We all want to have freedom and the feeling that life is getting better all the time.
We desire to live life to the fullest however it is easy for our desires to hit hurdles or roadblocks based on the choices and decisions we make every day.
The interesting thing is sometimes we may not even be aware of how our behaviours, through the choices and decisions we make, dictate the reality we create and what we experience each day. It’s the things that have become a part of our identity and who we have become that could be our biggest enemy.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that in order to be efficient, productive or effective, we must master the ability to focus.
For busy business owners and entrepreneurs, this can often be quite challenging. We know about the importance of staying focused because what we focus on expands or grows. Yet staying focused is something we tend to struggle with. Why is that?
Fortunately for me, I realised the importance of being able to focus on what’s important early in my business. In fact, when I first started my business, I named it Focused On…® because I knew that staying focused on the important things in business or life was a critical skill I needed to develop.
My first experience with focusing on a major project in my business was when I wrote my first book, Hoops and Freedom. For five months, I worked on nothing else except writing my book. I even hand-wrote the whole book. Each day, my aim was to write a minimum of five pages.
Most days I exceeded my target however there were days when I could only write two pages. However, having a sole focus allowed me to complete writing the book in only five months, which was a good achievement for me considering I had never written a book before. That was the power of staying focused.
We are all creatures of comfort and familiarity. Whenever we step outside our comfort zone, sometimes also referred to as our familiar zone, we experience a level of discomfort or unease.
On such occasions, we can either challenge ourselves and keep moving forward, or we can retreat and step back into our comfort zone. If we want to continue to develop and grow, then we must be willing to step out of our comfort zone on a consistent basis.
The good thing is stepping out of our comfort zone doesn’t necessarily have to be something gigantic. I personally think it’s wiser to build up our confidence to challenge ourselves gradually and then over time, we can attempt the more challenging things like changing careers, starting a new business, or relocating to a different state or country.
Are you comfortable with spending time on your own? When was the last time you intentionally took time out to be by yourself?
Throughout history, all the great leaders and all the great teachers have disagreed on many things but one thing that they’ve all agreed upon is that our thoughts can be harnessed to bring about big changes in our lives and in the world.
In fact, one of the most successful recordings in the personal development industry is called The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale, in which the secret is we become what we think about most of the time.
The reality is most of us do not harness the power of our thoughts. One of my mentors has an interesting saying — “2% of the population thinks, 3% think they think and 95% would rather die than think.” Sustained thinking is often very challenging because most of us have not been taught how to use our thoughts effectively.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we all go through stages where we don’t feel our best or aren’t performing at our best.
Feeling rundown or burnt out certainly contributes to our lack of motivation.
It’s not uncommon that as we get closer to the end of a year, we start feeling mentally exhausted and also start looking forward to the end of the year. The good news is that you’re not alone and it’s not something you have to go through on your own.
As I reflect back on the journey I have been on for a few years now, I am quite amazed with the transformation that I have experienced — almost all of them, in a positive way.
When I was a teenager, still searching for an identity, one of the not-so positive habits I formed was in the choice of music I listened. I started listening to hip-hop music or more specifically, rap music — the kind which used to have a warning on the CD cover of “explicit lyrics.”
This practice continued all through high school, university and the first few years after I completed my university studies. This behaviour even reached the point where I was listening to it at 6.00am in the morning driving to work.
We all like the idea of having fun. Unfortunately, for most business owners and entrepreneurs, having fun is one of those things that we “hope” we can fit in around our busy work schedule.
The sad truth is that most business owners and entrepreneurs are going about this the wrong way.
Rather than trying to fit in the things we love or really want to do around our work, it is much better to schedule things we can do for fun just like a work appointment.
It is unrealistic to think we’ll make this major shift of scheduling in fun activities and potentially compromise our work commitments straight away. However, we can start taking back our weekends as an initial step to start off with and give ourselves permission to have a break from the work we think we need to do.
I’ll admit it – I am my biggest distraction and I’m usually the one who slows me down when I’m trying to be productive and get things done. Can you relate to this?
With so many things at our disposal today such as the latest and greatest technology devices, social media or the internet, getting things done can be challenging especially if you’re a busy business owner or entrepreneur.
While some things may be out of our control, there are certainly a lot of things we can control so that we can be focused when it’s time to do our highest value work.
There are many cute phrases that describe people who read. They include:
- Readers are learners
- Readers are writers.
- Readers are winners.
- Leaders are readers.
Personally, I find reading to be a crucial part of my personal growth. When I read, I get the mental stimulation I need to generate new ideas, be creative or innovative, plus it also improves my vocabulary and my writing skills. If I am not reading regularly, I feel stagnant.