Setting yourself up to succeed
When you read the following sentence: “I was framed,” what do you imagine?
Something criminal going on, right? There’s this poor guy going about his business, when all of a sudden, he’s taken in by the authorities because all the evidence points to him as the perpetrator of a crime. Exciting to watch on TV, but nothing you’d want to go through in real life…
Or would you, if it means success?
We’re not advocating criminal acts here. We’re just asking you to think of frames differently.
- Picture frames showcase and pull attention to the picture they hold.
- A framework makes the support for something, a structure, an outline.
- To re-frame something means to present it from a different perspective.
So setting yourself up –to win, to accomplish things, to get done what you want to get done, mind you– shouldn’t be that hard to wrap your brain around, right?
- You act and provide reliable evidence to prove that you were responsible for getting something done.
- Do that repeatedly, you establish a pattern.
- Build reliable patterns, you have a framework of positive habits that support you on your way to your goals.
- Build the strong internal structure to support you in you choices. Make the external changes to manifest your will. Frame yourself to succeed. It sounds a little clunky, but can you dig it?
Imagine it. How would you set yourself up to succeed?
- Make it easy for you to do what you need to do. It’s the grunt work before the real work, like sweeping dirt our and trashing the useless clutter that’s in your way so you’re freed to focus on the important stuff.
- Make it easy for people to believe that you did it — by doing it, sharing the results and establishing accountability and responsibility. Community support is important for affirmation and validation–which can help a lot in fueling your momentum.
It’s not possible to truly block out all sorts of distractions (life’s messily organic like that) so make it a point to analyze your days and take note of how much of your energy goes into procrastination, worry and anxiety.
Reclaim that energy through activities that calm you down and help you charge up for the day. Meditation and exercise are two well-known habits you can rely on.
The more you know where your time , attention and energy is going, the more you can redirect and channel your energy into the action-hours that make up the steps to getting things done.
What does a channel do? A channel in this context has walls to contain it, and a direction in which to move towards. Walling out distractions and obstacles redirects energy towards focus and accomplishment. Energy level monitoring and awareness is an essential practice that will keep you on point as you move through the hours of your day.
Frame yourself up for doing good work
Take a bit of an afternoon or three to assess your business. Ask yourself questions as if you were the same person who started out with no knowledge or experience in what you’re doing now:
- What process are automated? What process grew organically out of habit and are now entrenched as “they way things have always been?”
- Where does it hurt? What aspects of your business worry you the most?
- Can you see where, why and how it’s hurting?
Check what you can do to influence the factors that make it hurt, or is the direct cause of the discomfort.
Once you have this assessment habit down, try to apply this examination to the other parts of your life that are giving you problems. Is it just habit, or can you adjust to a new way of thinking and living? You’d be surprised at how much influence you have once you ‘get out of your own way.’
Lilith Saintcrowe, writer and author of several best-selling urban fantasy and YA series, also has a similar attitude to setting herself up to win:
- “It’s important to have discipline, and the other half of discipline is setting things up, as far as you can, to make it easy to do what you should. Willpower is a finite resource, after all, and it just makes sense to structure everything around writing, as far as I can, to make it easier on me. Practice makes discipline easier, yes, I’ve said that a million times. I also say: try to arrange things reasonably, as far as possible, so you don’t have to struggle more than one already does with the task.” (Emphasis added)
Set your days up in a way that leaves you breathing room. Working to work squeezes out the things that can make life worth living — rest, time to play and to dream and to connect with others, and time to come back to our best and deepest selves.
A frame-up like this is internal as well as external. On the outside you can clean up your desk and optimize your schedules so you’ll be more productive and have options. On the inside it is recognizing and letting go of mind-sets that you’ve been holding onto as truth, mindsets which hold you back. Simple things like:
- I’m too busy to deal with this.
- If I stop I’ll never be able to catch up.
- Later when I have time.
- There’s just not enough time.
- I can’t stop, I have too much to do.
Ask yourself ‘why’ after each statement. Keep asking until the real reasons out themselves. Strip the facade away. There will always be too much to do. Attend to the things that are most important to you, and tell your fears to release their hold on the rest.
Nobody ever really gets everything they want. It doesn’t work like that. You can grind way doing the best you can, and the rug gets pulled out of you. It comes right out of the blue. A phone call, a knock on the door, an email…things happened beyond our control or our comprehension and the world suddenly makes no sense.
It is within our grasp to make it make sense again. We fix things, clear out, shuffle things around to make a new order out of the aftermath. We hold on to what has shown itself to be more important than we thought. We go one with a clearer view of what matters. We succeed at the things that are dear to us and let the devil take the hindmost.
What do you want to spend your life on? What do you want to get back?
Ever once in a while you should take some time off and just think about the answers. The more you remove things that obscure your truth, the clearer your vision of success. When you know what success really means to you, you’ll figure out a way to have it.
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