- September 18, 2010
- Posted by: Brandon Matheson
- Category: Santa Barbara Entrepreneur
Fortunately the Mayan prediction set the end of the World close to the beginning of a new year. So, for those of us still lucky enough to be alive and perhaps reading this, the new year is once again upon us with fresh opportunity and perspective. As I like to do each new year, I outline what has worked and what will work for a successful, positive year.
The following outlines my top recommendations for a successful 2013.
1) Be Present. Use your senses.
We hear this a lot and see it on t-shirts, television shows, and yes, even blogs. But how does it work and how can you practice? For the average entrepreneur, staying present and focused is one of the most challenging exercises. A simple method is the following: use only your immediate senses. Being present is about containing the universe to what your five senses can experience in the moment. That means that if you cannot touch it, hear it, see it, or smell it, then it DOES NOT EXIST IN THE PRESENT. So, a simple exercise is to focus on those senses and guess what, you’ll find yourself being present.
2) Focus your attention on the Positives not the Negatives.
Have you ever thrown a party and noticed the people who RSVP’d and did not show up? Sometimes, you can get yourself focused in on those 3 or 4 people who for whatever reason did not do what they said they would, namely to attend your party. At the same time, there are 20 people who are there right now at the party, interested in spending time with you! Instead, you’re thinking of the people who are not there. In 2013, spend time on the positives, not the negatives. If you find yourself consumed with negative thoughts – especially those out of your control – redirect your thoughts on what is going right… on the people who actually showed up.
3) Give Thanks, every day.
Entrepreneurs can get so easily caught up in their own world and their own issues, that they take a lot around them for granted. It’s important that you realize each person who is part of your organization deserves gratitude. Give thanks each day. Let people know you appreciate their presence, their trust, and their work. Make it sincere and a consistent practice.
4) Breathe (Exercise).
One of the most popular new years’ resolutions is to exercise more. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the new year begins right after the holidays, right after the big meals, the desserts, and the lovely relaxation with family and friends. This year, instead of creating a schedule you don’t keep, try breathing more. I like to hear myself breathe sometimes. That tells me that I am focused on just the air in and out and after a few breaths, I find myself breathing more deeply – automatically. There’s a good chance that just breathing exercises throughout the day will cause you to want to exercise more. Start small and you’ll see good long term effects. Try it right now, 3 deep breaths… 1…..2…..3…. feel better?
5) Visualize the Future.
Visualizing your plan and your dreams will dramatically increase your likelihood of success. We use language to communicate and although language has come a very long way, it lacks some important definitions and meanings that visuals can provide. I like to fill some of my free time just visualizing. I visualize how a meeting will go. I visualize how a date will go. I imagine visual details of things I will say and even what others will say. Yes, it’s true, visualization is the first step towards manifestation. It also prepares you. When you visualize you realize what’s missing. Wait, I see that image of me talking to him about X, but I haven’t actually thought through X very well! Or, I haven’t actually produced X. Visualization is free, no consequence, practice for the future.
6) Give to Others and expect nothing in return.
This is not about donating money or even serving on boards. Maybe those are not viable options for you. But, if you’re reading this, you have skills, experiences, interests that could benefit others. One of the best ways to advance yourself is to advance the life of others. You can hop on to your social media platforms and see regular opportunities to give of yourself. You can give by saying something positive. You can offer a solution or remedy to a problem. You can make yourself available. Make this a daily practice.
7) Synchronize your thoughts, words, and actions.
I’ve lectured and written on synchronicity for more than a decade. The concept is simple: You should be consistent in your thoughts, words, and actions. The idea here is to live authentically. Sometimes you think something embarrassing or shameful and of course your words don’t reflect your thoughts. Why add insult to injury by saying something negative. However, I believe your thoughts need to be spoken in some capacity, even the most shameful, negative things that you think. Talk to your close friends, your family. Get some consistency out there. From there, take appropriate action so that there is a consistent line between your thoughts, words, and actions. The reality is that working on yourself and becoming a better, more successful person begins with knowing yourself and if you deny your authentic self (which sometimes begins with negative thoughts), you will live in conflict. Live in synchronicity instead.
8) Limit Negative Energy. Choose friends wisely.
Noospheric is developing a new company called Self Echo which consists of technology products and services that help an individual monitor and manage their own happiness. It’s a tall order to say the least. What we have found in our research with dozens of positive psychology professionals, life coaches, and critically acclaimed authors on happiness is that the negative energy you surround yourself with does indeed matter. Consider for a moment your friendships. Friendships are a mutual privilege – what I mean here is that a friendship should not be assumed. You should invest in your friends and they should invest in you. The people that you spend your time with should produce positive energy in your world. So many of our friends, whether they notice it or not, produce very negative energy. The source of this negative energy can come in the form of complaining, constantly broadcasting problems, generating a sense of despair. This often spills into judgements of your own life. What you should have is support and encouragement from friends. Sure, we also want friends that are critical and honest, but in a constructive and helpful fashion. If you have friends that produce negative energy, try and talk with them so as to mitigate this negative influence. If things don’t change, consider limiting this negative energy – it matters more than you know.
9) Be Honest and Real. Life is too short.
If the Mayans taught us anything it is that life is short. We don’t know when our time is up. So, I have to ask you, why waste anytime not being honest and real? When you lie or misrepresent or behave “fake”, you are only hurting yourself. The quality of your time on planet earth will be directly tied to how authentic you lived. Do not be afraid to say “No Thanks”, or to “pass” or request adjustments in order to get what you want. The more honest and real you are, the more clarity you will find around you.
10) Do What You Say; or don’t say it in the first place.
I am often asked by entrepreneurs and students “What is the most important advice for someone who wants to start their own business?” The answer is simple: Do what you say you are going to do. It may seem obvious or even elementary, but it is rarely perfected. The reality is that a young entrepreneur has only their word. They have yet to establish a strong reputation and their assets are common at best. That means that what they say and the follow-through of what they say becomes their most valuable offering. Now you may be thinking this is mostly about ‘following through’ on what you say, but it is actually about developing the fortitude to choose your words carefully. After all if you don’t make a promise, you don’t have to keep a promise. So, be careful what you say and what you promise, because the most successful people on earth have an extremely high % of follow-through and ensuring a high % success rate begins with choosing your words/promises carefully.