When you were a kid, you were naturally persistent. If you wanted a cookie, everyone knew it, and they knew it for a loooooong time.
As we get older, we condition ourselves to be less selfish, exhibit self-control, and practice our manners, and persistence falls away as well.
But if you’re going to be successful, you have to be a little bit selfish, and sometimes you have to be downright obnoxious about it.
Here are 3 simple reminders of the truth you knew as a child that will help you succeed today…
- Be Loud: If you’re the kind of person who rarely says what you want, or whispers your intentions, it will be difficult for others to hear, much less help you. Practice cranking up your volume and declaring what you want. Speak your desires, confidently make decisions, and take charge. Let your voice be heard.
- Be Persistent: Once you know what you want and you are willing to say it out loud…KEEP SAYING IT. This serves several purposes. First, it leaves no room for doubt about what you are about. Secondly, it leaves no room for others to distract or derail you. “I want a cookie.” “I WANT A COOKIE.” “I. WANT. A. COOKIE.”
- Celebrate Your Failures: The kid in you knows that celebration lifts your spirits. While failure may be painful, it’s also rife with lessons, and those are worth celebrating. Plus if you look at the positive side of your losses, you’ll escape the incapacitation of shame. Shame stops your forward motion. Celebration keeps you going.
Continued persistence can be difficult to maintain as you are nearing the finish line. But if you can embrace your inner child, find the fun in it, and keep your eye on the prize, and you can achieve those hopes, goals and dreams that are part of your innate being.
How Can You Practice Childlike Persistence Today?
Giving the Gift of Gratitude
When was the last time you were on the receiving end of someone’s gratitude? Not just a casual, “Thanks!” but an honest, heartfelt, deeply appreciative, “Thank you for ______________.”
It felt good, didn’t it?
If it was someone who really knows how to say thank you, you were probably acknowledged for some sacrifice you’d made, and the way your gift or action made them feel…and your heart warmed, and your face smiled.
Gratitude is such a simple gift to give, so powerful, and yet so easy to forget. In a world where everything has to be done 5 minutes ago, and rapid forward movement is the only way to not get left behind, gratitude and appreciation all too often fall by the wayside.
Yet, as you know, saying thank you is one of the easiest ways to bless others and lift them up. Gratitude makes the receiver feel seen, recognized and appreciated…and it can be done well in less than 30 seconds.
30 seconds. That’s only .05% of your total waking hours.
It takes longer than that to brush your teeth! When we feel seen and appreciated, we perform better at work. We get less angry. We share our gifts more easily. We love stronger. When you’re seen and appreciated for who you are and what you do, it makes you strive to be a better human.
If you were to spend 30 seconds sharing your gratitude every day, you would be investing .05% of your waking life to make someone else’s day at least 30% better.
Talk about return on investment!
Plus, when you take the time to offer others a sincere thank you, you also become a model for others. You become an inspiration, quietly encouraging others to express their gratitude.
In short, by simply giving the gift of your appreciation, you instantly become a respected leader at home, at work, and everywhere else…all while making the world a better place.
And that feels good, doesn’t it?
How can YOU give the gift of gratitude TODAY?
Simple Shifts for a Better Life
Your work is important, but its only one part of your life.
Sure, it provides income, community, routine and a sense of purpose. It puts you in a position to help people on a daily basis. However, the other areas need attention too. Your family, your hobbies, your friends outside of work…all of these elements are essential to your sanity and overall enjoyment of life.
Of course, you know this. That’s why you’re reading this article. Now, you could quit your job and radically restructure your life, but you probably don’t really want that. And, truth be told, small changes are the longest lasting and most impactful.
With that in mind, here are 3 simple changes you can make right now to profoundly improve your work-life balance.
- Exercise Throughout Your Day: Studies have shown that short workouts done throughout the day are more beneficial for your health than trying to bang out 30 mins at the gym after work. Every 45 mins or so, get up and stretch, walk around the building, or do a few pushups. This will give you more energy, a sharper brain and loads of endorphins that make you happier. That way you have energy to play with your friends and family when the workday is done.
- Meditate Frequently: Don’t force yourself into a rigorous schedule of an hour of meditation every morning. Get 5 minutes in. Then another 5 minutes at lunch. Then another 5 after work in your car. Set the timer, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. This will keep you from over-stressing and becoming reactive. Your friends and family will appreciate that…and it doesn’t take much on your part.
- Unplug During Important Activities: When you go to a concert, attend your kids’ soccer game, or sit down for games with your friends, turn your phone off. Better yet, leave it someplace safe in your car. You can pick it up later, I promise. For these few precious moments, ditch your digital life and live in analog for a while.
You don’t have to drastically overhaul your life. Start living a little differently, and soon you’ll see huge improvements.
When we think of leadership, we often think of the commanding visionary who takes charge in a time of crisis, leading his team to victory when all hope seems lost.
However, there’s another form of leadership that may ultimately achieve higher, more long-lasting performance. We call this style “Quiet Leadership.”
Quiet leaders lead by example, and bring out the behavior they want in others by modeling it themselves, rather than telling others what to do.
Quiet leaders also tend to take the coaching role, asking guiding questions that elicit each person’s unique genius, as opposed to offering advice. This is a wonderful way to empower your team, by teasing out their inner brilliance and helping them see how capable they are.
This style of leadership creates a culture of contribution and collaboration. Rather than giving everyone a figurehead to appease, quiet leaders empower their teams to make decisions, share ideas, and show initiative, while providing ongoing support and mentorship.
The best part of quiet leadership is that it doesn’t require a dire crisis to avert. You don’t have to wait until everything hits the fan and the whole enterprise is on fire. Rather, you can start supporting and uplifting your team today.
You don’t have to be a CEO, or member of upper management to be an influential quiet leader. You can apply this style as a parent, neighbor, or even as a caring friend.
Quiet leaders might not ever be the epic hero at the center of a harrowing tale, but they are often the most respected & adored, and their endeavors tend to stand the tests of time.
Saying Yes to Self-Discipline
When we think of discipline, what often comes to mind is punishment. In fact, the first definition of discipline at Dictionary.com is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”
However, the human mind is a YES-based operating system.
As any golfer will tell you, if you focus on not hitting your ball into the water trap, your ball will inevitably plunk into the pond. To hit the hole, focus on the hole.
While using pain to discourage errant behavior is useful and effective in some instances, it’s also highly effective in far more instances to focus your attention on your desired behavior, and reward yourself for a job well done.
One great way to do this is to redirect. People who hear “No” or “Don’t” too often will start ignoring those commands. Offer yourself a positive action to replace your undesired behavior.
For example, if you find that you’re consistently engaging distractions when it’s time to get your work done, try redirecting. Instead of saying, “Quit checking Facebook!!!” you can try saying, “While this is fun, I’d really like to do some research right now.”
Some psychologists refer to this as
‘Watering the grass instead of the weeds.’
Another great trick is to treat your mind like a child. When it’s begging for attention through distraction & drama, just refuse to engage. Turn your attention to what you want, and when you feel your mind focus, give yourself a high-5, smile & say, “Good job!”
The root of the word Discipline is the same as the root of Disciple. Discipline isn’t about punishing yourself when you’ve done wrong, but rather giving yourself a path you can feel good about following.
How Will You Say Yes to Self-Discipline Today?