“The purpose of man is in action, not thought.” — Thomas Carlyle

We are fast approaching Christmas and this is always a sign that we have once again reached the end of another calendar year. I always find the end of the year to be a time of reflection and review. It is also a time to evaluate the progress of your life purpose, goals and objectives that were set at the start of the year or the longer term goals set in previous years.

The end of the year also offers a fresh start for activities that we had intended to do but never got around to doing them. Although I had previously stated that any day can be the start of the rest of your life, the end of the year can be a special time because it can provide closure to outstanding action items that may no longer be relevant, but also removing limiting beliefs by leaving them behind in the current year. The dawning of a new year provides the incentive to start a fresh action list and the motivation to get things done.

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, however, they quickly discover that the resolutions fade even before the first quarter of the calender year is reached. It is not just about making New Year’s resolutions at the dawn of the New Year, it is about making a committed effort to set written goals and objectives for the coming year and for the medium to longer term timeframe.

I challenge you to make a committed effort, that is, take ACTION, to review your previous goals and objectives, and to set new goals and objectives for 2011. Begin by identifying the major achievements and highlights for 2010. These could include work achievements, financial objectives, family highlights, personal development, educational achievements or personal success outcomes. Achievements should also be acknowledged and celebrated to ensure mental reinforcement and capitalizing on the motivation that this can provide to your subconscious mind. I try to reward myself when I achieve a particular goal or objective. For example, I will buy a gift for myself that reminds me of the success that I have achieved, or I will organise a special holiday trip for myself and my family. Last January I decided to go to Byron Bay and live in a beach house for ten days to celebrate a very successful 2009. In previous years I bought myself a Tag Heuer watch to remind me of a successful multi-million dollar deal I had closed in the year.

I use a visual journal with white pages to document my goals and objectives for the new calendar year. Once I complete this activity I then develop Action Plans for the major goals and objectives. Throughout the year I periodically review my goals and revise any action plans that are not progressing as expected. You should also prepare a vision board which consists of a portfolio of visual material or a collage of images that portray your vision, goals and objectives. The vision board helps to stimulate your reticular activating system in your mind to reaffirm your subconscious.

Like most people I also identify a few missed opportunities or disappointments for the year. This allows me to learn from the experience so that I can strengthen my future plans moving forward. Go ahead and document the missed opportunities and disappointments. Ask yourself, “What could I have done differently to capitalise on the missed opportunities or overcame the disappointments?”, and document potential changes and actions for the future. Don’t spend too much time regretting the missed opportunities. The rest of your life starts now, therefore focus on your future goals and plans for 2011. Some of these goals could also be carried over from 2010. Particularly goals that were over ambitious, which is common amongst high achievers.

I had also previously posted a number of blog entries that can provide further detailed information on developing your goals and objectives (see below). Furthermore, I have included a Personal Development Plan Template that may also be used as a guide. A decent driveway paint site will get you the driveway paint you want.

What does your personal development plan look like?

Have a merry Christmas and I wish you every success for 2011!

Dr John Kapeleris

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“Genius (success) is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”  Thomas Edison

Having the right mindset and attitude through positive thinking is the first step to achieving success. However, ultimately achieving successful outcomes will require action through the power of positive doing.  Success will only emerge from the actions you implement in life, once you have taken the opportunity to think about what you want and then plan what you are going to do.

Positive doing is about being motivated to take responsibility and to action a number of activities that result in progress along a planned roadmap or action plan. Even though we may deviate from our initial plan the key to success is the power of positive doing.

Tips to becoming more positive in life:

  • Focus on positive thoughts and remove any negative thoughts from your mind
  • Take responsibility of your life or someone else will
  • Find your direction and sense of purpose in life
  • Be assertive by cultivating your self-confidence
  • Value and respect yourself to improve your self-esteem
  • Face your fears and challenges in life as a first step to releasing your negative blocks
  • Get involved and make a contribution through the actions you take
  • Enjoy and celebrate your achievements

Positive thinking must be followed up with positive doing. Although I am a strong advocate of positive thinking, this alone will not achieve the outcomes you desire. You must act upon the positive thoughts, ideas and plans that you establish by implementing positive action.

Following are the ingredients to implementing  a positive action plan:

  1. Determine the goals and objectives
  2. Define the “what, who, when, where and how”
  3. Identify the specific tasks and sub-components
  4. Determine the key milestones
  5. Assign responsibility for each task and the timeline required
  6. Implement tasks and monitor progress
  7. Revise any tasks as required and celebrate the outcomes

You can use the following template to develop and implement your action plan.

The key to positive doing after establishing your action plan is to just START. Many people fail to execute their plans because they don’t start implementation for a number of reasons, including procrastination, not knowing how to begin, wanting everything to be perfect, mental roadblocks, or fear of taking action.

To implement a “positive doing” strategy in your life you must:

  1. Start your action plan
  2. Begin taking positive action steps
  3. Maintain self-discipline
  4. Persevere
  5. Periodically stop to reflect and evaluate
  6. Continue to drive your actions
  7. Check off your milestones

Dr John Kapeleris

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Our minds contain a vast amount of information from knowledge built through learning and the experiences we had throughout life. This also includes our emotions, feelings and observations. The total sum of this information is “What You Know”. However, a greater amount of information exists that “You Know You Don’t Know”, but you are familiar that this information exists. For example, solving the Rubik’s Cube, explaining Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or reciting Shakespeare’s Macbeth. An even greater quantity of information exists that “You Don’t Know You Don’t Know”. The different forms of personal knowledge and information are outlined in the diagram below.

 

If we could only tap into this body of knowledge that we don’t know, we would be able to utilize this knowledge for our personal success. The information you don’t know you don’t know, can be sourced through discovery and learning. Accessing the information and knowledge can be made through a number of different sources including, using the power of the internet, self-study courses, university courses and learning from others (e.g. through books, journals, seminars, CDs, DVDs and engaging with mentors). New knowledge can create new ideas. An old proverb says, “Seek and you will find“. If you become a student of lifelong learning then you will build new knowledge, wisdom, and discover new opportunities.

By exploring what we don’t know we don’t know, we discover new ideas, opportunities and the antecedents to innovation. This is particularly the case in identifying breakthrough innovations that generally occur through serendipity, that is, by chance, observation, or having the mindset to be able to identify opportunities.

An open mind, and a passion for learning and curiosity are needed to explore what we don’t know we don’t know.

What are some of the ways that you have discovered new opportunities?

Happy reading!

Dr John Kapeleris

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It is no surprise that successful and productive people keep journals or notebooks that capture ideas, inspirations, thoughts and daily reflections. Notable people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison kept journals and notebooks to record their ideas, thoughts, observations and projects. The notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci are well known, containing notes and illustrations of nature, art, science and anatomy. Leonardo’s journals also capture many of his ideas and inventions, but also reflect the character of the person.

Journals allow you to capture ideas and gather information into one location. Ideas can easily come and go, and the only way to remember these ideas is to record them in a journal as soon as they come to mind.  You can then review and work on these ideas at a later date.

I have been keeping journals for many years and have built excellent resources of information, knowledge and wisdom. My “Ideas Journal”, that I keep separately, contains ideas and thoughts that I have recorded since 1994, during the early days of my career. I also like to record notes, ideas and actions from the books I read and the seminars that I attend. Journals have the power to take you from where you are now to where you want to be.

The main type of  journal that I use to capture inspirations, thoughts and information is an A4 artist’s visual diary consisting of thick white sheets of paper bound in double wire, with a hard black plastic front cover and thick cardboard back cover. I prefer to use blank white paper to allow the free-flow of ideas and information. You may want to use a leather-bound journal or just a small simple notebook. Each person will have their own preference.

I take the journal with me everywhere I go in case I have an inspirational thought or idea that I can record immediately. I keep the journal by my bedside when I sleep, I take the journal with me to work, I have it next to me when I am on the computer or reading a book, and I take it with me when I travel or attend seminars. When I completely fill a journal I number and  label it, and then place it on my bookshelf.

What do I record in my journal?

  • Ideas, thoughts and inspirations
  • Interesting observations or experiences
  • Goals, objectives and action plans
  • Learning notes from reading books and attending seminars
  • Business opportunities
  • Names of contacts, leads and interesting people
  • Feelings and impressions
  • Achievements that I have accomplished
  • Interesting words, quotations, internet sites, references and book lists
  • Sketches, logos, brainstorms, mindmaps, inventions and dreams
  • Research topics and outcomes
  • Creative writing and poems
  • Recipes and wine label details
  • Travel experiences

Journals can also be used to manage projects and monitor progress of action plans.  I usually use a separate “Project Journal” to focus on one specific project. For example, when I started to learn about the internet and web publishing I got myself a notebook and labelled it “Internet Journal”. In the journal I recorded my self-education notes and learning journey about the internet. I also recorded website examples, log-in details, potential domain names and other notes. Other examples of project journals include an inventor’s journal or notebook, a travel journal, and a visual journal containing sketches or photographs.

Journal writing can be used to record your life journey. It has the potential to develop your inner self and become a channel of discovery and learning. It can also be a means of self expression or emotional relief. Journaling can also be fun and inspirational by recording creative writing, capturing sketches, brainstorming, solving problems, setting goals, developing action plans or just simply thinking on paper. In the current digital economy which is dominated by the computer keyboard, monitor and mouse it can sometimes be reassuring to grab an old style fountain pen and a page in a journal consisting of thick white paper that encourages us to express our inner creative human spirit!

Periodically you will need to review the ideas and information you capture in your journal. The ideas and information can be quite valuable for further reflection and implementation. Who knows; one of your ideas might be the next “blockbuster” product, service or business opportunity!

I look forward to reading your thoughts on journaling.

Dr John Kapeleris

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