Using good feelings to stay focused

Thought Bubbles of Money

Good things in life easily motivate you to get things done. When you are craving that piece of chocolate or new electronic you have been dreaming about nothing and the world can stop you.  When you compare this driven mentality to other areas of your life, however, there can be a dramatic turnaround with your ability to want something and put in the work to get it done.  At least one reason this can happen is how your mind focuses on things that you want to actually get you moving in the ride direction.  Take this example.  First think of going out for dinner for your favorite meal.  Instantly you start to think about how delicious it is and how good you feel when the aroma whiffs your way and just how great the first bite will be.  Next up pick a different goal in your life, let’s just say you may also want to make $20,000 more at work.  Instead of imagining just how great it will be once that gets done, you automatically start to think of all the work, obstacles and hassles that lie in your way before you get to what you want.

Adding some of the reward and benefits to your goals that aren’t as appealing as your favorite meal is a good way to jump start the process of easing the mental blocks you are throwing up to get things done. If you want to make more begin to associate that with how your life will improve.  Perhaps you will have more time with the kids or the flexibility to take the vacation you want.  Of course your mind throws up interference at first but the more you challenge yourself to make the association with a different, more enjoyable goal, the strong the association becomes.  Working harder just to work harder does not come easy for a lot of people but working harder focusing on the carrot instead of the stick can help you self-motivate and get in gear for chasing your dreams.

Once you get in autopilot then little steps come faster and before you have a chance to stop yourself progress is being made. I like to spend time every Monday just imagining so I can associate things I love with the work it takes to the get them.  I love to travel so I browse for destinations I would love to visit.  Then I think of the small, manageable steps I could take to get there.  While $20,000 increase in sales sounds overwhelming, making an extra $1,500 a month does not and making an extra 3 phone calls a day sounds even better.  I stop thinking about all the work and just take the work as a cost of the reward and my engines get revved up!

Dreaming yourself into the fruits of your labor

Bentley Test DriveThe road between what you have and what you want is usually paved with lots and lots of hard work.  The journey between the two is long and most people either stop or get lost along the way because they lose sight of the clear focus of what they want.  Without the focus the reason for all the sacrifice and hard work can start to feel like it is not worth the trouble.  The good news is that even if you don’t have it now, you can still inundate your senses with what it looks and feels like to have what you want and start building the bridge of how to get there.

What do tell does this projection looks like??? Well I took a spin in the Bentley Continental GT Convertible in my “picture me now”.  Testing out something tangible that reflects the life you want to live.  In my test drive I got to feel what the wheel felt in my hands and the gas felt like on my feet.  Dropping the top I smelled the fresh air and saw how good the Bentley looked on me (or I looked on it).  Even from a temporary experience you can lock in your brain what it feels like to have what you want.  This memory can bridge the gap that be tired, or frustrated or depressed can fill in your hole.  It is the extra bonus you can put in when you feel like giving up.  Your brain already knows what it feels like to be where you are and but giving it some sensory experience on how it feels can reach your goals gives your brain something new to believe in.  Funny thing about that is when you believe in what you want your actions begin to reflect the behavior to get there.  A quick test drive won’t do that alone but it is a great step in filling the pool of motivation that life can frequently leave on empty.


Unplugging from the Matrix to Boost Productivity

computer robot backgroundChecking your phone every 7 minutes?  As crazy as it sounds the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s annual Internet Trends report found that people are checking their phones 150 times a day.  To go from growing up without a cell phone just 15 years ago to this startling fact sheds some light on just how using our phone has become second nature to a lot of us.  The need to stay connected to the internet, email, Facebook and Instagram in our lives can run havoc on productivity however.  The frequent checks to follow up on what is going on in our personal and business lives have the potential to serve as a constant interruption that pull us away from the goals that we want or need to get accomplished throughout the day.  Even minor distractions add up at the end of the day and make completing your scheduled tasks on any given day a repetitive cycle of pushing things off until the next day.  If you want to break the cycle here are some tips to help you steer away from the constant phone checks so you can get the most out of work time and enjoy your play time to the fullest.

Turn off the ringer and put the phone away: Sounds simple but sometimes not knowing what is out there is the best way to avoid getting distracted.  When the phone is not constantly dinging and ringing it makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.  What you don’t know, won’t hurt you and the great thing about the Internet is that you can catch up in about 60 seconds to the newest wave of information out there.  Doing one thing at one time is still the best way to ensure you are being proficient and accurate and prevent you from making more work for yourself in cleaning up what you could have done right the first time.

Assign some time to respond: As phones have become more and more attached we tell ourselves the story that we need to have it in case emergency strikes.  This may be true but honestly how often do you get those emergency calls you tell yourself is the reason you can’t live without your phone. Many times you can be reached on alternative numbers if it is a true emergency and the slim chance disaster will strike can become a crutch.  Be realistic with yourself on why you cannot cut the cord.  This can help you zero in on what you really think you will miss by not having the phone attached.  Depending on what the need is set up some times throughout the day you are accessible by your cell phone and your phone is accessible to you.  This can relieve some “what am I missing” anxiety and keep you on track to getting things done.

Prioritize what is coming in: Between email, texts, phone calls, Facebook, Instagram, Linked In and Twitter (to name a few) your phone can be a constant hot box.  Some of these things need to be addressed immediately, but many of them can be done on down time or once the day is slowing down.  Working on responding to the things that are important and have some immediate urgency stops you letting the distractions take over.

Make your phone time a reward after the work is done.  I think the years of access to my phone has given me a little ADD. The more you become accustom to the distraction the harder it is to be away from it for a long period of time.  Knock out some things that you need to get done and upon completion treat yourself with some time doing something you have to do as opposed to the things you need to do.   All work and no play may just result in some lackluster work so find what works for you in balancing focusing your attention on work versus your phone.

HYP Executive Book Club Meetings 2 and 3

Executive Book Club Week 2 and 3In week 2 and 3 of the Houston Young Professionals Executive Book Club, we continued our journey on the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  The book is an extraordinary look into not just the mindset of people who are successful but also a guide to help you begin to tackle the challenges set up in your own mind that limit you reaching the level of success you desire.  The power of a book club is that it provides both the structure and the support to your commitment to read a book and as a result make some positive changes in your own live.  Over the past two classes in going through the book with the group I am constantly surprised at how strong our minds are.  I got a quick dose of the power that the mind has even before deciding to join the course.  As the class begins at 7 am, my initial interested was quickly muted by of all the reasons I could not go to the meetings.  My mind quickly filled with all the things I am currently juggling, questions on how to get my daughter to school, doubt that I could even successfully wake up and be people friendly that early.  These self-doubts almost prevented me from signing up.  The truth is, however, once you commit yourself to something you just have to have the persistence to endure the obstacles to get it done.  With my mind made up to sign up to the book club, I got a lesson before even picking up the book on the power of your mind in controlling your life and how you can make the decision to take the power back.

Over the past two classes we have tackled issues that it took the author 20 years to streamline and will take most of us a continual commitment through the rest of our lives to complete: determining our purpose and having the desire to commit to that purpose at all costs.  Of course there is no book on the world with an easy answer to these questions as they are personal to each of us.  The book does, however, provide the food for thought to help you drill down to what you want and how you need to get there.  It can be easy to read the book, or any inspirational book, and still not see and put to action those components you read about in your own life.  Within the structure of the Executive Book Club, however, you get another priceless gift as you share and grow within a group…accountability.  Personally I sometimes keep my goals and desires internal at a volume barely over a whisper.  When you have to share with others and support the through their feelings of doubt and discovery you learn to make those goals and desire more than just a whisper but a strong and confident affirmation.  In discovering the power of the mind and of my own desires I am reminded that there is always room to grow and learn and always time to get back on track.  If you have not checked out the book it is a must read to assist you in streamlining your own path to success.

Work Hard, Play Harder Balance

cropped-Briefcase-and-drink-pic-smaller.jpgFinding balance in life is hard.  I come from a family that believes in hard work.  Being an eyewitness to this instilled a similar appreciation in me for working hard to provide for my family.  That being said all work and no play makes Cori a sad girl.  The question becomes can you fit the fun in that you deserve after all the hard work you put in???

My keys to making all this happen came in a simple recipe:

Work Hard, Play Harder, R & R and repeat. 

Step 1: Work Hard.
Hard work is a foundation for a lot of the things I want to accomplish in life.  I was born and breed to be a workaholic so in some ways I have accepted it.  In other ways I know that I have to give myself guidelines when enough is enough.  Once I have put in the time and worked to accomplish the goals which can realistically be done in a day I have to turn in it off.  Once work is done…Let the play time begin.

Step 2: Play Harder.
Whether it is traveling, parties or just letting my hair loose with friends when play time comes I always want to play hard.  Part of the balance in playing hard that comes from just living in the moment when you are in play mode.  When play time is too muddled with work then it really comes closer to being bad work time and/or bad play time.  It is okay to detach from your email and to do list and just appreciate the time you have to do the things you enjoy.

Step 3: R & R.
The final (and probably most critical component) is the R & R.  Getting in the rest and relaxation your body needs is the stitching that keeps the whole work/play quilt together.  Both work and play can honestly be equally tiring.  To do both work and play and do it well you have to put some effort  in just being still and quiet, resting, and daring I say it…even doing nothing.  Giving your battery time to recharge makes sure that you both work and play hard.