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4 Steps to Personal Transformation

Photo by Karrah Kobus
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin

Sometimes the path of life comes to a crossroad. One direction ends in stagnation while the other leads to transformation.

When I entered my junior year of college I had a sudden identity crisis. I had always been an athlete throughout high school and junior college, and a fairly good one at that. A very shy person normally, my abilities in sports gave me confidence and brought out leadership skills I didn’t know were within me.

How to Set Goals – To Create the Best Year

Photo by Kevin Russ

For New Year’s Eve 2011, Jeremy and I sat down and made our goals for the year. We made sure the goals were measurable, challenging, and lead us in the direction we wanted to go. After all, the experts say to set SMART goals. As diligent students, we complied.

Well, I accidentally opened up this document last week, for the first time since we created it (more than a year ago). I had completely forgotten about it. Reading through every line of the document, I felt a surge of guilt and disappointment.

You know that feeling in your stomach, almost ashamed that nothing on the list—of supposedly important items—were achieved. I didn’t end the year with 30K facebook fans, I didn’t do yoga everyday (In fact, not even once for the whole year), I didn’t become an early riser, and my living & working space is still messy.

Dreams Come True: Story of Audacity

Photo by Kai Z Feng. Follow him on flickr.

What are your dreams? What are you passionate about?

Around the time I graduated University I became fascinatedwith photography. It became my first passion. I dreamed of becoming a professional photographer.

I loved photography, and dove in head first determined to make my dreams come true. I read books, took countless images, invested in equipments, spent countless hours in Photoshop, attended gallery showings, and took classes on specialized subjects.

I loved photography so much that –at one point- I built a darkroom from scratch, rented a large loft space to have my ideal studio setup and eventually married a photographer – who I admired, because he was so confident with his craft and was among the few successful working photographers I’d met. Most other photographers I encountered all struggled to make ends meet.

5 Essential Lessons on Success

Photo by Aeschleah DeMartino

Today I want to talk about the ingredients that cause success. Why do some people succeed, while others fail? what separates the two. I’m constantly intrigued with the concepts involved in success and failure. I’ve dedicated my life to discovering and explaining what separates one from the other.

I spend my days learning about the laws and the principles of success. I believe if we learn these laws and principles we will succeed. In fact, if anyone learns these laws and principles, they will succeed.

The laws of success will move your life from the pit to the palace, from ordinary to extraordinary. With that, let’s take a look at five essential lessons on the causes of success.

Goal Setting Secret – How to Achieve Any Goal

Photo by Wynona Robison

This article looks at how a deliberate shift in our views on goal setting can net drastic cumulative results in the long run.

Whether it’s career goals or personal goals, we’ve all been there – setting aggressive and sometimes overtly ambitious goals, chasing after it, hitting road bumps and eventually become de- motivated to never see the goal come to fruition.

Nobody likes to be stuck in a plateau. You might spend months working hard towards a goal without seeing any progress. It can be incredibly frustrating to feel your motivations go unrewarded.

How you react to a plateau will decide whether you’re going to eventually be successful. While many people react by burning themselves out or quitting, some people continue showing up, every day. The people that show up, through sheer patience, will eventually break through their plateau.

The Ultimate Guide to Personal Motivation

Photo by Edwin Stemp

This is going to be the last blog post I ever write. That’s it. After this one you won’t be reading any more articles by me online. In fact, the only reason I’m writing this is because I promised Tina I would and I don’t want to let her down.

If I promise someone something I try to follow through, so even though I’ve decided to knock blogging on the head and give up writing for good I wanted to finish with this one post for Think Simply Now first.

Hence the ultimate guide to personal motivation. I like the sound of ultimate because it means final and implies it’s the only guide you’ll ever need. This should be the motivational guide to end all guides because that’s what lazy people need. Reading’s brilliant for entertainment or education yet it’s also a great escape and procrastination device but if you’re reading about personal motivation there’s something you want to achieve. You’re ready to stop procrastinating, spinning your wheels and being lazy because there’s something you want to get done.

What do you want to do or what should you be doing? Is it a long term task like writing your memoirs or something quick but unpleasant like booking a dental appointment or going to it? Why can’t you get motivated? Are you reluctant to vacuum and mop the floor because you know within six hours of completing the job a mob of hungry children will have sprinkled it evenly with bread and cookie crumbs then smeared mud and honey on top? Or is there something deeper holding you back like fear, lack of confidence or perfectionism?

How to Wake Up Inspired …

Photo by Simón Pais

Inspiration is typically viewed as something that comes and goes. Some days you “feel it” more than others.

But what if you could be deeply and unconditionally inspired everyday? I bet it would make a difference in the quality of your life. You would probably wake up excited to start your day. You’d get more done, be more creative and feel more of that elusive “flow.” Being inspired also means enjoying the process more, instead of feeling forced and unnatural.

The best part of persistent inspiration is that action tends to be effortless. There isn’t so much trying, rather you’re more simply being and allowing whatever action is natural to flow out from you.

Most of us just wait for inspiration though. We passively anticipate our muse, instead of actively seeking it out.

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
~Jack London

I’ve been experimenting with something different for a while, purposefully taking responsibility for being inspired. For a while I didn’t know if it would work. Inspiration is kind of an elusive phenomenon after all. And even if you choose to look for inspiration, does that mean it will come?

The Ups and Downs of Life + Personal News

Photo by Vadim Pacev

Coming back from India, I was floating on a cloud of utter joy, blissfully unaware of the personal challenges and surprises that were about to hit me in the coming month.

While I had fantasized over the telling of what has happened over the past month, it quickly became obvious that the toughest part of my job is the potential of disclosing too much about my personal life, thus invading the privacy of those closes to me. Despite the juiciness of the story, I’ve decided to leave most of the details private.

I contemplated on why I wanted to write about it, and it became clear to me that the essence of the story is that we are forever riding the ups and downs of life, and that sometimes when the downs get really down, we lose touch with reality. In those moments, all we need is hope and a gentle nudge to remind us that it is only temporary, and that the highs are not far away.

Overcoming a Rough Week

Photo by Carlos Yepez (flickr stream)

We all have bad days, but have you ever had one of those weeks when it seems everything is going wrong?

Monday, your alarm didn’t ring and you were late for work. Tuesday, your car broke down. Wednesday you lost your credit card. Thursday was your annual review and your employer informed you that, due to the economy, the company is not issuing raises this year. By the time Friday arrives and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you get a ticket for speeding. How do we handle a series of setbacks and bad news?

I recently had one of those weeks where it seemed that anything that could go wrong – did go wrong. The natural reaction most people have when the walls begin crumbling is to crumble right along with them.

I have developed a habit of not letting outside circumstances consume me. I have learned in the past that the events in your life do not determine the course of your life. Rather, it is your reaction to those events that will determine the quality of your life, and your life direction. In other words, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens to you.

Most of us can experience certain negative events and dismiss them. But when negative events seem to happen simultaneously – as they often do – they feel suffocating and impossible to overcome. This is when thoughts of giving in to that feeling of helplessness seem to evade the mind.

With the state of the economy and many people losing their jobs and homes, many of us feel powerless. But the truth is that there are many things we can do to help us cope with, and even change a bad situation.

Design Your Life

Photo by the incredible Tom Palumbo of Anne St. Marie, 1959.

Are you tired of setting New Year’s resolutions only to find yourself faced with the same resolutions a year later? Don’t you just hate that feeling of guilt rising in your stomach at the thought of lost time, lost opportunities and lack of self-discipline?

I was at the gym last night and was shocked to see 3 times as many people there than normal. Rushing out of a locker room filled, hip-to-hip, with half-clothed ladies I’ve never seen before, I hopped on the last of twelve treadmills and gazed around the room in amazement – nearly every machine was occupied, the personal trainers were fully engaged, and there were countless new faces.

This is what I call “New Year’s Resolution Syndrome”.

It is well-known that gyms will overbook annual memberships at the start of each year, banking on the fact that many people will not follow through and will eventually stop showing up. Over the next few weeks, the traffic will slowly die down and the gym will be back to its normal and quiet self again.

What’s the problem here? The problem is that resolutions do not work. Especially the socially coined, “New Year’s Resolutions”. It’s a cliché that only 12% of people actually take action on and resolve.

What we need is a different approach. We need a system of designing our lives to sustainably improve the quality of our daily experience.

This article details a step-by-step system that I personally use for creating and living a balanced and meaningful life. Throw away ‘them TO-DO lists, and resolutions, because they don’t work – at least, they don’t last long enough to make a sustainable impact. Let’s drill down and focus on what really matters.

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