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7 Inspirational Rules for Achieving Your Life Goals

7 Inspirational Rules for Achieving Your Life Goals

Whether your definition of success is a happy marriage, a healthy bank account, or worldwide fame and adulation, we’re all motivated by ambition to some degree; the enduring question is “how do we achieve success?” The truth is, there’s no simple answer, but there are plenty of tips you can use to improve your chances of being successful in life. We’ve come up with a list of seven fantastic tips for achieving your life goals, as advocated by some of the world’s highest achievers.

1. Don’t let rejection stand in your way.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is probably the most famous writer in the world, but if she hadn’t had the courage of her convictions early on in her career, things could have been very different. The Potter series has sold over 400 million copies worldwide since the first installment was released in 1997, but the global hit was rejected twelve times before a publisher agreed to take it. Even once it was released, it wasn’t plain sailing for Rowling — one of the first journalists ever to interview Rowling was given a first-edition copy, but thought nothing of throwing it in the trash; that copy would now fetch around £50,000 at auction! To quote Rowling herself, “Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged to.”

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2. Invest in yourself.

As world-renowned businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffet once said, “the best investment you can make is in your own abilities.” By constantly working to improve yourself through the acquisition of relevant skills and information, you’ll be in a much better position to achieve what you want to achieve. Some of the world’s greatest sportsmen and women put their success down to their passion for self-improvement — and you only have to look at superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for proof. Ronaldo may not be to everyone’s tastes, but he is one of the most dedicated athletes of all time, and regularly reaps the rewards of his efforts on the field.

3. Learn from your mistakes.

Along the path to success, there are bound to be a few bumps in the road — it’s important that you don’t let these setbacks slow you down. Every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn, and by recognizing and accepting your errors, you can ensure they don’t happen again, smoothing that path towards achievement. No less an authority than Einstein put it succinctly: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

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4. Don’t be afraid of a little hard work.

If you want evidence in favor of this little bit of advice, look no further than Bill Gates, the creator of Windows and one of the world’s wealthiest business people. The Microsoft founder has always pushed the idea that success requires hard work, and once revealed that he didn’t take a single day off during his 20s, when he was getting the company off the ground. Quite simply, the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it — as NFL icon Vince Lombardi famously stated, “The price of success is hard work.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

5. Dare to be exceptional.

Walt Disney knows a thing or two about living out fantasies, animating some of the world’s favorite fairy tales, so when he says “if you can dream it, you can do it,” it’s probably worth sitting up and taking note. Aiming low might reduce the possibility of making mistakes, but what great businessman or woman ever aimed low — if you’re passionate about a project and truly believe in it, there’s every reason to believe you can achieve your goals. You might even find that they’re closer than you think!

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6. Be pro-active.

It’s probably no surprise that Richard Branson has a “get up and go” attitude — the man that created the Virgin conglomerate has delved into the worlds of business, music, media, and politics during his life, not to mention space travel, charity and the odd world record attempt. The billionaire entrepreneur has often cited this energetic take on life as key to his success, advising ambitious young people to “get out there and do things — don’t watch other people do things, and don’t watch television.” In the modern age, it’s all too easy to take a passive attitude towards life, but if you want to achieve big things, it’s best to have a hands-on approach.

7. Engage in your passions.

Ultimately, if you’re going to achieve great success in life, you’re going to need to care about what you’re doing — so if you’re an ambitious high-flyer who wants to go right to the very top, take a close look at the things that interest and excite you, and see if you can use that passion to achieve your goals. As the celebrated jazz singer and famed “First Lady of Song” Ella Fitzgerald once said, “Don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

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Tom Willis

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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