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How Reframing Events Leads to Success

How Reframing Events Leads to Success


    Have you ever wondered how some people always manage to achieve success in life even when they are going through traumatic events or situations?

    What’s their secret?

    I’ve researched what the most successful people do when the going gets tough and there’s one killer technique that I’m going to share with you today that you can start using immediately.

    This is it:

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    ‘Reframing’ Situations

    Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we can always ‘reframe’ our situation. So – no matter how bad everything appears to be, we always have the choice to make ourselves feel better by changing the way we view our problems or situations.

    The key point is this:

    We can’t always change the things that happen to us in life, but we can change the way we view them

    Here’s an example of a smart student using the ‘reframe‘ technique to help her parents ‘view’ a situation differently:

    Dear Mum and Dad

    Apologies for taking so long to write, but my writing utensils were destroyed in the fire at my apartment. I am out of the hospital and the doctor says I should be able to lead a healthy normal life. A handsome young man called Pete saved me from the fire and kindly offered to share his apartment with me. He is very nice and drives a lovely motorcycle, which I like to travel on with him – we go so fast and it is fun. I think you’ll be happy when I tell you that he did the right thing and we got married last week…you see you’re going to be grandparents very soon.

    Actually – there was no fire, I haven’t been in hospital, I’m not married and I’m not pregnant. But I did fail my biology exam and I just wanted to make sure that when I told you, you put it into proper perspective.

    Love Your Daughter

    So essentially, ‘reframing’ events is a way of changing your ‘perspective’ in life so that you don’t get so caught up in everyday problems.

    The way that we choose to ‘frame’ our lives will depend on our personal happiness and achievement.  The fact is that there will be times when you don’t have control over an event or a situation. You do though, have control over the way that you ‘view’ the event or situation.

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    You can choose to ‘view’ it negatively or you can choose to ‘view’ it positively.

    The research shows that those who reframe challenging events & situations positively will achieve much more success than those who reframe negatively.

    Why?

    In my opinion it can be easy to get caught up in everyday problems and this can block us from getting ahead. By ‘reframing’ events you can ensure you’re always moving forward and are not getting fixated on the problems in your life.

    It’s all about context –  if you perceive something to be bad – that is often because you are comparing it to something you perceive to be better.

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    So, take a lesson from the most successful people in history and choose to reframe positively.

    The inventor of electric light, Thomas Edison was a genius at ‘reframing’ events in his life and in my opinion it was this technique that powered him forward through every failure to his eventual success.

    Having been asked this question by a New York Times journalist: “How does it feel to have failed seven hundred times?”, Edison’s reply was as follows:

    I have not failed seven hundred times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those seven hundred ways will not work. When I have eliminated all the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.  - Thomas A. Edison

      Imagine what you could achieve if you began to ‘reframe’ the failures in your life instead of being blocked by them?

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      How Can you Start Reframing Today?

      1. The next time you notice yourself feeling frustrated about a situation or perceiving something to be ‘bad’, ask yourself how you can reframe it?
      2. Start by finding something worse to compare it to by thinking, “At least ‘X’ didn’t happen”.
      3. Try flipping the situation around to gain a positive from it.
      4. Think about what you have learned from the experience – this can often provide a positive reframe.
      5. Consider how the experience will help you move forward and remember that failure is always a pre-requisite for success.

      (Photo credit: Businessman Different View via Shutterstock)

      More by this author

      Zoe B

      A strategist, coach and blogger who shows people how to stop what isn't working for them in life and to start to plan the life they really want.

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      Last Updated on September 11, 2019

      Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

      Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

      How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

      Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

      To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

      Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

      Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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      • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
      • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
      • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
      • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

      Benefits of Using a To-Do List

      However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

      • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
      • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
      • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
      • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
      • You feel more organized.
      • It helps you with planning.

      4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

      Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

      1. Categorize

      Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

      It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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      2. Add Estimations

      You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

      Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

      Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

      3. Prioritize

      To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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      • Important and urgent
      • Not urgent but important
      • Not important but urgent
      • Not important or urgent

      You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

      Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

      4.  Review

      To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

      For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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      Bottom Line

      So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

      To your success!

      More to Help You Achieve More in Less Time

      Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

      Reference

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