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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 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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