I have been reading a book by Charles Duhigg titled, “The Power of Habit.” It covers how habits are formed and how to effectively change behavior. One thing I have learned is how to introduce multiple habit changes at once versus taking a lengthy timeframe to introduce one habit change at a time; think of it as habit change multitasking. So one of my habit changes is the introduction of Polish back on to my daily to-do list. It is very difficult to learn a new language, but even harder to learn Slavic linguistics. Most of the time I have great difficulty making my mouth say the words required in my lesson!
There are two reasons for taking on the challenge of learning Polish: 1) my future children will speak Polish, and 2) I plan to spend time in Poland in the near future and I want to converse on my own. I am using the Pimsleur Approach which I discovered through studying the FBI and CIA’s foreign language training and it has been an amazing process. I am not only learning Polish, I am also learning that I am capable of more than I ever gave myself credit. With each day that I participate in my lessons, I push myself and expand my learning and understanding, plus I continue to keep my life organized and focused in the direction of success. I am sure you have something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t, and I could not encourage you more, as the experience is raw, honest and revealing.
My Polish lesson is more than a task, it represents to me the power of my to-do list. As a mission statement guides the decisions and direction of a company, my to-do list guides me each day to be productive and maintain my long-term goal focus. I work every day to maintain focus because my pattern in the past has been to start tasks and lose interest quickly. I had business ideas in the past that were going to “change my life!” Then two months later I had moved on. The idea was too hard or required too much effort and I wanted to hit the business lottery. I can say that I still struggle with this issue and use my wife’s encouragement and my to-do list focus to counter my natural instincts. I have found that success is not at all what I imagined it would be. In my mind success would be very romantic, adventurous, exhilarating and powerful. In actuality it’s daily focus on being productive, answering emails quickly and personally, daily to-do lists, networking, etc., none of which are exciting or exhilarating! But I believe professional and personal success begin with attention to small details on which you build an empire.
I have had several conversations with readers that are not experiencing the level of achievement they expected of themselves. The questions I immediately ask are: what time do you wake? Do you shower everyday? Do you make your bed each day? How often do you clean your house? What do you do to ensure daily success? What is your daily caloric intake? How many minutes do you workout each day? What book are you reading right now? How much time do you spend watching television? What are you doing personally to expand yourself? Polish doesn’t learn itself! It takes a tremendous amount of effort to be successful. Don’t believe me, then go shadow a successful, local entrepreneur! All of the questions above point out how in control a person is over their life and serve to help solidify a mentality of success. Want to be successful? Then start acting successful and get off the sofa!
For me personally, my life changed when I started implementing habits of success. One day I might introduce myself to a potential client that speaks Polish and imagine his surprise when we hold our entire conversation in his native tongue! Think that would make an impression? And it will not happen by chance. Each day I wake between 6:00-7:00 am est. I prepare the press for my morning coffee then walk the dog. I turn on ESPN radio and sit to write my daily to-do list. Sometimes my list contains professional tasks only, sometimes a spattering of personal and professional. Once Evelina is up and out of the house, I immediately go upstairs and make the bed and prepare to shower. After cleaning up and dressing for success, I grab my Mead 5 Star and begin to complete my to-do list. For some, the way I keep myself focused might be too stringent, but you still have to have a map! Versus: ” I usually stay up late watching television or gaming. Then I get up around 9:30-10:00am and grab something to eat. I’ll watch a little TV, then around noon I put on some clothes and call my boss and tell him I’ll be in around 1:00. I might take a shower, maybe not…….Take inventory of your habits. Maybe a couple habit changes can change your life.
One realization that helped me in my life is the idea that if you want different results, then you need different actions. If you’re not happy with your level of success, then it is probably time to stop committing to the same actions producing the unsuccessful results. I have heard that so many times and I used the saying myself in teaching golf. I would have a player come to me and start trying to explain their understanding of the golf swing. My response was always, “That’s all well and good, but your understanding is what got you in the mess! It is time for new knowledge and new habits!” So it is in life. When I changed my actions I started getting new and more desirable results.
My Polish lesson represents to me my new actions/skills and encourages me every time I hit play; the linchpin of my day. It reminds me that change is not easy, but if I want to succeed I must persevere and work to keep my motivation strong and alive. The moment that I relax, get comfortable and stop expecting big things of myself, I will be right back where I started. I am excited about what the future holds for my family and I, and look forward to continuing to work hard in implementing positive lifestyle habits!
As always, check out my Facebook page, Dream Big, Dream Often and hit me up on Twitter, @BigDreamer0323!!
Dowidzenia (doe-ve-zane-ya)….Dream Big, Dream Often!