All my management texts - those about leadership and sociology and human behavior and influence - come to one solid and final conclusion about the issue of people: there is no one defining characteristic which makes a person more successful than the other. In my own small world, I've come to realize that what determines success is specific and unique to each person. Strengths and weaknesses vary by individual: the surmountable and insurmountable challenges of one man/woman will never coincide exactly with those of another. We have to find our own weaknesses and try to find ways to surmount them (or even use them to our advantage) - and we have to find our own strengths and find ways to harness them for the fulfilment of ourselves.
In my specific world, I have to face the challenges of being able to manage my time properly and wisely, being overly-sensitive, being unmotivated, being quick to throw the towel in on projects if I don't manage to get it off the ground in one go and being afraid to speak of dreams for fear of being ridiculed. I have to learn that while my project is part of me, it isn't all of me - and a rejection of my project is not a rejection of my self-worth (despite how hard it is to make that distinction at times). My challenges are all interlinked and they impact each other. It's a domino effect.
But this year - 2013 - while I haven't been particularly sorted in any of these areas, I've managed to push myself a bit more into attempting to sort them. True, I could do more, but I'm making these crucial and (oftentimes, most) difficult first step in trying to surmount them - or finding ways around them.
Focus, discipline, diligence, determination, gratefulness, organisation and time-management are my watchwords for this year. More than the dreamy goals I've set, I realise that these specific watchwords are what are needed to guide my very blasé and easily scattered and shattered self into staying on track in achieving my goals. I've chosen these words because are specific to my situation and my personality.
Focus: because I'm easily distracted and always find ways to make excuses to procrastinate.
Discipline: because in losing focus and in becoming distracted, I lose structure, and structure is key to success. But it takes discipline to remain focused, structured and successful.
Diligence: because success will never happen overnight. It takes a constant approach - a constant and diligent nurturing of your dreams to make them come true.
Determination: because you can't expect anyone else to open the doors for you, or keep you on track. You have to do it yourself.
Gratefulness: because in being grateful for what I have, I'll remember to not be discontented by what I don't have - and I'd remember all the wonderful doors I've already come through and dreams I've already accomplished and things I didn't succeed at which compositely came together to make me who I am today.
Organisation: because I am naturally a scattered and unorganised person, and while this is not often a criteria for most creative people, for me, I need this to make me keep within those watchwords above.
Time management: because I always think, if things are going perfect right now, I can put it off tomorrow and spend the rest of the day moping that I'm not being productive. Time management involves splicing the day into segments and accomplishing something within each segment. While I may not succeed at a particular segment, at least I won't put a mess of things off for tomorrow, because I can just start on something new in the next segment.
My watchwords for this year are all inextricably linked (as you can probably tell from my explanations for choosing them above). They are specifically Nick-centered. I'm going to write them down and put them on my desk and ever so often take a look at them - hopefully they'd keep me grounded: focused, diligent, determined, grateful and time-managed. And more than that - I know they will guide me into bettering myself and finding ways to accomplish what I'd like to accomplish.
What are your watchwords for the year? What do you need to do to manage your time better and be most efficient every day?