What is Success?

February 4th, 2010 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Success - (1 Comments)

Success means so many things to different people. For many, success is about achieving financial freedom in their lives and having the time to do what they enjoy doing. For others, success may involve achieving harmony with their mental, physical and spiritual aspects of their life. Success can also mean achieving the goals and objectives that you set out for your life journey and achieving the outcomes that you anticipated.

Your own idea of success may be a combination of the above, but the key will be to make it happen now!

Three Steps to Success

I have tried to simplify the process of moving to the next level of personal development and achieving success in your life. Having read numerous books and listened to a number of audiovisual programs on success I have reduced all the different approaches to three key steps in achieving success:

  • Think – positive mental attitude, beliefs, creative thinking, intuition, dreams and desires, subconscious programming, visualisation
  • Plan – life purpose, goals and objectives, commitment, detailed action plans
  • Do! – positive doing, self-discipline, taking action, implementation, evaluation

Although all three steps are important to achieving success the emphasis should be on the “Doing”. Ultimate success comes 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. Success is a journey therefore you need to start working on it now. Today is the start of the rest of your life.

Many people spend a lot of time thinking and dreaming of success without actually planning and putting into action their plans. Don’t get me wrong. Thinking and having a positive mental attitude are important precursors to success, however these alone won’t pull you through. I can now understand why Thomas Edison stated that genius (success) is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

What is your definition of success?

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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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More on Goal Setting

January 19th, 2010 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Goals and Objectives - (5 Comments)

Goal setting is a key antecedent to success. Many of the successful people that I have worked with are strongly goal-oriented. They spend time articulating clear and specific goals, they write these goals down in detail, they work on their goals daily and review their goals periodically. Successful people also have clear, specific and written organised plans of action.

Your goals should contribute towards achieving your “Major Life Purpose” and related core values in life. What is your major purpose in life?

For goals to be affective they must be SMART Goals. That is:

  • Specific – don’t be vague
  • Measurable – quantify your goal
  • Attainable – be honest with yourself
  • Realistic – real and practical
  • Time-based – associate a timeframe

 

Although your goals should be attainable it is also important to include a few stretch goals that have the ability to take you out of your comfort zone.

The template that I use for goal setting is outlined below:

Step 1 Brainstorm all your goals and objectives

  • Take a sheet of paper or use a journal and list all your goals and objectives. They could also include your dreams and desires in life.
  • Some people have suggested you list 100 goals for this step, but if you can’t get to 100 don’t worry
  • Once you have your list then prioritize and label each as follows: 1 = goals to be achieved in one year or less, 3 = goals that are two to three years out, 5 = goals that will take about five years to achieve, and 10 = your ten year goals and dreams.

 

Step 2 Focus on your One Year goals

  • Ensure your goals satisfy the SMART criteria and rewrite if required. For example, your goal may be to “lose weight”, however this does not satisfy all the SMART criteria as it is written. The goal should be written as – “Lose 5kg by 30 Jun 2010 through 30 min of exercise at least 4 days per week, coupled with a healthy eating diet”.
  • Group your goals under the following categories:
    • Financial/Material Goals
    • Business/Career Goals
    • Personal Relationship/Social Goals
    • Health & Recreational Goals
    • Personal Development & Growth Goals
  • Further prioritize your goals under each category. I usually have 4 – 5 goals for each category and I prioritize further by asking what are the more important goals that will have the biggest impact in my life

 

Step 3 Develop Action Plans for each goal

  • Write each goal at the top of a fresh page and develop the details of your plan.
  • Break down the plan into workable individual tasks. Assign a completion date for each task.
  • Some goals may require the assistance of other people. You will need to assign specific tasks to the individual people identified who can assist you with your plan.

 

Step 4 Repeat Steps 2 and 3 above for your 3, 5 and 10 year goals

  • Some of your longer term goals may be dreams or desires. You will need to convert these dreams and desires into specific and defined individual goals with timeframes. The individual goals together with their specific tasks and actions, collectively will achieve your overall dreams.
  • Long term goals require periodic review to ensure you are on track to achieving the outcomes that you have documented in your plan.
  • You may need to revise your plans if you discover that you are not progressing as originally planned.

 

Step 5 Take Action

  • You now have the winning combination of a goal with a plan.
  • Take action immediately with the highest priority goals.
  • Self-discipline and commitment will be needed to work on your goals and plans every day. Do something every day, no matter how small, to move towards achieving your goals.
  • Document your progress in a journal or diary and make any adjustments, if required.
  • Celebrate your success and achievements by rewarding yourself.

 

Enjoy!

Dr John Kapeleris

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Happy 2010!

January 3rd, 2010 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Goals and Objectives - (3 Comments)

A new year has dawned once again!

I find that this is the time for the major review of my goals and objectives that I set for the previous year, and to document the new goals and objectives for 2010. I challenge you to do the same. Begin by identifying the major achievements and highlights for 2009. These could include work achievements, financial objectives, family highlights, personal development, educational achievements or personal success outcomes.

I use a visual journal with white pages to document my goals and objectives at the start of the 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.

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 2010. Some of these goals could also be carried over from 2009. Particularly goals that were over ambitious, which is common amongst high achievers.

One of the significant goals that I set revolves around my personal development program. Brian Tracy states in many of his programs that you should work on yourself more than you work on your job. By working on yourself you will always be improving your skills and knowledge, that will ultimately improve your job outcomes. Therefore, I document my personal development plan that is aligned with my goals and objectives for the year. That is, what do I need to develop to achieve the outcomes I desire? My personal development plan generally includes a reading list, personal development CDs and DVDs, a few home study courses, a target list of seminars and networking events, and a couple of online courses.

What does your personal development plan look like?

Good luck and I wish you every success for 2010!

Dr John Kapeleris

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