I absolutely love to check off boxes in my notebook. When I have an action written in my notebook, I’ll draw a box to the left of that line. Once I’ve completed the action, I get to check the box. It is so satisfying and fun to make those check marks.
This got me thinking about the accomplishments that I achieve that weren’t necessarily to-do items. At work, most of us have to report what we have accomplished to our bosses periodically. This is another satisfying task where we can get some pride in our hard work and see the outcomes written down for our boss to see.
When we have our yearly performance review with our boss, we will think about the highlights of our performance and some of us even reference those weekly or monthly status reports to remind ourselves of our many accomplishments. We’ll highlight the best ones and walk into our boss’s office armed with plenty of reasons that we deserve a raise.
We should do this in our personal lives. Whenever I get down on myself, it is easy to build myself back up simply by remembering all the great things that I’ve done recently. I trained for and finished a half marathon five months ago. It is still to this day a source of pride whenever I need a little pick-me-up. So, let me encourage you to write down your accomplishments periodically and then review them whenever you question how great you are.
Just like you should choose the right foods to put in your body, you should choose the right people that you allow to be around you. Everyone in our life influences us in one way or another. The better choices you make for who you will be around, the better your influences will be. We’re all human and as much as we’d like to think we don’t let people get to us, it is only natural. It has been proven many times over and if you think about it without bias, you’ll know it too. If you’re around negative people, you’ll have negative thoughts. If you’re around people that are constantly trying to improve the lives of others, you’ll do the same.
Pick carefully and begin to prune away those acquaintances that constantly bring you down.
You can’t change who people are and if you’re stuck with a close family member that acts in a way that brings negative influence to your life, then just restrict the amount of influence they are allowed to have on you. Change the topic, leave the room, ignore them, or whatever it takes to keep your focus off their attitude and on to better things.
You cannot be whatever you want to be. The easiest example of this is that if you are a little person, you’re not going to play in the NBA. Some of you are already thinking about how that could happen given the person get creative and/or have unbelievable skills that could be used by an NBA team. I’m like that too.
I once told my son that he’d never achieve his dream of being the best hockey player in the world. He was devastated and I was questioning whether I had made the right choice to squelch his dream. I, like most of you, were told that we could be anything we wanted to be when we grew up. It simply isn’t true. The reason that those movies where the individual works hard and achieves their dream are so great, is because they’re so rare. I’m not sure what my son’s purpose on this planet is, but I’m sure that it isn’t to be a professional hockey player. If it was, I’m confident that he would have been born to a family with much better circumstances for achieving that goal. We live in Florida. We are not wealthy enough to pay for him to play hockey. We live far enough from the rink that taking him to daily practices would ruin any hope of the rest of us achieving our purpose due to constantly taking time off work, commuting two hours a day for hockey, etc. Players that make the NHL don’t start playing when they’re eleven. They start playing before they get into elementary school. There are surely exceptions, but I’d bet none started after age ten.
I let the dust settle and engaged my son in a conversation about being the best possible version of himself. He needs to realize that he should contribute to this world by being the best possible version of himself rather than being the best version of somebody else’s destiny. He needs to work on improving himself, examining his heart for his future path and iterating on the try, fail, retry differently, fail, etc. to see what this life has in store for him. I would guess it is very rare for a person to know what they need to become at age eleven. I’ve taken this long to be confident that I’m on the right track, but I’m still searching myself.
We all have a responsibility to this world to become the best possible selves we can become. What if Michael Jordan had decided to play baseball in college? What if Einstein had decided to be a shoe maker? What if you decide to ignore your heart and become what others want you to be? This world needs us all to be who we were meant to be – the best possible versions of ourselves. I wasn’t born to be an actor, a policeman, or a high school teacher. I am trying to be the best I can while narrowing down my destiny with constant self-reflection. We need to look inward, not outward for our destiny. The wisdom we gain on a daily basis slowly opens our heart to our true purposes (yes, plural). We need to try, experiment, fail, mature and be persistent in order to have a chance at finding our purpose in this world.
I don’t want to entirely destroy the motivation to work hard and try to achieve great things. I just want us all to be focused on achieving what makes sense for us to achieve. I want us all to follow our hearts and be the best possible versions of ourselves based on the life and body we were born into. Take Nick Vujicic for example. If you don’t know who he is, you should spend the next ten minutes on YouTube figuring it out. He inspires me and I can’t imagine a person on this planet that wouldn’t be inspired by him. He was born without legs or arms. Can you imagine the mental anguish he’d have if he believed that in order to be a success, he had to achieve his dream of being an NBA player? Imagine if his mother told him that he could do whatever he wanted in life. He’d probably live a daily battle of struggling to be “good enough”. Instead, he took the hand that was dealt to him and used it to be the best possible version of himself. In doing that, he has inspired more people than I and become a better version of himself than I. I’m truly in awe of his accomplishments and he one of my heroes. Thank you Nick for being the best possible version of yourself.
For you and I, we need to figure out what we should be pursuing and achieving based on internal examination of our skillsets, our weaknesses and our heart. Prayer, self-examination and the thing that some people forget about, hard work (trying, failing, trying again, getting knocked down, standing back up, etc.) will help us discover our purpose in life. If I could be anything, I’d be a vacationer lying on a Caribbean beach all day everyday eating good food and drinking good drinks. I’m pretty confident that isn’t my purpose however, so I’m willing to bet that it wouldn’t bring me much happiness after the first month or so. So I struggle daily improving myself in the hopes that I can help others improve themselves in the hope that I can contribute to this world being a better place, filled with more love.
Below are some of my favorite inspirational quotes. The funny thing about inspiring quotes is that they can provide some with a key thought for their day while others can immediately think of exceptions to the rule. Some quotes tend to resonate with some more than others, but more importantly, each person has their own tendencies to which quotes really inspire them. The type of person you are will depend on which types of quotes you enjoy so here is a list for folks like me – a lot of good ideas with too little time to act on them.
A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided – Tony Robbins
Successful people are simply those with successful habits – Brian Tracy
Action is the foundational key to all success – Pablo Picasso
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Rohn
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
I’m on my bike for six hours a day busting my ass. What are you doing? – Lance Armstrong
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu
You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing. – Arthur Ashe
The best way to predict your future is to create it – Abraham Lincoln
Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail – Charles Kettering
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. – Napoleon Hill
You can do anything, but not everything – David Allen.
Hope you enjoyed these. I do.
You can do anything, but not everything. – David Allen
I always struggle with time management although I’ve tried dozens of systems, ideas and habits. I believe that the root of my time management problem is the fact that I always believe that I could be and should be doing more no matter how productive I am and no matter how much time I spend getting things done. A job is never perfect in my mind and can always be improved. I’ve improved on delivering an imperfect product which still exceeds others’ expectations but I still think that with more time spent prior to the deadline, it could’ve been better. That is a tough life to live…always disappointed in yourself. A new goal of mine is to run a marathon. I can envision myself completing the thing and being disappointed with the time. I know it is self-abuse but that is something that I constantly struggle with.
I’m telling you this in order to explain my newest approach at managing myself within the 24 hours/day that we all get. I’m going to attempt to limit which projects that I work to certain days of the week. I’m also going to pack a lot into each day. The reason I want to limit the days that I work certain projects is to keep from berating myself for not working harder. If there is only so much that I’m allocated to work, then when done, I can relax. The reason I want to pack a lot into each day is to allow for pride and self-esteem once done as so not feel like I could be doing more. I want to be proud of my day when my head hits the pillow without feeling like I’m overwhelmed.
The idea is to create a week that will end with the result of me being a better person and my projects having improved. My weekly schedule is too sensitive to put here, but here is a sample of what it looks like:
||Out of bed by 0600
1 hour on Project A
2 hours on Project B
||Out of bed by 0600
1 hour of distance running
1 hour on Project C
||Out of bed by 0600
1 hour on Project A
The website now allows users to define their goals, their reasons and then map those goals to habits that can be accomplished daily, weekly, or somewhere in between. The last step before our launch is to allow users to sign up for challenges that will force them to grow in a productive way. For example if you want to be healthy, some challenges may include running a 10K (training for the event will certainly burn some calories) or to stop smoking. Each challenge will be assigned a point value and users will gain points with each challenge claimed and completed.
If you’d like to be a beta user for us, sign up on the main page (http://www.InspireProgress.com)
We’ve finished the majority of the Habits section and we’re putting the final touches on the functionality. We think you’ll get a lot of value from this site and can’t wait to get some feedback from our beta users. It is never smart to leak a release date until it is set in stone because you don’t want to slip a release…however, we’re pushing to release the site out to the wild before Christmas. We’re slowly letting more beta users in and getting feedback from them along the way so we can release the best product possible. If you want to be a beta user for us, sign up on the home page.
We’ll slowly release details about the functionality inside here on this blog between now and then. To whet your appetite, the main idea behind this site is to allow you to map your daily habits to your life objectives. You are a result of your actions so setting purposeful habits to align your actions with who you want to be and where you want to be is like getting on the tortoise’s back and beating the hare. Small, consistent actions towards a result will get you there. Eating poorly for years will make you unhealthy. Exercising daily for years will make you healthy. Create an arsenal of good habits and you’ll be well on your way to the side effects of those habits. Set those habits with your goals in mind and you’ll be well on your way to your goals.
Accountability for those habits will keep you on track. We hope to provide that as well. You’ll be able to check-in on a daily basis to report on your success. You can sign up for reminders as well if you think that will help. Let us know how we can help and we’ll do our best to keep you moving in the right direction.
We’ll explain the Challenges portion and a few other fun tidbits we have planned in this space as we get closer to our release. Sign up to the RSS feed by clicking on the orange button to the right or check back periodically to stay informed on our progress. We can’t wait to have you join us inside.
In the meantime, think about your daily or weekly habits. Do you have any that need reinforcing? How about some that need to be eliminated? Start now and we’ll be here to help soon enough.
Welcome to our blog! We’re just setting up around here. Check back with us in a few weeks. In the meantime, hit the home link above and submit your contact information for us to let you know when we’re up and running.
We’ll be launching tools that will help you grow and develop healthy habits that will get you closer to your dreams. We can’t wait to launch the tools and get your feedback. The beta release isn’t far off. We’ll limit the user base in the beginning and allow more in as we improve the tool towards where we ultimately want it to be.
Join us for this journey. We want to inspire and support as many people as possible.