Tag Archives: success

Sophia Loren On Success

I am successful because I was willing to give up being anonymous – Sophia Loren

Do you put yourself out there?

On the career front, this includes:

  • getting published;
  • getting media mentions;
  • speaking at a conference;
  • maintaining an active online presence;
  • maintaining a diverse network; and
  • building up relationships with executives, investors, and recruiters.

Which activities do you proactively pursue?

Richard Sapit on Time and the Trivial

Time has a wonderful way of weeding out the trivial. – Richard Sapit

We’re almost at the end of another year. What did you spend it on?

Did you worry about things that didn’t happen?

Did you complain about slights that no longer matter or problems that worked themselves out?

What do you want to carry over into next year?

What do you want to discard?

 

Barbara Sher on Now

“Now” is the operative word. Everything you put in your way is just a method of putting off the hour when you could actually be doing your dream. You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating. – Barbara Sher

What could you do right now that moves you toward your goal?

Set a timer for 15 minutes so it’s not a big block of time, and just do something. If you mean to do more networking, email people in your contact list that you haven’t connected with in the last 30 days. Do part of that exercise routine you mean to do regularly. If you want to do more reading, pick something up and read as far as you can in 15 minutes.

Stay at 15 minutes for at least a week so you work on consistency and routine and not just duration. You also now build you goal into a daily habit.

Ben Stein On Achievement

The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this; decide what you want. – Ben Stein

One exercise I give all of my clients when deciding on the ideal next job is to make a list of everything they want. This typically numbers in the dozens – salary, bonus, flexibility, great boss, mentorship, etc. Then, they pick their top half. Then, the top half of that. Then, they keep dividing in half until they can no longer imagine taking a job that doesn’t meet the remaining criteria. These things are the real deal breakers. These things are what you really want.

You can do the same exercise outside of career – with your personal goals, your weekly to do list, even your list of approved cheat foods (my deal-breakers here are chocolate-covered nuts and ice cream).

What are the nice-to-haves and what are the MUST-haves? How much time and attention are you giving the MUST-haves? How can you better preserve your limited bandwidth for what you really want?

Ralph Waldo Emerson On Obstacles

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

One of my favorite scenes in the sitcom, Seinfeld, is when perennial loser George commits out loud to Jerry that he will change his life, do what he really wants, get on the path of a dream career. He names history, sports, and other interests. Then, Jerry shoots him down at every turn. It’s funny because it rings so true, except in real life, the role of Jerry is played by that inner voice that stifles our dreams before we have a chance to go after them.

Are you standing in your own sunshine? Do you talk yourself out of dreaming too “unrealistically”?

When your negative inner critic surfaces, visualize the shadow and the sunshine. Tell your critic to step aside so you can enjoy the warmth and light of your natural optimism, hope and confidence.

Stephen Covey on Control

If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control – myself. – Stephen Covey

I am guilty of the blame game, myself – if only he had followed up on that, if only their budget wasn’t so restrictive, if only she wasn’t favoring her preferred vendors.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Instead I need to stay focused on what I can do: How can I follow up? How can I rework my proposal to fit the budget? How can I get on the preferred list?

In what areas of life and career are you giving up control? Where do you assume “this is just the way things are”? What is your role in keeping (and therefore upending) business-as-usual?

Stephen Colbert on Life As Improvisation

Now there are very few rules to improv, but one of the things I was taught early on is that you are not the most important person in the scene — everybody else is. You cannot win in improv. And life is an improvisation – Stephen Colbert

Katie in Wizard of OzI love Stephen Colbert and I love improv, so I love this quote.

The best improvisational theatre is when everyone on stage is trying to make everyone else look good, do good work, and have a good time. If we just did that in our day-to-day, we would all have an amazing place to work and live!

How can you make others look good – at work, at home, at the next social event? How can you support your friend’s goal or your colleague’s work? How can you listen more and find opportunities to help?

Martina Navratilova on Limits

I think the key is for women not to set any limits — Martina Navratilova

I would say that not setting limits is the key for everyone. Can I do one more push-up? Can I fill my boss’ role? Can I do what I love, live the life I want to lead, and get paid fabulously well for it? Why not?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was freelancing when my two children were very young, and one of my clients was an organization where I could see myself in-house. I didn’t want to work the traditional 9-5, and I still wanted the flexibility to pursue creative projects (I was acting at the time), and I still expected to make six-figures. So that’s what happened. It’s not typical, but it can be done.

Where are you setting limits or making assumptions? There are no limits.