Some research carried out at the University of Singapore examined the effect action has on life satisfaction. The study found that those people who are high in ACTION ( also known as LOCOMOTION ) had increased levels of well-being. The reason being that as they were rewarded by their efforts, growth and progress they were encouraged and propelled to do more. Conversely, those people who did a high level of assessment and evaluation without the corresponding actions, did not achieve any results and were often led to pessimism, negativity and regret. Continuously thinking of real or imagined issues stopped people from taking action and led to people not moving forward towards achieving their goals.
Moving forward towards attaining your ideas and plans just requires getting into action. Most of us may be getting some of what we want from our lives but not everything, as life is a treasure chest of our wants, desires, wishes and needs. However, if we are not getting what we want from life then it is apparent that we need to define and then take focused action to change some of our behaviours. Because, if we do not identify and change what is required then nothing is going to change. The status quo will continue to be maintained.
Some concrete steps that we can take which would help to increase our chances of success with are:
- MUST-DO LISTS : We all have our to-do lists which keep growing daily and rarely get done. Instead, focus on a daily must-do list with a few critical items which you want to get done that day. If one sets daily objectives you will be compelled to take action and succeed in completing some of your important tasks.
- PROXIMAL GOALS : Goals which can be achieved in a short time and are powerful motivational generators are called proximal goals . These objectives can be attained easily and encourage you to go for bigger goals. On the other hand, distal or distant goals are far removed and take time to achieve. It may be difficult to mobilize the resources and effort required to move forward and achieve those.
- DEFINED ACTIONS & TIMELINES : When setting objectives we consider a stable and current situation, but the environment and circumstances are constantly changing. So, by defining the required actions and time frame for achieving these actions we make the likelihood of attaining them greater. By having clear implemention intentions in our mind we have a defined path to follow towards achieving success. Action defined timelines prompt goal driven behaviours, which help to surmount procrastination and fears of failing.
Apart from the process defined above, we also need to be aware of our current mental outlook and the behavioural related attitudes that we maybe adopting, which are creating barriers to our success in life. Our past experiences may contribute to creating emotional barriers that can have an impact on our current and future relationships, whether it is at work or on the home front. Dealing with these feelings and outlooks in a constructive and productive manner supports us in achieving our goals. Some steps we can take are to :
- DEAL WITH SETBACKS – Life is full of events which may seem harmful and destructive to us. In order to handle and deal with these in a positive manner it is essential that we need to step back, take an impartial view of the situation and deal with it objectively. It we allow negativity to overcome us then we will not be able to think creatively and manage the situation.
- BE OPTIMISTIC – Confidence and hope helps to breed success. Be sure of yourself, your abilities and capabilities. Sometimes you may feel that others are more talented and luckier than you and are being successful but you are not. The truth may lie in the fact that they are doing things differently and therefore being successful, so if you can follow suit then success may also come to you. Seek to learn from such persons by studying their attitude and behaviours. Implement those approaches and success may also come to you.
- DEVELOP FOCUS – By developing and focusing alongwith taking small, regular and consistent steps towards achieving our goals we steadily move forward and start to get what we want to attain. We should not let the big picture overwhelm us and paralyze our actions, instead by directing our focus and taking the required steps in a consistent manner, we are motivated by the fact that we are moving closer to achieving our objective.
- ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY – We normally have the tendency to blame circumstances that lie beyond our control, for our failures. On the other hand successful people share a common quality ie they accept total responsibility for the results that they achieve in life. Even when they fail in achieving something, they do not accept defeat, rather they work on identifying what actions they need to take in order to succeed. Being accountable and accepting responsibility is essential for achieving success.
- FOSTER A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT – In order to flourish in the work or home environment, the emotions which surround us play a big role in our behaviours and performance. Emotions are highly contagious and they spread and impact the surrounding individuals and teams. Positive emotions and moods help to cultivate and promote a happy and motivated atmosphere leading to effective performance. While negative emotions may conversely act to reduce a motivational environment. So, be aware of others emotions and the impact those maybe causing on you, as they may be helping or hindering your actions.
Ultimately, we need to accept the fact that life is short and we do not have time to waste in being frustrated, negative or worried because of our inability to achieve what we want. So, learn to make the most of your time and spend your days in a positive manner, by defining your actions and thoughts towards success. The real secret to having and living the life you want is to learn to love the life that you have selected for yourself.
A very apt quote says “ A fulfilling life is different to each person. You have to acknowledge your dreams, and not just wait for life to happen, and opportunities to come knocking at your door.” – Joan Lunden