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How to Make This The Best Year Of Your Life

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Part 2: A few words on Approach .*

In the first part of this series, we considered attitude. Now let’s look at the approach. This will help you to make this the best year of your life.

What’s the difference? 


Attitude is how you choose to think. Approach is what you then do.


Your approach is the way you choose to deal with a problem or situation. It can also mean that you are coming near, or nearer, to someone or something in distance or in time. The approach will help you to make this the best year of your life.

Approach concerns time for action or reaction: either making a proposal or request or handling one. It is hard to behave as you truly want without having thought about what your approach is going to be.

So now it is time to put your attitude into practice, and have it tested by events., this will help you to make this the best year of your life.

Steps To Make 2018 The Best Year of Your Life

1. EFFORT CREATES OPPORTUNITY


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

The American inventor Thomas Edison said that. He was also the man behind: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” And: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

People love the idea of being successful, of achievement. You must harp on that to create this the best year of your life.  

But often they are simply in love with the idea of the result. They want the reward, but in truth, they just aren’t prepared to put in the work to get there. You have to work if you wish to make this year the best year of your life. 

To create opportunities and achieve more of what you want, your approach needs to involve applied effort.

2. LOSING YOUR ALBEDO

Albedo is the proportion of the light or radiation reflected by a surface, typically that of a planet such as earth.

Ice, especially with snow on top of it, has a high albedo, so most sunlight hitting the surface bounces back towards space. The more snow, the more reflection.

The albedo effect, therefore, becomes a self-reinforcing phenomenon. This is something to be utilized to make this the best year of your life. 

It can be true of our approach too.

The more you behave in a certain way, the more entrenched in that behaviour you become.

This has been described as a self-protecting activity. You have probably heard the Einstein quote: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So, if it’s not working, change your approach. That is how you will make this the best year of your life.

3. BETTER AND CHEAPER


Lord Earnest Rutherford was a British physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics.

He uttered these immortal words: “We have no money so we will have to think.”

It has become fashionable to say, and probably believe, that so-called ‘big ideas’ require big budgets.

This is nonsense. An idea is an idea and if it’s good enough, then it is good enough. In fact, the better the idea, the lower the price tag. Keep this in mind to make 2018 the best year of your life.

Perversely, bad ideas cost the same as good ones. Your approach should be to reduce emphasis on resources, and concentrate on the thought. That way, things could be both better and cheaper.


4. KEEP THE BEST, BIN THE REST TO MAKE THIS THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE


We live in an age of too many ideas. People always say they are looking for ideas when what they really mean is that they need a smart idea that is practicable.

Most ideas fall into two categories:

Not that exciting.

Interesting, but unrealistic to implement.

A good idea is both exciting and doable but we have too many of those too.

Jerome was a very brainy priest, theologian and historian who lived around the year 400 and translated the bible into Latin.

His personal mantra was:
“Good, better, bestNever let it rest'Til your good is better And your better is best.”
In other words, keep only the best, and bin the rest. It is the only way to keep quality at its highest level. Thus a workable idea is a must to make this the best year of your life.

5. A DIFFERENT TYPE OF LEARNING


In a 2014 Princeton and UCLA study, researchers found that students who took notes on their laptop took twice as many notes as those who took them by hand.

Sounds impressive. But when they tested them, the longhand note takers did twice as well. Every time they repeated it, the same thing happened.

Writing forces the listener to process the information properly, even if interpreting it only for their own note-taking purposes. Whereas the laptop typists are like court stenographers on autopilot.

So when we encounter new information and want to learn from it, we need to force ourselves to do something with it. Describe it to someone else. Try out a suggested approach. See what happens. Learn, refine, and go again. Try this to make 2018 the best year of your life. 


6. INVESTIGATE - TRY EVERYTHING ONCE


“Try everything once except incest and folk dancing.” This was the advice of the famous conductor Sir Thomas Beecham.

One of these activities is illegal, the other merely polarizing.

So long as it’s legal, it’s worth investigating everything.

You could take someone else’s word for it or you could try it yourself. It depends on how much you trust the source, and how vicariously you wish to live.

Nothing really beats personal exposure to something. Base your actions on that to make 2018 the best year of your life.

If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it again. Inquisitiveness is good but masochism isn’t. Everyone makes mistakes, and when you have made enough, they call it experience.

Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian novelist, advises: “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” So make your approach investigative.

7. DON’T FORCE FIT


Jerry Seinfeld, the American comedian, actor, and director once wryly observed: “It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.”

And of course, it doesn’t. And yet we often hang on to rigid and inflexible constructs to organise what we see and do.

You don’t chop the legs off a rabbit to fit it in the hutch. So you don’t always have to force fit things into a set format or template. Let things flow and make 2018 the best year of your life.

It can feel counterintuitive, because we are hardwired to find shape where often there is none, like seeing shapes in clouds, or believing a mass of data has some kind of pattern.

Sometimes it just doesn’t, and no structured approach can help with that.

8. THE SPRINGBOARD OF SOLITUDE


According to Agnes Martin, the American abstract painter: “The best things in life happen when you’re alone.”

Working together is great, but the principle of collaboration is often abused.

Many executives get a lot more done at home than in the office. That is because they have uninterrupted time to think and do.

There is little worse than someone dumping all their random thoughts on you, hoping you will sort out their thinking for them.

It is everyone’s responsibility to think as hard as possible about an issue before burdening someone else with half-baked ideas.

Solitude enables you to get your thoughts together. So use thoughtful time alone as a springboard for a better approach. As the guitarist and singer Chrissie Hynde points out: "Being alone is underrated." Keep solitude by your side and make this the best year of your life 

9. PROBLEM OWNER, NOT PROBLEM MOANER


Okay, so it’s a word play, but it works. Anyone can raise their eyeballs to the heavens and say: “Well this is a big problem isn’t it?” These people are no help.

Someone needs to address the issue, taking responsibility, and making suggestions about how to improve matters. Stick by such people to make 2018 the best year of your life. 

Otherwise we will all just sit around nodding sagely and confirming that there is, indeed, a problem.

And if there is a problem, then that must be the worst kind of inertia to have.

Instead, grab it by the scruff of the neck, work through some possible approaches, and try something. Become a problem owner, not a problem moaner.


10. ROUTINE = DEATH


If you keep doing the same old thing, then you’ll just be doing, well, the same old thing.

Such consistency may be admirable in some spheres, but in most instances you will want to progress.
Most humans become bored easily. So if things have become repetitive, it may be time to make some changes.

Alter the pattern take some measured risks. Live a little.

As Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian novelist, observes: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.”

Slow atrophy is no future for anyone pursuing excellence.

Seek variety. Be inquisitive. Be industrious. Aim for top quality. Think hard. Experiment.

Learn, and refine your approach to make 2018 the best year of your life.

Kevin Duncan

Kevin Duncan

Expert Business Adviser


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