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

If your dreams don’t scare you, you are not DREAMING BIG enough!

Hope my blog finds you all well :)

What were your dreams when you were growing up?

What did you want to be, have and do?

Were they BIG DREAMS that made you feel excited?

Lowell Lundstrum’s quote is the mouthful title of my first article for 2014. In my blog I concluded 2013 talking about achieved goals, celebrating them and discovering your own personal formula for success in preparation for an amazing and joyful 2014. If you have not read it, here is the link: My personal note: THANK YOU 🙂

celebrate success 1

To start this New Year let’s go back in time and remind ourselves of our dreams when we were growing up. :) We had so much clarity, vision and belief that we could do anything we wished, ideas without limits but above all we were not afraid to DREAM BIG. It doesn’t have to stop at our childhood memories…I still dream big now, even bigger than ever before…:)

dream big

What are the reasons we stop dreaming?

The main reason is YOU. YOU stop yourself from dreaming big and achieving your goals. You allow yourself to be conditioned by the environment, people’s negativity and skepticism. Your self-limiting beliefs and your doubts interfere with your ability to dream the life you really want. Remember that you are destroying the inspiration needed to motivate yourself and take action towards your goals. Your dreams are your BIG WHY that will support you during the bad times. So, don’t be scared to DREAM big as it is your fuel to take action. Sometimes you will need to change your dreams and aspirations but never stop dreaming.:)

never let go of your dream

So, who would want to have scary dreams?

Probably not many people. When we say, if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough… we are not talking about the kind of fear you feel watching a horror film, we are talking about the fear that exists outside your comfort zone, the place where you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Stepping into the unknown and overcoming your fears is what really makes us grow; it starts with an idea, a dream… so don’t let your fears stop you from thinking big because you would be surprised by what you can accomplish. :)

always dreambig

I personally define myself as a BIG BIG DREAMER. When I was a young child my biggest dream was to live in London and become a teacher. That dream was my motivation for everything I did. It was the reason I went to language school to learn to speak English fluently; I wanted to learn as much as possible so I could pass on my knowledge to others in the future. I had to make sacrifices along the way but nearly 15 years later I finally accomplished my dreams. The effort and sacrifice required will be proportionate to the greatness of your dreams but don’t be scared to DREAM BIG as sacrifice and pain are only temporary; remember my article NO PAIN NO GAINI can assure you that your rewards will be far greater than the effort needed to produce permanent results. For these very reasons, I will never stop DREAMING BIG. :)

reward worth the sacrifice

However, DREAMING BIG is not enough. You have probably noticed that dreaming by itself doesn’t produce results. You may know from previous posts my motto ‘ACTION speaks louder than words.‘ :)

To simplify the action process, you need to follow these 4 steps to fulfill your big DREAMS:

STEP 1: DREAMING big

Where do you want to be in a month, a year? Then ask yourself, is it big enough?

This is the beginning of your journey. It’s your vision that keeps you on track, fuelling your desire to reach your goals. I use a vision board to continually remind myself of my BIG DREAMS. If you don’t dream BIG with a clear vision, it will be a struggle and you will get stuck in a rut. Think about a car, when you switch on the engine it doesn’t move unless you take further actions. It is the same for accomplishing your big DREAMS. :)

Always shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.‘ – Les Brown

If you do something, do it well, put all your efforts into it to accomplish your BIG DREAM.:)

dream big 2

STEP 2: Have an action plan

An action plan is fundamental to your success, it will keep your mind focused on the steps you will need to take so that you are alert and can seize every opportunity presented to you. Great ideas without correct application are almost certain to fail. An action plan will provide you with a solid structure for achieving your big DREAMS:)

dream into action plan

STEP 3: Remove distractions by focusing on your big DREAMS

You might think this is obvious, however, when coaching my clients I have noticed the main factor that delays them in achieving their goals is distraction. You have to fight against your own self-sabotage in the form of self-limiting beliefs, doubts and negativity and you need to protect yourself from negative people and their opinions.

What do I mean by protect yourself?

Firstly, protect yourself from negative people who might tell you: ‘your big DREAM is impossible’, ‘it can never be achieved’, ‘you are crazy to think so big’, ‘keep your feet on the ground’. Believe me, I have heard it all. Mandela wisely said: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ :)

Mandela it's seems impossible until is done

Secondly, protect yourself from other people’s opinions. We live in an era of mass information; there is so much personal and often contradictory opinion out there on how to ‘do this and that’. If you’re not cautious you could become confused and lose clarity on your own goals because you’re trying to figure out whose opinion is right.

A truly unbeaten strategy is to model yourself on successful people and duplicate their results however what is necessary to understand is that you can only do this if your personality aligns with their processes and formulas. Remember you already have the necessary tools, do not underestimate the power within yourself to achieve your goals, you can read my last blog about how to create your own personal success formula for achieving your big DREAMS. :)

dream focus

STEP 4: Commitment & Precise Execution

Commit yourself 110% when DREAMING big

Until you accept the responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste much time and energy. Life is short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our lives and businesses, the better off and the happier we will be. So commit yourself to achieving your goals and reap the results of success!  ‘Anything and anyone worth succeeding with are worth committing to. ‘– Adrian Pantonial

Have you honestly made the decision to get serious about your life and your business, to stop blaming others and to finally becoming the best successful person you can be?’

This is a simple ‘Yes or No’ answer! It should also be clearly demonstrated by your actions, as behaviours never lie! ‘Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.’ – Abraham Lincoln

commitment 5

So what is your answer?  

You will become successful in your life and in your business only when you seriously decide to be successful! Until you have done this, you will not have any hopes of achieving your success. You will need to have the commitment to keep going! When the tough get tougher, keep going!– W. Churchill

How do you know when you are really committed to getting results?

How are they demonstrated in your daily behaviour?

You see, one thing about successful people who dream big, it’s that at some point in their life, each one of them has looked themselves in the mirror and decided that ‘enough was enough.’ They were done playing games, settling for crumbs, standing in the back row…while other people that they didn’t perceive as courageous or as ambitious, were living in a better home and enjoying a better quality of life than them. It was in that moment that they decided to get serious and commit to being the best and the most successful person they could ever be, both in their life and in their business. I can assure you that all the great ones had this conversation with themselves. ‘There’s always a way – if you’re committed. – Tony Robbins

Once you have committed to achieving your big DREAM and your action plan details realistically the steps and time frame needed to get you there; and you are able to disregard negative opinion, you can focus on your execution. This is what will make the difference to your success. This is the step that requires more focus, time and hard work because the preciseness of your execution will determine the quality of your results. Great companies, lives and families are built on superior execution skills. The better you execute, the better you perform and the bigger the DREAMS you can take on. :) Simple as that!

Be reassured and encouraged that a small step closer is better than standing still, you’ll be amazed how far you can get. :)

dream big and take action

KEEP IN MIND:

NEVER ALLOW ANYONE TO DETERMINE YOUR VALUE!  

FIND 10 REASONS IN YOUR LIFE TO DREAM & PLAY BIG

NEVER EVER QUIT ON YOUR BIGGEST DREAMS

dream big aim 4 the star

All of us can create BIG DREAMS, so ask yourself:

If not YOU, who?

If not NOW, when?

Remember, to DREAM BIG is a matter of CHOICE, to REACH your dream is a matter of DISCIPLINE.

dream big matter of cjhoice

This is the right time of the year to start DREAMING big and remember that if your dreams don’t scare you, they are not BIG enough! :)

dream big live your life

To your BIG and beautiful DREAMS!  :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

My personal note: THANK YOU :-)

Hello to one & all :)

2013 has drawn to a close and another amazing and joyful year to look forward to will begin. :)

What about 2013?

What did we achieve in 2013?

Before DREAMING BIG for 2014, I believe that we have to look back to 2013 to celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes to be better equipped for a optimistic and happy 2014.

Celebrate yr success

Celebrating our success is something most people are not good at, instead people happily share their failures, as if they are afraid that people will think they’re crazy for being successful.

Just remember like most things in life, success goes in cycles. :)

Many people ask: ‘How long does it take to become successful quickly?

Sir Sugar once said: ‘It takes 10 years to get rich quickly…you need to both learn how to do it and then ride at least one cycle…Are you ready for the next cycle?...

SirAlanSugar 1

It’s true there is no overnight get rich quick formula, our success is based on determination, perseverance, positivity, consistency, tenacity, passion and hard work just to mention a few. :)

Take the time to list on a notebook your accomplishments, I am sure, like me, that you will be surprised of many goals you have achieved in 2013, and whatever you have achieved in 2013, tiny or huge, give yourself a pat on the back and a standing ovation! WELL DONE! :)

 well done

What did we set out to achieve in 2013 that we haven’t achieved YET?

List what you still have to achieve. You need to write them down and acknowledge them but remember to focus on the word YET, because you can still achieve goals, if you really wish to. :)

What is the difference that makes the difference to your answers above?

What are your PERSONAL rules for success?

Jot them down and once you have listed them, stick to them, then you know what you need to do accomplish your goals for 2014. :)

Whilst doing this exercise with my coach, he introduced me to a new formula called ‘Physical creation‘. Everything is created twice: firstly, in our mind and secondly in physical form.

This is the formula:

Physical creation: FUNC (Energy, Clarity & Time)

These are the four obtainable results:

↑ Energy ↑ Clarity ↓ Time to create what you wish

↓ Energy ↓ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

↓ Energy ↑ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

↑ Energy ↓ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

The time involved to accomplish your goal on the last three results depends on how long you will take to align your energy and clarity on what you wish to achieve.  Remember that time is our most precious commodity and time lost cannot be regained!

time lost cannot be regained

I guess if you are like me, you need a little more explanation :)

Physical creation is the function of energy, clarity and time.

When you have energy and clarity about what you wish to accomplish, you employ less time to achieve it. I invite you to test this theory by thinking about a past accomplished goal. Before obtaining it, you had energy and clarity about what you wished to achieve. How long did it take you?

Then think of a time when you had energy but no clarity or clarity but no energy about what you wished to accomplish. You would have spent a considerable amount of time in obtaining your goal. Only when your energy and your clarity were aligned with what you wished to achieve did you finally reach your goal. I also invite you to test this theory by thinking about a past goal when you had neither energy nor clarity. How long did it take you to achieve it?

Now that we have understood the ‘Physical creation’ formula, we have celebrated our successes of 2013 and discovered our personal success formula to achieve our goals, :) we might ask these questions: 

How are you going to approach this coming year 2014?

Are your goals set?

Are your plans in place?

Are you committed to seeing them through to the end?

THE FACT IS…

It’s irresponsible to start 2014 unfocused, unprepared, and uncommitted.

Yet, that is going to be the reality for far too many people. Ensure that it’s not going to be that way for you.

Be mindful, a big challenging goal has limited value if it’s not achieved, and expecting to get better results in the New Year from the same old behaviour will only succeed in perpetuating your current situation. It will NOT get you to another level of performance.

Great companies, lives, and families are built around superior execution skills. The better you execute, the better you perform, and the bigger the challenges you can take on. It’s that simple.:)

If your 2014 plans include achieving some BIG GOALS, then you must decide that what you want is bigger and far more important than any fear which prevents you from achieving it.

let yoru dreams be bigger than yiur fears

Fear is never a reason for not starting or quitting. It’s only an excuse for those unwilling to face their doubts, insecurities, and mental demons.

Therefore, your first duty in rising to meet the demands of a challenging goal is to conquer the fear and the mental resistance it brings along with it.

Before 2014 begins, you must shine a flashlight on your character and inspect yourself for will, courage and grit. You will need these to achieve your goals.

You must decide right NOW, that you are going to put fear behind you, that you are going to stare it down, and walk straight through it, advancing toward the goals you want with confidence, conviction, and certainty.:)

action will

Perseverance is ultimately a physical, emotional, and spiritual demonstration of how badly you want to succeed.:)

As it should be, it’s constantly fueled by a heart-pounding, ego-bashing, soul-searching test of your limits. :)

So let them see you sweat, as YOU express your greatness not by the acts you perform, not by the goals you achieve, but by the gritty perseverance that made those acts possible.

If you passionately believe that you are up to the challenge and committed to seeing your goals achieved in 2014, it is your right and responsibility to cultivate an unbeatable mindset and persevere until the end. :)

Some of the two most powerful words in English are ‘LET US’, it’s about collective success. It is how we are going to become more successful by inspiring each other to succeed.:)

everything in life up

LET US make 2014 our best year yet! :)

2014 best year yet

Before you make your goals for 2014, watch this INCREDIBLE MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO.

Even though, 2013 has been a very tough year for me, the toughest one so far, I can only describe it as a rapid roller coaster of emotions and pain accompanied with a lot of success but even more failures and plagued with health issues where along the way, I met some remarkable people but lost a few too, one of whom sculpted and affected my life with his priceless lessons. I will never forget you and your lessons. :)

However, the highlights of 2013 have been immeasurable such as running my Marathon, my Health & Fitness qualifications, writing this blog thanks to all your feedback, notes, comments, emails, suggestions to incentivise me to write every month and travelling to four different continents for my book launch ‘The Book on Success’ winning two Author awards ‘The Winning Mindset Award’ & ‘The Success Steward Award’. I visited some wonderful places, embarked in new challenging adventures, discovered  and appreciated new cultures and histories, tasted so many different dishes and learnt many useful skills but the cherry on the cake was meeting all the amazing talented individuals along the way and the happy and unforgettable moments, laughs, jokes and smiles we shared.:):)

the-happiest-people-dont-have-the-best-of-everything

I never could have accomplished those things without being ready to make mistakes, ruffle some feathers, or ‘falling’. I can assure you, day after day, I have experienced countless failures but I have employed them as springboards to strengthen my character and achieve my ultimate goals because I never gave up. As Mandela wisely said:

mandela great leaders

 So, I ask you:

 What fall did you experience this year?

 Ensure you learn from it while celebrating your SUCCESS! :)

I want to conclude this year by thanking every single person that has accompanied me on my journey because I would not be who I am today and my life would not have been so enriched as it is now. It does not matter if it has been a short or long part of my journey, what matters is that you have been part of it and you have taught me some life priceless lessons that I will never forget. :)

TO YOU, all my dear friends, family, coaches, mentors, trainers, readers, mentees, business partners, colleagues and acquaintances…to every single person that has touched and enriched my life, especially my dear, amazing and phenomenal Bro with his very wise motto and post blog ‘Health before Wealth‘, this article is a tribute and a dedication to YOU:):):)

VIV 2013

‘Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be, but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way!’ – Viv

Thank you, to all of you, with all my heart for being part of my life! :)

Viv:)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

4 Steps to Keep Fit During the Holidays

Hello to all my readers :)

How are you going to approach this coming holiday season?

What comes to mind when you think about the holidays?

What about holiday and fitness?

healthy holidays

Holiday and fitness? Some of you might think, ‘She must be joking, this isn’t an appropriate combination’. If you are caught in this type of thinking, believe me, you are not alone. I used to think the same. However, I grew up in a small town near the sea where holidays were generally associated with the beach (with the exception of the December holiday :)). Therefore keeping fit was always part of the deal, unless you were willing to go to a beach where nobody knew you (not likely as my town was very small and everyone knew each other) or getting taunted by your peers which obviously was not something anyone would want to invite. Believe me, unless you wanted to move to another town for the holiday seasons, these were strong motivators for keeping fit. :)

healthy

Others might think, ‘Bring it on…the high-calorie food and drinks; I have earned it after a year of hard work!’ You are not alone; the majority of people probably think like this.

It’s really no wonder we gain weight during the holidays. Generally speaking, most people lose sight of their fitness and fat loss goals entirely this month, only to have a rude awakening in January when their clothes are too tight.

For the last 3 years, during December to February I am at my fittest which goes against the accepted statistic, as usual. :) This got me thinking about what I did differently in these months, so alongside my coach, I came up with 4 concepts which I would like to share with you. I want to make sure you don’t forget your goals exactly the same way that my coach keeps me accountable to my goals. This post is addressed to those, who like me, want to sidestep those holiday pounds.:)

changes

These are my 4 steps to keep fit this holiday season:

Step #1: Get Focused on your Goals

‘Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.’ – Paulo Coelho

So many of our holiday traditions are focused on food. This holiday season try to draw your attention away from food and on to what’s really important, friends, family, giving and reflecting on your past years efforts. Stay focused on these rather than the plate full of hors d’oeuvres in front of you.

Be aware that the holidays can be a time of emotional eating. Sometimes stress, family conflict, or even depression can be triggered. If this happens to you, address the root of your problems with solutions other than food or drink. It’s important that you don’t lose sight of your fitness goals. Remind yourself of all the progress that you’ve made. Celebrate your successes but not with food. :) Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. :)

reach goals

Step #2: Use Effective Strategies

Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.’ – Naveen Jain

It’s important to use a strategy when approaching the many celebrations held at this time of year. With night after night of parties and events, you’ll need to pace yourself in order to keep your diet on track. :)

The most obvious and effective strategy is to arrive at the party not hungry. Instead, eat a small low-calorie snack ahead of time to prevent overeating. When it’s time for extreme measures, wear tight-fitting clothes around your waist so there’s not much room for expansion.

Another idea is to chew gum before and after a meal, so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in appetizers and desserts. During the party, don’t stand next to the food table, instead keep a safe distance. And before you get a plate of food, choose your selections wisely. Use a small plate instead of a large dinner plate and don’t go back for seconds!

One of the most important strategies is figuring out how to exercise between parties. Finding room in your busy holiday schedule for exercise will help you fight off the extra weight trying to attach itself to your midsection and rear. You don’t have to spend an hour at the gym, there are very time effective exercise which you can do in less than 5 minutes such as HIIT and Tabata. It will require effort, planning and a strong mindset which I call mental metal as you will go against crowd thinking and behaviour but I can assure you the end results will be worth the sacrifice! :) If you want to know more, my dear Bro recently wrote an excellent article on ‘Highly effective workout in less than 5 minutes…‘ I encourage you to read this inspiring post on www.springboardyourself.com/2013/12/10/highly-effective-workouts-in-less-than-5-minutes

strategies

Step #3: Preparation and Moderation are the keys!

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin

‘The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

I am not suggesting that you completely deprive yourself, as this will likely lead to a splurge that ruins all your good intentions. Be smart about what you choose to eat. Prepare what you are going to eat and above all prepare yourself mentally to overcome the challenges, I speak by experience. :) Enjoy the goodness of the season, but in moderation. Reduce calories where you can by limiting your trimmings, cheeses, sauces, creams and nuts.

Some of your favourite indulgences may only come around at this time of year. Instead of stuffing yourself, survey what foods are available and make your choices. Have your favourites and leave the everyday dishes for another time. Only eat what you love, and don’t just eat something because it’s on the buffet.

Also, be sure to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. You may not know it but it’s highly calorific. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink, like unsweetened fruit juice diluted with water.

prepatation & moderation

Step #4: Review to Success

‘Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.’ – Les Brown

It is important to review own results. This means we need to understand what we did right to keep doing it and what we did wrong to avoid it. We celebrate our successes and we learn lessons from our mistakes! This is the most effective way to achieve our goals and see tangible results. So, review your week without fail to avoid regret when the holidays are over. I personally have a journal for my fitness and dieting. It really helps me be objective, it’s all there in black and white and I cannot hide behind excuses, but above all it assists me to accelerate the achievement of my goals. :)

measure your success

You might have noticed that all these tips involve working mainly on your mindset as this is the key to your success. :)

mindset performance loop

Follow these simple tips, and you will avoid weight gain this holiday season and start 2014 off on the right footing.

Exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving fitness goals such as weight loss. :)

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results, without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes. Contact me today to get started on my best available program.  :)

Remember, you can create your life just the way you want it. Take action NOW! :)

‘Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. ACT! Action will delineate and define you.’ – Thomas Jefferson

Action speak louder than words…’ – Mark Twain

running

To your keeping fit during the holiday! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

 

 

7 Lessons from Albert Einstein’s School of Hard Knocks

Hello to all my readers, :)

 

Have you ever wondered which school is classified as the best for success? 

What is the real secret of successful people?

Have you ever thought how come most successful people seem to go from one success to another without obstacles?

 

‘The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.‘ – Herbert Agar

We often associate certain names with the characteristic of excellence. David Beckham with football, Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web and Pablo Picasso with art.

What if you had to name the genius of the 20th century?

Without a doubt, Albert Einstein would be nominated.  :) Why?

Albert-Einstein-simple

Although we know him as one of the smartest men ever born, at school he was average at best. He shunned certain classes for the mediocrity of education and mocked teachers who were irritated by his lack of obedience. His Greek grammar teacher, Joseph Degenhart, achieved immortality in the history books through insisting that ‘nothing would ever become of you.’ Later, when Einstein was told it would be best if he left the school, Degenhart explained, ‘Your presence in the class destroys the respect of the students.’ Disgusted by the rote teaching, Einstein quit high school at the age of fifteen. The rest is history. :)

This man of great scientific feats was also a man of noble heart and uncanny wisdom gained from the school of hard knocks. He often struggled to pay bills until the age of 26 when he wrote three papers that revolutionized our world.

Is it the type of school that defined a person’s charisma and intelligence?

What are Albert Einstein’s 7 lessons from the School of Hard Knocks that characterise  successful people?

Lesson # 1  Invest in the success of others.

albert-einstein-quotes Invest in suc

In his famous essay, ‘The world as I see it’, Albert Einstein wrote: ‘A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…’ :)

Those who succeed in life understand that success comes to those who make the conscious effort every day to give back to their family, friends and the community. When we invest our life energy into ensuring the success of others, our reciprocity encourages our own success. For example through blogging, I have found when I try to uplift others by sharing my experience and knowledge, I too receive positivity and connection from countless people who take the time to visit my blog and to comment on my articles. :)

Lesson # 2  Never stop growing.

Albert_Einstein_Message Never stop growing

‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.’- Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein’s dislike for conventional schooling never had any influence on his passion for learning. Throughout his life he passionately explored nature and its vastness to seek answers to mysteries that intrigued his mind. A life of solitude and self-study made him into the eminent scientist we recognise.

In our life we learn by meeting different people, by exploring our ideas to solve the common issues and by relentless desire to improve our way of life. Personally, I have learned many lessons of life after I left the school.

Lesson # 3  Your life is limited by the limits of your thoughts.

AlbertEinstein limited

‘Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.’ – Albert Einstein

We are educated to consider life with logic. We learn how to get from A to B with merit but we equally abhor thoughts of charting our own course to get from A to B. We are taught to excel at knowledge that already exists. We are infused with the fear of self-doubt to even consider an alternative path.

History has shown that those who contributed the most to mankind were the ones who defied the accepted knowledge of the masses. They dared to imagine what was considered impossible at the time. For example, the 6th century BC Greek mathematician Pythagoras said that the Earth was round and in the 3rd century BC Greek astronomer Aristarchus said that the Earth revolved around the sun. In both cases their ideas were rejected as preposterous.

‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.’
– Confucius

Lesson # 4  Simplify everything you do.

Albert einstein simplify

‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’ – Albert Einstein

Life is simple and those who succeed definitely master the art of simplicity in everything that they passionately do. Warren Buffet was once asked why he hadn’t invested in Microsoft despite being a close friend of Bill Gates. He answered ‘I don’t invest if I don’t understand the underlying business.’ It’s a simple answer but one that Buffet adheres to and it has served him well. :)

James Michener, in his memoir, The World Is My Home, revealed the secret his work when he wrote: ‘Good writing…consists of trying to use ordinary words to achieve extraordinary results.’ :)

All of our wisdom and knowledge dies a horrible death if we do not possess the deftness of expressing our knowledge in simple words to the rest of the world.

Lesson # 5 Live a simple Life.

Alb einstein live a simple life

In his famous essay, ‘The world as I see it’, Albert Einstein wrote, ‘The trite objects of human efforts — possessions, outward success, luxury — have always seemed to me contemptible.’

One of the myths of our society is that ‘more’ will make us ‘happier’. We invest our life energy to possess lifeless possessions. We are educated to foster consumption with the mantra of – ‘The more, the better.’ We are educated to have a great job. A great job requires luxuries to fulfill our outlandish desire to impress others. Before we realize it, we mortgage our freedom to the possessions that bring more sorrow and inner grief in a vain hope to show off to the masses. A life of happiness and inner peace rests upon the virtue of simplicity.

Seldom do schools teach or promote the value of living a simple life or the value of living within our means. The current subprime mortgage crisis is a wakeup call for all of us. It is madness to accumulate more possessions when we cannot afford them in the vain hope that they will make us happy.  It becomes an endless loop of self-pity. Feeling part of something greater than ourselves and having what we need brings a life of contentment. :)

Lesson # 6  Never quit!

Alb Eins never quit

‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’ – Albert Einstein

Our conventional education rewards those who succeed in exhibiting their knowledge of books. Students with the ability to memorise rather than the power of creativity are rewarded for their stupendous bookish knowledge. Our dislike of failure comes from the years of schooling that abhors failure. It’s the fear of failure that limits our thoughts and restricts our imagination. Albert Einstein’s passion for physics and his dislike for conventional schooling allowed him to become the greatest scientist of the 20th century. History has countless examples of people who never ceased to imagine, question and discover what intrigued their minds. Success comes to those in abundance who dare to imagine and find solutions that would benefit mankind. These brave people understand the value of failure to gain knowledge that can lead to the peaks of success. :)

Lesson # 7  We are creatures of our values and character.

Alb EIns value and character

‘Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.’ – Albert Einstein

Every bookstore carries a plethora of books on success and we flock to seminars that promise and sell instant success themes to our insecure minds. Our culture adores instant success to such an extent that thoughts of failure or the fact that achieving your goal will take time, shake even the strongest will. The reality is a far cry from our fake belief. There will be obstacles and failures along the way but we must bounce back from the lows. In today’s world, the ‘get rich quick’ mantra shuns the virtues of value and character. We all know that a man without values and character is doomed to fail miserably in life.

‘I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.’
~Albert Einstein

So, from the school of hard knocks, Albert Einstein taught us to work selflessly for others, to never stop growing our minds, to love our imagination, to make our thoughts simple enough for others to understand, to live a life of simplicity, to never quit no matter what it takes to succeed and above all, live a life of the highest values and character. :)

Albert-Einstein-Quote imagination

Are you a graduate of Einstein’s school of hard knocks?

Remember, success is not a straight line, it has curves, valleys and peaks to climb but at the end, it will be worth it! :)

succeed 1

‘Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you will become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals that can give you the deepest and most long lasting sense of fulfillment.‘ – A. Robbins

alb einst man of value

To your success!

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Who knows you?

Hello readers :)

Have you ever heard the saying ‘you get out of life what you put into it’?  

Better yet, how about ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’?  

Everyone has heard these sayings at some point in their life. But how can you apply these sayings to relationships?

‘I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.’ – Walter Cronkite

what it takes

This quote and principle applies very well to functioning relationships. Simply, the success you achieve in relationships will be proportionate to the quality and quantity of the effort you put in. If you do everything it takes to make a functioning relationship work, it probably will. This will not be easy as relationships are not static. Once we are in a relationship, we still have to work at it as people’s personalities and circumstances evolve with time. Also challenges are all around us, testing our relationships and helping us to build our character and strengthen our fortitude. Sometimes we might fail with someone. It is how we pick ourselves up and move forward one step at a time that will determine the success in our relationships. ‘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!

down-but-not-out-logo

The greatest human quality is that of becoming unstoppable. And you become unstoppable by refusing to quit, no matter what happens.‘ – Brian Tracy

never give up

Relationships are fundamental to our personal evolution. We are all in relationships in one form or another and we talk about them endlessly. If we are not mothers, we are fathers or daughters or sons or brothers or sisters or friends or work colleagues and often multiples of these.

What is the importance of relationships?

Simply, they provide opportunities to keep in touch with our emotions and with the emotions of others such as joy, a sense of connectedness and fulfillment. And if they don’t work, we feel frustrated, unhappy and possibly alone.

You might ask, what is the reason for all this?

The answer lies in our human needs. We have the need to share our successes, stories, projects, adventures, inspiration, frustration and pain just to mention a few. If we don’t share, we feel that something or more likely someone is missing from our life.

Friendship-Day

We have all come across people who say that to help another person move their life forward is one of the most rewarding experiences. I strongly believe that there is nothing more gratifying than helping people achieve their goals and to see them glowing with a new sense of their own possibilities. I am sure that most of you will agree with me.

Think for a moment, can we start a family by ourselves?

With whom do we build a successful business, pursue projects and share ideas?

There will always be exceptions, but most of us will spend time with friends, families and work colleagues. The reality is that we cannot live without others. This is not an easy concept to accept as we love to think we are independent. If you speak with successful people in any arena of life and business, they will state that much of their success is determined by who they work with. In short, we depend on each other.

friendship stars

Think about humankind’s history. From the beginning of what we know, till now, humans have always looked for unity and companionship as families, communities, teams, friends and colleagues. Our ancestors understood that a unified group made them stronger and more able to achieve common goals. Even today, our lives are centered on supporting, inspiring and sharing with each other. After thousands of years and advancements in many areas of our lives, we still need to fulfill the same necessity of being in relationships.

team work

Then, if this is the reality, why are many relationships not so easy?

That’s the tricky part. ‘Where there is no struggle there is no strength‘ – Oprah Winfrey. This is a very powerful quote; I attached it to my fridge so I never forget to make more effort in my relationships and my goals. In my life I have felt the pain of mistakes I have made, but ultimately it has made me wiser and stronger! You have to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone when you meet obstacles along the way. See it as an opportunity to become more and to achieve more in your life. All the effort we employ in accomplishing our goals is not in vain, it makes us resilient and each minor success energizes us and gives us the strength to keep going. When we attain our goals with the help of others then I can assure you, the joy, satisfaction, gratitude and fulfillment are limitless. When we spend time with others simply interacting, our lives are more enjoyable and the memories last in our hearts forever. ‘You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known that person forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.”  ―  C. Joybell. This quote illustrates well our need to bond with others.

friend happy

The above quote also differentiates between communication and connection. We communicate verbally, through the written word and with our body language but we connect with our hearts. When our feelings and emotions are involved, we are better able to understand what it is to be in another person’s shoes.

Here is an example of a beautiful passage: ‘Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being a part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can’t stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is forever friendship. When you’re down and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your forever friend follows. If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a forever friend, and forever has no end.’ :)

friendship 1

So, who knows you? 

When we connect we develop a deeper level of relationship. This is true of not only friendships and families but the world of business has recently begun to see the powerful value of it too. In fact, I have often heard at business events and seminars that the currency of this century is connection and not money. This is reflected by the fact that companies are increasingly engaging in network events in order to make connections with other businesses with the aim of being mutually beneficial.

When I think about relationships, my starting point is to remember that everything we have learnt came to us through someone else’s hands. At our best, we pass on this borrowed existence to others, enhanced by our own contribution. At our worst, we waste and misuse it. I have decided to pass mine. I feel my life has been an amazing journey. I have learnt a lot from every person I have met along the way, many of whom have touched my life and heart in unforgettable ways. :)

You have to wake up every morning and ask yourself:

How much do you want this relationship?

How much work are you willing to put in for the people you want and need in your life?

What are you willing to give up in pursuit of your dream?

Nothing great comes without effort. But I promise you that if it’s something of great meaning in your heart and something you need in your lifeEVERY risk, EVERY step, EVERY tear and EVERY drop of sweat will be WORTH IT! :)

relationship 1

We are all in the same game of life, just different levels. No matter what level you are at, if you really want to be successful in both relationships and other areas of your life follow your heart and passion but temper it with logic. You don’t need to be afraid of the mistakes you made in previous relationships and the ones you are going to make in the future. These are all part of your journey to reach your destination. Also remember that sometimes you need to pause to reflect and fully appreciate the people you meet along the way who enrich your life and assist you in becoming a better you. Even if you might find someone who at first appears destructive, they may have important lessons to teach you. :)

One of the secrets of any relationship is to Be the authentic you! You need to be your authentic self to enjoy the journey and only when you appreciate who you are then others will too. People can often discern whether you are authentic or not. The only person you are fooling is yourself!

be yourself

If you have a challenging relationship simply ask yourself:

  • What is my part in the dynamic of this relationship?
  • What can I do differently?
  • How can I make this work?
  • What behaviour will set me on course towards a successful outcome?
  • How can I bring out the best in myself?
  • What can I do to live a meaningful relationship?

‘There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.’ – Tom Krause. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. You are not defeated when you lose, you are only defeated when you quit!

Remember that success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out and it is not about what you accomplish in your life or what relationship you are in, it is about what you inspire others to do. To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredibleI can assure you that there is no better feeling! :)

I urge you to keep in mind the following metaphor: Start thinking like a camera, focus on what’s important and capture the good times. Remember to develop yourself from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot. Always chase your dreams instead of running from your fears.

Life is like a camera 2

It is never too late to be whoever you want to be and have meaningful relationships. I hope with all my heart that you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, I hope you have the courage and the strength to start again as it will be worth it! :)

‘It is impossible,’ says Pride. ‘It is risky,’ says Experience. ‘It is pointless,’ says Reason. ‘GO FOR IT,’ whispers the Heart.

Which one are you going to listen to?

To your successful relationship! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

What’s your story? Are you a buyer or a seller?

Hello readers :)

Have you ever felt regret and found excuses for experiences, actions and adventures that you could have made happen and yet you didn’t?

 

What story would you tell your friends, family, children and grandchildren?

 

What story would you write in your autobiography?

1st page of a book

All of us tell stories about ourselves because stories define us and help us connect with each other. Wouldn’t you agree that to know someone well is to know their story? To know the experiences that have shaped them, the lessons that life has taught them and the trials and turning points that have tested them.

life lesson 2

life lesson 1

mindset

When we want someone to know us, we share stories of our childhoods, our families, our school years, our work experiences, our friends, our passions and so on.

Fast forward to December 31st 2013 and think for a moment about the story you are going to tell yourself and repeat numerous times to others.

Will it be a story of…?

MASSIVE SUCCESS and how you made this the best year of your life.

best version of you

REDEMPTION and how you turned your year around.

dont look back

REGRET and how you let so many opportunities slip by.

lost opp

EXCUSES and how tough the economy has been.

excuses

You must accept the reality that by the end of this year, your story will have already been written.

The narrative of your story will be a direct result of your inner dialog and corresponding performance.

performance

The FACTS are simply this: when it comes to the fundamentals of your story, you are either a BUYER or a SELLER.

buyer and seller

If your story is one of REDEMPTION and MASSIVE SUCCESS, then you are a SELLER.

top seller 1

You have sold yourself on the importance of discipline, commitment, and fortitude, and have stayed focused on driving your results in spite of the world of distractions and temptations that circle modern life.

If your story is one of REGRET, EXCUSES and UNDER-PERFORMANCE then you are a BUYER.

buyer

You have bought the same excuses that have led so many others down the pathway of mediocrity and disappointment.

You have bought into procrastination, lack of discipline, the nonsense masqueraded on TV and in newspapers about how bad things are and whatever else is your poison of choice.

To finish the year strong you must become a seller. You must sell yourself on the power of your goals, on your reasons why, and your vision for what is possible.

To be clear: You must begin working on a bigger, better and bolder story! :)

What’s the reason?

Because the CLOCK IS TICKING...less than 100 days remain until the end of this year.

time is ticking

You see, regardless of the nature of their actions, EVERYONE delivers results. :)

If you are currently below target, and your year-to-date performance is not where you know it should be, then you must acknowledge that your existing strategies are not working, and take immediate corrective action to close your performance gaps during these final days. Take courage as I am also experiencing the same, in fact this post is a reflection of how to ensure that I complete my projects on time!

It’s time to shine a flashlight on your soul, acknowledge that your current strategies are NOT working, and wake up to the fact that if you continue along this line of behaviour, the remainder of this year and your future is in serious jeopardy.

The hard fact is that if you are currently under-performing there’s ONLY one reason:

IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT!

Your year-to-date results aren’t dependent upon your background, your company, your spouse, the economy, the latest bestseller on the self-help charts and so on.

Your results ARE dependent upon, one thing…YOU and your ability to deliver, and right now you have NOT delivered the goods.

I would love to share with you these 7 insights:

1. Your results are a REFLECTION of your self-esteem and demonstrate what you believe to be true about yourself and what you are capable of.

2. Your results will NEVER be greater than the vision and beliefs you hold in your mind. Therefore small thoughts and limited beliefs will ONLY deliver small, unimpressive results.

3. Your results SHOWCASE to the world the depth of your commitment, initiative, creativity and passion.

4. Your results SCREAM volumes as to your ability to solve problems or perpetuate pain.

5. Your results TELL the world how you talk about yourself even when no one’s around.

6. Your results INFORM everyone who’s watching what you do or do NOT do every single day.

7. Your results are the NATURAL consequence of your behaviour and BEHAVIOUR NEVER LIES.

The good news is that there is still time to reach your goals, to redeem yourself and most importantly, to finish the year strong. :)

goal

Your ability to finish the year strong is ultimately about character. It’s about turning a flashlight on your soul and examining yourself to find your will, courage and commitment. :)

 character

The final chapter of your 2013 story is waiting to be written…

Is it going to be seen as the sad consequence of neglect, poor character, lack of direction and ambition, or will it be an inspiring example of talent put to good use in the intense pursuit of clearly defined year-end goals?

The 100 Day Challenge countdown of the year has already begun. Each day is important and I trust you will do everything in your power to make sure that every action you take will count towards achieving your goals. You know that every effort is worth it! :)

goal 1

To your successful story! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Confidence through Confluence!

Hello to all my readers :),

Have you ever wanted to speak up about something important but bitten your tongue and kept quiet instead?

Have you ever experienced being shy and feeling uncomfortable in the midst of other people, for example at the gym?

Have you ever been afraid to ask for that raise you very much deserve and have worked hard for?

I am sure you will agree that everybody could do with a bit more of it in one or more aspects of their lives, whether it’s at school, at work, in a relationship or meeting new people. Have you guessed what it is yet?

Yes, I’m talking about CONFIDENCE:)

I have already written about this subject in my previous posts, so feel free to have a read under other perspectives: Becoming Unstoppable! & Becoming Unstoppable Part 2!

confidence 4

I hold the subject of confidence particularly close to my heart as it is something I have always struggled with and therefore I’m constantly working on it. People that may personally know me will find this statement very awkward as I come across as a very confident person. The reality is that I have learnt to manage my feelings very well using techniques which help me with this very aspect. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I had to have my first ‘professional’ meeting with my dear Bro; he is someone who I know very well, a family member, isn’t he?  Oh boy, believe me, I was so uncomfortable and nervous that I had butterflies in my stomach, my heart was beating like crazy, I could not concentrate on anything he was telling me, I kept asking him to repeat himself and it was so embarrassing! I was so uneasy that I wanted to be anywhere else but there talking to him! Crazy, isn’t? The only positive factor was that I managed my state very well and he didn’t notice my discomfort! You see, even when you have to speak to people who you know and get on with very well, it can still feel painful when broaching a difficult discussion and could sometimes even end a fond relationship like in my aforementioned situation. But, you won’t do yourself justice if you don’t speak up and as a result, you and the other person won’t reach a satisfactory resolution and move on. In my case, I did not reach the outcome I wanted, but testing my confidence with my dear Bro in a new environment has been worth the challenge. He tested my mindset by stretching my comfort zone and as a result, it has really allowed the writing of this post to flourish. :-)  ‘The past is always a teacher of the present…Let go of the guilt and rub off the lesson.’ – James Van Praagh

At this point we might ask: What does it mean to be confident?

To start with, we need to understand what we mean by confidence as it will allow us to verify whether we are confident people. The dictionary defines it as “beliefs in oneself and one’s power and abilities”…

Basically, confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable or scared out of our comfort zone.

confidence 2

Ok, it is clear there are many benefits to being confident, how exactly can we become more confident?

As in my experience, it takes courage to express yourself, explain your side of the story and ask questions. In any situation which is painful or challenging you will feel fear. Fear in life is an absolute given, you will not escape it. Accepting fear as a natural part of your life and as a means to growth is the first step, it’s the decision you make after the acceptance that is the decisive factor. :)

Are you going to let your fears overcome you or are you going to overcome them?

fear 1

In deciding to overcome your fears you have already demonstrated courage which will give you the strength to carry through the actions needed. But it is only after this that your confidence will have grown. You cannot pluck confidence out of thin air, you need to go through the process of fear, courage, strength and action before you can obtain confidence. It’s similar to putting savings in your bank account. Every achievement becomes your social proof (saving), enabling you to gain more confidence (increasing your bank account) which in turn will help you handle the next challenge.

Many of the factors that affect confidence are actually beyond our control. However, we can get the mental edge we need to reach our full potential. :)

confidence experience 1

How can we learn to be more confident?

We may be familiar with what confident friends may say to us: ‘Well, just be confident, mate!’ However, to a person that doesn’t feel that confident, this piece of advice may not be very helpful at all. You know what I am talking about, don’t you?

I have recently been to an event and one subject that kept coming up was that successful people have a boatload of confidence which has been built through the layering of knowledge, experience, competence, expertise, achievement and success. At this point, I remembered what my financial market trader coach, Jit, kept telling me: ‘Confidence through Confluence!’. What did he mean? By layering all the confluent factors in our favour, they provide us with an edge in the financial market. This is exactly what successful people do in all realms of business including trading. :)

The reality is that confidence is just a step below success. The process is simple: when we are confident, we are deciding analytically and not emotionally, therefore we get our desired results. This concept applies even more in the trading world as my fellow traders very well know. To become confident, at first, traders have to focus on the process and not on the prize or capital involved otherwise their emotions will interfere with their objectivity and produce inconsistent unsatisfactory results as well as guaranteed frustration.

Confidence through a confluence of factors, is essential to grow your belief system to provide you with social proof that the task aimed at is achievable. The first example I can think of is related to my passion for trading the financial market and specifically the selection process in choosing a trade. Check out this post Your trading edge to get more insight into this subject.  I have always used a checklist from the very first day I learnt trading and I quickly discovered the power of it. It helped me to make logical decisions, I simply had to ask myself does this trade meet my requirements or not! What factors were listed in my checklist? Well, honestly, I blindly believed my trader coach as he had more experience than me! He listed the factors I needed to look for that enabled me to make confident decisions when the trade met the listed criteria. Most of my confluent factors are cyclicity, price action, horizontal and Fibonacci levels and all these strengthened my confidence…so, you can see the power of confluence. Combine this with discipline and you can almost guarantee your success.  Be disciplined with your discipline! is one of my dear Bro’s posts based on his personal experience. Why do you not check it out and get inspired? :-)

This principle applies in all aspects of life, for example in business, our confidence grows through our business experience, knowledgeable employees, other experts, intuitive and capable coaches and mentors, talented managers and trusted suppliers to name but a few. You see where I’m going with this…Although the difference between everyday life and trading the financial markets is that in everyday life you can fake confidence as in my aforementioned experience but in trading you can’t because the results will speak for themselves. 

The real question is: What are our confluent factors to increase our confidence?

This is a very personal question. Everyone will have different factors that enable their confidence to grow. However, a commonality is that leveraging or utilising confluent factors suggested by more experienced people, such as coaches and mentors will greatly assist you to become more confident and accelerate your journey to success.  :)

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To summarise, acquiring confidence is made up of two steps:

Step 1 : The process.

This consists of overcoming fear through courage to gain the strength to carry through an action to achieve a goal. It’s the achievement which builds your confidence.

Step 2: The layering of your confluent factors.

Once you repeat step 1 often enough, a process of compounding your acquired knowledge, experience, competence, expertise, achievement and success, your confidence becomes an intrinsic aspect of your personality. So Confidence through Confluence! Compounding everything! is a post that I warmly invite you to read in order to expand my dear Bro’s insight on the compounding subject (his 8th wonder of the world). :)  

confidence muscle

Even if we’re reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a self analysis check up to review and compare our previous achievements to score our confidence levels. It feels good to be confident, which in turn perpetuates further confidence, impresses people and brings you success.  Is this not what everyone wants? :)

Confidence-Level

So, what level is our confidence?

Remember: when you feel confident, you not only feel happier but also more capable and efficient

The quote below is really a reminder to myself as my confidence level will be again tested today with my dear Bro!  :)

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.‘ – Eleanor Roosevelt

To our growth of Confidence through Confluence!

Viv :) xx

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Is your Social Proof reliable?

A warm greeting to all my readers :),

Have you ever experienced feeling uncertain and in need to take cues from others to make decisions?

 

Have you ever felt refraining from or doing something just because you are following what other people are doing?

 

How can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals despite having a reliable Social Proof?

 

I personally asked myself these questions and the answers were quite revealing. In this article will cover my truth no. 9 ‘Have Reliable Social Proof!’ I listed this in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

You see many agree that it’s a well-accepted fact now that we are all ‘social beings’ with a basic need to be connected to others. What is not so well known is that we are such social creatures that we are highly susceptible to being influenced by ‘the herd’ and unless we are a strong natural leader, we tend look to others for behavioural cues. If no-one else is doing anything, the thinking goes that there is a good reason for not getting involved. This effect is particularly significant when we are uncertain what to do, for example when we find ourselves in unfamiliar situations.

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It’s common that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct…We are social and tribal beings, and what others think about us remarkably important. In our need for a sense of identity we seek to belong and so easily conform with what others are doing. We view a behaviour as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it. As with the other “weapons of influence,” social proof is a shortcut that usually works well for us: if we conform to the behaviour we see around us, we are less likely to make a social faux pas. Also auditory cues are powerful stimuli because they influence us at a level of consciousness that is difficult to critique. The reverse effect happens too. When others are doing something that we know is wrong, we are more likely to assume that it is ok to do it too. This explains something of how peaceful crowds can turn into unlawful mobs. It also explains how young people turn to drugs and crime when they see their peers acting this way.

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So with this sort of pressure, how can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals?

Before we dismiss social proof out of hand we need to be fair. Much popular behaviour is valuable and the fact that many people do it may be a good sign that we should follow suit. Regular dental checkups, exercising, taking financial advice and so on, are activities engaged in by millions and with good reason. :)

It’s only when we blindly follow the masses that our individual integrity is threatened – especially when our mind chatter says ‘is this really right?’ before being drowned out by the roar of the crowd. But if we go against the herd at any opportunity then our behaviour is no less mechanical than the social-proof induced actions of a Nazi or fashion victim.

We need to be influenced by those around us for society to function but we also need to understand that more people doing something doesn’t necessarily make it right.

social-proof 2

How do we know if our Social Proof is reliable then?

Saying all the above, we realise that we are social being, of course some more than others as it will depend from our internal or external point of reference. Despise this, we are easily influenced by other people behaviours and at the same time as human being we will need to have the Social Proof that tasks and desired goals have already been accomplished from others to provide us with the certainty that our goal can be achieved. To highlight this point, my dear Bro has written an article on his personal experience to demonstrate what a reliable Social Proof can inspire other to do! As always, I invite you to read his inspirational blog! Here his link: Social Proof…

Take, for example, marathon runners and the time they employ to run one! They provide us with a reliable Social Proof that it is possible for us too!

matathon runners
Since psychological research shows we tend to be influenced by those who are similar to us, we can assume that having a reliable Social Proof will allow us to produce similar results to theirs. Therefore, we will have a reliable Social Proof if the proofs shown are provided by people who are like us, have achieved similar goals and standards to ours and they have a proved record to back up their achievements allowing them to be considered as authority in their field and be worth to look up as role model to follow.

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Is then your Social Proof reliable?

Only you know the honest answer! :)

Remember: The principle of social proof suggests that we tend to look to others to decide what to do, especially when we are uncertain about the correct behaviour. Seeing others doing something has a powerful influence on us, especially if we perceive those others to be a lot like us. :) ‘Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd’ – Annie Besant

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After reading this article, it will be worth to take some time aside for some revision time!

You might consider to evaluate the reliability of your Social Proof, what impact has in your life and most of all, what results are you achieving because of its influence on you! :)

Does your Social Proof make you going forward and nearer to achieve your goals?

Remember: ‘Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit!‘ and ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’ – Martin Luther King Jr

Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results. ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.‘ – Robert Collier

Remember: Having a reliable Social Proof is part of the journey to Success. :)

One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

To your reliable Social Proof!

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

2013: Planning for being your Best Year yet!

Hello readers, :-)

Are you ready to plan for this year to be your best year yet?

Have you reviewed your last year successes and missing goals?

What lessons have you learnt?

What your results have provided you evidence of?

Consistency? Effectiveness?

If you continue doing things the same way this year as you did last year, what type of results can you realistically expect?

What will make this year your best year yet? What make this year different from your previous ones?

…and yes you are right, another year has just gone and the good news is that a new one has just started! :-) New year, new opportunities! Will you spot and capitalise on them?

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

2013 new years resolutions

Well, this year, I have consciously decided to not have any…Surprised? I’m not…This year, I have an Action Plan instead and decided to commit to it. I knew that it would have been a different one in same way or another and I had a great start…Instead of wishing and making New Year’s resolutions as usual, I decided to take ACTION and do what my resolution would have been…be fitter and healthier and do what I really love doing: running!

action plan

So at 11.40 PM on the 31st of December 2012, I left home with my trainers and headed off to Trafalgar Square, my usual running journey. Was it easy? I can assure you, it was everything else than easy…going against the crowd flow, being looked up as a crazy one :), being challenged by a young guy, a bicycle and a car…I have to admit, I felt completely outside my comfort zone but I am proud to have not given in and achieved my first step to my long term running goal: 50 miles in 5 days! :-)

running

What about you?

What action have you already taken this year to bring you nearer to your goals?

What have you committed to achieve this year?

Every 1st of January is the first blank page of a 365 page book. You duty is to ensure to write a good one.

1st page of a book

You see, there are no excuses to start planning your next 12 months as you should had reserved some time during this break to reflect on your past year and above all, to think about what you want to achieve in your next 12 months...

What are the steps you have planned to move you from where you are now to where you want to be (your goal)?

STEPS_goal_setting

The steps that you put in place to achieve your goals are the closing gaps between goal formulation and goal execution and consequently goal achievement. It’s very important to start the new year by taking advantage of the Momentum of the new year with a chick start as it will strengthen your focus and intensify your commitment, add discipline and prioritise your task to achieve your goals! :-) My dear bro, last year had given some very good tips on what he considered in his planning, here his link: ‘Planning for 2012 to be your best year on record…!’

The reality is that any task or goal takes as much as we allow for them to take and by setting non-negotiable deadlines and by not allowing much time to get the results we expect, it won’t take much time to start seeing BIG RESULTS:-)

To achieve our personal best and to start and focused, we need to develop a sense of urgency and importance about what we are doing – urgency to the extent that getting results and achieving our goals is a matter of life or death.

The size of your Success is measured by the strength of your desire and how you handle disappointment along the way.‘ – Robert Kiyosaki

I want to share and leave you with something intriguing and inspirational, it’s one of the most motivational speech from Rocky Balboa:

When Things got hard, you started looking for something to blame. Like a Big Shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know…

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently IF YOU LET IT…

You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. Although it ain’t about how hard you hit… it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward? THAT’S HOW WINNING IS DONE!

Now if you know what you’re worth, Go out and Get What Your Worth, But you gotta be willing to take the hits. Not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. COWARDS DO THAT AND THAT IS NOT YOU! YOUR BETTER THEN THAT.’ :-)

RockyBalboa5

What are your commitments for 2013?

‘Make the next 12 months, the year of YOU! It’s time to bring out your best! :-)

Remember that it takes a second to smile :-), a second to frown, just a second to say ‘I love you’ and a second to say ‘enough.’ It takes a second to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

It takes a second to say ‘let’s do it’ and another second to show you mean it…it takes a second to let go and a second to hold tight.

It takes a second to stop and a second to start. It takes a second to breathe…to blink…to be… So it takes a second to commit to your new life...

The real opportunity of our lives live in these tiny temporal ‘tick-tocks’, and if our life is made up of moments – the seeds of which start with a second … then this is how many wondrous opportunities you have in a single day ! :-)

So go on…’CARPE DIEM’ and make your life extraordinary! :-)

To your commitments to your next Best 12 months!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

P.S. ‘If you want to make yourself accountable, please feel free to leave a comment with your commitment and I’ll be very pleased to hold you accountable of them along this year journey but and there is always a but :-), you need to do what it takes to stick to your commitments and achieve your goals – this requires a two ways effort! :-)