We all know life can be a mysterious combination of luck, timing, skill, practice, habits, passion and effort. How did you really get to the place you are in today, whether for better or worse? I imagine that it was a combination of your interests, energy, upbringing, luck and timing.
The only thing we really own are our decision and habits in the immediate moment. We literally make thousands of choices each day in terms of what we do with our time and reactions to outside forces.
In this post we present 10 ideas of how we can “make” things happen, versus just letting life happen to us constantly. Successful people that we study tend to have certain common attributes and habits. Successful people have plenty of setbacks and challenges, but often it is how we react to these that makes all the difference.
1. Take the baby steps
Yes, everyone knows the term baby steps, but really think about it. Even the most accomplished long distance runner began with two chubby legs taking one small step forward. In a way, this is all we have. Think about a direction you want to go in that you are passionate about, and take the first step. The reason I add passion to the equation, is that without passion it is hard to take the following steps. We will naturally revert back to the status quo.
I know lately the old saying “follow your passions,” has caught a lot of flack. People know more often say, follow the money, retire early and then think about passions. The problem in my opinion is that passion drives us. In other words, their is wisdom in that old saying that goes beneath the surface.
2. Discover your passions and interests
This is a segway from the previous way to make things happen, but worth emphasizing. We must explore ourselves in some way. What gets the blood pumping, the heart rate up, our interest peaked? In order to excel at something, that feeling has to be there. Otherwise the activity is a kind of drudgery. Even things we are passionate about get hard, dirty, nasty and difficult. But, the big difference is that through the hard times we have a higher chance of pushing through to a new level of skill.
So another way to make things happen is find out what makes you tick. We are fortunate in the modern world in a relatively free country to have some say in our direction.
3. Enlist a partner
For many years I wanted to make a personal financial blog for several reasons. I wanted create a platform to learn and share ideas to increase wealth. Consequently I went through several false starts. But then I was able to get together with my friend Jerry and we motivated each other to create The Money Vikings.
As a result, we were able to support each other and combine our skills, talents and interests. In other words, sometimes we are much greater as a team. This is so true in many aspects of life, high performing teams and duos can yield much better results. Find the Robin to your Batman or Kato to your Green Hornet. You might even play different roles at different times depending on the situation and the challenge.
4. Take a class
This is related to the “baby steps” concept but has a twist. Taking a class has always been a way for me to move forward in some aspect of personal interest or business. The awesome news is that taking a class or furthering our educations has never been easier. There are thousands of online classes and community college classes to choose from.
Some of my most life changing and growth experiences came from the structure of a class, online instruction video, blogs, etc. All forms of “taking a class” in my opinion. Think beyond the traditional classroom to all the online resources available to us in the modern world, this is a true gift.
5. Engineer your life for success
I strongly believe in setting ourselves up for success. The classic financial method is having money automatically invested each paycheck. But there are dozens of ways we can engineer our life for success. Let’s say you want to eat healthier, then only fill your fridge and cupboards with wholesome and nutritions foods, like the G-BOMBS!
6. Manage perfectionism
Making things great and pursuing excellence are wonderful qualities. But sometimes to make things happen we need to take action and get going on the first step. And the first step is usually not the best one.
The problem with perfectionism is that sometimes folks do not start or finish anything in the pursuit of perfect. Of course we should strive for excellence and continual improvement in our endeavors, but going too far in perfectionism can result in never accomplishing anything. Besides the Mona Lisa or Magna Carta, nothing in this world is ever really perfect.
7. Realize your limits
We all have only so many hours in a day. There is so much energy that we can muster. Therefore, we must find focal areas in life. These can shift and change as we evolve in life, but it is important to focus in order to get things done.
Without focus we are spread out too thin, with no real push or emphasis in any one direction.
8. Limit exposure to energy suckers
In order to make things happen we need energy, focus and motivation. There are sadly some people in the world that deplete our energy and can sabotage our focus and motivation. It is critical that we limit exposure to toxic people.
I am not sure how to say this, but this means cutting them out of your life. This can be tricky in the work environment where we must learn and adapt to dealing and managing with many types of personalities. In addition, those personalities have good days and bad days.
It must be emphasized how important this tactic is. The people we surround ourselves with truly has a huge impact on the trajectory of our lives. Our friends, our family, our spouse/significant other, etc. We do not need to be around “perfect” people, there is no such thing. But surround ourselves with people that tend to uplift each other in some way and add value to each other’s lives.