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Change Your Life: 5 Steps to Creating Positive Habits

May 21, 2012 in Business, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

As mentioned in the last blog post two weeks ago, if you are seeking to lead a positive and successful life - whatever that may mean for you, you have to make it a mission to understand how your habits are either helping or sabotaging  you. Once you have gained that level of awareness, it's time to set your intention to start developing new habits that will help you achieve your life's goals or change your life completely. In this post, I'm going to break down the process of habit formation to help you understand how you can create positive habits.

We all go through this process of creating new habits at an early age for many of the tasks we perform on a daily basis. Some of those tasks include: standing up, walking, talking, etc... We have committed the mechanical know-hows to our subconscious mind and over time have developed the belief system we need to be able to perform those tasks and many other ones mindlessly.

A perfect example of this is learning to open a door.  You no longer have to think about nor struggle with opening a door. You also don't have to wonder what you need to do first or whether the door will open at all. You know it will open.  You learned and struggled with this once as a child growing up and have done it so many times after that it's become a habit.  All you have to do now is give physical self the order to open the door and you unconsciously (mindlessly) take all the steps necessary to open the door.

To succeed in any other endeavor, you need to apply this same process and effort to create positive habits.  Below are 5 steps that will help you with the creation of any habit.

1. Awareness

Change starts with awareness. And if you're ever going to succeed at making changes in your life, you have to know that YOU need to make a change. You have to know what to want for you to desire it.

2. Desire

Desire will drive you to see the change through. The desire you have to be a better version of yourself or to see the positive outcome that the new habit will yield is what's going to keep pushing you onward when things seems to get tough. This is certainly true when the results you seek doesn't come right away. This is a failure point for most people. Usually, the desire is not strong enough and so they give up half-way or just before they've committed this new task to their subconscious to allow it to work to their advantage.

Get emotional about the results. Paint a picture of your future as a result of the things this new habit can help you to achieve. If you're not willing to get emotional about it, you can stop reading now because all you have is a wish and the remaining steps will not help you.

3. Learning

I was tempted to leave this step out but it is necessary to the process. My temptation was purely out of concerns that you may get stuck in this phase that you never take action.  I don't believe your getting stuck is because you want to, but that society has taught us that taking action without knowing, in advance, every sequential detailed step is a risk. I say, once you've learned what the first step is, take action.  And in doing so, you will have a clearer picture of what the next step should be. The first step will expand your horizon and encourages you to take the next.

Suspend the requirement of knowing how and dive in. The only way you learn to swim is by getting in the water.

The utility of knowledge rests only in its application.
~Unknown

4. Action

You have to take action. You don't create a habit by meditating and contemplating the habit. You have to do something. It's the only way.

5. Repetition

The final and key ingredient to habit formation is repetition. If you're learning how to do something and you find it hard, keep on doing it. In the words of Thomas Fuller, “All things are difficult before they are easy”. When it's become easy, it's becomes a habit. You performed the task so many times until it becomes second nature to you. Your subconscious mind will have taken control of the mechanical know-hows and all you have to do in the future is give yourself the command to execute.

You can draw upon this process to create and develop new habits and beliefs system around the things you want to achieve in life.  To commit any task to your subconscious and create positive habits, keep repeating the action over and over.  Your physical being will submit to the authority of your subconscious mind and this will help you create the life you've dreamed of through your habits. The key point not to miss here is that you have to be intentional in creating habits that will serve you.

Your Habits: The Secret to Your Success or Your Failure!

May 3, 2012 in Business, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

Many years ago, I heard one of my favorite Speakers/Authors share something that have had a tremendous impact on my life and I believe it will also impact yours if you take it seriously - because it is the determinant of success and failure in your life.  This is one aspect of Leading With Intent that I would like to share with you. Your life, my life and everyone else' in this world is run by habits: good or bad.

Some people are addicted to drugs - a negative habit, while others are addicted to taking time to read and reflect - a positive habit.

Most of the things you do, you do on autopilot. Now this Read the rest of this entry →

The Big Rocks: Your Priorities, Your Success or Your Failure

February 25, 2012 in Business, Communication, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

"You are EXACTLY where you should be given the things you have done to get there" ~ Unknown

To follow last month's lesson from the Learn, Grow and Achieve Virtual Seminar with Rick Krug, "The History of Your Future", I thought it was appropriate to share this 10-minute video with you. This video will solidify the lessons from the call and also help you to see your world, your daily priorities and eventually your success from a different perspective.

During a training session I attended at JP Morgan Chase for new employees in early 2000, a trainer from Franklin Covey explained the concept of the Big Rocks. It made a lot of sense to me then and it still does today. Although I fail to put some of the lessons to use on occasions, I still strive to practice this principle everyday and its impact on my life has been enormous.

The Big Rock principle has helped me to focus on the things that really matter and also align my actions to my values.

Is this easy to do? No.

Can it be done? Yes.

Will you achieve more by taking this approach (focusing on the Big Rocks) instead of simply filling your day with the gravels or sands? Absolutely!

As you watch this video, put yourself in the lady's shoes and think about how you go about your day. You can almost feel the pressure of the many things in your life fighting for your attention, pulling you in many different directions. Most people live this way but when you ask them why, they say "I'm just living my life...taking it day by day". This is really just another way of them saying "my life has no purpose...it is meaningless". If that is you, I recommend that you read the "30 Days to Live" series. It will definitely help you put things in perspective.

"There are no real mistakes, only misplans, weak-plans or no-plans" ~ Unknown

When you live without a clear mental picture of who you are, who you want to become and what you want to achieve with your life, you become enthralled with the pettiness of daily occurrences and emergencies. This, in turn, creates stress which lead to frustration and sometimes a sense of under-achieving or "in-achieving".

Go ahead...Watch the video and Go Lead Your Life!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI87IEnwh4w?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

Choices in Life… Could you live the life you want?

November 26, 2011 in Business, Leadership, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it's a matter of choice" ~ William Brian

As I mentioned in last week's post, I view my life in three categories - the first one I shared with you was some of the gifts in my life that I so thankful to have received.

This week, I'm sharing with you the second category that I believe have largely change the trajectory of my life. Having the gifts is one thing. But the choices that you make after having received those gifts are another. I recognized this fact many years ago and since then I have paid more attention to the impact of my choices on my life.

Now, before I continue I should be the one to tell you that I haven't always made the best choices. But what I know is this: If you make more bad choices than you make good choices, the trajectory of your life looks like

Read the rest of this entry →

The Attitude Shift – BlogTalkRadio’s Interview with my friend Paul Martinelli

July 18, 2011 in Business, Motivation, Personal Growth, Successful Living

This is a great interview with Paul Martinelli that will add great value to your life.  Please take some time to listen and reap the gems. Paul is a great and insightful teacher and trainer. I'm delighted to be associated with him as a founding member of the John Maxwell Team of Coaches, Trainers and Speakers.

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About Paul Martinelli:
From humbled beginnings, today Paul is traveling the globe and spreading the word about unleashing one’s true potential and the power of what the mind can truly accomplish. Paul’s plain spoken wisdom immediately connects with individuals and groups from all backgrounds. He is also a master at training others on how to become skilled personal development coaches and platform speakers and offers customized programs in these areas.

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