Trading in the zone!

 Have you have been so focused on doing something that you have not been aware of people walking around you or heard any surrounding noise?

Have you ever driven in a motorway and listen to your favourite music? Have you felt in tune with it?

I hope you agree with me that when you are in tune with something or someone, you are completely focused without any distractions or noticing any noise.

Most of you, who know me well, have already identified the subject of this article, and yes, you are not wrong. It’s about trading and in particular it is related to a famous trading book: Trading in the zone by Mark Douglas.

trading in the zone

I love this book because it is related to trading psychology and if you are a trader or you are thinking of taking up this career than this is an absolute must read for you. I have read it so many times that I have lost count. :-)

You will get the most from this book if you already have a trading system or execute the trades as effectively as you would like. :-)

This book taps into your belief systems, which in turn determine your actions, in a very coherent manner. ‘A belief system is nothing more than a thought you’ve though over and over again’ – Wayne Dyer. It is no exaggeration to say that if your trading methodology has a genuine edge, this book could transform you into the owner of your very own casino if you allow it to.

belief-system-2

The knowledge the author offers is also applicable to other areas of life including quitting smoking – it’s all about positively energising the concept that you’re a non smoker and de-energising the concept that you are a smoker.

Before you turn off condemning that comment as psycho-babble, you should remember, as the author explains, to keep your mind open to information according to what you already believe to be true.

An exceptionally fine book on the most important aspects of trading in which the author selflessly shares his soul in addition to his knowledge.

emotional guidance scale

For example, he shares the 5 fundamental truths of trading:

  1. Anything can happen whilst trading
  2. You do not need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money
  3. There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge
  4. An edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing happening over another
  5. Every moment in the market is unique

probability mindset

He also shares, the 7 principles of trading consistency:

  1. I objectively identify my edge
  2. I predefine the risk of every trade
  3. I completely accept the risk or I am willing to let go of the trade
  4. I act on my edges without hesitation or reservation
  5. I pay myself as the market makes money available to me
  6. I continually monitor my susceptibility to make errors
  7. I understand the absolute necessity of these principles of consistent success and therefore I will never violate them

consistency is key

So to think like a trader means to think in terms of probabilities, identify your edge, execute your trades the same way each and every time and take every setup that fits your criteria. Look to analyze your trades in sample sizes and not individually. Doing these things (over time), can help develop a level of confidence and consistency in your trading.

consistence creates confidence

He suggests an excellent Trading Mission Statement:

I am a determined trading athlete. My goal as an online trading athlete is to be confident and have belief.

Sticking tenaciously to my plan will help me become a full time trader, trading for a living.

Set and go!!!

Also, he outlines the importance of having a Trading Plan:

‘To have time to do what I want to do and still have the money to do it as well, e.g. travelling, etc.’

forex-trading-plan

To attain the best possible impact on your trading mindset, read with an open mind, make notes, re-read, and re-read again as the knowledge in the book contains has to sink deep into your personality and character arena.

success 2

Happy reading :-)

To your trading success :-)

Viv :-)

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8 STEPS TO CHOOSE YOUR BEST STRATEGY!

A good evening to all my readers :-)

Hope my post finds you well and jolly :-)

 

‘Strategy is not the consequences of planning but rather the opposite, its starting point.’ – Henry Mitzberg

Have you ever wondered why things suddenly did not work out after setting things up in the right place to accomplish a goal?

 

Have you ever felt that you had the perfect edge to achieve your plan but something did not work out the way you wanted?

 

Most of the time this is because even if the situations, places, circumstances and opportunities are in our favour, we do not use the right tools and techniques to ensure our plans and goals manifest into reality. Would you agree with me? Also to be honest, it is not a pleasurable place to be, is it?

This post will provide you deep insight into the core and the most fundamental principle which all the tools and techniques for achieving success come from: STRATEGY!

strategy

The day I learnt that for any achievement in life and in business, there was always a more efficient way to achieve it by using a proven strategy, it really  opened up a new dimension in my life!  Before we examine strategies in more detail, let me give you the gift of one of the most profound success strategies I know. ‘Get around the path walkers.’ If you want to be successful you should model a successful person by having them coach and/or mentor you. :-) They have already achieved what you want to achieve and been through the bumps in the road, the highs and the lows of the process and therefore are in a better position than you to guide you to the most effective strategy to employ, and get you the success you deserve. Is this not want all of us want – to avoid the pitfalls and enjoy a smooth and successful ride?

Mentor-300x225

At this point, you might ask:

How can I recognize what is the best and most effective strategy to employ?

 

Firstly, we need to understand what a strategy is. It is the process, the system and method employed to achieve our goals. It is how we go about to accomplish our objectives. It is our starting point from which comes our plan of action. It enables decisions to be taken, plans to be judged, resources to be allocated and actions to be prioritised. It is what empowers people to develop action plans that are consistent with the future that is being sought and means they act decisively in the areas where most advantage can be won. This is where one final step is needed – producing our plan! Without it, we will not achieve any results! :-)

Below are the 8 steps that will help you to recognize which strategy will be best for achieving your success and you can visit my website www.thebooksonsuccess.com and download the PDF exercise called ‘Strategy Mastery Worksheet’ for a printer-friendly version. Please complete this exercise both for your business and for your personal life! This tool is a very effective aid in recognizing what ‘marketing strategies’ to add to your business plan and employ in your business.

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STEP 1: Understand the Scope of your goal/plan

 Submarine periscope

To identify and understand the scope of your goal/plan, ask yourself the following questions:

What is my BIG WHY? What is the purpose of my business?

What is my mission statement? What is my business mission statement?

What are my reasons to get up every morning? What reasons do I have for investing my time, energy and money in my business every day?

What message do I want to promote with my marketing campaign?

 

What makes me stand out in my industry?

 

What makes my services and products different from my competition?

In terms of business, not only does your mission statement guide your overall company practices, it also provides you with the guidelines and clarity to choose the best strategy. Before you can dive into the details, you need to envision the scope of your goal/plan: considering the advantages, challenges and purpose of it. 

Remember, PURPOSE and CLARITY are the most important keys to success when identifying the best strategy for achieving your goals/plans!

 

 

STEP 2: Perform your SWOT analysis

swot-analysis

 

Once you have a grasp of the scope of your big goal, run your desired goal through a SWOT analysis. You can visit my website www.thebooksonsuccess.com and download the PDF exercise called ‘SWOT Analysis’ for a printer-friendly version.

 

The outcome will be a high level of clarity on the necessary steps that will be needed to achieve your big goal, as well as the most effective ways of taking those necessary steps. :-)

 

 

STEP 3: Set small goals

small-goals

 

Once you have clarity on your purpose (your why) and have run your big goal through a SWOT analysis, then you can start to set smaller goals to achieve the steps identified that are needed if you are to achieve your big goal. You will now have the benefit of long term vision and short term motivation! This is the step when you start to turn future possibility into realistic probability.

 

 

STEP 4: Set deadlines

deadlines

Deadline is the time commitment by which your task/goal must be achieved. This is a powerful strategic tool we must use to our advantage. When we set a deadline and expect to get our goal accomplished quickly, they usually do! What are the reasons behind this? It usually takes as much time as we allow them to take! You see, we always work best under a self-determined or externally fixed deadline. By consciously choosing to enforce deadlines, they increase our accountability and focus, essentially fast tracking our results and rewards.

What are the benefits of having deadlines?

A deadline enforces a strong sense of urgency and challenges us to perform.

Deadlines represent commitment, this is a black and white choice: you are committed or you are not.

Deadlines enforce accountability and they create a sense of urgency to improve your results.

Your challenge is to meet each deadline set and astound yourself by what you are able to accomplish!

STEP 5: Establish measures of Success

to-measure-is-to-know-

Plans and goals are useless without clearly understood, quantifiable measures of success.

Understanding how success will be measured is one of the keys to achieving it as if we can’t measure it, we can’t manage it. As part of your strategy, decide what areas you hope to impact, then determine how it will be monitored. Set up your reporting plan early in the process of laying out your strategy. That way, you will be clear on the expectations from the outset.

Establish an implementation calendar, with specific milestones for each step, i.e. monthly or weekly targets. Assign clear accountability for each action, while making sure the needed resources are in place. Ensure that you know what action you need to take to make it happen, measure assiduously and take necessary procedures quickly if milestones are not met.

 

STEP 6: Develop a strategy Map and make it visual

strategy map

 

It is time to put it all together and have a clear and organised plan. I am sure that now you have more clarity on your purpose, weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, threats, long term goals, monthly SMART goals, a TO-DO list based on your short term goals and metrics to measure your success!

Now that you have put it all together and you have found out what is your best strategy to employ to achieve your goal/plan, it is time to create a tool that will help you know where you’re at in a single glance.

 To make it more powerful and successful, you’ll need to create a strategy Map.

 

 

STEP 7: Monitor your performance and results

monitoring performance

 

This is a very vital and important aspect to ensure that your strategy is working and producing results! Obviously, you need to put efforts and time into it, so it is essential that you have clear means to measure your results!

Remember to celebrate the wins along the way, whether big or small. It will help to boost your confidence levels and to drive your motivation to achieve the next elements of your goal/plan:-)

 

 

STEP 8: Review your strategy and Implement it

strategy lifecycle 

This is the most important step to make your strategy the most effective and efficient possible. A good strategy guides your goals/plans and encourages new opportunities for growth.

However, too often strategic thinking boils down to merely validating the current strategy or making go/no go decisions on the course of action. A much better approach is to spend creative time up front to identify several alternatives – the so called ‘what if…’ scenario.

You might ask yourself:

 

What did I learn from analysing the gap between estimated and achieved results?

 

What can be increased, decreased, reversed, separated or bundled together?

 

What would I do if I had to reach the ‘finishing line’ in half the time?

 

What three priority actions will I implement in my life and in my business as a result of my discoveries?

After employing the strategy, analyse the results to verify its efficiency and dedicate time for revision. Get rid of what isn’t working and continue to implement what is.

 

Just remember that crafting a few different but realistic alternatives and evaluating them using clear criteria will yield a true strategic plan that creates a vision for the future, rather than a reflection of the past. Do not keep changing it all the time. Also remember to give enough time for the strategy to prove its worthiness or failure by monitoring its results. :-)

 

Decide on key action steps, accountability measures and timing, but also agree on how to monitor the environment for any unexpected opportunities or necessary changes that might warrant modifications to the plan.

 

What are the benefits of employing the best strategy available?

We all need to have a strategy in place if we want to achieve our success. It will help us to keep focused and stay on track. If we do not have a direction and a scope before we initiate any plan, it will be very difficult to succeed. In business terms, owning a business is not about work, it is about the strategy we employ. This highlights the concept of working smarter and not harder.

do it

To the employment of your most successful strategy:-)!

Viv:-)

Keys to Manage Stress

Hello to all my readers :-)

Have you ever felt like a mouse running on a tread wheel and getting nowhere?

Have you ever felt angry because you work so many hours and do not have the time to spend with your dear ones?

You can feel assure that you are not alone. According to a mental-health charity in the UK, 1 in 5  British workers said that stress had made them physically sick during their career, and unmanageable pressure had caused 1 in 4 to cry while at work. Prescriptions for antidepressants saw an unprecedented rise during one recent year of economic recession.

To manage any issues, we need to get to understand the stress cycle and the root of the problem.

Stress cycle

Ask yourself:

What has caused you stress?

The answer could be multiple, for example: insecurity – financial or health, a demanding routine, interpersonal conflicts or a traumatic experience.

Sources of stress

Also ask: ‘How has stress affected you?’

Stress Body Mind

Some symptoms could be health disorders, emotional exhaustion, sleep problems, deteriorating relationships or depression.

You also need to remember that stress activates an amazing system in your body, your emergency response system. Hormones are released to increase your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

So learning how to deal with stress is important to both your physical and mental well-being.

How can we manage stress?

outsourcing stress

Stress in itself is not necessarily harmful. The American Psychological Association has noted: ‘Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it.’

I also came across to a very good quote of stress:

stress is

Here some practical advice to manage stress:

  1. Insecurity

Not one of us has total security.

How can we cope with feelings of insecurity?

Try these suggestions:

* Confide in a trusted family member or friend. Studies show that the support of loved ones consistently confers protection against stress-related disorders.

* Focus on positive scenarios. If you focus on negatives ones, they will drain your emotional reserves. Remember that what you fear may not happen.

  1. Demanding routine

A relentless routine of commuting, working, studying or caring for children or elderly parents can keep stress level high.

Moreover, stopping some of these activities may be out of question.

What can we do to cope?

* Give yourself some downtime, and get adequate rest.

* Set sound priorities and adopt a modest lifestyle. Consider simplifying your life, perhaps by reducing expenses or time spent at work.

‘Making certain lifestyle changes is the best start’ to relieving stress’, says the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US.

Start with eating a well-balanced, healthy diet as well as getting enough sleep and exercise. Also limit caffeine and alcohol intake and don’t use nicotine, cocaine or other street drugs.’ The NIH also suggests taking breaks from work, spending time with family or friends, learning to make things with your hands, hobbies or learning to play a musical instrument. I will also add dancing.

stress management

To your success :-)

Viv :-)

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules for Success

A very good evening to all my readers :-)

Hope my post finds you well and dandy :-)

Have you ever experienced feeling exhausted after you put so much effort into pursuing a goal?

Have you ever felt discouraged when you realize that you are still so far from your objectives no matter how strong your desire is to achieve them?

Have you ever asked yourself ‘what are the rules of success of accomplished people?

I personally have experienced all of the above and I can guarantee you that these are not pleasant feelings, they cause a lot of frustration and they can bring you to breaking point.

In my quest to find an answer to the question of obtaining success, I came across Arnold Schwarzenegger’ speech for Harvard University. Even though I am personally more familiar with the thinking of Rocky and Mohammed Ali; I have to be honest and say that when I listened to Schwarzenegger’s rules of success, they really resonated with me so I decided to share them with you. :-)

Arnold-6Rules-Success-e1367511772942

Here is a transcription of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech:

‘And, of course, people ask me all the time; they say to me, ‘What is the secret of success?

Before I start, I just want to say that these are my rules and I think that they can be applied to everyone but that is for you to decide, because not everyone is the same. Some people like to kick back, cruise through life, others want to be very intense, they want to be always number one and be successful, that is like me. I always wanted to be very intense and I always wanted to be number one. I took it very seriously in my career. This is the same when I started body building, I didn’t want just be a body builder champion, I wanted to be the best body builder at all times. The same was in the movies. I didn’t want just to be a movie star but I wanted to be a great movie star and I wanted to be a highly paid movie star. This intensity always paid off for me, this commitment always paid off for me:-)

These are my rules:

The 1st rule is: TRUST YOURSELF.

trust yrself

What is most important thing is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves:

‘Who do you want to be?’

Not what but WHO?

arnold-schwarzeneggar-speech-who do u want to be

I am talking about not what your parents and teachers want you to be, but YOU. I am talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you HAPPY. No matter how crazy it may sound to other people. :-)

So rule number one is, of course, trust yourself no matter how and what anyone else thinks. I was lucky when I grew up as I did not have so many destruction as you have today such as TV, telephone, computer, i-pad, i-pod, twitter, etc. I spent a lot of time by myself so I could figure out and really listened to what was inside my heart and my head. I recognised very quickly that I had the stronger desire to leave my little village and be part of something bigger where dreams could come true. :-)

Rule number 2 is: BREAK THE RULES.

break the rules

We have so many rules in life about everything. I say break the rules. No the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you are too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules.

You have to think outside the box. That is what I believe.

After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?

The only way that I ever got anyplace was by breaking some of the rules.

Which, of course, brings me to rule number 3: DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL.

don_t_be_afraid_to_fail___by_jandesignofficial-d7a6fzf

Anything I have ever attempted, I was always willing to fail.  You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions.  You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do and success will come:-)

So don’t be afraid to fail.

Which brings me to rule number 4: DON’T LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS.

Arnold Schwazenneger Dont listen to the naysayers

How many times have you heard that you can’t do this, you can’t do that and it’s never been done before?

I love it when someone says that no one has never done this before, because then when I do it that means that I am the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done.

I always listen to myself and say: ‘Yes, you can.’ :-)

Yes you can

And that brings me to rule number 5, which is the most important rule of all: WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.

Arnold-Schwarzenegger work hard 1

I always believed leaving no stone unturned, Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ‘70s when he was asked: ‘How many sit-ups do you do?’ He said, ‘I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting and that’s when it really counts.’  That’s what makes you a champion. And that’s the way it is with everything. NO PAIN NO GAIN:-)

Let me tell you, it is important to have fun in life, of course. But when you are out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard, someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. :-)

If you want to cruise through life than don’t pay attention to none of these rules, but if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.

None of my rules, by the way, of success, will work unless you do.

I have always figured out that there are 24 hours a day. You sleep 6 hours and have 18 hours left. I know that there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute; I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well. Then, just sleep faster, I would recommend. ‘Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.’ – L. Peter

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-sleep faster

Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in the pockets:-)

And that takes me to rule number 6, which is a very important rule: IT’S ABOUT GIVING BACK.

GIVING BACK

Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country.

If you tear down the mirror that makes you always look at yourself, you will be able to look behind that mirror and you will see the millions of people that need your help. Let me tell you something, reaching out and helping people will bring you more satisfaction than everything else you have ever done.’ :-)

giving back arnold

I invite you to listen to the full inspirational speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger:-)

Personally, I believe that the last rule is the most important one. It has helped me to achieve most, if not all, of my successes in life. It has also gifted me with the most amazing satisfaction and accomplishments without forgetting that along the way I came to know so many remarkable people. Thank you for sharing my journey that made me a better person! :-)

VIV 2013

The only rule that I don’t agree 100% with Schwarzenegger is his most important rule: WORK HARD! I have been working very hard all my life, however in the last few years, I realised that whilst working hard is very important, working smarter is more efficient as it saves time and energy to enjoy the results of our own hard work :-)

I believe that the most important point that Schwarzenegger made in his speech is at the beginning where he said that his rules can be applied to everyone but everyone is not the same therefore you have to decide which rules to apply based on your personality. :-) In fact, I personally would have swapped some of his rules for others and added a few more, because these suit my personality more based on my experiences.

Remember that your personality and experiences will lead to your own rules to success as we are all amazingly unique and we all have different life journeys. :-) On this note, I wish to my dear Bro, all the happiness and success in the world as he truly deserves it on his special day! :-):-):-)

people-in-yr-life1

Thank you for all the amazing moments and lessons learnt, the most important of which is learning to dance in the rain :-)

Dance-in-the-Rain

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.’ – Vivian Greene

To your rules of Success :-)

Viv :-)

17 Winning Mindset Tips

To all my readers :)

Wish you are all well and dandy :)

 

Have you ever felt inadequate and overwhelmed in the face of challenges?

Have you ever experienced that your challenges seemed bigger than they actually were?

How do you feel when you need to overcome an obstacle to achieve your goal?

Obstacles 1

I was recently having a conversation with a friend and the subject of positive mindset during difficult times arose. At the time, as I was emotionally involved in her story, I could not think of a process or any practical tips I could offer her. As I left her house, I was bothered by the fact that even though mindset is one of my strengths, I was unable to use it as needed. After some consideration, I started to think about the mental process I use to conquer my challenges. Thus, this article just flew as a response to my conversation with my friend. I hope you too can benefit from it as I do. :)

It is generally acknowledged that when confronted with problems and challenges, it is easy to become overwhelmed, especially when the circumstances are unfamiliar and seem threatening and urgent. However, no matter what life throws your way, keep in mind that there are always options available, there are always things you can do, actions you can take and decisions you can make that will keep moving you forward in the right direction. :)

Here is my mindset process and 17 winning mindset tips which I personally use for conquering my obstacles:

1. Keep Things Simple

Simple 1

When dealing with obstacles, simplicity is key to your success! The more we complicate things, the more likely circumstances will overwhelm us. You must therefore keep things as simple and straightforward as possible; I can personally testify that the toughest of problems are often solved in the simplest of ways. So, if you have a simple approach to whatever you are aiming for, you are already a step ahead and in the top 3% of successful people. I have attended numerous self-development courses on a variety of subjects and the commonality of all of them is keep things simple:)

2. Step Back Emotionally

emotions

The reality is that when unexpected obstacles suddenly show up, it is easy to react emotionally to the circumstances, we all do it. However, emotional reactions are often unproductive, making the situation worse. Instead we must learn to step back from our emotions and see the situation from an external perspective — through logic and reason. It is only once we grasp the circumstances from an intellectual perspective that we begin to identify the true relevance and significance of the events that have taken place. It sounds logical, but much easier said than done. However if you apply it, I can guarantee you will reap the benefits. :)

3. Cultivate an Active Mindset & other Indispensable Qualities

mind can achieve

Now that have you stepped back emotionally, you can focus on your mindset. Would you agree that you are unlikely to overcome an obstacle if you don’t believe that you are capable of overcoming it? Your doubts will only paralyze you and focus your mind on the problems rather than the solution. You must therefore develop the necessary confidence and self-belief that will help you think more effectively about how to solve the complications in your life.

An active mindset helps you to proactively deal with challenging circumstances. It is a mindset that asks effective questions; always looks for new answers, opportunities and solutions; it is flexible, adaptable and constantly learns from past mistakes, while moving forward towards the attainment of its goals and objectives. :)

Those who successfully overcome obstacles in their lives, consistently cultivate the following qualities:

  • Positive Mindset
  • Confidence
  • Self Belief and Self Esteem
  • Gratitude
  • Optimism
  • Commitment
  • Resilience
  • Discipline
  • Patience
  • Enthusiasm
  • Wisdom

4. Don’t Blame others and don’t dwell on the Negatives

blaming

Now that we have acquired a positive mindset, it is paramount that you do not blame yourself or others for the circumstances you find yourself in. Yes, you can acknowledge that you or someone was at fault, however it is often not the person but rather the systems and processes in place that lead to this outcome. Access and revaluate these, do not lay blame, and the obstacles you are facing will eventually be conquered.

Remember, when you dwell on what you don’t want, you will get more of the same, because we attract what we focus on. Therefore if you focus on worst case scenarios that will rip your life apart, then you are not focusing on solutions, and if you are not focusing on solutions then you are unlikely to find the answers you need to help you overcome your problems.

5. Accept and Acknowledge Circumstances

acceptance

Once you have an active mindset, you can accept and acknowledge your circumstances. When confronted with an obstacle, the worst thing we can do is to deny that the problem exists. When we deny that something exists we close ourselves off to potential solutions, answers and opportunities. We must accept and acknowledge the circumstances for what they are from an optimistic, solution orientated yet very realistic perspective. :)

6. Acquire a Different Perspectives

perspective

Now you can gain a different perspective. Sometimes obstacles are only as real as we make them out to be. In fact at times obstacles are simply misunderstandings and generalizations that we have made about circumstances. At other times obstacles are only as real as the assumptions that are clouding our vision.

To begin shifting your perspective, start by viewing the situation you find yourself in from another person’s perspective. Alternatively you can use a plethora of framing and reframing techniques that will help you shift the way you think about your circumstances. :)

7. Adjust Your Priorities

priority

If you have actioned all of the above, you are ready to adjust your priorities. At times we are unable to overcome certain obstacles in our lives because our priorities are simply out of order. This is especially relevant when you consider that spending more time concentrating on developing a certain skill or gaining knowledge in a specific area of your life would have a significant impact on your ability to overcome difficult circumstances. :)

8. Ask Effective Questions

questions quality

Asking effective questions can help you gather new and different perspectives about your life and circumstances. You might want to review my previous article ‘8 Steps Process to overcoming obstacles.’ Combined, thees provide a powerful example of how questions can be used  to help shift your perspective and unlock your potential:)

9. Assess Your Obstacles

hurdles

You will rarely be able to overcome an obstacle unless you are able to figure out how it originated and weaselled its way into your life.

Ask yourself:

What went wrong?

What could have caused this?

What must I do now?

10. Think Critically and Creatively

Critical and creative thinking 1

A calm state provides you with clarity of mind, which enables you to ask better questions, think more creatively, critically and effectively about your problems. When your mind and body is calm, you naturally tap into a reservoir of internal resources that you wouldn’t have access to if you were to react emotionally to circumstances.

Throughout the course of human history obstacles and problems have been the foundations of creative and critical thinking. Or viewed in another way, without obstacles and problems there would be no need for creative or critical thought. You must therefore use these two tools to help you unlock the solutions and answers you need that will help you overcome the obstacles in your life. :)

11. List Possible Options by Experimenting in New Ways

options

Now that you have empowered yourself with powerful tools, you can tap into different options to conquer your challenges. Difficulties have a tendency to mentally lock us up, thus limiting our ability to think and gain perspective of a situation. In such instances we must realize that solutions can only be found when we open our minds to possibilities and options that we hadn’t considered before.

To do this, simply sit down with a pen and paper and ask yourself over and over again:

How can I overcome this obstacle?

What options haven’t I considered?

As previously mentioned, asking effective questions will help you gain new insights into the obstructions standing in your way. Use this information to try previously unconsidered methods and directions. It is the path less travelled that will make all the difference in the end. :)

The more options you have, the more opportunity you will have to find a suitable answer to the problem you are facing. :)

12. Seek Guidance & Gain Necessary Support and Resources

Advice Help Support And Tips Signpost Showing Information And Gu

Once you have written your list of options, tap into other people’s experiences and expertise. Often the answers we need to help us overcome the obstacles in our lives can be found by simply talking to other people. In fact, other people might have already successfully overcome the circumstances you find yourself in. As I do, seek out mentors, life coaches and experts to help you find the answers you need to move you forward towards your goals and objectives. :)

At times we simply do not have the necessary resources to help us deal with the situation at hand. In such circumstances we must question what pieces of the puzzle are currently missing, and then look for the necessary tools, strategies, knowledge and support we need to help us overcome this obstacle successfully:)

When we look for sympathy from others, we come from a point of weakness and an inability to control our fate and destiny. We must instead look to come from a place of personal empowerment, where we take full responsibility for our life and circumstances. This of course does not mean that we shouldn’t ask for help or assistance. What it does mean is that we should focus on exploring options that will move us forwards, towards the attainment of our goals and objectives. :)

13. Breathe, Take Control and Take Action

breathe

take control

take action

Now that we have worked on our mind set, assessed and evaluated our obstacles and looked for options and guidance, it is time to TAKE ACTION! It is true that when obstacles overwhelm us, our automatic response is to freeze. At first, this paralysis may seem unhelpful however it gives us time to consider and think strategically about the circumstances we find ourselves in. However, if we don’t take action, the obstacles will remain; nobody can remove them for us!

Take a moment to breathe deeply and ask yourself the following questions:

What is it that I control?

What is it that I don’t control?

How can I gain control over these circumstances?

If I cannot gain control, then how can I influence these circumstances?

If I cannot influence them, then maybe I am not seeing things clearly. Where must I look for more information?

By asking these questions and taking action you will begin to gain control over your circumstances and you can start to build momentum, enabling you to move forward towards your goals. :)

14. Take Small Steps

big-journeys-begin-small-steps 1

To start with, take small steps, this ensures that you remain in control and do not get overwhelmed by your circumstances. Break down what you need to do into small manageable chunks, and then progressively work on one or more chunks per day until you successfully reach your desired outcome.

15. Make Necessary Sacrifices

sacrifice

It’s now short-term sacrifice for long-term results time! The majority of us are simply unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices that would help us successfully overcome the problems we are confronting. Sometimes it’s not what we do, but rather what we let go of that will have the greatest impact on our lives. The effort and sacrifice required will be proportionate to your obstacles, don’t expect anything less. However, I can assure you that the rewards will be far greater than the sacrifice needed to conquer your challenges. :)

16. Learn from your Mistakes

mistakes

Now that you have taken some decisions and actioned them, don’t expect that everything will suddenly work out perfectly, you will make mistakes along your way to success. Remember that progress is built upon a myriad of mistakes that we make on a daily basis. I have made countless errors along my journey, some were big, others smaller, but one thing is certain, they were all significant in helping me learn the lessons I needed to learn. You too will learn from your mistakes and move forward in conquering your challenges. :)

Take time to learn from every unsuccessful attempt, from every failed result, and from every unsatisfactory outcome. The more you learn, the more you will grow and the better you will be able to deal with the obstacles that lie ahead on your path. :)

17. Do not Quit!

dont_quit

 

NO MATTER WHAT, DO NOT QUIT, because, as I have personally experienced, the greatest opportunities are always interlocked with the most difficult struggles of your life. I can definitely vouch for this. :)

Remember, to conquer your obstacles will not be easy. Challenges are all around to test us, to help build our character and strengthen our fortitude. Sometimes we might fall over. It is how we pick ourselves up and move forward one step at a time that will determine our success! :)

obstacles michael jordan

‘No matter how many times I break down, there is always a little piece of me that says NO, you are not done yet. Get BACK UP! The greatest human quality is that of becoming unstoppable! And you become unstoppable by refusing to quit, no matter what happens.‘ – Brian Tracy

To your successful mindset empowerment! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success‘

www.vivoliver.com

8 Steps Process to overcoming your obstacles

A warm greeting to all my readers :)

‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ — Frank A. Clark

Have you ever experienced difficulties and challenges before achieving one of your goals?

Have you ever appreciated something that came easily to you? Or did you appreciate it more when you sacrificed and made a real effort to achieve your goal?

Have you ever heard of the lottery winners who are worse off today than they were before they won?

They squandered their winnings because it held no value for them, they didn’t have to struggle through the obstacles, challenges and problems that self-made millionaires face, as a result even though their dream had materialised they weren’t able to hold onto it. As the saying goes ‘Easy come, easy go.’

It’s not so surprising when you think about how you feel when you achieve your goals easily or when you achieve them by overcoming obstacles.

greater the obstacle...

Which process gives you more satisfaction?

satisfaction-

I recently experienced a tough period achieving my goals; I overcome these by working on my mindset which led to this article.

I hope it helps you to deal with the obstacles that you will likely face as you progress along your journey towards the attainment of your objectives. :)

To commence, setting goals is the first step… achieving them is the second step… and surely, it is at this second step that most of us stumble. We stumble not because the goal is unachievable, but rather because of unexpected obstacles and challenges that arise along the journey that make the goal seem unachievable.

benefits of setting goals on blackboard

It is important to understand that every goal we set naturally comes with a plethora of landmines that are attached to that goal which show up in our lives as a set of hurdles, tests and problems that we must surpass in order to get to our end destination. In fact, unless we successfully manoeuvre through these difficulties and overcome them, then we will fail to learn the valuable lessons that are required to help us grow towards each stage and most importantly keep our goal when we get there. 

obstacles zig ziglar

There are three types of obstacles that you will likely face.

Firstly, personal barriers, which are related to your psychology, behaviour and state-of-mind, include limiting habits, debilitating emotions, fears and beliefs that prevent us from moving forward because of the negative thinking, inhibiting our ability to make effective decisions and undertake appropriate action that would help us create the momentum we need to get to our desired outcome.

Secondly, environmental difficulties, these are unexpected external occurrences and circumstances that we have little control over and we are usually ill-prepared to deal with these effectively. However, if we research and set in place contingency plans, we stand a greater chance of pre-empting potential pitfalls and even influencing the outcome.

To do this, begin by following Murphy’s Law:

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time, all of the time when you least expect it. 

 murphy's law

So what are you going to do about it?

 

When you plan for the future, you gather a better understanding of the possible scenarios and consequences of your decisions and actions. Planning also gives you insight into additional resources you may need to help you overcome environmental obstacles that you could face on the journey ahead. :)

Plan-Design

Thirdly, social obstructions are related to people who either do no cooperate, sabotage you, or are incompetent and unable to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them. Again it’s essential to forward plan and ensure that you clarify your needs adequately, your knowledge thoroughly and your instructions carefully. It also helps to develop strong bonds and relationships with the people you rely on most, safeguarding any future breakdown in communication. However don’t confuse this with trying to control people’s behaviour, decisions and actions. Instead subtly influence people and understand their needs, motives and desires. Only in this way will you successfully improve your chances of maneuvering through the social obstacles in your life.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Identify if any of these obstacles are currently preventing you from getting what you want most out of life, and choose today to take control of your thought patterns and begin making far more effective decisions. :)

effective-decision-making

As a coach, I often work with clients who are struggling to overcome personal and business obstacles. They don’t know what to do, where to begin or how to move forward. In such instances, I will ask them a series of questions that help them gain a new perspective and understanding about their circumstances. As a result they begin to unlock hidden resources they never realized they had. :)

life's challenges

I have listed below the ‘8 Steps Process to overcome your obstacles’ and integrated them with specific questions which will help you overcome your obstacles too:

STEP 1. Question the Problem

question

What are the indications that this is a problem for you?

How do you know this is accurate?

STEP 2. Question the Origins of the Problem

questions & qnswers

How did all this start?

Who or what perpetuates this problem?

STEP 3. Identify the Details

details

When did it happen?

How did it happen?

Where did it happen?

STEP 4. Determine the Consequences

Value_Graphic

What would happen if you ignored it?

When could it become a bigger problem?

What could lead to this specific outcome?

How does this affect you?

How does this affect others?

How does this affect your external life?

What other problems might be caused by resolving this obstacle?

STEP 5. Take Control

take control

Whose behaviour do you control?

What aspects of this problem can you control?

What aspects of this problem can’t you control?

How must you respond to what you can’t control?

STEP 6. Identify the Positives

positive

What is happening that is good?

What would you like to have continue to happen?

STEP 7. Gain Perspective

two points perspectives

What are your assumptions about this?

How are your assumptions contributing to the problem?

What is another perspective you haven’t considered?

Who has successfully overcome this problem?

What can you learn from this person?

STEP 8. Expand Your Options & Take Decisive Action

Just-Do-It (1)

What could you do differently?

Who could assist you?

Where haven’t you looked for a solution?

What action can I take to solve this obstacle?

How will you know when this problem has been resolved?

What is your criteria for success?

Remember, obstacles are just ‘things’ that are there to teach, strengthen and fortify you for the journey that lies ahead. We must therefore not view them as insurmountable problems that will prevent us from achieving our goals, but rather as small, and sometimes large, stepping stones that are mandatory ‘lessons’ we need to pass in order to obtain our Ph.D. in Goal Achievement. :)

obstacles m jordan

And finally, it is important to remind ourselves of the indispensable lesson that many former Lottery winners have found out the hard way, that there is only one thing worse than being poor, and that is ‘being rich and then being poor once again’. 

During the past years, this is the lesson that I have most appreciated, as I have learnt it by paying the most expensive price:

‘Take time to learn the lessons that life throws your way, because these lessons will be critical to your success as you move forward into the future.’ Viv :)

life-lessons

‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ – Frank A. Clark

overcome obstacles

Obstacles are placed in our way

To successfully overcoming your obstacles! :)

Viv :)

Take the 21 Day Challenge!

VIV’S CALL TO ACTION!!! :)

It is time to get busy!

I am challenges you to stop settling; to move from where you are to where you deserve to be.

I want to help motivate you to stop accepting the life that was given to you and make a serious and conscientious effort toward the life you want. With that being said, I ask you a favour… TAKE THE CHALLENGE! :)

GIVE 150% FOR 21 DAYS!

21 day challenge 1

NEXT STEPS: Upon accepting the 21 Day Challenge, I ask that you make the following 3 steps:

1) CAST A VISION vision

What will your life look like after 21 days?

What do you want to happen?

What is mediocre?

What bondage will you break?

2) DO IT RIGHT! do it right Do it right or don’t do it at all!

The time of doing things by half is over.

Stop putting in 50, 60 or even 70 percent effort.

Only accept 150% for 21 days!

3) NO EXCUSES, ONLY ADJUSTMENTS! no excuses

Everyone has excuses but Viv doesn’t want to hear them and neither should you. The time for excuses has run out! 00:00 After 21 Days:

  • Document your findings.
  • Share your true growth.
  • Tell us what changed and send us your video.

If you are on a team, or coach, share your success story within the locker room or on the playing fields.

If you teach or sit in the classroom, share your success that way.

Perhaps you need a change in the workplace; we want to hear that too.

No matter where you are in life, you can make a difference in your situation.

It starts TODAY, so join the movement! :)

This is my personal 21 Day Challenge:

2 hours daily workout in preparation to my Tough Mudder

Lose 1% body fat

Gain 1% muscle

Cycling, running and walking as only means of transport.

What about your 21 Day Challenge? 

21 days to break an habit

Remember, I truly can’t wait to see how your life will change in the next 21 days.

I am super excited to hear your feedback; to hear about your successes and your triumphs as well as to share my personal one with you.

amazing

Remember: When you put in 150 percent you get back 150 plus! 

I can personally vouch for it Go ahead! Put on your hard hat and let’s get to work. :)  

Without struggle, there is no progress. ‘Without struggle, there is no strength.’ – Oprah doesnt challenge

I encourages you to learn from your past instead of allowing it to stop you from achieving your goals and use its lessons to make the rest of your time the best of your life. :)

When you know better, you’ll do better. So, now you know! Stop giving 70, 80, or even 90 percent…

Put in 150% and help change the lives of others around you.

Your 150% affects your family, friends and community. :)

Let’s go! Let’s work! Take the 21 Day Challenge! :) 21 day challenge heapi

I am also participating at the Tough Mudder and I have a fundraising page  https://localgiving.com/vivthoughmudder where you can donate as little as you can!

Every donation will go to the charity organisation Urban Voice UK who TEACHES YOUNG PEOPLE HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL. It has used Creativity, Entrepreneurship,  Education  & personal development training to engage youth across the UK, for over 10 years. Through its courses and programmes, participants many from disadvantages backgrounds have gone on to obtain a degree, find jobs and pursue their career paths.

Thank you for your generosity and for being part of young people lives :)

given To your 21 day Challenge Success! :)

Viv :)

Discover your inner Mandela. Call for action : Become the Leader of Tomorrow!

Hello to everyone :)

Hope my latest post finds you well :)

Have you ever wondered why some people have a greater influence than others?

Have you ever wondered how people become leaders?

Have you ever asked yourself: ‘How can I tell if I am a good leader, or perhaps even a great one?’

5-Hidden-Qualities-of-a-Great-Leader

‘It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.’ – Nelson Mandela

Mandela leadership

What a description of a leader!

I hope most of you will agree that Nelson Mandela is a shining example of what a leader should epitomize. His positive impact not only inspired his country but the minds, hearts, and souls of billions across the world. :)

We could speak endlessly of his courage, principles and his commitment to righteousness, his contributions to the African continent, his suffering and sacrifices, his humble roots and his too-numerous-to-mention accolades.

However, what he is a supreme example of is how to be a leader. :)

Mandela do  it again

In broad terms leaders fall into two categories, tough or nice.

If you’re tough — a “driver” — you can push people to go beyond the limits of their abilities.

If you’re nice — an “enhancer” — you can better understand the needs, problems, and concerns of your charges.

It’s a hard choice and therefore being a leader is not straightforward.

Being successful is not easy, being a leader is not easy, and not getting torn down by negative influences is even harder. My coaches and mentors have told me that there is a lot of room at the top, but it’s the bottom that’s crowded. We have two choices in life; we can either live in an ocean of sameness or a lake of differentiation.

Which one do you choose?

It’s your personal choice, no one can make it for you, so be wise in your decision. :)

So what does it take to be a leader?

Here are 6 of Mandela’s transformational lessons that could turn you into the next leader.

 

1. Be a Visionary

Mandela vision

‘Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for – because unless we stand for something we shall fall for anything’ – Peter Marshall

A clear vision helps you pursue dreams and achieve goals; an idea of the future, a strong wish. A vision that is clear will open your mind to the endless possibilities of the future. :)

Make a mental picture in your mind, add feelings and emotions to that mental picture, envisage taking every step to its completion, give thanks like you’ve already received your wish and keep the emotions parallel to the vision. Do the things that will contribute to your vision and in time it will manifest. :)

Being a visionary will help you to overcome obstacles and hold on when times are tough. A vision that is well defined helps you to focus and create a purpose that becomes your measurement for your success. A strong and compelling vision is in line with your values, interests and desires. It connects with your passions and greatest potential giving you the edge in bringing it into reality. You feel much more valuable as a person when you set and achieve visions and goals. :)

You can see that being a visionary is key to success throughout your life. It determines whether you win or lose. Vision gives you a glimpse of your inner potential. Being a visionary is 50% mental completion process and 50% physically acting towards that vision. This mental completion process requires that you see with your mind and not with your eyes, the reason for this is that what you see with your eyes can contradict and potentially compromise your vision and therefore your goal.

Remember that vision is something you will actually achieve. You should follow the law of taking action. Action is not something you say but rather something you do. So get off your ASSETS and make something happen. Leaders ooze action, they move mountains, plough through obstacles and refuse to take no for an answer. They don’t sit on the couch waiting for the world to come to them. They are visionaries and they make their lives happen:)

Mandela impossible

 

2. In leadership, character is more important than strategy

Mandela character

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf once defined leadership as a potent combination of strategy and character but, he said, if you ever have to be without one, be without the strategy. Some of Mandela’s questionable strategies and decisions could easily have led to his political undoing but his strength of character as a leader compensated for occasional lapses of judgement.

Where did Mandela develop his remarkable resolve and character as a leader?

These qualities emerged early during his school-years. His anti-apartheid convictions resulted in expulsions and continuous strife with school authorities. Despite consistent misdemeanours he made it into law school, passed the bar and went on to establish the most successful black law firm in South Africa – a remarkable feat in those days. Eventually, he would serve 27 years hard labour. In his later years in prison– he was finally released in 1990 – he was offered his freedom if he would renounce his commitment to armed struggle. He refused.

3. Be prepared for Short Term Sacrifice

real leaders

Leaders know that one of the key ingredients to success is short term sacrifice for long term success. They evaluate their cost opportunity before taking any decision to ensure that the benefits gained will be worth more than the sacrifices made. However, everyone needs to sacrifice something; this is part of the journey of life. :)

Think: if Mandela could sacrifice 27 years of his life for the greater good of the South African people, I am adamant that you can lay off all the distractions and temptations that are stopping you from achieving your goals. Here is a valuable tip: Resist temptation and stay strong because the sacrifices you make now will bear fruit for the rest of your life. :)

4. Make Gut based Decisions

Mandela courage

Every leader makes decisions fast. There are 3 ways to think: with our mind, heart and gut.

When you think with your mind, the more reasons you are going to find not to do something.  This is called analysis by paralysis.

The second way is to think with the heart. These tend to be emotionally based decisions not driven by logic or reason but something that is hard to describe. Many people have been burned doing this.

The third way is to think with your gut. Research has shown that intuition – a feeling that something is right or wrong – is one of the ways our brains store, process and retrieves information.  The brain draws on past experiences and current external cues to make a decision; a process so rapid that the reaction is subconscious. This is why when we make a decision with our gut we are often right but once our brains and hearts become involved things start to get cloudy.

Remember the lesson here is to make decisions on the spot and then you can re-evaluate them. Entrepreneurs don’t say I have to think about it, they make a decision and then they re-evaluate it.

5. Be Innovative

Innovation

Leaders are innovative, continually thinking forward to the next trend or invention. If you don’t keep asking yourself how do I cut through the clutter, how do I differentiate myself… there is little chance you will ever succeed and even less become a leader.

Remember how you change is how you succeed and if you don’t, you will never truly live the life you want and you deserve.

Remember there is someone behind you who is looking at taking your place in the market.

Mandela success and failure

6. Be Humble, Forgive & Give

Mandela prison

He also understood the power of forgiveness. Despite 27 years in prison, he emerged with his sense of justice intact — but no discernible bitterness. He maintained his faith in people no matter what, that people would come right in the end, he said. He was in a prison for something he didn’t do and when he came out the first thing he did was forgive the person that had put him there. The world is a challenging and cold place at times, seeing through that and trying to make a difference is difficult but a great leader cannot hold grudges.

Mandela was a humble man. He didn’t cling to power. He empowered. He announced during the election that he would serve only one five-year term – a remarkable action not only in Africa, a continent riddled with corrupt leaders who refuse to cede power, but also for someone who had waited so long and given so much to reach that position. A leader has to be better than his detractors, he has to be humble and not allow his ego to get in the way. He has think of the greater good. He has to freely share with the world his knowledge, experience, expertise and acumen:)

Mandela Humble

He was a courageous and resolute leader. His character and visionary actions, stamina and resilience were profound. Yet, his most enduring legacy will not be the things he did, but what he didn’t do, he was the pattern breaker and refused to succumb to the seductive pull of revenge and the politics of hatred that infected large parts of the anti-apartheid movement. As a consequence, South Africa was saved from a grizzly civil war that would have torn the nation apart. That will be his greatest legacy. :)

M

Nelson Mandela played his role magnificently and we can learn great lessons from his life. He served as a role model, conveying messages through his personal actions and his words about what kind of behaviour, what kind of culture, would characterize the new South Africa he envisioned. :)

But now it’s time for a new generation of leaders to emerge, leaders willing and motivated to empower and develop other leaders to confront corruption and transform institutions for good. Great leaders create great leaders:)

Leaders create leaders

Mandela’s legacy is larger than racial justice and more widespread than his country or continent. His legacy lies in the lessons about leadership he left for all of us. His goal was to change not only laws but behaviour.

What is your greatest legacy?

You are the only person that can honestly answer this question.

There is a potential leader inside us all Leadership is something that is contagious and spreads for the greater good of us all. There is no perfect manual on how to be a great leader but rather great people we look up to and try to emulate in our own way. I know personally that if it was not for my coaches and mentors, I wouldn’t even be writing this article. :)

This is one of my favourite quotes: ‘There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’ – Nelson Mandela

Mandela no playing small

Life is full of choices. And each of us has the choice of how we want to impact the world. Some choose to leave the world a worse place than they found it. Some choose to leave it the same as they found it. Some choose to leave it a much better place. :)

Mandela what counts in life

Which one is your choice?

Just remember that ‘We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.’ – N. Mandela mandela change the world

You have the power beyond measure to achieve what you want and to become the next leader of tomorrow! 

 Mandela deepest fear

Mandela next generation leader

To the discovery of your inner leader :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com