Please enjoy my blog where I offer tips, advice, and quotes on personal development, motivation and happiness.

How To Achieve Your Goals – (Infographic)

It has been said that everyone has goals, whether we know it or not. We have goals to keep our current job, or to get a different one. We have goals to save for the future, or to travel, take a vacation, or purchase the things we need and want to make our lives more enjoyable. Now the issue comes when you try to reach these goals, because as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said:

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

So before you can reach your goals you need a plan. I have created a complete step by step infographic on how you can create this plan. Read my infographic on How to Achieve Your Goals below to learn exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals.

How To Achieve Your Goals

 What Do You Think?

Let me know what you think about the steps I outlined in this infographic – How to Achieve Your Goals in the comments below.

How To Be a Success In Life!

Keys to Success

Success – It’s All Relative

There are an infinite number of:

“How to Succeed”
“What it Means to be a Success”
“10 and/or 20 Ways To Become a Success”

-type articles.

How is this different? What separates this “success list” from the others is that I am exploring relativity. How does success relate specifically to your life?

What Success Means to You

Generally, most success articles begin with its definition. If we perused the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, we would find that success (according to them) means:

  •  the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame; and/or
  • the correct or desired result of an attempt. Herein live the multiple interpretations of success between one person and another. 

If achieving great status via material objects is your personal definition of success, then having the biggest, most beautiful home, vehicle, piece of jewelry, or all that combined means you win the success badge. If you feel success lies in how many people recognize your name or want your autograph or photograph, then fame is your fortune. If others bow down to you and are humbled in your presence, then that sensation of respect is success to you.

Then there’s the other perception of success, which is more private; that is, you tried something once, twice, or a thousand times, and finally, you got it! Congratulating oneself for achievement is a psychology unto itself. But for these purposes, let us assume that the achiever can recognize and is able to consider him/herself a success for accomplishing a set of goals

What Do You Want to Be Successful At?

Now that you’ve established what entails your feeling of success, you need to choose what you would like to be successful at. Believe or not, the majority of people cannot say what they would like to become successful at. Not because they don’t know—because they are afraid to admit it.

The premise underlying the fear is that the person thinks that if he/she admits what he/she wants to be successful at, then he/she is no good at it now. For example, admitting that one would like to be successful at parenting, may suggest to others that he/she is a failure so far. This concept of thinking is fatalistic. Progressing toward a higher understanding and practice is admirable. In some minds, success is your ability to embrace your shortcomings and/or your desire to evolve and improve.

For others, it is the implementation of new information into practice, the expenditure on a new item, or the reveal of a current document or photograph. Regardless, once again, of a personal definition, here are some common goals for those wanting to achieve success:

Being a successful parent: Many adults feel they are short-changing their children in the parenting department. Welcome to history. Most parents want the best for their kids and angst over decision-making. Choosing a path, educating yourself, and following through will assist you in a journey that has no absolutes. Trusting your gut will help.

Being a successful spouse: Most go into marriage with the hope that their relationship will survive. Being a successful spouse may mean compromise, giving more, taking more, or just not knowing. As with any relationship, requirements for success will be tolerance, confidence, trust, maturity, flexibility, and love, among many other fine traits.

Being a successful professional: Many think that a college degree equals workplace success. There are multiple criteria that encompass the rise and maintenance of what, by many standards, identify a success in the marketplace or business world. Regardless if your position is Quality Control of insoles for footwear, Chief Agriculture and Produce Buyer for a grocery chain, or Chief Executive Officer of a Forbes 500 company, it mean you have applied yourself in a manner that has afforded you a title. If title is what you seek, then action and perseverance will lead you to your success.

Being a successful citizen: Fighting crime doesn’t necessarily make you king of the community. Your interaction with others, keeping your finger on the pulse of the town/city/country, and demonstration of action to evoke change and betterment befits a successful citizen.

Musts for Any Type of Success

Whether you have an obscure or common perception of success, or you have a grandiose, simplistic, or privately personal goal, your desired level of success can only be achieved when specific elements are integrated. These traits, theories, and practices often go hand-in-hand when success is an aim. Here is a validated list of must-haves:

      • Visualize – Know what you want and imagine it to be true.
      • Plan – Create a road map toward your goal.
      • Be flexible – If things don’t go exactly how you planned, be open to alternate routes. Sometimes we find a shortcut. Sometimes we are shown a different path that we did not have on our map.
      • Persevere – Don’t give up. Keep on keeping on. If you set your mind to something, forge ahead regardless of challenge. Those obstacles are merely roadblocks you must surmount to make your success taste that much sweeter.
      • Have Confidence – Confidence is derived from experience of feeling good and smaller successes. It is a positive attitude that echoes, “I know I can.”
      • Defeat defeat – If you get knocked down, look at it as an opportunity to figure out how to get up again. There is no giving into defeat. All falls must be perceived as pick-me-ups.
      • Practice humility – No matter how much you’ve learned or how positive you feel about yourself, you can always stand to learn more or be better. Pat yourself on the back for your good work, but never forget to pat the backs of others who have cleared and lead the way for you.
      • Be persistent – A lot like perseverance, persistence, at first, takes “no” for an answer, thinks about it, and then asks the same question again, waiting for a better answer.
      • Identify your skills – Know what you are good at and hone those skills. Additionally, let employers, partners, and clients become aware of your abilities. On the flip side, know what areas in which you can still use some work. Embrace the weaknesses (as well as the strengths) and apply yourself to improve.
      • Be responsible – Your limitations are only what you decide they will be. Acting as a victim is not only one of the most unsavory characteristics, but it also will get you nowhere, ever. Blaming others closes doors. Open doors with a positive and responsible attitude. Take charge—get off the pity-pot.
      • Be smart – Educate yourself whether through schooling, mentoring, or simply reading. If someone else can teach you something and you can’t afford his/her services, figure out a way to barter. Perhaps you can cut hair, run the carpool, balance the company’s bills—where there’s a will to learn, there’s a way.
      • Be motivated – If you keep your goal in mind, you will challenge yourself to achieve more efficiently. In the recent New York Times Article, “What Challenges Success”, the author states, “…research shows that perseverance and motivation can be taught…”
      • Stay hopeful – Don’t doubt yourself or your actions (if you made them with proper thought and good intention). Doubt can create procrastination; that will put an end to your forward-moving process.
      • Ask questions – Feel free to ask experts, mentors, observers, those you trust, etc. for feedback or response to your curiosities. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for “things”, like a raise if it’s due, a day off (if it’s been earned), a promotion, or even a stronger commitment (if that’s the direction everyone is headed in). If you don’t ask, you may not get; not everyone is a mind-reader or action-taker.
      • Surround yourself with like-minded individuals – It’s important to be around others who are positive and see success the way you do.
      • Be open to criticism – constructive only. Words headed your direction, ones that are well intended, try to listen with a non-defensive ear. It’s possible that the criticism is constructive and can actually help better yourself or your performance.
      • Take risks – Make sure the chances you take are calculated. There is nothing wrong with experimentation, but impulsivity may prove adverse in the long-run. Calculated risks are worth taking.
      • Be open to failing – As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

In Conclusion

The bottom line to success is what it essentially means to you. Once you decide on a goal, it’s a matter of figuring out how to achieve it. Remember, success does not equal happiness. It may bring you satisfaction or monetary gain, but relying on overall happiness measured by your success will never make ends meet. Just know that reaching any goal makes you a success.

Let me know what success means to you in the comments below.

Why Be Normal

why be normal(Photo: Fuzzy Gerdes)

Do You Need to be Normal to be Happy?

I remember a popular bumper sticker that read “Why Be Normal?” It is a good question. It seems that as human beings we strive for “normalcy” – if by normal we mean conformity. There has to be some level that a society defines as “Normal” – or we run the risk of total anarchy.

As youngsters, we feel immense pressure to be normal – to fit in, this is why most teenagers look alike, sound alike, and like the same music. As adults, a definition of normal and accepted group behaviors is what allows groups as diverse as cooking classes to networking organizations to function.

Yet, what is so great about normal? Is not another word for normal ordinary? Who are the heroes in your life – the people you admire? Would they be considered “normal?” or extraordinary? Were Galileo, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Einstein, even John Lennon or Elvis for that matter –considered normal? While there is probably something very basic to survival that drives normalcy, the instinct that keeps one from “standing out from the crowd” so as not to be picked off by a lion on the plains of Africa – also stifles creativity.

Certainly, there is security and reassurance in adopting the “normal” behaviors of a given group. Conformity provides a sense of assurance, well-being – and identity. I am sure there are many people perfectly happy to be normal. There is a certain comfort in complacency. And yet, I believe there are just as many of us who are straining at the bit, just dying to break out of the constraints of normalcy – and for them the road to true happiness is not to be just like everyone else – but to dare to be considered different!

There are many things that can stand in the way of happiness and success. Having a negative self-image is certainly one of them. However, a misplaced belief in what you think you need to do to be considered “normal” can be another roadblock — and one that is often overlooked. Renowned motivational writer and speaker Wayne Dyer, wrote in his book Excuses Begone, that we need to make a list of all the things we are “unwilling to do to achieve the life we want” –with the ultimate goal of having a blank sheet.

Now, I am not suggesting being weird for weirdness sake, and that you go to your next networking meeting dressed as a chicken. However in each of us there is an opportunity to step beyond our comfort zone just a little bit, and in doing so you might surprise yourself, and others with just how extraordinary being “abnormal” can be!