13 Ways of Wisdom (Part One)

What words of wisdom can motivate and energize us to improve our lives moving forwards?  Since we’re in the year 2013, I have detailed 13 ‘wisdom’ related thoughts that can hopefully inspire you to improve your life, to achieve greater things! 

I will address 5 in this month’s newsletter and 8 in the March newsletter.

1. Start with a SWOT analysis of yourself

When last did you honestly analyse yourself? What are your Strengths and once you’ve identified them how best can you build on those strengths?  Think of the strength of water and how over time it shapes its course in relation to the ground over which it flows.  For many years it will meander but ultimately the river flows ever more powerfully in a straight line.

What are your Weaknesses and how can you manage and improve these weaknesses?  The weak branches eventually fall off the tree but the tree itself remains strong and continues growing.  Does the same apply to you?

Each one of us is presented with Opportunities through the course of our lives.  Many of us are able to create opportunities.  But how best can you take advantage of the opportunities that cross your path?  The brown tree snake was brought into the island of Guam probably at the end of the Second World War and that one impregnated female or few snakes that somehow arrived by ship have grown into a population of about 2 million snakes that have decimated the small island’s nature www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17992053. Whilst this is a shocking example, it does emphasize the point that when an opportunity presents itself don’t let it pass – analyse it and go for it!

Each one of us is regularly confronted with some form of Threat; something that can negatively impact an aspect of our lives.  Think of the eco system and the environment and how, when we interfere with such process, we can threaten an entire eco system.  The brown tree snake took its opportunity but at the same time this oversight by man has created a threat to the island of Guam.  Be aware of your own threats and work out the best way of avoiding such threat or working around the threatening situation.

2. Inner Intent

The desire for success must come from deep within your being – from your heart and soul. Dreaming about success or wishing for success simply doesn’t do it.  The desire for success must strike an emotional chord.  Emotions tend to sway and ultimately control purpose and processes.  Think about walking along the ridge of a gutter on the pavement of a street.  Most people can complete such a task quite easily.  But put a ridge that same width 2000 feet up on the edge of a mountain and most people will not even dare step onto the ridge, let alone walk along it.  The desire is gone, as has the inner intent. Strengthen Inner Intent and success is just around the corner.  Turn that wish into a desire; followed by intent; and it will generate different energy levels and improved focus.  It will become a positive and constructive conviction

3. Start Small, Think Big

Colonel Harland Sanders created Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952.  He had first served his fried chicken in the USA in 1930 in the midst of the Great Depression but with little success.  He never gave up on his idea, continuously trying to find better ways to cook his chicken.  By 1952 he was 62 years old and still struggling to make a living.  Together with a friend his small idea was to became ‘Its Finger Lickin’ Good’ and change his life.  Today KFC is owned by PepsiCo and has outlets in close to 100 countries of the world.  In the UK and Ireland alone 114 million Hotwings are sold each year; which represents 300,000 units everyday or 3,6 Hotwings bought every second!  And that’s just Hotwings in one region of the earth!  And whilst this is not verified information, I am led to believe that of the 1 billion chickens eaten in South Africa each year about 10% (100 million chickens) are used by KFC. Herewith two Thomas Edison quotes that can inspire the ‘start small think big’ imagination:

“Inspiration can be found in a pile of junk. Sometimes, you can put it together with a good imagination and invent something.”

 “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward….”

4. Condition your Body and your Mind

It takes physical energy to take action.  It takes brain power to mobilise your mind.  Health and wellness of both body and mind are an imperative in today’s world; and they will certainly benefit one as they travel along their road to success.  The benefit to daily life and the ability to better perform daily tasks and chores is immense.  It’s no good getting a food and/or exercise plan in place and then simply treating it as window dressing.  Follow your program as if it is a business plan.  If it helps work together with a partner or friend to ensure no shortcuts!  It won’t be long before you enjoy your new physical and mental habits.  Be strong-willed and you will enjoy a better life.

5. Spurn Weak Goals

Goals are the very essence of achievement, so never begin them with “I’ll try …”  Always start with “I will” or “I must.”  Goal setting is recognised as a powerful way of motivating both individuals and teams, so surely we can use it in our everyday lives? In the late 1960’s Dr Edwin Locke conducted some pioneering research on goal setting and motivation that is still pertinent today.  Amongst other things he stated that people were motivated by clear goals and appropriate feedback.  Locke went on to say that working toward a goal provided a major source of motivation to actually reach the goal – which, in turn, improved performance.  Surely each one of us is then able to improve our lives if we set clear goals?  Locke identified Five Principles of Goal Setting and said that to motivate, goals must have:

  • Clarity
    -Clear goals must be measurable and unambiguous.
  • Challenge
    –  People are motivated by achievement and they tend to judge a goal based on the significance of the anticipated accomplishment.
  • Commitment
    –  To be effective a goal must be understood and bought into.
  • Feedback
    – Feedback provides opportunities to clarify expectations; adjust goal difficulty; and gain recognition. Benchmark targets are important, allowing individuals to determine for themselves how they’re doing.  In your personal life why not share your goals with somebody close to you so that your efforts can be recognised and your success acknowledged?  Others will in any event ultimately appreciate and notice your success – but you need to get there!
  • Task complexity
    – Goal setting is about facilitating ultimate success.  The conditions surrounding the actual goals must not frustrate or inhibit the achievement of the goal.  Therefore:
  1.  Make sure that you have sufficient time to meet your goal or improve performance.
  2. Allow enough time to practice and learn what is expected and required for success.

Have an inspiring month; one that shows improvement on what happened last month!


ronRon Boon