Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ways To Achieve Unrealistically Realistic Success

“Realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity”
– Will Smith

When a little boy says “I want to be an astronaut” – we smile at him and say, “Sure, honey, you can be anything you want to be!” When a twenty five year old man makes the same statement, we say, “Hey, be realistic!” Which basically means, “settle for something that brings you no satisfaction, just because you know you can get it”.

What happened in the 15 years that made a perfectly capable human-being turn into perfectly incapable grown-up, whose only choice in life is to get a degree in a highly- demanding field, find a regular job, work 30 + years and hopefully save enough money for retirement? It is as if in the course of our adulthood years instead of perfecting our skills, tripling our IQ, gaining valuable experience we are somehow getting dumber and less talented.

Common sense would suggest that if we could have accomplished everything we wanted at the age of 5, we are even more capable of doing it at the age of 25 or 50.

And since you and I are sensible people, let’s forget about the most depressing, demotivating, dream-killing cliché’s of our time to “be realistic” and go for something that we actually want and can accomplish!

Here are 9 ways to start achieving unrealistically realistic success:

1. Readjust your goals. Believe that success starts or is based on luck, intelligence, determination or some extraordinary talents. It starts with a big vision that is worth working for.

Take a look at your goal.

* Is it motivating?
* Is it inspiring?
* Is it the greatest goal ever?

If not, then perhaps you have made it too realistic. Psychological research shows that challenging goals lead to increased motivation and improved performance. It makes sense – the bigger the goal is, the more strongly we want to achieve it.

2. Think differently. If you do whatever everyone else is doing you will get the same results as everyone else is getting. Which is fine if this is what you want, but if you feel that you could do more/ be more/ achieve more, why settling for less? All of the greatest discoveries, multi-billion dollar companies and break through- accomplishments were done by people, who thought differently from the rest of the world and were not afraid to put their vision into action.

3. Ignore the “realistic dudes”. They say that you should not go to a doctor whose office plants have died. Just as you should not ask a person who has achieved very little, advice on success. Before listening to “kind-hearted” advice to give up on your goals or think smaller, consider this – most people who claim to “be realistic” spend 95% of their time worrying about things that will never happen. There is a huge difference between having your feet firmly on the ground and making Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” your life credo. Do not let the “realistic dudes” dampen your self-confidence and prevent you from going after your goals. Listen to yourself! You already know all the right answers!

4. See everyone as your equal. Two of the greatest fears: fear of failure and fear of success are caused by our unconscious need to compare ourselves with others. As a result we consider some groups of people to be “lower” than us and others to be “out of our league”, because we believe that they have something we have not been given. Here is the truth – no one cheated you at your birth. God did not send you to this Planet to demonstrate to you, your inferiority. You have all the intelligence, skills, tools and perfect circumstances to learn your lessons, develop and succeed. But it is up to you to figure out what success means to you and to make the maximum out of what you have been given.

5. Let go of what is holding you back. It does not matter what you have done to get where you are right now, because you cannot influence this. What matters is what you do today to get where you want to be. Let go of everything that holds you back and creates friction in your progress, be it past failures, pessimistic people or negative beliefs. They rob too much of your physical and mental energy.

6. Whatever you do, do something! Over time anything we do or do not do on a regularly basis turns into a habit. If we do not consciously try to change our behavior, our life style, opinions, and even relationships lose their excitement and become sedentary. Similar, no matter how great your ambitions are, if you do not do anything about them for a certain period of time, you develop a habit of constantly postponing your dreams for later Momentum is the key to breaking free from the evil spells of stagnation and making your life more exciting and satisfying.

7. Know when to quit. Being unrealistic and striving for higher goals is not the same as being unreasonable and stubbornly sticking to projects that have absolutely no chances of success. Learn to concentrate on your winning ideas and drop quickly the ones that do not bring any results.

8. Use Pareto principle to amplify your achievements. The Pareto principle (also known as 80-20 rule) states that around 80% of the effects come from only 20% of the causes. It means that 80% of your achievements are direct result of 20%of your efforts. And vice versa, 80% of your problems and negative situations are provoked by only 20% of causes. Think of what events/actions/beliefs are responsible for the majority of your distress and negative emotions and which ones are making you happier and more successful? Then amplify your accomplishments by eliminating the main “negativity” triggers and concentrating on those things that bring you most joy and greater results.

9. Choose the path of least resistance. As strange as it may sound, achieving bigger goals usually takes just as much time and effort as accomplishing mediocre goals. There is simply less competition at the top. Aim higher than majority of people and you will not have to waste your energy competing with 95% of the population who are going after “realistic goals”.

And if someone tries to breed doubts in your heart instead of listening to them listen to Michelangelo who said that, “The greatest danger for most of us in not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”. He obviously knew what he was talking about!

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