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“At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive.”

Think about this metaphor for a few seconds. Actually take the time and reflect on this. One degree separates water from being hot, to boiling. One degree separates you from being good at your job, to being exceptional at your job. One degree. How hard is it to push harder to get that one degree? Those are some powerful words. If you haven’t read 212°, the extra degree by Sam Parker & Mac Anderson yet, you should. It is an easy read, but an extremely powerful motivator.

Since classes are starting again, and people are going back to work from holiday breaks, I think writing a post about motivation and personal branding is the perfect start to a new year. In this post, I will use a few motivational quotes, and provide advice on how to achieve your personal goals for the year, or years to come. Personal branding is all about you. It’s about your thoughts, your actions, your commitment, and your goals.

Thoughts

“If you will spend an extra hour each day of study in your chosen field, you will be a national expert in that field in five years or less” -Earl Nightingale

This reminds me of Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers. In his book, he explains that 10,000 hours of practice will allow you to become an expert, in pretty much anything you put your heart to, as long as you’re committed. Are you trying to learn something new? Perhaps a new skill, or just general knowledge in your industry? Try reading 2-5 articles every day about something you want to learn. But don’t just read it, say ‘oh that’s nice’, and move on. Actually take the time to think about it. Use more than a few seconds. Think about what you liked, didn’t like, something you would have added. Join discussions on the piece.

Express your thoughts. Embrace your thoughts! Pause and  reflect. Thought is important because it is thought that generally precedes action.

Actions

Ron Tite, who I think is a very wise man, once wrote to me in an email: “Just shut up, and do it!”. And I take that to heart. He explained that these days, you have so many tools available to you that there is no way you can’t do whatever you want. If you want to shoot a video, shoot a video. If you want to be a dancer, be a dancer. There’s nothing out there stopping you.

Are you afraid to fail? Is that why you’re not taking action? Well sorry buddy, if you think success comes without failure, think again. I once heard someone say that a person without many failures, is a person who didn’t have much success. So what’s stopping you?

Commitment

Some people have a desire to achieve goals. And some people are committed to achieve goals. Which one do you think is more successful? Don’t get me wrong, a desire is needed to achieve your goals. First you have a desire to do something, but it is not until you are committed to do it that you will give your full potential. So why approach an activity without anything but a commitment?

Think about something you want to accomplish this year. Now think about what you will require to achieve that goal. Can you make the commitment to do it, and do it with an extra degree of effort? Or will it just be one of your many desires that never get accomplished?

Goals

If I can give you one piece of advice, it’s don’t take on more than you can commit to. You need focus. Chose one or two goals that you absolutely want to accomplish. And commit to them. The more you take on, the more your focus is scattered. The more your focus is scattered, the less you can commit to your goal. Without committing to your goal, you won’t put as much effort into it. What’s going to happen? Your end result will be good, but not exceptional. Focus!

Last remarks

“Whether you think you can, or you can’t, either way, you are right.” -Henry Ford

That is one of my all time favourite quote. So how will you achieve exceptional results this year? By committing to the advice I just told you. There is only one person out there that can stop you from committing to exceptional effort and results: YOU!

Now one last piece of advice from me:

“Be.”

Stop talking the talk, if you don’t walk the walk! The most important motivator is yourself. Be who you want to be. Don’t let anyone stop you. Be yourself. That is all for now. Are you motivated? What advice would you add in here?

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