Advertising
Advertising

7 Actionable Steps To Transform Your Life

7 Actionable Steps To Transform Your Life

To change your mind and your world it is going to take action. Since you are reading this, let’s assume you are wanting to change something in your life or perhaps completely transform your life. Let’s get real for a moment. This is not going to happen by accident or by blind luck. No matter what you are wanting to change, whether it’s wanting a new relationship, wanting to get out of a current one, needing more money, wanting more leisure time or whatever else, you have to keep the goal in mind and make sure that you are taking the right actions – and not the wrong ones. It’s not rocket science, but you must develop self-discipline and adopt the right mindset and behaviours.

Follow these 7 actionable steps consistently for a month, and you’ll be off to a very positive start.

The First Step: Be Honest

Being honest might be easier said than done, but if you are hiding from some glaringly obvious truth, hoping it will go away, then you can be sure that when you come out of the corner it will still be there waiting for you. Most of life’s problems and challenges lose power over you when you look at them squarely in the eye and challenge them face on.

Advertising

So be courageous with this exercise. For the next 30 days, keep a diary and write down everything that’s on your mind every morning. This isn’t for anyone else to see, it’s simply you taking control of what’s on your mind and reflecting on what is important and what isn’t. When you begin this diary, be as free and as brave as you can, as it is a safe place to face your own reality in life and to begin working out what needs to be done.

The Second Step: Watch Your Habits

As you begin writing your daily diary, you must make sure that you don’t ignore things that could be important. Also, you must be thinking about whether your daily patterns are getting you closer to your goals or further from them. Of course, nobody is perfect so don’t be too hard on yourself, but do remember that every habit you continue and every new one you start could have a massive effect on where your life is going. Remember it doesn’t cost anything to change your mind, and anyone can do it.

The Third Step: Educate Yourself

No matter what you are trying to do to transform your life, there is simply no excuse in today’s world for not giving yourself that chance. If you are feeling like the victim and all you can see are reasons (excuses) not to make a change, then you need more hope that what you want is achievable. This can always be found by reading, whether it’s non-fiction books, articles online or magazines that relate to your goal. What you think about and learn about will have results, so plant those seeds and let them grow.

Advertising

The Fourth Step: Don’t Look Back

History is important, and we can all learn from it. If you are interested in what happened in the past then this is good, but also learn not to get stuck on it when you are trying to change. This doesn’t mean you should trust someone who ripped you off last week or go back to a relationship when you can see this person is destroying you. It’s possible to learn from experiences and move on, so you must build this into your mindset as you change your mind and progress into your new life.

The Fifth Step: Don’t Be Afraid To Learn and Grow

This may sound like an unusual suggestion, but it is important to be free from fear of trying new things. If you are feeling too comfortable with your current habits, friends, jobs and relationships, then it’s possible you are blocking your own potential. In reality, everyone does this to some degree and it’s not a problem, but many people do this far too much. If you can join a new club, take up a new hobby or start to listen to someone who you know deep down is talking sense, then you are opening yourself up to new possibilities.

The Sixth Step: Be Creative

This step is not necessarily about creating a great piece of artwork or inventing the next big thing. It is simply about using your mind creatively to help bring about what you want. For the next 30 days, spend five minutes every day (preferably at the same time each day) simply relaxing, shutting your eyes and imagining the life you want. Make the most of this perfect fantasy.

Advertising

It costs nothing to use your mind in this way, and the most successful people in the world (no matter what success means to them) began with an idea of how their life should be, and they focussed on it. Don’t underestimate the power of this step.

The Seventh Step: Make A Long-Term Plan

Imagine for a moment that you had the life you wanted, and that everything was perfect. No problems to deal with and everything you could possibly desire is right there. What happens next? That’s right, there’s another day tomorrow, and then another. If you only think about solving a certain problem and you don’t think beyond it, then you could end up feeling even more discontent than when you started.

So imagine you will live to 120 years of age and list everything that you want to achieve during that time. Think outside the box and don’t underestimate yourself. Good luck, and always keep your positive goals in mind.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: http://cdn.shopify.com via cdn.shopify.com

More by this author

Carles Sabarich

Carles aspires to encourage people to live actively and take charge of their lives.

10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life good habits How to Build Good Habits life skills activities for adults Top 10 Life Skills for Adults to Make their Lives Thrive morning routines of successful entrepreners Tор 10 Mоrnіng Rоutіnеѕ оf Successful Entrepreneurs yoga before bed poses 10 Yoga Before Bed Poses to Improve your Sleep

Trending in Brain

1 How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques 2 How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way 3 How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways 4 11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation 5 How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on November 18, 2019

How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

Critical thinking is the art of filtering through information to reach an unbiased, logical decision that guides better thought and action. It can be learned through powerful techniques listed in this article.

Before you read further, it is important for you to know that critical thinking is a state of mind, not a tool or strategy.

If you are bogged down in the trivial day to day matters of your professional and personal life, learning skills to develop your ability to think critically can help you rise above these issues and focus your energies where they are needed – to solve problems and accomplish objectives.

It stands to reason that the better the learning techniques, the better critical thinking and reasoning will be. My experience in helping people grow means I know exactly what is needed to teach critical thinking (hint: it’s not just pondering over the problem).

There are 5 powerful techniques that form the base of critical thinking:

  1. Analytical thinking
  2. Communication
  3. Creativity
  4. Open-mindedness
  5. Problem-solving

Once you learn the techniques listed and start employing them in your daily life, you’ll quickly start to notice a change in the way you approach problems and consequently, how you resolve them too.

Advertising

1. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is the gathering and breaking down of information into small bites that help make sense of it.

To use it for critical thinking:

  • Be very clear on why you need the information. This is to recognize your limitations and employ foresight to overcome them.
  • Gather information from as many sources as you can: peers and experts, podcasts, relevant literature and any other place you can think of.
  • Rephrase questions multiple times to get different perspectives on data available and possibly arrive at different solutions.
  • Break down the data into factual subsets and relate each to the issue at hand.
  • Think on paper to make new connections. Write, doodle, make mind-maps or use spreadsheets. Data presented visually can help you make new connections make sense of emerging patterns.
  • Tidy up the workplace. Once data has been gathered, your workspace and your brain will both be cluttered with excess information. Neaten the physical space and clear your mind with meditation. The change in focus will help you view the information in a new light, potentially helping you reach newer, better conclusions.

Want more information and tips on adopting this powerful technique? What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success has all the information you need.

2. Communication

Communication is a key technique for critical thinking as it gives you access to the thoughts of people around you.

Data can be communicated through audio and visual means and in many cases, through careful observation of body language:

  • Ask for different points of view and seek justification for the same thing. When you invest in the matter, you will be able to explore all options to reach the best solution.
  • Listening without interrupting and only asking questions or voicing concerns once the speaker is done helps you make better connections.
  • Be 100% focused on a verbal or written discussion, you can better hear/read the opinions of the people involved.
  • Paraphrase the speaker/writer’s point of view and ask for affirmation. This enables you to pay full attention and use the input to think critically.
  • In a meeting, subtle communication cues are given by the body language of fellow attendees. An imperceptible frown, a small nod, pencil tapping etc. will all give you clues to what they are really thinking, just in case their actions are not in sync with their words!
  • Active observation, where you are watching and listening intently helps you know what to make of the information that is being passed around. It gives you clues to the general opinion about the topic under discussion and opens up new possibilities.

The information you gather through such communication will be invaluable in thinking critically to arrive at a decision that is holistic and unbiased.

Advertising

3. Creativity

Critical thinking is an art, and like any art form, its lifeblood is creativity. To really learn critical thinking, you need to include elements of creativity in the process!

  • Brainstorm with your team in an all-new location or work-shadow an industry expert to step out of your comfort zone. You could be surprised by the ideas that flow at a picnic or a game of billiards!
  • Gather data and tabulate it in the form of colorful, eye-catching charts, graphs and mind maps. The simple exercise makes your mind bring data together in different ways and presents them so multiple unique conclusions can be reached, giving you the flexibility to choose the best one.
  • Play brain games such as Sudoku or chess to appreciate how different factors can be manipulated to reach a preferred outcome. These games help make connections between previously disconnected nerves, giving your brain the power to find multiple pathways to answering problems.
  • In a similar vein, you can forge new neural connections by learning a new skill, a new language or even a new recipe!

I break down creativity in my other article What is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It. If you want to be good at critical thinking, you need to adopt creativity!

4. Open-Mindedness

It’s easy to say you’re open minded but is your mind really open?

To get an idea,

  • Be brutally honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and how these will impact the matter at hand.
  • Hear an opinion that conflicts with your own without forming a response before the opinion is fully voiced.
  • Acknowledge that there may be more than one approach to solving a problem and that they may all be right in some way.
  • Consider your true feelings when you will implement any required changes.
  • Disregard your long-held beliefs and assumptions and let go of habits.
  • Imagine the decision-making factors placed on weighing scales. Are they balanced?

Open-mindedness is a powerful technique for critical thinking. New possibilities can be uncovered, helping you resolve personal and professional matters in a manner that doesn’t frustrate you or alienate the other party.

5. Problem-Solving

Critical thinking is heavily dependent on problem-solving. An effective critical thinker will be a problem solver with the foresight to anticipate roadblocks and negative outcomes, and the experience and presence of mind to resolve them quickly and move on.

Advertising

One of the most effective problem-solving methodologies is the 5 Whys Analysis. Invented by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motors in the 1950s, it has been used successfully by the automobile giant to get to the root cause of problems.

The idea behind this is simple: start with the end problem and keep asking why until you get to the root cause of it.

The general idea is that asking why 5 times from the effect is enough to get to the cause, hence the name. However, the methodology does not limit the questions to 5, and why can be asked as many times as need to peel away the layers until a satisfactory answer is reached.

To use the 5 Whys Analysis, start off by listing the problem and writing why in front of it. The next point in the list should be answer to the first why with another why in front of it. Continue answering the question asked above followed by a why until you’ve asked the question 5 times and answered it six times. 99% of the time, the last answer will be the root cause of the problem stated in the first point.

For example, consider the a commonly given scenario where a vehicle does not start.

  1. Vehicle will not start. Why?
  2. Battery is dead. Why?
  3. The alternator is not functioning. Why?
  4. The alternator belt has broken. Why?
  5. It was old and worn out. Why?
  6. The car is not maintained according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

By this example, it is clearly demonstrated that 5 whys were asked to reach the root cause of the problem.

Advertising

The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

Over the years, the 5 Whys Analysis has been adopted by millions to reach the root cause of their personal and professional problems. Industry giant Six Sigma has also incorporated the 5x Why Analysis in the Analyze phase of their DMAIC methodology.[1]

Final Thoughts

Is critical thinking a new-fangled notion? Not at all. Its history can be traced back to Socrates who questioned commonly held beliefs. This practice was carried forward by leading scholars and thinkers from different times such as Aristotle and Plato, Colet and Moore, Descartes, Galileo and Newton.[2]

Today’s world is dependent on critical thinking to resolve all sorts of issues. It is now indispensable for issues ranging from personal relationships to professional jobs and those involving the global community.

The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly, they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

More About Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Mariya Pampova via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next