“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill
It’s a new year, and we’re naturally focused on what we might do differently or better than last year. Those well-meaning new year resolutions to exercise more, give up smoking, and all manner of ‘should dos’ get attention for maybe a couple of months before they fall by the wayside; even if we’re super determined. Life has a way of testing us to the limit!
To me, the term ‘resolutions’ sets us up for failure before we’ve even begun. It sounds too much like iron clad will-power is required. There’s no fun or adventure and excitement in it. It sort of implies that we’ll need to be as serious as the United Nations are when they publish a Security Council statement of will.
Some lofty intention that we don’t really believe is attainable, eating away at our motivation for sustained action. We certainly do need intention and resolve to achieve our goals and dreams, but that alone won’t propel us to the heights of achievement.
In this and the next post I hope to break down the components of how to turn a few ideas on your 2015 resolutions list into a way of life: a step by step approach to create habits so ingrained that it wouldn’t occur to you not to behave in a way that takes you closer to your desired outcomes; so that when 2016 rolls around you can knock back the champagne knowing you did everything in your power to live the life of your dreams.
Every year is a stepping stone toward manifesting the full potential of your life.
It’s an ambitious task I know, but I wanted my first post of 2015 to be as meaningful as possible…
Perhaps we should start with questions.
Why create something?
For some it’s the joy of creating, but at the end of the day, we all need to survive. We all want stuff. That’s okay. For others, the challenge is the key. If you set yourself a challenge that’s just far enough away to motivate and stretch you, just a little more than you thought you could do, but not so far away that it’s frustrating and seemingly impossible, who knows what your life could look like in the process of striving for that goal. The point is it has to be important and meaningful to you.
The dictionary definition of success is: the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
Napoleon Hill studied the most successful people in America over a period of twenty years, and at the suggestion of billionaire businessman Andrew Carnegie, he distilled this collective knowledge in his 1937 best-selling book: Think and Grow Rich.
In it, he lists the 12 Great Riches of Life:
- PMA – Positive Mental Attitude
- Sound physical health
- Harmony in human relationships
- Freedom from fear
- Hope of achievement, e.g. setting yourself challenges, which gives you a zest for life
- Capacity for faith
- Sharing your blessings with others
- Having a labour of love
- Have an open mind on all subjects
- Understand people
- Financial security
Napoleon Hill’s words of wisdom from the great man himself:
Do you know what you want?
Some of us have been told as children that we shouldn’t want anything, and in other cases these decisions were made for us. Some of us may have decided that what we want is not possible anyway. Just deciding this one thing could be the most important step you ever take.
It’s important to have that key ingredient of awareness, and ask: what are my beliefs around what I want? Beliefs are self-fulfilling prophecies that can either help us or hinder us in our quest.
The next thing to decide is the price. What are you willing to do, or to give of yourself to achieve your goals? The price must be paid in full (even though it’s January there’s no discounting allowed, sorry!)
Six Step Formula:
- Know where you are – this is taking stock of your situation. What do I know or not know? What resources are available to me?
- Know where you want to be, and be very specific.
- Take action. Doing something will lead to learning and to further actions. You may not know every action you should take, but an elephant isn’t eaten whole (if you excuse the example), just act the best way you can.
- Evaluate the action. What worked? How can I tweak it?
- Refine the action. Continue to act, evaluate and you will attract the people and situations that will help you.
I must away…until part 2.
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. ~ Napoleon Hill