7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Number 1: Be Proactive

7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 1:  Be ProactiveLast time, I shared a tribute to Stephen Covey, author of the worldwide bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Covey’s recent death prompted me to re-read and re-apply each of the 7 Habits in my life.

Today I’ll share my thoughts on Stephen Covey’s Habit 1:  Be Proactive. This Habit illustrates one of life’s greatest truths and hardest lessons:  Everything is a choice.

I believe that being proactive is the first and most important habit of highly successful people because true success begins with the realization that we have the power to choose the life we want to live.

We can live life on purpose instead of being a victim of circumstance.  We can make life happen for us instead of letting it happen to us. [Read more…]

The Benefit of Not Planning Your Life

Life Planning

There are some who think lifestyle design, or life planning, is overrated.

They’d rather fly by the seat of their pants, and just let life happen, than think of their end goals in life and make a plan to achieve them.

I know I’ve felt that way at times, have you? Why?

Well, for me, it is because planning takes time. It involves thought. It requires action. And it demands accountability.

Sr. John Harvey-Jones says there is great benefit in not engaging in life planning:

“Planning is an unnatural process – it’s much more fun to get on with it. The real benefit of not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise and is not preceded by months of worry.”

I think the point he is making is that when we fail to plan, we’re really planning to fail, even though we don’t recognize it at the time.  And it is true for all areas of our lives:  our finances, career, marriage, etc. [Read more…]

How to Write Your Definition of Success

How to define success in your life

Last time, I shared that your level of success in life is determined by your definition of success.  If you never take the time to define what success means to you, you’ll never find fulfillment in your life. Why?  Because you can never truly reach something that is never defined.

So how do you write a definition of success?  Here are a few tips…

Write Your Definition of Success

Writing your definition of success will take time.  Don’t feel you have to get it perfect the first time.  Just write your first rough draft now.  Things can always be tweaked or re-written later. [Read more…]

Why Your Definition of Success Ultimately Determines Your Level of Success

What is your definition of success?Have you defined what success means to you?

I’ve observed that a lot of people go through life not really knowing what they want.  They’ve never taken the time to define success.

So they live frustrated, unsatisfied and unfulfilled lives.  Always wishing for what could have been. Instead of making it a reality.

In The Truth About Getting More Done, author Mark Fritz says that before you can create the life you want, or even attempt to live your dreams, you need to first define what success means to you.

Once you’ve clearly defined success, you can identify the goals that will help you achieve it, and the tasks that need to be done in order to achieve the goals that will lead you to success.

I think it is important to look at success in a balanced way.  Don’t just think about success in your work or finances – which is where most people focus their time and success energy.

Instead, identify what success looks like in all areas of your life:  your career, finances, family relationships, community involvement, personal growth and development, and health too. [Read more…]

The Master in the Art of Living

I just discovered a poem by James A. Michener, which beautifully illustrates the possibility of living an integrated and balanced life, where the different life areas are in harmony with each other.

Michener calls it “The Master in the Art of Living.”

The Master in the Art of Living

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between
His work and his play,
His labor and his leisure,
His mind and his body,
His information and his recreation,
His love and his religion, [Read more…]

The Other 8 Hours: How a Little Change in Your Habits Will Make a Big Difference

Do you ever feel like you can never find the time to pursue your dreams and live the life you want?

Would you like to eliminate all the people and activities that drain you, and replace them with positive and life-affirming ones?

Do you feel like your life is on “auto-pilot”, heading who knows where, and you’d desperately like to turn it around in a positive direction.

Would you like to live every day with purpose, knowing you’re making real progress on your goals and dreams?

If so, you need to read The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose, by Robert Pagliarini.

Here is an excerpt:

Your day doesn’t start when you crawl out of bed. Your day-and even your life-doesn’t really start until 5:00PM. What you’ve done with your time after 5:00PM last week, last month, and last year has determined where you are today. How you use the other 8 hours today, tomorrow, and next year will determine your future-they are your only hope to radically improve your life. [Read more…]