July 24th, 2011 8:45 AM by Lehel S.
The Habits of Motivation and Success
I've always wondered why some folks accomplish more, get better results, earn more or leave a rich legacy, while others work hard but never seem to get it together. What the difference about high achievers? Why are some people happy while others work just as hard, but never seem to get the results they seek?
I'm sure there may be other ways to phrase it, but I've discovered three BIG parts of the answer. When I read about the most admired people in history, or talk with highly successful people, there are three daily activities that stand out. I want to share them with you.
1. Positive Self-Awareness. High achievers are very clear and specific in the things they say and think about themselves.
We all have things we say to ourselves, about ourselves, all day long. We tell ourselves, "I'm a good cook" or "I don't dance." We tell ourselves we're athletic or smart or that we "can't sing." And here's a critical piece: High performers consciously think about improving the areas where they want to get better results. They are very precise and intentional about this.
This may sound like using affirmations but it's very different from the way affirmations are usually taught. I'm not talking about "affirming" that you've already reached some goal. Far from it! Winners focus on things they can do immediately to move toward their goal, and they take constant daily action.
Here are two simple examples. Many people tell themselves, "I'm a terrible procrastinator." By doing that, they actually affirm the habit of procrastination. In contrast, winners decide never to say that again! Instead they substitute a positive self-statement like, "I do it now!"
and then they take some action immediately. They follow- through on what they have affirmed by doing it now!
A second example. People who are afraid to fly (or have similar fears) focus on their fears and tell themselves, "I hate flying." Instead, winners are likely to analyze the fear, decide it's not helpful and not moving them toward the life they want. They then create an alternative statement such as, "I love flying to exciting destinations," or "I'm relaxed and confident when I fly." And they immediately schedule and take a flight!
Winners continuously affirm the person they want to be.
Instead of berating themselves for habits they want to change, they practice positive self-awareness.
2. Positive Daily Habits. We all do many things every day.
We brush our teeth, read the paper, go to work, eat dinner and so forth. In addition, winners have a few carefully chosen, specific disciplines they do every single day to move them toward the life they want.
Thomas Leonard gave me this idea many years ago, and called it his Daily Ten. For me, it's become a Daily Eight. The idea is to find a short list of daily actions that will move you forward. I'll share my Daily Eight by way of example.
Every day I so these eight things:
Read, Write, Walk, Work, Nest, Network, Romance and Have Fun
I've defined each of these code-words to suit myself. "Read"
refers to actually reading for an hour, every day. "Walk,"
on the other hand, has a much broader definition and simply refers to cardio-vascular activity of some sort, every single day. "Nest" refers to keeping the house, my office and personal environment clean and functional. "Romance" and "Fun" have broad definitions, and I'll leave them to your imagination.
The point is that winners are disciplined. They know that simple, daily actions to enrich their lives will, over time, bring the results they seek.
3. Positive Future Expectations. The common word for this is "goals." Winners make clear, specific choices about the future they desire. For some, these are traditional goals with a plan. Other people find the term "goals" too limiting and they prefer words like "direction" or "themes" or even a word that drives some goal-setters crazy, "dreams." I don't think the term is important, but the concept is vital!