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T

he act of creation starts with defining something that does not yet

exist. There's no way a vague or ill-defined dream can ever become a reality. It needs real-world specifications before you can create it. Until you identify at least some of the details of your vision, you can't even get started. As long as you're the author, why not make the details as colorful, glorious, lavish and highly compelling as possible. Once you paint a vivid picture of your vision, it's easier to see how to achieve it.

eople are automatically more productive when they feel that their

efforts are acknowledged and sincerely appreciated. Praise is a small investment that pays huge dividends. Master this factor and your whole world will change. Let others know that you appreciate their efforts. Demonstrate an attitude of gratitude in private and in public. Give credit when something goes right, and don't forget to reward the victories large and small.

t's easier to be energetic when you're cheerful than when you're

gloomy. An entertaining, playful and humorous atmosphere always generates positive energy. Give yourself something to look forward to by incorporating fun activities into your schedule. Take pleasure in completing even the smallest tasks. Dreaded tasks become easier when you approach them with a lighter attitude.

othing is more powerful than a team of people all focused on the

same goal. Dare to share your dreams with others. A shared goal is an extremely powerful forceand a shared cause virtually guarantees success. When your goal benefits a host of other people, motivation and commitment to the goal increases proportionately. When you align your goals with those of others, you dramatically improve the probability of each person's success.

f you're not inspiredevery single dayyou need new goals. The

higher the goal, the more it will excite and motivate you. Plan big. Why set mediocre, minimally acceptable goals when you could set ones that will change your life? Or the world?! Life's greatest satisfaction comes from attaining goals that you once believed were beyond reach. If most of your goals are forgotten before they're achieved, you clearly need to create more exciting, more stimulating, more intoxicating, more adventurous, more ambitious and more heart-felt goals.

goal without a plan is merely a wish without a hope. There is no

way you can accomplish something if you don't know how to proceed. Written plans are the essential instructions for how to reach a goal. A plan is simply a detailed map outlining the steps to accomplish your goal as quickly and easily as possible. At a minimum, it

includes a complete list of objectives and resource requirementsall organized in correct chronological order.

he food you eat can either fuel you all day long, or fool you with a

quick power surge. You need energy for the entire daynot just the next few hours. Does what you eat or drink keep you going strong, or do you have a big slump afterwards? Get off the energy roller coaster by keeping your energy level steady. Find out which foods give you the strongest burn for the longest time, and change your diet accordingly.

ike a top spinning out of control, a life without balance will sooner or

later crash. A healthy balance means that all of the areas of your lifeyour family, friends, career, health, personal timereceive the attention they deserve, when they need it. You can't ignore a role and, at the same time, feel that it's being fulfilled. On the other hand, the success you achieve in any one role can increase the enthusiasm and enjoyment for the time spent in all the others.

ife is easier when you approach it as if you're on the same team.

Whatever the circumstance, whether you're at a dinner party or giving a sales presentation, find a way to see yourself and everyone else as a team. Look for similarities instead of

differences. Find out what each person's goal is for each situation. Then discover ways you can be of mutual benefit to each other. Always encourage cooperation. Find a common purpose and reinforce the positive value each person has to offer.

ime spent with others can either be highly productive or barely

productivedepending on how you use your time together. Be honest. In any given day, who wastes whose time the most? Create systems for others to respect your time and you, theirs. When possible, take requests and questions from others in batches and do the same for them. Show your respect for other people's time during phone calls, appointments and meetings. Be prepared and punctual. Value other people's time and they will value yours.

reate a unique place for everything, and you'll always know where

to find it. It takes less time to put something away than it does to look for it. Create a file a folder, a database, a labeled shoe box, a filing cabinet, a separate drawer, a duffel bag, a tool boxfor every person, project, role or client. This will give you one convenient place to locate all relevant materials or information as you need it. Keep it simple. Keep it separate. Keep it up.

prioritized list of things to do today is your best guide for where

you should invest your time. Some of your projects have more value than others. You don't always have time to complete everything on your to-do list. Therefore, before you start your day, rank your entire list by the relative reward of each task. If there are any tasks still remaining at the end of the day, they should be the least important onesnot the most important.

here's a direct connection between your physiology, your energy

level and success. Whenever your body movements become lethargic, or your posture begins to slump, you automatically slow downboth mentally and physically. Assume a powerful, selfassured position and you'll instantly feel more energetic. Move about quickly, and your enthusiasm naturally increases. Take deep breaths to get oxygen to your system and life to your spirits. Stand tall, and gain the confidence to proceed.

very goalregardless of how complex or difficultis nothing more

than a series of steps that must be completed along a path, from one objective to another. A written plan includes all of the critical objectives that must be met to be successful. It also provides the step-by-step instructions for the actions that must be taken, and the resources that must be available, to reach each objective. With a clear set of instructions, you can go

anywhere and achieve anything you wantone "do-able" step at a time.

t's your responsibility to make it as easyand as fun as possiblefor

others to help you. When you do, more people will show up, and once they arrive, will provide greater assistance than if you make it difficult. First, be clear what needs to be done. Articulate your requests with the greatest detail possible. Then, identify and eliminate any barriers that may prevent others from doing their level best to help you.

here are few things in this world as empowering as completing an

unpleasant task. When confronted with a distressing problem or task, complete it immediately instead of wasting time avoiding it. This relieves your concerns, frees up your attention and allows you to move on to more productive activities. If you know something must be done eventually, get started immediately. Do it right and get it off your back for good.

hen you are working toward an ideal that comes from the heart,

you are naturally motivated and driven to do your best. A thoughtfully created, highly desirable personal mission is guaranteed to make you highly focused, powerful and productive. Act from your deepest values, and they will provide you with direction and satisfaction. Connect and recommit to your mission everyday. If you don't, you're trading the only life you have for things that simply don't matter.

veryone's body chemistry is different. You may react differently to

some foods than other people do. How do you know if what you're eating is right for you? Simply test different diets and find out for yourself! Keep a log of everything you eat and drink, then see how you feel afterwards. By recording your reactions, you'll be able to see the relationship between what you eat and how you perform. Once this step is taken, you can make permanent changes in your diet to optimize your personal energy level.

n the trials and chaos of modern life, you need a set of standards to

help guide you through the good times and the bad. The highest and most beneficial set of rules is the one you establish for the preferred way that you want to live. Once you have a list of your most important values, commit to a personal mission statement that declares how you will live what you value. The most basic mission statement is simply this: "I will live a life of... (insert your list of values here)... every day of my life."

t's easier to make progress in whole steps than half steps. Always

complete some part a task or project before moving on. This helps you establish at least some measurement of progress. Every completion, regardless of size, rewards you with a sense of accomplishmentand frees you to proceed to the next task. It also provides you with a clean starting point when you come back. Each stage completed becomes a positive whole stepmoving you faster in the right direction.

orking for long periods without a break is counter-productive.

Pace yourself. Take a five-minute break every hour: stand up, run in place, lift weights or stretch. Take ten deep breaths. Eat a nutritious snack. Drink a large glass of water. Take a short walk. Switch from a mental task to a physical one or vice versa. Then, go back to work energized and recharged.

vision is a picture of the perfect future you want to create. The

more compelling and desirable the vision, the greater will be your enthusiasm and motivation for achieving it. Visions connected to core personal values generate the greatest source of power, passion and purpose. Go after all that life has to offer by creating the most valuable, ideal, desirable and admirable vision possible for each area of your life.

goal is something beyond where you are. If you want to get from

here to your goal, you must take the steps required to get there. Goals don't just automatically "happen." Obvious? You bet! But if this is obvious, why do so many people set goals then never achieve them? Goals don't happen on their own. If you want the goal, you have to do the work. This means taking the steps necessary to get there, day-byday.

our most powerful and inspiring goals are those that are directly

aligned with what you

value most. Goals that are aligned with your life's mission are those that bring an ideal personal vision closer to reality. Mission based goals will deliver the greatest sense of pride and satisfaction once accomplished. You can only do so much in the time you have. Therefore, as you establish your goals, put them to the test: How connected are they to what you value most? If they're notchange them or choose more "value-able" goals.

our motivation to take action increases automatically when you

imagine how great it will be when you succeed. The bigger, brighter, more immediate and more personal you can imagine the payoff, the greater your desire to pursue your goals. When you picture failure, you lose motivation to proceed. You focus on avoiding mistakes, rather than striving to do your best. This leads to a reduction in effortand an increase in desireto avoid a negative outcome.

ou don't have to double your speed to double your productivity.

Instead, you can increase your results by combining complimentary tasks, projects or roles. Plan ahead and look for ways to maximize your time. Before you proceed, see if there is anything else you could be doing simultaneously. When you find a way to do two things in the same block of time you achieve twice the resultswith little additional effort.

ou will never magically have more time for what you want. If you

want to spend more time on what's most important to you, you have to make the time. You must learn to

carve out "prime" time from all the other demands in your life. It really comes down to this, "How much do you want it?" When you focus your time on what's most rewarding to you, your life will be more fulfilling.

our internal identity controls all of your actions and reactions. If you

think of yourself as capable, enthusiastic and committed, you will act with confidence and determination. If you don't, you won't. There's no truth about who you are. There is no preordained way you must think of yourself. You are not born with beliefs; you acquire them. You have the power to redefine your identity anyway you want. So, substitute positive characteristics for negative ones, and start living those from now on.

our speech is a direct link to your emotions. Change one and you'll

change the other. Your internal "self-talk" directly affects your expectations, and your expectations govern the way you act. You cannot speak in a negative mannerand productively focus on what needs to get done at the same time. If you want to think and feel more powerfully, then learn to speak in a way that reflects positive and powerful feelings.

ou can't work on all of your goals at the same time. However, you

can remain

accountable to all of them by reviewing each oneat least once a week. Compare how important and time-sensitive each goal is to the others. Then make a deliberate choice for what you will work on, and what must wait until later. By proactively selecting your most important objectives, you establish priorities for the week and a clear purpose for your next seven days.

ou will always produce better results, personally and professionally,

when you break large tasks into a sequence of immediately "do-able" actions. When seen in their entirety, complex projects appear too overwhelming. However, even the most complex task is only a sequence of smaller, "do-able" steps that can be taken one at a time. Isolate the individual steps, and begin them right away.