Self Improvement

How To Be Successful In Your Pursuit Of Happiness

Freedom CourageYou’re sitting in your cubicle on a beautiful hot summer day thinking about the great time you’re going to have after work.

But about four thirty your boss suddenly is standing there, blocking the entrance of your cubicle demanding that you stay and put a couple of hours of overtime.

Suddenly a rush of anger just boils up from the core of your soul and you feel like sending your boss to hell…

But you don’t… you restrain and just sheepishly say: “Ok, I’ll stay!”

In a situation like this, you certainly wish you could be strong and courageous to be able to use your God given right of freedom of choice and do what you really want, which is to quit and get the hell out of there…

But you don’t!

You know that given the circumstances, you can’t take that type of apparently irrational action. However, in your head a burning desire starts to build up… you deeply want to find the secret to financial success, authentic happiness and freedom.

How to use your freedom of choice in your pursuit of happiness and financial freedom?

Even though in a lot of circumstances it doesn’t look like it, FREEDOM OF CHOICE is a God given or innate right that each one of us has.

The problem is that in a lot of situations and because of circumstances beyond our control, we might feel that the pursuit of happiness and financial freedom is in our case way out of reach and unattainable.

But is that actually so? I sincerely don’t think so…

I believe that your physical situation has no bearing on your ability to achieve authentic happiness and financial freedom.

It might not be easy, but it’s attainable if you subscribe to a definition of happiness that empowers you and helps you develop the courage to change and get ahead in life.

Let’s talk about happiness for a second

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Happiness is one of the biggest dreams or goals people have. In fact, people pursue it constantly. That’s why you hear it over and over that people just want to be happy!

They actually try all kinds of things to achieve that goal. The routes people take to try to attain this goal vary completely and what happens, is that lot of people think happiness is something they need to get to, something tangible they will be able to keep once they’ve reached it.

However, according to the majority of researchers and philosophers, happiness is related to the distinctions people have inside their heads about what will grant them that most desired wish of happiness.

Some will read lots of quotations on happiness thinking that, somehow, doing that will help motivate them to be happy. Others will subscribe to the belief that money doesn’t buy happiness, and therefore concentrate themselves in the search of nirvana or some special illuminated state.

When people embark on this quest without understanding the importance of what happens inside their heads, they’re falling prey the happiness trap, which results in them being more frustrated, unhappy and stressed at the end of their pursuit than what they were at the beginning.

The problem is that the misconceptions people have about what happiness itself actually is, throw them curve balls that derail them from their goal of achieving authentic happiness and financial freedom. And each person seems to have a completely different definition of what happiness is or, even better said, what would be required to make them feel happy.

But once you dig deep enough, you’ll discover that happiness is just a STATE OF MIND. And a state of mind is relatively easy to obtain, once you know how to do it.

But before we go into it, let’s dispel a common misconception…

Does money buy happiness?

In my mind, this is one of the biggest misconceptions that people have concerning happiness.

They either honestly believe that money cannot buy happiness and is actually the source of all evil and that, therefore, if they have money they can’t be happy at all or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, they subscribe to the school of thought that believes that they can’t be happy if they don’t have lots of money.

However, if you read my statement above in the previous section, where I said that happiness is a state of mind, something will somehow be kind of illogical with this money thing.

Ask yourself, what does money have to do with a state of mind? In reality, nothing!

A state of mind, as the words clearly say it, happens inside your head, in your mind. Money is just a physical representation of a very practical means for the exchange of goods and services.

Yes, I will 100% agree that having lots of money will allow you to arrive at your problems with style, but having money does not guarantee real love and authentic happiness.

In fact, when you look at the lives of wealthy people in public life, you’ll see a huge percentages of unhappiness, lack of mental freedom, betrayal and a bunch of things that are not conducive to happiness at all.

Why is this so?

Because these people have never learned to deal with their mental states and control them.

As we can see, money and happiness can go hand in hand, but only when the right mindset has been cultivated and nurtured independently of wealth and circumstances.

Freedom of Choice

As I mentioned in the introduction to this post, when we live in democratic countries, certain freedoms have been guaranteed by constitutional rights.

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press and the ability to pursue financial freedom, are things that lots of countries guarantee.

And yet, in a lot of cases, you’ll find those freedoms lacking in the lives of many people.

Let’s not talk about the general circumstances of nations here, but let’s concentrate in what we as individuals can do in this respect.

Start with the right mindset

Given that happiness is a state of mind, it’s not something that can be obtained just by liking a bunch of “Pursuit of Happiness Quotes” in Facebook or Pinterest.

It does require having the courage to change your mindset. To do this, you need to first understand where you are in terms of mindset and attitude.

You must learn to accept that the freedom of choice does not mean that you can change everything in your life. There are certain things that you will have to learn to accept as they are and interpret their meaning in a completely different way… a way that’s positive and ends up benefiting you.

However, it’s not just acceptance. And this is of paramount importance; it also requires action. Action to change the things that you CAN change but have taken for granted for a long time.

You might be terrified of changing deeply entrenched behaviors and beliefs in your life. But have courage!

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to be terrified and still go ahead and do what we know we need to do.

Once you start acting the right way, once you have projects that fulfill you, that give you a purpose, once you start having a growth mindset, you will be in the “happiness mindset” on a regular basis.

You will not have to pursue happiness. You will just be happy the majority of the time.

Yes, you’ll enjoy quotations on happiness and freedom. But their impact will not just be a nice collection of words, but the fact that your own life will be a reflection of what most of those quotes say.

Hermann Bock


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Take a look at yourself
Blog, Self Improvement

The Ultimate Life Hack: Stop Whining About Everything!

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I don’t know about you, but I seem to have a magnet for them, they just seem to pop up all around me and they really get on my nerves.

Yes, I’m talking about complainers!

Those people who seem to have only one purpose in life, namely, whine about everything constantly.

So, am I turning into one of them right here? Erm… Nope!

This post is not a rant, it’s an observation and a way of making you think about it and together with me, discover that there is a better way. One that can take you to a different and better way of life.

See, when you are a whiner, you have a very specific focus in life. And that focus determines many things about how you experience life. This is so, because your focus determines your perception of life. It will determine which experiences you will zoom in and which ones you’ll actually delete from your experience.

Watch the video above, to see the excellent and amazing example of Nelson Mandela, who after spending 27 years in prison, was determined to NOT BE A COMPLAINER.

Can you learn something from his experience? You bet! In fact, we all can…

The only way to really get forward in life is by changing your interpretation of things and to do that, you need, no, you must change your focus. You must start focusing on the positive and thinking about how to improve and solve problems instead of just whining about them. Do you get my drift?

I hope you do!

If you want to know more about how you can completely change your attitude and focus in life, check out the video below and then click on the button.

Hermann Bock

 

 

 

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Self Improvement

Give yourself permission to DREAM BIG!

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to DREAM BIG AGAIN?

Or you just simply go with the flow, doing the same thing day in, day out, not daring to even change something in your routine. Then I have something to tell YOU!

Go ahead, and click on the video and get inspired to start dreaming again. Who knows, you might surprise yourself!


Remember, only if you start, you will have the possibility to finish anything. And absolutely everything you see around you that was created by men, started in a head first as a dream or an idea.

That’s why SOOOO important that you go ahead and just start, it’s never too late!

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Blog, Self Improvement

Don’t just try; DO!

How to get rid of the inability to ACT!

Don't TRY; DO!We all have been confronted with a situation where we intellectually knew what was best for us and yet, it was very hard to actually do what was required of us to properly benefit from it.

The reason things like this happen to us, is due to the fact that, very seldom, we do stuff because our intellect consciously tells us to do it. The truth is, that there are many things that determine how we act and why we do what we do. It’s however a fact, that most of what we end up doing, is controlled by our subconscious.

Think about it, people do stuff because they are “used to doing it that way”, or because “it feels good”, or “it’s part of my temperament”, or “it’s a habit for me”, etc. If you examine these claims to a deeper level, you’ll discover that they are “ALL” controlled by that part of us that we tend to forget, but that rules our lives 24/7, namely, our subconscious mind.

This is why, whenever you say that you are going to try to do something, you will most likely not do it. Or, if you start, as soon as the going gets tough, you’ll stop. Probably telling yourself proudly, Hey, at least I tried!

One thing we forget most of the time though, is how fast our brain or mind acts. When you’re being presented with a course of action, your brain starts immediately evaluating how painful or pleasurable will it be to follow that course.

If the result of the evaluation is, VERY PAINFUL, you’ll most likely completely avoid doing it, at whatever cost. However, if the result is just painful, you might offer a: I’LL TRY!

The thing is though, that your subconscious mind already knows that it won’t like the process, that it will cause it discomfort and pain and it doesn’t want to commit. But your conscious mind, your intellect, which is aware of the possible social repercussions of not following that course of action, compromises. And forces you to say those awful words I’LL TRY TO DO IT!

Being aware of this will help you succeed

Now that you know what happens behind the scenes in your mind, when you’re confronted with an unpleasant task, you can take countermeasures.

It’s not going to be easy, given that we tend to go through life like robots. We have so many habits and routines or, like Tony Robbins calls them, RITUALS that have been installed by who knows who, that we just keep repeating in an automatic fashion.

That’s why we react the same way, most of the time. You come back from work and, most likely, do exactly the same everyday. Hang the keys, take your shoes off, head for the fridge to get something to drink and so on and on and on.

And that is also why, when we get to the point of interrupting a pattern in an abrupt manner, we have the possibility of installing a new one.

What I’m trying to achieve, is to make you stop and think about the things you do, and the reactions you exhibit to the different things that occur in your life. Deactivate the Autopilot and take the manual control of your reactions.

Don’t ever again say, I’ll try! Instead, say either I WILL! or I WON’T!

Remember, your mind already made an evaluation (though not necessarily a correct one) of the situation. So, if you don’t like it at all, say I won’t do it. It’s so simple!

But what if it’s something unpleasant and arduous that requires lots of time, money and effort, but is to your own benefit?

It’s time to use the powers of your mind to your own favor

We all have been in that situation. We want something but it’s hard to get and could even take years to achieve. Time during which we will have to spend money and put in lots of effort. What can we do?

Well, it depends!

Think about school. Most of us went through it for years. We had to, day in and day out, attend those boring classes and we were not even sure WHY we had to.

How come the majority of us finish at least basic school?

We had somebody pushing us and holding us accountable. Be it your parents or even the government. It’s something you just have to do in modern society.

But have you been able to achieve something as monumental as that, by yourself?

If you have, it’s because you tapped into the powers of both, your conscious and subconscious minds. They helped you become accountable and keep the goal in front of your eyes as real as possible, so you didn’t detour and kept going in the right direction. You made a commitment to DO IT, and you did it. But how did you manage?

Did you notice the things I mentioned above? They’re bold, just in case! 🙂

You committed, you held yourself accountable and you kept your goal in front of you as real as possible!

That’s the key to doing it and not just trying it.

The power of RITUALS

As I mentioned above, each one of us has habits or rituals that we do, even unconsciously. The problem is that most of those rituals were not installed by us with a specific result in mind. But, we definitely CAN do that!

Imagine creating routines that help you achieve your goals, by keeping them in front of you as much as possible. Are you going to write a blog post every single day?

Create a ritual that helps you achieve that!

Do you want to change your way of eating? Maybe reducing the amount of sugar and starches that you eat?

Engineer a ritual that will help you in not even buying the stuff in the first place!

These rituals are the results of CHOICES and DECISIONS that you make at some point. Then you take the time to develop a series of steps or behaviors that will help you get what you want. And then, you repeat those steps until they become automatic. You create a ritual!

So, what you gonna do?

The ball is now on your side of the pitch. It’s your decision if you’re going to do something with this or, if it’s just going to be like one of those thousands of memes going viral on the Internet on sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Pinterest.

Try to take just one lesson from this and make the choice to implement it as fast as possible. By having a little success, you’ll feel motivated to keep it up. Make it a ritual to improve yourself a little bit each day.

Believe me, it’s worth it!

Hermann Bock

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog, Self Improvement

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

don't worry be happyI can still remember it like if it were yesterday. We were visiting our family in New York City for the first time. It was late in the evening of the 3rd of September 1988, we had had a crazy day walking and visiting different tourist attractions. Suddenly, in the middle of dinner at friends, labor pains started, my then sister in law had overdone it, her husband all excited and scrambling to get everything needed to take her to the hospital, didn’t know where up or down was. Faster than what I could have imagined, 5 of us, all crammed in their small Hyundai, were driving to the hospital.

I don’t remember why, but when we got there, 3 of us stayed in the car while my sister in law and her husband went into the hospital. We were worried, is the baby coming now? Is everything all right? Had she overdone the whole ‘touristing’ thing?

And then it happened! On the radio this amazingly simple reggae style song started playing: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” by Bobby McFerrin. Immediately we knew everything was gonna be all right, and it was. Two hours later, a new healthy beautiful baby had arrived in this world.

Listening to that song over the years after that, has always brought a smile to my face. There is so much truth in that song, specially because worrying seems to be the number one sport for lots of people on this planet.

Which begs the question:

How can you control your worries and, like the song says, be happy? For that, you first need to understand…

HOW worrying happens

Let me be clear about this, we ALL tend to worry, it seems to be a very “human condition” and it’s very well and strongly attached to our ability to imagine. So, this is not about not worrying AT ALL. I don’t think it is possible to eliminate worrying completely. Like I said, it’s part of being human.

I personally see worrying as a type of fear. Fear is acute, you have to react immediately. It activates your “fight or flight” response at once, although sometimes it just paralyzes you.

With fear, be it real or imagined, you’re reacting to an immediate threat. You have the feeling of being in danger and therefore you have this immediate sensation of apprehension.

Worrying, on the other hand, is more like a delayed fear, a “chronic fear”. It’s normally NOT a response to an immediate threat, and it’s mostly in our heads.

Let’s say, for instance, you recently watched in the news that someone was mugged and ended up dead. This happened at the other side of the country and there are no reasons to believe that it’s happening in your neighborhood.

For whatever reason though, on that day your son (let’s assume you have one) is not coming home at the expected time and, in fact, it’s getting late and you haven’t heard anything from him. What’s your reaction? What do you imagine has happened? What goes through your head?

For a lot of parents, this would be a very stressful situation. The movies in their head would start playing all kinds of horror scenarios. I don’t wish to go into the details of what people imagine, but I’ve heard and witnessed some very extreme ones and to tell you the truth, it’s not nice.

The sad part though, is that at that particular moment, when you have NO IDEA what’s going on and everything is happening JUST IN YOUR HEAD, your body reactions are just as if what you’ve imagined had actually happened in real life. And that’s where the problem lies.

But let’s backtrack a little bit and examine what actually happened. Did you notice my emphasis on the fact that it all takes place IN YOUR HEAD? That’s the problem with worrying. It’s, in my opinion, the worse use you can give to your God given ability to imagine stuff.

Even worse, over 99% of what you imagine NEVER HAPPENS. In most cases you’ll discover that your son was just distracted with something and totally lost track of time. And that is just ONE example, I could give lots!

The point of this article is not to prove that people worry. I don’t think that needs proving at all, we all know it happens.

Why do we need to do something about it then, if everybody does it? Because the amount of EXTRA STRESS that a worrier causes himself or the people surrounding him, is not healthy.

Stress, according to this Scientific American article, makes our immune system less effective, because it actually elicits an immune response itself. And doing this ‘chronically’ weakens the whole defense system of your body.

What happens when your immune system is compromised? I guess the answer is obvious. But here is a list of things that, according to the Mayo Clinic, show you’re under too much stress and your immune system is being affected: headaches, muscle tension or pain, stomach upset, fatigue, sleep problems and more.

Notice one thing though, worrying starts in your head, as ‘what if’ scenarios that could or could not happen. Your brain uses a reconfiguration of your past experiences to create an imagined future that most likely is not going to become reality. You play these movies to yourself and, if you keep doing it, your brain believes it’s happening for real, causing a VERY REAL stress response. Which, in turn, causes a series of VERY REAL effects to the detriment of your body.

Do you see how it can go from ‘imagined’ to ‘very real’? That’s the problem of constant worrying!

How to handle worrying?

In order to get a firm grip on your worrying, you need to first define what you’re afraid of. Remember, worrying is closely related to FEAR. So, what are you really afraid of in this circumstance that’s worrying you?

Once you define that, you have to ask yourself what would be the worst case scenario. However, remember that this scenario happens very, very seldom. On top of that, just worrying in advance about the possibility of it occurring, achieves absolutely nothing.

So, what then?

You need to confront worrying with this motto on a consistent basis:

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“Don’t worry,
DO SOMETHING;
you cannot do something?
Don’t worry then!”

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Let’s examine this quote in more detail.

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t worry. That, as mentioned, is almost impossible. However, when you discover yourself worrying, think immediately “What can I do now?”.

Proceed then to define your fear and the worst case scenario and “put together a definite action plan” of what you could do IF this worst case scenario would become a reality.

Now notice the second part of the quote: “You cannot do something? Don’t worry then!

It implicitly accepts the fact that, sometimes, there is nothing you can do. In these cases, it highlights the truth that, if you can’t do anything, to keep worrying will achieve LESS!

Keep in mind (pun intended) that worrying happens completely in your head. It’s the worst use of your imagination possible. So, make your best effort to control the movies and, like a movie director, make it a happy ending!

But what if the worst case scenario DOES HAPPEN? – You might ask.

Let me ask you a question: Do you think worrying helps in this case? NO! It simply makes you suffer twice! Once in your head, in advance and another one in reality. Wouldn’t it be enough just one time?

On top of that, realize that, when something goes really bad, it’s most likely unexpected. It will take you by surprise.

In conclusion

Worrying by itself achieves only one thing. It’s letting you know that you’re afraid of something. Once you’re AWARE of that, you can start taking action. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of? Define that and make a plan to confront the worst case scenario.

Remember, the worst case scenario happens VERY SELDOM and when it does, you don’t want to inflict pain to yourself twice. Would you?

Worrying happens solely in your head and it’s the worst use of imagination possible. But you can be the director of your own ‘head movies’ and give them a happy ending. Which, in reality is what happens most of the time anyway.

Since worrying is such an automatic process, you need to find a way to interrupt that pattern and start being AWARE of what you’re doing. To achieve this, you might need to recruit the help of a friend or a coach that brings it to your attention when you go into the endless loop of worrying.

Hermann Bock

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Blog, Self Improvement

10 Tips To Be More Successful At Anything

Fear of failing while trying to succeedEach one of us has an innate desire to be successful. You only have to look at little kids and notice how fast they develop the desire to WIN and be more successful in anything they try. In fact, one of the biggest challenges as a parent is teaching kids how to deal with „losing“.

Why is that? Winning feels GOOOOD! Losing, not so much. Winning means you‘ve been successful in a competition of some sort and, because it gives you a feeling of accomplishment and pleasure, you love it!

But as we get older, we might let the noise of day to day life get in the way of our striving for success, our striving to win in the game of life. We forget how good it feels to win, to be successful and we accept, somehow, the notion that something called “Fear Of Success” actually exists.

To rekindle that fire and, not only that, but also to show that it’s worth the effort, here are 10 tips that will help you win or succeed more often in the game of life, independently of what succeeding means to you.

1. Become a Starter

To be able to achieve ANYTHING, you have to „start something“. It might sound simplistic and very logical, but it‘s unbelievable the amount of people who keep dreaming about a goal but NEVER DO ANYTHING to get themselves closer to making it a reality.

Only if you start, you‘ll have a chance at finishing. That first step is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to become successful. I don‘t care how big or small, how easy or difficult your dreams are. If you don‘t start, NOTHING will happen in the REAL WORLD.

2. Set INTENTIONS not EXPECTATIONS

Expectations are a picture in your head about how something SHOULD be. The problem is, reality might deliver a surprise. If what reality delivers differs from the picture in your head, you might feel completely frustrated and disappointed.

So, by leading with expectations, you might be setting yourself up for those negative feelings.

Intentions, on the other hand, reveal a DIRECTION you wish to take to achieve something. Since it‘s ‚just‘ a direction, you have always the ability to CORRECT YOUR PATH if you discover, that you‘ve been somehow drifted from the main goal. It might take longer, but you know that if you continue going, you‘ll eventually get to your INTENDED destination.

3. Learn to deal with FAILURE

No matter what you want to achieve, you will fail and, likely, more than once. How do you react when this happens? Do you just give up and consider yourself a failure?

One little illustration should help you understand the PURPOSE OF FAILURE. Yes, it has a purpose you should never forget.

Think of babies and how they learn to walk. How many times do they fail when starting to walk? Do they give up?

Watch this video and try to determine what failure actually teaches us: 

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From this video it should be clear that FAILURE helps us be BETTER AT SUCCEEDING!

So, get excited if you fail, for you‘re getting better at understanding success.

4. Cast away the FEAR

Fear of succeeding, what is that? If you think logically, it makes NO SENSE. Why would anyone be afraid of succeeding, when succeeding feels soooo good?

To be honest, it‘s more likely you have FEAR OF FAILING AT TRYING TO SUCCEED, or you‘re afraid of change.

How to deal with fear then?

One way is understanding what fear really is. Let me use a very popular acronym to bring the point home:
F alse
E vidence
A ppearing
R eal

Do you get it? Fear is regularly something that happens IN YOUR HEAD caused by movies you play in your mind. These movies might not even be based on reality.

Therefore, examine the movies in your head and determine if they‘re in accordance with facts and reality.

Basically, be afraid but DO IT anyway!

5. Be a LIFELONG learner

I don‘t know how old are you. But I‘m pretty sure that if you‘ve read to this point, you‘ve witnessed big changes in the world during your lifetime. It might be the demise of the old cell phones in favor of the smartphones or, if we go back in time, you might remember when cell phones didn‘t even exist. Or MP3s, or the Internet.

The point is, this world is changing everyday and the speed of change is accelerating.That means that almost anything you learn today has a very short lifespan.

It will soon be obsolete and forgotten and new things will come along and replace them. Things we can‘t even imagine today.
It‘s therefore imperative that you are willing to CONSTANTLY be in a LEARNING MODE. Embrace new stuff, welcome change, be curious about your sorroundings and what it can teach you. Change is the only constant of the new world.

And whatever you learned or are learning in school, is probably obsolete by now. So, make up your mind and be ready to learn for the rest of your life.

6. Use the Power of Decisions

Remember tip number 1 about starting stuff? It can only be possible if you DECIDE to start. So, actually, before even starting you have to use your power to make decisions.

We make lots of decisions everyday, some small, some a bit bigger.

However, decisions about achieving our dreams tend to be a bit more, how could I say it, lost in the noise of day to day life. This is actually very sad, because only by having a purpose, which comes from doing something that we really want to do, is that we can be really happy. Which highlights the importance of making decisions about starting or continuing to pursue our dreams.

To know more about how to take decisions, take a look at my previous article about this subject. 

7. Don‘t live IN the PAST or the FUTURE

The PAST is gone! And even your memories of it might be distorted.

What‘s actually the past good for? To TEACH us lessons that can be used to live a better life IN THE PRESENT. Obviously, you should be VERY PICKY and only choose lessons that are to your advantage in your quest for success. You have the power to decide which lessons you‘ll take from your past.

What about the FUTURE? To be honest, the future is pure speculation. Nobody knows for real what‘s gonna happen in the next week, let alone in the next 5 years. And since ANY and EVERY decision you make today is a cause set in motion, your future is not set in stone, but…

.…you can create a DIRECTION and use it to make your future be more like what you wish. (See tip number 2 again for more on this)

Imagine the future you want and be as clear about it as possible, and then take actions IN THE PRESENT to increase the chances to make that intended future a reality.

8. Take advantage of SYSTEMS

Every successful person has systems in place that saves them time and effort. Systems allow a person to not waste time.

What are systems you ask? Anything that works in an almost automatic way for your benefit.

Utilizing HABITS for your advantage could be a way of implementing systems at the personal level. Once you‘ve implemented a habit, you don‘t have to think. And once it happens automatically, it becomes a system!

But there are systems at other levels. For instance, if you are a blogger ,having an AUTORESPONDER to collect emails and send automated messages to your list, is a way of having a system. It frees you to do other‚ more important‘ stuff, increasing your chances of success.

Take a look around you and try to discover better and more efficient ways of doing stuff. Habits and automation are two good examples of using systems for success.

9. Take care of YOURSELF

What benefit does it have if when you‘re finally successful you cannot enjoy your success because you‘re ill or have no energy?Becoming a success „normally“ takes time. Becoming a sufferer of what is called a „civilization‘s disease“ takes time as well.

So, how to improve your chances of being healthy by the time you achieve your success? By taking care of yourself. That means, exercising, eating healthy and having some kind of regime to keep your inner, spiritual, emotional self healthy too.

Gone are the days when success was measured by the size of your waist. Doing stuff to stay healthy is not just a fad that‘s ‚IN‘ now. It should be something you do for the rest of your days.

And it has the benefit that it helps you enjoy, not only the destination of success, but the journey as well. It gives you more energy, more zest for doing those things that might mold the future that you intend.

10. Be CONSISTENT and have PATIENCE

You‘ve heard it before: „Rome wasn‘t built in a day“, but I‘m sure everyday a bit was built until it became the magnificent city we all know about. Same thing with you. Your success requires consistency and patience.

Consistency to keep at it day after day, when it looks like nothing is being achieved. When it seems that you‘re wasting your time. And patience to be able to wait until that sweet success arrives. Because, when it does, you realize that it was all worth it because it feels GOOOD!

So there you go, 10 tips that will greatly improve your chances of success in whatever it is you want to achieve.

Do you have other tips that you‘ve applied that have also brought you closer to success? I’d love to know about them in the comments below.

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Blog, Self Improvement

10 Tips To Improve Your Personal Decision Making Process

Decision-making-processEvery single day in your life, you make personal decisions that take you in specific directions throughout your life. Things like, what am I going to wear or, what am I going to eat, or should I press the ‘snooze’ button on the alarm clock, seem very trivial and sometimes irrelevant when thinking about decision making. However, even those apparently ‘tiny’ decisions might have a HUGE impact in what your destiny ultimately is going to be.

Let’s, for instance, take a look at the second decision mentioned above: What am I going to eat? I’m sure you certainly answer this question more than three times a day in our modern western world full of food offers. And the answer that you ‘consistently‘ give to that question, reflects decisions that can take you through a path of health and energy or down, through ‘Hell Alley’ in health terms.

Think about the millions who suffer from being overweight, diabetes and most of the other civilization’s ailments. The MAIN factor in their ‘destiny‘ is intimately related to the decisions they make when answering that question several times a day: What am I going to eat?

This goes to show that you don’t necessarily need to be the CEO of a big corporation, or even a Small Business Owner to have to face the making decision process regularly. It’s therefore very important, that you understand why taking the process of making decisions serious is for your own benefit, in the short, and in the long run.

Since most of the articles about the DECISION MAKING PROCESS are aimed at Managers and CEOs. I decided to come up with something for the individual. Not based on complicated formulas and checklists, but more on practical stuff. I know I don’t plan my meals using them checklists. And many other decisions I make everyday, are made even without thinking much.[feature_box style=”23″ only_advanced=”There are no title options for the choosen style” width=”350″ alignment=”center”]

“It is in your moments of decision that your DESTINY is shaped.”
Anthony Robbins

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To help with this, here is a list of 10 principles that, as INDIVIDUALS in your personal life, I believe, you should keep in mind when considering the decision making process:

1. Know What You Want In The Long Run

The decision making process has only one purpose, which is to help you take the appropriate actions that will bring you closer to your ultimate goal. Therefore, it’s very important to, at least, know what that ULTIMATE GOAL should be or, what YOU want it to be. That means that you’ve stopped and thought about what you want to achieve.

Let’s, once more, go back to the example of what to eat. The decisions that you make in this aspect of your life, will reflect what will ultimately be your destiny in terms of health and nutrition. For a lot of people, this is actually a non-issue, they don’t even consider food in relation to health in the long run. It’s more of a spur of the moment pleasure thing and, because of this fact, their ‘food’ decisions are based on mood or cravings of the moment.

The point that ALWAYS needs to be kept in mind is that, no matter what decision is taken, even a decision to not make a decision, will have an effect on the person’s future. So, at least from my standpoint, it’s worth it to take the time and kind of determine what you want from the future in the different aspects of your life

2. Be Aware

Humans are creatures of habit. Once a habit has been installed, a decision has been eliminated in advance. You don’t need to THINK anymore about that situation, you just react as a preprogrammed robot. This can definitely be used to our advantage, when we develop habits that work with us to help us achieve what we desire.

On the other hand, there are habits that have been installed by others, that could work in detriment of your wellbeing. Are you aware of them? Let’s take, for instance, the case of smoking. Do you smoke? Did you make a ‘conscious‘ decision to smoke or was it something installed by others at a very young age? Maybe, by your peers and under pressure?

Even though there is lots of evidence out there that smoking can be damaging to your health, I’m no one to judge you for smoking, if you do. My point is only to wake up AWARENESS in you concerning stuff that you do because you’ve always done it. Stuff you do because it’s a HABIT!

There are other habits that seem inoffensive, but are not necessarily beneficial. They have probably not been installed by others. We might just have fallen in that particular routine of doing things.

What do you do when you get home from work? Do you have a routine? Do you AUTOMATICALLY enter your home, put keys down, take shoes off, open the fridge, grab a beer or something to eat, sit on the sofa and turn the TV on? (or some variation of this?)

Again, not trying to judge, just trying to bring your conscious attention to habits that you might have.

Take the time to take a look at your habits and find out if they’re working with you or against you. Only you can determine that, based on the first point above: What do you want it to be your destiny?

3. Use Previous Experience But Remember The Past Is Not The Future

When confronted with the need to make a decision, we will automatically use our past experience to evaluate the circumstances and see what the possibilities are. If a similar situation is linked to bad experiences in our past, we might either avoid the decision or try to decide against it.

One thing that you need to keep in mind is something that Tony Robbins constantly repeats in his seminars: “The past does not equal the future”. Which means that, even though you might have had a bad experience in the past, let’s say in the realm of relationships, it doesn’t mean that every relationship you have in the future will be exactly the same.

In fact, every relationship you have is going to be different because, at least, one of the members of that relationship will be a different person. That makes the equation completely different, even though they seem similar. 1 + 2 is not the same as 1 + 3 although both are addition problems. Do you see my point?

So, when confronting decisions, use your previous experiences wisely, but remember that even though situations are ‘similar’, they’re not the same, and the different variables might make this particular instance have a completely different result than anything you might have experienced in your past.

4. You Will Make Bad Decisions

We’ve heard it a thousand times: “Nobody is perfect” and the point is, IT’S TRUE!

So, you WILL make BAD decisions. There is no way to avoid that. Remember that, even making NO decision at all, might be a BAD decision in the long run.

How do you react when you suddenly discover that you made a bad decision? Is it the end of the world? Well, it depends on the decision you made. But for the majority of the people, it’s not. Obviously, I’m not talking here about decisions about committing crimes. Those are definitely BAD decisions and might mean the ‘end of the world’ for the person making them.

On the other hand, if you think of people like Nelson Mandela or even the Founding Fathers of the United States, you’ll remember that their most important decisions were considered ‘crimes’ at the time. So, even what a ‘bad decision’ is, can be debatable.

The point is that you need to understand that bad decisions will be made and you should learn to live with them and move on. When that happens, learn from your mistake, take responsibility, make the necessary amends and, if possible, change what you’re doing to produce a result that’s more akin to what you expect.

5. Don’t Dwell On Failure

This is related to the previous point and, actually, could be part of it. I decided to separate it, because it’s something that makes people FEAR making decisions.

See failure as an opportunity to learn a lesson. Learn from Edison’s attitude. As Thomas Edison was trying to invent the light bulb, he ‘failed’ or, better said, tried 10,000 times unsuccessfully and was then asked if he had failed. His answer: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

When you ‘fail’ in your decision making process, find the lesson that can be learned and move on. Imitate Thomas Alva Edison in this aspect.

6. Forget The Other Options

The word ‘DECIDE‘ comes from the Latin ‘DECIDERE‘ that literally means ‘to cut off‘.

This can give you perspective when you make a decision. You’re actually NOT picking one option from a group of options available. In reality, you’re ELIMINATING or CUTTING OFF the other options until only one remains.

This means that you should commit to the decision you’ve made and should do your best to make it work. In “Think and Grow Rich“, Napoleon Hill mentions the example of Henry Ford as someone who was fast to make decisions and slow to change them and that was the reason why Henry Ford was a successful entrepreneur.

Obviously, your decisions should be made taking the different principles mentioned here into account.

Before I leave this point, let me mentioned one example of making a decision by ‘cutting off’ the other options that gets done very, very regularly, namely, the decision to share your life with a particular person by marrying them.

This is a decision that, if it’s to prosper, requires the cutting off of all other options. Not that it always happens though! But only when that’s the case, a marriage has a chance of really succeeding. The same thing with any other decision you make. By cutting off all other options and committing to the one you’ve picked, you will increase your chances of success exponentially.

7. Don’t Be An Emotional Wreck

There is no way to COMPLETELY eliminate emotions from the decision making process. In fact, according to discoveries by Antonio Damasio, emotions are an intrinsic part of decision making. If you don’t have emotions, you CANNOT make decisions.

You’ve probably seen it. You’re helping somebody make a decision, you know, like maybe your significant other or better half, and in the end, even though you present logic and facts, they end up making a decision based on their ‘feelings‘. It might seem completely out of logic, but there is scientific proof that this is the way it is and, it’s unavoidable.

The problem is though, that some people get completely swamped with the feelings part of making decisions, that their fears don’t allow them to make any decisions. What happens in the end, is that others end up making decisions for them or, circumstances become so ‘urgent‘ that they have to just go with the flow.

If this happens regularly, they will end up in a place much different from what they might have wished. Don’t let something similar happen to you.

8. Take Immediate Action

Never leave the place of a decision without having taken some action in its direction“. This is wise advice because it immediately starts building momentum in the appropriate direction. Never forget that whenever something is DONE, you will get a result.

And if you get a result, this will improve your belief in yourself and your decision making.

9. Be Courageous

To become a decision maker that takes the lead of his or her life, you have to be a courageous person. Given that some of your decisions will be bad, you might have to suffer the consequences of what happens after results start to happen.

Nobody knows the future and there’s no guarantee that everything is going to be smooth in your decision making process. This doesn’t mean that you should stop being proactive and making decisions.

Even if you DON’T do anything and don’t make any active decisions and even if you don’t take any positive action, there is NO GUARANTEE that everything is gonna be alright.

So, why not increase the chances of obtaining what you want by causing changes in your circumstances through making decisions independently of what could happen? If you take the other options into account, chances are your decision making process will bring you more successes than failures.

10. Trust Your Gut Feeling (But Make Sure It’s Trained)

This is a big one. Should you trust your ‘gut feeling’? Successful people claim to do this all the time. Even when logic and facts point them in one direction, if their gut feeling points them in another, they might go with their gut feeling.

This gut feeling is also called intuition, and some people are very good ‘in tune’ with their gut feeling.

My mother had an aunt, for instance, that had a VERY GOOD relationship with her ‘intuition’. Her ‘gut feeling’ or ‘inner voice’ as she called it, saved her from snakes in the jungles of Venezuela when she was a little girl, and from a traffic accident that claimed the life of her best friend in France, as an adult. It even ‘told her‘ NOT to go to a bomb shelter during World War II when she was living in Marseille, France. In the end, she managed to live 107 (1897-2004) years and died in peace from old age.

The thing is, not everybody has that ‘fine tuning’ or ‘relationship’ with their gut feeling or intuition. If you’re one of the ones that doesn’t have a history of listening to your gut feeling, you need to train yourself and start ‘paying attention‘.

You also have to train your ‘mindset‘. Are you a someone with a mainly positive mindset? Or with a mainly negative mindset? I’m of the opinion that your main mindset inclination will influence what your gut feeling tells you. This is why it’s important to train your mindset appropriately.

Then, you can start trusting your gut feeling in small things and slowly go from there to bigger decisions and, please, remember the other points and take them into account.

Bottom Line

You make decisions every day, whether you like it or not. Your decision making process is affected by many things around you.

Facts and Logic, as the base for the decision making process,  should be tempered with what you really want to achieve in the long run with your life.

You will make some really bad decisions at some point, but being flexible and courageous will help you learn your lessons and move on, instead of dwelling on your mistakes forever.

Let your gut feeling and emotions play their role in your decision making, but don’t let them fill you so much with FEAR, that you cannot make any decent decisions anymore.

And, in the end, as soon as you make a decision, TAKE SOME ACTION in its direction to start seeing results fast.

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Blog, Self Improvement

How To Get What You Really Want

How To Get What You WantObviously, to be able to get what you REALLY want, you first must know WHAT IS IT that you want. You have to have clarity in that respect.

Once you know what you really want to achieve in life, how do you go about obtaining it?

This is something that actually should be taught in school, because we ALL want something but only few actually know how to systematically go about obtaining it.

Don’t get me wrong, knowing the HOW TO won’t guarantee that you will obtain anything. Why is that so? Well, no matter what, obtaining what you really want in life requires EFFORT on your part. It also most likely will require TIME. But if you’re consistent in your applying of whatever it is you wish, you WILL eventually obtain it, if you don’t give up.

So, let’s get down to it and see what specific steps are a must to make your dreams a reality. Let’s start at nothing and see how it goes up in a spiral like fashion.

Step 1 – Your Potential

As I said at the beginning, you have to FIRST know what you really want to achieve. But, you also have to BELIEVE that you have the innate ability to obtain it. In other words, you have an untapped POTENTIAL to achieve what you want.

Notice that all this happens FIRST in your head. This is the reason why the ‘Law Of Attraction’ states that THOUGHTS have power. It ALL starts in the mind. And, if we’re honest, it’s 100% true. Look around yourself, wherever you are. Do you see something created by humans? Of course you do, otherwise, how the hell are you reading this? 🙂

If you stop for a second, you’ll have to accept that EVERYTHING humans have created, started FIRST in their mind. They had an IDEA that was the starting point for their creation.

The same with you! Your mind has the potential, through THOUGHTS and IDEAS, to create any type of reality for you. You just have to believe this is true. So, to start, you go from NOTHING to having an idea, a wish or a goal that you want to achieve. This is YOUR POTENTIAL!

Step 2 – Taking Action

Now imagine the first person, thousands of years ago who THOUGHT “Damn, I don’t want to eat off the floor anymore. My back hurts and I’m tired of bending all the way down. I guess I could elevate everything and put it on some platform. That would be easy to reach and my back won’t hurt as much. Hmmm!”

What did he have to DO now? Well, the fact that we do have TABLES now, proves that he did TAKE ACTION and created a table, I don’t care how rudimentary it was, it was something. Maybe three legs instead of four, we don’t know, but SOMETHING was done. Somebody else must have seen that and a viral trend was established to the extent that the majority of humanity uses tables now. So, what was the KEY of his success? TAKING ACTION!!!!

So, once you have your IDEA, WISH or GOAL, you have to TAKE ACTION. The more action you take, the better. In fact, ‘self-help gurus’ talk about not just ‘taking action’, but about ‘taking MASSIVE action‘. Only if you DO SOMETHING, something will happen with your idea, wish or goal.

When you take action, your thoughts start ‘materializing‘ themselves. When I say this, it sounds VERY logical and it has nothing to do with the ‘esoteric’. It’s just common sense, you could even think. But, you’d have no clue of the amount of ideas that have just ‘evaporated‘ because their creators simply didn’t take action.

Step 3 – Obtain Results

Once you take actions, something amazing is going to happen. You’ll get RESULTS!

Ok, maybe the results you get at the beginning are not exactly what you were expecting, but you WILL get some sort of result. Think about this. What if you just ‘can’t be bothered‘ doing anything, what kind of results would you get? That’s easy to figure out… NOTHING!

But if you do SOMETHING, you WILL get some results. Getting results basically means that you’ve set a cause in motion. In other words, you’ve started a chain reaction that will have some kind of effect in the end. If you keep doing that, it will eventually produce the result that you want and, even if this result is small, it should be something to celebrate!

As a way of understanding this, it will help to consider for a bit what’s a classical plot in ALL movies that deal with ‘TIME TRAVELING‘. And what’s that? Well, that if you CHANGE something in the past, it will cause changes in the present. Isn’t it true that EVERY single time travel movie or book deals with that? Well, it’s time for you to realize that TODAY is tomorrow’s past, and if you change something TODAY, it will cause changes in your future, just make sure that future is more in line with what you really want.

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TODAY is tomorrow’s past,
and if you change something TODAY,
it will cause changes in your tomorrow!

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Step 4 – Your BELIEF of what is possible

Let’s go back for a second to step number 1. Remember, you had to BELIEVE that you had the potential to achieve something. At that moment however, it was just something that you ‘potentially‘ could achieve. You’ve never done it before. It was more like Faith!

Now, however, you’ve produced RESULTS and these prove that you CAN achieve more than what you’ve achieved so far. Your potential has become reality and your FAITH/BELIEF grows exponentially and turns into CERTAINTY. Obviously, having results under your belt gives you confidence that you can do more. And through this, your potential increases.

Think about the Olympic athletes trying to break records. At the beginning they just believe or have Faith they can, but they’ve NEVER done it before, but then, they DO IT! That gives them more confidence and then they go ahead, take action by practicing consistently and after a while, they break their previous record and sometimes that goes on and on several times. Why is that? It’s because every time you achieve something, your mind sees it now as NORMAL and the bar gets set a bit higher.

It just spirals upwards!

What happens is that once you get to that point of believing you can more, you automagically go back to step 1, but with the bar set higher, which results in more and so, you end up achieving much more than what you thought was even possible for you at the beginning.

If you keep consistently on a path like this, do you think you’ll get what you want? You bet!

Just To Be Clear

In this entry I’ve described the general path, which successful self made people go through to achieve their sometimes unbelievable goals. They never go from 0 to success in 1 second. There are ALWAYS steps in between that the public might not have seen, but that are always there.

On the other hand, there is always the possibility that you’ll hit obstacles on your path to success. You might not get the results that you want, once you start taking action. What to do when this happens? Just give up and stop? Never!

Keep taking action, just change the action you’re taking. Remember, every action generates a reaction, but no action generates NOTHING. In simple words, when something doesn’t go your way, do something a bit different, assess the results by evaluating if it’s what you want and, if it isn’t, do something a bit different again and reevaluate again.

If it is what you expected, RINSE AND REPEAT!

Hermann Bock

 

 

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About Me, Blog, Self Improvement

Do You Know What You Really Want?

Do you know what you really want?We all have desires and things we would love to have. For some it might be lots of money, for others security and yet for others freedom to do what they want, when they want it.

That is why this is a very important question you need to answer early in life. Most young people have no idea what they want to achieve with their lives and go through it just swimming with the flow. They go where the majority goes.

Although this is not necessarily bad, the problem is that you might end up in a place that is not even close to what you really desire.

Let’s say for example that you want to make enough money early on to achieve a certain level of financial freedom. If you don’t take specific measures, you will most likely not end up with lots of money but with lots of debt. Why? That’s the direction the majority takes. As you can see, that represents a serious problem.

Another problem in your quest to discover what you want is the standard educational system. It simply does not stress the importance of thinking about that early in life. I remember only one time during my whole school years, I think I was in fourth grade, when ONE TIME we were asked what did we want to do when we grew up. I remembered answering, I want to be a scientist. „Everybody laughed around me“ and some of the kids didn‘t even know what a scientist was.

My point? That was the only time during my school time that I actually was asked what I wanted to be as an adult. Even worse, there was never some training explaining how does one go about making an inventory of abilities, desires, passions and interests. And nothing about what to do with anything related to the future.

No importance was given to learn money management or goal setting and life designing. We were just taught a bunch of facts and figures from the distant past, some math and to answer questions in tests that matched the pre-selected correct answers. If you did that, you were promoted to the next level.

What does all this have to do with discovering and knowing what you want? If you what you want is freedom or making more money, how can this help you achieve that?

If you‘re clear about what you really wish in life, about what you want to achieve, what your goals are; chances are, your path will take you closer to that, than if you have no idea of where you want to end up. Sounds pretty logic, doesn‘t it?

And yet, the majority of the people on this planet do not have this clarity. They just take what they are handed and make do with it. It isn‘t hard to understand why so many people hate their jobs and feel miserable all the time.

Do you hate Mondays?

Let me ask you a couple of questions:

  • Do you hate Mondays?
  • Do you love Fridays?
  • Why is that?

Yes! Why do you hate Mondays? Have you REALLY stopped and thought about WHY? For the majority of people, it‘s because they hate their jobs and feel that they‘re forced to do them. So, every Monday morning it‘s a drag to have to go to that hated job. There‘s a song in spanish that calls modern underpaid and meaningless jobs ‚modern slavery‘. Is that how you feel about your job?

But let me go a bit further. Why do you hate your job? Is it because it is ‚meaningless‘ to you? Is it because it feels like a chore you DON‘T want to do? Is it because you don’t make enough money with it?

I can bet that whatever your job is, there‘s people on this planet who would be ‚happy‘ to do it. Why isn‘t it like that FOR YOU?

I bet the answer to that question is: ‚You don‘t WANT to do your job‘. It‘s NOT something that fulfills you and therefore, it feels like a drag. Now think about doing that job for, what? 30 years? It‘d be more like torture, wouldn‘t it?

This brings us back to the title question: What do you REALLY want?

This is a question you have to answer for yourself, because, depending on the answer you provide, you will know in what direction your life is supposed to go. So, DO NOT delay in answering that question, take time for yourself and, with a piece of paper, find out what you really want.

How To Know What You Really Want

Now the big question is, how do I discover what I really want?

As I mentioned above, you need to make an inventory. Some people don’t have a problem knowing what they really want to do with their lives. They’ve ALWAYS known. Others, on the other hand, find it more difficult to isolate their main wish. It’s now that they don’t have one. They’re just not aware of it.

So, here are a couple of questions to help you identify what your likes, interests and passions are.

  • What do you do with your FREE time on a regular basis?
  • Do you have a hobby? If you had the time and opportunity, what would be your hobby?
  • What‘s your MAIN topic of conversation on a regular basis?
  • If you could do ANYTHING with your life, what would you do?
  • What would your DREAM life be about? Let’s say you have ALL the money and time in the world. What would your DREAM life be about?

Questions of this sort, where you just ERASE the limitations and concentrate on the possibilities, will let your true feelings and wishes come to the surface. Make sure you make a list of these.

Do you start seeing clarity about what you really want? One very important aspect is that your wishes might change with time. That‘s OK! Some people have a very deep passion for just one subject and others are more variable and have a series of passions. The key to happiness lies in the journey, as long as this journey goes along with your passion.

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The key to HAPPINESS lies in the journey, as long as it goes along with your passion.

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When that is true, your work will not feel like work. You‘ll love Mondays and will probably keep working, even if it‘s just in your mind, during the weekends. In fact, you won‘t help it, you‘ll want to be back at work as fast as possible.

If you‘re right now in a job you hate, and dreading Mondays, this perspective might seem weird and almost like a fantasy. But think about millionaires and billionaires that still go to work every single day.

Why the hell would they do that?

The answer is: They‘re doing what they‘re passionate about. It‘s not work to them!

My Story

Let me tell you a story about myself in this respect. I hope you relate, because it‘s not a story about becoming rich, but more one about becoming ‚congruent‘ with your own wishes and how that changes your perspective in life.

As I mentioned above, I wanted to be a scientist as a kid. This, I reckon, was because I am basically driven by curiosity. However, living in a little town in Honduras called Trujillo, there were not many opportunities for something like that. In fact, there were only two professions offered after high school, namely, Accounting and becoming a Teacher.

As timed passed by, I totally forgot about what I wanted to do, and I started concentrating on what I did not want to do. So, because I didn‘t want to be a teacher, I started studying to become an Accountant. But very soon discovered that I didn‘t want to do that either.

At about that time, a copy of „Mecánica Popular“ (the Spanish version of Popular Mechanics) fell into my hands and I fell in love with the stories about computers on it. This was about 1982. But I was still living in Trujillo, this tiny town on the north coast of Honduras. No chance of having anything to do with computers there. So, what to do?

Two years later, in 1984, after lots of nagging, I somehow convinced my mother to send me to San Pedro Sula, (the second most important city in Honduras) to finish my last year of accounting. At the same time, I‘d take some computer courses, which I did. So, back then I learned to program on an IBM System 36 computer using the Basic computer language. Actually, it was mostly theory, since we only had access to the computers on Saturdays. But I was on track to doing what I wanted.

That year finished and I graduated as an accountant. We moved to the capital city of Tegucigalpa, again due to my pressure to position myself in the path of opportunity. But it wasn’t going to be that easy.

I needed money so I started looking for a job as an accountant because I had a diploma, even though I hated the profession. But for the first couple of months, I didn’t find anything. So, I decided to go back to school and take some electronics course. The course lasted about a year, and I loved it.

After that, in 1986, I definitely needed to earn some money. So I looked  for a job everywhere, to no avail. I had a very big problem. Since I am not Honduran, I didn’t have a ‚work permit‘ (I‘m a German/Venezuelan born in Panama, but that‘s another story). Everywhere I went, they they asked for the ‚work permit‘. But when I went to the authorities to request one, they claimed that I had to have a ‚job offer‘ for them to be allowed to issue me a ‚work permit‘. A stupid deadlock! I guess Honduras was/is not that used to dealing with immigration, more people tend to leave the country than come into it!

I was started to get disappointed and desperate, when finally the American Embassy offered me a job where a ‚work permit‘ wasn’t required. So, I accepted the job and started earning some money as a supply clerk. Nothing to do with accounting and much less to do with IT.

But, I knew what I wanted and that guided me!

When I was shown my cubicle, I actually smiled. I had a PC! Not an IBM but a Wang PC, but a PC nevertheless. Great! I thought. Computers came with lots of manuals back then. There were manuals for Word Processing, Spreadsheet programs, BASIC language and the sort. What did I do?

Every single lunch break I spent learning those programs and after a few months, I was the ‚go to‘ guy whenever IT problems occurred. Oh, I forgot to mention that the warehouse where I worked wasn’t located in the Embassy building but a few kilometers away and that worked to my advantage. The IT department had to travel whenever we had a problem, if they were to take care of it. After a couple of months of me being there, they started sending people to me and they would only come up to the warehouse building, if I couldn’t solve the problem. As time passed, that occurred less and less, since most of the problems I could take care of.

After 2 1/2 years in that position, an opportunity presented itself for a job in the Embassy‘s Accounting Department which payed better money than what I was earning at the moment as a supplies clerk. I applied and was invited to an interview.

As I sat there, talking to my new potential boss, I could see pictures of my future doing something I actually didn’t like and I hated it. So, I asked him if there were PCs available in the position where I‘d work. He answered: „NO! You‘d be working with dumb workstations that ONLY offer the couple of accounting programs that you need. And since you‘d working lots of overtime, you‘ll not have much time for anything else, we’re understaffed.“

I finished the interview and went back to my office in the warehouse. A couple of days later, they informed me that I had been selected for the Accounting Position. At that moment, I realized I didn’t want it, I didn’t want it AT ALL! I couldn’t care less about the extra money, so, I rejected the opportunity, even though they had offered 25% more money in that position.

None of my colleagues could understand WHY I rejected, according to them, an amazing opportunity to improve myself. „You‘re leaving money in the table“ they all said. But I still didn’t do it!

Fast forward six months. Another opportunity opened itself in the IT department of the Embassy. I applied and, given that I was already the ‚go to‘ IT guy in the warehouse building, I had built a reputation that earned me that job without any kind of an interview. What about the salary? It was double the money I was getting as a supply clerk!

And the interesting thing is, had I accepted the accounting job, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even apply for the IT one, because there was a rule in the Embassy for internal positions, that only allows people that have been, at least, a year in a particular position to apply for another one.

My point? Knowing what I wanted worked out perfectly for me, even when everyone around me didn‘t understand what I was doing! Having CLARITY as to what I wanted, determined my future and in the process made me more money!

Was I a happy chap? You bet!

Bottom Line

You have to discover what you REALLY want to do with your life. Take the time to find out, it’s THAT important. Make a list, get clarity. Once you have that, you will discover that as you start acting in congruence with your goals and wishes, you will become a happier person and you‘ll achieve more with your life!

Hermann Bock

 

 

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Traits of Successful People
Self Improvement

16 Traits of Highly Successful People That Are Worth Emulating

Traits of Successful PeopleWe all know someone who is successful in a particular field of life. We might not know them personally, but given that lots of successful people are relatively famous, we tend to hear from them a lot and we might think that we do.

Think about your favorite sports athlete, TV presenter, or movie star, or maybe even your preferred book author. Does he have a public persona? Most likely they do! This is the person that we see either on TV or gossip magazines, but that’s not necessarily the real person.

What often happens, is that people want to emulate them, put them high on pedestals and, obviously, want to be like them. The problem though, is that what most of the time gets copied, is their ‘external appearance‘, their public persona.

But, if you honestly want to be like your idols, you have to take a deeper look. You need to discover what is what drove them to become successful. In reality, you should forget the public persona and do your utmost to discover the real person behind the name.

There are several things that successful people have in common. It doesn’t matter if they are famous, as in movie star famous, or just like the millionaire next door that nobody knows. Their personalities, specially when they’re self made, have several traits in common.

Let’s take a look at 16 of them and see why they work and what’s worth imitating, if we want to be successful ourselves:

  1. Have a sense of Gratitude – To understand this better, let’s take a look at what unsuccessful people do. They, for instance, believe that everybody OWES them something and act from that standpoint. Wouldn’t that be a repealing quality you don’t want to emulate? Of course it is!On the other hand, feeling gratitude and showing it, makes you attractive. And success goes hand in had with attractiveness.
  2. Forgive – To forgive is to let go, to let go of a huge amount of stress that DEMANDS energy from the person. It sounds weird but, in most cases, the ‘forgiverbenefits more from forgiving than the person being forgiven. Stop for a second and think about it. If you keep a grudge, you’re the one turning around the ‘offense’ in your head. Seeing it from all different perspectives and wondering how was it possible that the other person did that to YOU.
    It might be even, that the offender doesn’t even know he offended you. Under these circumstances, who is the only one suffering and keeping in a lot of stress? You! Just let it go and use the save energy for a better purpose. That’s what successful people understand and why the are prone to forgive. Something worth imitating!
  3. Give others credit for their victories – A successful person understands clearly, that he cannot do everything. It’s also clear in his mind that he needs, no, he requires the help of others, if he really wants to succeed.
    How does he make himself attractive to others? One way is by giving others credit for their victories, and they are sincere about it. We all like to be acknowledged and when others do that consistently, we won’t be able to help it, we will like that person. We will be willing to help that person whenever we can. Results? That persons chances of success increase exponentially when others are willing to help in the process!
    Successful people understand this!
  4. Accept responsibility for their failures – This is similar to the previous one, only seen from a different perspective.
    If you fail at something, do you immediately look for somebody to blame? If you do that regularly, believe me, it goes against your chances of success.People hate the person who constantly blame others and will certainly not provide any help willingly. Not a good way to make it to the top.On the other hand, successful people take responsibility for their failures and find a way to make it right. Which, once again, results in earning the respect of their peers. An asset that’s very valuable in their quest for success. Keep that in mind the next time something doesn’t go your way and you feel the urge to blame somebody.
  5. Keep a JournalTony Robbins always says that “a life worth living, is a life worth recording”.
    Why is a journal important? It’s a record of your past, how you thought, what your goals were, who you wanted to be and, what’s better, it permits you to go back and see, in a very tangible way, how much you’ve advanced in your life.
    Successful people recognize the value in that. Not only it makes you feel good about what you’ve already achieved, but it gives you the security that you can go forward and achieve more, you’ve already done it in the past and you have a record of it. This mindset, which is reinforced by keeping a journal, will help you continue thriving. Another valuable effect of keeping a journal, is that you take time to be with yourself with an ‘evaluating’ state of mind. You obviously won’t record everything in your journal, because it’s not a teenager’s diary. However, spending time with yourself, trying to determine what’s worth recording for the future, will provide you with great insight about the present and what’s possible.Do you have a journal? Why don’t you start today? It’s NEVER too late!
  6. Read Everyday – Let’s take a look at what the statistics show:
    28% of americans have not read a book in the last year
    – Or seen from the perspective of Americans that HAVE read a book, notice the image below and how, in the HOUSEHOLD INCOME section, the lowest percentage is for the people who earn less than $30,000 a year.
    What does that tell you? Reading everyday has some kind of influence in your personality, which results in being more successful.In contrast, what do not successful people do much more? Watch TV everyday! Hmmm! Think about it! (Take a look at this article.) Obviously this doesn’t mean that successful people don’t watch TV or that less successful people don’t read books. What I’m trying to show is that there is a difference, a very defined difference between both groups. After all, we’re talking about traits and, since everybody is different, they will also differ. However, the ‘trend’ is undeniable.Enough said!
  7. Talk about IDEAS – There is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that goes: “Great minds discuss ideas, average discuss events and small minds people“. Or even another version of it that I’ve heard and like a lot: “Great minds talk about scientific/philosophical theories and ideas, average minds talk about news and current events, and small minds talk about each other“.
    According to the Bible, Jesus once said, that from the “abundance of the heart a man’s mouth speaks“. In other words, we tend to talk about those things, which take up most of our time or in which we focus mostly.Based on this, it’s easy to see how successful people would talk mostly about ‘ideas and scientific or philosophical theories’ and this would help them get ahead faster than those, who focus on people and talk about them.Napoleon Hill wrote a book that’s STILL being read by loads of people who want to succeed, titled “THINK and grow rich“. Notice again the emphasis on IDEAS and THINKING.This is the MAIN reason why gossip doesn’t put you on the path of success. Think about it the next time you feel tempted to indulge in gossip!
  8. Want others to succeed – This one shows a very intimate part of the successful person. And in my opinion, shows what a person is ‘truly’ made of.Jealousy of the kind that eats a person from the inside, just because someone close to them is lucky or successful in something, will not assist anybody in their quest for success.One of the main reasons for this, is because success is very tightly related to being enticing and attractive to others. Not necessarily in a physical way, but more in what has to do with personality. So, how can someone who hates it when others around him succeed, have an attractive personality?It wouldn’t be easy and, even if they’re successful for a while, it won’t take long before they start repealing people and with it, success.
  9. Share information – This one is related to the previous one and also comes from the heart. A really successful person is generous.Let’s say somebody becomes financially successful and rich. Have you noticed how lots of them say that, it’s not about the money but more about helping others. Don’t get me wrong, they STILL want a business and work it everyday. However, they come from a perspective of abundance where sharing is part of the game. They offer value to society and, in this manner, make it richer.This is a key point, because in the modern world, information is potential wealth. We live in the ‘information era’ and having more information is actually beneficial to ALL of us.
  10. Keep a “To-Be” list – Do you have a “To-Be” list? What is a “To-Be” list in the first place?A ‘to-be’ list, is similar to a ‘to-do’ list. Everybody knows the latter. However, the ‘to-be’ list focuses on the ‘kind of person‘ that you want to be every single day. In other words, do you want to be a better father, mother, boyfriend, girlfriend, son or daughter? Put that on your list. What about a better listener, friend, employee or entrepreneur?Having ‘clarity‘ in relation to what you really want to become, will guide you to the right path to achieve that.All of us have dreams, aspirations and goals. Ask yourself, who do you have TO BE, to turn those dreams, aspirations and goals into reality? Focusing in the BEING, which is INTERNAL, will certainly drive the DOING, which is EXTERNAL. And that’s the main reason of making a ‘TO-BE‘ list. Successful people understand the importance of this principle and clarity is one of their most precious possessions.
    I’ve always like the example of Jim Carrey. He wanted TO BE a comedian/actor so much, that it became a ‘virtual reality‘ to him. So much so, that he wrote himself a 10 million dollar check for “Acting Services Rendered” and gave himself a date to cash it. Notice the “Acting” part of the check. He knew WHO he had to be to earn his 10 million dollars, and he did!My point? Having clarity about who you want to be, has an incredible effect on the results you will obtain in life, and successful people know this.
  11. Exude Joy – This means that successful people tend to be ‘positive people’ with an optimistic point of view. They see possibilities when others only see negativity and disastrous results. The result of this? Being around them can be an exhilarating experience that would inspire others to succeed as well. It’s like they have an aura of joy and positivity around them that affects everything and everybody around them.But how could that not be, they have clarity about what they want, they’re willing to share, help and are happy about other people’s successes. It’s no surprise that they would have that positive aura, it’s just the logical progression.
  12. Set goals and develop life plans – In order to ‘systematically‘ achieve anything, you MUST have goals and plans. That’s simply how it works!Successful people tend to go a bit further. They have a vision about what their life’s mission. Because they have clarity about who they are or want to be, they know in what direction their life is taking them. They know when to steer, if the path they’re on deviates.Notice that it’s not “they set goals and plans”. It’s “they set goals and LIFE plans“. In other words, even though they don’t live constantly in the future, they do think ‘long term‘ and have taken the time to become clear about their future and what they want to achieve.Because they’re consistent in this aspect, they do more. Because they know what the next step is, they do more.Because they do more, they are more successful than the rest of the people. Something worth copying!
  13. Embrace change – Change is an integral part of life. Even in death we change!
    So, there is NOTHING you can do to avoid change. However, there is LOTS that can be done in respect of how we face change.Successful people KNOW that change will come, sooner or later. And they embrace it. They welcome it and because they expect it and are not afraid of it, they’re mentally PREPARED for it. When it comes, they just adapt because they’re flexible and know that, even if change causes a detour in their life’s path, they can do their best to steer their life onto their chosen path. Just like we do every day when we drive.
  14. Continuously learn – Socrates once said “the more I learn, the more I discover how little I know“.
    Successful people understand this and it fuels them to learn continuously. That’s actually one of the reasons why they read every day. Another reason is because they’re fundamentally curious. They have a thirst for knowledge that needs to be quenched.They don’t learn like we learn in school. They learn from life. They stop and think (keeping a Journal helps in doing this) about the lessons life has taught them regularly. And they do their best to take those lessons learned into account in most of the things they do. As a result, they’re constantly improving, which in turn, keeps them successful!
  15. Keep a “To-do/Project” list – This trait is a very well known one. Having a “to-do or project” list.They keep these lists, not because it’s fun to write lists everyday, no, it has to do more with ‘clarity’ and knowing ‘what the next step is’. Having a to do list helps you be more organized and prevents waste of time. Obviously, only if it’s used appropriately.Once again, the results of doing more is achieving more.
  16. Operate from a transformational perspective – And last, but not least, they operate from a transformational, as opposed to a transactional, perspective. Successful people tend to be leaders, and this trait has to do with what kind of leaders they are.Leaders that approach things from a transactional perspective, love the status quo. Love the traditions and keeping things as they are. You know, the idea that if it’s not broken, it doesn’t need fixing. Their leading style is more akin with the carrot and stick type of management.On the other hand, managers using the ‘transformational perspective’ try to INSPIRE their employees to work towards a common objective. He does his best to promote an environment of thinking, teamwork and mutual admiration.Once again, the results of this, is that this type of leader will manifest a very attractive personality and people will be proud of doing their best for their company, with even more success as the end result.

Imitate Successful People to be successful yourself

The purpose of this article is to make you aware of these traits with the idea of imitating them.

You don’t need to imitate moves, hairstyles or dressing styles. Even living in certain neighborhoods or driving certain cars has nothing to do with it.

The traits worth imitating come from the inside and will motivate you to act in different, more effective, ways which will increase your chances of being successful yourself.

Hermann Bock

 

 

 

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