Have you ever wondered why some people fail and others succeed? I’ve been curious about this question my entire life. At 25, I’ve lived just enough life to see friends I’ve grown up with make something of themselves. Some are now lawyers, doctors, celebrities, and others are still at the same place in life they were at 18 years old. Why is this? Some say it’s environmental, other studies show it’s time management, education, etc. I want to take a few minutes and raise some thoughts that aren’t exactly in the self-help books of success.

As 2018 started, I reflected on what 2017 taught me. I realized there were points in 2017 where I was creating so much and other points where I was lazy and unmotivated. Have you ever been at that point – laying in bed wondering, “how did I get here?” I had a few of those last year. Through those moments I learned a lot about myself. I’m inherently lazy, as much as I want to be a morning person, I like to sleep, and most importantly, if my mindset wasn’t right, I wasn’t budging.

How does one go from lazy and unmotivated to feeling as though they’ve conquered the world? Ok, so that might be a little bit of an overstatement. For me, it has everything to do with mindset and environment. I’m going to share a few points on things that have helped me become more motivated and less likely to stay in bed all day. Disclaimer: I’m not one to read books or post on Top 5 Habits of Successful People, or Eat these three things to become a better Communicator, personally I think it’s all BS. You’ve got to create a system that works for you. There isn’t one path to success, these are just a few things I’ve learned over the years to help me focus and get work done.

Turn It Off

This is something new I’ve been doing and it’s helped me focus more than anything else. When I start working on a project that I know needs full attention, I turn my phone off. Usually, during the day I keep it on silent and turned over on my desk. This ensures that I’m dictating my day instead of my phone directing where my time goes. This is probably a good time to mention that I have no notifications turned on. I receive texts and email popups, everything else is turned off. This seriously has become a lifesaver for me, that way I’m checking my phone when I schedule that time to do so.

Morning Routine

Unfortunately, I don’t always follow this, but I’m definitely getting better at creating and sticking to a routine. I don’t check my phone first thing in the morning. I don’t want to get sucked into the abyss that is Snapchat or Instagram stories. I try my best to get up, have my coffee, and open a book. It’s like prepping your mind for a more focused and productive day. You could even call this a meditation time, a time to clear your head before the craze of life happens.

Dwell in Joy

This is probably the most life-changing piece of the weird puzzle I’m creating. Mindset and attitude is everything. Choosing to wake up, be thankful, and be happy is one of the biggest components of productivity for me. Regardless of where you’re at in life, choosing this mindset develops habits of gratitude that benefit not just you, but others as well.

I’m not sure that any of these suggestions are prescribed by the self-help books of today, but I do know that they’ve been working for me. I’m realizing more and more that the life we desire is ours to create if we simply take action and create it. Environment, resources, and ability aside, it all comes down to you. To quote Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Get out there and start creating.