Tuesday, May 5, 2015

19: Employ Daily Affirmations & Success Tips

Understand the Power of Daily Affirmations and Success Tips
Our lives are an outer manifestation of our inner thoughts and beliefs. Our whole lives can be transformed if we choose to think positive thoughts and commit to being better persons. Positive affirmations are simple positive statements that you can choose to repeat to yourself.
An increased body of scientific evidence supports the proposition that you can “say it until you become it.” In other words, if you define who you want to be, and repeat that vision repeatedly, you are much more likely to transform yourself into that person.
Stated differently, daily affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation, which are often repeated, until they get impressed on your mind. As you repeat these statements, you come to believe them. This in turn pushes you to take action and to strive to make the positive statements come true.
Daily affirmations train your brain to think positively; they are uplifting truths you want to believe and heartwarming convictions about yourself or the world as a whole. They are one of the most effective ways to proactively and permanently change the way you think.
There are many “daily affirmation” videos on YouTube which you can explore, and then introduce to your students. Students can also be encourage to make their own daily affirmations – by posting in their dorm rooms or place of study, or even by making their own videos
Similar to daily affirmations are “success tips.” These phrases serve as reminders to you. These phrases are typically advice from those who have already achieved success.
Exercise #1:
Watch this short TED Talks video, “Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success” http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success.html (3:33).
Write down any “success tips” you discern from the video, which you may find useful in your life, in your journal.
Exercise #2:
Over the next three days, review the following daily affirmations and success tips – and the text or videos which accompanies them.
Choose the most powerful daily affirmations and success tips (either in text form, or video), and write them down in your journal. You are not confined to the list below. You may also choose success tips or daily affirmations which you have previously discovered and use in your life.
Place the chosen success tips on a sheet of paper, and post the paper in your room where you are certain to see them each morning. Review the success tips each morning for the next seven days. After seven days, write in your journal as to the impact of these success tips upon you. Consider continuing the use of success tips and daily affirmations in subsequent weeks.
Daily Affirmations for Your Consideration
·         I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.
·         I am a successful student.
·         I will allow myself enough sleep each night to fully rest, so that I may learn without drowsiness the next day.
·         Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.
·         My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
·         I will exercise my body each day, in ways that I enjoy.
·         I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.
·         I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.
·         I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
·         A river of compassion washes away my anger and replaces it with love.
·         I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
·         Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.
·         Happiness is my choice. I base my happiness on my own accomplishments and the blessings I've been given.
·         My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.
·         Everything I encounter is a lesson and teaches me something.
·         Today and every day, my thirst for learning is alive and well in me!
·         I can learn anything.
·         My study habits improve daily.
·         I choose to take charge of my education, for I know that the more I learn, the more I will achieve.
·         A great student lives within me; today that student shows up by preparing for each class and actively participating in class.
·         I will master the material in my classes, and I will over time become an expert.
·         Today I invest in myself, through learning and scholarship, so that tomorrow I can make a difference.
·         I enjoy studying and learning.
·         I respect my professors and fellow students by arriving on time for classes.
·         I choose to grow each day and become an even better person.
·         I deserve to be employed and paid well for my time, efforts, and ideas.
·         Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me.
·         I am courageous and I stand up for myself.
·         Sometimes I will leap before I look and take chances.
·         I choose to rush toward my fears, for life is better on the other side.
·         My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity.
·         Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.
·         Many people look up to me and recognize my worth; I am admired.
·         I am blessed with an incredible family and wonderful friends.
·         I acknowledge my own self-worth; my confidence is soaring.
·         Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.
·         I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.
·         My future is an ideal projection of what I envision now.
·         My efforts are being supported by the universe; my dreams manifest into reality before my eyes.
·         The perfect partner for me is coming into my life sooner than I expect.
·         I radiate beauty, charm, and grace.
·         I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.
·         My obstacles are moving out of my way; my path is carved towards greatness.
·         I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind.
·         My fears of tomorrow are simply melting away.
·         I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.
·         My life is just beginning.
·         I chose to never, ever, give up!

Success Tips for Your Consideration
·         “I am a scholar, motivated to succeed. I am part of a diverse, caring community of scholars.”
Repeating this phrase will assist you realize that scholarship is a part of your life. Create the image you should be, and you will more likely achieve that image.
·         “Self-Control and Grit are the Most Important Determinants of Success”
A TedX talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, “Grit – The Key to Success,” illuminates the importance of grit (i.e., perseverance and determination) in this 6-minute video: http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit.html
·         “9 hours 15 minutes”
What Can Sleep Do for You in College? With adequate sleep, you will feel energized and focused. Your grades will improve. You will be more vibrant and alive. You'll smile more. More people will say about you, "Wow, I'd really like to get to know that person." You'll even secure more dates!
The Dire Consequences of Insufficient Sleep. Sleep is an important key to health, wellness, cell growth, memory formation, mental agility, physical performance, and peace of mind. You name it and sleep can improve it. Insufficient sleep can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for themselves and others around them. For example, an estimated 20% of vehicle crashes are linked to drowsy driving.
Short sleep duration is associated with various adverse health effects (e.g., cardiovascular disease or obesity), decreased workplace and public safety, and impaired job performance. Being drowsy during a job interview will usually result in a short interview. And, of course, appearing drowsy during a conference with a prospective client, or at a networking event, can easily convey the wrong impression concerning you and your abilities.
How Much Sleep Does a College Student Need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults sleep 7–9 hours per day. For college students the recommended amount of sleep is 9 hours 15 minutes for the average college student, to be fully engaged in all of your classes, and for maximum learning.  (Most college students possess overconfidence in their abilities, and hence substantially underestimate how much sleep they require.)
Yet, 30% of civilian employed U.S. adults (approximately 40.6 million workers) reported an average sleep duration of less than or equal to only 6 hours per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Sleep Advice from Fellow Students.  Here is some advice from college students about getting enough sleep:
·         “While it may sound self-explanatory, in our freshman year it took some of us some time to realize that he or she needed to get a good night’s sleep. Once one’s sleep each night increased, so did one’s GPA.”
·         “Regardless of how much you might personally need, you will have a hard time concentrating in class – and learning – if you are drowsy. Also, your ability to retain facts in memory is greatly enhanced when you get enough sleep.”
·         “If you get plenty of rest, you will have more energy to make it to every class on time, and to do all of the readings and assignments.”
To manage all your time better, get more sleep. More sleep will also lead to you being nicer, more attractive, and generally more awesome. And yes, more sleep can even lead to greater socialization. Better grades is then just an added bonus!
Additional Resource: Dr. James Maas, The Power of Sleep. To learn more, consider watching this 28-minute video, “Dr. James Maas at The UP Experience 2010”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxEJTNEtIKY.  
·          “Ooze Confidence” (And if you are not confident … fake it!)
“Fake it till you make it” is not about faking happiness until you trick yourself into being happy. It’s not about acting like you’re too cool for school until other people also believe you are, and then basing your life around a made-up personality. It’s about confidence. It’s about meeting situations that you feel intimidated by head-on, telling yourself that you’re ready for them, and putting “I-can-DO-this” intentions out there, until you’ve done such a good job convincing yourself that you suddenly can handle the challenge before you.
Appear confident, in everything you do. And if you are not – fake it!  (By appearing to act confident, those around you don’t know of your insecurities – and it actually trains your mind to think confidently!)
Some YouTube videos which explore the concept of “self-confidence” further:
“How to Build Your Self-Confidence” – Daily Idea - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLAogkva-Ok (3:12) (Walk 25% faster. Stand up straight.  Complement others.  Speak up at least once in each group discussion.  Make time to work out.)
“The Big Bang Theory – Confident Leonard” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjrEdiodxuE (0:52) (humor)
“Inspirational Video on Increasing Your Confidence” – Believe in yourself (from Britain’s Got Talent) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Gs02ZmUmE (3:02)

·         “Don’t Lie Down with Dogs – You’ll Get Up with Fleas”
If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas, or in Latin, qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent.
"He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas" has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack. The quote has a large almost universally agreed meaning of "You should be cautious of the company you keep. Associating with those of low reputation may not only lower your own but also lead you astray by the faulty assumptions, premises and data of the unscrupulous."
Studies indicate that your income is destined to become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. But it gets worse. Your weight is destined to become the average of the five people you’re around most. Your habits (smoking, drinking, etc.) will correlate with those folks. Your level of marital satisfaction, of outside friendship, of ability to play the 1990s video game Street Fighter? All are tied to some degree to those of your peers.
View Greg Reid’s YouTube Video, “How to Create Success by Association”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwkdEI7Dbyg (2:23).
Also view this video from the College Success Series by Pedro De Abreu: “Who do you hang out with” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJg22LtLcVo (7:30).
Remember - love your family and friends – but choose your peer group.
·         “If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden
These are key words of wisdom from one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time.
It takes “self-control” – making a sacrifice today in order to obtain a greater reward later. This is aptly explained by behavioral psychologist Dan Ariely in a TedX talk, “Dan Ariely at TEDxDuke”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPQhj6ktYSo&feature=g-list&list=PLWISm-2xRzgkKn4kRcpLopDT_i7JRmnKG (17:48)
·         “Success is not given to you.  It is earned.” 
Realize the Empirical Value of a College EducationThe Great Recession of 2008-2009, from which the United States economy is still recovering, revealed some stark truths regarding the value of a college education. Not only do college graduates earn a great deal more over the course of their lifetimes, but also their rate of unemployment is far below that of those who do not possess college educations. In short, there are jobs out there – for educated and skilled workers.
·         “Just Do It.  Do It. Do It. Do It … DO IT NOW!”
Say the foregoing statement out loud to yourself whenever you are tempted to procrastinate. Even when others are around you. (They may ask you what you are doing, and then they’ll be inwardly jealous of you.) This statement – if you actually state it out loud – works to assist you in getting started on a project.
Procrastinators don't have good problem solving skills and struggle more with homework than those that did it consistently early.  Here are some videos on avoiding procrastination and using available time more effectively. 
Establish your work space to avoid distractions.  “Stop Procrastinating” by Charlie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjIsdbBsE8g (4:17)
Starting a project is the biggest barrier to productivity.  Use periods of focused, intense work, followed by breaks (90 minutes followed by 15-minute break). See “The Science of Productivity” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHfjvYzr-3g (3:15). 
Also view “The Science of Procrastination – & How to Manage It” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nBwfZZvjKo (2:49).
·         “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful.”
A great video on this, “How Bad Do You Want It? (Success)” is found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsSC2vx7zFQ (6:00), featuring Eric Thomas (inspirational speaker) and former East Carolina running back Giavanni Ruffin.
Eric Thomas also communicates this lesson in a classroom setting, in this “How Bad Do You Want Success” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRfoFGGyRvU (5:30)
Some students watch this video every day - as a daily affirmation.
·         “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” – Dr. Seuss
Adam LoDolce, “The Dating Confidence Coach,” once gave a presentation on our college campus. He related the story of how he learned to venture outside of his own comfort zone. He had sought out the advice of a colleague, and they were having lunch at a crowded restaurant. When Adam inquired of his colleague as to how to be more outgoing, his colleague stood up on his chair in the restaurant and shouted out, “I love all of you very much.”
Some in the restaurant smiled. Some even applauded. After his colleague sat down, the colleague said: “See that table over there, where the family is looking at me disapprovingly? That’s o.k. Not everyone will accept me for whom I am. From now on, they are no longer a part of my universe.”
Don’t be afraid of what others think of you. There are plenty of people who will accept you for who you are. If you encounter rejection (and realize that you will – and everyone does), just note that that person, or those people, are no longer a part of your own universe. And move on.
·         “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.” - Steve Jobs
Watch this short video, “Steve Jobs passion at work,” at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PznJqxon4zE (1:31)
If you are uncertain of your career path, narrow down your choice of careers by discovering what personality traits you possess, and learn how you can translate your various aptitudes into possible career paths. And, as also discussed in another chapter, seek out a career for which you possess a passion.
·         “Never give up.” Some inspirational videos: 
“Never Give Up in Life – A Truly Inspirational Video” Nicholas James Vujicic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13N6gAlhAqg (5:18)
Never Give up: Inspirational video” (zebra battles lion): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx796zSg5gs (2:46)
Jimmy Valvano: “Jimmy’s 1993 ESPY Speech”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E (11:14)
“Derek Redmond's Incredible Olympic Story - Injury Mid-Race”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2G8KVzTwfw (2:35)
·         “You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can't have it.” – Robert Anthony 
Do you believe that you can’t get an “A”? You’re right.
Do you believe that you can’t succeed in college? You’re right.
Do you believe you are a loser? You’re right.
Do you believe you’re a winner? You’re right.
Do you believe you can boost your GPA?  You’re right.
Do you believe you will have a successful career?  You’re right.
Tell your mind what you want it to think. Internalize those thoughts into beliefs. And your mind will begin to find ways to prove you right.  You can achieve everything in your wildest dreams. But you won’t if you believe you can’t. Your mind will work to keep you stuck right where you are.
It’s your choice.   Choose enthusiasm, energy, and elation.  Choose to win.  Choose BIG success!
Here’s more inspirational videos:
“Susan Boyle First Audition - Britain’s Got Talent”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OcQ9A-5noM (7:03)
“The most motivating 8 min of your life!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYKsbld6LII (8:11)
·         “Don't ever promise more than you can deliver, but always deliver more than you promise.” – Lou Holtz
Establish the expectations of your supervisor, your peers, your clients and customers.  And then exceed them.
If you know you won’t meet the expectation of another – contact them, and re-establish a new expectation. The very worst thing you can do is have a deadline pass, without reaching out.
·         “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce.  If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” – Zig Ziglar
 Why is it when we need friends the most, we can't find them? Zig Ziglar's quote addresses that "what can you do for someone else" approach that will help you make friends simply by thinking of other people first. If you're desperate to have friends, you will behave in a way that is different than if you're out to be friendly and helpful. One way to achieve this attitude Ziglar speaks of is by volunteering. Doing something for others can help you meet people while you give of yourself. Showing this side of yourself will make you much more attractive to new friends. And, as so many of us who have done so know – what you give to others, you get back ten-fold.
·         “Rush toward your fear.  Life is great on the other side.”
When you are afraid or fearful of something – whether it be introducing yourself to a stranger, public speaking, performing, etc. – rush toward this fear and get it done.  It’s great on the other side.  
Tips from Professional Coaches. Perhaps the largest challenge is not in finding success tips, but rather applying them to your own life, business, or professional practice.  For this reason, many successful entrepreneurs use coaches, a couple of whom are listed below.
Other people have learned to write down the success tips they come across, and then condense them into not more than a single piece of paper (front and back).  Whether placed in a smart phone, or in a purse of wallet, this listing of success tips is consulted often.  As a better success tip is uncovered, the listing is changed – but always kept to two pages (never more).  Even then, implementation of only one or two strategies should be undertaken.  Again, focus is important.
·         Enhance Your Communication Skills.
“You Build Trust by Listening to the Client's Story, not by Telling Yours.” - –Bill Bachrach, author and coach to financial advisors.  Visit http://www.baivbfp.com/
·         “Make Today Count”
“Good decisions today will give you a better tomorrow … Keep a positive attitude throughout the day. Happiness is a matter of perspective - it is something you decide ahead of time. Influence others with your attitude. Say something positive in every conversation ... Sincerely compliment, praise, acknowledge, bolster, raise up, and reward people whenever possible. Express gratitude daily.” – John Maxwell, author of Make Today Count: The Secret of Your Success Is Determined by Your Daily Agenda, and many other books
·         The Seven C's of Success - by Brian Tracy
“After having studied top achievers and peak performers over the past 25 years, I've concluded that these unique men and women, have in most cases, mastered what I call the Seven C's of Success.
o    Clarity - Eighty percent of success comes from being clear on who you are, what you believe in and what you want.
o    Competence - You can't climb to the next rung on the ladder until you are excellent at what you do now.
o    Constraints - Eighty percent of all obstacles to success come from within. Find out what is constraining in you or your company and deal with it.
o    Concentration - The ability to focus on one thing single-mindedly and see it through until it's done takes more character than anything else.
o    Creativity - Flood your life with ideas from many sources. Creativity needs to be exercised like a muscle, if you don't use it you'll lose it.
o    Courage - Most in demand and least in supply, courage is the willingness to do the things you know are right.
o    Continuous learning - Read, at the very least, one book a week on business to keep you miles ahead of the competition. And just as you eat and bathe, organize your time so you spend 30 minutes a day exploring e-mail, sending messages, going through web sites, because like exercise, it's the only way you can keep on top of technology. If you get away from it, you'll lose your edge.”
The foregoing is from Brian Tracy, http://www.appleseeds.org/Tracy_7-Cs-Success.htm
Concepts from “The Strategic Coach”:
Define Your Unique Ability. The essence of what you love to do and do best, in all areas of your life.  Delegate “competent” activities – those for which I am merely competent, and “incompetent activities” – those that are stressful due to lack of required skill. “Is this something I should be doing, or can it be done better by someone else?”
Unique Ability Activities – The activities for which you have superior skill, passion, energy, and endless opportunity for improvement.
Excellent Activities – The activities for which you have superior skill, a great reputation, and sense of teamwork, but no passion.
Competent Activities – The activities for which you are merely adequate, only reaching minimum standards.
Incompetent Activities - The activities where you experience failure and stress because you don’t have the required skill.
Referability Habits. Show up on time. Do what you say. Finish what you start. Say please and thank you.
The R-Factor Question: “If we were sitting here three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?”
The 10x Goal: Last year’s revenue, multiplied by 10. Obtain a dramatically expanded vision of the company’s future. Consider the crucial delegations I must make to achieve this 10x growth. How have I leveraged myself, and my team? Approach it as a game. Brainstorm with team members key changes that will lead to breakthrough growth – communicate the largest check goal to the team; strategize together how to achieve these goals.
Learn more from Dan Sullivan, by visiting www.Strategiccoach.com.

Dr. Ron A. Rhoades is an Asst. Professor of Finance at Western Kentucky University's Gordon Ford College of Business, where he chairs the (B.S. Finance) Financial Planning Program. An innovative, passionate teacher, he is the author of Choose to Succeed in College and in Life: Continously Improve, Persevere, and Enjoy the Journey (2014)from which many of these blog posts are derived.

Dr. Rhoades also serves as a consultant to the Garrett Planning Network, a nationwide network of independent, Fee-Only financial planners making competent, objective financial advice accessible to all people. He is the author of several books, dozens of articles, and he is a frequent speaker at financial planning and investments conferences. He is the recipient of many awards for his advocacy on behalf of the fiduciary standard. Dr. Rhoades is also a member of The Florida Bar, and he practices estate planning and transfer taxation for select current clients.

Dr. Rhoades and his wife, Cathy, reside in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

To contact Dr. Rhoades, please e-mail: WKUBear@gmail.com

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