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How to Win, How to Fail, and How to Be Lucky

How to Win, How to Fail, and How to Be Lucky

How to Win

The results in your life are a direct reflection of your thoughts manifested through your actions, which is one reason why so many of us feel like we are in one spot in our lives when we’re really in another—we keep thinking one thing and doing another. So today, take a moment to think about what is and what is not working. If you need some help, start with your physical health, and move on down to your personal relationships; which ones are contributing positively to your life and which ones are not? What’s working and what’s not working within your career or life purpose? Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, what’s working, and what needs to change? How can you change your life and create more winning opportunities for yourself and others?

We all live our lives with prejudices, and one of the biggest prejudices we hold has to do with ourselves; namely the things we are and are not capable of. The mind will always go back to what it knows from its past and what is comfortable and familiar to it. Your noodle doesn’t like to be confused, and it doesn’t like change. It wants things to stay the same, for you to feel safe and secure. There’s just one problem with that: the only thing constant in life is change.

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I don’t know how you feel about this, but I personally prefer to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I like to think that nothing outside of me can influence my experience, and that no person thing can cause me to feel annoyed, anxious, pressured, happy, excited, sad, or uncomfortable—only I can decide these things. I get to choose how I react and respond to everything that is happening in my life. Where I am now and the direction I am going are dependent variables that are waiting for me to decide who it is I want to be and where it is I want to go.

The only way to get better at this life thing is by doing it. What do you do when you want to get good at something? You do it. You make it a priority; a priority above anything and everything else and get to practicing. Notice you won’t feel this way about work, as work as such a negative connotation to it: when you hear the word you probably think of something you don’t like or want to do. How many times have you said something like, “I can’t, I have to go to work” or “I have to go work out.” Forget that jazz! Creating more wins in your life involves getting to do stuff that’s enjoyable, pleasurable, and allows you the opportunity to constantly be learning and experiencing yourself in new ways.

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How to Attain Your Goals

  • Educate: Use those whom you admire, look up to, or see as heroes as motivation and inspiration. Take what they’re doing and accomplishing as a reminder that you can do it too. Read constantly: there should always be a book under your arm, and not just on topics you’re interested in, but also on subjects you don’t understand. Biographies, history, fiction and non-fiction, milk cartons if you need to—just read.
  • Take action: Actively participate in your life by taking small steps towards your goals. Break things down into tiny steps that can be practiced every day to allow you to build momentum. Some preach intensity, but I like to talk about consistency; I bet you don’t have to think about how to tie your shoes anymore—it’s effortless, easy, and requires little to no energy or thought. What’s one big thing you want to accomplish? Trying to exercise? Start with 5 minutes every day at the same time and work up form there.
  • Reflect: What went right? What went wrong? How can I build on these experiences to create a better tomorrow for not only myself but someone else as well.

How to Fail

Do you ever get the feeling that no one cares about your success? Yeah, I feel like that too sometimes, but guess what? That’s totally awesome because no one really cares about your failures either. They may care a little bit and say all the right things to convince you they care, but essentially they have their own successes and failures to worry about. You know what? It doesn’t really matter because no one is going to care as much about your achievements or your faults as much as you do.

Here’s a challenge, and it may be something you’ve never experienced before: I want you to think about something you want to achieve badly right now, close your eyes and imagine yourself putting everything you have into trying to achieve the outcome you’d like. Now here’s the kicker: picture yourself failing. Yup, you heard it right—I want you to see yourself as a failure. It’s not so bad, right? Julien Smith, the author of the book Flinch said it best, “For most of us the fact remains that the fall is not that far or hard, so take that leap and make it happen.” In order to make those necessary changes and take that leap you have to convince yourself that the benefit outweighs the cost and the best way for most of us to do that is by starting small.

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Tips for Failure:

  • Blame others: Never take responsibility: blame others, circumstances, and resources for your current situation. Assume everything is out of your control and you have no say in the matter.
  • Make excuses: Use as many as you can as often as possible. “Not enough time” is my personal favorite. The more you make the easier and the more comforting failure feels, it makes everything ok.

Be Lucky

There’s no such thing as luck: I’m sorry it just doesn’t exist. In Sebastian Marshall’s book Ikigai he references how life is made up of predictable outcomes that are either more likely to happen or less likely to happen based on probability. There’s no such thing as good luck or bad luck; there is only a more likely or less likely probability that something may or may not happen, and this holds true for anything you want to accomplish in your life. The good news is that you have influence over whether or not these things happen by making choices that put you in position for the more likely stuff to occur, as opposed to the less likely stuff.

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How to Increase Your Luck:

  • Pinpoint: Clearly identify your destination and accept that there are countless ways to get there. There’s an equation I love that goes like this: 100% intention + 0% mechanism = Results. What this means is that there are a million and one ways to do the same thing but you will never achieve it or “get lucky” if you never get started.
  • Get unlucky first: Make as many mistakes as you can, as long as they are not severely detrimental to your health and well being. Keep learning what not to do and eventually you’ll perfect what to do.

So again, just think about your life today and what’s working or not working. What are you going to do about it? Will you create tiny wins, will you commit to fail, or will you chalk everything up to dumb luck?

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Justin Miller

Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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