Preparing For Success & Avoiding Failure

What I won’t do is tell you how to be successful. Success is defined in so many ways with varying viewpoints that I wouldn’t know where to begin. Everyone has their own goals and what amounts to their own success. What I will do is share with you how we sometimes set ourselves up for  failure, hence hindering our ability to be successful. As I share my failures, I hope the lessons learned can turn into your successes.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who told me a few things about myself. It was difficult to swallow but he made some good points. He said, Latifat, you get in your own way a lot. Things aren’t as difficult as you think they are but you find ways to complicate things. You know what you should do to make things go your way but you seem to do things that hinder the process.Why?

Honestly, I never looked at it that way. I find myself thinking that even though I have so much time on my hands, I still run out of time to do things. For instance, I set a few goals each day but I may only accomplish two out of three of those goals. I had numerous hours to accomplish these tasks but I still didn’t. Below is a list of problems that I frequently run into and solutions that I’ve developed for them. I intend to put them into daily use. Thus making a habit of not failing.

Problem #1.1: I’m easily distracted and tend to take longer performing leisurely activities ie working out and less time on acts that promote productivity.

Solution#1: Allocate the same one hour to the workout ( except long runs) but do something productive during the commute so that I maximize time.

Solution #1.2: During productive activity, put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ and PLACE IT OUT OF SIGHT.

Problem#2: I plan to do something at a particular time, then I end up being late for the activity or event.

Solution #2: Avoid any additional activities 30 minutes or one hour prior to the event. Especially productive activity like cooking and cleaning. They usually keep me from getting to my destination on time because I want to complete the task.

Solution #2.2: Look up the distance to the location approx. one hour in advance. This will allow for adjustments due to delays.

Problem #3: I’m not productive enough. I never seem to complete things that I need to do.

Solution #3.1: Set daily goals in different areas. Aim to accomplish two or three things a day. Add one or two energizing activities in between. For instance, I’ll start with an energizing activity like working out. Then the next activity may be cleaning. The next may be writing. After that, clean. This way I balance my energy flow. I’ll opt for this or some variation but always include one session of energy increasing activity and another one or two of productive activity that may not be so energizing.

Solution #3.2: First thing is first. Try to complete the most important things first AND before lunch time. After eating, we tend to be slower, our digestive system is activated, we’re lethargic and may not be able to perform tasks like before. This brings me to..

Solution #3.3: Get Up! Yes! Wake up earlier. Preferably by 7am. The earlier I get up, the more time I have to get things done. It goes hand in hand with getting enough sleep. Get at least seven hours of sleep to be rejuvenated the next day.

There are many things in our daily activities that we have patterns for. For instance, a typical day might look something like this: wake up, brush your teeth take a shower, get something to eat, go to work, go to school, etc etc. How can you make the most of your day? What activities tend to get you hung up? What solutions do you have for them? Transform yourself by turning your one-time solutions into daily habits. You’ll develop a new perspective on things and create more opportunities for success.

Check out this awesome TED talk that delves a little deeper into the topic.


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