“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
– Mark Twain
Getting crushed by the daily grind?
You are not alone. A recent Gallup poll showed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs. The scale of dissatisfaction is similar, and sometimes even greater, in every corner of the world.
“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
– Bruce Lee
Dislike, disinterest, and hatred, like limits, spread into all aspects of our lives. But what sort of way is this to spend our precious existence?
It is no surprise that the top regrets of the dying involve such things as doing what we really want to do (rather than what society expects of us), finding our true passions, taking risks, and touching and inspiring other people’s lives.
One way to break out of the rut of an unrealized life is to learn from those who have realized their dream jobs and actualized their heartfelt goals. How did they succeed? By remembering and reminding themselves of these ever important tips.
1. You are responsible for your life
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”
– Jim Rohn
Not your boss, not your co-workers, not your parents, not your friends, not your partner. No one else thinks your thoughts. No one else has your emotions. No one else has your ideas. No one else has your dreams. No one else has lived your life.Advertising
If circumstances aren’t ideal, then you are going to have to be the one to make the first change.
Action: Take stock of your situation.
Get a pen and paper and ask yourself the following questions; How do you feel about all aspects of your life? Don’t try to sugar coat anything; face the reality of the pain and write it down.
How do you feel about your working life? Your family life? Your social life?
This exercise will help you get clear on where the problems are, and what you don’t want to continue into the future.
2. You can make a change
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
– Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister
If you are waiting for the right time, you may be waiting a long time! Making big changes can be intimidating, so why not start by making the best of the circumstances that you find yourself in? Start wiggling, and you will find that you have far more wiggle room where you are than you realize.
Action: Make a small change.
This could be anything from going to a different place for lunch, to joining that gym you were thinking about. Even the smallest change can remind you of your power to change conditions, as well as make life more enjoyable.
3. Face your fears
“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while, ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’”
– Seneca, Roman Statesman
Often we live on auto-pilot, unconsciously motivated by our latent background of primal fears like starvation, homelessness and abandonment. Fears that, in truth, are highly unlikely in our age of the world.
We are no longer living in small survivalist groups in the desert, but alongside millions of other people in the midst of industrial levels of production and social safety nets.
Action: Remember, what is the worst thing that could happen?
What are you afraid of? What is the nightmare scenario that you want to avoid? If you took a risk to follow your dreams and failed, what would happen?
Take the time to think about these worst possible outcomes and write them all down. Later, review them and work out what you would do in those hypothetical situations. You will be surprised how the energy of worry turns into the energy of resolution to overcome.
To first conquer fear, we must first define it.
4. Avoid distress, seek eustress
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
– Neale Donald Walsch
Lifestyle designer, angel investor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Ferriss – of The 4-Hour Work Week fame – advises us to recognize the difference between distress and eustress.
Distress, is the kind of stress which brings us down, disempowers us, and makes us ill. Being abused, unappreciated, overworked; all that kind of stuff. Eustress, on the other hand, is to distress what euphoria is to dysphoria.
Eustress is constructive stress; the kind of stress an athlete encounters during training, a businessperson experiences during continuing education or a musician during performing. It is the stimulus necessary for vibrant growth.
Action: Discover where you are not getting enough eustress.Advertising
In what areas of your life are you not challenged? Or not growing through lack of action or experience?
5. Reconnect with your passion
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
What would you do, if you could get paid to do anything? Our passions are often muted, buried beneath of a lifetime of being told “what we must do” and of telling ourselves “what we must do”.
Those who have their dream job are invariably coming from a different place. What do I like to do? What skills do I want to use? What am I good at?
Action: Write down your dreams.
If you were guaranteed not to fail, what would you do with your life? Don’t worry about practicality, just write down the fantasy. Time, money and circumstances are no object.
6. Set goals
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
– Tony Robbins
One of the primary causes of drifting aimlessly is lack of just that; aim!
While refusal to set goals can offer a psychological crutch against failure, it equally provides a barrier against success. Want to visit Timbuktu? Get a ticket to Timbuktu. Want to achieve something? Set it as a goal!
Actions: Create a set of goals.Advertising
Look at your written list of dreams. Convert them into a “Be”, “Do” and “Have” manifesto. What would I like to have? Who would I like to be? What would I like to do?
They key here is that “having” is not the first point. Instead, “being” and “doing” come first. When we are being who we really are, and doing what we really want to do, the having comes naturally.
7. Time waits for no one
“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
– Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee’s death at the young age of 32 underlines this point, as does his life of exceptional achievement. Thankfully for the world, Bruce Lee didn’t waist his potential, and we are all enriched because of this. The opportunities you have today may not always be available – so begin!
Don’t put it off ’till tomorrow. Take at least one concrete step towards one of your goals today.
8. Avoid Adult Onset ADD
“It’s time to have fun and let the rest follow.”
– Tim Ferriss
What is ADD? Adventure Deficit Disorder. Like hating your job, a disease that affects far too many adults today. But thankfully, it is curable! The prescription is simply to do more interesting and exciting things. After all, what motivates us to find our dream jobs but the things that they allow us to do?
Action: Have more fun!
The best way to avoid the backwards mentality of “I’ll grit my teeth and bear my job until I can afford to do cool things” is to actually start doing the cool things now. In this way, we can break out of the limpet survival mentality and reconnect with the passions that really drive us.Advertising
Pick anyone who has realized their dream jobs and ask if their path of success measures up to these eight points. Tony Robbins? Bruce Lee? Tim Ferriss? Oprah Winfrey? Steve Jobs? Even Confucius? If it works for them, it will surely work for you. Good luck!
Featured photo credit: www.flickr.com via flickr.com
Last Updated on May 20, 2020
What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)
Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.
These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.
Table of Contents
What Are Analytical Skills?
According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,
“Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”
Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.
Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:
Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.
Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.
As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.
Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.
In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.
Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.
Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.
For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.
Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.
For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.
The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.
Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities
There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.
For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?
If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.
What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?
Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.
6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills
There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.
Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.
But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.
Below are a few strategies to get you started:
1. Ideate Business Ideas
Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.
You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.
2. Leverage Analytical Tools
Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.
3. Have a Personal Learning Library
Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.
Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.
For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.
4. Participate in Online Communities
The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.
For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.
5. Seek Mental Stimulation
To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.
6. Keep a Personal Journal
Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.
Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.
As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.
More Success Skillset
- Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success
- 10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career
- 13 Essential Transferable Skills to Accelerate Your Success
- Master These 15 Skills for Success to Get Ahead in Your Career
Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com
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