Archive for March, 2011


Execution makes all the difference

Every year I make a decision to focus on two different skills to master. In the beginning I used to choose four to six aspects to work on. Not that I am ambitious.¬†Not at all ūüėČ

With time, however, I’ve found out that two skills form a perfect set. I get bored with being one-sided, while double focus introduces enough challenge and variety.

Two practical skills I focus on are the two most prominent aspects that slow me down or make my life more difficult. These are the obvious progress stoppers that I pretend not to notice. But I know them. And you know them too.

You know what stops you from making progress, don’t you?

If you master the two skills you need, you will become so much more free to act. You will experience a huge leverage in many areas of your life. Believe me, the impact is much bigger than you can imagine. Not to mention that you will boost your confidence, a priceless gain.

The challenge of phone calls

I don’t particularly like phone calls. I love face to face contacts and emails, but phone calls are not my piece of cake. As you know, they are, however, an absolute necessity in many situations. This includes doctor appointments, gathering information, canceling subscriptions, solving bureaucratic mistakes, etc.

Making a call used to be a dreadful experience for me embedded in a day of suffering. Just a single call. Until I finally admitted that I was fed up. “Time to grow” I thought. So, I decided to develop the skill of telephone conversations. And, now, I can handle them pretty well.

Working on a skill

How do I work on a skill? I do not set very specific goals of what I want to achieve. Instead, I hold a vivid imagination of whom I want to become in my improved version of self. In my mind’s eye I will observe myself exercising the skill with joy and ease. A detailed vision is important as I will be repetitively checking my progress against it during the year.

I start by defining where I stand and where I want to go. First, I describe to myself and imagine the ideal me. Next, on the positive note, I acknowledge what I have already done in the direction of this ideal. Then, by going backward from the ideal to the current, I experience in my mind’s eye the steps that should have been taken to move me so far. I basically work backwards to arrive at the now in order to the nesting of the steps. This allows me to set a clear path of development. Finally, I take the easiest or more obvious step in that direction and work by taking steps with an increasing level of difficulty.

In case of telephone conversations, I first focused on calling family and friends. Just before dialing a number I practiced a 30-sec mental quietness, something that I follow meticulously to this day. I did it to restore my positive energy and ensure my best mood. Finally, I started to call for appointments. Then I followed with re-scheduling appointments or gathering information. Later I proceeded to calls about changing contracts with various providers. Finally, I ended up with complaints and solving problems.

In all this, I made an agreement with myself to simply 1) quiet my mind, 2) think what to say 3) pick up a phone and 4) call. No delays. No procrastination. No mind chatter. Just action.

Over the year I pro-actively looked for opportunities to practice my skill. I created new opportunities. I volunteered to get information or solve problems. I deliberately said ‘yes’ to any call to be made. As a result of this exercising, I can call almost anybody in any situation. I still don’t particularly like it but I have the skill to do it well if I want to. And this is great.

Producing results

One of the skills I develop this year is the skill of producing results. (You are curious what is the other skill, aren”t you?) This means I choose to practice the Pareto rule. You know, the 20% of effort translates into the 80% of results, while the remaining 80% of effort goes into the 20% of results. I am a master of beautifying the details so I know about the latter. But this year I am to master how to produce results. This means:

  • I choose results in favor of ideas.
  • I choose to act even if I am not 100% sure.
  • I choose to deliver even if things are neither perfect nor smooth.
  • I choose to bring something to the world even if these are only half-baked ideas.
  • I want to set my mark, draw a big picture and present a skyline. The tiny details? I will work them out in time….

Every day I choose to immerse myself in thinking about results. I choose to prioritize so that my actions can lead to results. I choose to cherish my excitement about getting results. I simply want the results. And I want them desperately.

I imagine them to be. I feel them. I hear them. I smell them. I taste them. They are there, in me, impatient to get out and see the world. And I am here to make it happen. To produce results.

What about you?

This year is a year of tremendous opportunities for you. Which skills do you choose to master? They are there, begging for your attention. Let them out. Make them to be!

I imagine them to be. I feel them. I hear them. I smell them. I taste them. They are there, in me, impatient to get out and see the world. And I am here to make it happen. To start producing results.

What about you?

This year is a year of tremendous opportunities for you. Which skills do you choose to master? They are there, begging for your attention. Let them out.

Make them to be!


Photo credit Worlds In Focus, available under Creative Commons licence on Flickr.



The journey begins with a first step

“How am I to start my first post?”, I asked myself, elaborate Ela.

Starting a blog felt like a huge task to take on. “Am I capable of writing?”, I wondered. “Can I provide value to others?” ¬†“Hmmm… Perhaps a bit.”, I concluded. ¬†So, I spent some time thinking.¬†I slept it over.

The following day I did more thinking and waited for an answer. And I slept¬†it over. Then I did …and waited … Did … and … waited… Yes, you guessed it.¬†… and waited. But there was no englihted answer.

“What will I do?”, I asked myself somewhat impatiently this time. “What will I do?” “What will I do?” I kept asking and asking. And then I suddenly got it. “This year is a year of producing results”, I reminded myself. I was referring to an¬†agreement ¬†I made with myself.¬†So, “Simply sit down and write a post!”, I spoke in bravura staccato.¬†In my mind, of course.

And you know what? ¬†Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that words are coming…

Ideas, ideas, ideas

If you are anything like me, you don’t suffer from the lack of ideas. On the contrary, you have¬†too many of them. Too many interests. Too many ideas. And perhaps too many criteria.

Obviously, being an idea generator has its great advantages too. Don’t take me wrong. You can easily provide advice in any circumstances and on any problem¬†at hand. And you can provide all valuable advice to yourself, free of charge. ¬†Imagine that.

But, you may get easily stuck endlessly pondering which idea to choose. I have a world-class specialization in this subject. What about you?

Of course, even the best ideas are nothing without execution. Don’t we all know that?

The situation is more complex, however. If you are anything like me, you are not only elaborate and ambitious, but also perfectionist. So, you postpone taking action until all/most important¬†pieces of the puzzle are in place. And, ah, don’t forget, each piece needs to be thoroughly worked out. ¬†So, it is a huge step to start my first post before I have all the knowledge on domains, hosting, WordPress,¬†proper English, blogging, etc. Moreover, starting my post with “This is my first post and¬†I will be writing about XYZ” or “Hurray, my blog is officially launched” seems too plain for my intricate ¬†mind. “I want to make an impact”, I say to myself. “How can I possibly¬†achieve that?”

The first step

The interesting point, however, is that it doesn’t matter how you start. You are going to have an interesting journey, as long as you keep going and learning how to apply the insights into methods and better-ize yourself¬†along the path. No doubt about it. Obviously, it matters¬†to some extent what your first post is about, but not much in a large scope of posts and years¬†to come. The frame of reference makes all the difference.

From a local perspective, the first step matters because you decide which path to go and how to set the speed. You choose a direction of your journey and your initial emotional conditions. If it is an easy, interesting or fulfilling step, you will be excited and motivated to continue. If it is a difficult or painful step, you can sabotage yourself from taking the next one. So, your initial conditions do matter. It makes sense to choose them wisely.

From a global perspective, however, the first step doesn’t matter because your vision matters instead. As long as you are educating yourself, putting that knowledge back at work and making progress, your journey will be successful.¬†I bet you will learn a lot from your first 20 or 100 posts. You will learn a lot from your first 20 or 100 days of the journey. And you will learn a lot from your first 20 or 100 years of life.

Embracing newbieness

Although being a newbie is not appreciated in our world of experts, there is something greatly¬†joyful about this. Imagine, you are officially allowed to make all the mistakes and nobody expects you to have the know-how. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

Just know you can embrace this newbie stage with joy, exploration and fun.¬†Even if you don’t know everything, you can decide to start somewhere and take one step at a time.

  • Even if your first step is not a good one, you can adjust and make the next one better.
  • Even if you make visible mistakes, you can correct them and let others learn from them.
  • Even if you discover you are going in a wrong direction, you can always stop, turn back and start in a new direction. And for sure you will make¬†a speedy progress then.

Learning is fun!

Give yourself permission to make mistakes, be perfectly imperfect and enjoy the learning phase.

Your first step matters. Your first step doesn’t matter.

The choice is yours.


Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.




Today is a perfect day to write my first post. So, here it is :).

Coincidentally, I’m starting my blogging adventure on the 18th, which is one of my favorite numbers. I am excited to be writing about conscious living.

Stay tuned!


Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.