Being Italian, my culture has always taught me to be aware of the things that seem too good to be true, of anyone making incredible promises of being able to find the solution to almost any problem, being able to live a life to the limit of what is possible, of being able to solve most of the problems of life and it took me some time to really start opening my mind to this kind of ideas.
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I started to get interested in personal development at the age of eighteen. In that period of my life I had just started what later would be my career and passion for all my life, that of the sales professional. At that time a collegue and good friend of mine begun to offer me books of famous authors of
personal development such as Dale Carnegie, Og Mandino, Tony Robbins and others, and I soon started to get interested in this kind of inspirational ideas and to set two main goals in life that soon turned into one question that guided my entire life: “How can I achieve the greatest success in my personal and
professional life and be happy along the way?” That been said, if someone in my family or a close friend were to ask me: “What is the most important thing I have learned from all of this teachings”, my answer would be as follows:
To transform your dreams into personal goals and to live every day of your life with an insatiable passion and have fun and enjoy the process!
The second part of this sentence for me is vital. So many times I set goals for myself and have not even come close to achieving them, and so many times in the past this was a source of stress. I happened to focus so much on a particular goal to transform it in the only one reason of my life and lose sight of the rest of the good things that were happening to me and found myself dissatisfied when things didn’t go exactly as I wanted.
As time passed by I realized the 5 key mistakes that I kept committing while trying to achieve my goals in life:
1) Expecting total perfection from myself
2) Leaving out all the good things that happen along the way
3) Leaving out the main reasons behind my goals
4) Not considering the obstacles on the way
5) Having unrealistic expectations about when I can achieve my goals
Let me go through those 5 errors one by one.
Expecting perfection from myself :
First, perfection does not exist and if there were a perfect world it would be depressing, everything would be as expected, and there would be no surprises for which I thank God that the world is as it is.
Leaving out all the beautiful things along the way:
As human beings we tend to unconsciously delete some parts of our reality from our minds which is of fundamental importance from a developmental point of view. If every moment we were to concentrate on everything that happens around us, to every sound around us, our heart rate, the temperature of our body and so on, our brain would just explode 🙂 At the same time it is also important to live the moment and to focus on the beauty that is already part of our life and this can be done by everyday consciously remembering all the good things that are already a part of our life and being grateful for all we have. The technique I’m talking about is incredibly powerful and if we exercise every morning for only 10 to 30 minutes every day we can obtain incredible changes in our lives. I learned these techniques from leaders such as Tony Robbins and since I started to practice them my life has never been the same.
But the question is: “can we consciously focus on positive things without being distracted by other negative thoughts?” Yes it can be done, just by asking ourselves a certain kind of questions over and over again. Question force our mind to focus on the things which we want,”erasing” from our mind anything else.
Let’s make a concrete example.
If I begin to ask myself a question like this: “What makes me happy in my life today?”. If I ask myself a question like this many times I will force my mind to focus on the reasons why I am happy today, creating positive and empowering emotions that can literally transform every single day of my life. We can create different types of positive states such as “happiness”, “excitement”, “ecstasy”, “passion” and so on, just asking ourselves the right questions. If for example I want to create in me a state of passion I would just ask myself the following question:”What make me passionate in mylife today?” over and over again until i can come up with 2 to 3 answers.
Another good strategy is to remember moments in the past when we experienced the feelings that we want to elicit. Returning to the example of moment of passion I would just ask myself “When was a time in my life when I was in a state of total passion?”. At that point we have to go with our mind in that moment, literally enter that scene in our mind and live it as if it was really happening and the results we can obtain with this simple exercise are really incredible and if we make it a habit to ask ourselves this type of questions every morning, after 6 months this will become an unconscious process. We will find ourselves in a strong state of mind without even having to start asking ourselves questions, it will become an automatic process for our brain.
Neglecting the main reasons behind my goals
So many times I set for myself goals in the past and I found myself losing motivation and I ended up abandoning them. One of the reasons why people often abandon their goals is that they do not have enough motivation or simply because they forget the reasons why they want to achieve their goals. One powerful technique that can help to keep staying motivated towards our goals that I learned from several leaders in the field of personal development is to write down goals and next to each goal to write down the reasons why this goal is important to us and to place them somewhere where we can constantly see them. Hanging a piece of paper to the mirror of the bathroom is usually one of the simplest and yet most effective way to keep us motivated.
Another method I use personally is to download different kind of productivity apps. For example there is an app
on-line called “goal reminder”, completely free that let’s us write the goals, the dates, upload an image and place it next to our goals and to even create a series of actions to keep ourselves focused in the process.
Not considering the obstacles on the way
One thing I have learned in life is that my biggest mistakes have always turned into my biggest victories. Pain is one of the most motivating factors that exist in nature and it can work in our favor if we want to. Often the most painful experiences in life are the ones that really transform us, that make us become better people. My most painful relationships for example have taught me how to become a better man, my biggest issues at work have taught me how to improve my performances.
How can we transform negative experiences into resources while achieving our goals? Again the solution is more simple than we might think. We must once again ask ourselves empowering questions.
Let’s chose a common example: Been fired.
What for many people may be an irreversible defeat, this may very well be turned into a resource (if we make a strong mental effort to obtain this result). Instead of asking ourselves “why all this happened to me?” Or “will I ever find a job again?” and so on we should consider asking ourselves a different question like the following: “what can I learn from this experience?” , “what can I do so that this will never happen again? “, “what can I learn from this experience that can make me become a better employee in my next job?”. Questions like these can literally divert the direction of our lives and help us to achieve our goals beyond the adversities. For example, if our goal is to obtain a certain job and we cannot pass a job interview, instead of being demoralized we could ask ourselves the following question “how can I learn from and utilize the topics covered during the last job interview to win the next job interview?”. Once again, questions like these may not only change our emotions, making us experience more constructive emotions but at the same time they will help us to go to the next job interview with a powerful attitude which will help us to increase our chances of getting the position we want.
Having unrealistic expectations about when I can achieve my goals
One other mistake that I made in the past was setting for myself big goals that I would plan to achieve in just a single month. I felt pumped up for a day or two and then I would find myself thinking “What the hell am I doing here, I know very well that I will never make it, so why bother.” This is one of the biggest excuses that you can create to stop setting goals for yourself. Thoughts of this kind can literally kill our passion and destroy any chance of achieving any goal. But the most important thing in such a situation is to change our goals, making them real for us by extending the time frame and dividing them into smaller goals.
For example, if I am a sales person and I have never earned more than $3,000 per month to set for myself the goal of earning $ 10,000 the first month is unlikely (I am also the first to believe that everything in life is possible) but in this case it would be much more realistic to set for myself the goal of earning $3100 at the end of the next month. This might seem like a too simple of a goal right?, but let’s once again take the example of the $ 10,000 a month. I could divide it into small goals such as follows : January: $3100, March: $3300, April: $3600, March: $ 4,000, and so on. That way I would not waste my motivation because unconsciously I know I can achieve these smaller goals if I really commit myself 100 percent and at the same time continuing to do so within two years or less I could really earn $ 100,000 a year.
I hope you enjoyed my post, let me know what you think!
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