You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.
-- Marian Wright Edelman

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - December 2004

Success on a daily basis

Success almost always comes not in a grand moment, but gradually, bit by bit, moment by moment. Big successes are built from small efforts added together over time. As such, the best techniques for achieving success are the techniques you can implement on an everyday basis. So let’s take a look at a dozen specific, everyday steps that you can take to put yourself on the path to success. Any of these techniques can turn an ordinary day into a positive, successful day. All of them in combination can take you anywhere you want to go.

Turn a “have to” into a “want to”

Think about it. Which are you more likely to do with passion and enthusiasm -- something you have to do or something you want to do? The interesting thing is that you have complete control over whether any specific activity is a “have to” or a “want to” activity. Because “have to” and “want to” are concepts, which exist in your own mind. To turn a “have to” into a “want to” requires nothing more than firmly establishing, in your mind, a connection between the activity and the desirable results that activity will produce.

For example, let’s say you consider that getting up and going to work each morning is a “have to” activity. To make this into a “want to” activity, write down a list of all the positive things you gain from going to work -- things such as a paycheck, valuable experience, career advancement, a sense of satisfaction, and industry knowledge. Then, for each of these items, list all the ways it directly benefits your life. Finally, write a short summary of the information you’ve just outlined, and start it off like this: “I want to go to work today because...” You can use the same technique for just about any other “have to” activity -- such as going to school, maintaining your car, participation in organizations, exercising, mowing the lawn, and balancing your checkbook. If you have trouble establishing a connection between an activity and the positive benefits it provides for your life, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate whether or not it is indeed necessary.

Turn the “have to” chores into “want to” adventures. It will make you more effective and more satisfied at the same time.

Do it anyway

If there’s something you truly want or need to do, go ahead with it. Even if you’re not completely sure how you’ll get it done, just go ahead and get started. Even if you’re a little confused or apprehensive at first, get started and keep going. Your desire, your flexibility and your resourcefulness will keep you going. Say yes even if it’s a little uncomfortable.

Though preparation is indeed extremely useful, you will rarely be fully prepared for the opportunities, which come your way. Don’t let that stop you. When you first plunge in, the water will be rather cold. But keep swimming and you’ll be moving steadily along in no time.

This approach can apply to everyday tasks as well as the big, life-changing decisions. If you need to write a letter to someone and you don’t know what to say, just start writing. Sure, you’ll need to edit your words before you send the letter. The point, though, is to get started. After you’ve started writing, the words will begin to come. You’ll think of things to say.

Whatever needs to be done, get started and do it. Look ahead to the future, plan and prepare to the best of your ability, and don’t let its uncertainty stop you from taking action.


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—Ralph Marston