7 Simple Tips to Make Your Life Extraordinary
A tip a day keeps the doctor away
#1: Set your expectations high
I am continuously amazed when I work with my clients at how low their expectations are.
I believe that we get what we expect. Not what we want, not what we need and not what we ask for. We get what we expect.
Setting expectations is hugely important. At the very least it gives you energy. When you set real expectations and your expectations are positive it gives you energy and the capacity to do things. When your expectations are low it saps your energy. It’s not uplifting.
Expectations should always be challenging. You should expect more than you believe you can deliver. Always. And then trust that the opportunities and resources will present themselves to you.
When you have positive expectations people respond to them and tend to support you. Remember the great cliché: ‘we don’t believe what we see, we see what we believe’.
Your expectations have a huge influence on the way you see and experience the world, and as a consequence what actually happens for you.
#2: Practice an attitude of gratitude
About 10 or 15 years ago I read a booklet produced by Dan Sullivan the strategic coach called ‘The Gratitude Principle’.
In it he made the point that being grateful is an empowering thing. I can remember growing up and right through adulthood my mum always said to me that instead of looking up so much I should look down more.
What she meant was to look down and realise how lucky you are and to recognise what you have compared to other people. She encouraged me to be grateful for what I am and what I have.
Like expectations, gratitude has the capacity to strengthen you, to empower you and to give you confidence.
Be grateful for what you have and you will find that it transforms the way you see the world, the way you behave in certain situations and the results you get.
I really believe in the gratitude principle. The first thing I say in the morning when I wake up and the last thing I say at night before I go to sleep is thank you.
I thank the universe for all I have and all the opportunities that are presented to me.
#3: Offer up the negative
A friend of mine’s house was burgled recently. It was just after Christmas, she was excited about the new year and her house was broken into.
She was very upset about it.
I was trying to share some helpful advice with her rather than the usual ‘well, nobody died’, so I suggested that she offer it up.
The way we explain things to ourselves tends to dictate the way we experience the world. We see the world in a certain way, we articulate things in a certain way and we get certain results as a consequence.
It’s an endless self-reinforcing closed loop.
When something negative happens to you you have an opportunity to turn it into something positive by offering it up to the universe and believing that some good will come from it somewhere.
Next time something bad happens to you remember that there is something positive in every negative experience.
Transform the experience from a negative, damaging experience to one that gives you courage and strength.
#4: Write it down
Do you believe in the power of writing things down?
I had an experience the other day in the office during our team meeting. I asked one of my colleagues to present a graphic I had asked them to produce on what we’re trying to do for our digital media marketing programme.
For the first time ever I could see and understand what we’re doing in a way that I could explain to somebody else.
The great thing about writing things down is that it cuts through all the bull. It forces you to acknowledge what’s working and what’s not working.
If we have to write things down in a simple model showing how they interrelate and support each other, it leads to clarity. It’s a very powerful process.
If you don’t do it, try it. A simple model is a powerful model.
The next time you’re faced with any quandary or any issue, try to explain it simply in a model or in a few words so that somebody else can understand it. Drawing things out in simple ways is a powerful process. Practice it.
All great thinkers do this. Try it. Write it down.
#5: Don’t assume your clients know what you know
I’m a consultant and one of the things I think consultants forget on a regular basis is that their clients don’t know what we know.
We assume that clients understand what we understand and can do what we do. The answer is they can’t.
I’ve just come off two different Skype calls with two people from the same company and I found it amazing to realise how little they actually understand about what I would consider to be a really simple process.
As a consultant it’s really important that you keep repeating the simple basic things they have to do to be effective as leaders and as managers in the development of their businesses.
Don’t assume that they understand and don’t assume that they know. Nine times out of ten they don’t or they only know partially.
It’s like the nine o’clock news where they tell you what they’re going to tell you, they tell it to you and then they tell you what they told you.
#6: Opportunities are like buses
A number of years ago I ran an investment company and a great opportunity came across my desk, but the decision timeline was very short.
I approached my chairman about it and told him that the decision needed to be made very quickly. He said that it seemed like a good opportunity, but that if the decision needs to be made now, then the answer is no.
He made the point that opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one coming along!
Yesterday I was trying to buy something in a hurry and as a consequence I made a couple of bad decisions. I was able to reverse out of the decision and recover it, but it just reminded me of the advice from my chairman.
So, make your decisions slowly. Take your time. Don’t be pressured into making decisions NOW, because the opportunity somehow won’t slip away.
Yesterday I reversed out of the initial opportunity and later on in the day I found an even better opportunity with none of the problems the other one had.
The moral: opportunities are like buses. There’s always another one coming along, so don’t be pressured to make decisions. if you need an answer now then the answer has to be no.
#7: Ownership is an illusion
I had an interesting meeting with a client today. He was asking me about how he should structure his wealth going forward.
When I asked him what he wanted to do with his life, he said that he wanted to have freedom and to enjoy his life.
I reminded him that he didn’t actually need to own any of his assets. The truth is that ownership is just an illusion. It confers the right to the use of assets but it also confers responsibilities.
All you need is the use of assets.
If you own a house, what does that mean? All it means is that you have the use of the house for as long as you live. What’s the difference between owning a house and renting a house?
I believe that renting can bring more freedom. The illusion of ownership needs to be addressed. People need to think more about what they actually need.
Expect greatness and greatness will follow. An attitude of gratitude opens the door for more good to come in. Likewise with offering up the negative. Work to see the good in every situation.
If you’re struggling with something, write it down!
Remember that opportunities are like buses. There’s always another one coming along, so don’t rush into making a decision.
Don’t assume your clients know what you know. It’s time to re-evaluate the notion of ownership.
Which of my tips will you put into practice today? Let me know how you got on.
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