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Here’s How To Define Your Own Success

Here’s How To Define Your Own Success

Wondering what it takes to be successful in life?

That’s a bit of a tricky question, because success means a lot of different things to different people.

The only way to be sure you are truly successful is to define your very own success.

Here are seven steps to help you effectively track your progress against the number one person in your life…yourself!

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Ask yourself: “What does success look like?”

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington

While the above quote might strike a chord with you, it’s important to define what your very own version of success looks like. Take a few minutes to answer the question: “What does being successful mean to you?” Does success mean making lot of money, having a big house and a flashy car or does it mean happiness, excellent health and bringing beauty into the world? While you’re at, you might also want to visualize the entire scene of your successful future, where you are, who is with you, what are you doing and even how are you are feeling.

Forget about what other people may think.

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

Want to be successful? Stop wasting your energy on what other people may think, or do or say, and start putting energy towards furthering yourself. You need every ounce of positive energy, encouragement and self-esteem working for you and you alone if you want to be successful. Say no to the naysayers…even better, just ignore them and go on about your business.

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Make a plan.

“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” – Golda Meir

How are you going to achieve success? That is, what courses of action are you going to take? Planning is an important part in setting goals and being successful. For example, if your goal was to open and run a successful restaurant full of happy and well-fed customers, you wouldn’t hire staff or order food before you secured a location for your restaurant or bought cooking equipment and supplies. Have you thought about all the steps, big and small, that you will need to take to get to where you need to be? Even if you don’t have the details hammered out, having a general plan is better than having no plan at all.

Get specific.

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Success can seem overwhelming, especially with all the different twists and turns that may come up over the course of time. Even if you’ve made a plan, things can sometimes seem entirely out of hand or unattainable. When things start to get rough, just remember to do what you can, right here, right now. So what if you’re not five steps ahead in your plan? You’ve got to start somewhere. Get specific about what it is you need to do at this very point in time.

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Make it happen.

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart

Ever wonder how books are written, movie soundtracks are scored, or skyscrapers are built? Long story short, you make a plan, sit down and simply do the work! While planning is an important part of success, it’s even more important to sit down and make things happen. Stop viewing life from the sidelines and get into action! You’ll be one step closer to success.

Ask yourself “What does success look like?”…again

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Once you’re well entrenched in a project or course of action, you might thing you’re in the clear. Yet something funny can sometimes happen: you forget what you initially set out to do! For example, you might get distracted and lose sight of your goal. This is why it’s so important to regularly check in with yourself to see if you are indeed on course in your goals. What does your idea of success look like now that you’ve got some experience and perspective?

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Don’t give up.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

You know the feeling…you’re tired, annoyed and bothered. You’re ready to give up and quit. Unfortunately the one thing that will always stop you from succeeding is if you stop and give up. While it might be painful, bothersome or just plain frustrating to keep pushing on, just continue to push on. You might be at the very brink of a breakthrough! Acknowledge the pain and frustration and continue on anyway. Work hard and believe in yourself for success is just around the corner…

How will you define your own success? What landmarks or milestones are important to you when it comes to being successful? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: Happy New Year 2014 by rkramer via flickr.com

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Rashelle Isip

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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