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If you’re like most people (me included), when you get a great idea motivation runs high and you can’t wait to get started.  But then after a while, whether do to a hectic home life, work responsibilities, travel, etc. you wonder how will I ever make enough time to focus on this new thing.  It takes a lot of focused effort and resources to get a business off the ground. I’m constantly thinking about how to better organize my days, weeks, and months, to move things forward. Because after all, the goal is to generate income from this thing I like to do.  People often tease me because I’m very organized and love putting processes into place so that I don’t have to stop and think about what to do next in the course of my day. If I stopped to think about working out or going for a run, I’ll talk myself out of it every time.  But, when I tell myself first thing in the morning, here is what you are going to do today, a, b, and c, I’ll get it done.  For building and running my business, I keep an annual calendar broken out by quarter and month, listing all tasks I need to get done, and the deadlines by which they need to be completed. What does this do? It allows me to ‘not think’.  That sounds odd, but it’s true.  When I’ve downloaded these things on paper in advance, all have to do is execute according to the plan.  There is less clutter in my head. If you want to keep going when motivation begins to wane, put processes into place to keep you on track and moving towards your goal.

I recently heard a great Farnam Street podcast interview with Ed Latimore titled, The Secret to a Happy Life.  Ed touches on this exact topic.  He is a professional heavyweight boxer and physics major.  He talks about boxing, tough love, entropy, the worst that can happen, coaching, relationships, and a lot more.  I encourage you to take a listen.

Ed Latimore on The Secret to a Happy Life


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Charlie Munger, Vice-Chair of Berkshire Hathaway and business partner to Warren Buffet, suggests identifying one’s own aptitudes is a key driver of success.

“You have to figure out what your own aptitudes are. If you play games where other people have the aptitudes and you don’t, you’re going to lose. And that’s as close to certain as any prediction that you can make. You have to figure out where you’ve got an edge. And you’ve got to play within your own circle of competence.”

I love watching surfers.  Not only are they incredibly physically fit and strong, they have amazing courage to get out there in treacherous waters, with things that are much bigger than they are lurking beneath the surface.  Each time they go out, they challenge themselves to overcome the unknown.  Even when they get knocked down and endure great setbacks, they muster a rebound to get back on the board and back in the game to take life head on.

Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton lost an arm to a shark doing what she loves.  After that attack, she never gave up.  “My passion for surfing was greater than my fear of sharks” – Bethany Hamilton.  Bethany Hamilton.com

Her story is an inspiration no matter what you do for a living.  What is it that you need to overcome?  What is your shark?

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Run like others or be different?

One day a hare met a tortoise. The hare said to the tortoise, “Why do you move so slowly? Why don’t you try to run like other animals?” Thus, the hare laughed at the tortoise for his slow pace.

The tortoise said, “I know that I cannot run. But I can beat you in a race.”

“Then come, let us run a race at once,” said the hare.

The race began. The hare ran very swiftly for some time. Then he stopped and looked back. He saw that the tortoise was far behind. So he said, “Now I can take rest. Let the tortoise come here and then I shall run again.”

So the hare sat under a tree to take rest. But soon he fell asleep.

The tortoise went on slowly but steadily. He did not stop for a moment.

Suddenly the hare woke up. He saw the tortoise very near the goal. He ran as fast as he could. But alas! The tortoise had already reached the goal.

From the book, The Tortoise and the Hare, an Aesops Fable story.

Slow and steady wins the race every time, in every area of our lives.

Slow and Steady

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Failures in life are described in surfing terms as wipeouts.  You catch your wave, you’re cruising along, feeling confident, and things seem to be going well. Then something happens. An issue comes up with a family member, something happens at work, or you made a decision that didn’t work out the way you had planned. Often times when this happens the word failure (wipeout) comes to mind. We all have failures of some sort or another throughout our lives. If we don’t learn from them, there is a good chance we’ll repeat them. It’s natural to beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. But instead of beating ourselves up, what if we looked at them as a new skill.  Successful people will tell you they’ve failed many times. The difference is they view failures as lessons they’ve learned which helped propel them forward.

Famous surfer, Laird Hamilton, puts it best this way, “Wiping out is an under appreciated skill.”
Wipeout

Map your course, not theirs.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires…courage.”   –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Your network, is your net worth.  I head this phrase recently from Bob Beaudine, author of The Power of Who, and it stuck with me.  I have a finance background and was taught the math way to measure the net worth of a person. You take their total assets (home, vehicles, valuable belongings) and subtract their total liabilities (home mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, school loans, any other loans). The higher the assets than the liabilities, the higher the net worth. That is the way to measure a person’s financial net worth. However, there is another net worth too.

When I find a particularly interesting and successful person, I like to research their background.  I’m curious as to how they got to be where they are.  How much time did they put in to hone their skill and craft?  Who helped them along the way? Did they come from a healthy family upbringing, or a troubled one? What I’ve noticed is regardless as to how they were brought up, they have surrounded themselves with a lot of high energy, talented, positive people. They collaborate with these people on a regular and consistent basis and over time they’ve built trust and good friendships – a solid network.  You could say they’ve achieved a high net worth because of their network. I’m now putting more effort into building my network of trusted friends and am excited to see where it takes me. How about you?  What is your net worth?

network-is-networth

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Author Elbert Hubbard once said, “Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal.”  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.”

When I was in ‘the lab’ back in November working on choosing specific words to be the foundation of my Vision Quest 2017, I realized something new.  Instead of just writing down goals for the six areas of my life, I also needed to write down principles that I would live by, while working towards the goals. The before structure was made up of a specific main goal, followed by points of tactical action steps to get me to the goal. This year I decided to consider those tactical steps as principles to live by, rather than tactical action steps.  With the new structure, I’m incorporating those former action steps as a part of my daily, weekly, and monthly lifestyle. And not just doing them when there is a particular goal to reach.  Once I reach the goal, I want to maintain that goal, not stop doing what I was doing to reach the goal, so I need to be sure to make the activities are part of a lifestyle, not temporary.  I think this is why so many people fail at weight loss programs. Once they reach that magical number on the scale, they go back to doing what they did before.  Below is an example of goals and principles in the financial category of life. 

principles

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Art by Christine (Parrish) Barker. © Christine Barker. All rights reserved.

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© Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision 2017. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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