Triple Lanterns Café is one of the stilt houses in Tai O Village (Hong Kong), offering beautiful views of the canal, the bridge and sunset, besides great pizzas, cakes and coffees. What makes this café really special though is Julia, the owner, who is always happy and cheerful, and ready for a conversation with every customer. During our visit to Triple Lanterns yesterday, we talked about the story behind the café, dreams, happiness, success, customer service and the importance of slowing down to enjoy life… parts of which were also captured on my phone. Here’s an edited version, and I hope it inspires somebody to follow through on their dreams…
I continue to apply the four steps to achieve anything with great results. I also get excellent feedback from people who have learnt this and accomplished much! When I see someone struggling with four steps without much success, it is usually due to a dream they don’t believe in, a goal not specific enough, a plan not detailed/clear enough, actions not consistent or persistent enough. The most common challenge is with the action (or lack of). So here are five additional tips to get result while working on your dreams, goals, plans and action:
- Make it a priority. Once you have figured out what you need to do every day, make it a priority. Allocate a particular time of the day for the action necessary to achieve the goal. Whether it’s time for exercise for your fitness goal, time for phone calls to achieve your sales goal, time for study for your personal development goal, or time for family for your relationship goal, you must block off the required time to do what’s necessary. And do nothing else in that time.
- Get back to routine. If you miss a day of the necessary action, get back to the committed routine the very next day, not next week or next month. It’s so easy to tell ourselves, ‘I missed a few days this week, so what’s the point; I’ll start properly next week, or next month.’ Never listen to that crap!
- Be persistent. You can’t plant a seed today and expect a tree tomorrow. You need to water it every day for a few days/weeks before you see the first bud. If it took years to put on that weight, it will take months to get rid of it. If you are learning something new, commit to the plan and stick to it until you succeed. Giving up is not an option if you are really committed to your goal.
- Change the plan. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal. If your consistent and persistent actions are not producing the expected results, stop and think, get some advice, check if you are doing it right. Maybe you need a different strategy, a change of direction or a modified plan. Make the necessary adjustment and go after your goal with renewed commitment.
- Stay positive and happy. Happiness is the foundation for all success, and positivity is essential for self-motivation. While you are working towards your goals, continue to acknowledge and be grateful for what you already have. Get inspiration from your dreams, and your ability to pursue them. Believe in your self and be positive about the outcome of your actions.
A little progress each day adds up to big results!
I am extremely encouraged and humbled to see that Mush Talks have had over 36,000 views on YouTube since the first one in May 2016! This one was recorded at Hong Kong airport this morning, edited during the flight, and uploaded during transit at Dubai airport…
This talk was inspired by how Mashal (my 19-year daughter) fulfilled her dream of going to the US with her own money, through the 4-steps I’ve been using and teaching for many years: Dream, Goal, Plan and Action. She had been working part-time and on weekends, with her full-time studies, and saving for over two years. What made it possible was her focus on small goals – the number of hours she needed to work every week and the amount she had to save every month – and doing it consistently. She left yesterday for three weeks of holiday and three months of studies at the Savannah campus of SCAD!
Here are some quotes about ‘small steps’ for further inspiration:
- Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent Van Gogh
- Each step you take reveals a new horizon. You have taken the first step today. Now, I challenge you to take another. ~Dan Poynter
- It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward. ~Old Chinese Proverb
- Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. ~Robert Collier
- Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. ~Chinese Proverb
- Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away. ~Indira Ghandi
- I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. ~Helen Keller
- It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ~Confucius
- The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~Lao Tzu
- The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking you complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. ~Mark Twain
I could script these talks, do a few rehearsals, record professionally with mics and lights, edit better, put music and effects and titles and captions… but then I wouldn’t be able to do one a week. I hope these zero-cost productions are still good enough to inspire some.
You may watch Mush Talks #1-10 here. And please feel free to leave comments below 🙂
Wow, I am so happy with myself – 10 videos in 12 weeks! Also quite surprised and extremely grateful at the number of views, particularly Mush Talks #2 (6800 views) and Mush Talks #9 (4100 views). Thank you for watching and sharing!
Five related quotes:
- The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up.
- The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. And the way to be happy is making others happy.
- The happiest people are the ones who make others happy.
- If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.
- Give what you want to receive. If you want happiness, make others happy.
You may watch Mush Talks #1-9 here.
Last week I talked about how happiness affects our relationships, work, health and success in life. So this week, I start talking about ways to increase our level of happiness – starting with gratefulness. Not mentioned in the video, but being happy and grateful for everything we have doesn’t mean we can’t strive for more and better.
Some beautiful quotes on gratitude:
- Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. –Charles Dickens
- Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. –Eckhart Tolle
- If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. Frank A. Clark
- If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. –Gerald Good
- Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. –Melody Beattie
- He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. –Epictetus
- Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. –Oprah Winfrey
- Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. –Buddha
- It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment. –Naomi Williams
- This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before. –Maya Angelou
You may watch Mush Talks 1-8 here, and please feel free to share 🙂
A decade of research reveals that happy people are 31% more productive, 19% more accurate, 37% more successful in sales… – Shawn Achor in ‘The Happiness Advantage’
We don’t go to work to be happy… you are at work to do the best possible job you can and to constantly excel and improve your performance. But we happen to do that much better when we are happy at work. -Alexander Kjerulf in ‘Happy Hour is 9 to 5‘
I look forward to the next three talks in which I’ll share the three steps to increase our happiness. Thank you for watching 🙂
You may watch Mush Talks 1-7 here.