Daily Archives: October 4, 2014

9 Steps to Achieving Your Goals. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation.




Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion.


It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail.


The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

9 Steps to Achieving Your Goals


1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there.


Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.


2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.


4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation.

But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.


5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.


6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking… well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t.


Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.


8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.


9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on.

Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.


Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is the author of the new book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals.


By Heidi Grant Halvorson

Source: Harvard Business Review



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Posted by on October 4, 2014 in WISDOM


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The moment you make a choice it becomes your “truth”.




Every thought you think implies a perspective that you hold about something or someone. Every perspective you have reveals your limitations and ultimately cannot be true. The endless possibilities available to you are frozen the moment you form a perception on anything. The moment you make a choice it becomes your “truth”. The vastness of the universe cannot be comprehended by your ego driven outer self. All the ego mind is capable of is to show you snippets of the vast endless sea of potential and possibility. It is only your perfect self that is one with everything that can experience the timelessness of the whole. Time is a creation of your ego driven outer self. Your false ego based outer self can only operate in the past or speculate about the future. It needs time because its life span is so limited while the spiritual force at your core is timeless and remains forever. Remember then that no thought you think or perspective that you form should be viewed as the ultimate reality or truth.




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The Truth About Slavery: Past, Present and Future.




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Today, navigating which emotions men are supposed to express when can be rather confusing.




Men have always been expected to be strong and staid. Men were expected to be reserved and contemplative when calm, yet strong and capable when pushed too far. Then came the late ’60s and second-wave feminism. With women gaining equality in the workplace, the bedroom and society in general, gender borders began to erode at an alarming rate. Men were now expected to wear their emotions on their sleeves — or so was the stated opinion of women.

While women may say they want raw emotion, the truth, as is the case in so many circumstances, is that they don’t really know what they want. Believe us, no woman really wants to see you cry. Today, navigating which emotions men are supposed to express when can be rather confusing. The Emo-meter rating, measured on a scale of 0 (for never) to 5 (for frequent), lets men know when, if ever, they should really emote around women. Learn to control your emotions with the dating tips below.




While there is nothing to fear but fear itself, showing any amount of fear around women will prove disastrous unless you can really control your emotions. For all their claims about sensitive men, women still want to feel protected. Women still want you to kill those spiders and protect them on darkened streets, and your girlfriend doesn’t want you to cower behind her while she squishes the evil bug. Showing fear in a girly, unnecessary way is unacceptable, while referencing a personal fear that you’ve managed to overcome shows robust courage and self-control.

Emo-meter rating: 1




Women will state over and over again that they hate it when their men are jealous. While this is her official line, try letting her go out with her male friends without so much as an ounce of jealousy. When she gets back from this platonic meeting, you’ll be getting the cold shoulder. Even if you’re confident in yourself and know that this other guy isn’t a threat, she expects you to exert at least a little consternation over this type of meeting. So, while you need to control your emotions, she also wants to know you still cherish her and can control your jealousy. There’s no quicker way to do that than to show a little concern that you may in fact lose her.

Emo-meter rating: 2




There are few emotions more tied up with passion than anger. As such, women will want you, from time to time, to get angry. Lack of anger and lack of passion tell women that you are apathetic about certain aspects of your life. No matter what those aspects are, she’ll make the leap that you are apathetic toward your relationship, which is not the kind of control you want to have over your emotions. Of course, the anger expressed, even though it is vital to the health of the relationship, will need to be directed outward and never at her. Make sure that the target actually deserves the wrath, as unleashing anger on a cashier who shortchanged you comes off as petty and just isn’t the right way to control your emotions.




Affection is a context-specific tightrope men must walk. Using affection, an almost universally positive emotion, equally in all circumstances will net any man an irritated woman. Women want you to be affectionate, but as much as they love affection, they tend to prefer you play down the public displays of affection (PDAs). PDAs have a tendency to undermine a woman’s feeling of independence, so try not to step on her toes and control your emotions. Holding hands in public, a light kiss or walking arm in arm are all perfect public expressions of affection. Save the true affection for when you’re behind a veil of privacy.

Emo-meter rating: 2 in public, 4 in private.




Feeling sad is a very vulnerable emotional state to be in, for anyone. Traditionally, men haven’t really expressed sadness outside the context of moderate to heavy drinking. Tears weren’t allowed to come out, but liquor went in — and it was never done in front of a woman. That was the understanding a man had with this most troubling emotion. Today, women want to know that a man feels sad on occasion. If he doesn’t, women may begin to question his connection with reality, which can be quite depressing. Modern men need to learn to control their emotions and show that they are sad every once in a while, and do so in the company of women. Choose the time and place wisely as the expression of sadness should only be shown under the gravest of circumstances. The death of a loved one, for example, would be appropriate — the love scene in Titanic would not.

Emo-meter rating:




Contrary to popular belief, men have always had emotions, and these emotions have always been expressed. The company and context of such expression has changed, as in the past this largely took place behind closed doors and was, by and large, a solitary experience. Today, the expression has changed to accommodate what women think they want when it comes to the way men feel. This by no means gives us license to go overboard in expressing our emotions, however; as men, we must remember to exercise control in emotional circumstances in order to save ourselves from being labelled weak or unmanly.





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