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Stop Blaming Yourself For External Factors- Invest In Yourself

Stop Blaming Yourself For External Factors- Invest In Yourself
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It is easy to blame others for our failures.

We could target our resentment at a bad government, callous parents, an awful spouse, or not enough formal education. Many drain themselves with such negative energy and assume they are ill-equipped for success. But according to motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy, eighty percent of our failures are caused by factors that stem from within ourselves.

We can learn from the story of CEO Jan Koum who sold his company, WhatsApp, for a staggering 19 billion dollars to Facebook. Jan Koum emigrated to the U.S from Ukraine two decades ago. He and his family lived on food stamps. Yet, today he’s worth over 6 billion dollars. Success is never determined by the external, but rather what happens when you start looking inwards to develop yourself to meet the demands of the external world.

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“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

So, there’s no need to whine and complain. Start investing in yourself in these simple ways:

Read

“Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” – Donald Trump.

They say every leader is a reader. It is not just about consuming junk material. Rather find topics that will influence you positively towards reaching your goals. Whether your reading material is found in the form of eBooks, hard back, paper back, or audiobooks, there are more than enough reasons for you to pick up a book today.

Safeguard your time

“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” – Yvon Chouinard, founder Patagonia

You may not have wealth, but when you are at rock bottom, time is synonymous with wealth. How you use it will determine how far you go. Investing in yourself means that you use your time to gain connections, knowledge, and engage in activities that will propel you towards meeting your goals. You can be generous with every other thing- but not your time.

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Engage in a healthy lifestyle

“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” – Dean Wormer

There is nothing as destructive as engaging in activities that take a toll on your physical and mental health. Your body is the vehicle that you will use to reach success. How you use it will determine how far you will go. Exercise, sleep, eat well, relax, socialize, and ponder deeply. Even if you have to meditate or do something spiritual, remember to always engage in the basic activities that will stimulate your body and mind.

Take calculated risks

“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.

Learning is not just about getting everything correct all the time. The way we are taught in formal institutions is that we have to be accurate in everything we do. However learning should involve gaining experience, making mistakes, and learning from them. Successful people take risks- although they are calculated ones- and try to follow an unorthodox approach to reaching their goals. Finding new ground and gaining interesting experiences can only be achieved through taking actions that some might consider risky. Without risks there can be no rewards.

Understand your strengths

“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” – Donald Trump

There is no point in chasing too many goals all at once. We all have limitations. That is why successful people invest in their strengths, rather than in their weaknesses. Successful people discover the things that they are very good at, and they build their careers around those strengths.

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Investing in yourself is the best way to attain success. Not only does your approach to achieving goals become consistent when you go through this process, it also allows you to deal well with success when you achieve it.

Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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