Ways you are preventing success.

By David Joel Miller.

Roadblock to goal

Roadblock to Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How many ways are you standing in the path of becoming successful.

Some people rack up a lot of successes in life, other people find that mostly they fail.  Successful people always have a few failures.  But if you find that mostly your life has been a string of failures with few successes you may want to look at what is causing that.  There are some habits, which some people have, that we sometimes call self-sabotaging.  Some people are able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  If you find that the dominant theme in your life is failure you may be engaging in some of these success preventing behaviors.

You blame others for your failures.

The road to success involves taking a lot of personal responsibility.  If you find that when you fail you are always blaming someone else, your lack of looking at your own part in these failures may be creating a repeating pattern.

You spend a lot of time doing things you don’t care about.

To be successful you have to put in the work.  Doing the practice that is required to develop skills takes time.  If you find that you are spending a lot of time to doing things that aren’t important and you don’t really care about, you are wasting valuable practice time on things that don’t add to your success.

You let your fears keep you from trying.

It’s possible to try and fail.  But you will fail at 100% of the things that you don’t try to do.  You will never have any big successes if you let your fears keep you from trying things in the first place.

You make a big deal out of your failures.

The more time you spend focusing on the things you fail at, the less time it leaves you for planning and executing possible successes.  Don’t stay focused on the things that didn’t succeed.  Devote your energy, your time and your thinking on planning for the projects of the future.

You spend a lot of time regretting the past.

People whose life theme is failure spend a lot of time rehashing the past.  To increase your success percentages, focus your time on planning for the future and work on your projects in the present.

You constantly worry about future.

It’s important to consider the future, to plan for it and to plan for all eventualities.  But there’s nothing you can do today but today’s work.  Worry doesn’t keep you safe.  Working, planning and preparing for the future increases your chances of success.

You can see the negative in everything.

The pessimist sees the negative everywhere they look.  Pessimists don’t create grand successes.  If you spend all your time focused on the negative, you have no time to create a positive.

You try to please everyone all the time.

Trying to please everyone all the time is playing to the lowest common denominator.  You can’t please everyone.  Innovative ideas require taking chances.  If you are creative few people will have thought of your idea before you.  Successful people get off the beaten track and do new novel things.

You believe goals are waste of time.

If you believe that goals are a waste of time you are not going anywhere.  Successful people have goals to direct their path.  The goals keep you from spend most of your time wandering aimlessly.  If you don’t know where you’re going you won’t recognize it when you get there.  Is your failure to plan a planning for failure?

You have forgotten how to have fun.

If the life you live is a life of drudgery, nothing will make you feel successful.  Life has its ups and its downs.  Make sure that you enjoy the journey or you will arrive at the destination worn out from the road.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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Eight steps to clearer thinking.

By David Joel Miller.

Become a more efficient thinker.

PNG of brain.

Clear thinking.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There are those people who are really clear, efficient thinkers.  Have you ever wished you were one of those efficient thinkers? There are ways that you can become a clearer more efficient thinker.  The skills needed to be an efficient thinker are not something people are born with.  Good thinking is a skill that you can develop. Start by getting your brain running at top efficiency.

Eat a healthy diet.

You brain consumes a significant portion of the calories you use each day.  By some estimates your brain uses 20 plus percent of the calories you burn each day.  To think well you need to fuel that brain.  Give your brain a healthy diet if you want to get good work out of it.  Not only do you need enough calories, but you need enough of all the basic nutrients.  Work on including healthy ingredients in your diet.

Get enough sleep.

Lack of sleep will make you a groggy, fuzzy headed thinker.  Begin your day the night before by getting to bed at a reasonable hour.  Efficient thinkers have well-rested brains.  You can’t think at peak efficiency with a tired out brain.  During sleep your brain is cleansed of all the waste products from the thinking work you do each day.

Do healthy exercise.

To be a clear thinker you need a healthy body.  Keeping your body healthy requires a good balance between exercise and rest.  Improve your thinking clarity by getting up from your desk and moving around.  Include some standing, walking and other exercise in your daily routine.

Store information in multiple ways.

The brain stores information that comes in through different channels in different locations.  If you want to be a clear thinker you need to be able to find information stored in your brain.  One way to do that is to store it in multiple locations.  Listen carefully to what you hear.  Take the time to really look at things.  Writing things down helps you to store the memory in another part of your brain.  Some people find it useful to sing or convert things they want to remember into rhymes.

Become more mindful.

Mindfulness is a useful way to train your brain.  Mindfulness practice can help you learn to be less distracted and more focused on the thing that you are trying to concentrate on.  Mindfulness teaches you the skill of ignoring extraneous thoughts and staying on task with a really important thought.

Read to improve your thinking ability.

Reading expands your ability to think clearly.  We think in words and the more you read the more words you become familiar with.  Read widely and increase the number of ideas you are familiar with.

Excite your brain.

Do mentally stimulating things.  Seek out novelty.  An enthusiastic brain produces better results.  The majority of all learning is emotional not intellectual.  If you are interested in a topic, if it excites your mind, this thought becomes easier to remember and make use of.

Match your speed to the project.

Some projects require slow methodical thinking.  Other tasks benefit from a more rapid, creative approach.  If you’re working on a very detailed problem in mathematics or engineering, you need to slow down your speed to avoid errors.  If you need more creative thoughts, keep the flow moving.  Some of the most creative ideas come from brainstorming where you come up with as many ideas as rapidly as possible without censoring them.

Hope these ideas will help you improve that clarity of your thinking.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Get more done.

By David Joel Miller.

Ways to be more productive.

Garden in a boat.

Get More Done.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Would you like to get more done?

Do you feel like you are having difficulty being productive?

Here are some simple tips to improve your productivity and help you get more done each and every day. Try introducing some of these ideas, one by one and see if your productivity doesn’t increase.

Maintain a healthy blood sugar – energy level.

Your brain burns a lot of calories.  By some estimates up to 25% of all the calories you will use every day are burned in your brain. Not having enough fuel on board reduces your ability to do work. Lack of blood sugar results in fuzzy headed thinking.

Kids who skip breakfast do more poorly in school.  Adults who don’t eat something early will find that their will suffer.  Start your day off with a healthy breakfast.  Being productive requires energy for both your brain and your body.

Get enough sleep.

Most people become chronically sleep deprived.  You may be able to get by on reduce sleep for a single night, or even a couple of nights.  But if you continue to work with less than enough sleep, your productivity will decline.  Chronically cutting your sleep short is not a way to improve your productivity.

Eat healthy.

Getting things done requires maintaining your body.  It is not enough to simply taken in calories.  Those calories need to include nutrients necessary to maintain health.  Many people’s diets are high in sugar, fat and low nutrient ingredients.

Get exercise. Move around.

Make sure you get plenty of exercise.  Take frequent breaks.  Get up and move around.  Staying in one position too long can wear you out.  Today more and more people work at desks jobs, working with papers, computers and ideas.  The result of this inactivity is a body that can’t support the brain that is doing so much of your work.

Eliminate what distracts you.

Distractions are the chief enemy of productivity.  Try to eliminate the distractions in your environment.  Close unneeded Internet windows.  If possible, use music or white noise to eliminate the distraction of conversations or other noises in your environment.  Cut down on the need to attend to things other than your main task at hand.

Practice focusing.

Focusing, paying attention, is a skill that needs to be practiced.  Young children rarely have good attention skills.  The way those attention paying skills develop is by practice.  Work on improving your ability to pay attention.  Notice when your mind is wondering and quickly bring it back to the thing you need to attend to.

Pursue your passions. What interests you?

The majority of all learning is emotional not intellectual.  You learn things that interest you.  Pursue your passions.  Think about the things that interest you and incorporate those into your work. Think about learning a new skill, something that might excite you.

Take breaks. Chunk work.

Productivity declines the longer you stay on a given task.  Break time-consuming projects up into smaller chunks.  Take short breaks between each chunk. Early in the day you’re likely to be able to do longer periods of work on a particular project.  As the day progresses you may need to take more frequent breaks or switch to other tasks.

Recharge your batteries. What fills you up mentally?

Productive people invest some time in recharging their batteries. Use your time off, your breaks and lunch to do good self-care. Read something for fun, listen to your favorite music, make time to talk to friends and coworkers.

For the big projects, plan, prioritize and break up.

Some projects can be overwhelming.  Starting off not knowing where you’re going can result in poor productivity.  For large projects start by developing a plan.  What will need to be done first, second and so on.  Break large elements down into smaller pieces.  It helps to estimate how much time each part will take.  Pay attention to things you need to complete before you can start the next phase.

Have a clear picture of the desired outcome.

A lot of effort can be wasted when you are not sure what you are trying to accomplish.  Write out some goals for the project you are working on.  It helps to run these goals by your boss or your customer.  You have not accomplished much if you created something that doesn’t meet another’s needs.  You will work a lot more efficiently if you have a clear definition of what you are trying to accomplish.

Get the help you need.

Rather than trying to do everything yourself, identify those things where you could use others expert help.  Few people are skilled at everything.  It is a lot more efficient to get help from people who have expertise in areas where you are less skilled.

Try these tips for improved productivity.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Ways you are preventing success.

By David Joel Miller.

Are you getting in your own way?

Putting Obstacles in Your Own Way

Putting Obstacles in Your Own Way.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Creating the life you want takes work. Whatever your goals, and those goals should reflect your values, it can be difficult getting things done. A successful life does not need to be all about money, though having the funds available will allow you to accomplish more.  With all the hard work you put in it is important to not do things that undermine your own success

Regardless of whether your life plan includes helping others, being a great artist or athlete, having good children, a financial goal or some other accomplishment, reaching those aims takes effort.  Make sure you’re not putting road blocks in your own success path.

With all that needs to be done to create the life you want, you do not want to be doing things that undermine your progress. Many people are unconsciously engaging in thoughts and behaviors that make reaching their desired outcomes that much harder.  Take a look at the list below and see if any of these items apply to you. How many of these goal interfering things are you doing?

Saying it can’t be done.

If you say you can’t do something, if you say it can’t be done, you have prevented that outcome from ever happening.  Positive self-talk can help motivate you to reach your goals.  Negative self-talk is your own mind getting in the way of you accomplishing things.  Make it a habit to approach your tasks with a positive frame of mind.  Positive affirmations set you up for success.  Negative affirmations tell your mind you don’t really believe in yourself.

Waiting till the right time.

There is no right time hiding off in the future for following your dreams. Every day is today and today is the only possible time to begin to work on yourself.  Accomplishing great things requires putting in the work.  Successful people are skilled at what they do.  Developing that success requires a great deal of practice and patience.

Looking for someone to blame.

Focusing on others, what they should do and shouldn’t do, does not get you moving. You are the one who controls this instance. You may have limited choices over some things, but blaming others avoids focusing on the things you do have control over. People who fail have lots of people to blame.  People who succeeded in reaching their goals take personal responsibility for their progress.

Saying you don’t have the time.

We all have the same amount of time each week as every other inhabitant of planet earth. You get 168 hours this week. Use this time wisely because once this week is gone it will never come again. Do not put off taking the actions today that will create your tomorrows.  Every day life happens.  Don’t expect suddenly to have an open period in your life when you have nothing to do other than work on your success.

Your background is preventing you.

People from any possible background have accomplished great things. Then there are those who appear to have had all the possible advantages and still their life went nowhere.  Other people struggle with great adversity and still reach their goals.  No matter where you started or what should have been, many things are possible.

Don’t spend your time focusing on the things that can’t be done.  Look for those things that are possible, that move you forward in a positive direction. Take the life you have had so far and use that to push you forward to create the best possible future life.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Taking chances.

Sunday Inspiration    Post By David Joel Miller.

Getting out of your shell.

taking chances

Taking chances
Getting out of your shell.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.”

― Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

“In case you never get a second chance: don’t be afraid!” “And what if you do get a second chance?” “You take it!”     ― C. JoyBell C.

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more

chances, Be more active, Show up more often.”     ― Brian Tracy

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Sunday seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

Have you picked the right goal?

By David Joel Miller.

Not all goals will work out, here are ways to test your life goal.

Reaching life goals

Setting goals.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You’re told that people who accomplish things pick goals and stick to them. We also hear plenty of stories about those who pursue life goals that take them nowhere and could never have been possible. How can you tell if the goals you are considering are worthwhile goals and the right goals for you?

Goals set the direction for your life. How viable are those goals? To measure anything you need a good ruler. Here is a set of measurement standards to help you decide if the goal you are considering is the right goal for you.

Is this goal consistent with my values?

You can pick a goal because it is popular or because you are told that is the thing you should be wanting, but you need to consider if when you reach this goal will you still like yourself. Will you be the person you would like to be?

It is easy to get caught up in the quest for someone else’s goal. Society talks about goals like popularity and financial wealth. If those goals work for you then go for it. But you need to take a good look at what really makes you happy and what you are all about. It is not success if what you value most is family but you spend your life making money and mailing it home so your family can live without you.

If I do this will my family or friends be proud of me?

There are lots of goals that you could accomplish. Ask yourself if this goal is something you would want your children sharing at school. Would you be proud that you accomplished this thing or is this a goal that needs to remain in the secret darkness?

Is it worth doing?

There are lots of thinks you might devote your life to. You could set all kinds of world records. But which records will make you feel like you have accomplished something and which are simply records for having done something a minute longer than someone else.

Can it be done? Not what they say but your belief.

Do you really believe in your heart that this is a possible goal? It is possible to trick yourself into believing that if you do this or that then you will be happy. If you are not happy in the process of getting there then you are unlikely to be happy when you reach that goal. Don’t be the little kid in you spending your life digging a tunnel to China. Do find better ways to open up connections to far off places.

Can you do it?

Are you the right person to accomplish this goal? To reach goals you need to believe in yourself. Are you that person now or will you need to change yourself to get there? You may need more schooling or have to develop an underdeveloped strength.

Is it possible for you? Pursuing a sports goal when you are physically ill-suited for the sport may set yourself up for failure. You can hate music and practice but be pursuing a goal of fame by being the rock star on stage. Consider other ways you might achieve that goal of fame that are better suited to who you truly are.

If you find that you are not the right person for pursuing this goal then it is also likely that giving your life in pursuit of this goal is not the right thing for you.

What will get in your way – obstacles?

In selecting goals for yourself one often overlooked factor is the obstacles that will get in your way. How much money will this take? How much time will be needed? Do you have those resources or how will your raise the required money? Are you starting on a goal that will take several lifetimes to finish? What part of your plan will need to be modified or given up in order to overcome this obstacle?

When you develop this plan to overcome the obstacle will you find the effort in overcoming that barrier will have reduce the value of reaching that goal to the point you no longer want to pursue it?

Can I get past the obstacles?

Some obstacles can be overcome and some can’t. Flying to the moon would have been an impossible achievement for someone living in colonial America. This goal required the invention of the airplane, missiles and lots of other technology before it became possible. It required a large team effort.

Some obstacles can be overcome by you alone, others require help from contemporaries and some goals are just outside the possibilities of things as they are now.

Will the goal be worth the cost?

Reaching any goal requires expenditures and sacrifices. Always consider how much time, how much money and how much pain and effort will be required to reach your objective. Just make sure that once you are there that reaching this goal will have been worth the sacrifices.

If you fail (Don’t make it) can you still be happy?

You want to be a great author and you write your whole life. No one may read that epic in your life time. Will it still be worth it? What if you wanted to play in the majors and you spend years trying. Will the journey be its own reward or will your life be ruined because you never made it to that goal.

If the pursuit of your objective is worth the effort by itself this is a great goal. If only the achieving will be worthwhile consider carefully what you will have given up or have lost in the pursuit of an unattained goal.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Settling for easy – keeps success out of reach.

By David Joel Miller.

Is success out of your reach?

You have to stretch to reach the good stuff.

High fruit

Hard to reach fruit can be the best.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

If you drift through life going for the easy things you miss out on the exceptional life events. Settling for the things right in front of you keeps you from ever finding out what could have happened if you had just reached a little farther, tried harder and kept at it longer. Don’t create a mediocre life when aiming for higher goals would have taken you to places beyond the ones you see.

Just because you can does not mean you should.

One way you can cheat yourself out of great things is to aim for the things that are available to you right now. There are many easy things in life, the spectacular things are harder. Don’t cheat yourself by taking the quick, easy way now when the longer harder one would have taken you much farther.

The job you get because of a family member or a friend may be a great life start or it may be the beginning of settling for things that take less effort on your part. Quick pleasure can come back to haunt you for a long time afterwards.

If you live your life looking for the “I can do that” things you may miss out on the “I want to do that” things. Meaningful goals take time, preparation and effort. Don’t cheat yourself by taking the easy path.

Letting others set your goals means living their unlived life.

Having a parent or mentor that encourages you is a great thing. But trying to live your life to meet the things a parent wanted and never got is a way to live less of a life than you could have had.

Plenty of parents want their child to be the lawyer, doctor, actor or other profession that parent never made it at. Ask yourself if spending your life chasing someone else’s dream will make you happy.

The world is full of stage mothers and almost famous, hoping that their child will become famous and they can bask in that reflected glory. If this is your dream also have at it. But if you find you are pursuing someone else’s dream, wake up and set a course that is right for you. Avoid eating someone’s spoiled meal, cook up your own dreams.

You don’t get to start at the finish line.

Many people expect to start at the top. If you pick a goal that is close and easy you may reach it but at the cost of never having seen what you might have been. A large percentage of people who start out training for any given field end up quitting. Even people with masters and PhD’s drop out of their academic field.

Some find that what they studied did not fit them. Many more become disillusioned when they find that your degree did not lead to the high paid job they wanted overnight. Building a career or perfecting a talent take a lot of time and dedication. Pick a path you will enjoy walking.

Overnight success take years.

Those stories about people who became overnight successes are mostly myth. Those sudden stars often worked and practiced for years to get that one big break. When your chance comes make sure you have done the homework and the foot work that will sustain that good beginning.

For every person on the big stage there are many, many more who are traveling the country performing to small crowds in small places. Some people rise faster than others, but we have all seen the One-hit-wonders who came and went. Long term lasting success in any field takes staying the course for a long time.

Great things take sustained effort.

You can’t go a long way by running fast for a few minutes. Successful people, in all senses of that term, put in the hours, do the work over long periods of time to reach those ultimate goals. To reach your dream you need to show up for practice every day.

You build muscles by lifting weights and doing the exercises. You develop job skills by doing the task over and over each time looking for the things you can improve. High performers never stop perfecting their skills. They also discover that you do not get better just by doing the things you are good at over and over. Practice also includes finding your weak spots and practicing to perfect those skills.

Obstacles are temporary, giving up is permanent.

Most obstacles to accomplishing something are only temporary setbacks. Look for other ways to reach your desired result. Go over, dig under, or go around. Look for ways to turn that obstacle into a solution. When you find a new unique way to overcome obstacles you get a long lead over those others who are still back at the start saying it can’t be done.

Taking short cuts can get you on the wrong path.

There are short cuts. They works sometimes for a while. But if your way of winning involves cheating, dishonesty or cutting corners in the long run that kind of accomplishment is fleeting. Once you get caught cutting corners you lose others trust and they take away the prize.

Don’t follow the path of least resistance.

Great people do great things. They do things others told them couldn’t be done. Stay within the rules but make sure those rules are really needed not just the conventional wisdom of people who can’t see the possibilities you can see.

Doing the easy thing does not build up skills. Repetition of your mistakes does not lead anywhere. Do the hard things and see if you do not develop ever-increasing levels of skills.

Make sure you know what success will look like when you get there.

If you set off chasing money when what would have made you happy is being a better person you will be way disappointed when you reach the end of the trail. Doing things only for the cash burns people out. Find something you can love doing and still make the income you want and need and you have the best of both. People who love a subject learn it. If you love what you do you will be better at it and the practice will be a joy.

Take a look at your goals and see if you have set them high enough.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books