Rules to Guarantee Success
By Kat Eden
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1. Be Present
I have to admit I’m
still struggling with this one myself (and probably always will), but it’s
definitely a rule I try to live by.
It’s all too easy to become so caught up in
the day to day that we forget that life is, in fact, happening right now. And if
you’re not enjoying it, living it, being absorbed in it, pressing ‘play’, well
then you’re missing out on your own life.
Which is just plain sad, not to
mention somewhat unproductive, and even exhausting if it means your mind is
constantly anywhere but where you are. There’s a great saying that goes
something like ‘forget yesterday, live for today, tomorrow will take care of
itself’ (or may never come) – in fact, I think I’m paraphrasing from the Bible
with that one. I’d say it’s definitely a mantra worth living by, wouldn’t you?
2. Figure out What Really Matters to You
It’s all very well to learn how
to be present, but it’s not going to be especially rewarding if your ‘present’
is a place you don’t really want to be. The most useful thing I’ve done (and
repeated) in the past decade or so is taken time out to figure out what really
matters to me.
Truth be told it’s a pretty hefty list, but whittling it down is
half the fun and fairly insightful as well! When it all comes down to it, the
thing that matters most to me is enjoying who I am and enjoying life with my
family and those who I love.
In order to get there, I need to generate a certain
amount of money, be in a certain state of health, and create a lifestyle that
allows me flexibility. Once you’ve got this stuff sorted in your mind, it’s a
simple matter of setting aside time to work on achieving those dreams. I find it
best to focus on just 2 or 3 ‘big’ things each year.
3. Do it - Every Day
Taking time to
consider what truly matters takes you at least halfway to success. But, as much
as the power of your mind is fairly incredible, you do have to actively take
action if you want to move forward.
At the start of this year I took up a 30-day
challenge issued by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. (www.zenhabits.net)
I can honestly say that it was one of the most worthwhile lessons I’ve learned
in recent years – and so simple!
All I did was set aside (minimum) the first 10
minutes of each day for something that was really important to me. The task I
chose at the time was my writing. Getting through the entire challenge was
tough, but incredibly rewarding. I don’t think I’ve ever written as much as I
did in that month, and I’m quite certain it both improved my writing skills and
set the tone for a productive year of blogging.
Although I’ve reverted to
bad habits on occasion, I’m pretty good these days at doing first things first,
and am even learning not to worry if ’second’ things don’t happen at all. Give
it a go – I guarantee you’ll love the outcome!
4. Learn the Art of Acceptance
One of the best
lines I’ve heard comes straight from the mouth of Al Pacino in The Devil’s
Advocate (awesome movie, if a little disturbing!).
As the big man puts it – “it
is what it is”. I think that if you can learn to apply this mantra to various
situations throughout your day, you’ll find that you become a much calmer (and
therefore happier) person.
I know I’m not the only one who harbours stress,
ill-will and frustration within my mind. And to what end? Most things are never
going to be as bad or as powerful as they initially seem, and even if they are,
what’s the point of worrying about something you can’t change?
It is what it is,
and it will eventually pass. I love that part of the Serenity Prayer that goes
“grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to
change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – I’m planning
to keep this one in mind when I’m in labour sometime later this month!
5. Don't be Afraid to Snub Convention & Break the Rules
Courage to make
change is possibly one of the greatest things that we can conquer. In most cases
(and quite particularly when it’s something worth fighting for) the easy path is
the one of least resistance.
It’s always tough to go against the grain, whether
it’s by following less-than-conventional nutritional wisdom, by questioning an
‘expert’ or power of some sort on an issue you just don’t quite agree with, by
choosing to take up any sort of belief path, or activity, or even hobby that
differs from that which your peers or society deem acceptable.
But what’s the
point of even living if you can’t at least try to be true to yourself? If that
means making a stand and taking the flak for it, so be it. If it means a huge
leap of faith in your career or personal life, well isn’t it worth the potential
If it means you even have to redefine your own boundaries now and
then, well then you really have conquered the art of living. In my mind at
least! After all – life really is now. Make sure you’re pressing play!
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5 Rules to Guarantee Success By:
Kat Eden is a personal trainer
and motivational health blogger from Melbourne, Australia. You can connect with
Kat over at her blog
www.bodyincredible.com, where she offers regular
nutrition and lifestyle tips for health, motivation, and weight loss.
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