Timeless Principles: How to Live a Satisfying and Successful Life Now!

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What are they saying about you? About how you lived your life? About the relationships you had? What do you want them to say? Think about how your priorities would change if you only had 30 more days to live. Start living by these priorities. Break down different roles in your life -- whether professional, personal, or community -- and list three to five goals you want to achieve for each.

Define what scares you.

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Public speaking? Critical feedback after writing a book? Write down the worst-case scenario for your biggest fear, then visualize how you'll handle this situation. Write down exactly how you'll handle it. In order to manage ourselves effectively, we must put first things first.


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We must have the discipline to prioritize our day-to-day actions based on what is most important, not what is most urgent. In Habit 2, we discussed the importance of determining our values and understanding what it is we are setting out to achieve. Habit 3 is about actually going after these goals, and executing on our priorities on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis. In order to maintain the discipline and the focus to stay on track toward our goals, we need to have the willpower to do something when we don't want to do it.

We need to act according to our values rather than our desires or impulses at any given moment. All activities can be categorized based on two factors: Urgent and important.

Take a look at this time management matrix:. We react to urgent matters. We spend our time doing things that are not important. That means that we neglect Quadrant II, which is the actually most crucial of them all. If we focus on Quadrant I and spend our time managing crises and problems, it keeps getting bigger and bigger until it consumes us. This leads to stress, burnout, and constantly putting out fires. If we focus on Quadrant III , we spend most of our time reacting to matters that seem urgent, when the reality is their perceived urgency is based on the priorities and expectations of others.

This leads to short-term focus, feeling out of control, and shallow or broken relationships. If we focus on Quadrant IV, we are basically leading an irresponsible life. This often leads to getting fired from jobs and being highly dependent on others. Quadrant II is at the heart of effective personal management. It deals with things like building relationships, long-term planning, exercising, preparation -- all things we know we need to do but somehow seldom get around to actually doing because they don't feel urgent.

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In order to focus our time in Quadrant II, we have to learn how to say "no" to other activities, sometimes ones that seem urgent. We also need to be able to delegate effectively. Plus, when we focus on Quadrant II, it means we're thinking ahead, working on the roots, and preventing crises from happening in the first place! We should always maintain a primary focus on relationships and results, and a secondary focus on time.

Identify a Quadrant II activity you've been neglecting. Write it down and commit to implementing it.


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Create your own time management matrix to start prioritizing. Estimate how much time you spend in each quadrant. Then log your time over 3 days. How accurate was your estimate? How much time did you spend in Quadrant II the most important quadrant? In order to establish effective interdependent relationships , we must commit to creating Win-Win situations that are mutually beneficial and satisfying to each party. Win-Win: Both people win. Agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying to both parties. Win-Lose: " If I win, you lose.

Lose-Win: " I lose, you win. Lose-Lose: Both people lose.

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When two Win-Lose people get together -- that is, when two, determined, stubborn, ego-invested individuals interact -- the result will be Lose-Lose. Win: People with the Win mentality don't necessarily want someone else to lose -- that's irrelevant.

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What matters is that they get what they want. Win-Win or No Deal: If you can't reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial, there is no deal. The best option is to create Win-Win situations.

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With Win-Lose, or Lose-Win, one person appears to get what he wants for the moment, but the results will negatively impact the relationship between those two people going forward. The Win-Win or No Deal option is important to use as a backup. When we have No Deal as an option in our mind, it liberates us from needing to manipulate people and push our own agenda. We can be open and really try to understand the underlying issues. In solving for Win-Win, we must consider two factors: Consideration and courage.

Take a look at the following chart:. Another important factor in solving for Win-Win situations is maintaining an Abundance Mentality , or the belief that there's plenty out there for everyone. Most people operate with the Scarcity Mentality -- meaning they act as though everything is zero-sum in other words, if you get it, I don't. People with the Scarcity Mentality have a very hard time sharing recognition or credit and find it difficult to be genuinely happy about other people's successes.

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When it comes to interpersonal leadership, the more genuine our character is, the higher our level of proactivity; the more committed we are to Win-Win, the more powerful our influence will be. Lastly, the spirit of Win-Win can't survive in an environment of competition. As an organization, we need to align our reward system with our goals and values and have the systems in place to support Win-Win.

Think about an upcoming interaction where you'll be attempting to reach an agreement or solution.


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Write down a list of what the other person is looking for. Next, write a list next to that of how you can make an offer to meet those needs. Identify three important relationships in your life. Think about what you feel the balance is in each of those relationships. Do you give more than you take?

Take more than you give?

How long do you want to live? Do you want to live a long life?

Write down 10 ways to always give more than you take with each one. Deeply consider your own interaction tendencies. Are they Win-Lose? How does that affect your interactions with others? Can you identify the source of that approach? Determine whether or not this approach serves you well in your relationships.

Write all of this down. Email is one place we all quickly build poor habits. Millions of people throughout the world have improved their lives using The Magic of Thinking Big. David J. Schwartz, long regarded as one of the foremost experts on motivation, will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and—most important of all—find greater happiness and peace of mind.

The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises.