What To Do If You Want To Underachieve

I read somewhere that the key to success is to “start with the end in mind”.  The argument was broadly that unless you know where you want to end up, how can you possibly get there?  After all, the organisers of a marathon can only plan the entire route by deciding first where they want it to end and then working backwards.  You can only hit a target if you know where it is.  You don’t get on a plane unless you know where it is going.  You get the drift.

Decide where you want to end up and then plan a route to get it.

I’m not sure where I stand on this.  Actually I do.  I don’t agree.

I’m not saying I don’t agree with planning.  Obviously planning is a good thing.  You can never guarantee to achieve anything in time unless you plan it.  But I’ve long thought that if you plan too much you can become too focused, miss opportunities and even limit your potential.  

And then I got an email which seemed to back me up. 

In this email, the writer told the true story of a conference for online marketers, in which the six successful speakers were invited declare how much they had earned online that year as inspiration for the masses.  Although they were all sole traders (it was the early days of the internet), and spent similar amounts of time online, it turned out that one person had earned more than the other five PUT TOGETHER.  When they compared notes, the ONLY thing that this super successful person seemed to have done differently from the others was NOT set a target for their online earnings.

The others had all set an earnings target at the outset and so had seemingly “capped” their online potential.

I think this is a recurring truth.  “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right”.  “Careful what you wish for, you might get it”. “You only find what you look for”.  They all say the same thing.  You get what you plan for. 

But you can’t plan everything because you don’t know what is possible. 

Imagine you are walking along an unfamiliar crescent (road).  You cannot see the whole road from the start because it curves out of sight.  You want to go to the end house.  You know it will be the highest number on the road.  You just don’t know what the highest numbered house will be.  As you walk along the road, you see the numbers getting increasingly higher.  And as you reach the middle part of the crescent you have a much better view of the whole road.  You might even be able to guess what the highest numbered house might be.  But you won’t know for sure until you get there. 

Sometimes you have to trust the next step will eventually get you to the right place, even if you don’t know exactly what the right place looks like when you start.  Having a map helps, but you can only take the photograph when you get there.

Planning is good.  But don’t let it limit where you get to.

3 Steps To A Positive Mental Attitude

Stress relief comes in many forms.  One of the most useful in my opinion, and perhaps hardest to achieve at least initially, is developing a positive mental attitude.  After all, in today’s hectic and high stress environment, it is often easier to lapse into negative thoughts than to remain positive and happy, even when you know it is just not helpful.

I doubt this is new to anyone who has been online for any length of time.  After all, developing and maintaining a positive mental attitude is the underlying principle for “The Secret”, the Secret behind the Secret, the Laws of Attraction and the Forgotten Laws.  It is necessary in order to attract positive things into your life and to enable you to live the life you want. 

However, negative thinking is addictive.  It makes you feel better when you are at your lowest ebb.  It gives you an excuse for not being the person you want to be, and not having the life you want.  You can convince yourself that your work colleague, relative etc has it easier than you; that it is not your fault.  This creates a self fulfilling negative spiral.  It is essential that you overcome all of your negative inner speak as soon as possible.

However, if you are anything like me, this is not always easy. Nonetheless, the more you practise, the more emotionally robust you become and the less likely you are to start a negative internal chat.  Here are a few tips I find helpful:

Charlie Plant Mental Seeds
If you wanted tomatoes, you would plant seeds, water and nurture them and be patient.  The same is true with developing a positive mental attitude.  You need to plant good thoughts in your mind. Take time EVERY DAY to appreciate and be grateful for things already in your life.  This may be a return to health, your children, wonderful pets, good friends, a good bottle of wine, THOSE shoes, being able to buy your dream car, having an amazing foreign holiday, the chance to follow a dream etc.  It could be absolutely anything in fact – as long as it makes YOU feel good.

Rediscover Joy
Get your mind used to thinking about positive things.  Take time to enjoy the wonders of the world; the smell of wild flowers, birdsong, a sunset, dew on a spider’s web, your dog coming when called etc .  If you can, spend time with a young child and you will soon rediscover their infectious wonderment at the smallest thing. Get used to being joyful and you will start attracting more joy into your life.

Say Thank You
Saying “thank you” puts a positive thought into your head. It spreads goodwill and makes people feel better.  (The reverse is also true – remember how you felt when someone forgot to thank you for stopping and letting them in at that junction?) As it is believed that you an only have one thought at a time, filling your head with positive thoughts will block any negative ones.

So there are my three simple ways to help you turn your attitude around.  Train yourself every day and you will find a positive attitude easier and easier to maintain.  And that will improve your outlook, lower your stress, keep you motivated and change your life for the better.

Why not leave a comment below and let me know what you do?