There is no overnight success, it is augmented progress makes so

We hear stories often that someone became success overnight. We wonder what makes them so success suddenly.

The real stories are that they have been working hard and smart for a long while, with ups and downs before they are successful.

One of the most important traits of the successful people is confidence. They are confident to do whatever it takes to pursue their goals, till get to their destination.

They make progress daily, take baby actions:

  • One step a day
  • One conversation a time
  • One connection at a time
  • One day, another day, another day…

The augmented progress adds up.

Just like moving one stone at a time, days and days later, stones form a mountain. And suddenly people see it, notice it.

Mountain can be formed from one stone at a time.

We need go to do the thing we get to do. We need see the client we get to see. We need make the call we get to see. That’s how we slowly build up our mountain, our momentum.

Momentums form our milestones, our small goals, big goals, then our success.

Start today, start small, as long as you start, you are getting closer to your success.

Getting self help book is to get your prescription

If you go to see your doctor, she gives you a prescription after. Will you go to drug store to get your medicine?

“Why not?” You May ask.

Exactly. You will.

But, think for a moment: did you read all the self help books you bought in the past? How many you actually read well?

I remember even last November when I clean my book shelf, I found a few books I haven’t started reading yet…

What is going on here?

For me, the time I search books and buy books is the most exciting time. Because I have the urge to learn something from reading these books and with underlined statement that I will gain skills and knowledge from the reading – to become a better self somewhat.

When books arrive to me, I feel that I have completed some of my mission – it feels that I already “there” (read the books). And my enthusiasm for gaining the information has diminishing a little bit.

I knew I need some help in contain areas, but I did not want to do the hard work to read the books.

The hard work is to take action.

The hard work is to do the work.

If we just buy the books and don’t read them, we are hiding. We using owning books as excuses for not doing the real work.

Getting the self help book and read them.

Do the real work.

Take your medicine.

You will become a better a little bit after reading each book. Your aggregated progress by reading one book at a time gets you a little bit better every time, and a better self.

Design your environment for your growth and success

I was living in an apartment on the 31st floor of a building two year ago.

The building is located in a very nice private community with many facilities conveniently nearby. I can go down stairs and walk 50 steps or so to a Recreation Sport Center.

Therefore, I went to the Rec Center regularly for running. I became a runner.

Then I moved to another city to another apartment, which is not close to any sport center. However, there is nice yoga studio near by. Soon I became a yoga lover and only occasionally go out for a run.

Even though I love the feeling after running and I have tried a few times to discipline myself to keep running regularly, but I have hard time to keep it up.

I find I always have some reasons for not going out for a run: it’s a gloomy day; it’s a little bit cold; it’s a little bit hot; the traffic is busy; the pavement is not even…

You see, the environment has a big impact on my behavior. I choose easy route to do things.

This tendency also reflects in my life for doing other things.

One of the laws for forming a habit by James Clear is to “Make it easy”.

Therefore, if you want to success and grow a good habit, in addition to your motivation, one important thing is to make your action easy; it is to create an environment in favor of your action.

James stated that there are four laws for forming a habit:

  1. Making it obvious
  2. Make it attractive
  3. Make it easy
  4. Make it satisfying

Among the laws, “Make it easy” by changing your environment is the one easily being overlooked, yet it is a very important factor for your success.

Back to my previous story. I moved to a house after two years living in the apartment near by a yoga studio. The house is very close to a Rec Sports Center. Now, living in this house, I start running again!

I chose the place where I live. I want it be close to a sport center. This close proximity makes my life so easy. I enjoy running and yoga and other facilities and activities offered by the center. I feel good about myself after exercises. I enjoy the energy generated from my regular exercises.

My habit comes back to me.

This experience can be applied and it has spilled over to my life in other areas.

Changing your environment, change your life.

Changing your friends, change your life.

I ask you take an inventory of your life:

  1. If you want to improve your life for better, 1% better by end of the week, what one change you want to make?
  2. What environment you need create to make yourself easier to make the change?

Design your environment, you will one step close and easier close to your success.

What are the real skills that serve you life time?

We interview two most promising candidates for one important position for the company.

The two candidates have stellar resume, great interviews (three rounds after initial screening interview). They both are in their early forty, full of energy and ambition.

The executive interview committee members come together to vote for The One after the last round of interview. Strangely, contrary to previous Interview results, this vote is tilted to candidate B.

The reason?

Most committed members feel certain uncertainty about candidate A, but hard to put a finger on the exact reason.

I would call this as instinct, a haunch, or a doubt, or may lack of some trust.

As matter of fact, we all have similar experience under different circumstances. We know some people have excellent education, but hard to connect, difficult to work with. These people, we say, lack of “soft skills”.

Soft skills we refer here include personality traits, such as

  • resilience,
  • generosity,
  • honesty,
  • open minded,
  • empathy,
  • sympathy,
  • grit,
  • kindness,
  • communication skills,
  • Emotional maturity…
  • etc.

As a matter of fact, these so called soft skills are The Real Skills we all need to have a sustainable career, to have fulfilled and happy life.

Employees without these real skills, a company will not operate healthily for long. And employees will not be very happy working there.

These real skills are difficulty to measure, to quantify. Therefore, it’s difficulty for companies to use them as hiring criteria.

Knowing there are so many self helping books regarding the development of these skills, more and more coaches come to help people discover their real skills, I feel the time for mastering the real skills is coming.

To develop these real skills is hard. It is scary. It needs a lot of work.

We will get to face:

  • our fear of imposter
  • Fear of imperfect
  • Fear of not good enough
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of failure…

Only when we take charge of fear, we can take a moment to see things from other’s shoes. We can bounce back to our life to do things we get to do. We can grow our muscles stronger. Then we can develop our real skills further.

Educations are necessary for us to learn.

The real skills can get us to a more productive, happier and long lasting route.

Happy everyday…

I have a long time mentee asked me, “How can we keep a happy life on a daily basis?”

Obviously this question has bothered her for a long while.

I don’t have answer for her.

To me, I would ask me a different question, “How can I keep feeling content each day?”

“Happy” is a good word. Feel happy is a good feeling. But your happiness is different from mine. Therefore, happy is a vague word to measure our daily life.

However, when we talk about content, we have something in common. We all pursue satisfaction, growth, safety and security, love…

We pursue a career that can fulfill our ambition. We want to have a partner loves us, understands us and supports us. We want to have steady income for our living security. We want to have an environment that provides us safety and life quality.

To keep us feeling content is a mentality. A mentality that lets us feel we are alive, not bored.

We are exited when we are dating, when we get a new job or a promotion, when we move to a new place, when we meet new friends… We sometimes call these happy time – peak moments.

And you can’t have these moment s all the time, very often.

So the big challenge is how to keep content after the peak moments?

Habit expert James Clear asked one of his coaches about what makes the top performers different from the rest of us. The coach said genetics, luck, talent, and added that at some point, it comes down to who can handle the boredom of doing the same thing over and over and over…

Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. However, it’s ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference. And this may not make you happy, it may let you feel content for what you do.

This is the dividing line between a professional and an amateur.

Happy every day may not be your goal. Happiness is a consequence of your being after your doing.

Signs of change

Autumn arrives.

She signals us she is here by changing tree leaves’ colors and blowing cool air. She sheds tree leaves by telling us her progress of changes.

What are your signals when you are making progress and changes?

Do you notice what is going on in your mind? How do you talk to others? Do you do anything differently from before?

Do you intentionally change your habit and do something new?

Serendipity does not happen randomly. It is a sign of change. It is the place where prepared mind meets the opportunity, it is the place where she signals that change is coming.

In a Daze…

You sometimes are in a daze. I am too.

I used to feel guilty of doing nothing, just in a daze…

Then I find that in a daze actually can help me to relax, expand myself in a way, because after a daze I usually feel more energized and easy to handle more things.

We also need sometime to take a break, in a daze a bit to reflect, gain self consciousness, stretch our space.

When we have more space, we can breath more easily, calm and happier.

Life needs us to be in a daze a bit from time to time.

Preparation for life

A friend has concerns regarding a meeting she is invited for next week.

The meeting will be with her biggest boss and HR head. She tried to ask the secretary, but she does not know either. This seems unusual.

My friend gets a little bit worried, confused, uncertainty and somewhat stressed…

How many other things can make you feel the same way in life?

There are many things in life happening without your full knowledge. We face surprises all the time.

It’s up to you on how to interpret what is coming to your way.

It is up to you on how to prepare yourself for any uncertainty.

It is up to you on make a choice whether you need worry about those uncertainty or not.

You will never prepare enough for anything happening in life. However, you can prepare yourself to have an open mind to embrace everything showing up in your life, whether you like them or not.

Be strong.

Be brave.

Be yourself.

Love life.

You will be okay.

Take Preventive measures

You are sick. You go to doctor for treatment.

Disaster happens, you take measures to make up the damages.

There is a better way to go through treatment for illness or take a setback to reduce damages.

This is to take preventive measures.

For your health, you don’t want to depend on medicines and surgeries to get yourself healthier. You need put your physical well being as one of your daily priorities. Take time to exercise. Take time for mental recharge. Take time for mind renewals.

To reduce any potential disasters, you need to do your homework, build up your foundations, stock necessary knowledges or skills or financial supports before hand. Only then, you will have foods to eat when you are stuck in a cell. You can work for something else when your company is shut down.

Prevention gives you more freedoms, less harm, healthier life style.

Take preventive measures. It’s never too late.

Pressure and step one

You feel pressure. You feel it so strong that may become depressed some what.

However, the most effective way to let the pressure go away slowly or quickly is to face it.

Find your pressure.

Your pressure is the area where you can develop further, very likely.

Start step one to do the very thing that your pressure is coming from. Even the first step is to walk to someone, drive to somewhere, write the first sentence of your essay…

They will make a difference for you.