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Why We Choose Safety over Excellence (and How to Reprogram)

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“If you find it difficult or uncomfortable to keep your eye on the ball while ignoring shiny objects (and you probably will), concentrate on identifying how your Smart State choice will increase your long-term safety and success,” she adds. “With this type of focus, the constant parade of bright shiny distractions otherwise known as ‘life’ will have less of an ability to pull your attention away.”

Figure out where you’re going and why. (Smart State Accelerator: CLARITY) For the critter brain, ignorance can often be bliss. However, it’s bad to go about your business—personal and professional—with no idea (or at least an incomplete one) of why you do what you do. Just think about the young professional who says she wants to make money—but can’t articulate what she’s going to do today, tomorrow, next month, and (to some extent) next year to fill her bank account. Her goal is unlikely to become a reality.

“Clarity can sometimes be so hard to achieve because it requires you to take the time to discover what you need, to articulate it clearly, and to be sure anyone else involved understands it,” Comaford explains. “But it’s essential to have in both vision and communication, because it sets up the person you’re interacting with to succeed or struggle—and sometimes that person is you.

“In all situations, try to take a few moments to ensure that you’re expressing what you truly mean or need; that you know where you are, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there; and that your energy is focused on that outcome,” she adds.

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