How to avoid being constrained by perception


How many potentially stellar careers have been crushed before they even began by discouraging words from those we think must be right because they know us so well? People like mum, dad or a teacher?

Consider this scenario; a child says to mum and dad, “When I grow up I want to be a footballer.”

Mum and dad respond by saying, “You’ll never succeed at football son, you’re not good enough. You’d be better thinking about a different career.”

Now what would be the impact of such an exchange on a child? Just think about it for a second.

Mum and dad will have meant well, almost certainly. They’d think they were giving their child an honest response based on their perception of the child’s ability.

No doubt they were thinking that getting to the top in professional sport is tough and few actually make it. And perhaps they perceive the child as being a bit less than sporty and feel he’d be better off pursuing a different line of work. Their thinking would be to save the child from disappointment in the future.

Regardless of any good intentions on mum and dad’s part however, how would the child be affected here? Firstly what he will actually have heard was, “You’re not good enough” regardless of any sugar-coating mum and dad may have applied to their words.

Such negativity oft repeated is extremely damaging to a child. A child’s dreams are easily crushed.

Gradually they are conditioned to believe they have little to offer the world and they will go through life acting accordingly, with little in the way of dreams or ambition.

The limits of perception:

The person others perceive us to be can be hard to escape. Perception is everything.

Our progress in life, as well as in our careers, can be constrained by the perception others have of us.

We have many sides to our personality and the capacity and talent to do many things. And yet few people, if any, see the full extent of what we have to offer.

So people put us in imaginary pigeon holes of where they believe our place in life should be.

People struggle to see beyond the limits of what they perceive us to be.

And sadly, all too often our own actions serve only to reinforce this limited view.

You have no limits, only untapped potential:

How we’re perceived to be is rarely an accurate reflection of what we have to offer. Most people are in fact a bottomless reservoir of untapped potential.

Most things can be achieved if you want them badly enough and you’re prepared to work hard enough to get them.

And it doesn’t matter whether other people believe you can achieve it, as long as you believe you can achieve it.

Believe you can and you will. The converse of that is true too. So be positive and avoid the siren voices of negativity.

Know what you want:

It really is important to know what you want.

However, how can we know what we really want? This is particularly true when we’re young and have little experience of life to use as a basis for judgement.

Well if you’re not sure about what you want, just keep looking. Move around regularly if you have to, trying different experiences until you find something that really ‘floats your boat’.

Showcase your ability and talents as much as you can too. That way, people may approach you with potential experiences you hadn’t even considered.

Focus on your goal:

Once you know what you want, that becomes a goal on which to focus.

Decide what you need to do to achieve that goal and then pursue it with determination and as much hard work as is necessary.

Don’t forget lives need balance too:

Pursuing your goal is a worthy aim. However in doing so, make sure you have some balance in your life.

That means having a sense of purpose but also a pastime and someone special in your life too.

Achieving all three is what balance is all about.

Visibility matters:

Take every opportunity to show other people what you can do.

You must make sure that people have full visibility of everything you have to offer.

Never hide your light under a bushel. There’s nothing wrong with self-promotion.

If you don’t look after your own interests then no one else will.

Dream big and ignore negative people:

Life is what you make it. You’re not constrained by how others see you. The only limits are the artificial ones that act like invisible walls. However they can only be limits if you allow them to be.

And you don’t have to allow them to get in the way. Simply refuse to be constrained and pursue your dreams.

Don’t be afraid to dream big and ignore anyone who suggests you cannot achieve your ambition.

You can and you should. Making your mark and leaving a legacy is a worthy aim.

So go on; be the person you really could be.

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If wealth is your aim then this is the best way to get rich

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming. ~Richard Branson

How would you like to be seriously rich dear reader? Never having to worry about money again? Would that appeal to you? I’m sure it would.

I’m sure everyone dreams of being a millionaire, at least occasionally. However what is the best path to achieving riches?

Well one excellent way, without doubt, is to start a business. Some of the world’s richest people achieved wealth through starting a business. People like Jeff Bezos for instance, and Richard Branson of course.

Now you might question whether this is a good time to start a business. However it’s always a good time to start a business, if you approach it in the right way.

There will always be customers for goods and services, that’s the nature of human existence. Jobs may be in short supply but there will always be plenty of customers.

Essentially business is about providing people with solutions to their problems. A customer has a problem and business offers a product which provides a solution. It’s that simple.

People will always have problems for which they need help. And over time those problems tend to change. So there will always be a constant stream of business opportunities there for the fleet-footed entrepreneur.

If wealth is your aim, then there will always be opportunities to make serious amounts of money in business.

If you can see the world through the customer’s eyes and think about what customers may need to solve their problems then you can succeed in business.

If you can spot a problem for which currently there is no obvious solution then that’s a gap in the market and it’s the basis for a business opportunity.

However even when there is a solution available to a customer problem, if you can offer a better solution, or the same solution cheaper, then that too is a business opportunity.

Just think about customers and what they may need and how you can provide it for them.

If you can learn to look for customers, rather than jobs, and hunt down the skills and know-how to get and then serve those customers then you’ll always have work and you’ll have wealth too.

So what is the best way to get rich? Think customer; think business opportunity. Spot an opportunity; start a business; and get going on the road to wealth.

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Success and why you should never quit

It’s always too early to quit. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Achieving any form of success requires determination and a lot of hard work. Anything you want can be yours, if you want it badly enough, but nothing’s for free. The price you’ll pay is in blood, sweat and tears.

The road to success will also inevitably involve occasional setbacks. That’s the nature of the game we call success. And it is a game where the best players are the winners.

So you’ll need to be single-minded and you’ll need to push yourself very hard. It’s not easy and nor is it meant to be.

From time to time self-doubt will creep into your mind. You’ll start to imagine that maybe you’re not quite good enough. Siren voices in your head will start telling you that it’s all too difficult and that maybe it’s time to quit.

You may even start asking yourself, “Why am I putting myself through all the hard work when I could just spend my life cruising along and having fun?”

The problem is, no pain, no gain. And if you quit, you’ll spend your life wondering what might have been.

So just keep your eye on the prize. Nothing worth having was ever easy to achieve. However it can be done and people do.

You can do it too. All you need is a little self-belief and a genuine desire to make your mark on life.

Just ignore any setbacks; ignore any siren voices in your head; and refuse to give up until you get to where you want to be.

Remember this; quitters never win and winners never quit. Greatness lies within you. So go on, be a winner.

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Does being a success really matter?

Do your work with your whole heart and you will succeed; there’s so little competition. ~Elbert Hubbard

So many people are just trying to get through life with as little effort as possible.

Now that’s fair enough, if that’s what you want. Then again, do nothing and you’ll be nothing.

Again, maybe you don’t care. Maybe a stress-free life is much more important to you than being driven to achieve. And that’s a reasonable choice to make.

However we all have enormous potential. We can all make our mark and make a real contribution to life and the people who matter most to us.

If you want more out of life, then success really is there for the taking.

Yes, it requires a lot of hard work and you will need to hone your skills until you are one of the best at what you do. However others do it, so why not you?

Why shouldn’t you make a real difference?

If you can continually focus on your desired outcome then you can and will succeed.

Go the extra mile and you’ll reach a place worthy of the effort you’ve expended. And remember, there’s very little traffic on the extra mile.

There really is far less competition than you think. For most people the required effort is just far too much.

So go on, go for it. You’re as good as anyone and better than most. Believe you can and you will.

Being a success does matter because you have enormous potential and the world needs all the potential it can get. The world needs people like you to make a difference.

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Why you should lead a life worth living

Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it. ~Harold Kushner

So many young people crave fame and celebrity as a life goal in itself. They see it as a road to riches and a life of hedonistic pleasure.

However what they fail to see, it seems, is how pointless such an existence will become in reality.

Firstly having fame and celebrity comes with its own problems and it’s certainly no guarantee of happiness. Getting the public’s attention is relatively easy but keeping it is a much more difficult proposition.

Which leads naturally to the second point; to be a ‘celebrity’ simply because of any media attention you’ve gained and the notoriety on which it is based means that you trade largely on the ‘car crash’ which your life must gradually become. Your life must be constantly full of drama and each episode must be more dramatic than the last.

The media, whether it’s television, the press or social media, exist to make money not to promote celebrities. They just need drama and content that will attract viewers and readers, which is where so called celebrities can be useful to them.

Celebrity stories appeal to viewers, which is the reason for media interest. However it is the ‘car crash’ celebrity stories that really draw viewers in. So to grab regular media attention you must compete in the ‘my life is out of control’ stakes.

How pointless is that? What a waste of any natural talent you may have, if that’s as far as your ambition goes.

Surely it’s much better to make a difference in life and leave a legacy behind you? Then you’ll be remembered for the difference you made to the lives of others.

No one will remember you just because your name regularly appeared in down-market tabloids for all the wrong reasons.

If that’s all you achieve, in the end you’ll be regarded as just another loser.

So make sure you lead a life worth living and leave this world a better place for you having passed through it. Be remembered for the difference you made to the lives of others.

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Simple guide to improving quality of life

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”~Ralph Marston

Looking for a simple guide to improving the quality of your life?

Well let me tell you the first thing you must recognise is that to get out, you must put in. In life you’ll only get out just as much as you put in. As the old saying goes, you reap what you sow.

No one gets a free ride in this life. Anything you want can be yours but nothing’s for free. Effort underpins individual success. That is a fact.

Simple guide to improving quality of life:

To improve the quality of your life many things matter. In summary these include:-

  1. Your personal philosophy: Know what you want and appreciate that it comes at a cost. However believe you can get what you want if you’re willing to pay the price.
  2. Adopt a positive attitude: A bad attitude will never get you anywhere.
  3. Make success is your aim: You must want to be successful. It won’t happen by accident.
  4. Like yourself: High levels of self-esteem will have a positive impact on your life.
  5. Have high expectations of yourself: You’re as good as anyone and can achieve anything anyone else has achieved. So set the bar high for yourself.
  6. Don’t waste time: Time is a resource to be used wisely.
  7. Don’t waste money: Another resource to be used wisely.
  8. Educate yourself constantly: To earn more you must learn. Constantly work on improving your knowledge and skills will make you more valuable to the marketplace.
  9. Focus on adding value: The more value you add the greater your income will be.

Key message:

The main theme of today’s post is that what you do today will have an impact on the life you’ll experience tomorrow and in future years.

Learn something new; develop new skills; or gain some useful experiences today and you’ll have a basis to establish foundations on which you can then build a better life.

Your life really can be built on those foundations. Nothing is ever a waste of time.

The more you know and the greater the number of skills you have then the more useful you are to other people and the more demand there will be for your services.

Work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. The greater your skills the more value you can offer other people. And the value you can offer will dictate just how much you can earn. People of high value are high earners. That too is a fact.

Never, ever forget that there is a direct relationship between the value you can offer and the money other people will pay you for your services.

And whilst money isn’t everything, having a decent income means you can enjoy a decent life. Again, that is a fact.

So the choice is yours. Be positive, work hard at improving your skills and knowhow and you can enjoy a great lifestyle.

However if you make no effort at all, then the life you’ll experience will always be mediocre at best. That may seem unfair to some but that’s reality, like it or not.

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Why you must believe in yourself

I am the greatest; I said that even before I knew I was. ~Muhammad Ali

If you believe that you’re the greatest then you can be the greatest. Believe in you and you’re in with a chance. Don’t believe in you and you’ll have no chance at all.

Everything starts with self-belief.

If self-belief doesn’t come naturally to you then fake it. Fake it until you make it, as they say.

In the bathroom mirror every morning look yourself in the eye and say, “I am as good as anyone and I am better than most. I will go out there and I will show them all just how good I am.” And develop a positive mindset.

Develop the mindset of a winner.

Develop the mindset of someone who is determined to show everyone else that you’re the very best at what you do.

Say to yourself constantly, “I will not be second to anyone.”

And remember also; winners never quit and quitters never win. It has become a cliché of course but that doesn’t make the point any less valid.

Self-belief is always at the heart of personal success.

That doesn’t mean that successful people don’t experience self-doubt occasionally. They do. However they don’t let it overwhelm them. They rise above it.

Unless you believe in yourself you can never really achieve your full potential. So go on, be all you could be. The world needs every ounce of the potential you have at your disposal.

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Oprah Winfrey’s Top 10 Rules for Success

Do you want to be successful? Then you would do well to look for successful people and copy what they do. Use successful people as your role models. However the obvious question then is which successful person should you start with as your role model?

Well it probably doesn’t matter. However Oprah Winfrey could be a good start. She’s obviously very successful; she started with nothing; and she’s shown herself consistently to be one very smart lady.

Amongst other things, she’s a successful media proprietor, talk show host, an actress, a producer and a philanthropist.

She’s best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, of course, but she’s a woman from a tough background who has succeeded is an industry that is cut-throat, brutal and unforgiving.

And being black and female she would have had to overcome prejudice by the shed-load in order to get where she is now.

You have to respect someone like that and, if you’re sensible, you listen to them too.

Oprah Winfrey would be an ideal role model for anyone and here are her top 10 rules for success. Listen and learn.

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Top Business Tips for New Graduates

So you graduated this summer and your parents are justly very proud of you? If so, I’m sure you felt ten feet tall as you walked around in your cap and gown on graduation day. Well enjoy celebrating the moment because the honeymoon period doesn’t last long.

Once the celebrations are over, it’s time to put your university days behind you and turn your attention to the next phase of life. That phase which is otherwise known as the world of work.

Finding a job’s never easy, particularly finding a job that’s right for you. And finding the right job is essential if you are to be successful in your career.

If you enjoy your work you’ll do it well. And if you do it well people will notice. Get noticed and you’ll start to progress up the career ladder. So make sure you find something you genuinely enjoy doing.

Remember; life’s too short to spend your life doing something you hate.

In the embedded video below, Brian Tracy offers his top tips for finding the right job and then explains how you can excel in it.

Brian always offers great advice and this video is worth watching. It’s fairly short, so check it out now.

Top Business Tips for New Graduates:

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Wisdom from Self-Made Billionaires

If you want to be successful then it’s a good idea to take every opportunity to learn from successful people. Listen to how they got to where they are and see whether you can apply their techniques to help you get to where you want to go.

Tips on success from self-made people are particularly useful. If people started with little or nothing and became billionaires then these are very savvy people. They know what they’re doing and they have the results to prove their worth.

Personally, I will always listen to successful people because they might say something which will help me along the way.

Here is some wisdom from self-made billionaires that is well worth a few minutes of your time. These are words of wisdom from some of the most financially successful people on the planet.

So there’s lots of great advice and there are plenty of incredible tips for extreme success.

Wisdom from self-made billionaires:

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