Someone once said, “Life is hard and then you die.” I guess both of those are probably truisms in today’s world. There is a span between sadness and rage with happiness in the middle somewhere. As we age the span gets longer. Things that would have upset me when I was younger are not as important today. I guess you could call that “coping” with life’s little challenges.

Whenever things seem to get to me I think about one year ago today. What was really bugging me on that day? Unless it was some sort of tragedy I usually can’t remember. And therein lies the secret. What’s bugging you today will not be memorable a year from now. Here are some other tips that get me through each day.

Tackle The Day

Tackle the day; don’t let the day tackle you. I was involved in athletics during most of my formative years. I thrived on competition. The better it was the more I liked it. But before every game I would have to get into the “zone.” A place where my total focus was on what I had to do during that game.

Work is the same way. You know your job. It can overwhelm you or you can tame it down and put it in its place. I didn’t look at the entire game as one entity. I looked at each play as a road to victory. Break your job into controllable segments and deal with each as they come up. Create a mental playbook for the things that come up based on past experiences and events. This will help you manage the day and go home with a smile instead of a frown.

Get Passionate About Your Life

If your current job isn’t your life’s passion then use that job as a stepping-stone to move toward the future you want. If you need more education there’s night school, Adult Ed. Classes, online classes, mentors, seek these out and get started immediately. Life is finite. Living a life you don’t like is a waste.

If your current work is your passion then work to make yourself more valuable in your profession. Learn as much as possible about how your industry works. If you read something about your business or industry for just 20 minutes each day at lunch for example, within a year you will know more than 75 percent of the people in that industry. Knowledge, not education, is power.

Associate With The Best

I have never thought I was the smartest person in the room. I might be more knowledgeable about some topics but there was always someone I could learn from. Listening is much more beneficial than talking. I learn more by encouraging others to talk about themselves and their passions than they learn listening to me talk about mine.

Spend time with those who’ve successfully done what you want to do and do what they do. That’s the true secret of success. You weren’t born knowing 2 +2 = 4. Someone shared that knowledge with you and you benefited from that exchange.

Some Final Thoughts

The army has a slogan, “Be All That You Can Be.” Why would you want to be less than you’re capable of? In most cases we are our own worst enemies when it comes down to motivation. We “self-talk” our way out of success by making excuses for why we don’t do the very things we want to do.

There are a little over three months left in this year. Where could you be by January 1, 2014 if you started today? A promotion? Start your own business? Help a charity? Run for public office? You’re holding all the cards.

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