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2015.06.14 Journal of Wealth & Success Vol 3 Issue 23

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6 wealth & success volume 3 issue 23 June 14, 2015 wealth & success Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. investment intelligence command & control command & control Action Environment Are You Willing to Pay the Price? You have a deep desire to get out of your rut and live the life of your dreams, but are you willing to do what it takes, or are your actions betraying you? There are, without a doubt, those poor lost souls wandering aimlessly through life. Never questioning why they were put here and void of any real dreams or visions of what they could become, they are knocked around like a little metal ball trapped in a machine, con- trolled exclusively by external forces. But not you. Unlike those cold souls, you know precisely what you want out of life and are determined to get it. So, it is time to answer the billion dollar question: Are you taking the actions, each and every day, that will trans- port you to the life you've envisioned, or are your dreams being crushed by the weight of the endless stream of distractions that drop on us constantly? If you know what you want out of life but are not moving forward, you have answered the question. Five Steps to Regain Control In past issues of the Journal, we have offered specific techniques to help you move closer toward your goals. Today, however, let's take a step back and simply consider the five char- acteristics of a success-filled day. This list provides a simple set of metrics for you to gauge how serious you are about reaching your goals. Step 1: Reflect briefly on your strategic goals and the milestones you must reach to get there. In previous exercises, we have developed a compelling vision of what the future "you" looks like, right down to the net worth and the surroundings. We also developed the list of objectives, or milestones, that will greet you along the path toward your ultimate goals, providing evidence that you have not wandered into the wilderness. You recorded both your strategic goals and your tactical objectives on paper or in a digital form. Each morning, you should briefly review these directives, even for just a minute or two, so that you can get your attitude aligned and in position for a successful day. Step 2: Avoid drinking the poison. In step one, you energized your day by reflect- ing on your goals and aspirations, and what you must do to achieve them. Why, then, would you put yourself in a position to poi- son those wonderful thoughts by listening to all of the rot-gut garbage coming out of the local or tabloid news? Yes, the five overnight murders in Cleveland were awful, but don't sap your energy listening to the details; you need that energy to accomplish your proac- tive daily actions. Tune out the garbage and focus on what you control. Step 3: Go into the day knowing what you must accomplish. In another past exercise, we wrote down the 6 to 12 specific actions that you must take on a daily basis to keep you moving forward. These were concrete steps, not nebulous ideas, that you should be able to accom- plish within thirty to sixty minutes each. You should print up (or have a digital copy in sight) a calendar of the day, with thirty minute blocks of time on one side and your actions on the other side. This calendar is not used to list all of the "stuff " required of you by others; it is to view and record only the actions that will move you closer to your goals. This is your plan for the day, and it should not be view- able by a boss or anyone else. Step 4: Turn the daily marathon into a series of sprints. Let's face facts, it doesn't take long for the endless series of daily distractions to get you down. That list of proactive steps on your calendar begins to look more and more dif- ficult to accomplish with each passing hour. There is a remedy for this, however: breaking the actions down into small, bite-sized pieces that are very easy to complete. For example, if action number one on your list is "write a report on how an inter- est rate hike would affect long-term bonds," you should go over to the current time block and write something like: "1. Collect research for interest rate piece." Once you have done that simple task within the 30-minute block alloted, check it off and go to your next free 30-minute block, recording something like "1. Outline interest rate story." (Remember, these are all steps in completing action number one, which is why the number stays the same.) By breaking your vital actions down into bite-sized pieces, they become completely manageable, no matter your mood or the dis- tractions coming your way. Step 5: Reward yourself after each block and clear your mind. Most people tend to attempt marathon ses- sions to get a project accomplished. This is a very inefficient method, typically resulting in shoddy work and loss of time. The longer we work at something without a break, the quicker our creative juices and energy levels dissipate. By breaking our actions down into 30-minute blocks, and taking a brief phys- ical and mental break (even for five minutes) afterwards, we can come back energized and ready to take on the next task. The daily calendar, if used as outlined, will be a powerful tool to gauge progress toward your goals. No matter how slowly you move forward, if you stick to the system you will suc- ceed. If you ditch the program altogether, it may be time to start daydreaming, once again, of what could have been.

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