Have you ever noticed some people tend to be “lucky” consistently, whereas other people tend to continuously attract negative experiences?
Our experiences do not occur by chance or luck. We create our reality based on our thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
If we’re responsible for our reality, then we have the power to create the reality we want. The starting point is being able to condition our minds and our brains so that we maintain a healthy, positive attitude, and direct our attention to what we want to create.
The brain is an organ that’s dynamic and constantly changing based on what we’re feeding our minds. If we’re constantly stimulated in a negative way, then that’ll affect how we see ourselves, others, and how we operate in the world.
On the other hand, if we’re feeding our minds with positivity, then we’ll have a more positive outlook on life. We know there’ll be times when we go off track and get caught up in negativity, but if we’ve trained ourselves to focus on what’s positive, then it’ll be so much easier to shift our focus away from negativity.
Our job is to train our brain in such a way that it’ll be easier for us to focus on thoughts that’ll lead us to where we want to go or what we want to achieve.
There is a common misconception that in order to get further ahead, we have to constantly be doing more and continuously adding more things to our lives.
While it’s an innate human quality to desire more in life, that doesn’t necessarily mean pursuing more at the expense of the things that really matter, like:
- The quality of our closest relationships.
- The quality of our physical, emotional and mental health.
- Doing work that brings us true joy and fulfilment.
- Making a difference in some way.
If we keep adding more to our already busy lives, it’s obvious that it’ll eventually affect us in some way. For a lot of people, that results in additional stress and burnout, which not surprisingly, affects how much progress they’re able to make.
Knowing when to take on more things and when to eliminate things from our lives is a key distinction that can affect how successful we are.
It should come as no surprise that the better rested we are, the more alert, focused and effective we are as we go through our day.
The challenge we face is getting enough sleep, but more importantly, getting enough quality sleep, every night. When we don’t get an optimal amount of sleep, we usually feel out of sync and don’t operate at our best.
While getting up earlier may appear to contradict the importance of getting enough sleep, they key point is we want to ensure we get the best rest we can every night.
There are numerous advantages to getting up earlier, however the challenge for those who aren’t used to it, is to consistently do the things that will lead to the habit of getting up earlier.
Getting up even 30 minutes earlier, five days a week, gives us an extra 125 hours of awake time every year. If we get up an hour earlier, that gives us 250 hours of additional time every year.
Just imagine what you can achieve if you used that time intelligently.
An extra 30 minutes per day can be used to:
- Take care of our physical and mental health.
- Develop a new skill over a period of time.
- Learn something new that can benefit us in the future.
- Spend more time with those that matter to us.
- Start our day earlier.
The key is to implement daily disciplines that will lead us to getting better quality sleep.
As our world is seeking better leaders now more than ever before, it’s vital aspiring leaders are aware of what to do and not do, in order to lead others effectively.
Those who can lead well are able to:
- Influence others to make new decisions.
- Inspire others to go beyond what they think they’re capable of.
- Elevate the performance of others.
- Encourage others to do new things.
- Provide the necessary support to help others achieve what they want.
Contrary to popular belief, no one is a born leader. People acquire leaderships skills through education and experience. Some people are naturally suited to leadership roles, however they still need to develop their skills in order to be a good or great leader.
On the other, there are people put into or given leadership roles who tend to struggle to bring the best out of people and also themselves. The difference may well be that they’re making some fundamental leadership mistakes.
All great teams have common characteristics which can include being proactive, communicating well and team members working towards a common objective.
A key responsibility of a leader is to ensure team members continually improve their performance and collectively make the team better.
Great teams thrive when it comes to solving problems. The bigger the problem, the better they’re able to adapt and work together to find solutions to overcome their problem.
Problem-solving is a skill that can be developed with practice and discipline over time. Leaders must ensure they’re doing all they can to help their team become better problem solvers, while ensuring team objectives are being met.
Many years ago, I managed a manufacturing site that produced cylindrical paper tubes including cartridges used to fill adhesives and sealants used on constructions sites and by handymen. One particular assembly line consistently produced waste as high as 20%, which resulted in high material costs.
In order to solve the problems on the line, we got many people involved including raw material suppliers, engineering, quality control, production supervisors and the assembly line workers. I wish I could say the problem was solved quickly. It took almost three years to reach the stage where the line was operating as best as it could.
We’re constantly negotiating with people in our daily interactions. Not all negotiations are the same — some may be important, while others may seem trivial.
In its most simplest form, a negotiation is a discussion, set up or intended to produce a settlement or agreement.
By becoming a better negotiator, we can:
- Get things done faster.
- Help others improve what they do and how they do it.
- Create more collaboration with others.
- Take on new or better projects.
- Facilitate processes to help others achieve what they want.
Learning to be a better negotiator will also boost our self-confidence, which means we’ll be more willing to challenge ourselves to do new things or ask for what we want.
It’s no surprise that most of us are living busy, hectic lives, and finding time to do all the things we want to, is one of our biggest challenges.
The demands placed on us, either personally or by others, often pulls us in multiple directions during the course of our day or week.
Any advantage we can achieve to gain more time each week can make a huge difference in what and how much we accomplish.
For most professionals, a working week is typically 40 hours, therefore, in order to gain five working weeks over the course of a year, our objective is to save at least 200 hours. If we use 50 working weeks a year, that means we only have to save fours hours per week, which is not difficult at all.
What can you do with the extra hours?
It’s common for busy professionals to give more attention to their career or business endeavours, however there are many other benefits to gaining additional time each week such as:
- Giving more attention to our mental, emotional and physical health.
- Learning new skills.
- Completing an education course.
- Spending more time with family.
- Having more time off to pursue passions or hobbies.
- Starting a new venture or project.
Gaining additional time each week does not necessarily involve making drastic changes. It requires us to become smarter and more intentional in how we use our time.
With the amount of information we’re being exposed to daily increasing continuously, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed and stop doing what’s necessary.
The age we live in has forced us to cope with change at a faster rate than any other time in human history. We’ve been forced to embrace more change and learn new things, even if we may not want to.
Those who develop the ability to learn faster and apply what they learn more readily, will be the ones who will benefit most from the changes we’re having to deal with right now.
The advantages of training ourselves to learn faster include:
- Be able to cope with large amounts of information without feeling overwhelmed.
- Make decisions quicker.
- Achieve our outcomes easier and faster.
- Have more self-confidence.
- Be better informed about changes and how to deal with them.
Most of us are not fully utilising our brain’s capacity so learning how to learn faster will give us a significant advantage over others.
One thing certain in life is that we’ll have our share of setbacks and knock downs, which often will test our resolve and mental strength.
Depending on which season of life we’re in, our challenges may be small or big, and how we cope with them will determine how quickly we can get back up.
It has often been said we’ll never be given a challenge we’re not capable of overcoming. Oftentimes, we may have to acquire new knowledge, skills and abilities, however, we all can overcome anything life throws at us.
Sometimes, while we’re in the middle of a challenge, we forget to do the things we know to overcome it, which can:
- Affect our overall well-being.
- Reduce our ability to concentrate on our daily activities.
- Put additional pressure or stress on our relationships.
- Affect how motivated we are to get through each day.
- Prevent us from taking action to create what we want.
Learning how to cope better and get back up quickly is really important if we want to continue making progress towards what matters most to us.
Conflicts are inevitable whenever we have to deal with other people for extended periods of time. Sometimes issues arise which can catch us by surprise.
If we know how to respond to issues or conflicts, we’ll be in a much better position to affect the situation the way we want, while ensuring those involved achieve their outcomes as well.
The Risks of Not Resolving Conflicts
As dealing with conflicts can be uncomfortable or challenging, if left unresolved, we may experience:
- A loss of motivation to do our best work.
- Additional stress and mental turmoil.
- A loss of self-confidence.
- Some hesitation in asking for what we want.
- A deterioration in the quality of our relationships with others.
Whenever we’re interacting with people who have different beliefs, values, opinions or behaviours, chances are at some point we’ll experience disagreements and conflicts. Therefore, knowing how to deal with conflicts is a useful skill to have.