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Create the Life of Your Dreams: Oxygen Thinking, Optimum Living
By John Assaraf

All the written plans in the world, all the inscribed goals, dreams and desires won't even make good wallpaper if the first action isn't taken.

Instead of putting off doing what you know you must, dedicate each day to working your plan to get better and to move closer to your goals. Some time ago, I started calling this kind of focus *oxygen-thinking only,* which means that you do only what's absolutely required to get the result.

Think Apollo 13, where the astronauts were running out of oxygen and there was no time to waste. All you have is one second to do something to move yourself closer to home. In business, that's exactly how I operate: oxygen-thinking only. Whatever must be done next gets done, and anything else is just a distraction that gets put off to another day. In this way, you can actually make procrastination work for instead of against you.


There are so many brilliant people out there who analyze and plan and never get to first base because they don't get out and *do.* Have you ever been so afraid of making mistakes that you were paralyzed into observation instead of action? Don't let this stop you ever again. The worst thing that could happen is being wrong. Big deal! You'll try something different. Once a plan has been researched and thought through, it's time to get in the game.

You'll have the most fun when you're actually on the playing field. Every professional sports team starts the year focusing on winning the championship. They practice every day with winning in mind. Some days are better than others. They never allow one bad practice or one bad day to deter them from the end result.

I suggest you apply this kind of focus and commitment. If your goal is to get in better shape, for example, then if you miss a planned workout or eat a few cookies, don't let that derail you. Or if you are building a business and you have a sales dip for a day or even a week, don't let that deflate your discipline for the rest of the month. Don't give up, thinking one misstep means the whole plan is out the window. Success is the accumulation of many small steps in the right direction; just one out of line does not need to take you entirely off course. Recognize the deviation and get yourself back on route to your dreams.

Keeping your eye on the mark is the only way to hit it. You cannot hit a target you aren't focused on except by accident. Don't trust your success to accidents. Trust your success to yourself and your actions.


Of course, action is pointless without planning and purpose. Yet most people just don't want to give planning the time it deserves. Choose a destination before you head out to sea; otherwise, you'll find yourself in the middle of the ocean with your sails being battered around, and you'll be going nowhere. If you take a look at why businesses fail, or why a certain area in a person's life isn't working, it's usually because they haven't put much thought into it. They haven't taken the time to simply ask, *Where do I want to go? What am I trying to do? What are my options?*

You can be different. You can take the time to plan so you're laser-focused on your outcome. Then you're poised for oxygen-thinking only-you're poised to take action on creating the life of your dreams.



A great design for your life is more than just a list of New Year's resolutions. It requires serious reflection and assessment. You can start today with an exercise I call *True North*--which is detailed in my book, *The Street Kid's Guide to Having It All*--then proceed to create a vision for your life and specific goals, breaking them down into long-range, one-year, and ninety-day objectives. Out of that, you can make a daily plan of action. Future issues of this e-zine will walk you through all of these steps. For now, start by asking . . .


First, list all your wonderful accomplishments in life so far. Some examples:
bulletBlissfully married for five years
bulletGraduated from school of culinary arts
bulletOpened own restaurant to rave reviews
bulletBusiness in the black three years in a row
bulletPurchased home of our own

Consider everything you've done in your life that warrants celebrating or recognition from you: fulfilling relationships, school or intellectual achievements, family accomplishments, financial milestones-anything at all you are proud of or honored to have achieved. Once this list is complete, ask yourself . . .


Now take a look at the areas of your life in which you know you are strong. What are your natural and developed strengths?

Some examples:

Accounting background: I understand how to prepare accurate financial statements and interpret the numbers from statements prepared by others.


Conflict resolution: I'm trained in helping people navigate tricky disputes and come to mutually beneficial solutions.


Curiosity: I'm willing to learn just about anything.


Sense of humor: I tell great jokes.


Dedication: I am absolutely committed to creating the life of my dreams.

What skills and talents do you possess? What experience do you have? What resources can you access?

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In this article, Iíve identified the Top 5 reasons people fail at achieving their goals. You may find that one, two, or even all five of these relate to your life and experience with goal setting.

How I Squeeze 26 Hours Out Of Every Day!
If you're like me, good time management skills and tools are an absolute necessity. Here's my "extreme time management system." Adopt it as your own and you'll feel like you've gained several hours a day. It's how I squeeze 26 hours out of every day.

The Simple Steps To Reaching Your Goals
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Copyright (c) 2003

Excerpted from "Street Smarts", a newsletter based on the exciting new book "The Street Kid's Guide To Having It All" by John Assaraf. You'll be inspired into rethinking how you live your life today, and get a step-by step plan, actionable tips and techniques for achieving your dream life.

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