This article quickly discusses 5 of them… kinds of stagnation… and also how to overcome and avoid them so your number one most valuable resource… your time… will yield more success.
We will solve the problem of success stagnation by way of reverse engineering the problem.
Go down the following list until you get to where you are at most of the time with respect to what you feel is most problematic to your success. At that point, really think about what you can do to change that.
And then keep reading, because following the advise that follows from that point will likely solve your problem. The reason for this is because these five kinds of stagnation are built on each other. Number 5 does not exist without number 4, etc. At least this has been my own experience with organizing my success skill set thought process.
5 Kinds of Success Stagnation
5. Being Disingenuous
Being disingenuous happens when we let our procrastination influence us to grow so out of touch with our own success that we find it tempting to draw upon, in an unwholesome manner, from the success of others. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by the success of others, but being inspired is very different from being a vampire or leech… or plagiarist.
Stay true to who you are by staying true to your goals. People change, and so can goals, but be true to yourself and your growing success skill set.
DO THIS: Make a list of 3 subjects you enjoy learning and/or talking about so much that you would like to write a book about them someday.
Now recall a book about one of those 3 subjects that you have read that was so inspiring to you that you consider the author to be a personal mentor to you on that subject.
Now go to Amazon.com and find another book written by that same author, one that you haven’t read yet, and read that book with the idea of after having finished it, writing that author a letter of appreciation and thanks for inspiring you to write your own book on the subject. That is the truth, right? So, embrace the power of the desire to be grateful and I assure you… genuine success will follow.
James A Duke’s Handbook of Edible Weeds inspired me to go back to college and to one day write my own field guide. What impressed me about it most was it was written by a PhD and the botanical vernacular was woven with layman’s terms in a way that didn’t overwhelm my desire to learn, but rather, encouraged. I went back to college and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Ethnobotany as well as a Bachelor of Art degree in Anthropology.
A book written by the same author that I plan to one day own is Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary. Can you guess why? Talk about inspiration, huh?
Procrastination happens when our distractions cause us to lose so much success momentum that in order to continue in our success, we first need to go through the chore of referencing where we were last we left off. Try saying that seven times fast!
Momentum is necessary to stay at the fore-front of our ideas and efforts, with nothing in front of us except for the blank canvas, so to speak, that is the playground for our masterpieces. Not only is momentum fun in and of itself in the moment… remember that playground leads to payground, and so invest as much in momentum as you can!
DO THIS: Come up with a way of referencing and keeping track of “save points”, if you will. This can take the form of a daily planner with time tables and side-notes to be jotted down at the end of each productivity session. Or it can simply be a quick note to self at the end of each writing session, in reminder of ideas to include or expound upon or to further study. This seems tedious, but as amazing as your human brain is, it is even more amazing when it learns to communicate with itself by way of concise condense notes about leave-off points and future progress. Monumentous achievements are made of being in the moment… momentum!
This can be as simple as a standard college ruled notebook, of which I have many all over the place… next to my desk, my bed, in my backpack, in my laptop bag, even in my vehicle… I am always writing down ideas and place-holders for next writing session. Or you can get as field expedient as you want, with waterproof paper and pen to match. I just recently upgraded to one such option and I love it… I’m currently transferring my passwords to its waterproof pages with its waterproof ink… Rite in the Rain All-Weather Tactical Field Kit: Tan CORDURA Fabric Cover, 4 5/8″ x 7 1/4″ Green Tactical Notebook, and All-Weather Pen (No. 980-KIT)
Distraction is a shorter term kind of success stagnation than procrastination is, and happens when lack of motivation causes us to turn to things more immediately gratifying, such as our favorite television shows (Netflix… am I an enabler or what? Too bad they don’t have an affiliate program or I would be! Just kidding… but seriously… life is about choices, right?), video games, binge snacking… anything that will be fun for you no matter when you get to it, and thus which you should be doing only after you have gotten your “devoted to success time” over with for the day… or at least for the hour.
DO THIS: Create a bubble of productivity around your work area. Close the door, hang a highly visible object around your workroom doorknob that outsiders can see means you are busy and not to be disturbed.
When I was a young boy of about 7 years old, my Dad utilized this method when he was studying to pass the California Bar Exam. He would hang his old college fraternity paddle around his den doorknob. He told me that when I saw the paddle, I knew it was time to be quiet and not disturb him unless there was an emergency. It was more than just a symbol. That paddle was what was used on my butt when I was bad!
2. Lack of Motivation
Lack of motivation is the result of the bad habit of not keeping to a schedule. Not keeping to a schedule is the result of not enjoying your work. Working when feeling super-inspired is great, but if that is the only time when you work, well then, that is not very productive.
So, in order to get things done consistently, motivation is needed. Self-discipline is necessary in order to pursue our passions, but an alarm clock may not be enough. The key to consistent progress is that it must be immediately gratifying as well as rewarding in the long term.
DO THIS: In your work space somewhere you can easily see it when you glance, keep a monthly wall calendar and a daily desk calendar so you are actively involved in watching the passage of time. The act of keeping both the daily and monthly calendars up to date first thing in the morning (assuming this is when you wake), seeing the passage of time and the morning ritual of turning to the next time period… even if this is all the progress you make that day… should motivate you, even if only on some small level, to get back in the saddle the next!
Also in the same manner as the calendars, where you can easily see it, keep that book described in #5… the one you found to be so inspiring you think of the author as a personal mentor to you. If you still don’t have such a book… well, get on over to Books at Amazon and buy one that looks promising.
Maybe a picture of your family and/or a pet… anyone you look forward to spending more quality time with… can be, in addition to the calendars and book… the only “decor” your work space needs.
1. Under-Equipped and Under-Supported
Not only does having the tools you need to be most effective at what you do enable success, but also allows for enjoyment of the process. Having a devoted work space, equipped with all the tools of your trade within easy uncluttered reach, and also having within easy uncluttered reach… all of the reference and resource material to support your efforts is the number one most important thing you can do to ensure your success.
Having the tools and support systems needed and in place to enjoy sticking to a schedule is of primary importance. It is all about enjoying what you are doing, and this requires having the things you need while you are working.
A writer will have as tools, a comfortable chair and desk with a bright lamp and a laptop, with a notebook and a few pens nearby to jot unorganized fresh ideas; a writer’s support system might include a bookshelf with topic relevant reference books, a dictionary (yes, this is one of the dictionaries I own!) and thesaurus (I own this one) and this one.
DO THIS: Sit (or stand if that’s how you work) in your work space as though you were going to make a session of it, and look around and visualize how that space could be made more efficient, with all the necessary tools and support systems of your trade within easy reach… now this is fun!
“Clutter stops you from doing breakthrough thinking. Anything that helps you organize your thinking is going to take you to a higher level, get you to ask bigger questions.” — Don Winkler, Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Credit Company [from Bill Jensen’s Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster]
What has worked for you in beating success stagnation?
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About me, the author… Troy Boylan
Ecoculture Village Founder & President, Anthropology BA, Interdisciplinary Studies: Ethnobotany BS. Two things I think are worth anything at all… all things wilderness and ecoculture… and well, RPGs… and skateboarding!
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