2 Critical Tools That Will Change Your Life

“The Secret to getting what You Want is being grateful for what you have.”

“Eric, do motivational speakers ever have a bad day? With everything that happens in life, how can you be positive ALL the time? “ These questions were posed to me at a recent speaking engagement and they got me thinking. 

In reality, even those of us that are paid for our positivity have negative experiences. I am no different from you. What separates me from a pessimist is my belief that your perspective determines your progress. 

How you perceive what happens to you is more important that the actual event itself. A person with a negative outlook is more likely to procrastinate because he views his setbacks as a stumbling block instead of a stepping stone. 

I recognize that maintaining the right outlook is easier said than done, so as you read on, you will learn two critical tools that I use to stay positive. If you commit to using them it will change your life.

1. Focus Card
Each day I use a 3" x 5" index card to write down everything that I am focused on for that day. On the front, I have my daily goals. These are the tactical to-do items that will help me achieve my strategic 12 month goals. 

On the back of the card, I write down the things for which I am thankful. Areas such as my health, family, and friendships rank high on the list. As I experience failures and setbacks, reflecting on my goals and what I am grateful for allows me to maintain the right perspective. 

I like the 3 x 5 Card because it fits neatly in my shirt pocket and I can carry it wherever I go. The card is sturdy enough to allow me to write while in the palm of my hand, which allows me to make changes if I am not around a hard writing surface. 

2. Lessons Learned List
In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says the following “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” The key to maintaining the right perspective on your failures is to focus on the lessons that you learned from it. 

To accomplish this, I create a lessons learned list for any setback I experience. In the memo app on my phone, I notate all of the positive lessons that resulted from a specific setback. 

For example, when I competed in The Toastmasters Speech contests, any result less than a first place finish was a setback for me. During those times that I finished short of my goal, I would write the positive lessons that I gained from the experience. I would notate things such as becoming a better story teller, and gaining valuable stage time as takeaways. 

This habit helped me to move forward with the right attitude and perspective. If you discipline yourself to using the focus card and lessons learned list, you will maintain the right perspective and be less likely to procrastinate in the pursuit of your goals.

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. For additional information on being grateful and having a focus on your goals, download my latest ebook, One Moment in Time. 

Your Failure is Not Fatal

Failure is not fatal, but a failure to change might be.”

John Wooden

Years ago, there was a young man named Ron who graduated from College with the goal of becoming the manager of a major department store in his home town. He was a successful college athlete, so he figured that he would apply for the open Sporting Goods Department Manager position. He left the interview with a good feeling about his chances of getting hired. 

Later that week he received a call from the hiring manager letting him know that he did not get the job. Ron was devastated. He told his mother what happened and she said, “Well son, maybe there is another plan for your life.” 

As it turns out, the plan was bigger than either of them could have imagined. The young man in the story is Ronald Reagan and many historians believe that, had he gotten the position he was seeking, he many have never become President. His failure was not fatal. 

“The faster you let it go, the faster you grow.”
Are you still holding on to a failure from your past? As your Procrastination Prevention Partner, I have discovered that an incorrect perspective on failure is one of the main causes of procrastination. Selling professionals with a goal of making six figures delay making their sales calls because a previous transaction did not go as planned. 

Business owners, who complain about not having any free time, refuse to hire their replacement because they remember the bad hiring decision they made in the past. The selling professional and business owner have one thing in common: their actions do not align with their aspirations because of how they view their failures. So how do you move forward and achieve your goals in spite of your painful past? 

Lessons Learned List
I have developed a habit of making a “lessons learned list” whenever I experience a setback. I use the memo app on my phone to list everything that I learned from the experience. The list of positive benefits is always longer than I expect. I can attribute many of my current successes to this process. 

For example, after some of my keynote speeches, people come up to me and say, “Eric, I am terrified at the thought of public speaking, but you are a natural.” The only reason I appear to be a natural is because of what I have learned from my many failures. The engagements that did not go as planned gave me the necessary experience for future achievement. Failure is the secret to my success! 

Just like Ronald Regan, you can use failure as a stepping stone to greatness. If you commit to making a lessons learned list, you will have the right perspective on your pain. You may not get an airport named after you, but you can still fly to the next level! 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner

PS. For additional information on how to overcome procrastination, download my ebook.