Monthly Archives: June 2009

Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot

Does it feel sometimes as if you are your own worst enemy? Join the crowd. Most of us are guilty of some kind of self-sabotage. Why? Well, pundits, psychologists and trend-spotters have blathered endlessly about the whys and hows.  But T.T. Mitchell in his article, Sabotage: What Holds Us Back, offers up a handful of pretty simple, sensible reasons:

  • We’re not as driven as we should be. If you really want to succeed, you have to want it really, really, really badly and be willing to work for it.
  • We lack focus. Our increasingly complicated lives are getting in the way of our focus. Never mind the incessant noise of the media.
  • We want to be safe. An entrepreneurial spirit takes the “sure thing” with the “what if?” And let’s face it. We may say that we want change, adventure and independence, but it’s predictability and stability that lull us to sleep at night. Then again, job security is pretty much a fairly-tale concept these days.
  • We feel undeserving of success. Financial or personal. This one is for the therapists to unravel.

So how do we cast off this penchant for self-sabotage? There are, in fact, a few things you can do that make sense:

  • Set realistic goals. Don’t set the bar so high that you’re guaranteed to fall on your ass. Overnight success is rare.
  • Remind yourself that you deserve success. Constantly.
  • Think big. think positive. Even when you feel like throwing your laptop out the window, quitting your job or closing the curtains and climbing into bed.
  • Do something every single day to help keep you motivated. Maybe that means going to a yoga class, running three miles, taking a bubble bath, gardening, talking to your mom or best friend in Chicago, whatever keeps your boat afloat.

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Make Room for Wealth

Your office is a fire hazard. Your desk is covered with crap. Despite acute attempts to go paperless, the mailman continues to deliver reams of catalogues, credit-card offers and other dead-tree items to your door. And your Quicken log hasn’t been categorized in months. Here’s the catch: you can’t create wealth while waging war with ongoing chaos. Wealth, like any organic matter, needs space and light to grow.

Need help getting organized? You could:

  • banish junk drawers, or better yet, banish junk.
  • try a modified version of the six-month “maybe” box
  • bite the nerd bullet and get a label maker
  • keep a recycling basket next to your desk and toss any junk mail into it. (the trees will thank you.)
  • go as paperless as you comfortably can.

Learn more about these ideas and more in this article on LifeHacker.com: Clean Your Workspace — and Keep it That Way.

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