“Don’t allow other people to determine how to live your life.”

Ask yourself how many decisions in your life you have made that were not greatly impacted by the question of “what would another person think or want me to do in this situation”.  This other person could include family, friends, or total strangers, and could include assumptions planted in your psyche when you were younger by these same groups of people.  When you allow this to happen, you are enslaving yourself to the whims of others.  Free yourself and make your own decisions.  I can promise that you will never look back.

“If you want to understand yourself better, point to your actions and ask yourself why.”

I just learned this lesson, and I have to say, it’s by far the most valuable thing I have learned in the past few years.  If you think about it, our actions are the physical manifestation of the conclusions of very complex thought processes.  So if we want to understand the underpinnings of why we do what we do, we can simply ask ourself, “Why exactly did I do that?!?”.  (I have found that this exercise works best with pen and paper and allowing for a free flowing question and answer style dialogue.)  In asking and then answering the question of why, you will be forced to reverse engineer your thoughts, emotions, and assumptions that got to you the outcome of whatever action you chose – and bring you closer than you have ever been to your core self.

“Simplify.”

Modern life is too complex to not simplify as much as possible.  This means, creating finding patterns and creating routines that allow for repetitive processes that simplify your life.  For example, a friend of mine pays all his bills once a month, which means that he only opens his mail once a month.  Another friend consolidated all of his bank accounts to one bank.  Another person I know consolidated all of his credit cards to one card.  I just dumped all but one personal email address and am about to go to one consolidated phone number.  Imagine if you did all of these actions how much easier life would be for you.

“You are your best investment.”

Humans judge their environment through their five senses, and the first sense that they use in a new situation is typically vision, which is why strong first impressions are so important.  It is also why investing a little in a good first impression is probably the most important investment you can make.  So if you are looking for a job, hire someone to make your resume stand out, and invest in a great interview outfit.  These small investments will provide a higher starting salary, and more than repay any expense you incur.  If you are in sales, be the best dressed sales person on the floor, and watch how much more successful your standard routine becomes.

“You are only limited by yourself.”

Most people underestimate what they are capable of doing, typically because they are afraid to take risks for fear of failure, and when it comes to goal setting they think small, and never really get anywhere impressive.  Don’t be scared to think big, even though the task may seem impossible.  Once you have your big goal in mind, break it down into more manageable subparts and work on these as smaller successes until you ultimately reach your truly huge success!  Using this method you’ll surprise yourself with what you can achieve.