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Never Forget Your Past Successes

Never Forget Your Past Successes

trophies awards past successes

    The first award I ever won in my life that I remember was a yellow second place ribbon for an egg and spoon race when I was in senior Kindergarten. I actually still have that ribbon among other similar little awards I received during my childhood years. They have been safely stored in a metal candy box all these years.

    Significant certificates, diplomas and even university degrees have also been placed in file folders in my home office as well. Work related awards like plaques I received for corporate sales performance were bundled together in a tote bag. Although I use to display them on my wall when I was still in corporate life, I no longer have them out since I decided to go for a more artistic home styling with real artwork instead.

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    Not Just Dust Collectors

    In my case, the bulk of my awards are in the form of a few hundred trophies of varying sizes from a few inches to a multilevel one that stands almost eight feet tall. These trophies plus many plaques and medals were won from my long career in martial arts competition that spanned over twenty years.

    When I use to live in smaller high rise condo apartments, I had no choice but to have these trophies lined up a few rows deep that took up an entire living room wall. I even had some of the plaques in my bathrooms. Needless to say, this sight overwhelmed a lot of my visitors especially when they came to my place for the first time.

    Although most of my guests were very impressed, I did receive some negative reactions, usually from girlfriends after a certain dating period. Once they were comfortable enough with me, a few of them actually told me that I should throw my trophies out since they were just taking up space and collecting dust.

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    These women were obviously thinking from a home decor point of view and in some ways, their point was valid. However, at the same time, they also completely missed out on something important. There is a reason why I, along with many other people in this world, have not thrown out the awards we have won. These awards are not simply just dust collectors.

    Reminders Of Past Successes

    Past awards and other mementos of our achievements serve as reminders of our past successes. Everybody goes through ups and downs in life. It is during those down periods when past successes become especially helpful.

    Instead of just sitting there sulking when we are down and challenged by whatever life throws at us, we should be remembering how we have conquered obstacles to become successful in the past. We should recall despite the challenges, how we were able to work through them and still achieve victory.

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    Physical reminders of past victories such as trophies or certificates act to trigger these events back into our minds. We will then feel a surge of confidence as we realize that if we were successful before, then we can become successful again.

    These reminders help us remember that although we might lose the odd battle, we can still win the overall war. Past successes do not have to be exactly related to current challenges either. My past successes in martial arts continue to help boost my confidence in many different challenges I face and many of these are not related to martial arts in any way whatsoever.

    So keep all the reminders of your achievements so that you never forget your past successes, especially during times when you can really use a boost.  Although you don’t necessarily have to display them in prominent locations around the house, at least have them somewhere where you can easily access them to rekindle the wonderful memories behind them.

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    I did not keep my trophies to impress anyone. I kept them for myself as reminders of past successes when I need them. The only thing different these days is that I have a bigger house and therefore do not have to have my awards in my living room and bathrooms anymore. I now have a separate trophy room in my basement. This should keep the girlfriends from complaining.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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