Archive for dreams

TIME MAKEOVER: Free Up Hours You Didn’t Think You Had by Laura Vanderkam

Posted in General Management, Life Management, TIME MAKEOVER: Free Up Hours You Didn’t Think You Had with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

TIME MAKEOVER: Free Up Hours You Didn’t Think You Had by Laura Vanderkam

Most of us have more free time than we realize. Even those who work 60 hours a week and sleep eight hours a night still have 52 additional hours each week. The problem is that we tend to burn many of those hours thoughtlessly on things that aren’t vital or particularly enjoyable, such as watching TV or browsing the Internet.

Our lives would be more productive and fun if we consciously chose what to do with our time. Here’s an eight-step time-management makeover to do just that…

* Step 1: Log how you spend your time for a week. Record your activities in a notebook or on the free downloadable spreadsheet available on my Web site (www.My168hours.com, click “Your Time”). Be sure to include any breaks that you allow yourself in the middle of other tasks. If you think the week isn’t representative of a typical week, record another week.

* Step 2: Create your “List of 100 Dreams.” There’s a reason most of us don’t spend much time pursuing the things we really want—we don’t know what we really want.

Create a list of 100 things that you would like to accomplish—not just big, ambitious goals, but also smaller things that you suspect would make you excited or joyful… or that you might remember with fondness or pride when you look back on your life.

Examples: Your list might include vacation destinations that you would like to visit… projects that you want to complete related to your career or a hobby… skills that you would like to acquire… even books that you would like to read.

At least a few of the 100 dreams should be things that can be achieved in one day. These are likely to be checked off the list quickly, boosting your confidence in your ability to accomplish your more difficult dreams.

Examples: Reading a children’s book you never got around to when you were a kid… attending a performance of your favorite opera… making an apple pie from scratch.

Helpful: If you can’t come up with 100 dreams, try just 25 and proceed with the following steps anyway. Return to your list periodically until you get to 100.

* Step 3: Identify your core competencies.
What do you do better than anyone else… and what are you better positioned to do than anyone else?

Examples: Perhaps no one is as good as you at dreaming up new sales channels for your company’s products… or at teaching young children.

We tend to feel most useful and happy when we devote time to tasks for which we see ourselves as irreplaceable. Examine your one-week time log. How much of your time are you devoting to your core competencies? You want to devote as much time to them as possible.

* Step 4: Clear the slate. Rethink your time commitments. There are 168 hours in each week, and how we spend those hours is for us alone to decide. Yes, we all need to eat and sleep, and most of us need to do something to earn money—but it’s empowering to start from scratch and rethink every time commitment, even those that seem inflexible.

Examples: If you are willing to earn less, you could quit your job and find a less time-consuming career. If you are willing to eat simpler meals, you could save the time you spend cooking.

* Step 5: Print out a new, blank weekly log from my Web site… or take out a fresh piece of paper. Fill in your new schedule with your priorities and options in mind. Start by thinking in broad terms about when you would like to work… sleep… spend time with family and friends… and engage in specific, structured leisure activities.

Example: If your goal is to spend more time with your young children or grandkids, you could leave the office at 4:00 twice a week, then make up that lost time by spending an hour or two responding to nonurgent work e-mails from home after the kids are in bed.

Also, put your morning hours to better use. The morning is when we are most alert and energetic—yet most of us waste this time puttering around, checking our e-mails or sitting in rush-hour traffic. Make the morning your time to pursue your most important dream… or to get some exercise. If you currently have no free time on weekday mornings, go to bed an hour earlier and get up an hour earlier.

Next, schedule your core-competency time. Block out specific work time and personal time to pursue whatever it is that you do better than everyone else.

Finally, choose one or two entries from your “List of 100 Dreams,” and write them into this week’s schedule wherever you find openings. Larger dreams should be broken into specific “actionable steps,” which can be included on the schedule.

Example: If the dream is “launch my own business,” the first actionable step might be “speak with experienced business owners I know about how to get started.”

* Step 6: Ignore, minimize or outsource things that you don’t enjoy, that aren’t very important or that others could do as well as you. What household tasks do you like least? Which chores absorb the most time? Answers might include mowing the lawn, doing the laundry or picking up clutter. Pay someone to do these things, or lower your standards—who says that you have to clean every week?

* Step 7: Fill free moments with small sources of joy. There are brief open blocks of time during even the busiest days. We tend not to take full advantage of this time because we are not properly prepared for it.

Compile a list of things that give you joy that take 30 minutes or less… and another list of things that give you joy that take 10 minutes or less.

Examples: Reading a few pages of a novel… doing yoga stretches… or working on a crossword puzzle.

* Step 8: Tune up your schedule each year. Does your life feel in balance? Are your major priorities being met? Are you making inroads on your 100 Dreams list? If not, again log your time for a week and search for time that could be put to better use.

Eventually, creating a life in which you have it all will no longer seem so hard.

– Laura Vanderkam

If you’re interested in a complimentary 20-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

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SEVEN STEPS TO ACHIEVING YOUR DREAM by Chris Widener

Posted in Life Management, Seven Steps to Achieving Your Dream with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

SEVEN STEPS TO ACHIEVING YOUR DREAM by Chris Widener

“Vision is the spectacular that inspires us to carry out the mundane.” — Chris Widener

Can achievement be broken down into steps? Well, it isn’t always that clean and easy, but I do know that those who achieve great things usually go through much of the same process, with many of the items listed below as part of that process. So if you have been struggling with achievement, look through the following and internalize the thoughts presented. Then begin to apply them. You will be on the road to achieving your dream!

1. Dream it – Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. They dared to dream, to believe that it was possible. Take some time to allow yourself to ask “What if?” Think big. Don’t let negative thinking discourage you. You want to be a “dreamer.” Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family, and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow cold, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go. (Also, check out my article “Dare to Dream Again,” Which has been read by close to a million people in the last 4 months alone. You can see it at the website.)

2. Believe it – Yes, your dream needs to be big. It needs to be something that is seemingly beyond your capabilities. But it also must be believable. You must be able to say that if certain things take place, if others help, if you work hard enough, though it is a big dream, it can still be done. Good example: A person with no college education can dream that he will build a 50 million-dollar a year company. That is big, but believable. Bad example: That a 90 year-old woman with arthritis will someday run a marathon in under 3 hours. It is big alright, but also impossible. She should instead focus on building a 50 million-dollar a year business! And she better get a move on!

3. See it – The great achievers have a habit. They “see” things. They picture themselves walking around their CEO office in their new 25 million-dollar corporate headquarters, even while they are sitting on a folding chair in their garage “headquarters.” Great free-throw shooters in the NBA picture the ball going through the basket. PGA golfers picture the ball going straight down the fairway. World-class speakers picture themselves speaking with energy and emotion. All of this grooms the mind to control the body to carry out the dream.

4. Tell it – One reason many dreams never go anywhere is because the dreamer keeps it all to himself. It is a quiet dream that only lives inside of his mind. The one who wants to achieve their dream must tell that dream to many people. One reason: As we continually say it, we begin to believe it more and more. If we are talking about it then it must be possible. Another reason: It holds us accountable. When we have told others, it spurs us on to actually do it so we don’t look foolish.

5. Plan it – Every dream must take the form of a plan. The old saying that you “get what you plan for” is so true. Your dream won’t just happen. You need to sit down, on a regular basis, and plan out your strategy for achieving the dream. Think through all of the details. Break the whole plan down into small, workable parts. Then set a time frame for accomplishing each task on your “dream plan.”

6. Work it – Boy, wouldn’t life be grand if we could quit before this one! Unfortunately the successful are usually the hardest workers. While the rest of the world is sitting on their couch watching re-runs of Gilligan’s Island, achievers are working on their goal – achieving their dream. I have an equation that I work with: Your short-term tasks, multiplied by time, equal your long-term accomplishments. If you work on it each day, eventually you will achieve your dream. War and Peace was written, in longhand, page by page.

7. Enjoy it – When you have reached your goal and you are living your dream, be sure to enjoy it. In fact, enjoy the trip too. Give yourself some rewards along the way. Give yourself a huge reward when you get there. Help others enjoy it. Be gracious and generous. Use your dream to better others. Then go back to number 1. And dream a little bigger this time!

– Chris Widener

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

STEPPING STONES (One Day at a Time) from DailyOM

Posted in Life Management, Stepping Stones (One Day at a Time) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

STEPPING STONES (One Day at a Time) from DailyOM

Our lives are made of stepping stones, one experience after another in perfect and divine order.

The years of our life do not arrive all at once; they greet us day by day. With the descent of each setting sun, we are able to rest our heads and let the world take care of itself for a while. We may rest assured throughout the night, knowing that the dawn will bring with it a chance to meet our lives anew, donning fresh perspectives and dream-inspired hopes. The hours that follow, before we return to sleep once more, are for us to decide how we want to live and learn, laugh and grow. Our lives are sweeter and more manageable because we must experience them this way: one day at a time.

Imagine the future stretching out before you and try to notice if you feel any tension or overwhelm at the prospect of the journey still to come. Perhaps you have recently made a lifestyle change, like beginning a new diet or quitting smoking, and the idea of continuing this healthy new behavior for years seems daunting. Maybe you have started a new job or are newly married and can feel an undercurrent of anxiety about your ability to succeed. If you can shift your focus from what may happen years down the line and return it to the day that is before you right now, you may find a measure of calm and renewed confidence in your capabilities. You may also discover an inner faith that the future will take care of itself.

The way we show up for our lives today and tomorrow has an enormous affect on who we will be and what we will be experiencing years from now. If we can remain fully engaged in the day at hand, enjoying all it has to offer and putting our energy into making the most of it, we will find that we are perfectly ready and capable to handle any future when it arrives.

– DailyOM
http://www.dailyom.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

5 REASONS WHY DREAMS DON’T TAKE FLIGHT by Dr. John C. Maxwell

Posted in "5 Reasons Why Dreams Don't Take Flight" by Dr. John C. Maxwell, General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

5 REASONS WHY DREAMS DON’T TAKE FLIGHT by Dr. John C. Maxwell

Most of us never see our dreams come true. Instead of soaring through the clouds, our dreams languish like a broken-down airplane confined to its hangar. Through life, I have come to identify five common reasons why dreams don’t take flight.

#1 We Have Been Discouraged from Dreaming by Others
We have to pilot our own dreams; we cannot entrust them to anyone else. People who aren’t following their own dreams resent us pursuing ours. Such people feel inadequate when we succeed, so they try to drag us down.

If we listen to external voices, then we allow our dreams to be hijacked. At some point, other people will place limitations on us by doubting our abilities. When surrounded by the turbulence of criticism, we have to grasp the controls tightly to keep from being knocked off course.

#2 We Are Hindered by Past Disappointments and Hurts
In the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a young, talented, and cocky aviator who dreams of being the premier pilot in the U.S. Navy. In the film’s opening scenes, Maverick showcases his flying ability but also displays a knack for pushing the envelope with regards to safety. Midway through the movie, Maverick’s characteristic aggression spells disaster. His plane crashes, killing his best friend and co-pilot.

Although cleared of wrongdoing, the painful memory of the accident haunts Maverick. He quits taking risks and loses his edge. Struggling to regain his poise, he considers giving up on his dream. Although the incident nearly wrecks Maverick’s career, he eventually reaches within to find the strength to return to the sky.

Like Maverick, many of us live with the memory of failure embedded in our psyche. Perhaps a business we started went broke, or we were fired from a position of leadership. Disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality, and all of us have encountered that gap. Failure is a necessary and natural part of life, but if we’re going to attain our dreams, then, like Maverick, we have to summon the courage to deal with past hurts.

#3 We Fall into the Habit of Settling for Average
Average is the norm for a reason. Being exceptional demands extra effort, sustained inspiration, and uncommon discipline. When we attempt to give flight to our dreams, we have to overcome the weight of opposition. Like gravity, life’s circumstances constantly pull on our dreams, tugging us down to mediocrity.

Most of us don’t pay the price to overcome the opposition to our dreams. We may start out inspired, but through time we fatigue. Although never intending to abandon our dreams, we begin to make concessions here and there. Through time, our lives become mundane, and our dreams slip away.

#4 We Lack the Confidence Needed to Pursue Our Dreams
Dreams are fragile. They will be buffeted by assaults from all sides. As such, they must be supplied with the extra strength of self-confidence.

In Amelia Earhart’s day, women were not supposed to fly airplanes. If she had lacked self-assurance, she never would have even attempted to be a pilot. Instead, Earhart confidently chased after her dream, and she was rewarded with both fulfillment and fame.

#5 We Lack the Imagination to Dream
For thousands of years, mankind traveled along the ground: by foot, by horse-and-buggy, by locomotive, and eventually by automobile. Thanks to the dreams of Orville and Wilbur Wright, we now hop across oceans in a matter of hours. The imaginative brothers overcame ridicule and doubt to pioneer human flight, and the world has never been the same.

Many of us play small because we do not allow ourselves to dream. We trap ourselves in reality and never dare to go beyond what we can see with our eyes. Imagination lifts us beyond average by giving us a vision of life that surpasses what we are experiencing currently. Dreams infuse our spirit with energy and spur us on to greatness.

– John Maxwell

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

YOUR DREAM BEGINS TODAY by Les Brown

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Your Dream Begins Today with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

YOUR DREAM BEGINS TODAY by Les Brown

What will your life be like when you’ve achieved your most deeply held dreams? Let’s take a look at how you can start living your dreams this very day.

Do you have a dream, a vision of the life you wish to live?
How specific is that dream?
How clear is that vision?
How do you intend to reach it?
What obstacles stand in your way?
Are your fears holding you back or are you using them to move you forward?

Your fears can actually lead you to success. Fear is an intense emotion. But that doesn’t mean it has to control you, or even stop you. Fear can prepare you and push you forward just as strongly as it can hold you back. Fear heightens your awareness and increases your physical strength. Fear brings your mind to sharp focus. With all that going for you, does it make sense to just run and hide? Of course not. Fear gets you in shape to take action!

Are you waiting for things to get better before moving ahead? If you’re serious about success, you need to start taking action today. If you’re waiting for things to be perfect, you’ll wait forever and nothing will ever get done.

The way to achieve is to bloom where you’re planted, to do what you can, where you are, with what you have. It’s easy to think up excuses for not taking action. “If only I had more hours in the day. If only I had a better job. If only I could meet the right person.” But excuses won’t bring you anything of value. You’ve got to change your “if only” into an “I will.” “I will make better use of my time. I will work on improving my career. I will create and nurture my relationships.”

Take a chance. Have faith in yourself. Your circumstances will improve when you make the effort to improve them. Start where you are right now. You have everything it takes to reach for whatever you desire. Stop wishing. Use your time, your energy, your thoughts and efforts to make it happen! You’ll be glad you did!

– Les Brown

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

Inspirational Quotes and Images – Updated

Posted in General Management, Inspirational Quotes and Images, Life Management with tags , , , , , , on May 29, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” – Flavia Weedn

My Inspirational Quotes and Images page is updated daily.

To see the entire list, please click on this link.
Inspirational Quotes and Images

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