What Should You Do Next?

As much as we might think our lives are too structured and filled with obligation and responsibilities, I believe we actually have more freedoms and more options than ever before.

Time was when you could only work WHILE you were at work. When we didn’t have cell phones and text messaging, we were out of touch for long periods of time. We used to be much more limited geographically, culturally, economically—even racially.

But with greater freedom comes greater choices. We can do almost anything. But what should that be?

In working with coaching and consulting clients for many years, I see more lack of clarity, less focus, more scattered energy than ever before. With so many options available, many people choose to make no choices at all and/or continue doing more of what they’ve always done.

Designing, creating and living your best life requires conscious decisions. It requires THINKING. Reacting, responding and recoiling from what is happening to you will simply not get the job done.

My mentor, Jim Rohn often said, “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

And it’s almost impossible to avoid change. Our world is moving so rapidly, we are going to be impacted by some change even if we attempt to avoid it. So, I’m sure Jim was referring to proactive change—the change you choose and take action upon.

Be sure you set aside time to think, to reflect, to imagine, create and plan. Write down your thoughts. Note what’s working in your life, what isn’t working and what you think you’d like to do next. Ask yourself questions. What do you want more of? Less of? What do you want to start doing and what do you want to stop doing? What do you really, really want?

In order to be the captain of your ship, you can’t only be working on the deck. You have to look up, look out and chart your own course. Otherwise you will sail aimlessly, at best—or end up on the rocks, at worst.

It’s really about the 3 Cs. My most recent book, The Achievement Code lays out the 3C Formula for getting what you truly want. Clarity, Concentration and Consistency are what’s needed to live your best life.

You can get a printed, PDF or Kindle copy (along with a bunch of great bonuses) at www.TheAchievementCode.com

The Best Life Navigator™ is one of the most effective tools I know of to help you focus better, consistently sort things out, design your life and track your progress. By using it, you will always know what the next best step is for you.

Find out more—and get yours today—on this page . . . 

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Invest In Yourself Now—or Pay Later

We all know that we have to invest in our retirement in order to have money to live on when we’re no longer working. And yet, as important as that is, 36% of Americans aren’t saving anything for retirement (according to BankRate.com). And a majority of those reaching retirement age—even the ones doing some saving—do not have enough to live on.

I hope you’re consistently saving and investing (enough) for your retirement years—and you probably are. But there’s another kind of investment that’s just as important—if not more so—than your retirement. And that’s an investment in yourself.

Here’s the thing . . .

Unless you invest the time, energy, and money in creating a life you truly want, you’re going to be spending a lot of time and effort supporting a life you DON’T want.

Your best life doesn’t just happen. It doesn’t automatically unfold, and it’s not given to you. You have to design and create your best life yourself. Because if you don’t, other people and outside circumstances will do it for you. And guess what other people and outside circumstances have planned for you—not much.

An investment in yourself will pay dividends for the rest of your life. It won’t depreciate; it will appreciate. It will never be devalued or stolen. Clearly, your inner portfolio is the best investment you can make.

As you become better, as you upgrade your attitude, skills and knowledge, you will always be able to form the alliances, make the connections, create the opportunities and generate the income you need. You will breathe the rarified air of true mastery. You will live a life of no regrets and feel the joy and satisfaction of living your BEST life. You will, as Thoreau said, “live with a license of a higher order of beings.”

I urge you to plan your investments in yourself as carefully and as consistently as your retirement portfolio. Dedicate yourself to CANI—Constant And Never-ending Improvement. And you will never be bored, because growth is stimulating and often fun. There are no limits.

Get Your Personal Dashboard to Your Ideal Life
Every once in awhile, something comes along that you didn’t even know you needed or wanted. (I bet you never knew you needed an iPhone before Apple invented it.) But after you begin using it, you never want to be without it.

The Best Life Navigator™ is one of those things. We all need good tools and systems. And The Navigator™ is both.

Over the past 35 years, I’ve created scores of products, dozens of training programs, and written and published several books. But THIS product is the one I’m the most proud of creating—because I know what a difference it can make in creating your BEST LIFE.

Find Out All About Your Personal Dashboard . . .
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Top Ten Reasons Good People Don’t Always Win (Number 10 in a 10-part Series)

systems#10: Not Having Good Systems, Tools & Technology

Reason Number 10 why good people don’t always win is inadequate or non-existing systems.

I believe that most people are well-intended and want to do the right thing. Where I think they fail is they have systems that don’t support them or no real systems at all.

When I consult with business owners, we focus on where they want to go, how to get there and the things that need fixing in order to succeed. Often they blame their people for the shortcomings. But it’s usually the systems that are the problem rather than the people.

System Defined: any formulated, regular or special method, plan or procedure.

The First System I Remember
I was raised on a farm, and when I was about 4 years old, I remember seeing my father in our dairy barn with his hat turned backward. I know now that many young people wear their caps with brims facing rearward, but at that time it looked strange.

So I asked my Dad why he had his hat on funny. And that’s when he explained his “system”. You see, we had a bullpen with a watering tank for the bull. It had to be filled with a hose and it took a while to fill it. Rather than wait for the tank to be topped off, my Dad would go about other chores while it was filling. But it’s easy to forget to turn the water off, and I’m guessing he had done so before. But now, when the tank was full, he would turn the water off and turn his hat frontward again. If he forgot, when he got back to the house, he would naturally reach for the brim of his hat and if it wasn’t there, he’d realize he must go back to the barn and turn it off to prevent a small flood.

That was my early introduction to systems. And I’ve developed many of my own since then.

A system can be as simple as a . . .

  • checklist
  • place for your keys
  • mnemonic
  • PIM (Personal Information Manager)
  • formula

Or it can be as complicated as a project management program to build a nuclear power plant. But we all need systems to create and live our best life and grow our businesses with efficiency and effectiveness.

Years ago, I created an acronym for SYSTEMS . . .

Save
Yourself
Substantial
Time
Energy
Money and
Stress

Systems allow you to focus on what’s really important because systems handle the details. Systems make your life easier, make it easier to delegate and outsource, and make your business simpler to run—and SELL.

So what keeps someone from having good systems? Well, many people think systems aren’t important and/or they think they’re too small to employ a system. But that’s simply not true.

We can all regularly make improvements by remembering my SODA acronym . . .

Systematize
Organize
Delegate
Automate

One of the best systems or tools I’ve ever encountered for keeping track of information is Microsoft’s OneNote. Think of it has a system with an unlimited number of notebooks, an unlimited number of sections (and groups), an unlimited number of pages, and an unlimited size to all the pages.

Our latest product, The Best Life Navigator™, is built on OneNote. It’s a repository for all the information in your life. Here are just a few of the sections it contains:

  • CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement)
  • Finances
  • Goals
  • Inspiration
  • Journals
  • Network
  • Planning/Tracking
  • Projects . . . . and much more

Here are some examples of areas to consider developing or improving systems:

  • Filing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing
  • Manufacturing
  • Mailing & Shipping
  • Events
  • Product Development
  • Storage
  • Hiring

What systems do you have? Have you ever listed the systems you have in place to help you achieve your goals?

Think. And then document what you do. Who? What? When? Where? Why? And how?

Shane Fielder, The Innovative Samurai says, “Never start something without a template”. Don’t re-invent wheels. And don’t start from scratch. Use templates. MS Office has tons of templates. Search for them online. Try them out. Save yourself time and effort. The Best Life Navigator is a template—a very thorough and advanced template for creating your ideal life.

Tools & Technology
It’s the same with tools. It’s all about leverage. A farmer with a tractor and a large plow is, of course, going to be able to accomplish much more than a man with a mule and a single-share plow.

So make sure you have the tools you need to get things done with more ease, accuracy and speed.

We must constantly be on the lookout to create and improve our systems and upgrade and replace outdated tools and technology.

Resources
The Best Life Navigator™ allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place.

Take Action

1. Get and start using OneNote and master it with www.SuccessNetRecommends.com/uim
2. Order The Best Life Navigator™ with Goal Planner
3. Create at least one new system this week

Please Tell Us What You Think
We’ve published this article and previous ones here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire
2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
5. Inadequate Support
6. Fear
7. Poor Tracking
8. Poor Disciplines, Bad Habits
9. Insufficient Planning

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