What is it like to surround yourself with top books, thought leaders and ideas daily? What will you learn if you apply insights and tips from at least 3 new books each month? Our founder, Angela, makes it a point to read and apply the ideas from every single book that we summarize.
As we start a brand new year, she shares her top 10 insights about success. Powerful lessons that she has learnt after 12 years of leadership roles in the corporate world, 8 years of entrepreneurship and 3 years of growing ReadinGraphics!
New Year Reflections from ReadinGraphics’ Founder
As I did my year-end reflection for 2018, I penned down the top 10 things I’ve learned and come to believe in (vs things that don’t work). These are what I aspire toward, my definition of “success” and what I seek to integrate into my life and businesses.
I still find myself slipping often, so I decided to put them down as a reminder to self, and for anyone who may find them useful.
1. Be who you really are
We are not born the same. Stop trying to please everyone, or do things others’ way. Become a master at being you. It is a gradual process (not an overnight quick win) to discover who you truly are, to have courage to put aside others’ opinions of you, to learn to play to your strengths. Ask yourself, “Do I really believe in this, or is it herd instinct kicking in?”
2. Simplify, de-clutter. Less is more.
People are spending on things they don’t need, pleasing people who shouldn’t matter, reading and watching thrash that clutters their mind. In the process, they lose their valuable assets of time, peace of mind, consciousness, wisdom and fulfillment. Simplify and de-clutter your life. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Does it really add value?”
3. You only know it when you are living it.
Most of what we know ain’t true. Likewise, planning is great but much of it is built on speculation and assumptions. The best learning platform = applying, doing and failing forward. Mistakes and trial & error are the best tools to unlearn and relearn. You don’t know something if you’ve read, seen or heard of it; You only know it when you are living it. Ask yourself, “Am I practicing what I preach?” “Do I really know this or am I just pretending to know?”
4. We don’t need stuffy suits and 9am-5pm work to be effective.
Flexibility is the new luxury. Most of us want freedom/flexibility in our work but we also want others to be available at our beck and call (need for control and predictability). The collaboration models of the future will increasingly value self-management, reward people for their contributions (not just clocked time), facilitate flexibility (in work arrangements as well as enabling people to solve problems quickly) and appreciate people for who they are (not their titles or fancy portfolios). Ask yourself, “Is there a better way to do this?” “If I’m not already doing this, would I start doing this today?”
5. As within, so without.
Our external outcomes and circumstances are a reflection of our inward development and state of being. Seek to grow your consciousness and deepen your inward journey even as you fulfill your external goals. Create a space of consciousness, acceptance, “isness” for yourself and others. Learn to withhold negativity and judgement, identify shared goals and invest in others’ goals. Ask yourself, “In what way is my criticism/displeasure with this person/event a reflection of my inner state of mind?”
6. Live the integrated life.
Stop trying to balance work and life. Decide what matters and build your entire life around it. Work in an area where you can express yourself and pursue your passions. Combine quality time with friends/loved ones with health, exploration and other common objectives. Living the integrated life is about constant discovery, experimentation and course-adjustment to align the moving pieces in your life and get the most from every moment. Ask yourself, “How can I align/integrate my life so my time in 1 area contributes to multiple areas?”
7. Have faith but act with pragmatism.
At the root of perseverance, growth and success is the belief that you can prevail–that’s why positive thinking, an inspiring vision, and law of attraction are all great concepts to embrace. Yet, the time-frame for concrete planning and action typically ranges between a week and quarter. Any plans beyond the next 12 months involve tons of guesswork; daydreaming won’t produce results and you can’t take action using resources you don’t yet have. Be careful of the advice “fake it until you have it”—it can backfire to leave you in a deep hole. Hold your big, inspiring vision in your heart/mind like an inner compass. But focus your energy on taking the most effective action today to move in that direction. Ask yourself, “What am I doing today to move toward my goal/vision?”
8. Move quickly and passionately, but not out of fear.
Yes, we should hustle. But don’t act out of fear, worry about lost opportunity or others’ judgment. Act because of conviction, belief, desire for results. The differences are subtle but significant. When you act from the latter, it’s easier to climb up when you fall—refocus on your “why” and simply give it another go. Ask yourself, “Why am I really doing this?”
9. Be accountable and responsible.
You always have the ability to count your results (accountability) and you always have the ability to respond (responsibility). Be 100% responsible and accountable for your results, i.e. track your own progress and take full ownership for everything that happens in your life. Ask yourself, “If I were to hire me, would I pay myself for what I’m doing?” “How have I contributed to the situation that I’m in?” “If I were (insert name of your role model), what advice would I give myself?”
10. Synergize in an abundant eco-system.
Everything in the universe is interconnected and moves in cycles, from the daily sunrise-sunset to the seasons. The same dollar is reused as it passes from 1 person to the next. The same wisdom and idea is replicated, evolved, combined and applied in countless different ways. See your business, career and life as part of an abundant eco-system. Resist the urge to focus on scarcity and potential losses. Look for synergies, build connections, and find areas where your input can create a multiplier impact in many areas. Ask yourself, “Where/how can I create disproportionate results with my efforts/inputs?”
These shall be my 10 personal commandments for 2019 and beyond. As I continue to read, apply new insights and grow ReadinGraphics, I’ll probably debunk more success myths, bust more of my own stories/self-justification, and throw out more bullsh** rules and conventions that I’d been conditioned with. How will my views and beliefs change in the next 5-10 years? I guess time will tell!
To all our ReadinGraphics readers and subscribers, a big THANK YOU for sharing this journey with us and making it all possible.
Happy New Year, everyone! My warmest wishes to all of you for a fabulous 2019 filled with love, joy, growth and fulfillment.