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Why Two People With Similar Abilities Can Have A Huge Difference In Their Achievements?

Why Two People With Similar Abilities Can Have A Huge Difference In Their Achievements?

Many of us have life goals whether it’s in our career or personal life; gaining new skills for a job, learning a new language, training for a marathon or simply personal goals for self-growth.

Isn’t it strange when two people with similar abilities and ambition can have a huge difference in their achievements? One may take much longer than the other, or one may fail altogether while the other excels. The success we gain from work or personal goals is dependent, not on how hard we work towards them, but on whether or not we have a good strategy for the achievement for these goals.

Developing a good strategy when setting goals is the most important and surefire way to achieve success. Here are three ways you can make sure your goals are on track to being fulfilled.

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1. Embrace Each Experience As Growth And Forward Movement

Achieving our goals is a journey and one that needs nurturing and developing. Our growth and onward progression towards our goals whether at work or personal development, is hugely based on the experiences we have. Positive and negative experiences are usually plentiful along the way and it can be hard to notice the ones that have taught us the most.

For example, someone might be aiming for a certain position at work and the next step towards that goal is a promotion. If a person doesn’t get that promotion they could see it as a failure or see it as an opportunity for more time to work on certain skills in order to get to that next step.

A person who is focused on the end goal will do what it takes and has the ability to recognise the worth in each experience they encounter. While positive steps are a win, some of the negative experiences can sometimes be where the most growth occurs. Embracing these experiences and realising that they are hard to replace and have generated growth towards your goal is a sign of forward achievement.

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2. Take Advantage of Both Vertical and Lateral Development

There are two types of growth and development when it comes to achieving our goals – lateral and vertical.

Lateral growth is when we exose ourselves to new ideas and experiences. This could be learning something new, travelling to a foreign country or reading up on a different subject but goal setting, drive and motivation are not the primary tools of this kind of growth. While lateral development is important, it is most important during the initial stages of goal achievement. It opens our mind up to new ideas and gets us used to thinking differently but where some people fail is using this type of focus as a way of achieving their goals in the long-term.

Vertical growth is the process of achieving, pushing ourselves and ambition. It is the negatively perceivable struggles, challenges and pressure that cause us to obtain our greatest achievements and victories. It’s about realising your potential and how far you can be pushed and in the process, gaining clarity to what you really want.

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If someone’s goal is to lose a certain amount of weight they may decide to take up running. One person could happily run with no real plan and lose the weight while someone else may go bigger and strive to run a marathon and go through the painful and challenging experience of marathon training. While both may achieve the goal of weight loss, one will most likely keep up the running and enter more and more races because they’ve experienced the pain and suffering and come out the other side – they are motivated to strive for bigger and better.

People who are stuck in lateral growth tend to take much longer to achieve their goals because they aren’t prepared to face challenges and grow from them. People who adopt the vertical development technique move along on their path much quicker even though the path may appear more rocky and dangerous.

3. Checking In With Where You’re Going

Is the road you’re walking on leading to a bright future? While we don’t always know exactly where we’ll end up or if we’ll change our minds along the way – something many of us face in our careers (we change and grow after all) – people who achieve their goals in life do more solid research into where their decisions and goals will lead them down the line. They take time to ask themselves if their path has potential.

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For some, it’s easy to choose a path and run as fast as they can to the end in order to achieve the goal much quicker. The problem with this is that they are running fast down a path they’re not actually sure is the right one.

That’s why it’s much better to spend time choosing the path first before you start running even if the path you eventually choose is a bit less smooth than the other one. By doing the ground work in the beginning, you are setting yourself up well even if, at some point, you decide to change course.

Setting goals is what life is all about – whether big or small, for your career or your personal life and development – the way in which you go about achieving these goals is paramount to your success. Check in with your mindset and make sure you are focused correctly. Remember to enjoy the journey towards your goals and realise the lessons you learn at every step.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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