Following is a short list of common hints of wisdom for goal (target) achievement:
- Write down your goals (along with your Purpose Statement) and carry them with you.
- Be precise in setting your goals; know exactly what you want and how you will get there.
- Don’t allow the difficulty of the task to prevent you from beginning; just get started, see where you are and keep your perspectives clear.
- Break up your long-term goals into shorter ones; this will keep you motivated as you progress.
- Keep your eye on the bull’s eye of your target, not the wall behind it.
- Learn to delegate; elicit the help of others to assist you along the way.
- Set your priorities; there is a logical sequence to getting anything accomplished.
- Keep attentive and focused; don’t let distractions send you into new directions.
- Practice mentally rehearsing what it will feel like when you have accomplished your tasks.
- When encountering difficult obstacles, back off and consider other avenues to your destination.
- Analyze the feedback of your interim progress toward a goal; Learn from your achievements.
- Keep an inventory of your skills, talents and resources; Upgrade them continuously.
- Congratulate and reward yourself for incremental successes along the way.
- Become a master list maker; Keep organized and enjoy checking off things you have done.
- Understand the mechanics of planning and the proper execution of your plans.
- Combine tasks whenever possible; Try to kill two birds with one stone to economize your efforts.
- Recognize your biorhythms for efficiency; know your best time of the day to be productive.
- Work smart, not hard; don’t think of quantity of effort, think of quality of effort.
- Never procrastinate without a valid and unavoidable reason.
- Secure a mentor, partner or coach to support your progress and to be accountable to.
- Keep a sense of humor; Laugh at yourself when you stumble and quickly get on your feet again.
- Remember that your Purpose is behind everything that you do.
Life mastery is not difficult once we believe in its possibility and also desire to achieve it. Following are my top 25 principles for living a higher life and I hope you find them to be a helpful guide:
Worry Less – Laugh More
Sit Less – Move More
Analyze Less – Feel More
Text Less – Talk More
Work Less – Volunteer More
Complicate Less – Simplify More
Rest Less – Sleep More
Conceal Less – Discover More
Discriminate Less – Understand More
Complain Less – Appreciate More
Consume Less – Give More
Waste Less – Save More
Think Less – Act More
Abuse Less – Support More
Eat Less – Taste More
Critique Less – Love More
Follow Less – Lead More
Amuse Less – Learn More
Blame Less – Value More
Control Less – Flow More
Doubt Less -Trust More
Hesitate Less – Risk More
Watch Less – Read More
Resist Less – Accept More
Plead Less – Pray More
For some baffling reason, we have gotten caught up in an insatiable need for more stuff – from clothes, cars, houses, electronic gadgets, toys, furniture and fixtures to new hairdos, pedicures and tummy tucks. We want to possess everything imaginable and never seem to be content anymore with the basics. According to comedian George Carlin, we even need to own stuff to put our stuff into. We like to take our stuff with us wherever we go, and when we get there we have to buy more stuff so we can take it home to be with other stuff!
Our fascination with stuff, however, is not the problem. It is the lifestyle that we must pursue to acquire, maintain and manage our stuff. All of this stuff is the antithesis to a sane, balanced and purposeful life. While we tend to believe that our happiness emanates from our possessions it is, in fact, these same possessions that become the bane and curse to a joyful and meaningful life. According to Elaine St. James, Wise men and women in every major culture throughout history have found that the secret to happiness is not in getting more but in wanting less. Only when we make it our purpose to not make stuff the measure of our contentment, will we truly understand how simply beautiful (and beautifully simple) life can be lived.
Our Purpose, our Values, and our Behavior must all work together in balance, congruently with each other. Applying this paradigm to our lives requires us to view the total picture. We cannot be successful if we focus only on one component of our lives while forsaking another. Our Behavior must be congruent with our Values, but our Values must be congruent with each other. They are all interdependent, each working synergistically with the other. It’s not either/or, it’s and.
The universal nature of balance works in our life mysteriously and subliminally. Because of natural laws, equilibrium will always find itself, whether we are talking about the planets, the weather or even the forces that work within our minds and bodies. If we do not approach our life’s balance from a holistic perspective, then our life will ultimately seek its own balance, sometimes with serious consequences.
Fortunately, we are given ample opportunities to live a balanced life before nature does it for us. We receive numerous warning signs when we ignore the laws of balance. We will know when our life is out of kilter because of the stress and anxiety we generate within ourselves. We will feel the effects on our health, our relationships or even our careers when we are overemphasizing one aspect of our life at the expense of another. The key for us is to recognize these incongruities and correct them before they have to correct themselves. Our opportunity is to be in charge, fixing the problem before natural laws do it for us . . . As they always will!
Most of us can recall those times when we succeeded due to the impact of a mentor, a guidance counselor or perhaps an understanding spouse who was by our side as we undertook some personal endeavor. But we can also recall those instances where we endeavored to go forth alone and then gave up because we lacked the direction and support we needed. We found ourselves stuck in a place we didn’t belong but also didn’t have the encouragement or advice to get ourselves unstuck.
Imagine having a supportive partner in those situations where we lacked the resources, both mental and emotional, to stay on the right path. Recent research has shown that simply stating goals are largely ineffective, writing them down had only slightly better results, but having a partner proved by far the highest success rate in goal achievement.
Examples of this working partnership could include: job hunting or changing careers, learning a new skill, writing a novel, becoming a better speaker or listener, starting a business or planning retirement, getting out of debt, dealing with a difficult workplace issue, breaking a bad habit or making a significant lifestyle change.
The list is endless of possible scenarios where having a trusted partner on your side would have made all the difference. Going it alone is certainly an option, but consider how well that has worked for you in the past. If you truly want to stay the course this time and ensure your success it is okay to admit that you could use some serious help. Find your trusted partner who will support you and you will have much greater success in making it happen.
We can easily recall those many instances where we felt an overload in our lives. We felt helpless trying to manage all of our self-created obligations as well as those that were imposed on us by outside forces. Over time, we became exhausted and our psychic energy was depleted. Left unattended, we will eventually experience anxiety in its mildest form to a total burnout or a nervous breakdown in its most extreme form. Our risk increases as we lose sight of ourselves, our Purpose, our Values and our Mission. We would be allowing life to manage us rather than our taking control, thus, reordering our life and our mental beliefs around those things that we can effectively manage.
The lament of modern society is that too many of us falsely believe that we must run harder and faster just to keep up. The proverbial treadmill is the greatest threat to our sense of Self as it takes us away from what is really most important to us. The mind has been scientifically proven to be capable of processing only so much information at any one point in time. There is a limit to our consciousness, and when we push that limit we are effectively shutting down our brains with an overload of psychic garbage. Our goal should be to filter this psychobabble out, before it gets a foothold in our minds. We must always recognize it for what it is: useless, non-urgent, non-productive data that crowds out the meaningful information that will bring more satisfaction to our lives.
Our problem is in how we see the problem. We tend to compartmentalize ourselves into separate lives. We have our work life, our family life, our financial life, our social life, etc. We try to take one hat off and put another hat on as the day progresses. This segmentation of our lives into different boxes of activity creates tremendous pressure on us to shift our roles continuously. We become much like that old Ed Sullivan act where the harried performer is balancing multiple plates on long poles. As each begins to fall, he has to run frantically back and forth to keep all of them spinning at the same time.
Doing too many separate things at once keeps us in constant agitation and turmoil. We do a poor job in each role because we are trying to do all the roles at the same time, with each role requiring a different and often conflicting allotment of ourselves and of our time. The solution is to perceive the entire landscape, as a single body of choice, not little bites of activity all occurring at the same time. We need to act as if all of our roles are one and the same, that we are only spinning one large plate at the top of one pole. Gandhi once observed, One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole.
This is the essence of balanced Purpose. Instead of thinking either/or, we must think of one and the same. As we view and interact with multiple and competing events, we should not treat them as being distinct and separate parts, but rather as a single part woven into the whole of our lives. An ancient Sufi teacher once said, You think because you understand one you must understand two, because one and one makes two. But you must also understand and. This holistic concept means we cannot see the individual parts of a picture without first seeing the whole picture.
A simple life is where we are simply living! It is nothing more and nothing less. When we are in touch with just the simple process of living, relishing in the uncomplicated pleasures that are abundantly available to us, we will find the inner peace that we are seeking.
A simple life focuses on what we do have rather than being critical of what we don’t have. It finds less joy in material possessions and greater joy in natural wonders, hearty laughter, warm embraces, stimulating conversations and long walks in the woods. It values ideas over things, peaceful meditation over argumentative debates, reading over television, quiet solitude over pushy crowds and lasting trends over temporary fads.
The simple life favors giving more than receiving. It is to live humbly with pride, rather than ostentatiously without virtue. A simple life knows what is most important, content with the quiet conviction of lasting principals.