Tag: Focus

How To Get What You Want – part 1

I am evaluating 2010 and preparing for 2011. As part of the process I have picked My 3 Words for 2011 and I’m Reinventing My Business.

This blog post is about how I work on creating a foundation for the year(s) to come.

The Law of Attraction

In A Scary Admission Chris Brogan admits that he believes in the Law of Attraction.

I believe in the teachings inside The Secret. The Secret is a book that talks about The Law of Attraction. There are several books that talk about this, and The Secret isn’t even the best of them.

The premise is that if you visualize and believe with all your heart that you’ll find what you seek, then it’ll manifest.

The key is to remember that Attraction = Attract + Action. It’s not enough to attract something, it takes action to get it. Nothing will manifest out of thin air.

Visualization of what you want to achieve is used in other concepts too, like mental training.

The Secret

The Secret is a catchier name than The Known. In my opinion there’s nothing secret in The Secret, it’s a new cover on what has been said before. They have done clever marketing though.

Think and Grow Rich

I’m currently reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. The book is available in print or as free ebook, I have an ebook. As the title indicates, it’s focus is on money. It lists these six steps:

First: fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.

Second: determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)

Third: establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

Fourth: create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at ONCE, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Fifth: write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for it acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Sixth: read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read — see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

Napoleon Hill talks about the importance of a burning desire. It’s not enough to wish or want, it has to be a burning desire. You need to be determined to get it, stand by it and know what you really want to achieve.

As you see in step 2 above he stresses that there’s no such reality as “something for nothing”.

My view

I believe that it’s a two-phase process: Attraction = Attract + Action. The process works whether it’s money we’re aiming for or something else.

Attract requires us to be clear and specific about what we want to achieve. That’s what this blog post is about.

Then it takes action, I’ll do another blog post about that.

Decide what you want

Napoleon Hill writes that “All achievements have their beginning in an idea”, I prefer to talk about a vision. It shall be something that you really desire and believe with all your heart that you’ll achieve. List what you want to achieve but be specific otherwise you can’t know when you have achieved it.

Paint an entire picture, personal and professional, since different areas of life interact with each other. It can be different levels of details but ignoring the personal side and only have a business vision is not a good idea. The other way around is not good either.

Examples of what can be included in a vision:
• I want to be my own boss.
• I want to work half time and do volunteer work in my spare time.
• I want to have X dollars in my savings account because that means financial security.
• I want to live and work in the Bahamas.
• I want to make the world a better place by doing….

Create ONE vision that covers what you want to achieve. Fill it with emotions, how will you feel when you achieved it.

If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t. – Chuck Palahniuk

Verify it

Consider this:
• Your vision shall be your beacon, something that keeps you heading in the right direction.
• Your vision shall be able to motivate you when the going gets tough.
• It shall be YOUR vision, not something you do to please others.
• It shall be a burning desire.

If your vision does not pass the test above then you picked the wrong vision. Return to the previous step and find your true vision.

Convert your vision to money

How much money does it take to achieve your vision?

How much do you need to make your vision come through?

Your vision might be to become your own boss instead of being employed, there’s still money that needs to be earned.

Your vision might be to be place independent (work from anywhere), there’s still money that needs to be earned.

Even a spiritual quest requires money to make it possible. There’s no “something for nothing” which means that somehow we need to pay for what we want to achieve.

When shall it be finished?

Set an end date – when shall you have achieved your vision?

Hint, if it’s more than a year away then you shall probably reconsider and rephrase your vision. A beacon that’s too far away makes for lousy navigation.

What will you do to achieve your vision?

You now have your vision, an end-date and a required amount, what will you give in return to achieve what you desire?

Define exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. Plan it, at least roughly, so you know how to do it.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. – Tony Robbins

Make your vision memorable

If you’re visual then create a vision board. That makes it easier to picture how you will feel when it’s all done.

Create a statement (agreement with yourself) that describes your vision. It shall include the end-date, when it shall be finished, and what you will do to achieve your vision. Remember to attach feelings, how will you feel when you have achieved your vision.

Keep your vision within sight

Print out your statement. Place it where you see it often and easy. Read your vision daily so you keep it alive and fresh.

One more thing – enjoy the ride! The journey towards your vision has to be worthwhile too.

What about me?

When evaluating 2010 I realized that my original vision had split into two visions, one personal and one for my business. When those visions were aligned it was no problem but when they differed the one closest to my heart did win. Most of my personal vision, along the path to discover your Self, has been accomplished. When it comes to my business vision it did not turn out as I had intended.

Lesson learned – create ONE vision and stick to it. If in doubt along the way, go back to the verify step and see if you vision still is the right one.

What about you?

How do you work to vision what you want to achieve?

What’s in your Personality Zoo?

Alex Fayle has a really interesting post today, Taming the Voices in the Personality Zoo. It describes a fun and really useful way to sort out what stops us from achieving what we want.

By assigning each piece of resistance a personality, I can diffuse the internal argument by recognizing the emotion attached to the thought and therefore come up with effective ways to work around or dismantle the particular excuse for not continuing. (It’s also a whole lot of fun!)

Alex links to his own zoo and the Lab Rats (Cat, Jim and Brett) list theirs. It’s an interesting read and I started to list my own voices.

My own voices.

My list include the good ones as well as the not so good ones.

  • Zen Bengt is always around, calm and centered.
  • Optimistic Bengt is almost always there too, thinks that everything will work out and it all just gets better and better.
  • Confident Bengt is also mostly there, he knows that it will work out in the end, even if it’s unchartered territory part of the way.
  • Tugboat Bengt is doing most of the work, moving stuff and get the ball rolling.
  • Lazy Bengt pops up now and then, thinks that we have worked a lot and deserve a break, we can start again later or even later…
  • Distraction Bengt is looming in the background. He comes in sometimes and talks about nice things like walks, reading and Twitter. Could we not do that, just for a while?
  • Impatient Bengt is also looming in the background. He thinks that we could have been there already if we only had focused on what we should do.
  • Procrastination Bengt is luckily a rather rare visitor, he tries to team up with Lazy Bengt in order to get more influence.
  • Frustrated Bengt is a strange companion to Zen Bengt. He comes in to clear out the disturbing voices in order to get back to work and focus.

What’s in your Personality Zoo?

Credit image: Sign @ Africa Alive, Suffolk at Flickr

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

The jar of life – stones, pebbles and sand

This is a classic story which unfortunately mentions time management. But time management is a misnomer since time can not be managed. We can only manage ourselves, our attention and our priorities.

One day, an old professor of the School of Public Management in France, was invited to lecture on the topic of “Efficient Time Management” in front of a group of 15 executive managers representing the largest, most successful companies in America. The lecture was one in a series of five lectures conducted in one day, and the old professor was given one hour to lecture.

Standing in front of this group of elite managers—who were willing to write down every word that would come out of the famous professor’s mouth—the professor slowly met eyes with each manager, one by one, and finally said, ‘we are going to conduct an experiment’.

From under the table that stood between the professor and the listeners, the professor pulled out a big glass jar and gently placed it in front of him. Next, he pulled out from under the table a bag of stones, each the size of a tennis ball, and placed the stones one by one in the jar. He did so until there was no room to add another stone in the jar. Lifting his gaze to the managers, the professor asked, ‘Is the jar full?’ The managers replied, ‘Yes’.

The professor paused for a moment, and replied, ‘Really?’ Then once again, he reached under the table and pulled out a bag full of pebbles. Carefully, the professor poured the pebbles in and slightly rattled the jar, allowing the pebbles to slip through the larger stones, until they settled at the bottom. Again, the professor lifted his gaze to his audience and asked, ‘is the jar full?’

At this point, the managers began to understand his intentions. One replied, ‘apparently not!’

‘Correct’, replied the old professor, now pulling out a bag of sand from under the table. Cautiously, the professor poured the sand into the jar. The sand filled up the spaces between the stones and the pebbles. Yet again, the professor asked, ‘is the jar full?’ Without hesitation, the entire group of students replied in unison, ‘No!’

‘Correct’, replied the professor. And as was expected by the students, the professor reached for the pitcher of water that was on the table, and poured water in the jar until it was absolutely full. The professor now lifted his gaze once again and asked, ‘What great truth can we surmise from this experiment?’

With his thoughts on the lecture topic, one manager quickly replied, ‘We learn that as full as our schedules may appear, if we only increase our effort, it is always possible to add more meetings and tasks.’ ‘No’, replied the professor.

‘The great truth that we can conclude from this experiment is: If we don’t put all the larger stones in the jar first, we will never be able to fit all of them later.’

In other words – make room for what is most important first, those are your stones. Other things can then be fitted around the stones.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

Be productive using pen and paper

Even though I have worked with computers for 35+ years I still prefer to manage my own tasks using pen and paper. I have a paper calendar, not any high tech solution and when it comes to my to-do-lists I am writing lists – by hand. At work I use the calendar in Outlook for reminders, I wear no watch, but the paper calendar is my backbone since it covers all my bookings.

Today I came across a post at Success from the Nest titled How I Gained an Hour a Day by Ditching My Productivity Tools. I like this one, it goes in line with my own way of working. The post ends like this:

I never thought I’d be a productivity minimalist, but it works for me. Just by simplifying how I track my work I’ve saved on average an hour a day.

Through a link in the article above I arrived at “To Do” Gone Wild. This is a long but interesting post. I am not keen on the full solution but I intend to pick pieces from there. One simple but nifty trick is this one:

On the left hand side of each day’s entry pages, I have two lists, one beginning at the top and one working its way from the bottom up. The top list is for work tasks, the bottom is for personal.

I like that one, keeping work and private things apart in an easy way but still having all within the same view.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.