“In a prosperous society most misery is self-inflicted.” George Ainslie* Squirrel chasing, avoiding discomfort, perfectionism, and waiting to the last minute are symptoms self-inflicted misery. Procrastinators make on average $15,000 less than non-procrastinators.… Continue reading →

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Some of my friends are professional athletes who have made millions of dollars in their sport. But let’s face it, most people are not going to make it to the pros. The competition is too fierce and talented, and the odds for most athletes are too long, no matter how hard you work at it.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you have a dream, chase it. If you have an ambition, pursue it. If you have a goal, grasp it. But also understand that sometimes life requires a Plan B. That’s when you need to be flexible and adapt your plans based on the circumstances life throws at you.

Your Plan A might be to make it to the pros. That’s a lofty target and shows how optimistic and confident you are. Good! But having a Plan B doesn’t mean you’re pessimistic. It doesn’t mean you’re not committed to Plan A. You’re not allowing failure to be an option. Plan B should make you feel great too. It can also be lofty and ambitious. It’s smart to have a Plan B; it’s not a sign of weakness.

How adaptable are you? If your Plan A hits the rumble strips, do you turn happily to Plan B, knowing that sometimes life is a bumpy ride, or do you crumble, thinking that since your Plan A failed, you must be a failure? Flexibility will allow you to find new ways to succeed, even when your initial plans go awry.

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change.” – Richard Branson

Lessons in Adaptability from Phil Harvey

My friend Phil Harvey is an excellent example of a flexible approach to life. Although he hasn’t had things all his own way, he has consistently found ways to succeed. He loves his Plan B as much as his Plan A and he’s never shy of adapting a plan when circumstances change.

When Phil was twenty, he and his brother James took jobs with one of the largest moving companies in the Denver area. They worked there for about eighteen months, and during that time, they noticed that their employer made a lot of mistakes. Phil didn’t plan to start his own business, but the company’s issues were affecting his income. It was time for Plan B.

Phil and James decided to set out on their own. They learned as much as they could about the moving business, then parted ways from the company and set up their own organization. They started out using a Chevy Tahoe for every move. Not easy. Then the Tahoe broke down. Even tougher. What did they do? They borrowed a Ford Ranger from their mother and kept on working.

Although they were initially under-resourced, Phil and James loved helping people move home. They’re both athletic, lean, and strong, and they make moving look easy. Their customers loved them and recommended them to all their friends. It wasn’t long before they were making more working for themselves than they did working for a large moving company. Soon, they brought on a cousin to work with them, and he too became a partner in the business.

Over the next ten years, their flexible approach paid off big time. As their reputation grew, other avenues of income opened up for them:

They started renting budget trucks for their moves and then opened a budget franchise so that they could rent out vehicles themselves.
When they noticed that many clients requested carpet-cleaning recommendations, Phil’s girlfriend started a side business for cleaning services.
From carpet cleaning, they expanded again to offer general cleaning for clients who were moving out of a rental or preparing their home for sale.
When clients had them haul away unwanted furniture, the Harvey’s started a side business reselling the items on eBay.

Is there any angle that the Harvey’s missed? They can load and move someone’s furniture and possessions. They can rent you a truck if you need one. They can haul off stuff you don’t want. They can come in after the move and clean the carpet and the rest of the house. About the only thing they didn’t do was sell the house when it was clean and empty.

Oh, wait. That’s not true anymore. James recently got his real estate license. Now they can sell the house too.

If you had asked the Harvey’s a decade ago, would they have predicted that they’d now have a thriving moving business, with numerous other side businesses? I doubt it. But they have continued to evolve, seeing opportunities where they have arisen, and consistently developing a Plan B when necessary.

“Adapt what is useful, reject was is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee

Stay Foolish, Stay Hungry

In our society, making a million dollars is a metaphor for success. But how much money you make is a trivial way of keeping score. What’s more important is your happiness. Are you doing what you love? Do you love going to work every day? Is what you’re offering helping someone else?

If you hate your job and you’re miserable, no amount of money will compensate for that unhappiness. To find your niche in life and keep evolving, you need to be adaptable.

You should have big goals, but don’t be limited by them. If your goal is to earn a million dollars, fine. But what’s your goal after that? Setting a finite line can be limiting, so you have to be nimble. Some defensive backs wanted to be wide receivers. They have similar body types and run as fast as receivers; they just don’t catch the ball as well. But in the event the ball is thrown over the receiver’s head, the DB, for the moment, can become a receiver with the interception.

The DB achieved more than he had originally planned because he never limited himself to being just a tackler.

When I leave the NFL, my Plan B will be an offshoot of my Plan A. I have a network of friends, teammates, and advisors who will all be part of my Plan B.

Plan B isn’t always dramatically different from Plan A. If your Plan A is doing something you love, make Plan B something you love too. Chances are it will involve the same friends and acquaintances you made while working on Plan A.

Success depends on finding the things you are passionate about. Once you identify that, think about how you can be involved in that passion every day and how you can use your enthusiasm for that work to change the world. That’s your sweet spot. You should do what you love and what you’re great at. And when the game changes, be ready to change with it.

Read more: addicted2success.com

If you want to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace, you’d better start working smart. Work defines the man. For me, work means personal power. The power to change material aspects, to achieve goals, fulfill dreams, and contribute to the greater good. Work is a sacred activity, yet most of us perceive it as hard and often terrifying. In today’s post, I’m sharing several insightful tips that should help you work smarter instead of harder. Don’t get me wrong – both hard and smart are key components for generating impressive results, so don’t try to “skip” your work but rather accept it and adopt it.

Here are 9 ways you can work smarter today:
1. Mind, Body, Spirit

Most individuals will choose to believe that their poor results come as a result of one or two causes. In fact, you can never blame just two or three causes for an event because there are usually much more. I believe that in order to reach success, you must cultivate a mind-body-spirit balance.

What does this mean? It means that you don’t focus only on healthy eating but you also focus on constructive reading and learning. You also meditate, focus, and reflect upon life from a “higher perspective”. Simply put, you don’t neglect your physical needs, your intellectual needs, and your spiritual needs as they are all critically important!

2. Pay Close Attention to Distractions

What are distractions? Well, to me, a distraction is the end of my productivity. Whenever I sit focused for an hour without allowing anything to disturb me, my attention constantly increases. The moment I let my mind wander, I immediately start to feel like there is a struggle to get back on track. To deliver awesome results, you must completely eliminate distractions while you work. Be smart and learn to say “no.”

3. Introspections are Key

Introspections are definitely great “tools” for everyone who’s struggling with their schedule, calendar, or with the control of the actions they must handle. Every week, I’d suggest you sit in silence for 30 minutes and simply do nothing. Once your mind is clear and ready for action, start assessing your last week and observe what happened. Note the good causal factors and the bad ones. Repeat the good and eliminate the bad next week!

“The key to happiness is really progress and growth and constantly working on yourself and developing something.” – Lewis Howes

4. Planning Will Make You Successful

If you know how to plan your life, the unexpected will mostly bring pleasure. We often feel stressed, angry, or frustrated because things have managed to get out of our control. Therefore, instead of seeking the solution, we often focus on the problem. Planning is your best way to build a stable roadmap that you can hold on to. Whenever you slip, your notes will bring you back where “you must be.”

5. Find Out Your “Best Working Hours”

Every professional works differently. If you expect to get the same results as your neighbor following his own formula, you shouldn’t be surprised if the result is totally different. In order to find out your “best working hours,” meaning the hours that are most favorable to your working habits, you must start studying yourself. Your body has its habits, and you must be very careful when reading its signals.

Start experimenting. Try 5AM one week, 6AM the next one, try a different sleeping schedule the next week and keep doing it until you’re satisfied with your energy, results, and quality of focus. Obviously, don’t forget that it’s not just the hour that makes work smart, it’s mostly you!

6. Be Sovereign

Being sovereign means to be in control of your internal kingdom. If your thoughts, emotions, and actions are synchronized and aligned, the world you will experience will be a “heaven on earth.” In fact, there is a theory that “heaven” is simply the state of joy, bliss, and love that one manages to develop throughout life. When you feel at peace, your work will not feel like an obligation but rather like a moral responsibility that you genuinely and quickly want to approach.

7. Be Consistent

Success doesn’t come easy, so if you’re not ready to stay consistent throughout your journey, you should develop no expectations. When you look at a successful person on TV, you’re only observing the surface. Step back for a second and consider this: how many hours of hustle, work, frustrations, disappointments, and pain did that person go through? You must have heard of Thomas Edison’s story with the lightbulb – failing hundreds of times before actually succeeding. Take his behavior as an example and apply it in your work.

8. Be Confident

Confidence will take you far in life but only if you balance it with humbleness. Being confident and humble at the same time isn’t rocket science. If you want to prove something, a skill, an idea, or anything you believe is worth mentioning, be confident and take your chances immediately.

9. Consistently Improve Your Skills

Do you want to be a more valuable employee or a better-skilled entrepreneur? Imagine this: how can a football player become better if not through consistent practice? How could he become the best player in the world if not through practice, consistency, and continuous growth? The answer is simple – unless he truly works and cares for it, he will never reach that goal. Although some talent is needed too, talent can be surpassed by both hard and smart work.

“You’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting.” – John Addison

If you’re looking for a lasting change in your life, you’d better point your attention to what sits “within.” Your internal world shapes your external world no matter what. Start educating yourself and you’ll see that work becomes play and play will become art. Anything that’s holding you back is simply present because you must overcome it. We all create challenges in our lives, and we can all decide to remove them when we truly care enough!

Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to get more work done in less time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read more: addicted2success.com