3 Rules for Trading Success!

A very warm evening to all my readers :)

Have you ever considered to become a financial market trader?

Have you ever experienced success when you first started to trade?

trading

You might know, that traders and active investors are a largely misperceived breed and their profession/discipline is also misunderstood. Trading, whether that of Forex, Futures, Stocks, Bonds or Options, is usually viewed as gambling by the public. It is seen as a way to get rick quick through fortune. But there is so much more to it than meets the eye.

Legitimate day traders, swing traders, and active investors are true masters of their craft, rising above human nature to churn out profits consistently from the market. Just like great artists, athletes, and professionals train years to become proficient, so do great traders, honing their skills of analysis, risk control, and mental discipline to gain an edge in the markets.

As any other discipline, to become successful in trading, there is the need to be discipline and to follow the rules. :)

disciplined_trading_cycle

Below I have listed three rules to follow to become a long-term successful trader. Only when you master them, you can see consistent results in your trading. :)

Rule 1:  Your desire to ‘win’ is the problem.

Male hand holding gold medal against the dramatic sky

They say that the worst thing in life is not death, but what dies within you while you are still alive. I strongly believe in this :)

Dreams are powerful things, and nothing is worse than when life makes them seem impossible to achieve.  In the words of a famous 1980’s song, dreams are like ‘china in your hand’ – they can break easily.

As trader, you might be familiar with this scenario: when first started out in trading, the stock market was your best friend.  Everything looked so easy: technology, advanced trading software and online brokerage accounts made trading seem like child’s play. And then the worst thing that could befall a new trader to start winning.

Then the markets began to reward you for trading without any discipline or proper planning.  Skimming the indices for a few points here and there – jumping in and jumping out like a trapeze artist, instead of risking 1% of your capital on each trade risk 20%, instead of honouring your stop-loss, you would start to move it as soon as you feared you might be losing.  As you started to win more and more trades, you began to over-leverage and over-trade your position.  And yes, the markets still rewarded you with money. Not surprisingly, your good fortune did not last for very long, within a few months you reduced your beautiful trading account to 30% of its original value.’  Does it sound familiar?

If you have experienced losses in your early days of trading, consider yourself very fortunate.  That should have taught you a very important lesson about risk – there are sharks and piranhas everywhere ready to take your money.  More importantly the market has no responsibility to make you money as it does not know your existence and the market never loses!

 

Summary:  Traders should focus on executing their trading plans and minimising their risks and NOT whether they will win or lose on any single trade.  Profits will come to you if you take care of the risk.

risk

Rule 2: Your worst enemy: You & your Perfectionism

cycle of perfectionism

Few things in life are ever perfect such as holding your newborn baby for the first time or the smile of the love of your life. :)

The desire to get things perfect and ‘just right’ may serve you well in other professions – but it is a curse when it comes to trading or starting any business.

I have seen many traders follow a pattern: they go from over-confident to over-cautious.  After a losing streak, they begin to question their system.  Now a trade has to ‘feel right’ to them before they take action and by the time the feeling comes it is much too late to enter. And then begins the next inevitable stage: the search for the magic pill – a foolproof and easy trading system that gets you in and out at exact tops and bottoms and you never lose.

People that spent time looking for such a ‘magic pill’ – it does not exist so please do not waste your time.  (I say this just in case you saw that movie ‘Limitless’ which coincidentally was about a guy who swallows a pill and becomes a stock market genius.  An excellent movie, but it’s not going to happen!)

Summary:  There are no shortcuts to success – only hard work and adhering to a proper trading plan.

champions-know-there-are-no-shortcuts-to-the-top

3: Trade to make a living, NOT to make a killing

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A question I often get asked in my coaching sessions is ‘Can I trade a £2,000 account to be able to quit my job?’  This is clearly not realistic.  Another favourite is:  ‘How do I turn £2,000 into £1 million in six months?’  Err… You’ve got to be kidding me!

There are companies out there who allow you to leverage your money through the medium of spread betting, CFDs or options.  You could use £2,000 to trade on 100:1 leverage and if you are fortunate ‘make a fortune’.  But that good fortune only has to turn into bad fortune once before you lose everything.  And just because you can do something does not mean you should do it.  You could drive a fast car at ridiculous speeds down a small country road – but you will only be a danger to yourself and everyone else.

Write this phrase down on a piece of paper and stick it on your computer so you never forget it:

Amateur traders focus on how much money they can MAKE, Professional traders focus on how much money they can LOSE. 

Summary: The sole reason you should trade is for the purpose of  becoming financially free to be able to cover all of your monthly expenses and luxuries.  The millions will come to you as a result of adhering to a solid trading plan with discipline.

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Remember that to the extent of  sticking to your trading plan and discipline, you will become a successful trader! :)

Trading+Discipline

To your Trading Success :)

Viv :)

 

 

The Wisdom of Failure

A very good evening to all my readers, :)

Have you ever asked yourself:

How do you climb back onto the saddle when the horse has flung you off: when your plans fall to pieces?

Looking back, as we approach another year end and tabulating whether my successes have been more than my failures. It is clear that failure has left its imprint.

Life will constantly test your resolve and level of commitment.

If only we could have patience in the midst of our trials. Coping with rejection and apparent failure is a serious matter.

plan vs reality

If you focus on positive thinking, even the harshest defeat is only a stepping-stone. :)

Never let Success get to your Head. Never let Failure get to your Heart. “I didn’t get consumed by losses,” said Don Shula, “and I didn’t get overwhelmed by successes.”

Many of us have stifled our life by heeding some misguided critic who implied we were not good enough. Few things in life are certain but failure is.

Failure seems as something to be avoided at all cost. Although it leaves a sour taste, we should embrace failure for the learning opportunity it is. Failure is the oldest teacher, and perhaps the wisest of them all. Some things are impossible to completely grasp without first falling down.

We live in a culture that values perfectionism and failure is often viewed as a sign of weakness. People become so fixated on not failing that they never move forward. When it comes to failing, our egos are our own worst enemies. It is easier to accept failure in private, but once the failure is obvious to everyone around you, it becomes harder to accept it. Holding onto failures for way too long is destructive.

What is the importance  of failure?

  • It’s a learning Experience. Failure drives us to change. It represents opportunity and growth. It gives new direction.There is always one or more lessons to learn in what you may see as a failure.
  • It builds Character. We learn how to behave when we finally accomplish our goals. The humility we gain through our failures allows us to better handle and appreciate success.
  • It makes you Stronger. It is with persistence we overcome failure to achieve success . When people fail, they feel unaccomplished, and so they try again and again, until they finally reach success.
  • Your chances of Succeeding Increases. Failures are the pillars for success. You gain experiences you could not get any other way. Some things can only be learned through trial and error.
  • Failure is a type of Freedom. You might ask: Why? Because the worst has happened. Now, you can relax and rebuild again.

Success does not come easy. Everyone must face one hurdle after another. If you think that once you have the success you crave, you can relax, you are sadly mistaken.

the finish line

Failure can be costly, not only emotionally but financially as well. Some industries are very unforgiving as one or more failures may instantly get you the boot. The worse thing anyone can do, is not learn from failures.

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success.” ~Walter Brunell

In recent years, more and more executives have embraced the point of view, that failure is a prerequisite to invention. ‘The fastest way to succeed’, IBM’s Thomas Watson, Sr., once said, ‘is to double your failure rate.’ The growing acceptance of failure is changing the way companies approach innovation.

‘There is no failure. Only feedback.’ ~Robert Allen

However, distinguishing between excusable and inexcusable failure is crucial. Managing failure is key. Some mistakes are unpardonable for example producing and marketing a dysfunctional product caused by poor quality control. Encouraging failure doesn’t mean abandoning or supervision or respect for sound practices. Managing for failure requires leaders to be more engaged, not less.

Finally, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.

I wish you the very best in life and success :)and remember that ‘Our best success often come after our greatest disappointments.’ ~Henry Ward Beecher

Remember to take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. Always find joy in your journey for as George Bailey said it best “It’s a Wonderful Life!” :)

take risks if u win

I really appreciate that you are taking the time to read this post.

To your successes! :)

Viv :)

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?

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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. :-)

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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.

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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! :-):-):-)

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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 :)

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

 

 

Always go North!

Hello to all my readers :)

Where is your North Star?

What is your mission that points you north?

The one that guides you, serves you and inspires your heart to move forward. :)

North star 1

The North Star has throughout history lead travellers safely through unknown lands and across oceans.

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross lies your calling.’ – Aristotle

We all have great ideas and dreams of what we would love to be and do. :)

Perhaps you dream of travelling to exotic places and living wild adventures. :)

exotic places

wild adventure 3wild adventure

Perhaps you dream of being able to affect other people’s lives in a positive and meaningful way. :)

working for charity angelina_jolie1

9d986__Bill-Gates-charity-Afica

working for charity 2

What happened to those dreams, that sense of excitement, that calling to do more with your life? 

Goals and dreams push us to attempt the unknown and set goals for our future; these goals are your North Star guiding you in the right direction:)

Just as Columbus used the North Star to navigate ships, you too can use your North Star in the direction of your goals and dreams.

You might ask yourself:

What are the reasons why some people follow their North Star?

What are the reasons why some people think differently?

How do you begin to live your dreams and move ahead in the direction of your goals?

Here are the 3 steps you can take to ensure you always go north:

Step 1. Ask yourself challenging questions.

Questions

The clock is ticking and opportunities are lost if you don’t ask enough questions of not only yourself but of those who might know more than you.

Once you have answered these fundamental questions, please set priorities to take action and accept the necessary risks to bring these answers to life:

Who am I?

Why do I exist?

What specifically do I want to do with my life?

What am I trying to accomplish in the years ahead?

What am I prepared to do to achieve it?

When will I begin to follow my North Star?

Step 2. Believe in yourself

quotes-about-life-believe-in-yourself6

jobs believe 2

Right now, in this precise moment, you believe or disbelieve that it is possible to live the life that you want. Which one have you chosen?

Following your North Star requires a fearless and daring spirit along with nerves of steel and a massive amount of confidence. Pursuing your goals will require continuous effort and vigilance to keep yourself on track, but the rewards are many fold. :) You can speak with any successful person and they will confirm it. :)

In order to increase your belief system you need to focus on the main prize and coordinate the sequential steps to get yourself there. As you begin to experience results and therefore improved confidence, your self belief will enable you to take the next step into unknown territory.

One of the greatest life lessons I have learnt is this:

Have faith that what you want, also wants you in return.’ :)

Step 3. Take action and create a sense of Urgency.

Just-Do-It

Remember that you have a finite amount of time on life’s clock to capture the prize that you so desperately want.

Understand that this life time is not a preliminary stage to your real life, therefore you need to get serious, you need to take decisive action and create a sense of urgency in all that you do to achieve your goals. Time is one of the rare things in life that you cannot claim back. Use it wisely and make every second count:)

time is ticking

Whenever you want to figure where your North is, all you have to do is find your North Star.

Remember, North never ever changes!‘ :)

Why not challenge yourself now?

Set your sights and supporting actions on your own personal North Star. Visualise the perfect outcome and never lose sight of it.

This will require dedication, commitment, sacrifice and your willingness of never give up. :)

Everything worth achieving in life is designed to challenge and stretch us because it is only through growing that we become more in order to take on more, I am speaking from personal experience. :)

I want to dedicate a special thanks to my dear bro who inspired me and has been my ‘North Star’ for the past three years.  He has been a real role model and an excellent bro to look up to, I thank you deeply for this, bro! :) I invite you to read one of his last blog which covers the same subject with a slightly different perceptive  ‘Top up your inspiration levels!’  As they say great minds think alike! It is a very inspiring post. Please have a read and let him know as he had a difficult week and today is a very ‘special’ day for him. As the content of his blog is so relevant to life to motivate and inspire you, I feel that it should really be more widely shared. To celebrate his special day, let’s make sure we give it the highest hits of this year! Thank you! :)

I also want to thank all of you who sent me fantastic feedback and really kind notes. I really appreciate it. :)

I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with you all, if it helps just one of you then that is reward enough. 

As always it would be great to hear about your own plans, ambitions and successes. :)

Credit

To your continuous success.

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Get set to change!

Hello to all my readers :)

What are the benefits of changes for you?

What are the consequences for you of staying the same?

What are the reasons for changes?

change 4 2 reasons

You might know this quote:

change mind

The first step to change starts in our mind, our thought process and our mindset. If we don’t like who we are and where we are in our life, we can change it. Most of the time changes happen because we just wake up one day and decide that we don’t want to feel like that anymore or ever again, so we change just like that! Therefore we should not fear changes, as they are opportunities for development and for personal growth.:) It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.  You will have a few setbacks along the way and this is the time where you have to show your determination and fighting spirit to comeback strongly to be a winner! You need to show bouncebackability! If you really want to know the meaning of this word and how to apply to different aspects of life, then I warmly invite you to read one of my favorite posts of my inspiring dear bro! You are in for a treat, I assure you! :)

change fear

Are you NOW set for change?

A few years ago, I came across the ‘change equation formula’ developed by Richard Beckhard. It helps people to think through issues of individual change and development. It suggests that the majority of people will resist or avoid change because it often brings with it some level of pain or discomfort. In order to help people change, some other factors need to be brought into the process.

Here is the formula:  A+B+C >D

It suggests that for productive change to occur the sum of  A + B + C must exceed the value of D, where:

A = attractive vision of the future. What do I want? How can I clarify my vision – what help do I need?

B = some dissatisfaction with the present. What would I most like to change? What is the basis of the dissatisfaction? If I did change my role, what would I be leaving behind? How important is that to me? Which has the greatest pull – the way things are at present or the way they could be if I change things? How much do I really want to change?

C = some practical first steps. What can I do to move things forward? What resources and networking do I have available?

D = the pain involved in changing. What is the magnitude of the change required? How will I and others be affected by the change?

Consider each Beckhard factor, give the best estimate as to whether each factor is low, medium or high priority and what actions you need to take to increase/decrease its priority. (Sorry Guys, I guess my love for maths is evident in this post! :))

Please answer the above questions for yourself, making notes as you go along and notice the major themes that come through. Use these to design an action plan. You  can visit my website www.thebooksonsuccess.com and download the PDF exercise called ‘The Change Equation Formula’ for a printer-friendly version. When you download this PDF, I’ve made sure that as an extra gift, you discover what leadership skills to use in order to help you with the change process.

Individuals learn and adapt more readily if they have a good enough reason why they should change their behaviours and can see the benefits for themselves, in the short and long term.

It’s not about perfection, it’s about effort. When we bring that effort every single day, transformation happens and change occurs!  :)

change yr thoughts and change ur world

Change is the essence of life and business. It’s a process and it takes time. :)

 change 1

Remember: Don’t ever change just to impress and please someone. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future. :)

Only when you consistently apply the secret of change in your life, then you discover the real benefits of changing:

change 2

To your successful changes :)

Viv :)  xx

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Living without regrets!

Hello to all my readers :),

Have you ever wasted valuable energy and time on the wrong pursuits?

Have you ever experienced unpleasant feelings of regret?

Have you ever thought I wish I did that?

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!‘ – J. G. Whittier

I’m sure that most of us have experienced similar feelings as the poet above referred to things that we regret that we wish we could have done or we did and we would have done it differently, ‘if only’…

Regret is a mental sorrow and a pain of mind at something done or more often something left undone…

All of us have done things we wish we could go back and do differently.

In my coaching, this is one of the most common theme and to what I have recently personally pondered over. I meet people who recon that have done grievous mistakes during their lives, others have not done so bad but they still wonder whether some of their choices in life were really the best. Some of them have been able to overcome the past regrets and continue on with their lives by learning the lessons whilst others are continually plagued with ‘if onlys’ about their past.

Which one are you?

Do you wish that you could live from now on without regrets?

Below are the top 5 regrets of dying. Do they sound familiar?

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

What can be done about our regrets?

A common people’s reaction is to worry about. To worry continually means to plague, vex or persecute oneself. It causes great anxiety.

worry

Does worrying solve any problems?

Not even one! You know this is an absolute truth!

worry 2 upd

To illustrate, imagine to move forward by rocking for hours in a rocking chair, expending all that energy but getting nowhere! It doesn’t make sense, does it? But this is what we do when we worry about, expending a lot of energy without taking any actions to solve the problem!

Therefore, instead of worry, some positive action on our part may produce good results. :) For example, we can apologize to the person we wronged, perhaps restoring good relations; we can avoid whatever led up to the wrong act, thereby preventing future problems.

worry 1

Then again, we may simply have to live through some situations of life to learn the lessons to benefit from them. But worry is nothing but a form of paralysis that can leave one unable to live fully. The sad reality is that there is no reward for worry!

What are we doing right now, or failing to do, that years from now we will wish we have done or had done differently?

Are we maintaining a course of action that will prevent any possible regrets at a future time? 

Instead of just worrying about such sobering questions, we want to use them to analyze ourselves and ensure that we are giving our best to live our lives to the fullest. :) Otherwise, we could be continuing in a way of life that may result in even more regrets.

Remember, regret comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, like when we do a bad thing for a good reason. Some are bigger, like when we let down a friend.

Some of us escape the pain of regret by making the right choice. Some of us have little time for regret because we’re looking forward to the future. :)

Sometimes we have to fight to come to terms with the past and sometimes we bury our regret by promising to change our own ways.

But not for the things we did – but, for the things we didn’t do, things we didn’t say that could have saved someone that we care about,  chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have and decisions we waited too long to make.

regrets 4

regrets 3

The reality is that in life we do a lot of things, some we wish we had never done, some we wish we could replay a million times in our heads. But they all make us who we are, and in the end they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn’t be the person we are. So just live, make mistakes, have wonderful memories, but never ever second guess who you are, where you have been and most importantly where it is you’re going:)

‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ – Soren Kierkegaard

As the quote above says, life can be understood by looking back but that it must be lived by looking ahead.  :) So instead of worrying about the past, dwelling on what cannot be undone, stop worrying and stretch forward to what lies ahead. :)  On this very subject, my dear bro wrote a very inspiring article on how having a positive attitude and a strong belief in what you are doing will naturally infiltrate into positive actions which will inevitably move you closer towards your goals. :) Enjoy your reading: Attitude trumps Altitude.

To your living without regrets! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

The 7 D’s to Succeed!

A very warm greeting to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well and you are enjoying the snow! :-)

Have you ever wondered what is your missing piece of the puzzle in achieving your goals in the most effective way?

Have you ever been tired of not quite hitting the mark or be unable to get your dream career?

I personally asked myself these questions and the answers were quite revealing. In this article will cover my truth no. 8 ‘Employ the 7 D’s of Success: Discipline, Drive, Delegation, Direction, Decisiveness, Determination and Dedication!’ I listed this in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

You see, I took a while before gathering my answer as I always felt there was a missing piece in the puzzle until I discovered the 7 D’s to Succeed and it provides me with the full answer!

Let’s crack on considering them one by one.

I will love to start with what I consider the starting point: DIRECTION.

direction 2

How do you find what is your direction?

That’s simple, I will say…just respond to the questions below and you will have your answer and discover what is your direction in life.

What do you really want to do?

What are you passionate about?

What do you love doing the most?

What do you want to be remembered for?

It’s very important to have clarity on this subject as it’s essential if we want to use our efforts and energy in the best efficient way possible without wasting them pursuing ‘the next big idea’ heard from other people.

Once we have our direction, DRIVE, DETERMINATION and DECISIVENESS will automatically follow.

What are the reasons?

I will describe DRIVE as that strong and burning desire which lies inside us and difficult to control. ‘The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.’ – Roger BannisterIt’s so powerful that it doesn’t allow us to ignore it and provides us with the motivation needed to take action and keep going until we have achieved it. It has only one direction: FORWARD…nothing and I mean nothing will and can stop it until it achieves his destination: OUR DESIRE GOAL…I’m sure you now know what I’m talking about and I hope you realise the difference between a meagre desire and a very define and strong one. Obviously with this strong desire to achieve our goals, DETERMINATION is already encapsulated in our DRIVE as it goes hand in hand with DECISIVENESS to accomplish our goals and they will provide us with the strength and the firmness to take action to see us through and reach the finish line! ‘The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.- Tommy Lasorda

Decisiveness 1

Then, we need to employ DISCIPLINE…I know for many of us it has a negative connotation…but it’s essential if we want to achieve our goals…it’s quite interesting that the dictionary describes discipline as ‘training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement and controlled behaviour resulting from disciplinary training; self-control. ‘Life is a unique combination of “want to”and”how to”and we need to give equal attention to both.’ – Jim Rohn. It well highlights the reasons behind its importance of achieving our goals…it helps us to adopt a routine and to follow as a habit to ensure we stick to our plan. Motivation makes us start but habit makes us achieve our goals. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ Aristotle

drive

Once we have all the above in place then DELEGATION and DEDICATION have they part in our success!

DELEGATION enables us to accelerate our results and to focus on our priority tasks. I have already suggested some tips to effective delegation in my previous article.

delegation

Obviously to top it all up is our DEDICATION. It enable us to have the commitment and single-mindedness to focus on achieving our results and to get motivated during our setbacks and difficult times.

dedication 2

As you can see, they all go hand in hand and they all play together a part in succeeding and in getting results! :-)

What are the reasons behind succeeding?

We succeed because we are willing to do the things people are not.

We will fight against the odds.

We will sacrifice and we are not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt. Those emotions – we drink them in and then swallow them away.

We are motivated by accomplishment, not pride. Pride consumes the weak – kills their heart from within.

If we fall, we will get up.

If we are beaten, we will return.

We will never stop getting better.

We will never given up..ever..

This is why we succeed!

Your life is waiting to be lived to its fullest, what are you waiting for?

Nothing great has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe something inside them was superior to circumstances.’ – Bruce Barton

To your continued Success!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

The 3 C’s to Results!

A very good afternoon to everyone! :-)

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried some of the results you were expected are still long way to be achieved?

Have you ever wondered what is the real secret to achieve results in life and in business?

Have you ever asked yourself: What is it the difference that make the difference in achieving results and goals?

Well, I’m going to reveal them to you and I’m pretty sure that there are something that you have already heard, most probably for long time now but they have not been taken seriously and applied to your life to see the results that you yearn for.

This article will cover my truth no. 7 ‘Acquire the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! That I listed in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

I’m guessing that now they ring the bell…and yes, these are the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! :-)

I believe that they all play an important part in achieving results and go clearly hand in hand. When we are confident and committed to achieve our goals, we are consistent in our actions and approaches to life and business. Confidence in our skills and abilities allow us to acquire the vision to see us with our goals already achieved. It provides us with the motivation to start acting to achieve our goal and the strengths to go through any obstacles and setbacks along the way. ‘With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments are beyond your grasp.’ – Jim Loehr I have already written on this subjects and I invite you to revisit my previous articles to get some ideas on how you can become more confident. Here the links: Become Unstoppable! & Become Unstoppable Part 2!

Confidence-Posters

Have you ever taken the time to think of the impact and importance of commitment in your life?

commitment (1)

In this article, I’m going to talk about the key decisions you have to make to get your life, your career and your business on the fast-track of exponential growth

You see, one thing about successful people, 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 table crumbs, standing on the back rows…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 committed 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. ‘There’s always a way – if you’re committed.‘ – Tony Robbins

You’ll notice that it isn’t about them so let’s talk about YOU: 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 & No’ answer! It should also be clearly demonstrated by your actions, as behaviours never lie! ‘Commitment is what transform a promise into reality.’ – Abraham Lincoln

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?

Hierarchy-of-Commitment

So commit yourself to your 110% when setting your goal, until you accept the responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste much time and energy. Life is ever so short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our life and business, 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

commitment

The secret of achieving results is to Take Consistent Action. This is the actual doing part and what I call the great pitfall where many dreams, goals and ambitions die. You know what I mean, don’t you? Anyone can start but very few finish. Many people can take action once, twice or may even keep going for a few months but eventually they die out. It really amazes me when I would enter a new challenge and I will see the competition happily leap out in front and get off to a faster and more successful start. Then, along the challenge, what happen? You know as most probably you have experienced yourself, most of the competitors will start to slow down to the point of stopping. I found the single discipline that gives me the extra edge to beat anybody at almost anything is CONSISTENCY:-)

consistency

This is what I personally noticed as a pattern. Many people become enthusiastic about new goals or achievements, and they charge out of the gate in an explosion of activity—but their intensity and commitment quickly crackle. Meanwhile, those who begin the journey with less flash but a greater commitment to consistency eventually catch up to their flamboyant peers and leave them in the dust. Do what most people don’t: Stay consistent. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ – Aristotle. On this same subject, my dear Bro wrote a very inspiring post entitled ‘The 3 P’s to success’ where he covers this same point with a synonym word…Go to look it up and see how he applies it with a different perspective!  Enjoy his article! :)

What are the benefits of being consistent?

 

Consistency is important because keeps you on track! By following a consistent approach and by being discipline by sticking to your plan, you are in the best position to monitor your performance and to evaluate your goals or results against the ones set originally! Now, it does not matter what standards you set, it’s your life and your own business, you can set any you like but when you set them being disciplined and stick to it!

 

How can you show more consistency?

 

What can you improve to be more consistent and more disciplined?

 

How do you monitor and review your consistency and discipline?

 

The key lesson is: Do what you say you will do:-)

Be confident in your abilities, be 110% committed to your goals and Take Consistent actions to get nearer to your goals, apply discipline to stick to your plan and you will achieve them with little efforts as this is the secret of Success in achieving amazing results in your life and business!

Remember: When your belief is strong and your purpose just, no obstacle can stand in your way and you will succeed in achieving amazing Results!

To your amazing Results!

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! :-)

The 2 ultimate methods to increase your productivity!

A warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

This article will cover my truth no. 6 ‘Establish Deadlines and Accountability!’ that I listed in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

Let’s start then…

Have you ever struggled to start taking action to achieve your goal?

 

Have you ever felt stuck and tempted to give up as projects bring very small results no matter how much energy and effort you put into it?

Slide 5A

You see, if you experienced any of the above situations, you are not alone. It’s easy to get trap in procrastinating to start taking action to achieve our goals as well as feeling stuck once we started taking action.

Have you ever wondered what are the reasons behind it?

To be able to accomplish our goals, they have to be timed, they have to have a deadline. ‘ A goal is a dream with deadlines.’- Napoleon Hill. Our unconscious mind operates from the principle of mañana, i.e. why do today what I can do tomorrow. If we don’t tell our unconscious mind specifically when we want to achieve our goal, we will not do it. Our goal also has to be set towards what we want, motivating us to keep our focus on it.

 Goals-and-Deadlines1

Once we set a deadline to achieve our goals, we can measure our progress on a weekly and on a monthly basis. This is an essential step to take as review your progress ensures that you have taken all the actions planned for that week. Tick off all actions taken during the week or month and review any you have not actioned yet, noting the reasons or excuses why not.

What are the reasons why fixed deadlines make us achieve our goals?

Simply because, deadline is the time commitment by which your task or 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. As a result, it generates energy and helps us get tasks done more effectively. The best approach is a clearly understood deadline that is shared, agreed upon and committed to as the silver bullet of proactive behaviour.

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.

Goals focus on what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve them. As such it can happen that they fail to generate the necessary sense of urgency. Day to day routine and demands usually take precedence, meaning the execution of our goals will be put on the back burner. Consequently, effective strategic planning requires deadlines. Put the deadline dates on your calendar to ensure that you remain focused and on track to achieving your goals.

diary

Usually, once the deadlines are set, the adrenaline starts to flow and you will pull together to set aside short-term demands and focus on the future. Your challenge is to meet each deadline set and astound yourself by what you are able to accomplish! :-)

 

Fixed deadlines, no-negotiable deadlines make us watch how we use our time. Knowing that the clock is ticking is one of the best motivators for taking action. It represents our commitment, reinforces our accountability and creates a sense of urgency! ‘The ultimate inspiration is a deadline.’ – Nolan Bushnell

 clock is ticking

We have just discussed the first method to become more productive and efficient is to have a deadline!

The second method which goes in hand with the first is to be held accountable to someone i.e. a coach to ensure that you take all the actions on a weekly basis, avoid excuses and keep moving forward in the fastest and most efficient way possible!

 accountability

I speak from personal experience, since I immersed myself in self-development, I have always had coaches for different tasks in my life, at one point I had six. The reason is because we are accountable to them, we will have fixed deadlines and we will be monitored on our progress from an external person which increases our motivation and our accountability to achieve our tasks.

Also, our review our progress, provide us with invaluable feedback, tips and suggestions. This helps speed up our progress to get to the next level by avoiding setbacks and sidestepping inefficient strategies that will only slow us down! As a result of having coaches, our focus is intensified. Knowing that both options and time are diminishing assets, our ability to focus on high payoff activities becomes an obvious priority.

Overall we become more productive and efficient if we fully capitalise on our coach’ s expertise and knowledge.  Given that experience and knowledge are possibly two of the most expensive assets in the world, it’s a tremendous advantage to make full use of your mentors and coaches. Think about how much more you could achieve if you have 20 years more experience behind you. :-)

beckham & coach

I speak from personal experience, I’m a deadline person. I work on numerous projects at the same time and I found that what makes me successful, productive and more efficient is that I have deadlines to meet. This means I have no choice but to get things done by setting clear goals, raising the bar, setting up my game and embracing a take-no-prisoners attitude. Also I need to be accountable to someone else externally to get the job done! Having coached many entrepreneurs and people, clearly those whom hold the greatest accountability to me with strict deadlines, achieve the greatest results. Guess what I’m known as now? ‘The Accountability Coach!’ :-)

It’s not an easy journey, I know. You might encounter a lot of setbacks and obstacles along the way but believe me, it’s a worth one!

I will leave you with an empowering quote to build your motivation to get started and to keep you going:

‘Never quite. If you fall…get right back up. If doesn’t matter what happened yesterday.

Today’s a new day. It’s up to you to get back on track. It’s up to you to move closer to your goals and dreams.

YOU CAN DO IT.‘ – Brad Gouthro

Always remember I am happy to share your journey with you, so please do get in touch if you are looking to bring yourself to the next level in your life! :-)

To your increase Productivity!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!

A very warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :-)

 

Have you ever felt that you have been caught up in making your life and business more complicated than they actually need to be?

 

Why does this happen to so many of us?

 

How can you simplify your life and business and live them to the fullest?

In this article, I will discuss how beneficial it is for having a simplistic approach to life and business, which will simultaneously cover my truth no. 5 ‘Be Self-Aware, Honest, Prepared and Keep it Simple! ‘ that I listed in my previous article 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level:-)

Let’s crack on then …

1. BE SELF-AWARE! 

What does self-awareness actually mean?

The dictionary defines self-awareness as ‘the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.’ So, in a nutshell, it’s the ability to perceive aspects of our personality, behaviour, emotions, motivations, and thought process. It also allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment as having a clear understanding of your thought and, behaviour patterns helps you understand other people. This ability to empathise facilitates better personal and professional relationships.

What are the reasons to develop Self-Awareness?

Simply, self-awareness is the first step to change as it allows you to see where your thoughts and emotions are taking you. Where you focus your attention, your emotions, reactions, personality and behaviour determine where you go in life. This is why, self-awareness is so important! :-)

How can we develop it?

Firstly, self-awareness is developed through practices in focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behaviour. I personally focus on raising mine by using a very famous psychometric assessment. You can see it below:

Below I have included a list of explanations that go along with the diagram, taken from the ‘Career Service’ at the University of Sheffield.

Strengths, skills and preferences

Self-awareness leads to an understanding of your strengths, core skills and preferences. These cover a wide range of capabilities (what you know, what you can do and what you have the potential to do) and preferences and motivations (what interests and motivates you, how you do things and how you relate to others).

Capabilities and applications

When you know what your strengths and preferences are, you need to think about how you can apply these in different situations. This is particularly important when applying for jobs – it helps you make career choices, gives you something concrete to say about yourself in applications / interviews, and to find a job that is right for you.

Areas for development and weaknesses

As well as showing us our strengths, self-awareness can identify areas we may want to develop. These areas may be related to academic abilities, skills such as planning and time management, or personal characteristics such as how we work as part of a team or deal with difficult situations.

Development activities, new strategies

When you know what you want to develop, there are usually many ways of going about this. Generally no one approach is best – the approach depends on what you want to develop. What is important however is that you plan your development carefully, set yourself small, manageable targets and check your progress against them regularly.

As you can see, when we develop self-awareness you are able to make changes in our thoughts and interpretations we make in our mind. Changing the interpretations in our mind allows us to change our emotions. Self-awareness is one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and an important factor in achieving success.

2. BE HONEST!

What is honesty?

The dictionary defines honesty as ‘telling the truth, straightforward conduct, being sincere, trustworthy, honourable, fair, genuine and loyal with integrity.’ Based on this definition we can simply say that honesty is the best policy to adopt in every aspect of our life. ‘There is no wisdom like frankness.’ – Disraeli

How can honesty play a vital part to take ourselves to the next level?

You see, if we are not honest with others and above all with ourselves, we can’t make changes and we can’t be trusted. I’m sure you too have experienced the meaning of this quote: ‘One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.’ – Ashanti proverb. Honesty allows you to accept the responsibility of your own actions without blaming others. ‘Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.’ – Jefferson

Every relationship and bond are built on trust and trust is built on honesty. They are highly correlated and go hand in hand. If this is the case, it’s the one indispensable quality that affects every single one of our relationships. It’s the glue that holds together each of our associations. Our ability to demonstrate trust impacts every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every efforts in which we are engaged, etc.

Trust is common bond between all people. It is one thing that if it’s removed, it will destroy the most powerful government, the greatest friendship, the most influential leadership, the strongest character and the deepest love.

On the other hand, if trust has developed and leveraged, it is one thing that has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every single dimension of our life. It isn’t only vital to our personal and interpersonal well-being; it’s a key competitive weapon that annihilates the competition simply because most people have deficiency when it comes to demonstrating trust. Simply put, honesty and trust mean confidence and the opposite of it is suspicion. We have all experiences some relationship that validate this point. We know that the difference is not small but it’s actually dramatic. The costs and benefits of trust can be financially and psychologically rewarding or devastating.

What about honesty and trust on a personal level?

There is ever a more fundamental and powerful dimension of honesty and self-trust, often we make a commitment to ourselves such as setting goals and making new year’s resolutions that we fail to fulfill.  As a result we come to feel that we can’t even trust and be honest with ourselves. If this is the case, we’ll have a hard time trusting others. These personal incongruence is often the source of our suspicions of others.

The funny part of about life is that we have strong tendency to judge ourselves by our intentions and others based by their behaviours. Truly, we are in a crisis of trust, it effects us to all levels, societal, institutional, personal, organisational and relational; it has continuous effects. We become increasingly suspicious of our people and then we begin to project the behaviour of the few upon the many and we all pay for it dearly. Our ability to demonstrate honesty, trust and transparency is the smartest move we’ll make in our life!  :-)

Honesty changes the quality of every present moment and it alters the trajectory and outcome of every future moment of our lives.  It defines our character to others and without it true success is impossible, because once trust is broken, our word will be corrupted, our reputation contaminated and our future is going to be in question.

Take a pause for reflection and think about the question below:

What is the point of raising our self-awareness if we are not willing to be honest with ourselves in order to accept what we discover as true and do something to improve it?

I will leave with your reflection and please please be completely honest when you answer it.

Remember to be honest with yourself and others because when you are honest, you build strength of character that will allow you to be of great service to others. You will experience peace of mind and above all self-respect.

3. BE PREPARED!

The dictionary defines preparation as ‘the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty; the state of having been made ready beforehand; readiness and a preliminary measure that serves to make ready for something.’

Plan your way to success!

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin. Proper planning prevents poor performance! A well define daily, weekly, monthly plan that is properly executed is our silver bullet to success. You can significantlyincrease the odds to your success,if you know who you are, what you want, where you are going and what you will do when you arrive.

We all know that life will not go according to plan of you don’t have a plan. You may lose at a given time if you were not tall enough, fast enough or young enough butyou must never allow yourself to lose because you were not fully prepared. Unfortunately it’s a reality that most people put themselves in.

To planning without action is unproductive and to action without planning can be counterproductive. Planning without action is like having a multi personality disorder, you walk, you talk and you long about having, being and doing something and you do absolutely nothing about it. The opposite is also true, as the habit of action without planning carries a high degree of risk and decreased success.

Planning is an art that required practise and preparation in order to do well. Effective planning ensures a greater sense of security in yourself and in any action necessary for success. Yet far too many people are unprepared, undisciplined and unfocused. This is because they disrespect planning, lack of preparation, discipline and focus, they will repeat yesterday’s mediocre performance, tomorrow and the next day.

When you choose to create history rather than repeat it, when you choose to have the best year of your life, when you choose to create a plan that allows you to experience exceptional growth, when you get serious about your life and career, when you do everything you can to tilt the odds in your favour, all these become possible through the discipline of planning as the accommodation of success is perceived by long negotiation made possible by intensive preparation. Effective planning allows you to do things better, faster and definitely cheaper.

We should perfect the use of planning , as we will win many battles by default.

I want you to pull out a piece of paper and create a plan for the day that answer the four most important questions:

 

1. What are you attempting to accomplish?

 

2. Why is it critical for this goal to be achieved?

 

3. How will the actions take place?

 

4. When will this result become reality?

 

Here is an important point that I want to highlight, we must also value spontaneity, as not everything can be planned for in life. Success involves establishing a delicate balance between planning and improvisation.What should never be left to chance is the ability to execute any plan. With this reality in mind, it’s imperative to make planning count! As planning is the greatest equaliser that we will ever have, we should use it to our fullest! :-)

When is the best time to prepare ourselves? 

An inspirational friend of mine beautifully articulated this very subject in his blog from his personal experience. Read his blog if you want to get inspired and get some very invaluable tips, check out his post, here is his link:  What successful people do in the first hour of their work day.  

4. BE SIMPLE!

Simplicity is the main key to your success! If you can have a simple approach to whatever you are aiming for, you are a step ahead of many 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 to keep things simple and to have a simple plan.

In fact, a subject that I often touch upon when coaching people is simplicity. Life in itself can become very complex. This is why I am often amazed how people love to complicate things even if what they are doing is in itself simple.

This made me ask a question:

What is the reason why we make it more complicated than it needs to be?

Well, after pondering and reflecting for a while, an answer I came up with was that it’s because simplifying life is just not that simple! It can sometimes be overwhelming and challenging! Would you agree?

For example, someone sent me the following straightforward message on this very subject:

‘Why complicate life?

 

Missing somebody? … Call

Wanna meet up? … Invite

Wanna be understood? .. .Explain

Have questions? … Ask

Don’t like something? … Say it

Like something? … State it

Want something? … Ask for it

Love someone? … Tell it

 

Nobody will know what’s going on in your mind…

It’s better to express rather than to Expect…

You already have the NO, Take the risk of getting the YES

We just have one life,

Keep it SIMPLE!’ :-)

When I finished reading it I thought that this was all so obvious and simple to implement. Then its meaning hit me…

If it is so simple, then why are so many people complicating their lives?

What are the reasons why you are complicating your life?

I invite you to take a pause for reflection to discover your reasons as they might be the turning point in your life…

What are the reasons behind having a simplistic approach?

You will agree with me that we are continually rushing and striving for more at all times. The simple truth is that we frequently make it harder than it needs to be and many things that cause our hurt and pain are created by…US! The main reason why a simplistic approach is effective is because it gives clarity on where you are and where you want to go. Subsequently, this yields swifter results.

To achieve lasting and rewarding success, it is better to keep things simple – to master a few things to a very high level, rather than seeking to be a jack-of-all-trades. I invite you to get inspired by reading one of my dear bro’s blogs. He beautifully illustrates this in one of his stirring posts entitled Simples: ‘When you learn something so well all that can happen is that you become better and better at it. Why did David Beckham become the best free kick taker in the world of football?

You see, the result of this repeat-until-you-master approach is that you will become better and better at whatever it is you choose to focus on. It does not mean that you are a simple person and that you do not have to learn anything new in your life: It means to ensure everything you learn goes towards enhancing and simplifying your current plan and your skills. Living with this approach has allowed me to get optimum results from the minimum time and resources.

Always remember, when you keep things simple, life and business become simple too.

 

 Are you now ready to take up this week’s challenge?

Make it as your check-up moment of how much we know ourselves (strengths and weaknesses), how much we are honest with ourselves (I know it’s painful at times ‘a harmful truth is better than a useful lie.’ – Thomas Mann; but it’s needed to get results and to move forward – ‘no pain no gain’ applies not only in fitness but in our emotional state too) and how much we prepare and we are prepared to succeed! ‘You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.‘ – Zig Ziglar. Wrap it all up by being simple,:-) as it is the key to success because ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’ – Leornardo Da Vinci

 

To your self-awareness, simple, honest and prepared Success! :-)

 

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com


10 Essentials Truths to Take Yourself to the Next Level!

A warm greetings to all of my readers! :-)

Have you been stuck in the same routine for some time and want to take things up a notch?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get to the next level of your life and your business?

I have been thinking about these questions too. It was during one of my fitness sessions about a month ago, where things started to un-wind. This might have been due to the change of routine I ended up doing with my fitness coach that evening. Usually I train based on what my fitness coach tells me to do and he checks my posture, speed, etc. Instead we actually trained together…we were doing the same exercises at the same time and guys, it was hard to beat him…(we actually finished together but for me this was a win) and it was well worth the effort, aches, pains and muscle burning I experienced in the following days… ‘You always have to be on edge. You always have to take every practice, every game, like it is your last.‘ – Kobe Bryant

You might be thinking, well that’s great Viv, you had a wonderful coaching session but what about getting to the next level in your life and business?

You see, whilst I was training so hard, my ‘little’ brain was working and thinking… The training session acted as my muse for new thoughts and helped me to realise some important learning lessons.

These are the questions I was asking myself during that hour training:

Was I giving as much energy in my life and business as I had done with this fitness coaching session?

Why was it in this session that I decided to push myself the extra mile?

 What do I need to do to get to my next level?

When we ask ourselves questions we automatically go searching for them, and these are my 10 essential truths that came up as answers. Ironically they presented themselves to me in a series of events I happened to attend just last week, as well as yesterday’s fitness coaching session!

1. Work consistently on your Mindset! – Mindset is everything in life, the way we think will affect the way we feel and consequently the actions we will take! Based on this truth, if we want to take different actions, we need to change the way we think! Therefore the real secret of life and business is Psychology to seize every opportunity in life with the positive mindset – ‘Carpe Diem’ has always been my motto since I was 6! 

2Have a coach, a mentor and a team!  – If we want to get to the next level, we need        to be accompanied on our journey by these three characters:

A coach to push us over our limits and believe me we really have no clue what they    actually are. They also provide us with the motivation and the mental metal necessary to carry us through our setbacks.

A mentor provides us with their experience, knowledge and social proof required to move us forward faster.

A team could be a single buddy or a bigger team of people (don’t forget that our coach and our mentor are part of it!). They act as opportunities to share our setbacks, successes and most importantly to celebrate our wins together! Don’t underestimate the power of a team!

3. Invest in yourself and your education!‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin. As suggested by the quote, if we want to improve ourselves, we need to invest firstly in us and in our education to avoid pitfalls and recognise opportunities. We also need to have clarity and direction in our life and business to avoid being distracted by the limitless information now available.

4. Get serious about your goals and have fun! – We will make progress only after we commit ourselves and get serious on getting results. If not, setbacks and obstacles will slow us down and cause a lot of frustration! It’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win, have fun and always finish successfully. ‘Make sure that people are having fun. Fun is not about acting stupid. It’s the feeling you get when you’re on top of things.’ – Richard Branson

I had experienced this truth just yesterday, when I approached one of my fitness coaches and told him my fitness goals. He looked at me and asked only one question: ‘How committed are you?’ Believe me, he did not even get to the end of the sentence before I responded that I was very committed and I would do whatever it takes to achieve them! Only in that moment, I knew that now I took my fitness seriously and I would get tangible results! Now I know that I’ll fight for it, I won’t give up, I’ll reach my goals and absolutely nothing will stop me.

5. Be Self-Aware, Honest, Prepared and Keep it Simple! – This is the check-up moment of how much we know ourselves (strengths and weaknesses), how much we are honest with ourselves (I know it’s painful at times but it’s needed to get results and to move forward – ‘no pain no gain’ applies not only in fitness but in our emotional state too) and how much we are prepared to succeed! ‘You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.‘ – Zig Ziglar. Secondly, I never say it enough, simplicity is the key to success! When is the best time to prepare ourselves? An inspirational friend of mine beautifully articulated this very subject in his blog by his personal experience. Read his blog if you want to get inspired and get some very invaluable tips, here his link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-successful-people-do-in-first-hour.html.

6. Establish Deadlines and Accountability! – I speak from personal experience, I’m a deadline person. I work on numerous projects at the same time and I found that what makes me successful is that I have deadlines to meet. This means I have no choice but to get things done by setting crystal clear goals, raising the bar, setting up my game and embracing a take-no-prisoners attitude. Also I need to be accountable to someone else externally to get the job done! Having coached a lot of entrepreneurs and people, it is clear that those whom hold the greatest accountability to me with strict deadlines, achieve the greatest results. Guess what I’m known as now? ‘The Accountability Coach!’.

7. Acquire the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! – I believe these skills are very clear and go hand in hand. When we are confident and committed to achieve our goals, we are consistent in our actions and approaches to life and business.

8. Employ the  7 D’s to Success: Discipline, Drive, Delegation, Direction, Decisiveness, Determination and Dedication! – These feed from each other and need to be used all together to get to the next level. When we have direction of what we want to do, it will provide us with the drive, decisiveness and determination to succeed in achieving our goals. Discipline ensures we stick to our plan. Dedication enables us to get motivated during our setbacks and delegation enables us to accelerate our results and to focus on our priority tasks.

9. Have Reliable Social Proof! – It is essential to provide us with the certainty that our goal can be achieved. Take for example marathon runners and the time they employ to run one! They show us that it is possible!

10. Review your progress and your success with your Coach! – Honestly speaking, there is a huge difference between reviewing our results by ourselves and with a coach. We can find any justification to take specific course of action and achieving certain results but when we review our progress with a coach, he/she will challenge our reasons and unveil our excuses to make us move forward faster…these are not the only benefits. Knowing that someone will check on our results will intensify our commitment and accountability and strengthen our focus and motivation to stick to our plan. If you don’t believe me, you have to experience it! :-)

I just gave a quick summary of each of the essential truths that will take you to the next level in your life and business. In the weeks to come I will be breaking each step down in further articles that will help enhance your knowledge and ability to implement them into your life. Keep this quote in mind ‘You were given this life, because you are strong enough to live it!‘ – Unknown. So if you are ready to bring yourself to new levels of success watch this space!

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

Today, I want you to ask yourself these questions: ‘Why not you?’ Why not you to do something that you love? Why not you to have a healthy body? Why not you to be, have or do anything you have ever dreamed? We are so quick to think others are deserving over ourselves. So why not you to take it to your next level? The true is that we are all deserving and we owe it to ourselves! :-)

Are you NOW ready to take up the challenge to take yourself to the next level?

It’s up to you to take up the challenge to take it to your next level and to share it with me as I am super ready! :-)

To your achievement to the next level!

Viv :-)