How not to settle for less in your life!

True success in life can only come by not settling for less. We should always strive to achieve and get the most out of life that we possibly can. It is only when we push ourselves and give life all that we’ve got can we then give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done. 

This year has been one of great transformation. I decided to take time away from my business and work for someone else. Along the way, I felt like I was settling for less than I knew I truly wanted and deserved. A key learning point from this experience is that success in life depends on self-discipline and not giving in at the first hurdle you come across or going into a project half-heartedly. I decided to say goodbye to ‘the boss’ and welcome the challenges, exhilaration and satisfaction of saying “hello” to the life I wanted to create. I decided to push myself to be disciplined enough to go for gold in something that is vitally important to me – to realise my dreams and passions. By pushing yourself that little bit more you will be surprised at what you are capable of achieving. This is what separates the winners from the losers or the successful from those who wait for things to happen.

Most people say they want to succeed in life at whatever they do, yet very few are willing to actually push themselves that little bit further in order to achieve their goals. This is why some of us succeed in life and others fail. The level of yours success is directly related to your motivation and desire to do that one things which makes a difference right now. A question to ask yourself is “are you willing to succeed a little or are you willing to stride way and beyond the immediate milestone to accelerate your success to outstanding?”  Answer this question with honesty as this will help you to set measurable goals and pace yourself as you step forward into your stretch zone.  

We all start out with the best of intentions when racing towards the goals we have set. We shoot out of the starting gate and run straight ahead, yet many of us take a tumble at the first hurdle. We run out of steam when the going gets tough and don’t pause to catch our breath. Instead, we come to a halt and give up, or stumble on half-heartedly with little hope of completing the course. 

By no means have I been immune to this example of inertia. My own personal experience of running out of steam is when I initiated and managed my very own bookshop. Conscious Equation was my life’s dream and passion. I felt delighted at setting up this venture and running it successfully for a length of time. My aspiration was to create and build a Waterstones - from my cultural perspective. The venture was highly successful, with great exposure and sales of literature for and about the black diaspora. Then things got tough, the economic climate became a challenge which led to customers changing their spending habits. I now realise that had I kept up the pace at that crucial time, I would have maintained the business in some shape and form. I learned a valuable lesson. 

'If you keep moving just a little bit more rather than embracing the feeling that you want to give up, you will eventually reach the corner where the tide will turn. Furthermore, shifting strategy along the way may require a diversion along the path. However, when the objective is to actualize your vision, you will recognise the different paths of opportunities that contribute to you manifesting the desired outcome.'

Those who have developed the persevering winning streak know that with a little extra push and a pause to catch their breath, the sprint down the home straight and past the winning post is very much attainable.

Of course, success is relative to your definition of the word, and all those who are successful don’t just rely on pushing themselves. All winners have a strategy and are willing to be flexible on their way to success because life has a way of throwing many different spanners into the works along the way. We have to be able to adapt to these unexpected happenings when they occur and not get bogged down with the detail. We must take them in our stride, skip around them and continue in the race. 

Never settle for anything less than giving it your all

Here are some tips to help you remember never to settle for anything but your best no matter what the task:

  • It doesn’t matter how big or small the task put your all into getting it completed
  • If you think you have given it your best shot, pause and ask yourself “how can I improve on this?”
  • Plan your task but always be willing to make changes and work your way around the unexpected
  • It’s OK to pause but get back into the race and carry on until you pass the winning post

Give yourself a mood boost - and I don't mean chocolate! There are many little changes you can do that can result in an amazing energizing boost that brightens up your day, brings a smile and makes life that little bit easier to deal with. 

Just by making the smallest changes and taking as little as 5 minutes from your day for self-focused time can be a pleasant surprise to the difference this can make. You don’t have to do anything outrageous - just something you wouldn’t normally consider doing. Here are some tips to help give you that quick mood boost. These can be done whenever you are feeling out of sync with the world or feeling a little down. 

5 minute energizing boosts:
  • Lighten your load by crossing off completed tasks you have identified when you completed the Time Management Matrix with your Life Coach. (Ask to complete this in your next coaching session).
  • Take the weight off your feet, sit and eat one of your 5 daily portions of fruit or veg
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and pull as many different funny faces as you can in 5 minutes!
  • Get a gym pass from one of the free voucher websites, book your visit and have something to look forward to
  • Take a quick cool shower or at least splash your face with water
  • Use some of that expensive perfume or deodorant you save for ‘special occasions’ and enjoy the fragrance.

15 minutes energizing boosts:
  • De-clutter your desk or an area of your home. Throw away used and completed paperwork that you have long meant to discard
  • Treat yourself to a moisturizing mask
  • Change into one of your favourite garments and admire yourself
  • Do a few quick and easy exercises or stretches
  • Turn the music up really loudly and have a dance around the living room
  • Read a few pages of a book or magazine
  • Make yourself a tall glass of fresh smoothie, sit down and savour the taste
  • Make a list of all the people you haven’t been in touch with for a while and schedule a time to call each of them
  • Write down in your journal or diary what you have enjoyed doing so far during the week
  • Find a comfortable spot, close your eyes and enjoy the silence, sound of rain or chirping birds.

30 minutes energizing boosts:
  • Call someone you haven’t talked with in a while and catch up on all the gossip you missed
  • Surf the internet to look for ideas for a holiday or special event
  • Take a hot soak in the bath and add a few drops of a calming essential oil
  • Listen to your favourite CD
  • Go for a walk and say hello to at least 3 strangers
  • Switch off the TV, mobile and anything else that could disturb you, sit and enjoy peace and quiet for half an hour
  • Plan a quiet romantic meal with yourself or someone else
  • Write a letter to someone special and post it
  • Discover a new recipe on the internet and plan to cook it
  • Replace any old photographs you have in frames with more updated pictures.

The important thing is to do something that can shift your perspective. In doing so, you generate new energy and a new outlook on life that can lead to the forming of a whole new life path. Isn’t it exciting!

Here’s my challenge to you today. Choose one 5, 15 and 30 minute task to do this week.  Email and tell me the difference this has made to your routine! Remember – you don’t have to settle for less. Create experiences that contribute to you experiencing a rich and fulfilled life as you move towards your goal!  

Rebecca Gordon – July 2012


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