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A List to Start the Day

September 14, 2018 by  
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A few weeks ago, I talked about how important that first hour of your day can be as the book, The Miracle Morning, talks about. I would add one critical thing that you can do to make that first 60 minutes of your day so much more productive and beneficial to your life – write down, the night before, the items and tasks that you want to address the next morning. Write what you want to concentrate on for those first 60 minutes. You can break it down to six 10 minute items or four 15 minutes tasks, but no matter how you do it, making a list can, and will, greatly increase the odds of you following through on what you want to accomplish.

There is something magic that happens in your brain when you reduce your desires to a list. When you write those items down, it’s like your brain pushes you to act on them and won’t let you go until you do it.

In my book, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living, I have a chapter entitled “Clone Yourself with the Amazing ‘L’ Factor”.  Show me any super-successful person who has accomplished big things and I’ll show you an accomplished list maker. Yes, you can clone yourself by the wise use of list making, plus some good old-fashion delegation.

Of the many specific techniques that have huge value in helping catapult a person to the top of whatever they’re going after, I have to say that list making is at, or near, the top of that list. For some reason most people tend to put a much higher value on just about anything that is on a written list. It’s just flat-out amazing how much more enhanced your life will become and how many more dreams and goals you will be able to achieve by using lists. In addition, daily task lists or to-do lists are the key to keeping track of accomplishing all the bite-size components into which you’ve broken down your big picture goals.

So, if you have gotten away from that ole list making habit, it’s probably a good time to start making lists in order to drive yourself to get lots of stuff done. And I don’t mean just for that first hour of the day, but make lists for your big, huge goals and read over your list often, checking off those items that you’ve accomplished. Then you can give yourself a nice pat on the back for getting the job done!

Prioritizing Your Lists

September 7, 2018 by  
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Last week’s blog challenged you to become the next Richard Branson. I’m still waiting for that invitation to jump in your hot air balloon and travel over the Atlantic Ocean! But, more importantly, I hope my words got you thinking about list making.

I ended my previous blog, which was all about how successful you can be when you make lists, by asking the question, “How important is it to prioritize your list?”

Of course, the answer is that prioritizing your lists are absolutely critical, that is, if you want to do much bigger and better things!  However, most of us humans after we’ve made a list, will often make the mistake of NOT prioritizing the items on them. You may be thinking, “Hey, everybody knows you should prioritize!” And that may be true, but most people simply don’t do it, even if they know it’s very important!

I’m acquainted with many bright and intelligent people who treat virtually situation – every business deal, and every contact – equally. Ok, I’ve been guilty of doing that myself from time to time. People will even let a very low priority phone call or even a walk-in salesperson interrupt a high priority project or meeting that they are involved in. They have no sense of priority. They often move from one small, easy item to another small, easy item on their “to do list”, simply because they are easy and to get them out of the way.

Once in a while, if there is still time in the day, they’ll finally get to some important items, or even a top priority item. I’m sure most of us have done this, on occasion, but we need to realize that leaving our top priority items until later will hurt our progress and productivity to a large degree.

If we give it some advance thought and plan our day, we are more likely to stop ourselves from “taking the easy way” and not be oblivious to the great power of doing the top priority items first. Probably the biggest reason all of us can, and do, too often leave the top priority items until later is that those are usually very challenging and very difficult, and people just don’t want to push themselves. They do the easier, lower priority and only moderately important items first so they can check them off the list. I guess it makes them feel good or feel like they’re getting more done that way.

Have I taken the easy road myself?  Yes, of course I have. Most of us are very human in that way and we slip up once in a while. Sometimes we slip up more often than that. But by knowing that’s the wrong way to approach my list, I can concentrate on giving the top priority items a top priority position on my list which will help me reach great heights in my life.

If you dwell on this idea and acknowledge the fact that doing the easy things on your list first can keep you from accomplishing great things, you are much more likely to prioritize properly. And when you do slip up, and am totally aware of that slip up, you need to admit that to yourself and take corrective action. I am sure you can do this because I can and I’m pretty sure, you and I are not that different.

A Billionaire and a Popstar

August 31, 2018 by  
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I’m sure you’ve taken note of certain people whose lives seem packed full of many marvelous activities, adventures, and experiences. Have you ever wondered how they do it all? Well, a big part of their success is that they are good at making, keeping, and working off of lists.

A good example is British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who credits his lists of things he wants to accomplish as the key to his getting so much done. He takes the time to go down that list often, adding to it and checking off each item as it is completed.

Here’s a guy who, at the tender age of 25, had the nerve to make a $100,000 offer to buy the Caribbean island of Necker that was listed for sale at $6 million dollars. No, the seller didn’t accept that low ball offer but, later, Branson did buy the entire island for a mere $180,000 which ended up being one of his favorite paradise getaways. And get this … his super luxury cabin rents out for $65,000 a night! Wow. That’s my kind of real estate investment – a place you can rent out, when not using it for yourself, that provides a super great cash flow.

Today, his Virgin group of businesses owns more than 200 different companies. Among these companies are businesses that specialize in air travel, finance, retail sales, music, cell phones, internet, hotels, and even a railroad. In 1999, Branson attempted, and broke, world records in hot air balloon travel and in a transatlantic small boat crossing.

Pop star, Madonna, also has a reputation as a big list maker. Although her accomplishments are in different areas than Branson’s, she attributes her list-making to keeping track of her priorities and getting so much done.

Lists are one of the secrets used by the rich and famous every day of their lives. They help them to run their businesses and to expand their ventures. List making is a common trait of millions of successful people regardless of race, sex, nationality, or occupation. Lists are used to lift their lives and propel them toward fulfillment. And lists can do the same for you and me!

Once again, as I write about this, it truly motivates me to make more lists and be more consistent in doing just that. But here’s a good question to end on: How important is it to “Prioritize” your lists?  We’ll talk about that next week.

In the meantime, how about you or your son or granddaughter become the next Branson? Hey, it could happen, and then maybe you will invite me to a hot air balloon ride across the Atlantic!

The Powerful Link Between PA’s and Goal Setting

February 10, 2012 by  
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All this talk of positive affirmations (PA’s) got me thinking about the critical and close connections between PA’s and goal setting. Is there a serious connection between the two?? Absolutely!

PA’s really are the basics of goal setting. A goal is obviously something you’ve thought about and decided it’s important enough to act on. If you’re smart you will have written it down. If you’re really smart you will have also put a deadline on it. By doing this you’ve feed a message to your mind and reinforced it by making a visual note on paper and, yes, your subconscious, which has just been sitting there waiting for directions, is now being told what to do and what to believe.

So no matter what the goal is that you’ve stored in your mind and put on paper, the ever vigilant and very smart subconscious says “Ok … that’s what you want to do so we’ll do it!” Remember it doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative –your subconscious doesn’t care. It will get to work on it as soon as you plant the seed and keep working on it even while you sleep or think about something else. That sneaky inner brain obeys and thinks “I’ll keep at this until you call me off or change your mind and goals.”

Of course, if you feed it negative stuff or if you don’t keep practicing positive PA’s the subconscious (SubCon) will be just as content to let the negative PA’s dominate — remember it just doesn’t care–it’s job is to do what you tell it to do without question. That is pretty powerful stuff.

Living a Life of Quality

November 26, 2010 by  
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With age, and the experience of achieving great success, it has become glaringly clear that wealth, power, status, fame, possessions, etc. do not, by themselves, add anything significant to the actual quality of our lives. Yes, I find having wealth is nice and allows me to do many wonderful things such as travel (like I am right now!), and I do thoroughly enjoy many of my physical possessions like my new house and all the bits and pieces my wife has brought in to make it a home, but these things are not how I measure how well I live.

Most of what makes a life worth living is not to be bought or collected but can be found in the experiences you have, what you give to others, what you accept, and how you choose to look at the world. It’s those many small steps that make up the journey that determine the true importance of the destination, not the destination itself.

If your ‘destination’ is great wealth, gaining that wealth will only be important if you’ve lived well, struggled often, and celebrated your small successes along the way. This is why lottery winners almost always end up unhappy. There was no journey, no sense of success and no memories that made up the path to their wealth. The money just became a condition of their life, not something that engaged their sense of personal acheivement.

This idea brings together much of what I’ve been talking about these past few weeks. Live in the moment, because these moments are what your life is truly made of. Choose to be happy or your life will be made of many disappointing moments and thus your life will be disappointing. And don’t forget to look for joy in the wonderful act of giving to others, acts that will infuse your life with the kind of treasure that you could never buy or fabricate.

Go ahead and go for the wealth and the status and whatever else you dream of. Just remember to live a quality life along the way, and keep up your passion for living, not just for the future life you’re after.

Making it Through a Hectic Day

June 11, 2010 by  
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You might have already noticed that no matter how well you map out the steps you need to take to reach your goals or how intent you are on hitting every deadline you set for yourself, you don’t always manage it. Sometimes unexpected circumstances arise and other people need your time, attention, and support. It’s important that you make the needs of your family and friends one of your priorities-—helping them and others is a big part of living a fulfilling, passionate life–but you must never forget to take care of yourself as well.

I know this can often be very difficult and some days you just want to throw your hands up in surrender. Well don’t. No matter what is happening you really can help the people you care for, keep making progress on your own goals, and keep sane all at the same time. The way to do this is to use that “L” factor I talk about in Chapter 8 of my book, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living–list making.

Lists are the ideal life line for when things get hectic so be sure you make a list of what you want to get done for yourself and others every day. Then when the proverbial wrench gets thrown into your plans get the issue resolved or the interruption wrapped up as soon as possible and return to your list. Don’t worry if it takes hours to get back on track or even the next day. The important thing is to keep the list as the guideline for your day so you don’t get sidetracked or lost in the chaos.

You will also find that if you complete the items according to their priority for that day that even if you are interrupted, the most important things still get done. Anything left undone should be transferred to the next day’s list and made a priority for that day. If one or two of your top priorities are steps toward accomplishing your goals, you are certain to make the progress you need to keep up your enthusiasm and eventually accomplish what you are after. Because, in the end, it’s not how quickly you reach your goal but that you have something to strive for that fuels your passion and creates a life worth celebrating.