Just One Step Forward

Stop and look in the mirror. 100% happy with everything you see?

I certainly am not. I’m still scrawnier than I’d like to be. Ideally, I want to gain another 30 pounds of muscle. My bank account? Well, that’s scrawnier than I’d like it to be as well. My career is moving along, but if I’m honest, I’ve not done as much as I thought I would when I was a senior in college and expected myself to change the world. Socially, I have a few good friends and I’ve made a lot of progress towards overcoming that natural shyness that I grew up with. But you know that guy that just walks into a room, commands instant respect, and electrifies the crowd? That’s still not me.

If I honestly assess where I am at as a person vs where I’d like to be, I see so much ground I need to cover. It’s a bit overwhelming – so much to do. I find myself either stressing out about how far from my ideal self I still am or trying to just accept where I am now as good enough.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

I could freak out and stress over how much work I still have to do or I could give up and just accept I’ll never reach my goals, but a third option exists. Just One Step Forward. All I need to do today is take one step forward towards my goals. Just one step. Slow, steady forward progress will eventually accomplish your largest, most incredible dreams.

What can you do today to take 1 simple step forward? Here’s a few ideas.

  • Take a jog to burn some calories and strengthen your heart.
  • Sign up for a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn.
  • Visit the store and buy one clothing item that fits well and gives you confidence.
  • Join an online dating site and practice chatting with someone.
  • Better yet, visit a coffee shop and make small talk with someone there.
  • Sign up for a gym and search Youtube for a few basic workouts.
  • Fill out a to-do list to get yourself organized.
  • Clean one room or even one part of a room.
  • Message a friend to reconnect.
  • Read the first chapter of a book you’ve always wanted to read.
  • Drop $10 into a savings account.
  • Take 5 minutes and just breathe. Repeat the word “peace” or “strength” or “love” in your mind. You just meditated.
  • Plan to help someone today. When the opportunity presents itself, go for it.

None of these ideas are dramatic or life-changing. But then again maybe they are. If the journey of a thousand miles really does begin with a single step, then these simple steps may change you in ways you can’t imagine. You don’t have to change the world today. You don’t even have to transform yourself. You need just take a single step towards a better you. And in doing so, you just might end up changing yourself and the world more than you ever realized.

If you really want to master something as quickly as possible and go from first step to goal even quicker, I highly recommend The First 20 Hours – How to Learn Anything Fast. Josh Kaufman helps self-directed learners like us expedite the learning process get to the stage of enjoying what we’ve learned as fast as possible. If you are serious about self-improvement, moving forward towards goals, and achieving skills faster, then consider this book a strong introduction to everything you need to know.

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Happy reading, happy improving, and may your small steps lead to giant leaps toward your dreams!

4 Tips on How to Get Promoted at Work

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If you want to improve your life this year, one of the things you simply cannot neglect is your career. After all, how happy and successful you are at work will have a direct impact on the other areas of your life – your health, your relationships, your bank account, etc. Many people tend to wait around for promotions, trusting that if they show up to work on time, do what’s asked of them, and don’t screw anything up too badly, promotions will come after a certain amount of time has passed. But you aren’t most people, right? If you want to get promoted this year, there’s a whole lot more you can do that wait and hope. Today, let’s look at 4 ways you can drastically increase your chances of landing a promotion this year.

Step 1 – State your Intentions

You need to tell your direct supervisor that you are looking for more responsibility. If you seem satisfied just doing your current job, it can be easy for you to be overlooked when promotion time rolls around. Show your current boss that you are hungry for more. Be clear about your intentions. Just say something like this. “I really enjoy my current role, but I’d love to learn more about how XYZ works.” This lets your manager know you want to do more. Don’t be afraid to show them you have a fire in your belly and a desire to climb the ladder at work.

Step 2 – Dress for your Next Role

You want upper management to look at you and easily be able to see you in the role you hope to have. So give yourself a quick check over. How are you dressing? How are you talking? You want to look and sound like a perfect fit for your future role. Not sure what that is? Look at your supervisors and use them as a general guideline.

Step 3 – Learn On the Job

Learn everything you can about your current job, even the parts that don’t directly fall under your current role or your dream next role. By learning how all the pieces go together at your company and in your industry, you’ll start to gain a reputation of being the person who best understands the business. How can you do this? Ask questions all the time. Don’t go to lunch with the same coworker every day. Get to know each person. Grab a coffee with someone from this department today and someone from that department tomorrow. If you are naturally shy or introverted, don’t worry, you don’t have to talk much. Ask them what is the biggest challenge in their role, or one thing they wish the company would change. Trust me, they’ll be thrilled to talk and talk about their own issues and you can just sit, listen, and learn. Soon, you’ll be the most informed person at your company and that makes your more powerful, more valuable, and more likely to be promoted.

Step 4 – Learn Off the Job

This is the final step. If you really want to get promoted, this is the fastest way. Take a professional course online and earn a certificate related to your job. Then, after completing it, notify your boss of your accomplishment. Be sure to tell them why. Say something like this. “Lately, I’ve been really interested in the topic of XYZ. After talking with so-and-so and so-and-so, I realized that this is going to be an increasingly important knowledge area at our firm, so I just earned a certificate in XYZ. I’d love to talk about a few ideas I have for our company based on what I learned.” Professional courses are an investment in yourself and a fantastic way to set yourself apart from your peers.

How can they not promote you? You look and sound perfect for the role, you’ve been very clear what your goals are, you know so much about the company, and you have earned fresh credentials in your field.

Get started on these 4 steps today, and I am sure you will get promoted, improve your career, and improve your life this year.

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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