Ditch the petrol and skull some jet fuel in your journey towards an unprecedented new year. Consider this your steroids to crush it in 2018.
If you’re looking for something safe, go get your advice from your friends or mum instead.
If you’re looking for something comfortable, here are cat videos from Youtube.
But if you want the real, no-bullshit stuff to ensure that 2018 is unlike your previous years, here’s something for you.
1. Make a decision
If you want to be great, you have to decide to be great. And you have to make a commitment to make it happen.
You are at your current state of life because some part of you is alright and satisfied with the way things are.
But if you want to go to the next level (in your health, wealth, relationships, skills, spirituality, career, etc), you will need to make that decision everyday.
Making a decision starts with declaring a statement to yourself and/or others. Some examples are:
“I will choose to be a man who sticks to my promises.”
“I have decided to be the best mother to my kids.”
“I will never want my family to go hungry again.”
“I want to love what I see in the mirror. Everyday.”
What’s your statement?
Make a decision. Most people can put make up on their faces. But only few can make up their minds.
2. Take fast action
Don’t just make new year’s resolutions. Make all-year resolutions.
Don’t just review your plans at the end of the year. Review them at the end of the month or fortnight or week. Shorten your cycle times and tighten the iteration loops.
Mel Robbins says in a video that we all have 5 second window to take action when we are on the brink of doing something, before the brain reverts to the default or the safest or the most comfortable option.
Take fast action. That’s how you outsmart your brain.
3. Stay accountable
Every month I catch up with a close friend to talk about our goals. And we keep each other accountable to what we say we are going to do.
Who can you stay accountable to? Who can hold you accountable?
Find someone who will hold you to your word, and even elicit penalties or punishment if you fall short on your efforts.
4. Finish what you have started
No one gets a medal for signing up, taking part in the race or doing 90% of it. You only get the medal for finishing the race.
90% of a marathon is still not a finished marathon.
90% of a book’s manuscript done is still not a book.
90% of a mock up is still not a launched product.
90% of a yet-to-be published article is still not an article (available for public consumption).
Make it a point to finish what you have started. Stick to your work and make it happen.
5. Make going above and beyond your new norm
Mediocrity is for the weak, boring and unimpressive.
Average is for the ordinary and unremarkable.
You can either choose to be just another face in the crowd, or to be the one the crowd faces.
A mediocre student isn’t special. There’s millions of them.
A mediocre job seeker isn’t differentiated. Every other job seeker is like him.
A mediocre employee isn’t outstanding. There are many more just like him merely clocking the 9-to-5. And they are more easily replaceable than stellar and remarkable staff.
Aim to be indispensable.
Always give your 150% because the world deserves more. Others deserve more. And you deserve more.
6. Disrupt yourself
Start questioning your habits and routines.
While some routines are there to optimise efficiency in our daily work and lives, some might unintendedly cause stagnation and hinder progression.
What are some things you need to do differently? What are some things you need to stop doing? To start doing? To increase effort in doing?
This might mean hanging out with different people, getting others to challenge your ideas and thinking, trying something out for the first time, learning a new skill, giving up on certain beliefs, etc.
7. Do what is scary
Your fears are only as scary as you allow them to be.
- Public speaking
- Talking to strangers
- Making a fool of yourself
- Singing on stage
- Speaking up
- Making a sales call
- Pitching your idea to strangers
- Having a tough conversation with your boss or colleague
“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Susan Jeffers
It’s scary because it lies outside of your comfort zone.
It’s scary because you aren’t prepared (or don’t feel prepared) to do it.
It’s scary because it’s unfamiliar or uncomfortable.
But it’s scary because it’s meant to build up your grit and character, and to help you grow some balls.
You can embrace the fear, feel scared and do it once and for all. Or you can hide from it, cower away from it and ignore it, and stay afraid of it forever.
8. Do what is tough
Sometimes I wished life was easier and more comfy.
But other times I’m thankful in the midst of challenges and adversity. Because they refine me and make me stronger.
I heard in one of Grant Cardone’s podcast and he said that if he was to rough it out in a soccer or football or rugby match, he would wish for the worst of conditions. Uneven pitch. Unforgiving weather conditions. Muddy terrain.
Because if it’s tough for you, it’s tough for your competitors as well. And elite performers aren’t really bothered by the conditions of the game because they are already conditioned to win.
Life is tough. But you can be tougher.
And the way to be tougher is to do what is tough.
9. Use the “Regret Minimisation Framework“
Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, has an approach to dealing with big, life-altering decisions.
Most people try to mitigate failure, but Bezos tries to minimise regret.
“The framework I found, which made the decision incredibly easy, was what I called — which only a nerd would call — a “regret minimization framework.”
So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, “Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.” I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day, and so, when I thought about it that way it was an incredibly easy decision.”
At the end of the day, the greatest pain in life is the pain of regret.
It’s always better to try and fail, than fail to try.
10. Reduce excuses, increase execution
It takes about the same effort to find reasons to not do something, as it is to find reasons to do something.
If you try hard enough, you will find sufficient reasons not to do something. (I’m too young, too old, don’t have the right skills, not the right timing, others might laugh at me, it’s too risky, etc)
On the flipside, if you try hard enough, you will find sufficient reasons to do something. (Success is my duty and service to others, the world needs to hear my story, if not me then who, if not now then when, it’s now or never, etc)
People who happen to make it are those who make it happen.
Nothing happens unless and until you step out and get shit done.
11. Act before you’re ready
Or at least, execute before you think or feel you’re ready.
There will always be a (small) part of you that feels insecure, threatened or inadequate.
If you wait for the stars to align or to get your ducks in a row, you might end up waiting for a long time.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Make the moment perfect.
Chat with your boss about management opportunities even if you’re an entry-level staff member.
Chat with your clients about regional expansion even if business is just settling locally.
Find ways to step on stage even if your song, speech or dance isn’t perfect.
Creativity and competence follows commitment. Make the decision and then find a way to make it happen.
12. Stay in your lane
Don’t stress about keeping up with the Joneses. The Joneses don’t even pay your bills and some don’t even care or think about you.
Don’t worry about them.
Focus on owning your space, dominating your industry, adding value to your sphere of influence and making a dent in the universe.
Don’t stress about people who are skeptical about what you do. Focus on those who can’t wait to see your magic and those who need to hear your story.
13. Invest in yourself
Most people are obsessed about upgrading their mobile phones. But do they upgrade themselves?
Most people are obsessed about planning that one-month trip to Europe. But do they plan for their own lives?
You are your greatest asset and investment.
Invest in yourself so that you can be of greatest service and impact to the world around you and that you are able to see the beauty of your potential unleashed.
What use is it to have Ferrari locked up in the garage?
What use is it to have a lion locked up in the cage?
What use is it to have your potential tucked away and never tapped?
14. Invest in others and learn from others
Take care of yourself, but don’t forget to look beyond yourself.
At the end of the day, life is all about relationships.
Successful people are successful because they have sought to succeed in their relationships and in the way they deal with and work with people.
Invest in others. Use your skills, experience and expertise to help those who are a few steps behind you. Encourage. Teach. Coach. Mentor. Inspire. Be the role model you wish you had.
Learn from others. Seek the insights, wisdom and maturity of those who have gone ahead of you. When you spend time with leaders and experts in your field, you will have your eyes opened, imagination ignited and perspective stretched.
15. Always add value
Most people think about what’s in it for them. Successful people think about how they can serve and add more value to those around them.
Average job seekers think about what the job can offer to them (work-life balance, benefits, dental care, career progression, parking space, etc), but outstanding job seekers focus more on what they can bring to the table (experience, expertise, skills, industry knowledge, leads, contacts, etc).
When you strive to always add value, you will be invaluable and you will have more leverage in various conversations and transactions.
To do this, go from being a consumer to a producer.
Don’t just read a book. Write one.
Don’t just read the news. Write the news – pitch stories and articles to journalists.
Don’t just watch a video. Make one.
Don’t just listen to a speech. Do one.
16. Talk to strangers
Most of us grow up being told not to talk to strangers because they could hurt or harm us.
But being able to talk to strangers will open a whole new world for your life, career, relationships, health, spirituality, etc.
Learn how to do small talk and to break the ice with strangers, and then learn how to carry out a meaningful conversation with them.
The same skills you develop when talking to strangers is the same skills you need to use/have during a job interview or a corporate networking event. And there are strangers in those rooms who will be able to pay your mortgage and salary.
Strangers have what you are looking for – a job, a project, a lead, an opportunity, a skill. If not, they know someone else who does.
17. Ignore (most of) what others think
Many people love giving unsolicited advice. And some even give advice which they have no weight or credentials in.
Be careful of where you get your advice from. And take the advice with a pinch of salt.
People might give advice out of safety and good intentions. But ultimately, those who change the world would have disregarded the play-it-safe suggestions at many points.
When you are starting your own business, some might say that it’s too risky or that you’re working too hard. Don’t put too much weight on the advice from those who have never even run their own businesses and from those who are merely clocking the 9-to-5 each day.
Similar to #12, stay in your lane, focus on what’s in front of you. You have bigger and better things to work on.
18. UP your game. Speak up. Show up. Dress up. Step up.
Lastly, if you want to up your game, you’ve got to keep putting yourself out there and stepping out of your comfort zone.
For your work, be the first to speak up, to take initiative and to bring solutions to the table.
For your relationships, be the first to reach out, to encourage, to listen and to offer constructive feedback.
For your health, be the first to get up before the sun to start your workout.
For your personal development, make it a point to invest actively in yourself. Pick up the book, the podcast, and head to that conference. And put what you’ve learnt into practice.
That’s it from me, for now.
Now it’s your turn to make a bang, make things happen and make a dent in the universe!