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The Algorithm that Will Help You Program a Successful Life

The Algorithm that Will Help You Program a Successful Life

Aren’t you tired of the same old personal success advice?

You know, advice such as:

  • You need a clearly defined goal.
  • Be fearless.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people.
  • Follow your passion.

Yes, they’re tried and tested, but chances are that you’ve either taken all of these on board already – or you’ve given them a go and found they simply don’t work for you.

And that’s why you need to try something different – a new approach to jolt your life out of its rut and catapult it in a promising new direction.

There is a way to be successful and revolutionize your world even if you’ve tried before with limited success.

It’s a game changer, one that can take your life from mediocrity to achieving the success you dream of.

But first…

The Amazing Power of Algorithms

Algorithms are normally found in the computer programming world. But in a more general way, algorithms are everywhere.

Algorithms determine what search results you see with Google or what shared items pop-up in your Facebook feed. A recipe for making food is an algorithm. The method you use to solve addition or long division problems is an algorithm. The process of folding a shirt or a pair of pants is an algorithm. Even your morning routine could be considered an algorithm.

Specifically, algorithms are a step-by-step process to solve a problem. These set of rules can be created for solving complicated issues as well as basic ones.

Sometimes, you might come up with a solution that works on some things but not on others – which means you need to come up with a better algorithm.

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You may also find that some solutions are more efficient than others – that is, they can be done in fewer steps, and thus, less time.

Algorithmic thinking, or the ability to define clear steps to solve a problem, is crucial. It allows us to break down problems and conceptualize solutions in terms of discrete steps in a procedure.

For an algorithm to be considered valid it must contain these three characteristics:

  • It should be restricted: an algorithm that never solves a problem is completely useless. It must be designed with limited rules.
  • It should have clear instructions: each step of the algorithm has to be clearly defined. The instructions should be obvious for each case.
  • It must be effective: the algorithm should be designed with the objective to solve your specific problem.

But the beauty of a carefully designed algorithm is once you find the right rules the outcome you desire will always be automatic.

The Algorithm that Will Program Success in Your Life

Now that you have an idea of how to create an algorithm, it’s time to set some rules in place that will automatically give the solution you’re looking for – success.

Rule #1: Confidence before Competence

Your personal success depends on the confidence you have in your own abilities. This confidence must exist prior to any endeavors you undertake.

Many people assume that in order to be successful you must first have a treasure trove of knowledge followed by confidence. And that’s somewhat true.

However, when you face challenges and obstacles, it can be difficult to rise up and accomplish any goals if you don’t have existing confidence in your own abilities.

When you believe in yourself you are more likely to take action. Without confidence in your own abilities, you cannot perform to your fullest potential.

A person with self-efficacy (a fancy word for confidence) is more likely to try new things. They also tends to rebound better after failure and are more persistent in the face of obstacles.

People with higher self-efficacy also have a greater sense of motivation and persistence, are not controlled by circumstances and are able to channel failure into success.

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If you care so much about your success, then knowledge isn’t as important as a belief in your capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce a result.

I’ve always believed this: knowledge is potential power, but execution is invincible. In order to execute the steps to reach your planned success you must believe in your abilities, first. Knowing that there is room for development and growth.

So, whatever your algorithm, confidence must always be rule number one.

How to Create Confidence

The creation of confidence is dependent on the following factors:

  • Admire someone else’s success. Somebody out in this vast universe has already done the things you want to accomplish. Seeing people succeed by sustained effort raises your beliefs that you too possess the capabilities to master comparable activities to succeed. When you see someone else’s success, especially someone who you identify with, you are more apt to believe that you can achieve too. Hence, having one or two good role models can vicariously bolster your sense of self-efficacy.
  • Successful experiences. Past successes are powerful confidence-boosters. They influence your perspective on your abilities and make further success easier to attain, even when your efforts yield small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months. So, start accumulating examples of past success to increase your confidence in a given area.
  • Visualization. Everything you can imagine is real. The true magnificence of your mind lies in the imagination. Visualization is a powerful tool because it creates a reality that is as real as it can be before becoming manifested in physical form. When you visualize an act, the brain primes your body to act in a way consistent to what you imagined. You begin to “see” the possibility of achieving your desired outcome. If you are able to focus on one single event that you wish for yourself and you focus on it intensely, you begin to feel emotions as if the event were to actually transpire. In a way, visualization helps you live in that moment without it being a reality.

Remember – confidence before competence. You create your success by having confidence in your abilities and seeing your desired outcome before you take initial action.

Rule #2: Love to Learn

The only way to have a successful life is to have the necessary knowledge and thinking skills.

However, most people hate learning because of the way they are accustomed to learning. To most people, learning is a chore, something that is forced upon them, and that is why they stray from it once their formal education ends.

That is why many people are stuck in mediocre circumstances simply because they have no idea of what to do to get out them. But expanding your knowledge base can help you explore new and challenging paths in life, and can help you avoid becoming stagnant.

Learning provides you with the skills you need to succeed. It’s fun. Keeps you youthful. Makes you more interesting. Helps rid you of your ignorance and misery.

Learning is an eye-opening experience, and it can help you see life for what it really is, instead of what you “think” it should be. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to make connections between pieces of knowledge – and the more successful you’ll become.

How to Start Your Learning Journey

Learning requires action. Here are three factors that will boost your knowledge:

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  • Read. (Duh! Captain Obvious) When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial magazine article? If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly you might be missing out on a number of benefits. Benefits such as mental stimulation, stress reduction, knowledge, vocabulary expansion, memory improvement, stronger analytical thinking skills, improved focus and concentration, better writing skills, and success are part of the package deal with reading. A good genre to start reading are self-help books. This knowledge will put you on the path to success by helping you create a “person” for success. Success starts from the inside out. Change yourself, change your circumstances.
  • Listen to podcasts. Podcasts are incredibly convenient learning tools. They’re no substitutes for books, but they provide a very different learning experience. They cover an astounding range of topics and tone. Plus, podcasts put you in control of your influences. Choose to be influenced by people who are already at the level of success you want to be. One of the greatest advantages of podcasts is the portability and convenience they offer. They can be downloaded to almost any kind of mobile device, allowing you to access learning resources anytime, anywhere without too much effort. Podcasts will help you learn new ideas and perspectives. You’ll always leave a podcast thinking differently about a topic than when it started. A few podcast recommendations are: anything from NPR, TED Talks, This American Life, How Stuff Works, Tony Robbins Podcast.
  • Take up a hobby. Hobbies offer an opportunity to take a break – but a break with a purpose. In addition, the great thing about picking up a hobby is that it provides an excellent outlet for challenging yourself. The new challenge can open your mind to new ways of seeing the world. In short, having a hobby will bring you an overall better life. A hobby will help keep your mind sharp for success.

Learning is in your genes.

You are at the helm of the most powerful machine in the universe – the brain. So, use it. Use it often, and use it for the purpose of enriching your life, the lives of others, and for making this world a better place.

Rule #3: Start Your Journey by Taking Small Steps

Most great achievements did not start out with a master plan or moment of inspiration. They began as small steps. Each step was ordinary, but they accumulated into something more.

The media, and our instant-gratification society, tend to sensationalize experts and celebrities as overnight successes. In reality, these overnight successes are the sum of thousands of nights in the making, and they got there by taking countless small steps instead of giant leaps.

The problem with setting big goals and taking large leaps is they can be very intimidating and actually discourage us from ever getting started.

Big goals and giant leaps can erode your confidence and hold you back. This can greatly discourage you and cause you to quit chasing your personal success.

However, setting small goals and taking small steps makes it easier to get going and keep going. This is important for you to do because your confidence will either be lifted up or dragged down depending on your ability to make progress.

The single most powerful motivator is small, daily progress. Progress drives motivation, which in turn drives greater future progress. If you can facilitate progress you can facilitate better results.

To a large extent, we control our success and motivation through incremental small steps. Small steps produce long-term changes that lead to long-term results. They are easy to manage and monitor. This builds self-confidence and self-esteem that helps support your efforts.

Success is the product of small steps.

How to Reach Your Success by Taking Small Steps

The formula for taking small steps is simple and needs no explanation:

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  • Narrow down a specific goal
  • Break the goal into small, manageable steps
  • Perform each step everyday (in other words, be consistent)
  • Celebrate your daily success (no matter how small)
  • Focus on progress, not perfection

The bottom line is you can accomplish big things with small goals and small steps. Think about what you can accomplish in a year. A month. A week. Today.

So go ahead. Take the first step. What are you waiting for?

Let This Algorithm Program Your Success

If you’re sick of feeling stuck in life, use the set of rules above to help you make changes.

It’s an exceptional algorithm, and will help you create the successful person you desire to become.

And believe me, the results can be impressive. This algorithm has helped me make reading a habit which has allowed me to gain a ton of valuable knowledge I’m sharing with others. It’s helped me reach my fitness and nutrition goals and it has given me a huge boost of confidence.

If you follow the rules above, you’ll be well on your way to your own success.

Begin by developing confidence in yourself. Then scale your efforts as you see results.

Why not start right now and think of goals you’d like to reach?

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll taste the success you deserve.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

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

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

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.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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