Procrastination is Not the Challenge You Need to Conquer

“Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Today is the first day of the ninth month of the year. The year has four months to go before it ends. Sometime in January, you made a list. A list of goals. Resolutions. Things you wanted to get done by year’s end.

Forbes contributor Dan Diamond, says in this article that only “8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.” Take a moment to look at your list. Are you in the 8% or in the 92%? What has gotten done? Something? Nothing? Why has nothing been done?

You’re going to say procrastination. That’s not it.

Procrastination would be a mute point if 1 million dollars was attached to the accomplishment of each of your goals. Procrastination is not what stops us from getting things done. That responsibility lies solely in the hands of interest. The lack of it to be specific.

Growth always rattles your comfort zone. Its response is resistance. It works in tandem with your mind to find any reason not to change the status quo. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. They looked at me funny. I just can’t today. Etc., etc., etc.

Steven Pressfield says Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.” Believe him. Give in to resistance and your comfort zone wins. A win for your comfort zone is a loss for you. For your growth and personal development. Growth is the only way to guarantee that the future will be better.

Your only weapon available to combat that resistance is authentic interest. Interest, not only in accomplishing the goal but in the journey leading up to it.

Authentic interest is a small act with a mighty reach. It is its own motivating force. It can keep you up at night or jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn.

Think back to a vacation you were truly interested in taking. Chances are, you could barely sleep the night before the trip. Even if all the packing was done.

When I started writing I would forget to go to sleep. Eventually, I had to set a ‘go to bed’ alarm. That interest is now generating revenue.

Pair interest with discipline and commitment and it compounds. As Jeff Olson says, “The truth is, what you do matters. What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.” 

Disinterest delays the power of compounding.

Lack of interest is a powerful driver. For example, if you’re not interested in what a new day holds, you’ll keep hitting the snooze button. You’ll stay up late doing nothing of substance.

If you’re not interested in meeting a friend, punctuality goes out the window. Punctuality is a sign of respect. The lack of it shows disrespect but also that your interest lies elsewhere.

Interest is not passion. Interest is what you start with. Passion is what you end up with. It’s the reward for starting with interest and showing up on the hardest days.

Go back to your list. Look at your unaccomplished goals. Whose interest are they reflecting? Without a doubt, they are not reflecting yours.

Rethink your unaccomplished goals. Replace them with goals that reflect your interests. Not sure of your interests. Let action show you. Learn your interest by doing. Do things. Do more things. Don’t just acquire knowledge. Get your hands dirty. Interest like purpose is discovered not created.

There are four months left in the year. That should not give you pause. “One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Make it a great month.

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How Writing Every Day Reminded Me of The Power of Choice

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” ~William Jennings Bryan

Some time back I got together with some of the ladies I went to high school with. It was an informal reunion of sorts. As with all these types of events, the time soon came to share what we were currently occupying our time with.

When my turn came I mentioned a whole slew of stuff but I never mentioned the writing. I choose to blame the imposter syndrome for that.

One of the ladies, a consistent reader of my writing, filled the group in. She mentioned that I write. Not only that but that I write well. (I give many thanks for my friends who read what I write.)

“Before others will believe what is true about you, you’ll have to first believe it yourself.” ~ Jeff Goins, You Are A Writer

I write. I am a writer. I’ve been writing now for almost two years. It’s been a fantastic experience and a period of personal growth. I’ve achieved a number of self-identified and unexpected milestones on this journey.

One unexpected yet much welcome side effect of writing that I’m enjoying is a growing sense of consciousness with regards to the power of choice and how it informs my reality.

“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” ~ Maya Angelou

Reading makes better writers. In the course of my reading, I came across a quote by Maya Angelou that says, “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”

To get to the heart requires being more conscientious with the selection of the words you choose to inform on the topic you have selected. Failing to do this in my book, is to add to the noise that already exists.

Writers tend to write how they speak. As I become more conscious of the words I chose in my writing, I noticed something else happening.

I was growing more and more conscious of the words that I allowed to occupy my mind and those that I chose to utter when I spoke. Subsequently also becoming more conscious of the reality I was trying to create.

A small snippet of this process.

Narrative Version 1

  • When I’m feeling sad I reach for a slice of chocolate cake and a vanilla milkshake. 
  • When I’m feeling scared, I don’t talk to my support system to engage in fear-setting. Instead, I retreat to the not so silent corners of my mind. 
  • When fear takes hold, I find every excuse under the sun why something won’t work. 
  • When I get angry, my words hit below the belt.

Since I started writing, the above narrative has changed to

Narrative Version 2

  • When I’m feeling sad I choose to reach for a slice of chocolate cake and a vanilla milkshake. 
  • When I’m feeling scared, I choose not to talk to my support system to engage in fear-setting. Instead, I choose to retreat to the not so silent corners of my mind.
  • When fear takes hold, I choose to find every excuse under the sun why something won’t work.
  • When I choose to get angry, I choose words that hit below the belt.

This might seem like an inconsequential change but let me challenge you to do the same.

You will begin to notice like I did, that you have more control over your reality than you want to admit. You will begin to pay more attention to the fact that the good in your life is happening because you are choosing it and that you’re not simply missing things but in fact, choosing to miss them.

In my case, I began to notice that there’s only so many times you can keep reaching for a slice of chocolate cake and a vanilla milkshake to deal with the hurt before you realize that either there is too much hurt or that you’ve begun to tip the scales and you need a healthier coping method.

Or that there’s only so many times you can keep finding excuses to explain your fears before you realize that you’re beginning to get further and further away from the things you desire to have.

Your Circle of Influence

Steven R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, introduces its readers to the concept of the circle of influence under the first habit — Be proactive.

It identifies the circle of influence as the area of our lives that present problems, challenges, and opportunities that we have control over to solve, rise to and take advantage of.

Your language, the words you choose to use, fall squarely in your circle of influence.

Life happens in spite of you. Tomorrow, if you refuse to wake up even though you can. If you refuse to open your eyes. If you refuse to have a single thought cross your mind, life will not wait for you to catch up to it. It will continue along on its merry little way.

What Reality are You Creating?

When thinking about the title of this post I initially wanted to use the word taught instead of reminded. Walking back through my memories though, I realized that I know the power of choice. I’ve exercised it myself from time to time.

There was the time that my heart got broken and sadness was all I knew. I could have chosen to grab a slice of chocolate cake and a vanilla milkshake but instead, I chose an alternate course of action. I saw the sadness and its insatiable consumption of my happier self, a self I much prefer and I chose a different reality.

When the heartbreak tears would announce themselves in the corners of my eyes, I would grab my sneakers and go for a run. I was not much of a runner then and I’m still not. I did, however, love how it made me feel. That choice allowed me to heal and as a bonus, I got to add half-marathoner to my proud list of accomplishments.

Life is the sum total of the choices we make. Whether we’re conscious of those choices or not.

We’re putting too much off for the future. Too much stock in what we will do when we get there. We’re forgetting that the present is all that is available to us. That, the future you want to arrive at can only be built today. In today’s choices.

Your life is never just happening to you, it’s simply following your lead. Your life also does not happen for you unless you’re intentional with your choices.

Actions will forever speak louder than words. Those actions are informed by your choices. In your choices lies your character.

Who do you choose to be? What reality do you choose to bring to life?

“And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life. If you don’t like how things are, change it! 

You’re not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life-and it all begins with your very own power of choice.”  ~ Jim Rohn

Thanks for choosing to read this post. If this post resonates with you be sure to click the like button below. Do share this post so that others may be reminded of the power of their choices.

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3 Powerful Mindsets to Start each Day With

Since mornings cannot start at 10:00 am for the general majority here are three powerful mindsets to adopt that will have you channeling your inner Tom Cruise (when he was jumping on the couch) and have you raring to start your day.

1. Say Yes to Each Day

There are seven days in a week. Two of those days are greeted like bearers of the week’s winning lotto numbers. The rest are merely tolerated as placeholders for the preferred two. If this is your approach, you’ve signed up for the short end of an even shorter stick.

The power of yes is undeniable. Starting with “yes” energizes. It puts you in a position to seize opportunities as they arise and to stretch yourself and grow your grit.

Tomorrow when your alarm goes off, reach for it with thanks for waking you up. When the rising sun struggles to curl past your curtains, throw them back and welcome it in. When the first notes of the early bird’s call begin to rise, delight in its melody.

Life and luck favor the bold. Seize every moment. Seize every day. Say yes to each day.

2. Restate your Goals

The thoughts that you express through your words shape your life. Your brain is processing between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. Words and thoughts that are repeated often get stronger with each repetition. They sink into the subconscious mind and affect the behavior, actions and reactions of the person involved.

Restate your goals and the why behind them every day and you will ensure that your actions stay congruent to the actions required for their achievement.

3. Reset your Expectations about Others

People aren’t perfect, so you shouldn’t expect them to act perfectly says Patrik Edblad

Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius recommends that “when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”

If that sounds too harsh then the Ernio Hernandez approach might be more your style. “Treat every person like they are having the worst day. Treat yourself like you are having the best day.”

Or you may want to try what Joe Rogan suggests “Treat everyone as if they are you, living in another body.”

“If you want your life to change, your choices must change, and today is your best opportunity to begin!” ~ Author Unknown

. . .

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How this One Piece of Mama’s Advice can Change Your Life when Applied Fully

Remember when Mama said, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

You listened and you’ve done Mama proud.

You’ve minded your p’s and q’s. Dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s. You’ve chosen words that have killed with kindness. You’ve been polite to a fault. And when you’ve struggled with something nice to say, you’ve said nothing.

There is however, one important point that I must draw your attention to. You forgot that mama’s sage advice also applies to the things you tell yourself. To the inner chatter. The ever present self-talk. Which if we are being totally honest, could do with an overhaul.

Communication in a relationship is extremely important because it dictates whether a relationship flourishes or flounders. No relationship in the world is more important than the one you have with yourself.

You are always talking to yourself. Sending yourself little messages throughout your day. If you could replace yourself with your best friend or a cherished loved one, would the words that comprise the body of your message build or break that relationship?

How you talk to yourself affects how you feel and act and this invariably affects the quality of your life.

“You become the architect and creator of the emotions you later experience through self-talk. Emotions do not come as the result of an observation or an experience but rather as the result of the things we say to ourselves about those situations. Thus, two people can have the same experience or observe the same event and come away with very different emotions.” ~ Marilyn Sorensen, Ph.D

Not only do you have to watch the words you use in conversation with yourself, but also the words you attach to your experiences because as Tony Robbins said, “the words that we attach to our experience become our experience.”

You are a creature of habit. Your habits help you get through your day. If every activity you encountered had to be faced anew, nothing would get done. It is for this reason that even though the English language contains some 500,000 words, the average person’s working vocabulary consists of only about 2,000 words.

Those 2,000 words form your habitual vocabulary. And out of your habitual vocabulary, you describe the various experiences you encounter using the same words. Over and over again. Unconsciously. Disregarding the experience’s intensity or lack thereof.

If the words you have attached to an encountered problem are daunting in nature like devastating or impossible then the solutions you are looking for must be equally so. Nobody is equipped to come up with those kinds of the solutions on a regular basis.

On the other hand, if the words you have attached to the problem convey hope and possibility like temporary inconvenience or minor hiccup, then mentally, a solution will always be within arms reach

Mastering your words and becoming cognizant of whether they are ‘useful’ or ‘not useful,’ ‘habitual’ or ‘transformational’ is crucial for your success.

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Kathryn Stockett and your Mama said so. You are not a punching bag. For others or yourself. You deserve to hear words steeped in kindness from the outside and from the inside. And since you have no control over the external, you must take charge of the internal.

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Find Your Lighthouse so You can Ignore the Sea

Life has its Lighthouse, in each fleeting stage,
In youth, in manhood, and in hoary age…
In age illum’d with philosophic flame,
From Reason’s Lighthouse still we steer the same;
Calm and serene our vessels onward glide,
And share the comforts of a middle tide;
Till, the last squall by fate’s own edict blown,
Death wrecks our vessels on a coast unknown.

~John William Smith~

The Lighthouse

A lighthouse. A tower. Always placed up high. In an important or dangerous place. Always equipped with a light that shines brightly. Its main purpose. Navigational assistance. The lighthouse is the traffic sign of the sea.

In life, when we get lost it’s not the lack of knowledge of where we are that presents the challenge but a loss of sight of where one was going and ultimately one’s loss of their sense of purpose, that opens the door for despair. For when we always have sight of our purpose, we know our current situation is only temporary.

As much as we try, and superficially succeed, to cast blame upon our circumstances, our decisions have gotten as to where we are or don’t want to be. Driving every action is a decision powered by an acknowledged or unacknowledged purpose.

Your purpose is your traffic sign on the high seas of life. Your ‘why’ guiding you forward. When you get lost, find yourself off track, your purpose brings you home. Your purpose is what allows you to say, I AM NOT LOST.

The Lighthouse Keeper

“Never judge a man’s actions until you know his motives.” ~Unknown

Your purpose is your lighthouse. You are the lighthouse keeper. You are the person responsible for tending and caring for your lighthouse.

You are the person responsible for ensuring that your lighthouse can propel you past exhaustion. Inspire you from the depths of despair. Give you a reason that keeps doubt a spectator and not an active participant.

You are the person responsible, for when your sea of dreams start to multiple and conflict, to provide signage that will give you clarity and guide you to the dream you must focus on now and the one that you must allow to wait or kick to the curb.

You are the person who must craft a lighthouse that keeps you focused on great and not distracted or settled by good.

You are the person that must ensure that your lighthouse keeps your feet firmly planted in the present while your mind grinds away on creating your future. Whose lighthouse must allow for the organization of thought around that which is unknown with the sole aim of making it no longer so.

When you delegate the responsibility of tending and caring for your lighthouse. You get lost more often than you should and stay lost longer than is beneficial. You lose momentum and flow. You end up at destinations that will always be unrecognizable. That bring you zero comfort.

How You Find Your Lighthouse

“He who has a why can endure any how.” ~Frederick Nietzsche

Mark Manson, NYTimes bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck offers this advice.

“Discovering what you’re passionate about in life and what matters to you is a full-contact sport, a trial-and-error process. None of us know exactly how we feel about an activity until we actually do the activity.

So ask yourself, if someone put a gun to your head and forced you to leave your house every day for everything except for sleep, how would you choose to occupy yourself? And no, you can’t just go sit in a coffee shop and browse Facebook. You probably already do that. Let’s pretend there are no useless websites, no video games, no TV. You have to be outside of the house all day every day until it’s time to go to bed — where would you go and what would you do?”

Others may be counting on you but even more important. You are counting on YOU. When you’re powered by a clear purpose, there is little you cannot do. When you’re powered by a clear purpose, you can ignore the sea.

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I know You Are but What/Who Am I

Strategy. A plan. A tool of action. Designed to set the groundwork for the achievement of a desired goal.

Is strategy why winners win and losers lose? Is a great strategy all that has been standing in the way of you making a dent in the win column?

Benjamin Hardy, in this post, says our work is a reflection of us. He adds that, if one is not getting the results that they’re looking for, they should stop looking for better strategies and instead, look inside.

This makes perfect sense when you become aware that in the pursuit of that which you desire, you are the common denominator.

The pressure to act. To strike while the proverbial iron is hot, is voracious in its pursuit of us. Causing us to deem worthless the pursuit of self-awareness.

The painful result. We begin to act against our true nature. We become out of sync with how we speak, think and feel. This is critical for how we speak, think and feel influences how we act. Our actions determine our rewards.

Too often, we do things for the wrong reasons then prostrate ourselves at the altar of strategy in hope that it will be our saving grace.

You can adopt every lifehack and productivity tip that has been unearthed. You can absorb every self-help book, post or thought out there. You can mimic the strategies of all of life’s greatest achievers. It will all amount to waste if you lack the requisite knowledge of self.

The work, therefore, must be done to answer the question – Who Am I.

“As long as our habit patterns are hidden backstage, they will remain unchanged. As soon as we bring them up onto the stage of our mind and shine the spotlight of awareness on them, they will inevitably change.”~ Jan Chozen Bays

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Two Four Letter Words You Need To Differentiate

What are you plagued by? I can’t or I won’t.

I can’t get out of bed or I won’t get out of bed.

I can’t walk a mile or I won’t walk a mile.

I can’t win this race or I won’t win this race.

There is a difference.

“I can’t” stems from a lack of skill. An expression of inability, incapacity, or impossibility.

“I won’t” stems from a lack of will. A deliberate choice not to act.

“I can’t” is rooted in helplessness.

“I won’t” is rooted in responsibility.

Non-achievers use the word “can’tto make excuses. Especially when what we have to face is courting our fears, rattling or comfort zone or calling for a sacrifice that we are unwilling to endure.

Achievers use the word “can’t as a signal that a skill gap exists. The gap is an obstacle in their path that must be bridged.

With every “I can’t” we sell ourselves short. We create a habit of negative thinking and failure. Straddling ourselves with “I can’t” ensures that our success will be doomed before it gets a chance to start.

The words you choose can determine your success. Be conscious of the one’s you chose.

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Sleep is Important to Usain Bolt and It should be to You Too

Usain Bolt is considered the greatest sprinter of all time. When asked what he considers to be the most important part of his daily training regime he responded with – Sleep.

He said, “Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.” 

Bolt sleeps for 8 to 10 hours per night and he is not alone. Roger Federer gets 11 to 12 hours sleep per night. Lebron James gets 12 hours of sleep per night.

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Good quality sleep has been shown to improve heart function and help with hormonal maintenance and cell repair, as well as boosting memory and improving cognitive function.

Despite various studies concluding that adequate sleep like adequate nutrition and physical activity, is vital to our well-being, society continues to view sleep as a luxury. Sleep deprivation as a badge of honor.

Don’t believe the hype. “Forgoing sleep is like borrowing from a loan shark.” says David H. Hansson author of Rework“Sure you get those extra hours right now to cover for your overly-optimistic estimation, he says, but at what price? The shark will be back, and if you can’t pay, he’ll break your creativity, morale, and good-mannered nature as virtue twigs.”

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The pursuit of success, however you define success, is rarely a sprint. You need to be in it for the long haul. Like a marathon. Sleep plays a key role in that marathon.

With sleep, quality is as important as quantity. To increase your sleep quality start by ensuring that your bedroom is designed for sleep.

A bedroom designed for sleep is a bedroom room without distractions from light, noise and stress. Sleeping gives your body a chance to process everything that happened during the day, repair itself and reset for the next. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary that allows this important work to happen undisturbed.

Here’s a handy infographic that can help you do just that.

chart

 

Find more science-backed tips here.

If Bolt, Federer and James can make time for sleep then so can you. You may not be vying for a G.O.A.T title but your goals are just as important. Stop sacrificing sleep at the altar of activity. Get some sleep. Get enough sleep. Get enough quality sleep as your body needs and demands.

 

Your Brain Has a Negativity Bias

A study of negativity bias in the English language has found that there are more negative emotional words (62 percent) than positive words (32 percent) in the English dictionary.

Have you ever been kissed by a giraffe? Had your hair dyed a nice shade of red by orphaned elephants playing in red soil? Been involved in a Water buffalo stand-off? Had a dip in a geothermal spa? Me neither. Until last week that is.

Last week I got to play hostess and tourist. I got to see my country through the eyes of a friend who was visiting it for the first time. I am not one given to the comforts of complaining but it’s not always a battle I win.

Any place one chooses to reside in can produce much to complain about but it can also give you much to be proud of and much to fall in love with. Repeatedly. I tend to forget this and in an effort to understand why I learned that my brain (and yours too) has a negativity bias.

Negativity bias is the name given by psychologists to the human tendency to be much more likely to be influenced by and to recall negative experiences, instead of neutral or positive experiences. It was first documented by psychologists Roy F. Baumister, Ellen Bratslavsky, Kathleen Vohs, and Catrin Finkenauer in an article titled “Bad is Stronger than Good”.

The Science

Studies conducted by John Cacioppo Ph.D., then at Ohio State University, now at the University of Chicago showed that our attitudes are more heavily influenced by bad news than good news.

The study involved showing people three types of images.

  • Images known to arouse positive feelings (say, a Ferrari, or a pizza).
  • Images certain to stir up negative feelings (a mutilated face or dead cat).
  • Images known to produce neutral feelings (a plate, a hair dryer).

As these images were being reviewed, Cacioppo and his colleagues recorded electrical activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex that reflects the magnitude of information processing taking place. Their findings revealed a greater surge in the brain’s electrical activity when viewing stimuli it deemed negative.

Before you threaten your brain please know that its tendency towards the negative is a result of evolution geared towards our survival more than anything else. It’s what helped our ancestors to stay alive.

Dr. Rick Hansen, in his book “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence,” describes our ancestors as living in a world of carrots and sticks. Carrots being rewards (food, sex, shelter) and sticks being punishment (predators, disease, injury). He writes that “Over hundreds of millions of years, it was a matter of life and death to pay extra attention to sticks, react to them intensely, remember them well, and over time become even more sensitive to them.”

Left unchecked, the negativity bias can become a serious impediment to our productivity, happiness and quality of life. Here are some strategies to keep it at bay.

1. Dr. Rick Hanson recommends that we should always be mindful of the degree to which our brain is wired to make us afraid. He also encourages building an awareness of the forces around us that beat the “drum of alarm.”  When you know the immense power of negativity, you’ll be less likely to invite it into your environment. This goes for things as well as people. He cautions though against donning rose colored glasses or sticking one’s head in the sand.

2. Make it a point to take a moment to savor positive experiences. No matter how small. By doing so you engage fully in the experience and are conscious and mindful of its every detail. This will help you create an area of refuge” a strategy recommended below.

3. Gretchen Rubin—owner of “The Happiness Project”–recommends that you create an “area of refuge” in your brain. A place you can think of whenever you find your mind wandering to a negative memory. That “area of refuge” can be made up of good memories, inspiring quotes, or lines from poems etc.

4. Keep a gratitude journal. By focusing on the good you’ll gradually be rewiring your brain for happiness. Robert Emmons, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis, and a leading expert in positive psychology offers several tips on keeping a gratitude journal. Some tips include focusing on people rather than things. Savoring surprise events. And writing in your journal only once or twice per week, but writing with depth.

5. Practice realistic optimism. This tip comes from Tony Schwartz, chief executive officer of The Energy Project. He recommends telling yourself the most hopeful and empowering story possible about any given circumstance without denying or minimizing the facts.

“The more you’re able to move your attention to what makes you feel good, the more capacity you’ll have to manage whatever was making you feel bad in the first place.” ~ Tony Schwartz

The brain’s negativity bias is powerful and fighting it will take time. But it will be well worth the effort.

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Low Hanging Fruit

“We are kept from our goals not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” ~Robert Brault

You’ve heard this many times. In your professional and personal life. Enough times for it to appear attractive and goal-worthy. Go for the low hanging fruit. The easy win.

And like a good life soldier, you rush to ‘get it done.’ Unclear on what the ‘it’ is that you are zealously in pursuit of, but laser-focused on achieving. Fearfully opting for the path of least resistance. Unknowingly, selecting a clear path to a lesser goal.

Lesser goals will not make you great by any stretch of the imagination. As Marianne Williamson said, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Thomas A. Edison said that “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  Fred DeVito said,  “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”  How many opportunities to achieve what you truly want have you missed? How many challenges that would transform your life for the better have you shied away from, all in pursuit of low hanging fruit?

You’re not winning because you don’t have the talent or the time. You’re not winning because you don’t have a great idea or the right connections. You’re not winning because you don’t have the right formal educational background or drive the ‘right’ car or wear the ‘right’ clothes.

You’re not winning because you want easy, uncomplicated and unchallenging. Something that winning will never be.

You’re not winning because you’re not using every challenge as an opportunity to stretch yourself and become better than who you were the day prior.

You’re not winning because you’re choosing to spend the limited amount of energy and time availed to you on the path of least resistance. A path that inevitably compromises efficiency and excellence.

You’re not winning because you fear what will be demanded of you and that you are ill-equipped to even begin. Consistently forgetting that the greatest and most successful among us all started ill-equipped with less time, money and even talent.

Quality takes more time than less to create and results rarely come without effort. Building great things is hard. Building great things that are unforgettable is even harder and there are no shortcuts along the way.

It’s time to see beyond the low hanging fruit. To recognize that you are going struggle, but in that struggle, you will find your way.  That it’s going to be unquestionably uncomfortable, but in learning to be comfortable with the discomfort you will find a way to stay in the race until what needs to be done gets done.

It’s time to stop following the herd who are fighting for the low hanging fruit and aim for the fruit that sits higher up in the branches. There is less competition for it but it comes with greater rewards that few will be able to take from you. And is this not the point – to fight for it, get it and keep it?

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