Jul 092013

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort. ~ Paul J. Meyer

a good plan

Having a vision

A plan cannot function unless it’s part of a bigger picture. If the vision is missing, then you’ll quickly start losing motivation when you hit obstacles (and you will!). Also, a vision is a way to channel your energy into a specific direction, so that your efforts will remain focused. Without focus it’s very difficult to manifest anything, because your intention simply isn’t clear enough for the universe to help you out.

Setting goals

So you have your vision along with motivation and a clear idea of where you want to go. Now it’s time to make things concrete by setting goals over the short-term. Similarly to a vision, goals allow you to focus your attention and intention. However, many people just have dreams without setting goals. The result is that nothing really happens, because they’re not actually taking concrete steps to realize them.


A strong commitment is extremely important to turn any plan into a success. No matter your motivation, skills or knowledge, there will always come a time when the world seems to turn against you and things are simply not working out. It’s at this point that many people quit, whereas those who succeed are the ones who commit themselves despite the circumstances and keep going. Usually success follows shortly after pushing through hardship.

Do your research

Obviously mindlessly committing is not going to bear as much fruit as when you’re being smart about it; you can keep trying to open a door that swings the other way, but it’ll just be a waste of energy. Becoming an expert in whatever you decide to do ¬†makes you credible towards others and gives you a measure of confidence. The more knowledge you carry the better you are prepared; by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail, like Benjamin Franklin said.

Reflect and improve

Make it a habit to reflect on yourself critically and see everything as a learning moment. Even when something works out, there is always something you can improve for next time. By reflecting every day you’ll also improve every day. This attitude alone puts you above the majority of people who think they know everything already. In zen they speak about the ‘beginner’s mind’, which means you always remain open to learn new things and recognize the teacher in everyone you meet.

Embrace failure

People like me, who tend to take everything personally, may have a hard time accepting their failures. However, it’s important to see this as a natural part of the process towards success. Instead of letting failure get the best of you emotionally, relax into it and keep going. Just like with a workout there can be no true satisfaction if you haven’t been dripping sweat seriously; if you never fall there is also no opportunity to stand back up and emerge stronger than you were before.

Comment and share your own tips and insights!

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