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10 Steps to Take You From Perspiration to Inspiration

Are you running on life’s treadmill with the speed setting turned up a little too high? Does everything feel like a struggle? Why not use inspiration to create energy that propels you up and over life’s inevitable speed bumps? Here are 10 steps to get you started.

1. Be grateful: Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, take a look at what you do. Write a list of the “50 Things I Am Grateful For Today.” Take a minute each morning to mentally express your gratitude for at least 5 things whether it’s the air you breathe, the clothes on your back, or those closest to you. You might be surprised at the difference a positive attitude can make.

2. Celebrate and list every success: How would you like to have a boss who only ranted about what you did wrong or what you failed to achieve, never giving you credit for the wins? Take a look in the mirror and make sure you aren’t abusing yourself like a boss from hell. We tend to gulp down the little successes and minor victories instead of savoring them. Keep a running list of your successes for the year and post it near your computer or nightstand.

3. Learn from your setbacks: Failure happens. It’s part of life and a necessary component of growth. Accept failure as something good, as proof that you are taking risks and stretching yourself. However, in addition to accepting the losses, you must go back and, like an unbiased scientist, ask yourself what went wrong. What will you do differently in the future? Mistakes are only truly valuable if you learn from them.

4. Fill your glass: Forget the debate over whether the glass is half empty or half full! Why not take a pitcher and fill it up? Tackle every situation with the perspective that you can affect the outcome. Acknowledge that you have the power to choose. Even doing absolutely nothing or feeling sorry for yourself is a choice you make.

5. Look for role models: Who inspires you? Is there someone who walked in your shoes and faced similar battles? Maybe even someone who went on to become a superstar in his or her own life? Identify her but don’t put her up on a pedestal. Remember that she is a person just like you, who overcame the odds, or struggled through extreme hardship and persevered.

6. Become a visionary: You don’t have to be a guru to have a vision of the future. All it takes is a bit of imagination and the courage to reach for something bigger than your current reality. If time and money were no object and success was guaranteed, what would you want to create for yourself, your family, or the world? Give yourself at least 30 minutes to let your thoughts dig into this one. How does this vision of the future relate to your life today?

7. Identify the milestones: Set concrete goals for yourself that can be broken down into measurable pieces or milestones. If you want to lose 20 pounds, each 5-pound increment is the next milestone you should aim for and celebrate. Instead of shooting for a distant peak, it’s much more encouraging to set your sights on the corner at the end of the block.

8. Say it with pictures: Research says that 89% of what we learn is visual, 10% is auditory, and 1% comes through our other senses. Draw, photograph, or assemble a collage that represents your aim in life. Hang it on the wall or download it to your computer desktop as a reminder of what you’re working towards.

9. Play: If you feel like you’re toiling, take a break and interject some fun. Do something ridiculous. If you can’t think of anything, spend an hour or two watching 4-year olds play. To them, everything has the potential for fun. Learn to enjoy the journey even more than the destination.

10. Ride the wave of change-don’t run from it: Like death and taxes, change is inevitable. However, resistance to change is common and causes untold amounts of struggle. Become a master evolutionist-respond to change eagerly and rapidly.

We all need a push once in a while. Choose instead to latch onto inspiration as a force that pulls you forward and you’ll discover that success can be effortless.

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