8 Key Principles to Succeed

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Action Boarding Made Simple

Published on September 2, 2013 by Neil Farber, M.D, Ph.D. 

Everyone has goals that they want fulfilled. The question is, can I get what I want from life by just asking the Universe, believing in ether and mind control, and then waiting for a special UPS delivery package with my Maserati?Unfortunately, we can’t all win the lottery and if we did, we each wouldn’t get the $100 million total – it would be divided by all of the people wishing for it.

The reality is that there is more involved in getting what you want then simply cutting out pictures and imagining that your perfect ending has already occurred. In one sense this would be nice; little effort, maximum benefit. On the other hand, with little effort comes little respect and appreciation for the outcome and no development of resilience or the ability to rise to a challenge.

Vision (Dream) Boards are a collection of motivational sayings, photographs, and cut-outs from magazines that represent your strongest goals and desires. I’ve written a few articles about Vision Boards and some important issues to consider when deciding whether to spend your time creating one. The topic of Vision Boards is emotional. There are those who view the subject as a hoax, a fraud, a way to make money – the non-believers who applaud my efforts to illuminate what seems obvious to some – dream about it, imagine as if it already happened, ask the universe for it, and ye shall receive it.

There are those Vision Board proponents who respond to my comments about a Law of Attraction as if I had taken the life of a loved one. Yes, similar to a religious belief, faith in a law of attraction is emotional, subjective, and without objective evidence.

I have proposed creating what I call an Action Board – an evidence-based goal-setting tool that is founded on several principals of Positive and Social Psychology. I have described some of the advantages of Action Boards over Vision Boards, not from an emotional standpoint, from a social scientific perspective. The theory behind Action Boards makes them more motivating, present-minded, satisfying, likely to help you succeed, and less likely to involve blaming.

The real secret to achieve success is in integrating these several Key Principles and using them in harmony with each other. Here are a few more secrets: 1) These Key Principles apply to any and all of your goals. 2) You already possess The Key to Achieve. 3) It is likely that any goals that you have already accomplished in your life were achieved by using these Key Principles – even if you didn’t realize that you were doing it.

In contrast to a Vision Board that is based on a law of Attraction, The Action Board is based on eight Key Principles that are briefly described below:

In contrast to a Vision Board that is based on a law of Attraction, The Action Board is based on eight Key Principles that are briefly described below:

  1. Accountability: The Action Board correctly identifies that we are responsible for our thoughts, our feelings, our attitudes, our words, our actions, and our reactions. Thus, while God or the universe may help you achieve your goals you must play an active role. Your role cannot be simply one of wishful thinking. Making things happen is your responsibility – step up to the plate. Acknowledging your ability to choose is empowering. However, you are notresponsible for everything that occurs in the universe outside of yourself and should not be blamed when things happen beyond your control.
  2. Values: While goals are specific locations on a map, values are like directions on a compass; our principles – who you are. Going to Rome is a goal – traveling and exploring are values. Values set a course on our life journey and affect the significance of our goals. Establishing goals based on our values infuses them with deeper meaning. Value-based goals energize us for passionate pursuit. When your goals are based on your values, you are able to make changes to your goal yet maintain consistent values. Thus, when you change your goals you are not a failure because your new goal will remain consistent with who you are and what you really need to live a purposeful life. Bringing life to your values will bring value to your life!
  3. Mindfulness: Visualizing a possible future as if it has already happened means that you are not living in the present. There are multiple studies showing the many health and wellness benefits of mindfulness and present living. Mindfulness lowers stress, decreases depression, improves immunity, increases safety, benefits psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical health, and enhances life satisfaction. As suggested in the book “The Secret”, to utilize the Law of Attraction when you Vision Board, you must live as if the future is now; pretend that your goals have already occurred. This is demotivating! Being fully engaged in and appreciating the process and the journey enhances mindfulness. Multiple studies show how much more beneficial it is to visualize a process rather than simply the outcome.
  4. Positivity: This is obviously an extensive and important topic. There is an abundance of well-conducted research that shows how adopting Positive psychological principles lead to greater health, relationships, happiness, and success. Positive Psychology in The Action Board includes: Strengths – your personal talents and abilities, Flow – like being in the zone, Positivity ratios – positive to negative interactions of at least 3:1 associated with greater success in business and relationships, positive communication – encouraging, less blaming and complaining, hope and optimism- the belief that good things will happen in the future, resilience – the fortitude to persist in spite of significant obstacles.
  5. Attraction: Positivity is associated with increased success, better relationships, better jobs, more altruism, improved health, being more open-minded, and many other personality traits and behaviors that help us to achieve goals and meet the kind of people that are positive and influential in our lives. The Principle of Attraction predicts: “Like tends to attract Like”. Positive people attract other positive people and tend to get better jobs, have more successful careers, and better relationships. This is not magic and not a universal law. It is a social scientific phenomenon which implies that you have an active role in this process and that you are not responsible for all bad things that may occur. Even positive thoughts may not stop a stray bullet or madman.
  6. Dominoes: This is a mindful approach to goal setting that focuses on process over outcome and gain over blame. Goals are like dominoes and our pathway or journey is defined by how we set up our own personal dominoes. It’s a dynamic process whereby dominoes may change yet the journey is more important and empowering. It’s all about acknowledging that we have the power to choose. It’s also about appreciating our personal role in making our hopes, goals, and dreams come true. Every domino that we knock down is an accomplishment that we need to celebrate – a journey of improving our self-worth and self-esteem.
  7. Divine VisualizationDefining a value-based goal. Inquire about optimistic, realistic specifics, Visualize the outcome – how it will look and feel. Identify where you are now, your situation, strengths, and motivations. Need – what do you need to get from where you are to where you want to be – your plan. Envision what you will do on the journey – how will you swing that golf club?
  8. Inspired Action: It is not a mystery or secret that any action you take toward your personal value-based goal will be inspired because it is deep-seated and meaningful to you. It will be your driving force, motivation, and inspiration. You are responsible and must play an active role in making things happen. Action is what separates dreaming and doing. As success Guru Jack Welch has stated, “ Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” As success coach Zig Zigler has claimed, “ Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.” There is no reason to sit on the couch and wait for divine intervention. The divine intervention is your having the ability to vision, plan, and do.

You can read more about the Principle of Attraction, other Key to Achieve Principles, and how to apply them to create The Action Board on my website: www.TheKeytoAchieve.com.

To find out more about how to apply these Principles, components of The Action Board, and how to make an effective Action Board, join us for an Action Board workshop in Chicago on November 3, 2013.

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Please contact me for coaching to kick start your way to Achieve.

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