“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” — Thomas A. Edison
I love Mr. Edison’s quote just as the next optimist or personal development enthusiast does because it is insightful and it sheds light on a common, rather rampant problem of a lack of self-actualization by the masses. Although I am highly creative and flexible, I tend to be more so the go-getter pragmatist that I am, so you can understand how Mr. Edison’s positive, insightful, guiding, and uplifting, yet vaguely optimistic words can be a problem for a man such as myself and other pragmatic people like me and this is where I dissent in Mr. Edison’s timeless observation.
Being the pragmatic man that I boast to be in the first paragraph, I have composed a list of ten practical ways in which you can astound yourself just as Mr. Edison intended. No longer do you have to read his wise words and lack the concepts necessary to embody his words because such powerful words should be able to affect people ‘s lives in a positive, straightforward way. Let’s now trek on to the wonderful list that I have created for you TAL readers.
Here Are 10 Ways to Astound Yourself That Thomas Edison Forgot to Mention:
- Work with Genuine Concern — No longer do the important things of your life (i.e., working, going to school, discovering your life purpose, building your business, and so on) as if they are a normal part of your usual routine. You should do such things expecting a different positive experience each day and such experiences can only be generated by performing consciously and with care. How does making the things you do on a daily basis a part of your everyday routine benefit you? It does not benefit you at all because making things a part of your everyday existence causes your life to become bland and monotonous. One great way to create newness in your life each day is to create daily goals for yourself that can be achieved for the day before you even start your daily activities. Create goals for yourself to achieve in your everyday experiences that foster genuine concern for the work you do, so your work will be more purposeful, thus giving you a reason to actually care about the things you do daily. I elaborate more on setting daily goals in an article that I wrote for Yahoo! Voices titled “5 Simple Ways to Positively Impact the World.” If you work with genuine concern and a day-by-day attitude about getting things done, then good things will come to you because you will actually feel as though you are making a difference in the world and people will begin to notice your industrious efforts and more importantly, your results.
- Discover Your Passion — Henri Junttila of Wake Up Cloud has an awesome and insightful video, How to Find Your Passion in 7 Minutes or Less, in which he describes how one’s passion can be found in his excitement and I wholeheartedly agree with Henri. Henri equates our excitement with a global positioning system (or GPS) that tells us where we can go to find our passion. For example, I find excitement and joy about writing and improving the quality of my life by accomplishing the goals in which I set for myself, so I decided to become a personal development enthusiast and create The Annoying Life to inspire and motivate others.
- Have Faith — As I mentioned in my article, 7 Maxims That Every Leader Needs to Embody, you have to approach any endeavor expecting to win or succeed because not doing so would be defeating the purpose of your various success efforts. You must have faith and trust that you are competent enough to succeed and you will. I also wrote in that same article about being able to overcome failures because failure tends to happen and you have to be able to not actually set yourself back just because a setback falls upon you. Once you internalize the fact that failure gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, then having faith becomes much, much easier.
- Help People — Helping others is a great way to astound yourself because it allows you to see how you have the power to effect positive results in the lives of others. Helping people is great; however, the only drawback of helping others that I must warn you about is helping people in ways that put their burdens on you. I’d recommend assistance in the forms of mentoring, teaching, and inspiring any day over merely giving because merely distributing resources does not foster genuine help as it cheats a person out of his self-sufficiency.
- Further Your Knowledge About Your Interests — Learning more about the things that interest you is a great way to astound yourself because it makes you more competent and effective with respect to your interests. If you are a person who has a strong interest in web development, then it should make total sense to scour the Internet for knowledge and how-to’s about web development and associate with people who are web developers, right? The answer is clearly yes.
- Explore Personal Development Concepts — Personal development concepts are ideas that you implement into your life to improve your quality of living. The Annoying Life is a personal development blog, so it is appropriately filled with many such concepts. Besides the content here on The Annoying Life, there is much more information out there to be found about personal development and self-help. You could even go to your local library and find personal development/self-help books available for you to check out, or you could always search the good ole Internet for other personal development blogs and websites. If you seek helpful, uplifting content, then you shall find it. Steve Pavlina’s personal development website is one of my favorites by the way and you should definitely check it out if you are passionate about personal development.
- Befriend Someone New — Most people who are socially isolated tend to believe that others do not like them, but this is usually a false belief. The biggest cause of social isolation is the fear of rejection, so this is the premise that I will continue on. It is not that the others around you despise you or hate you, it is just that they are afraid of rejection just as you are because we are all taught to seek approval when we grow up as children, so this behavior is instilled in us from a very young age. Befriending someone new can be very promising because I and others have come to know interesting, talent individuals who we were able to bring into our lives because we stepped outside of our fear of rejection. Choosing to not attempt to befriend others is merely self-imposed social isolation. Do not do that to yourself because the world is full of good people who have much to share.
- Learn Something About Yourself — I had never played sports until I made it to junior high school. The first sport I ever played was football (American football) and the assistant coach of the team was a coach who was also my junior high wrestling coach. To make a long story short, I did wrestling for both years of junior high school and I would always challenge the assistant coach in wrestling because he would always encourage such challenges during my junior high school wrestling career. Then I moved on to high school wrestling and I also challenged the biggest and strongest wrestling coach during my junior year and my senior year (which I will finish at the end of May as I graduate then). The one thing that I learned from my challenges or experiences is that I am not afraid to face tough competitors and I am very proud of this characteristic of mine. Challenging difficult competitors only made me stronger, determined and fierce, and this is what I learned about myself. Take the time to sit down and really think about your experiences in life and learn something about yourself because the more you know yourself the more you can tailor your actions to be successful.
- Do Things You Would Not Normally Do — If you want different results, then you have to turn to different actions. It’s really that simple. You only get the same results when you do the same old things day after day. Be an innovator! Do something different in your business, your family, your relationships, your community, and so on that fosters change in a better direction. You as an individual have the power to cause positive change in our world.
- Compete with Others — I believe that competition is the best medium to get the ball bouncing in everyone’s way because competition actually helps all whom are involved. When people compete, they typically perform at their best because they are ardently trying to outwork one another, which leads to super productivity, thus great feats. Your mind becomes more sharp and driven when you are competing against someone or something. Go out and compete to bring out the best in yourself and astound yourself!