Last week, I shared the first three in a seven-part series of key abilities to lead your most fulfilled and successful life, thanks to personal coach and human behavioural expert Joe Pane. We’ve previously covered being an inspiration to yourself, learning to delay gratification and seeing frustration as your friend in driving you harder and further on your journey to the life you want to live.
4. Regulate your mood
There will be lots of times when you don’t feel like doing the thing that you are meant to do, such as an action for your business that you are less familiar/comfortable with, going to the gym, etc. To regulate your mood, take smaller action. For example, taking small action such as getting off the couch, having a shower and moving around can lift your mood and makes it easier to take bigger action. Instead of feeling guilty for promising to go to the gym but not following through, by getting up and moving around, you’re still feeling the effects and rewards of physical activity that can regulate your mood.
‘Having rituals in your life every week sets yourself up for success.’ - Joe Pane
Regardless of how they think or feel, successful people take consistent action towards their goals. Who ever woke up to their alarm and thought, ‘I can’t WAIT to go for a run in the cold this morning!’? It’s pretty unheard of, but the difference is that no matter the mood, successful people get up and do it anyway.
Have something to look forward to every day and each week to help you maintain your energy. It doesn’t have to be a big thing (e.g. Thursday night dinner with the girls, weekly yoga class, 30 minutes in the morning to journal). This is also a great mood regulator and can keep you on track with your goals. Hope is, of course, a wider, more universal trait that’s allowing people to think more positively about the future of the world. But it’s also integral for our own day-to-day lives.
‘Hope is the ability each of us has to arise out of our ordinary selves and achieve something we thought we weren’t capable of.’ - Sherwin Nuland
Have an attitude of looking forward to things that challenge you (e.g. giving a presentation or running a workshop). Know that everything is temporary; have hope when you are going through the tough times that it will end. Surgeon and writer Sherwin Nuland gave a really interesting and thought-provoking TED talk on the idea of hope and the desire to better ourselves and the world.
It is important to have compassion for yourself and others, especially when working towards challenging goals in business and life so that you don’t become discouraged and demotivated. Sometimes it might feel that everyone is against you - you’re reaching out for opportunities and hearing radio silence back, others seem to be prioritised over yourself - and it becomes frustrating. If you are criticising yourself or others when things don’t go to plan, this can actually hold you back. Have the mindset that setbacks are part of the learning process. Change your internal language to rid the word ‘failures’ - after each setback, pick yourself back up and try again.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s lives are informed by experiences we don’t know about.
Instead of getting angry that someone is treating you less than well, step back and remember compassion. What must be going on behind closed doors to make that person talk to you that way? Empathise with others and see the situation from their side. True, sustainable success is achieved with the support, encouragement and contribution of those around you.
7. Be focused and disciplined
Be focused and disciplined – there will be lots of ‘bright shiny’ things to distract you from what you want most. Be clear on your goals and then prioritise action that will take you towards these.