Nine Ways to Increase Your Personal Excellence Starting Today
Do you know someone you consider to be – putting it delicately … not as smart as you are …
… yet they seem to be having more success in life than you?
I think we've all run into people like that at one point or another in our lives.
Do you ever say to yourself, "What do they know that I don't know?"
One thing they do know is success doesn't just happen by accident. They've figured out the key to success is non-stop personal and professional growth.
Successful people know that to be the best you can be, you must constantly be learning new strategies, techniques, and methods that will increase your knowledge and move your career forward.
In his book Talent Is Overrated, Geoffrey Colvin says that most people learn how to do their job in the first year. After that, they never get any better. They simply coast along. And, of course, the only way you can coast for an extended period of time is if you're going downhill.
As someone trying to live the writer’s life on your own terms, you don’t have that option. Your success depends on your efforts.
The good news is that your ability to learn and fulfill your potential in life is pretty much unlimited. No matter how old you are or where you are on the success curve.
If you feel like you're not where you need to be on the "never stop learning" chart, this article is for you. What follows are nine things you can do to ensure that you're advancing closer to personal excellence every day in pursuit of your ideal freelance career, courtesy of self-help author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy's book No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline:
Get up in the morning two hours before you have to leave for (or start) work and do something useful. Henry Ward Beecher once said, "The first hour is the rudder of the day." How you start a day has a huge impact on how successful you'll be on that particular day. If you begin your day by reading or listening to something educational, motivational, or spiritual, it gets you off to a great start.
My attitude has improved immensely since I started to listen to audio programs instead of music on my morning walk. It can really inspire you to make the most out of each and every day. So why not give yourself a morning injection of positivity? I guarantee you'll have a better attitude and accomplish more each day.
- Rewrite your goals every morning. When you take the time to rewrite the key things you want to accomplish in life, you'll be more focused and determined to achieve them. Your goals won't just be hopes and wishes; they'll become very real to you.
- Plan every day in advance. The best time to plan your day is the night or weekend before. Make a point to never sit down to start to work in the morning without knowing exactly what you want to accomplish that day.
- Concentrate single-mindedly on one thing at a time. Start on one particular task and follow it through until it's complete. If you switch back and forth between tasks, experts say it doubles or even triples the amount of time it takes you to complete each task.
- Listen to educational audio programs in your car. I love music. I'd listen to it all day if I could. But this is where you can really jump ahead of the pack. Turn your car into a "university on wheels" by listening to MP3s or CDs that can help you move forward on your goals. Otherwise, the time you spend driving is pretty much dead time when it comes to learning something new. I now listen to audio programs whenever I'm in my car alone (or 90% of the time, anyway).
- Continually ask yourself these two "magic" questions. After each event or task, ask yourself the following two questions: "What did I do right?" and "What would I do differently next time?" If you continually review your performance and are always on the lookout for how to do things better, you can't help but boost your success ratio.
- Treat every person you meet like a $1 million customer. According to Tracy, 85 percent of your success will be determined by how much people like and respect you. If you treat everyone you talk to or meet like they're the most important person in the world, they'll want to associate with you and do business with you. An important tip for making this happen: when you are introduced to a person, address them by their first name. People love to hear their name. They'll form an instant connection with you because of it.
- Use the 3 percent formula to invest in yourself. To guarantee lifelong success, Tracy recommends that you take (at least) 3 percent of your income and invest it in yourself in the form of ongoing education. Why 3 percent? According to the American Society for Training and Development, this is the figure the most profitable companies (the top 20 percent in their industry) invest back into training and development of their employees.
- Read at least one hour a day in your chosen field. Do this consistently and it won't be long before you know more than 99% of the people who work in your area or niche.
If you stick to as many of the above nine points as possible, I think you'll agree that you can't help but end each day a little wiser and that much closer to your goals. In no time at all, you'll find you're more informed and dynamic than most everyone you meet in your niche. And you’ll be that much closer to success in the writer’s life.
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