Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Guide for Success in 2015

A Guide for Success in 2015
By:  Wayne Crumpley

     As I look in the mirror and think about 2015, it brings to mind some of the best advice I have learned through the years.  I intend to follow this guidance myself and I thought it might be of benefit to you as well.    My strategy this year, and I encourage you to try it too, is to begin the new year by creating a “personal plan” as my foundation for success.
     When looking back at the past five years, we can only credit the person in the mirror for the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Whatever has happened in our past,  it’s all on us!  We are the architect of our own lives, building upon the decisions we make each and every day.   Most of the choices were likely good ones . . . others, not so much.   Regardless, they were yesterday’s decisions.  All we have now is the present moment. 
     Some of our greatest learning and growth experiences are when things are not going as expected.  Now is the time to take advantage of everything you have learned, good or bad.  Recognize these total experiences as an asset, and make them work for you . . . now.
    Everyone should have a Personal Plan.   When he was a college student,  businessman Boone Pickens received some valuable guidance from his father who said,   “. . . a fool with a plan, can outsmart  a genius with no plan any day.” 
   A personal plan establishes the path you will follow to achieve a specific goal or complete a specific project.  So, what is YOUR goal?   Don’t be shy; no objective or idea is too large or complex!  When working toward a complicated or highly technical goal, or one that relies on extensive funding or multiple teams of contributors, be sure to establish a plan that is “time realistic.”   For example, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and co-founder of PayPal and SolarCity, is building a space rocket with the expectation of sending an exploration team to Mars, and is building the largest battery research and production plant in the world.  Each of these projects is a multi-year (or even life-long) project that must be planned and executed over an extended period of time.  Whether you are building a house that may take four months, or sending people to Mars, which may take 20-plus years, it takes a plan.
     Everyone has 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day,  and seven days in a week.   On the other hand, everyone is different in how much energy they have,  and how they use that energy.   If you do not respect your own time and energy,  use both wisely,  then no one else will respect your time and energy either.   With that in mind, be aware of who you associate with, and observe how your friends and colleagues respect their own time and energy.  Then pay close attention to how they treat yours.
Time and Energy wasters are people who are aimlessly moving along going nowhere.  Don’t let them take you along!   If someone wastes your time and energy,   understand that you don’t have to let them.  If you don’t respect your own time and energy, and if you let it be wasted,  then you are responsible for letting it happen.
     Negative thinkers can be another drain on your time and energy.  They often don’t understand creative ideas, or the creative process, and as a result they will pick apart your ideas, tell you why they won’t work, and may even ridicule you for having an idea out of the main stream. A problem well defined is a problem half-solved!   Remember, it is not the event that makes the person . . . it is your reaction to the event!   If you do continue to associate with friends and others who are negative thinkers,  be careful about sharing your thoughts or ideas in order to avoid a pessimistic onslaught. 
Sometimes, the person who you might think is a time/energy waster,  or a negative thinker, is really on a mission to either steal your energy and/or  is on a “idea mining” mission.   In this case, the purpose is not to waste your time and energy, but to “brain storm” idea seeds, and see what and where the discussion will lead.  When two people discuss an idea, a “third mind” appears creating new energy. The positive side of this is discussed in the book,  “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill,  in discussing his “Mastermind” principle.
     Stay away from time and energy “vampires” and choose to spend time with people who share your enthusiasm for progress.  Creative, positive, up-beat, and goal oriented people will lift your energy levels and will help you cultivate your own creativity and reach your own goals.
As you go through each day it is important to have harmony in your life.  Surround yourself with positive, up-beat people, and begin moving away from negative people.  A friend once told me that the beauty of being financially successful is that you only have to do business with those people who are pleasant.  No one wants to associate with unpleasant people.  Even if you aren’t exactly where you’d like to be financially, you still have some discretion in choosing your customers, co-workers and even your boss; if you sense friction or disharmony, move on . . . .
     Most of us are looking for a high quality life and a life with purpose.   We forget that we have to take our bodies along for the ride!   So,  if you are like me,  you are constantly wrestling with diet and exercise programs necessary for keeping our bodies functioning at a high level.   This all starts with good quality foods,  lower fats, and (in my case)  less food.   Drink more water,  and get more exercise.   Building good health habits is a life practice.  Making time in your schedule . . . planning time in your day . . . for exercise will help you stay healthy and will pay big dividends!  Try to have a balanced life of meaningful creative work, spiritual regeneration, and some play-time, too.  Not only will you have a healthier body, but your mind will be revitalized,  and your life forces will be stronger.
     My final tip, and goal for myself this year,  is to stay focused.  Part of staying focused is knowing yourself.  What distracts you from doing the project at hand?  Start by getting  organized.  Make a Master to-do list, with everything you need to get done.  This list needs to be prioritized into time frames:  1) do today, 2) do this week,  and 3) items to put on your calendar.  Put the most important or hardest tasks first.  Do these first.   In getting organized, consider how you are presently managing your time.  How much time are you spending on Facebook, reading Emails,  writing and sending new Emails,  and talking on the telephone?  How many  meetings are you attending, how long, and what is being accomplished?  Work into your daily schedule time for something that helps you relax (maybe yoga or mediation) and to exercise (try taking a walk or spend time at the gym).  And, don’t forget to get enough, quality rest.
     www.facebook.com/WayneCrumpleywww.linkedin.com/in/waynecrumpleyFinally, take an overall look at how you spend your time.  How you spend your time is the best indicator of what is important to you.  If your priorities and your time allocations don’t match up, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities or re-evaluate your schedule.