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Friday, April 30, 2010

How To Stay Focused & Inspired In Tough Times - Robin S. Sharma

How To Stay Focused & Inspired In Tough Times: Lessons for
Managing and Thriving on Your Setbacks

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars or
sailed to an uncharted land or opened up a new heaven to the
human spirit," observed Helen Keller.

In this change-crazed world we live in, a healthy dose of
optimism will help us deal with life's daily challenges and
stay inspired in the face of difficulties. But the habit of
positive thinking is not enough.

To truly thrive on the inevitable obstacles that will appear
on your path, you must learn specific strategies for
managing setbacks and transforming your struggles into

The following 5 points will keep you motivated, inspired and
focused as you deal with adversity:

1. Search for the Opportunity. The great motivational
thinker Napoleon Hill once said that every difficulty
contains the seed of an equivalent opportunity. The person
of true character has the courage to find it and then seize
it in order move on to a whole new level of success.

Problems are a part of life. The only people on the planet
who are problem-free are resting six feet under the ground.

When faced with an apparent failure or rejection, ask
yourself the simple question: "what can I learn from this?"
Then use the experience to grow more effective at what you

Remember, failure is the highway to success. As J.P.
Guildford noted: "To live is to have problems and to solve
problems is to grow intellectually."

2. Envision a Better Day. One of the most powerful ways to
stay focused and strong in the face of a setback is to
simply close your eyes and picture a time when things will
be much better.

Visualize things going the way you want them to go. Vividly
see things unfolding ideally and emotionally connect to how
good you will feel once they do. Jonas Salk said: "I've had
dreams and I've had nightmares. I've overcome my nightmares
because of my dreams."

By staying anchored to a positive vision of your future, you
will remain motivated no matter how tough your current
circumstances may be.

3. Connect to the Truth. There are certain "Success Truths"
or natural laws of achievement that have endured throughout
the ages.

Unfortunately,with the frenzied pace at which most of us
work and live at, we often lose sight of these truths that
have stood the test of time, truths such as "just before a
great victory one often faces great adversity" or "we learn
and grow most from our biggest failures" or "nothing can
stop a person who simply refuses to be stopped."

The simple daily discipline of reading an inspirational book
or a great text of wisdom from a life philosopher such as
Seneca or Thoreau first thing in the morning will re-connect
you to the success truths that govern the way we live. Their
knowledge will then infuse and inspire every remaining
minute of your day and your problems will not seem so big.

4. Select, Reflect and Correct. Reflection is one of the
most powerful yet underused business skills. The French
scientist Blaise Pascal mused that "All man's miseries
derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone."

The habit of going to a quiet place on a regular basis and
reflecting on the causes, solutions and ultimate benefits of
a problem you might be experiencing is one that will
profoundly improve the level of your personal and
professional effectiveness.

Thinking deeply about the way you are doing the things you
do increases self-awareness which, in turn, prevents future
mistakes. Let your past failures serve you. Transform your
stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Unless you reflect -
then correct - the mistakes of your past, you are doomed to
repeat them.

5. Maintain Your Perspective. Stephen Hawking, one of the
world's greatest scientific thinkers, has noted that we live
on a minor planet of a very average star located within the
outer limits of one of a hundred thousand million galaxies.

In light of this finding, can your problems really be that
significant? While, in the heat of the moment our challenges
seem to be major calamities, over time we are able to see
them in a new light.

All top performers have developed this ability of keeping
their setbacks in a proper perspective, learning from them
and then advancing confidently in the direction of their
dreams. Never lose sight of the fact that the work you and
your team is doing impacts on people's lives and you can
make a difference.

That's what's most important. As the poet Rumi once said:
"When you are dead, seek for your resting place, not in the
earth, but in the hearts of men." Wise words from a wise man.
Robin S. Sharma, Professional Speaker on Leadership in
Business/Life -- He is the bestselling Author of "Who Will
Cry When You Die?" & "Leadership Wisdom From The Monk Who
Sold His Ferrari". Visit

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