9/21/2008

How you can tell if you truly committed to changing your life

I've been thinking quite a bit about the Will Smith video clip I shared on my last post. Particularly the section where he states that "there is a redemptive power that making a choice has." He goes on to urge us to "just decide!"
"Decide what its going to be, who you are going to be and how you are going to do it."

As we near the end of the year and begin to think about the resolutions we'll have for ourselves, we need develop a clear understanding of what it means to truly create change in our lives.

I'm sure you've made decisions to change a part of your life in the past. If the change was a temporary, chances are that your decision was not based on the fact that you were making up your mind to create change. Your decision for a new life probably had small print down at the bottom which allowed for backsliding into your old ways at the first sign of discomfort.

Truth be told, if you really want to experience the change you say you want, then you should leave no other option available other than that which further progresses your change.

For instance, I worked with a young lady at my previous place of employment who maintained an extremely healthy lifestyle. Jogging was part of her everyday routine and she consistently ate healthy meals. She was the epitome of discipline with regards to her health and wellness. The day before I left the company, I had a final conversation with another coworker about giving up his smoking habit. His response was heavy with hesitation as he honestly let me know that he was not sure he could completely give up smoking. He then talked about the day that Jillian gave up smoking. I was extremely shocked and puzzled by his revelation. Jillian only ate organic nutritious meals. Jillian was a daily jogger. How could Jillian have been a smoker?

My co-worker went on to tell me that a few years back, Jillian was a chain smoker who was extremely overweight. My mouth dropped in amazement even to think about. I asked him how she became so disciplined to lose all of that weight and to become so healthy. "On New Years Eve she had one last cigarette with us," She told us that she was going to stop smoking and that she would lose all of her weight. "From that day on," he told me, "she never picked up another cigarette and she makes sure to jog every single day." He even told me of a time when he was enjoying a delicious box of cookies. The cookies were so good that he felt the need to share one with Jillian. She declined the offer. He then proceeded to coax her into having just one cookie by stressing how fantastic they were. Jillian remained steadfast in her decision not to have a cookie. He persisted. Jillian remained strong. At the end of the exchange, Jillian did not have a cookie thereby further reinforcing the decision she made years before.

Is Jillian some sort of super-hero with a level of discipline not found in the common man? Not at all. The fact that she smoked heavily and was overweight proves that she once suffered from a lack of discipline just like the rest of us. What separates Jillian from my other co-worker is the fact that Jillian made a real decision to experience change. Her decision was so firm and absolute that she was able to maintain her commitment to herself even years later.

My next post will detail the attributes of one who really wants to experience a true change versus one who thinks that she wants to change an aspect of her life.
Stay tuned.

9/18/2008

Will Smith, Law of Attraction, and Hard Work

Today I thought I'd share with you a very inspiring Youtube clip featuring actor Will Smith.





What I love most about this interview is how Will shares his beliefs regarding our unlimited potential.

"If we just decide!"
Most of us may have an idea of what we want to experience or who we want to become but we must understand that desiring to be or have is not the same thing as deciding to be or to have it.

Deciding "to be" or "to have" comes with it a lot of work and hustling. Will refers to that concept in the latter half of the interview. In it Will proclaims, "I will not be outworked, PERIOD!" What a powerful testament to his level of determination and persistence. I love the fact that he mentions hard work in this interview. He could have only talked about positive thinking and a positive mindset, but instead, Will gave us a very basic example of his beliefs regarding hard work when he proclaims that "I'm not afraid to die on the treadmill."

As soon as I watched that video I took on the mantra on not being outworked. This way of thinking has raised my level of excellence and the quality of my work dramatically. I have also experienced a boost in self-esteem regarding what I do because I know how hard I worked to prepare myself for this exact moment. Like Will said, "If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready."

9/09/2008

Increase your level of effectiveness using the incremental piddlism method

The other day I was helping out a friend who chose me as a subject to interview for her final class paper and project. The paper she has to put together is to be 40 pages long according to her professor's requirement. This friend is a self-proclaimed procrastinator who has a difficult time starting projects prior to deadlines. After our meeting I reminded her of the need to allocate an hour a day, each day to researching and writing her paper, to equal a full 7 hours of dedicated, focused, work on her project.

These 7 hours, when broken up into smaller bite sized pieces, would make her life so much easier. It was then that she introduced me to the official label to this type of activity. She called it incremental piddlism. Her professor coined the phrase. He shared with his students examples of how he was able to accomplish what seemed like large daunting tasks with the greatest of ease using incremental piddlism. One example he shared with the class was of his need to move several dozen boxes worth of materials,and books to a new office location. While the rest of his counterparts went about their way focusing on the cares of the day, the professor took one box with him every single work day, to his new office area. Day after day, he remained consistent, moving one box at a time, as he left for the day.

The time eventually came when the professor's counterparts realized that they had to spend a large, unproductive, part of their days laboring to move their belongings over to the new office prior to the impeding deadline. When they all realized that the professor had already completed the move, they could hardly believe it. They asked him how it was done. They asked him when he had the time to do it. His response was simply that he moved one box each day until all of his belongings were in his new office. As a result, the professor was able to continue his work without experiencing any gap in his productivity.

Piddling is defined as "of a small matter" or "of little importance." The act of moving one box of items each day was probably considered a small matter to him. But the end result of his efforts equated to the completion of a large and, most likely, overwhelming task.

I was excited when I found a name that described this behavior because now I can use the phrase as a means of motivation. As I think of the various large projects that I am avoiding 'till the very last minute, I reflect on the professor and how he was able to make a huge impact by implementing simple, consistent, daily efforts. I then begin to ask myself what "box" I can move on a daily basis, that will allow me to complete my project. As I move those boxes consistently, I find that the project I had been dreading can be easily managed and conquered.

In the end, I save my self a ton of time, stress, and energy. Not only that, because, I am touching the project every day, I have the time to put more thought into tomorrow's portion of the project based on what I accomplished today. If, I were to try to do the entire planning, preparation, and execution piece in one or two sittings, I put myself in a position where I am likely to produce inferior quality work.

So today, my friends, I invite you to think about your goals, projects, and intentions. How can you piddle incrementally, on a daily basis, in order to make a huge impact on the results? Put some time and thought into this and immediately set aside an hour, or half hour,on a daily basis to piddle away. You can be be like Bob Proctor, who is said to have worked on a book for 1 minute each day for 365 days.
You will be amazed at how much you can get accomplished with this focused time.