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How Getting Through Today Is One of The Keys To Success

 

Go through today; quit tomorrow living the dream

I don’t know about you, but there are days that I don’t want to do anything.  Well, anything productive that is.  Where I feel like my schedule is too full and I don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish it all.

And a lot of times it is easier to just give up and crawl back in the bed.  Pulling the covers over our head and shutting the world out.  But let’s not mistake getting rest with avoiding things that are important.  Avoiding today is not going to solve anything.   The right thing to do is to get through today.

Let’s not worry about tomorrow.  Just today.  24 hours. That’s our focus.  But how can you work on anything when your day starts out not how you wanted it to.  You are already running late or thinking about what type of traffic you have to fight through.  I know from experience that it’s a terrible feeling to start your day this way.

So let’s stop it now and I am going to help you.  If you are at home and reading this, let’s take five minutes to get into the right frame of mind.  I like using what’s called.  Affirmations are things that people say to us or we say to ourselves that provide emotional support and encouragement.  They are positive motivational words that help to quickly get you in the right frame of mind.

Here are some of my favorite ones that I use daily:

“You are enough.”

“I believe in you.”

“Remember why you started.”

“Luck is the preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.”

“Let your faith in yourself be bigger than your fear.”

There are many more, but these are just a few that I say to myself each morning.  Now I want you to say these or other ones you find to yourself now.  Don’t just speak the words.  Put some meaning behind them.  Really feel what you are saying and focus on the words to solicit a real impact on your day.

Next, close your eyes and envision how you want your day to play out.  Get very detailed on what the end of the day looks like.  By doing this you already know the outcome.  You already know the steps you need to take to have it all play out.  Visualizing your day this way can have lasting effects on not just your mood but how productive you are on anything you do for the entire day.

Look,  I am not saying that it’s not going to still be a challenging day.  You still may have some hiccups and setbacks, but you can manage them better.  You are in the right frame of mind and ready to deal with whatever comes your way.

Don’t think ahead to the things you have to accomplish tomorrow.  Only focus on today.  Taking each day one at a time is one of the keys to success.  Discipline and focus are two others.

 I know you we have talked about discipline in the past.  You know what needs to be done and how to go about it.  We talked about stepping back and refocusing when the situation warranted it and how it can help you stay mindful of what you need to accomplish.

So the only thing to do now is seize the day.  Get dressed.  Get ready. Stay focused and disciplined in everything you do.  Refocus when you need to.  Don’t think farther than these 24 hours.  Only concentrate on these 86,400 seconds that you have to become that much better today.

Like Soledad O’Brien recently said at a conference, “Go through today.  You can always quit tomorrow.”

What steps are you going to take to get through today?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

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Why You Need To Be Anchored In Your Dreams

As children, we are told that our dreams are important. Our parents tell us that if we work hard and study that they can come true. And at that age, we feel like anything is possible.

So what happened? Many will say that life happened. I understand that, but I will also say that it sounds like an excuse. See, somewhere between our youth and adulthood society told us that it wasn’t acceptable to dream anymore.

Don’t believe me? When someone is daydreaming what do people say about them? That they have their heads in the clouds right? That they can’t take anything serious and that they will never amount to anything. We both know that is not true, though.

These people didn’t succumb to society’s wishes. They knew their creative mind needed to flourish so they kept dreaming. They didn’t listen to the naysayers. They started with a dream and held onto it. They guarded the dream and nurtured it despite what anyone told them.

Sure they heard the doubters tell them to grow up and that dreaming was for children. But they didn’t listen. They slowly began to anchor their dreams to themselves. They wrapped the chain of the anchor tightly around their body and firmly pressed the anchor to their chest. Each time they heard negativity, they held onto the anchor a little tighter.

Even when they conquered one dream and moved to another, they held on to that anchor. And that’s what we all need to do. We need to think long and hard about what we really want out of life. Once you know, dream about yourself already having achieved these dreams. Capture that picture. Cement it in your mind

Attach it to your anchor and press it firmly to your chest. Wrap the chain around you and don’t let anything take it away from you. See, this is how you realize that you have grit inside of you. This is when you realize that you must grind to achieve your heart’s desires.

This is when perseverance and determination are manifested in your life and you realize that you have the power to win. You have to believe in yourself and your dreams when others don’t.

This is how you are going to get through all the tough times. Through all the days when you feel like quitting. When you are presented with a path of obstacles, you are going to hold on to that anchor and push through.

When the waters of uncertainty and despair start to creep up, use that anchor to weather the rough seas.

Anchor down, my friend.

-alv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stop Setting Yourself On Fire For Others

We are all guilty of it.  We meet someone and we subconsciously become obsessed with them. I am not just talking about someone you are romantically interested in. That goes for platonic relationships, too. As humans, we have an insane yearning to be liked and accepted by others.

Think about it. You gave your all to a person who left you at the moment you needed them the most. In your most vulnerable state they ran. You set yourself on fire to keep their love near you. Instead of staying they ran when the flames got too hot.

They ran from your love.  From your commitment to them.  From everything, you gave to them.  And while it was going on you had no idea because you were blinded by the flames.

By that time, you were burning out of control and couldn’t understand what was happening around you. You couldn’t see that they moved on. And by that time you couldn’t react to the situation.

Not you? How about your “friends”? Take a look. Which ones are there for you at your worst?  Which one always makes every conversation about them when it shouldn’t be?

Who calls you only when they need something? Who asks all of you, but won’t answer the phone when you need them the most.  When they ask for you to help, you are all in and blindly at that.

Still not you?  Ok, let’s look at the workplace. Yes, even here you are burning out of control. Now I hear you already, “But I have to do what my Boss says”. That’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about watching out for yourself and  not being taken advantage of.

I’m talking about you not staying late for hours while the slackers go home. Telling you they would stay and help but they had plans already. Be productive, but don’t get burned alive. Be a team member, but don’t get abused and misused.

Listen, my intention for this post was not to bring up old wounds. I didn’t write this to hurt any feelings or get you down.  I wrote this to wake you up and see that you are on fire for all the wrong damn reasons. You are burning yourself out pleasing people who don’t care about you or don’t value your time.  Who are selfish and just not good damn people.

I want you to extinguish those flames, but keep the spark alive. Keep the spark burning to stoke your ambition. Keep it burning for those who deserve and need your help.  And if you see someone else on fire, help them out. They  have no idea what’s happening and you probably just made a new friend.

-alv

 

 

 

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How Believing In Myself Landed Me A Dream Job

Believe in me

(photo courtesy of Motivation Block)

For many years, I didn’t believe in myself.  Sure, I talked the talk.  Said the right things that I thought people wanted to hear.  Made empty promises and left many things undone.  Why?

I simply did not believe in my life and what I stood for anymore.  It was a dark time and I knew that it had consumed a good amount of my life. And those around me probably had no idea how unhappy I was.  I didn’t want to harm myself mind you.  I just didn’t have the grit in me to change.  I became complacent and just existed like an empty vessel.

 I felt stuck in a career that was stifling my creativity.  And when I reached out to people who I thought were my friends, that didn’t’ help at all.  They told me I was just in a rut and I would get out of it.  They told me I had a great thing going and to hang in there.

When I expressed that I wanted to leave the military and do something else, that’s when a lot of people’s true colors began to show.  I heard things like, “What else do you know how to do?” and “You’re a soldier, this all you know.”  Now that was a big wake up call.

And it hurt big time.  People who I admired and held in high regard hurt me to my soul.  And in the past I would have agreed and stayed.  But this time I didn’t.  I told myself that my happiness was more important than their friendship and whether they believed in me or not.  I had to take a chance and the time was now.

Yes, I was scared out of my mind.  I had a wife and three daughters that depended on me.  They didn’t understand the change no matter how I tried to explain it to them.  But I told myself silently the same thing every day and every night: I believe in you.  I said it so much that I felt the words calm myself in the face of adversity.  And believing in myself is the reason why I am in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia now.

Believing in myself has helped me to become a Program Manager for a multi-million dollar aviation corporation that I now work for.  Believing in myself has me sitting in my villa in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia still pinching myself about this opportunity.

I am not saying any of this to brag.  I am only sharing my story to show you that it can happen.  I am not telling you to follow my route.  I am telling you that the dream that you have can be achieved.  You know the one that you are scared to tell anyone about.  Afraid that they will laugh at you or just won’t understand.  You can do it.

I believe in you.  I believe in your dreams.  I just need you to know start to believe in yourself.  Stop wasting your time doing things you don’t have a desire for.

What have you got to lose?

-alv

P.S. I know there is someone out there who can benefit from hearing this.  Please share it with at least one person who is struggling with this right now. Thank you.

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5 Tips To Get Yourself Aligned With The Right People

aligned with the right people
Have you every had a car that pulled to the left or right every time you drove it?  No matter what you did it wouldn’t stay straight.  As tight as you held the steering wheel, it felt like the car had a mind of its own.So you take it to a car shop and they fix the problem.  They get the car back in alignment.  You took it to the right people and had them correct the problem.  You may not have even known them, but you sought them out for their skills.

This is what we need to do in our personal lives.  We are all over the place sometimes.  Trying to do so much with no direction.  That is why we are all over the road of life.  We need to get our life aligned with the right people.  Here are five tips to help you get on the right track.

  1. Figure out what you want.  What do you want to accomplish the most in the near future?  What ignites the spark inside of you?  What has you up at night and keeps butterflies in your stomach?  Got it?

2. Find the people to get you there.  It may be a certain teacher that everyone calls unapproachable.  Someone who seems smarter than the entire school.  It may be the Vice President of you company who everyone says doesn’t talk to anyone lower than a manager.  It may be a famous person that is where you want to be already.  It really doesn’t matter who it is.  Just someone ahead of you already that can help you in your journey.  Found someone? Now the hard part.  Well, for some at least.

3. Approach them right now.  That’s right.  Don’t think, just do it.  Go to that teacher’s office and knock on the door.  Talk to the V.P’s secretary and get on his calendar for that day.  Better yet, shoot him an email (not a cheesy one) and ask for five minutes of his or her time.  Send an email to that famous person and reach out sincerely.  Tell them you need a couple of minutes on the phone or Skype to ask them some questions.  They can only say no.  But many will say yes.

4.  Act on their advice.  They will say yes, but many don’t appreciate them sincerely.  Many are coming to them only asking for something material.  Not for advice and knowledge and wisdom.  You are validating them and they will help you.  Trust me.  I do it all the time.  I reach out to people and a lot of them say no.  But I only need a one or two to say yes.  And when they do, they open up completely to me.  And what they tell me I act on.  Because telling them, doesn’t do anything for people.  Walking the walk and applying the knowledge shows them that you were serious.  Acting on what they told you gets you ahead.

5. Show gratitude and give back.  Show them that what they told you has helped you get into the right frame of mind.  And if it didn’t help, tell them why but what you did instead.  This helps create a relationship that neither one of you knew was forming.  Tell them you appreciate all that they did for you and tell others.  Hell, show others and spread the knowledge to those who are out of alignment and don’t even know it.

Now you are in your right place and fully aligned.  You are headed straight down the road.  You have also gained some possible relationships along the way.  But don’t stop there.  This is a “rinse and repeat” type of thing.  You are going to have to keep doing this to stay on the right track.  You have to seek out other people and build new relationships while solidifying the other ones.

And some people will reach out for you to help in their alignment. Help them out so that we all can travel down the road of success.

Who are you going to contact this weekend or next week to get you better aligned?  Comment below and tell me about it. 

-alv

P.S. If you liked this, please share it on your favorite social media site.  Thanks in advance!

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Failure Is Not The Word You Should Be Worried About

Failure Is Not The Word You Should Be Worried About

For a time in the military I thought it was fear that was keeping me from advancing to the peak of the military ranks.  Was I ready for more responsibility beyond leading troops? Would I fail at the task?

No, it wasn’t that.  I enjoyed helping shape some of America’s best and brightest in the ways of military tactics and resupply.  So what was it?  What kept me in a proverbial cocoon?  Safe from the outside world, but longing to start anew.

Complacency.  That’s right.  Someone who was so used to continually advancing up the ranks got comfortable.  Too comfortable in a safe position.  A safe job and paycheck. Scared to fail.

But that was the wrong way to think about things.  See, failure honestly is all psychological. Failing is going to happen in life.  We should fail and learn from the mistakes.  But we can’t call ourselves a failure and stay that way.

We are more worried about how we will be perceived if we fail.  And that’s understandable, but not acceptable.  How I look right now is not what I would be worried about. Failing is inevitable, but complacency is not.

I would be more worried about being in the same spot next year having not made any traction on my goals. That I haven’t achieved something and moved on to the next thing on my list.

See complacency will do that to you.  It will tell you that you are fine  exactly where you are. That we are only taking a break to figure out our next move.  We have accomplished a lot and we are just waiting for others to catch up.

Try again.  That excuse is not going to work.  Because complacency will rob you of your creativity.  You livelihood.  No, you need to look complacent behaviors in the face and tell them that they are not welcome.

See we have talked about this before on this blog.  Brainstorming ideas.  Coming up with priorities and then setting clear goals.  But a lot of times looking at this list can bring that supposed emotion of fear again.  And that’s ok.

But we are not going to be complacent.  Remember when I talked about the Lee Method?  Well, it doesn’t only apply to work.  Take your top six goals and apply that method to your life goals.  Write me back and let me know if it worked for you, too.  I have no doubt that it will if you are honest with yourself.

We are going to break the curse, though.  We are not going to be here in the same spot next year.  We will have moved on to a new position or job. We will have started our own side business or became an entrepreneur. The possibilities are endless.

But your life is not.  We have to start living like we have only one life. Not another one to come back to and finish everything we didn’t the first time.  Live this one.

What is your why?  Knowing why you want to succeed will make you channel that energy that you feel and use it to get started again.

So no more talking.  Let’s work on doing.  No more complacency.  Let’s work on accomplishing our dreams.

And yes, I snapped out of it.  I finally got the job I wanted, started this blog and am now retiring.  My focus is this blog and helping all of you.

What have you been complacent on and are ready to accomplish today?

-alv

General Information

Isn’t It Time To Get In Focus?

Focus

We are rattled. Off kilter. Unfocused. Something threw us off our balance and we can’t get back on track.

You know why?  Because we won’t take the time to reset ourselves. To get back into our right position in life

We need to stop everything and get back in focus. Think about a photographer. Before he takes that picture he pauses for a second to get his shot into focus.

We need to do the same in our lives. We need to stop hopping out of bed rushing to our job. We need to know what our focus is for that day.

Write down what you want to accomplish, but do it the night before you go to bed. Then sleep. Wake up the next day and visualize your goals and focus your tasks for the day. Then execute with clarity.

When things start to get hectic get up and take a five minute break. Walk away from the chaos and refocus on what’s a priority to you right now. Focus on your breathing and quieting your mind.

Then step back into the environment and handle your business and the tasks at hand.

See, stepping away from the situation or simply focusing on your wellbeing for a couple of seconds helps you immensely. Trust me I know. I have had to do it a couple of times.

There have been times in the military I have been presented with tough decisions. But I always took a moment to focus on my state of mind and cleared it. Only then was I able to make a sound and right decision.

We all could use sometime to refocus our thinking to achieve positive growth in our personal lives.

What do you need to refocus your efforts on?  Comment below and let me know.

-alv

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Grit (Part One of The 3G Series)

Grit promo

What is grit? Merriam-Webster defines grit as a firmness of mind and spirit:  unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.  But I think it’s much more than that.

I believe grit is the trait in all of us that lies dormant in many.  Grit to me is when passion and perseverance meet and you endure everything that it takes to accomplish the goal.  When you know that sacrificing certain things in life to one day realize that it was all worth it in the end.

Grit has helped me through a lot of things before I knew the definition of the word. After my first four years in the military, I decided that I was going to get out.  I was living in Tacoma, Washington and I was thinking about becoming a Deputy Sheriff.  But there was something in me that wanted more out of this journey.

I didn’t know then that I wanted to help people become better.  I just knew that I wanted to make some type of difference.  A year later I became a leader in the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps (NCO) and my life completely changed.

In 1997, I made the decision to help as many people as possible while I still loved serving in the military.  That was the goal all those years ago.  Not to become the best NCO I could be at the expense of those I was in charge of.  To not step on their backs to make the rank as fast as possible.

But to simply help the maximum number of soldiers where I was living at the time. I didn’t care if they worked for me or not.  If they needed help, I offered.  Now everyone didn’t take my advice, but I quickly learned that freely giving knowledge to others does translate to wisdom on their part.  Some people will simply not act on the information you give them for years.  It happens.

I believe that after serving 22 1/2 years, I reached that goal that I set so long ago.  I knew that I needed to do something else (this blog) to help more people and myself at the same time.

So I used that determined trait and set my goal on this blog and the brand of Living The Dream.  I have the grit to accomplish this goal of helping the masses.  Do you?

Think about it.  We all have that one goal that we have been thinking about.  Finishing that degree?  Losing that pesky weight?

Do you have a goal that you set out to accomplish and have you started? Do you know what it will take to accomplish it?  Do you have grit?

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The 3G Series: Grit, Grind, and Gratitude

3G Promo pic

Coming tomorrow will be part one of three in a series I call The 3G Series.  I have lived most of my adulthood by following these three traits.  Even before I knew what each one was they have had a profound effect on me.  I honestly believe that if you live by these three you will have a fulfilling and rewarding life.  So over the next three Tuesdays tune into The 3G Series.

-alv