‘You have brains in your head, You have feet in your shoes, You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own, And you know what you know, And YOU are the guy who will decide where to go”
At one time in my life, I believed that my success was based on the amount of money I made, how good I was at my job, and how many people liked me. The older I got the more I realized that success for me was actually based around how happy I felt.
I did spend many years caught up in the whirlwind of defining my success by comparing it to how other “successful people” lived their lives. I wasted a lot of energy chasing other peoples’ definition of success.
I never really truly believed I was successful. Many times I felt I was a failure because I believed I was not achieving the levels of success that I perceived people around me were. On the outside I am sure that people considered me to be a success but I never was that happy with myself. I always felt that something was missing and that there was more to life for me.
This Quote Changed My Understanding of Success
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful”.
Many years ago I read Albert Schweitzer’s quote – his words resonated with me. Maybe I was ready to listen, I don’t know but I did stop and think about how unhappy I was and how unsuccessful I felt. I then tried to work out what I wanted to do that made me happy.
In my heart I always knew that I wanted to live my life writing and teaching, but the thoughts in my head blocked any attempt to acknowledge how much my dream meant to me and there was no way I could tell anyone else either, it was just too scary.So I kept my secret hidden for a long time.
It was also very hard for me to break free from the cycle of success that I aspired to. I was living a life where I believed that money and status would bring me success. I l pursued this definition of success, because, I felt I had to and I was too scared NOT to. When everyone around you works really hard, earns lots of money, has lots of status and all the toys that come with it, you want to have all of that too! You want your kids to have all the things that their friends have and you want to enjoy the comforts of life as well. So you keep working believing that you have no other options and you keep convincing yourself that life is not that bad – but for me over a time it became bad and I started to feel that my life was slipping by.Advertising
Even though I knew what I wanted to do with my life, I did not do anything about it for a long time. There were some feeble attempts but when I got scared I would scurry back to living a life that was familiar and comfortable. I still had to face a few more knock backs before I committed to begin my journey to discovering how to be successful and happy with my life.
“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.”
-Dalai Lama XIV
I was following the wrong path to success and as a result my chances of feeling that I was successful were zero. Once I started to get clear about what success meant for me and began the journey to living a life where I truly felt successful, then I discovered what it felt like to be happy.
“I want to define success by redefining it. For me it isn’t that solely mythical definition – glamour, allure, power of wealth, and privileged from care. Any definition of success should be personal because it is so transitory. It’s about shaping my own destiny”.
To start the journey to becoming and truly believing that you are successful is hard work and it took me many years to find the courage to step out and begin the journey. If you are wanting success and happiness in your life then you need to really look at the “bad habits” you have created in your life that stop you from achieving the level of success that you desire.
For me there were 10 bad habits I needed to eliminate. By sharing with you how I managed to overcome these bad habits, hopefully this will help you to find your courage to begin your journey to attaining a life of happiness and success.
1. Believing that you have to wait for the right time to begin.
There is no perfect time to start this journey. It will never be perfect and you will always have challenges and obstacles to overcome – it doesn’t really matter – just start NOW. When you choose to be successful then the actions, the decisions and the choices you make today will create your future.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.
2. Accepting that moderate success is easier to achieve then aiming to achieve your wildest dreams.
It is so much easier to accept being moderately successful than aiming to achieve success beyond your wildest dreams. Dream big and set goals that are beyond the realms of your current reality – go for it ,you may just surprise yourself as to what amazing successes you can achieve.
“If any of you have a desire to be mediocre, you will probably find that you have already achieved your ambition.”
-Hugh B. Brown
3. Believing other peoples’ approval is important to defining your success in life.
You will never start your journey to success if you are waiting for others to give their approval. It is your ego and your fear of being criticised that directs you to seeking their approval. Get over it and move on and do what you have to do to be successful. For me committing to my 12 month plan with practical goals, set tasks and activities was how I overcame this bad habit. I just had to follow the plan and didn’t need anyones approval to do so.
“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. Believing that your success can only be defined by the success in your professional life.
This bad habit you have to give up immediately because there is no way you can be successful in one part of your life. Your professional and your personal life are interconnected and all aspects of your life need to be balanced.
“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”
5. Using other peoples’ definition of success to define who you are and what success looks like for you.
This was one of my really bad habits, in that I constantly compared other people’s successes to how I wanted success to be for me in my life. I now know that success comes from within and once I achieved true happiness living the life I love, then success was guaranteed. Using other peoples success, as a benchmark for my success in life would not bring me happiness – that was something only I could do, nobody else could do that for me.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner”
6. Believing that money and wealth is the only measurement to defining how successful you are
I don’t know why so many of us believe that money and wealth defines how successful we are. If I wanted success in my life I had to be earning lots of money – the happiness would come later! Well that didn’t work out for me – even with money I didn’t feel successful! I knew in my heart that money wasn’t going to bring me happiness and for me to feel that I was successful I had to overcome my belief that, my success would be measured by how much money I could make. Once I got that bad habit out of the way, then I was free to embrace on my terms success and happiness in my life.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing,and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you”
7. Constantly focusing on all the reasons why you don’t deserve success in your life
This bad habit reflects a lack of self-confidence and belief in you! I had to work really hard to overcome this bad habit. For a long time I would rationalise in my head all the reasons why I felt I wasn’t as successful as my peers, colleagues, and friends. I would look back at all the bad choices I had made in my life and wish I could have been a different person. I spent a lot of time wishing I could be the same as everybody else, because then I would be successful! I didn’t deserve success because I didn’t have the qualities that successful people have. Now I reflect back and I shake my head – what was I thinking??
“In the School of Life events, situations, and the people you have attracted to be part of your personal experiences is synchronized perfectly in order to teach you the lessons that need to be learned. They show you exactly what is needed to be successful in your Life.”
8. You don’t know what you want or what success means for you so you just don’t do anything.
Achieving success in your life is not complicated but you can make it as complicated and as hard as you want. Success requires hard work, perseverance, clarity and focus. If you look at any successful person those elements will feature somewhere in their journey to having a successful life.
To aspire to be successful in your life you have to know what a successful life means for you. Success comes from the way you act, the way you think, your attitude toward life – success is a habit and you work on it everyday of your life. If you don’t know what success means to you then it is really hard to start the journey.
Knowing what you want and setting out a plan with practical goals increases your chances of success. The plan gives you the clarity and focus you need to start the journey – without a plan and not knowing what you want, you will never begin the journey.
“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
9. You have a limiting belief that to be successful you have to pay a price at the expense of others.
This belief has come about as a result of society promoting that to be successful, you have to be tough and prepared to make sacrifices. It is people that will pay a price for your success – mainly because successful people will do what ever it takes to get what they want. This is rubbish and if you believe this to be true then you will not experiences the great joy and happiness success can bring to your life.
Your success in life is not determined by how many people you have to step over or push aside to get what you want. You, your actions, your thoughts and how well you serve others are what contribute to you having success in your life.
10. The fear of failing and making mistakes is a huge block to you making the changes you need to make in your life.
For me, clinging on to this bad habit stopped me from making the changes I needed to make for me to be happy and have a successful life doing what I love to do – writing, speaking and coaching. If you want to be happy and successful you are going to have to accept that failures are necessary on the path to success. It is a given.
I recently read a great book by Tim Harford called Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure.
This book gave me great tools and strategies to effectively manage my fear of failure. Tim Hartford talks about the wrong way we react to failure and that our egos take control and as a result we try to “bury the failure – not a good thing. He suggests that we should adapt the way we think and react to failure by adopting a “trial and error approach”. What this means is that we cant really predict how things are going to turn out and so we test it, adapt and adjust along the way. Failure according to Tim is the opportunity we need to figure out how we can succeed.
If you desire success in your life, you have to be prepared to change. The first step to change, is for you to face those “bad habits” that prevent you from achieving the success and happiness you desire in your life. Once you have overcome your bad habits, you will be unstoppable, and your life will be full of happiness and success.
“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
Last Updated on October 12, 2018
11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation
How do you motivate yourself? We all want to maximize our time and do more of the things we love to do but sometimes we get stuck in the ‘getting ready’ process.
We want to live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving our goals and living a happy, successful life. We want to get better every day but we never actually jump off.
The most powerful form of motivation comes from self-motivation. You can light your own fire.
It is not enough simply to wait for inspiration to start you moving forward. It doesn’t have to be something that happens to you, it can be something that you create.
All progress and motivation starts with taking action. One action will lead to another. Action will create better outcomes and new experiences for you.
When my coaching clients are suffering from distraction, I simply get them to start taking action. To get fired up. To do something specific.
This may be getting up earlier, or committing to doing exercise daily. Even if it’s doing something for just 5 minutes, it’s often that little push that it enough to get them going.
If you focus on a small number of things to create the change you want, it can have a dramatic effect on your business and life.
Here are 11 things you can do right now to take that jump and in the process of increasing brain power, memory and motivation.
1. Simplify Your Life
By creatively planning your life, it allows you to simplify. Delegating and eliminating activities that don’t motivate or excite you ensures you maximise your time and focuses your energy on achieving your goals.
It’s really hard to stay motivated when your mind is confused and cluttered with all of the projects and tasks you need to do. But if you can simplify, if you can carve away the unnecessary, your life will become more focused. And more focus leads to more motivation.
What areas of your life could you simplify?
One way you could do it is to combine tasks. Think about two things you want to do and see how you could combine them into one activity.
The author Marilyn Vos Savant takes this one stage further in her book Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks. She recommends that we make a list of every small task that has to be done, say, over a day or a week-end and then do them all one after another.
Essentially, you are fusing lots of smaller tasks together into one task and completing them all together. So rather than doing one task on one day and another task on another day, it becomes a focused blitz to get lots of little things completed all together.
This frees us more time and gives you a sense of accomplishment, that increases motivation.
2. Focus on How Far You’ve Come
One of the things that stops us being motivated and causes procrastination is that we measure our success not from how far we’ve come, but how far away we are from our dreams and ideals.
If we can change our thinking and become more conscious of how our brain is working, we can set ourselves up for success.
We’re often at our happiest when we use our brains to problem solve, visualize, achieve and measure our progress.
If you talk in specifics rather than generalities, there is an opportunity to feel happier and more energized.
One way to do this is to start training your brain to measure specifics, which grounds your feelings in reality and can boost motivation.
Rather than focusing on your ideal, think about what you’ve achieved from a specific starting point.
If your goal is to lose 14lbs in the next 6 months and you’ve lost 3 lbs in the first 3 months you have two choices. You could focus on the fact that you’re still 11lbs away from your goal or you could focus on the fact that you have lost 3lbs since you’ve started.
The second option will allow you to celebrate success and build motivation and refocus your mind to lost more weight whilst the first option may focus your mind on how far away you are from your goals.
Let your brain set your own goals and have your own experiences.
3. Set Measurable Goals
This follows on nicely from the previous point. When I work with coaching clients we always set specific, measurable 90 Day Goals.
This is great for motivation and training the brain to focus only on things that are specific and measurable.
When we are making real progress towards our goals, it makes us a lot happier. We are motivated and inspired.
We all sense where we are in the present moment. The past has gone and the future is well, the future.
In this present moment, we feel like we’re making progress, moving forward in the right direction or we’re not. We can’t stop time. We can only make better use of our time.
If you’re not happy with the progress you’re making, you may start comparing with others which can make you feel a lot worse and stop motivation in their tracks.
So, think about what goals you want to achieve for the next 90 Days. Ask yourself what is the meaning/purpose behind each of the goals.
Write the goals down. Put specific measurements against each goal and visualise what achieving the goals will mean to you in terms of your own personal progress.
4. Shift Your Motivation from Getting to Giving
Some people only focus on what they can get out of life and relationships. It’s all about me, me, me.
“When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
However, if you come from a position of serving and helping, and being more consciously awake to the world around you, your mindset can shift from merely receiving to giving.
And when you create this shift, coming from a space of giving, your brain starts coming up with more and more creative ways to spread more and more abundance.
It’s far more satisfying to focus on giving. If you really focus on this, it can become a true purpose and focus for you.
Rather than focusing on simple transactions, you focus on deepening relationships and doing things that will genuinely make people happy.
If you focus on giving and gratitude and surround yourself with people of a similar mindset your motivational energy will always be high.
There are also additional benefits. When givers come together the results can be so much bigger than on an individual level as everything has the capacity to be multiplied.
When your motivation is to give your brain will think of more and more creative ways to do that. Random thoughts will pop into your head and you’ll find more creative ways to improve other people in both your business and personal life.
5. Create and Repeat a New Habit
Sometimes, the smallest shifts create the biggest results. When you start a new habit, whether that’s going to the gym, creating videos or improving your speaking the key is consistency and repetition.
By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you create incremental improvements.
If you want to start a new morning routine, the key is repetition. If you want to start meditating, the key is to stay with it. If you’re gearing up to run a 5k, the key is to run every day and build that strength and stamina.
If you have a vision of yourself as someone who doesn’t complete projects, then you think of yourself as that person. But if you tell yourself every day you’re a world class ‘project completer,’ you’ll begin to think and act like that person.
If you’re procrastinating on a big project, just start small and do something to move it forward, even if only five minutes. The next day work on that project again.
The key is deciding what you want to improve and then working on that thing every day. A 1% improvement every day can produce big results in the end.
Bonus tip: Here’re 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick!
6. Direct Your Subconscious Mind Before Sleep
Many successful people never go to sleep without a request to their subconscious mind.
“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious” – Thomas Edison
Your brain is a fantastic problem solving tool. If there are decisions you are struggling with or a project you’re looking for answers on, just spend a few minutes before you go to sleep visualizing the challenges, ideas, questions and experiences.
You can follow a similar process with your goals. Visualize your goals every night and visualize what the achievement of those goals will look like.
Your subconscious mind will then go to work, creating different connections and ideas. When you wake up, write down everything that comes to mind and then put things into action.
You’ll be surprised how amazing your subconscious mind is: Why Sleeping on a Difficult Problem Helps You Get the Answer
7. Focus on Your Environment
The people who you spend time with will change your life in one way or another. Surround yourself with people and things that support you in your business and life.
Cynics can pull you down with them but supportive people will motivate you to becoming even more happy and successful.
Throughout every day, we have choices regarding what we spend our time on and who we are going to spend our time with.
You can be with people who stifle and bring your energy down, or be with people who inspire your creativity and celebrate your success.
Spend more time with people who make you feel more alive and happier and see where that takes you.
8. Express More Gratitude
When you come from a place of expressing gratitude both to what you have and the people around you, the change can be immense.
If you express gratitude for what you have, you are less envious and fixated on what other people have.
When you express gratitude to the important people in your life, it changes how you perceive them and how they feel about you.
Gratitude increases your energy and your feelings of abundance. With gratitude, everything is appreciated.
Gratitude also makes you a lot more creative and deepens your motivation. Handwritten notes, more expressive feelings, instantaneous notes or calls to the people that matter most become commonplace.
The thing about gratitude, though, is that it requires an active pursuit in all areas of your business and life. It’s not about what that person has done for you. It’s about how you feel about them, and their value to you.
Here’s a quick exercise:
Think about the people that are most important to you.
Next, write down 5 things you are grateful for, or appreciate, about that person.
You could tell them the 5 things or just keep it to yourself and sense how you are with that person the next time you meet.
Another important focus for gratitude is yourself. What are you grateful for today?
Taking the time to look inwardly and appreciate what you have built momentum and motivation and makes you a lot happier.
If you want to learn more ways to practice gratitude, check out these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.
9. Increase Your Energy
Energy is a huge motivator. If we are fired up or excited about someone or something, we are usually very motivated.
Think about the last time you achieved something important. I’m guessing your energy and motivation was high?
If you’ve beaten your best time on the track, or lost the weight you wanted, or won a big piece of business, your energy will be sky high and you will want to dive back in again to improve your previous performance.
When we are excited and motivated about the things we are doing, we bring high levels of energy.
If you could spend more time doing the things that excite and motivate you, what would that mean for your business and life?
High levels of energy produce continual growth and give you higher levels of confidence.
Pick three things that give you high levels of excitement and motivation. Commit to spending at least one more hour on each of the things every month.
See what you can achieve. If it brings in the results you want, aim to spend more time on those 3 things and remove 3 things you want to spend less time on.
10. Visualize Your Ideal Future
If your motivation is lacking, try focusing on the purpose behind what you are doing or on how it plays into the larger goal of what you want to accomplish.
One great way to increase your brain power and motivation is to start thinking bigger and then challenge yourself to think bigger and bigger about your vision of your ideal future.
Where would you like to be in 3 years or 5 years’ time? What is your bigger purpose in your business and life? What would have to happen to make you happy with your progress?
Identifying and then focusing on your bigger vision gives you the feeling of working on something greater and being part of something bigger than yourself. It gives deeper meaning and purpose to your daily life.
If you are putting long hours into something or making a lot of sacrifices to achieve something it will help put things into perspective and ensure your motivation stays strong.
Can’t figure out your purpose yet? No problem, here’s How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life
11. Take More Actions
If you’ve been resisting taking on a big project for a while, be that at home or at work, everything else in your life can begin to suffer.
Sometimes, you just have to face your resistance and fear and do what you’ve been avoiding. That one thing, could make a real difference to your life.
We all have lots to do and sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.
The key is to prioritize so we make the best use of our time and make an internal commitment to just get started.
One of my clients was very close to finishing a new online course but there were some things she was avoiding and procrastinating over. It was very easy for her to fill her time with social media updates, shiny new things and check out the things her competitors were doing to avoid taking action. She knew she was neglecting something really important to her personal goals and putting off things that mattered to her.
I got her to focus just half an hour at the beginning each day for a week on this project. That amount of time grew as her excitement and motivation increased.
She felt more excited and motivated by just getting started again and doing the work. This newfound energy also impacted other aspects of her life.
She felt more in control and knew she would succeed. Just by taking one small step and getting started.
Here are some things for you to consider as you reflect upon this article:
- What’s motivating you right now?
- Are you as inspired as you want to be?
- Are you open to new experiences?
- Are you continually learning new and better ways to live?
- Are you putting those into practice?
- Do you want to be more motivated and inspired?
Hopefully this article has provided some insights and you can use some of these tactics to help you live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving your goals.
Featured photo credit: Pete Bellis via unsplash.com