Do What Needs to Be Done When it Needs to Be Done

An elderly carpenter was due to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the business. His employer was sad to see him go. For many years, the carpenter had been his most loyal and diligent worker. Always producing outstanding work.

Before the employer granted his request, he asked for one last favor. Build one more house. The carpenter agreed though his heart was not in it. This became clear when construction began. He took shortcuts and used inferior materials. His focus was on getting the job done not on getting it done to the best of his ability.

When the house was completed, the employer came to inspect the work. He said nothing while looking around. When he was done he handed the keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your house, it’s my gift to you.”

The carpenter was shocked and embarrassed. Shocked by the generosity of his soon to be former employer. Embarrassed because he knew he had done a poor job. A job way below his usual standard.

He kept thinking “If only I had known, I would have made sure that everything was done right.”

There are going to be days when you’re working on your craft that you’ll be tempted, just like the carpenter was, to cut corners. To avoid doing what needs to be done for one reason or another. Train yourself to fight that temptation with every fiber of your being.

Always do what needs to be done. Your work says nothing about the people who observe it or receive it. It however, says everything about you and your standards, values, and beliefs. Your work will always sell you up or sell you out.

The universe does not set standards. It does not ask you, with the dawning of each new day, to do what needs to be done. It will accept whatever you offer it. However, it does so with a catch. The rewards it gives in return are solely based on the standards you have set for yourself.

You, and only you, can raise your standards to ensure that what needs to be done gets done and gets done when it needs to be done. Doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done means you’ll always be prepared. As Whitney M. Young Jr. said, “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”

This present moment is all that you have. Do what needs to be done. As Steve Maraboli said, “The value of a moment is immeasurable. The power of just ONE moment can propel you to success and happiness or chain you to failure and misery.”

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How to Create Powerful Life-Changing Intentions

T.S. Eliot said, “The journey, Not the destination matters.” 

Intentions are how you want to feel as you journey towards creating your goals regardless of current circumstance or future outcome.

Intentions are the why behind the goal.

When we know why, we can prepare as Oprah said, for the only things we can ever prepare for – What might happen and for how we respond to what has happened. This is key, for as Napoleon Hill said, One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” 

Following are the steps to creating powerful life-changing intentions.

1. Identifying

Start by identifying each of the various roles in your life and the values you hold most dear.  

2. Reflecting

“If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.” ~Michel de Montaigne

Reflect on what feeling you want to experience in each of those roles as per your values. Guide your reflection by asking yourself how would the person you would like to be in the future, do the things you would like to do in the present in the role you have identified.

Be clear and be specific. For example, if one of your roles is being a parent, don’t just say you intend to be a good parent. That’s too broad. What specifically do you associate with being a good parent that you want to manifest in that role? Is it patience, empathy, understanding, consistency, etc.

3. Visualizing

“Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.” ~ Cherie Carter-Scott

Visualize what your life would look like if you were actively living the intentions you have identified. This activates the power of visualization which helps to manifest desired outcomes.

Remember how Jim Carrey revealed to Oprah that he wrote himself a post-dated check for $10 million for acting services rendered just so that he could feel better during a tough period in his life? That is the power of visualization.

If you can see what your working towards and believe that it can be yours and attach that vision and feeling to hard work then you can get it.

4. Writing

“A word after a word after a word is power.”~ Margaret Atwood

Write your intentions down. Writing engages the subconscious mind and programs it to begin to work towards making your intentions a reality. It also allows you to look back, reflect, and celebrate. As Anaïs Nin said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” 

  • Write down your intentions in the present tense – Use “I am …” or “My intention is …” or “I now …” etc. Don’t start with “I will …” or “I am going to …”
  • State your intention in the positive, not in the negative – “I am joyfully nourishing my body every day and speaking kindly to myself to build a healthy body and mind” as opposed to  “I am not fat.”
  • Your intentions should include not just the ‘what’ but also the ‘how.’ In the above example, the ‘what’ is build a healthy body and mind and the ‘how’ is nourishing my body every day and speaking kindly to myself.
  • Your intention should include the state in which you will be in as your intentions manifest. This could be a state of joy, ease, peace, happiness, calm, etc.
  • Keep them short – the longer the intention the more you tend to get lost in your mind.

5. Action

“An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” ~Arnold Glasow

Intentions must be supported by action. Intentions allow you to dream but dreamers must also be doers.

Make a list of all the things you can actively do every day to support the manifestation of your intentions.

If your intention is to lose weight, what activities would support this? Making smarter food choices, eliminating junk food options, or creating an exercise routine? Whatever you choose, you must commit to doing it.

So unlike intentions where you are encouraged to dream big, the actions that support your intentions should be small so they create no resistance and can be done consistently until they are done automatically.

6. Ritualizing – Forming the habit

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.” ―Aristotle

For your intentions to take hold, they must be repeated daily. This will not come naturally unless you make it a habit. The key to forming effective habits is to make them part of your daily routine. Routines help establish discipline which you should view as a form of training and not punishment. Discipline is the bridge between intentions and accomplishments.

Intentions set your thoughts and actions for the day so they should be stated first thing in the morning and the best way to ensure you do so is by adding them to your morning routine. Morning is also when your energy is the highest and your mind the clearest.

If you do not have a morning routine, establish one immediately. Don’t just get up to get up. Get up with a purpose.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • The intention setting process must be rooted in authenticity. Don’t copy someone else’s’ intentions or allow anyone to tell you what your intentions should be. Your intentions create your reality, never someone else’s or vice versa.
  • Your intentions must promote your well-being and the well-being of others. They should also not attempt to manipulate or control the actions of others or their behavior.
  • Don’t rush the process. It will take time to create powerful intentions for your life so be prepared to dedicate quality time to the process. Also be prepared to do it more than once as you may need to edit your intention as you get a better understanding of yourself and what you want for your life.
  • Chances are high that you will come up with multiple intentions so you must learn to prioritize them. Five should be the maximum but if you feel overwhelmed then drop to three.
  • Intentions can vary in duration. The can be immediate, short-term or life-long intentions based on what you need at the time. This can help you prioritize them.
  • Intentions can be used for all areas of your life.

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5 Things That Are Sabotaging Your Growth Mindset

Have you ever wondered how people who have less skill and talent achieve more than those who do? It boils down to mindset.

Mindset matters, as success begins in the mind and not out on the playing field. As Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of motivation says that when it comes to mindset, a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset is what one should adopt if they wish to fulfill their potential.

She says “In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

Those who adopt this belief toward life are said to reach higher levels of achievement because they embrace challenges as opposed to avoiding them. They persist in the face of obstacles instead of giving up. They see their efforts, both successful and unsuccessful, as the path to mastery as opposed to being a waste of time because it gives them the opportunity to learn and keep learning.

When it comes to negative criticism, those with a growth mindset never avoid it. They see it as an opportunity to advance towards their goals so they seek it out.

In addition, since they know that qualities such as character, skill, talent, creative ability and intelligence can be developed, they are never afraid to celebrate the success of others in those areas.

How do people with growth mindsets sabotage their potential? They do the following:

1. They surround themselves with people with a fixed mindset

Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

People do not rise to low expectations.

If you insist on spending the majority of your time with people who do not challenge you to be more, their beliefs will rub off on you. Yes, you can change them but the effort will be too much and you will eventually give in to them.

2. They fail to practice

Practice makes improvement. Improvement creates achievement. Achievement cements belief.

If you believe that the qualities you have can be developed then you must work on developing them. The only way to do this is to develop the habit of consistent and intentional practice. This is where you learn not just to do things, but also to do things well.

3. They lack patience

“To lose patience is to lose the battle,” said Mahatma Gandhi.

Success will never show up overnight. Patience allows you to work on developing your potential and to eventually enjoy, the fruits of your labor.

Make sure it’s onboard for your journey.

4. They feel that they are undeserving of better

Many feel that the mistakes of the past disqualify them from enjoying a brighter future. So even if they adopt a growth mindset, they do not give 100% of their effort and dedication to its development.

Never forget this. No mistake defines who you are regardless of how large or how recent that mistake was. Learn the lesson they teach and keep moving forward.

5. They hate who they are as they work on becoming who they want to be

“When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” ~ African Proverb

When you choose to work on yourself, it should not come from a place of lack because you cannot hate yourself or beat yourself up into a better version of yourself. Regardless of what positive mindset you adopt. Your mind, forever working to keep you safe, will latch on to that negatvity and magnify it.

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Start Your Day With Intention and Win The Day

Many people wake up just to get up.

They don’t get up to have a great day or to do something great. They don’t get up to feel something great or even be something great. They simply wake up because it’s a new day and the alarm has gone off.

The first hour of the day is the most important hour you shall encounter for it determines how the rest of your day will play out. It is where we make the first impression on our mind’s of what we want for ourselves and for that day.

What we do is not dictated by our bodies but by the mind. Our bodies simply carry out the mind’s bidding. When left to its own devices, the majority of the mind’s self-talk is negative. Negative self-talk creates negative thinking which in turn, creates negative outcomes.

Each and every day, therefore, must be approached with crystal clear specific intention as our intentions create our reality.

New York Times Best Selling author Gary Zukav says that intention is “the quality of consciousness that you bring to a deed or words. It’s an energy. It’s your reason for speaking. It’s your motivation that creates consequences. It’s the why beneath the why,” and as the philosopher and poet Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Intentions clarify and give you focus. They allow the universe to conspire in your favor because it knows exactly what you seek. Intentions also help you measure the success of each day and live fully in the present without fear of the future.

As Wayne Dyer said, “Everything that is created in the universe is here already. We are not really creators as much as we are re-combiners of everything. All of us have the capacity to attract to ourselves what seems to be missing in our lives.”

Intentions should not be confused with goals. Goals are what you are working towards. They are rooted in the future. Intentions, on the other hand, are the state in which you choose to be in as you work towards your goal regardless of what is going on around you. They are rooted in the present.

Intentions are linked to your thinking whereas goals as linked to your actions. Very rarely does action change thinking as action is created by thought. As Steve Maraboli said, “Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” 

We are all equipped with the equal ability to be exceptional. Greatness is denied to no one. It is in all of us.  However, you must be intentional to be great and it must start the moment you open your eyes in the morning for that is when the mind is most impressionable.

Determine how you want to be as you journey through your life. Write it down so it takes root in your subconscious and repeat it daily. Don’t attach yourself to the outcome of your intention(s) for that is to invite doubt into the mix. State your intention(s) with the unquestionable belief that they will work out as they should.

Today is the first day of a new month. Don’t sit back and wait for it to be a great month. That is not how it works. Make it a great month by starting each and every day with a specific intention(s) for how you want to be that day.

“Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.” ~ Bryant McGill

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29 Commitments that Will Change Your Life

As we make and keep commitments, even small commitments, we begin to establish an inner integrity that gives us the awareness of self-control and the courage and strength to accept more of the responsibility for our own lives. By making and keeping promises to ourselves and others, little by little, our honor becomes greater than our moods. ~ Stephen Covey

  1. Commit to approaching challenges as a skill to be learned and not a talent to be naturally possessed.
  2. Commit to being consistent and unreasonable in pursuit of what makes you better than who you were yesterday as the little things you do every day will always trump the big things you do once in a while.
  3. Commit to assuming success by killing the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve your goals.
  4. Commit your energy to using and building your strengths, not to being consumed by your weaknesses.
  5. Commit to focusing on your character, not your reputation.
  6. Commit to focusing on your blessings, not your misfortunes.
  7. Commit to treating love as a very big word as “being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage,” and courage makes you unstoppable
  8. Commit to learning who you are and always presenting your authentic self as “No man, for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”
  9. Commit to confirming what you know by teaching others and to not being afraid to relearn what you thought you knew when presented with evidence to the contrary.
  10. Commit to expressing gratitude for the little things you always overlook.
  11. Commit to stop pushing (being forced to do) and start being pulled (being inspired to do).
  12. Commit to admitting when you’re wrong.
  13. Commit to being extra kind for these are challenging times.
  14. Commit to treating your body as a temple and fueling it accordingly more often than not.
  15. Commit to exercising consistently as you were designed for movement and to neglect to do so is to insult your creator.
  16. Commit to minimizing/eliminating distractive elements.
  17. Commit to accumulating experiences over stuff.
  18. Commit to looking up every now and again.
  19. Commit to being present and to looking back with decreasing frequency.
  20. Commit to starting small and keeping it simple.
  21. Commit to focusing on the important before the urgent.
  22. Commit to stop craving attention and start inspiring curiosity.
  23. Commit to exploring one interest for 30 days.
  24. Commit to taking responsibility, not finding fault.
  25. Commit to the knowledge that you’ve got enough.
  26. Commit to patience as it is a superpower.
  27. Commit to forgiveness because it allows you to heal and to move on.
  28. Commit to never ever… ever … ever stop learning.
  29. Commit to repetition as repetition is the key to mastery.
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725,000 Pounds per Square Inch

It takes 725,000 pounds per square inch of pressure to create a diamond.

At the starting line, we are all chunks of coal. We all have the potential to turn into diamonds.

However, in order to do that we must be willing to work and subject ourselves to a force that resists comfort, challenges preconceived notions and breaks us from the inside out.

All our difficulties, problems and challenges, represent that force.

That force never arrives alone. It is always accompanied by choice. The choice to see it as burdensome, meaningless and purposeless, or to view it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, grow, improve or adjust. An opportunity, if taken, that undoutedbly leaves us stronger than we were before.

Every time you go out and do something tough. Every time you withstand the force meant to break you. Every time you view your problems as opportunities and say “what can I learn from this situation.” Your good gets exposed to great. If you stay the course, your great gets exposed to greater still.

“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” ―Malcolm Forbes

Your problems are opportunities designed to get you to be who you are destined to be. The bigger the problem, the greater the opportunity.

Your life is a duplication of your consciousness. Don’t sentence yourself to a lifetime of mediocrity, fear and self-doubt. Recondition your thinking. Empower your problems to build you up and prepare you for what comes next.

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An Unacceptable Excuse

“I don’t know how” is a crappy, unacceptable excuse.

When you say you don’t know how to do something, what you’re actually saying is you’re not determined enough and lack the discipline to learn how. You’re also saying you have low self-esteem and don’t believe that you can learn how to do it.

Is this what you mean to say?

Other Excuses that Mean the Same Thing as “I don’t know how”

  1. ‘I don’t have the resources’
  2. ‘I don’t have the skills’
  3. ‘I don’t know enough’
  4. ‘I’ve never done it before’
  5. ‘It won’t make a difference’

“Every Next Level of Your Life will Demand a Different You”

Nobody is born knowing how. We all have to learn how to do anything.

Every next level of your life will demand a different you. That different you will require reinforcement that may or may not be in your current skill set.

“I don’t know how” is, therefore, an excuse you simply cannot afford to make. It denies your potential and holds you back. Not to mention, it steals your dreams right from under you.

What They Can’t Teach You in School

Robert Maynard Hutchins said.“The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

You should not and cannot depend on a formal education to teach you everything you need to know. Why? The world is ever changing. The rules of success are not fixed. Technology is evolving faster than ever.

You are also evolving. What you may have thought is your life’s path then, may no longer hold any allure for you now. That is fine. You are allowed to change your mind.

Call To Action 

“I don’t know how” is simply the excuse you’re making to avoid having to take action.

John Locke said that “All wealth is the product of labor.” 

However you define wealth, none of it will ever be handed to you. You must work for it. If you work a little you get a little. If you work a lot, you get a lot.

You are the author and editor of your destiny. If you don’t know how, now is not the time for excuses. No one is coming to show you how so go figure it out.

Figure out what you do know and what you don’t know and then go in search of how to fill the gap. It’s how all those who’ve been there and done that, did it. They are no more special than you.

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.” ~ Steve Maraboli

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I Cannot Motivate You & That’s The Best News You’re Going to Hear All Day

If you remember only one thing today let it be this.

Nobody. Absolutely nobody can motivate you long enough to do anything worth doing or to have anything worth having.

Any achievement worth talking about, writing about or reliving, takes time to create. The type of motivation required to make that time and stick with it is primarily an inside job.

Wait a second.

What about all those people who are out there making a killing motivating others?

I’m glad you asked.

For the few people who change their lives after listening to something motivational, there are many more people who go back to living their lives at status quo. This is because there are two types of people who seek out motivation.

There are those who are already motivated but need a kick in the pants. Motivators make a good living from them but not much because once the kick is delivered, it will be a while before you see them again.

Then there are those who have been convinced that someone else is responsible for getting them to do something or become something.

How can you spot them?

They stop working when the boss stops looking.

They hire a trainer and skip a workout when the trainer takes a sick day.

They stop when they are tired and there is still work to be done.

They live by other people’s schedules.

They ask stupid questions.

… How long do I have to do this for?

… Why are they not doing this?

… Did you do this?

… Do I have to do this, I don’t feel like it?

They start all action statements with ‘we.’

… We should do

… We should go

… We should try

This segment of the population is powered by borrowed motivation and are responsible for making motivators millionaires.

What Does Internal Motivation Look Like In Real Life

It looks like Jennifer Phillips X Factor audition in 2015.

Jennifer had the opportunity to change her life. That opportunity put her in front of four judges. One of whom was Simon Cowell. She had a plan. The judges, starting with Simon Cowell, of course, did not like her plan. They made her change it. She did and she absolutely killed it.

If Jennifer had been powered by the external motivation of her singing coach or friends and family she would have buckled because they were not there at the moment when she was asked to change the plan.

External motivation does not keep your schedule or any schedule for that matter. When you need it, you must go in search of it. Unfortunately, life does not wait. Neither does opportunity.

Internal motivation, if you’ve built it, will always be there. Bright eyed and bushy tailed waiting to propel you forward.

Call to Action

Let today be the day that you let whomever you had tasked with the responsibility of motivating you, off the hook for failing miserably. They were never adequately equipped for the task at hand.

Let today be the day that you hammer the following quote into your soul. “You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.” ~ Stephen Richards

James Clear says that the “environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.” So let today be the day you start to build your internal source of motivation by creating an environment in which it can grow and thrive.

That environment requires the following.

1. Simplicity

You are required to have big goals. Great goals. Scary goals. You are not required, by anyone, to have big, great or scary ways to achieve said goals. The self-induced requirement that things have to be achieved in difficult environments, stunts the growth of internal motivation.

Set big goals and keep the process of achievement simple and easy and most important, part of what you already do.

The gym should be on your way home and not in the other direction. The healthy food should be at home and the junk food in the store and not the other way round. The good books should be by your comfortable chair and not in the library down the hall.

2. Activity

Alex Mathers writes that “Life is movement. Everything moves. Everything is in a constant state of flux. You must align with such constant change, to align with reality. If you don’t move, you are no longer real. And life will punish you for that. You will feel it.”

One form that punishment will take is having to rely on the motivation of others to do anything or be anything. How awful is that?

Once thinking has been done create an environment that allows for more doing.

For example, once you decide to save money, getting the money to your savings account should be automated. If you have to think about it, you create the opportunity not to act.

3. Tracking

Jerry Bruckner says in his book, The Success Formula that, “Once you know your goals you should measure your progress to achieve them. Seeing your favorable progress will serve as positive reinforcement to continue your hard work and seeing negative progress will alert you to something you should change to get you back on track.”

Knowing that you are on the right track, that you’re getting better, does wonders for your internal motivation.

Figure out how to measure your goal. Keep in mind that you are not measuring activity but progress. Not all action is forward and forward is the only action that counts in the pursuit of internal motivation.

For example, measuring how long you worked out is more beneficial than measuring the mere fact that you did work out. Of course, this measurement assumes that working out is a thing that you already do.  If it’s not, then measuring how many days you worked out is a better place to start.

3. Rewards

Humans are either moving towards pleasure or avoiding pain.

It’s tough to avoid pain when you set big, great and scary goals. Even if you have set the easiest of achievement processes. As you continue to challenge yourself it’s going to get hard. Real hard. You’re going to need to keep your eyes on a reward to keep going.

The habit of focusing on a reward releases dopamine. Psychology Today defines dopamine as a “neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards but to take action to move toward them.”

The reward you establish should not counter the efforts that went into achieving it. That only serves to set you back.

For example, don’t choose to reward yourself for saving money by buying something that empties out your savings account. Don’t reward yourself for achieving a particular weight loss number by gorging yourself on twice the amount of calories.

4. Celebration

Celebrate the small things that you’ve done. Celebrate the big things that you’ve done. Celebrate it all. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate,” says Oprah Winfrey.

The reason for your celebration was not accidental. You intentionally put yourself outside your comfort zone and kept pushing until what you wanted to happen, happened. This act of perseverance should be acknowledged and celebrated.

Celebrations feed the insides where internal motivation resides. Celebrations make you stop. That moment you stop to celebrate your success creates a moment of gratitude. Gratitude is that delightful gift that keeps on giving.

Celebrations are not required to be big, flashy or go on for days. In fact, it’s best if they are kept brief and to the point so they don’t hold you back.

The best time to beat a winner afterall is when they are celebrating.

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What Happens When you Turn Interest into Commitment

Every Friday morning I receive an email from the good folks at Medium telling me how I did the past week.

Today’s email was extra extra special.

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How Medium Said I Did It

According to Medium, the following stories helped me reach this great milestone.

How I Did It

I did what others tell you to do in the pursuit of becoming a better writer. That information is everywhere so I won’t repeat it. You can find it if you’re really interested.

I recently celebrated the 2-year anniversary of my WordPress blog www.excellencewithyouinmind.wordpress.com. That’s where I started writing for public consumption.

My friend Jose told me about Medium. I was hesitant to add anything to my plate as my personal blog was in its infancy. I eventually did join Medium and posted my first article on December 11, 2015. Nobody read it.

If you’re brave enough to read it now you’ll see why. I had no idea what I was doing. However, I was interested and I stuck with it.

Honestly, though, I didn’t stick to it too well. I let life interfere more often than I should have.

My turning point was when I listened to Awesomely Luvvie, fellow African fabulous sister and author of I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual when she said take the writing seriously.

I got my act together. Took the writing seriously and turned interest into commitment. The only way to do this is in my opinion, is to make a schedule and stick to it. So I did

In time the writing led to multiple freelancer writing gigs via Upwork (I learned about Upwork on Medium) and surprisingly, a social media management gig. Now this.

Denzel Washington was not lying when he said, hard work works.

If you think I’m bragging. I am. Only for a little bit though. I’m comforted in my extreme short-term bragging by the words of fellow inspiration top writer Todd Brison who says in this article titled 7 Life Formulas to Get You Moving that you should “… love the process. But love the rewards as well.”

I LOVE THIS REWARD !!!

Thank you to my WordPress blog readers/followers. You knew me when.

Thank you to Medium for creating a great writing platform and taking the time to recognize a writer’s efforts.

Thank you to Jose for introducing me to Medium.

Thank you to Awesomely Luvvie for the advice.

Thank you to all the readers who are familiar with my work and to those who shall discover it going forward.

To all future creators, I say simply. Once you find something that you’re interested in, commit to getting better. Make a schedule and stick to it. There is a place for you in this noisy world.

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How To Spot Amateur Hour

“Professionalism is a frame of mind, not a paycheck.” ~ Cecil Castle

Amateurs work from the outside in. They want to be noticed and therefore seek immediate gratification. Professionals work from the inside out. They want to influence and impact so they focus on building a legacy.

Amateurs are always hunting for motivation and inspiration to create action. Professionals are powered by their habits.

Amateurs are imbued with a permanent sense of haste. Professionals are masters of the long game.

Amateurs want to arrive so they practice as much as they have to. Professionals want to progress so they never stop practicing.

Amateurs focus on how good they are. Professionals are driven by how good they want to be and are always looking for a chance to get better.

Amateurs are ruled by the fear of failure and run from it at every chance. Professionals are empowered by failure and always choose to face it head on.

Amateurs live by default and major in minor things. Professionals are deliberate and intentional and never get caught up in the thick of thin things.

Amateurs put a clock on learning. Professionals are enrolled in lifelong learning.

Amateurs address the urgent. Professionals focus on the important.

Amateurs wait to have time and therefore let life set the pace and prioritize their schedule. Professionals make time are therefore ruthless with their time and schedule their priorities.

Amateurs have a casual relationship with the rules. Professionals have an intimate relationship with the rules. They know which rules to break and they know when and why to break them.

Amateurs opt to quit when the work gets hard. Professionals take a break when the going gets tough.

Amateurs know how to get things done. Professionals know why a thing should be done. How gets things done. Why gets the right things done.

Amateurs relive the past. Professionals move on for the know what got them here will not get them where they must go.

Amateurs act big to achieve small things. Professionals act small to achieve big things.

Amateurs act from a state of convenience. Professionals show up each and every time. Whether it’s convenient or not.

Amateurs underestimate the power of rest. Professionals acknowledge that without rest they are shortchanging themselves so they schedule it.

Amateurs have a plan for when things go right and are running smoothly. Professionals have a plan for when things go wrong.

Amateurs get ready. Professionals stay ready.

Professionalism is a state of mind. It does not require a title, a suit or a tie. It has less to do with how you behave in front of an audience of many and more to do with your performance in front of an audience of one – yourself.

 

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