Success Part Three: What’s Stopping You?

Last updated on April 3rd, 2021 at 03:13 am

Most of the stuff we do in life can be split into two categories—the things we have to do and the things we want to do. For some reason, though, we seem to think that they’re vastly different from one another. We seem to think that if we do more of one, the other must suffer—that we must focus on one path or the other and that balance cannot be achieved.

This simply will not do.

What’s stopping you from doing what you want to do? Why aren’t you trying to chase your dreams and get everything you want off of this rock? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It might seem like hot air, but I assure you that the only thing holding you back is yourself.

Success Part Two: What Does it Take to Succeed?

Last updated on March 31st, 2021 at 12:13 pm

“If you want to get somewhere you have to know where you want to go and how to get there. Then never, never, never give up.” — Norman Vincent Peale

We all want to be as successful as possible with our time between now and the grave. I can’t say that they’ve wanted to fail. People get depressed, suicidal and repeatedly do self-destructive things, but we are not born yearning to get into these situations. We all want to be happy. We all want to do well. We all want to be successful.

However, it can be a very long road between here and success—what does success look like? How do we get there? What are we doing right? What do we need to work on? Success isn’t based on facts. It isn’t something that can be defined by some equation or instantly attained by reading a book. It’s the end product of a combination of factors like luck, effort, skill and knowledge. It is the reward after fighting the good fight and overcoming obstacles. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Fame might. Wealth might. But success is another matter entirely!

I inferred above that there’s no definite path to success. It looks different to each of us. The paths that we’ll each need to travel to become successful will all be different lengths. But, there’s something that we know a little more about. If you take a sample of the people who think of themselves as successful, patterns start to emerge. Underneath the complex webs weaved by society telling us how to behave, how to think—how to be — there are a few social cues that help to define the individuals who’ll stand a better chance of separating from the pack and getting what they really want out of life.

Success Part One: Being Yourself

Last updated on March 31st, 2021 at 12:28 pm

A quote written in white on a black background: "Be yourself. There is something that you can do better than any other. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that." — (Unknown)

It’s easy to lose yourself in your travels. You are but one person in a world where only the strong survive. There’s power in numbers, and being a loner will only keep you on the fringes for as long as you live. Solitude will never let you climb the social ladder; get to be as rich, famous or important as you think you deserve to be; nor will it help you achieve all of those dreams you’ve held for so long. We know what it takes to succeed in this world—we see it in the people we place on pedestals: the ruthlessness; the decisiveness without worry of consequences; the willingness to do whatever it takes to make yourself a success.

But does that make it right to become like these people in order to achieve your goals?

There are going to be times in all of our lives where we’ll wish we were somebody else. It’s easy to wish that things were easier for you than they currently might be—we dream of things like having enough money to solve all of our problems, or being high enough on the totem pole at work to make all the decisions needed to make work a better place.

It’s easy to wish and it’s easy to dream—what’s hard is finding solutions to your problems using what you already have and by being who you already are.

The secret to success in your life is already realized in the statement itself—it’s your life; only you can live it and solve your problems. The solutions that worked for your family, friends, coworkers, enemies and the strangers you see might not do the same for you. Life simply isn’t that cut and dry. Instead, life is the sum of innumerable factors, making each and every one of us very individual and very unique. You’re going to have to find your own paths and answers to your questions in order to succeed and make it count.

Which is precisely why following the urge to be just like others are and to do what others do won’t work for you.

So what we must remember is this—for many of us, our teenage years were a long time ago, and we need to stop acting like we haven’t learned a thing or two since then. Trying to fit in at the cost of your own individuality and identity gains you nothing—if you can’t be successful in the world by being yourself, it’s probably not you who needs to change—it’s usually just time to pack your bags and find a new world! I know plenty of people who didn’t really find themselves until after they left high school or those who found that finding a better job did wonders for their outlook on the rest of their lives.

So if you haven’t defined who you are and the world in which you wish to live, it might be time to take another look at things. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there; why let yourself get bent out of shape over just one???

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Prioritizing’s a Pain, Part 5: What Did We Learn?

Last updated on April 5th, 2021 at 12:38 pm

I admitted I had a problem.

I planned.

I prioritized.

I executed.

And now here I am at the end of five days, having gone through an experience that I likely don’t want to touch again anytime soon, but at least things got done. So what have we learned from this experience? I guess one thing is that life isn’t always fun. Or exciting. We all want it to be, sure, but a lot of it is just going to be hard WORK to get things done. Is this something that needs to be improved?

That’s something I don’t know for sure. I put it forward to the community at 20 Something Bloggers to get an answer, and learned that while all work and no play might make Jack a dull boy, all play and no work might make him a bit of a jerk!

I’m happy that I got some of the priorities done—I’m actually taking a break from tweaking the wedding invitations right now (the original measurements didn’t take the natural printer margins into consideration, so I need to re-work it before I print off a test copy and send anything forward to the printer for mass production), and the websites will very likely turn out to be weekend work, since, lo and behold, for the most part, my weekend is free. (Let us note that “free” in my books means that I have more time allotted for free time than booked events, which I’m definitely not complaining about!)

So the moral here is that when you’ve got to get things done, sometimes, you’ve just gotta sit your butt down and do it. It probably won’t be fun. It might be tedious and damn near robotic, but once you get it out of the way, it’s one less thing you’ll need to worry about.

To further accentuate this point, let me present a comment that a friend left on my Facebook:

“Oh, Casey… prioritization kills creativity and freedom.. lemme tell ya… 😔 For your own sake, I kind of hope your experiment fails. Or you will become an overly efficient human-machine.”

Well, I only got 2 out of the 5 tasks TRULY done, so I think I still have my humanity…

…for today.

Until next time!

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Prioritizing’s a Pain, Part 3: Creating the Plan

Last updated on April 5th, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Okay, Day 3 of trying to better prioritize a list of tasks that need to get done! So I’ve figured out what I need to do, and the method to use to figure out which items are the most urgent. Now it’s time to put these tools to use so I can create a game plan for myself!

So let’s take a look at my CARVER matrix for my current to-do list (sorry that it’s an image—I was having trouble getting tables to work in my email program):

So according to the matrix, my top 5 priorities should be (in descending order):

  • Wedding Invitations
  • TOPS Photos
  • Performance Plan
  • Wedding Website
  • Financial Website

It’s pretty fitting that they’re all things I’ve been putting off in favour of other pursuits, such as:

  • cleaning up my random piles of work (which, as we’ll notice is second-last on the priority list)
  • reading comics
  • learning JavaScript
  • playing Mafia Wars

But sometimes you need to bone up and get some REAL work done. If I were to actually focus on these tasks, it wouldn’t actually take too much work to get them done. What I need to improve at is removing my distractions so that I can get things done!

Tuesday was my last day off of work for the foreseeable future, so I hope that Day 4 will be able to report on some awesome progress 😊

But for now—well; priorities call. Later!

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