It’s Friday — time to talk about the big things in life.

I’ve been coaching for 15+ years and I frequently recognize certain situations and problems clients run into time and time again. I thought I would document some today . . .

1. Stay in the present.

If you live in the future, you will get anxious — if you live in the past, you will get depressed. Generally, you have eight sleep hours, eight work hours, and eight personal hours — focus on what’s in front of you. It’s the only thing that you have the power to change or to shape or to use. It’s your canvas. It’s your material. So use it well.

2. Your happiness is not something to pursue — it is a by-product of doing the right thing. 

So many people try to ‘attain’ happiness — and then get frustrated when it slips through their fingers. Try to focus on whatever the right thing is – and happiness will follow. Angry at yourself that you got nothing done during the day? Maybe it’s because you slept in late, you spent your workday surfing fun sites, and had an overly-long lunch.

On the surface, each of these behaviors should make you ‘happy’ — but I’ve found that when I’m feeling most depressed, its usually based on actions I either did or (more importantly) did not do. Don’t hunt for happiness — it will come when you do the right things.

3. You’ve been sold a fake idea of what success really is.

You’re being played — everyday, everywhere. On TV, the street, when talking with friends or family – it seems like everyone confuses the concept of rewards with success itself.

When it comes to money, fame, recognition, praise, the rewards usually belong to someone else. That’s wrong. Think of success as sustained effort of will. It begins and ends with YOU, and no one else. NO  ONE  ELSE.

Think of any goal you may have — say, you’ve always wanted to be a highly successful businessperson. Close your eyes and imagine it. What does that look like?

I guarantee you’re thinking about big offices with lots of people buzzing around, jetting off to far-away lands for lunch meetings,  and being interviewed by Fast Company, Forbes, or the Wall Street Journal.

In reality —  you’re fantasizing about BEING a great businessperson and not actually doing the work to become a great businessperson. This thinking is deceiving because it places the emphasis on passive recognition over active, sustained effort.

If you shift your focus onto your own actions and the more you create a sustained effort, the more likely rewards will follow.

It’s that simple.

P.S. Are you caught in one of these three traps? Let’s talk. I’ve worked with people from all over the world who wanted to take aggressive steps in their career — call me to schedule a complimentary session.