to be just now, but I know that with small, incremental steps, and constant practice, I can, and will get there.

5.  Comparisionitis begone!

That being said, if you are going to look up to someone else (say, perhaps a mentor) to accomplish more in your life, then don’t compare yourself to them. Period.  Like, Ever. Why? Because, as I said above, any accomplishment is the result of hard work, dedication, and sometimes, yes, luck.

Your story is different and your perception of the world is unique. Comparing yourself to how others are only sets you up to fail because you do not know what this person has had to go through to achieve the results they have. Besides, you are not them, you can only be you.

 

Conclusion

In the end, how you measure success depends on how you want to work with you. Think of yourself as your own boss. When you work for somebody they train you in such a way that you will yield the best possible results. So as your very own boss, learn about your patterns and work with them in such a way that it allows you to get the work done in the most efficient way to become successful.

In the end, the most important thing you can do is to redefine success as a journey, not a destination. What do I mean by that? Think of success as incremental progress towards a desired goal!

And if you are still struggling with this new idea of success, run over to my blog about success quotes or read about the formula for success.  This is all written with you in mind!

Remember to share this article with others who may be in need of re-framing their definition of success!  I am on a mission to help others create an epic mindset and I can’t do it without you.

And if you liked what you read, sign up to my newsletter below for future updates on success, productivity, and living the life of your dreams.

10 Success Quotes to Welcome 2015 with a BANG!




I love inspirational success quotes and sayings. I mean, who doesn’t? They deliver bite-sized pieces of valuable information with a BANG.

So I created this as my Christmas present for you: a collection of my favorite quotes about achieving success in your personal and business life.

Pin them, tweet them, share them on Facebook, or simply write them on note cards… whatever you decide to do with them, make sure that you keep them in mind when you are in need of some pick me up words.

Without further ado, enjoy.

  1. Start today

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one” Mark Twain (Tweet this).

I’ve written about the #itstartstoday movement before, so I wanted to include a quote about getting started TODAY because the simplest thing you can do towards achieving your dreams and goals in life is to get started.

  1. #NoFear

desireforsuccess

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure” Bill Cosby (Tweet this).

I’ve also written about how fear is nothing but a signpost showing you the limits of your mind. I love Bill Cosby’s quote because it forces you to think about what you’d rather focus on, the fear of failure, or your desire for success. Which one will you focus on?

  1. Keep your eye on the goal

oneidea

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea. And just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda (Tweet this).

I love this quote by Swami Vivekananda because it is an invitation to immerse yourself with an idea or your goal and nothing else. Like Bill Cosby’s quote, it asks that you focus on what you desire, and it also forces you to pay attention to where else you are using valuable focus.

  1. Develop habits that support your goal

excellence

“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” Aristotle (Tweet this).

YES! If you haven’t noticed, I am on a “habit” kick, and am about to launch a FREE mini e-course on kicking procrastination in the ass by helping you develop habits. My favorite thing that I have learned from this project is that habits aren’t just about what you do, but also about what you think.

  1. Be successful

want2succeed

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful” Eric Thomas (Tweet this).

My intention with sharing this quote is to invite you to step into “success” mode every single day of your life like your life depended on it. In the end, when you look back, you will ask “was I successful?” and you can only answer “yes” or “no”… so why not plan ahead and make it a point for that answer to be a loud and resounding YES!

  1. Take responsibility

“It’s lonely at the top. 99% of people in the world are convinced they can’t do great things so they aim for mediocre” Tim Ferriss (Tweet this).

Taking responsibility isn’t so much about paying the bills on time as it about owning where you are at in your current journey. Taking responsibility it is about saying “my life is the way it is because I did this, this, and that” instead of playing victim to your circumstances. It is about taking back your power and being great.

  1. Turn failure into feedback

failureiswiser

“Failure is often a wiser teacher than success” Gerry C. Starnes (Tweet this).

When we succeed the first time we may become entitled. Failure on the other hand, allows us to look at what we did that did not yield the results we desired, adjust accordingly, and try again. In which circumstance did you learn the most?

  1. Get your priorities straight

jimrohn

“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse” Jim Rohn (Tweet this).

I am a huge advocate of this success quote and saying because, like personal responsibility, it puts you back on the driver’s seat and forces you to re-assess your priorities.

  1. What is your plan to get there?

“Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them” Stephen Covey (Tweet this).

I agree, goals are great and all. But when you don’t have a plan to achieve your goal, how do you expect to get there? I may be biased because I am a planner, but the truth is that without a map, you are going to have a much harder time arriving at your destination.

10. Be passionate

buddha

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it” Buddha (Tweet this).

This is something that I am still working on. Mostly because self-discovery is a journey and not a destination, but also because I still find myself disliking certain aspects of my life, rather than loving what is. I am a work in progress after all.

11. BONUS: Surround yourself with successful people

jimrohn02

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” Jim Rohn (Tweet this).

I don’t think I could emphasize this idea enough. I’ve met many people throughout the last 28 years of my life. Some are still in my life, some no longer in it.

Those relationships that have fallen away recently are largely due to the different priorities in our lives—the kind of person who laughs in your face when you share your dreams and aspirations and encourages you to settle for what you have instead. There is nothing wrong with this attitude, but it is certainly not going to help you reach your goals and dreams.

I am lucky that I have been able to meet a circle of wonderful entrepreneurs who have encouraged me along the way.

This quote forces you to question whether your relationships are serving you or holding you back. So what is it?

 

Conclusion

Next time you are facing a moment of self-doubt, remember to look at these inspirational success quotes and sayings as anchors for a positive mindset. I hope you enjoyed them and they have given you the opportunity to re-assess and re-focus your energy in self-serving ways.

Please share this collection of success quotes and sayings with others whom you think may be in need of reading about success. I am on a mission to help others develop a mindset of success and I can’t do it without you.

BANG!

 

p.s. Thank you Baisha C. Kreuzer Photography, your guide to life in Houston and everything Texas, for allowing me to use some of your pictures!

Too busy to meditate? Try These Fun Meditation Techniques Instead

If you are anything like me, you have surely heard all about the different meditation techniques out there and the importance of meditating 5 minutes daily.

You’ve tried to do it… in fact, you get off to a great start, you create a new habit (or at least you think you have) and next thing you know your 5 minutes of meditation bliss have been replaced by [insert random activity here].

BUT YOU REMAIN DETERMINED. You know all about the benefits, you know you should be doing it, and you push yourself yet again.

The solution to the problem is easy: create new habits that stick. I started my mini-course on procrastination precisely because I wanted to learn how to create new and productive habits that could help me reach my goals. If you want to be the first to hear about it, make sure to sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page or below this article.

But what if creating and starting the habit of meditation itself is not the problem?

Have you asked yourself what is truly holding you back from sitting down cross-legged with your eyes closed for at least 5 minutes daily?

Yes, I am sure meditating cross-legged is more helpful than not.

Yes, I am sure meditating with your eyes closed is even more helpful than not.

But the truth of the matter is that if you are learning meditation, or if you feel like you’re too busy to meditate, the fact that you think that in order to meditate you must sit cross-legged or close eyes for five minutes will actually work against you. Take the following scenarios for example:

  • Scenario #1: You wake up and because you have heard the best time to meditate is right after you wake up you proceed to… ehem… fall back asleep for five more minutes.
  • Scenario #2: You actually do wake up, you sit up cross legged, spine straight, close your eyes, and let your monkey mind run wild as you go down your to-do list for the day ahead of you—so much for meditation.
  • Scenario #3: You just don’t feel like sitting still or closing your eyes and therefore you cannot meditate.

meditating with a straight spine, sitting cross legged and with your eyes closed while you chant “Om” may be the ideal way to meditate, but it is not the only way to do it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

So if you could relate to any of the scenarios above, what can you do if you still want to meditate?

First, understand what meditation really is all about.

The benefits of meditation are everywhere on the interweb. MayoClinic, numerous HuffPo articles, websites created specifically for the different meditation techniques… we all know them almost by heart:

  • Reduced stress,
  • Better focus,
  • Increased happiness,
  • Increased self-awareness (and we all know just how important self-awareness is in the formula for success).

But what is meditation?

Is it really all about sitting down cross-legged? Not quite.

I have been practicing Kundalini yoga since 2009, a kind of yoga that combines physical exercises with chanting and meditation. And from my own practice, I have come to realize that meditation is both focused attention and a state in which you simply let go of that focused attention.

More importantly, I have found that all meditation techniques have three basic things in common. In fact, this is where these alternative meditation techniques come in. Instead of thinking that you must sit cross-legged, that you must close your eyes, and that you must chant Om, why not take the basics of meditation and apply them to your everyday life?

Isn’t that what building sustainable habits is all about anyways?

The basics of meditation as alternative meditation techniques

1. Breath

An integral part of any meditative practice or any of the many different meditation techniques out there is to take deep breaths. Simple as that.

That means that if you want to meditate, you can meditate anytime you take a deep breath—are you stuck in Houston traffic? No problem, take a deep breath; are you walking your dogs? No problem, breathe deeply; are you crocheting (my new favorite), no problem, breathe deeply.

Every breath you take is an opportunity to meditate on the spot.

2. Focused attention

Surely you have heard about focusing your attention on a mantra as part of certain meditation techniques. Just like with breathing throughout your day, create an opportunity to focus your attention away from the stress in your life and focus on something that is beneficial instead. Practicing target desired states is actually an excellent practice to help you achieve your goals.

Focus on the breath, a mantra, or your inner states. The point is to be in the present moment.

3. Observing your thoughts

Mindfulness and detachment are two very important byproducts of meditation. So why not benefit from them by observing your thoughts?

You know that voice inside your head that is reading through the words of this article? Yes, that one. Step away from it for a minute and observe it without judgment. Realize that you have thoughts about your thoughts. Now practice this exercise throughout your day—it will do wonders in your life.

Conclusion

Yes, you should eventually work your way to sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed for five minutes daily. Heck, maybe you can eventually work your way up to a 10-day silent meditation retreat!  But don’t feel bad if you are busy and feel like you don’t have time to sit down for five minutes—thinking that you don’t have time is part of the problem, and beating yourself over it is only making it worse.

I’m also not saying to re-invent the wheel. All I am saying is that you can still benefit from a meditative practice without going out into a cave for six months. All you have to do is to make it a point to take deep breaths, focus your attention, practice mindfulness, and voilá.

What about you? How do you meditate?

 

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