Continuous improvement is a heralded business concept referring to any policy or process within a workplace that helps keep the focus on improving the way things are done on a regular basis. Bringing this concept to the personal can have excellent results.
Are you currently at your personal best? If yes, how did you get there? If not, what’s missing? You maintain your personal best by frequently assessing your skills, behavior, performance, emotional intelligence and productivity and then identifying ways to improve. It keeps you in top form and gives your best to the world.
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Think of a dream you have and how you can make that dream a reality. What can you do “to the max” to get yourself there?
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The secret to distinguishing yourself lies in who you are – your unique traits, talents and learned skills. Often people think they must conform in order to succeed. They fit within a system and fully adopt its processes and approaches. A degree of that is warranted. However, to do your best work, it has to come from you.
How do you make something yours? Let’s say you are given a project to lead. You can follow accepted procedures and do fine. If you bring your unique vision to the project, you have the opportunity to stand out among the crowd. What can you add that will make results better? What do you bring to the work that no one else can? Making a project yours leads you to success and fulfillment!
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Openings are opportunities for change. They can come in a variety of ways and forms. Are you alert to openings when they present themselves in your life? An opening may come as a forced change, such as being let go from a job. An opening can be an opportunity that you decide to take advantage of. An opening can be created by a loss of some kind or a decision to let something go.
Take a look at your life and work and the openings that have presented themselves to you. How did you handle them? Stay aware and you’ll recognize openings when they appear. They are invitations for you to move forward and create the life you want to live.
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When you have dreams and goals, best that you set yourself in a direction to achieve them. Your actions and choices need to be a good fit with your dreams and goals or you can be led astray. Have you ever had an opportunity come along that appears exciting or useful in some way but you have a feeling it may not be right? Trust that feeling and explore carefully any opportunities that show up. Will an opportunity take you in the direction you want to go or is it a detour or distraction from your goals and dreams that appeals to some other part of you?
When you find the opportunities that are the right fit, you’ll move quickly towards achieving your goals and dreams!
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When I was in college, a professor advised me that if I wanted to be a leader I must have a wellspring within me to draw from. His advice stayed with me and has proven to be sage.
An inner wellspring provides strength, inspiration, endurance, wisdom and counsel in times of growth and when you face positive or negative challenges. Your wellspring can be faith, centeredness, continuous learning, silence, respite, or whatever feeds you. By building your wellspring, you give yourself an advantage in being able to handle whatever comes your way. Do you have an inner wellspring that refreshes you?
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You can go along day-in, day-out without much change or you can propel your career periodically with your “next big thing”.
What is something you can do that would move your career forward in a dramatic way? Take a minute – what comes to mind?
Go ahead! You are capable of so much more and good things await you as you pursue your next big thing.
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Do you pursue mastery in any part of your career? Mastery creates focus and alignment. It involves fulfilling your potential and becoming all you can be. You and everyone else are capable of mastery. You just have to set out to pursue it.
How can you start? Pick an area where you want to achieve mastery. Look around and find someone who has or is achieving mastery and study what they have done. Identify steps you can take this year towards mastery in your area and get started. Mentors can help you to achieve mastery. Mentors come in the form of a book, media, a person. Set your intention to persist and have courage and one day, mastery will be yours.
You can get to a place in your career where you are asking yourself, “What’s the use?” Many things can get you to this question: an inability to affect what happens in your workplace, failure, frustration or obstacles you are not able to overcome. When this occurs – beware. At the point of feeling powerless, you are obviously not at your best.
If you find yourself asking, “What’s the use?” take some time to assess what has gotten you there. Remember that you are CEO of your career. You have some control over what happens. If something isn’t working for you, you know how to move on and make it better.
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A well-known quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca says “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” One way to establish the aim (and wind) to carry you forward is to identify what you hope to gain from your work in 2019. Are you looking for a promotion, satisfaction, monetary compensation, building skills, growth, being of service to others?
Ask yourself “What payoff am I going for this year?” In doing so, you will firmly set your aim and your plans will carry forward.