No More Excuses

It’s one thing when others stand in our way.

It’s something quite different when we are the ones standing in our own way.

Excuses are useless.

No one believes them anyway.

It’s never right to sell yourself short or bet against your chances to succeed.

Self-doubt is self-sabotage.

Finding excuses for not taking chances is an easy way to never begin.

People who are not afraid to fail never make excuses.  They’re busy figuring out how to try again.

Others may doubt you, but you must never doubt yourself.

To do so is to prevent success and guarantee unhappiness.

The best way to ban excuses from your life is to make a commitment to an even higher standard than anyone expects of you.

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Getting Beyond Living in the Past

Think of it this way.

The more we obsess about the past, what’s happened and can’t be changed or undone, the more of our finite future is wasted.

Talk to a newly separated person and you’re likely to hear them double down on everything bad that is happening.

Some of this is normal, but to continue to waste life in the past is to rob you of your dreams and ambitions. To prevent you from meeting new people and starting new and interesting careers.

Moving on to all the potentially good things the future holds is not a warm and fuzzy feeling at first.

It’s a commitment to stop wasting time on that which cannot be changed.

Learn.

Mourn.

Get it out of your system.

But leave it all where it belongs – in the past where it can no longer hurt your chances of future happiness and fulfillment.

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How to Say No

Somewhere along the way no turned out to be a dirty word.

But it isn’t. In fact, no is a gift to yourself to stay focused on the life you really want to live.

No more being resentful, overwhelmed or feeling used.

  • Never say yes right away – Even if that is your inclination. Bide your time. Think it over. Say you will get back to them even if you’re pressured for an immediate response because being pressured is the way others get us to say yes when we really mean no.
  • Ask lots of questions – How much time will it take? Why did you choose me? 
  • What’s the compelling reason to do it? – Absent a compelling reason that resonates for both parties (not just the other person), you have no reason to acquiesce. 
  • After thinking, stick to your decision – Put it in a sentence and keep repeating it every time you’re pressured to reconsider. Example: “After sleeping on it, I realize at this point in my life I cannot commit to that right now”. And if you’re asked 5 times to reconsider, repeat the same simple line 5 more times.

You will make more enemies by agreeing to something that your heart’s not in than if you say simply and honestly – sorry, I cannot do it.

It may take practice because so many of us are pleasers or we are afraid to say no, but once you start using the questions above to work through your hidden feelings, no will be an honest answer not a rejection.

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An Apology You’ll Love to Make

We’re hearing a lot of public apologies lately.  It seems most people are ready to apologize when they’ve been caught doing something wrong.

For the rest of us, apologizing for mistakes can not only save relationships but empower you. 

  • Never say IF I offended you, I apologize – It’s not IF, it’s either I did or I didn’t.  Using the word “if” can sound like a cop out on the receiving end. 
  • Fix the problem before making the apology – So if you had to cancel an engagement at the last minute wasting the other person’s time, reschedule first and then sincerely apologize for the offense.
  • No empty apologies – These are the ones that are made before anything is done to fix or improve the thing that you might have done to offend.

The only reason to withhold an apology is ego.

Apologizing for an indiscretion after you’ve begun taking steps to repair the damage means you are human and sorry enough to start fixing the problem before you just say the words.

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Being More Productive

You can’t do every task or project equally which is why we choose the small tasks when we’re in the accomplishing mood.

The secret is to break big tasks and projects into smaller ones — as many as necessary with the goal of completing the entire thing.

You can reserve a meeting room for a team meeting easily enough and check it off the list but planning an entire conference requires many smaller tasks.

Achievers know just working on big tasks will not lead to completing them adequately.  They divide the tasks into smaller tasks and then check them off.

The key to productivity is to do only that which brings you 80% of your goal and not try to do everything.

Multitasking is a waste of time.

When a task is large, divide it up into sub-tasks and attack them one by one.

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