Michael Bond

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Imagine if you were able to do the one thing that makes you happy and you actually get paid for it? Doing what you love and getting paid to do it is what happiness is. You can wake up each morning and cannot wait to get your day started living your dream. It is possible if you can apply these seven principles:

• The little things matter.

• Failure is your best friend.

• Attitude is everything.

• Good habits are your next best friend.

• The present is all you have.

• You are always learning.

• It takes small steps to reach your goals.

Let’s go much farther and discuss planning and achieving your future, and more importantly, your dreams.

Success is not an accident. People don’t wake up one day and end up being successful. People don’t get lucky and are all of a sudden very successful. Success is a journey and a process. It is a journey that will have a couple failures along the way. By now you know that failure is OK. You are always learning from those small failures and you just get better.

Teens who achieve success and what they want in life do it by following a few specific steps. For any goal or dream to come true you must:

1. Picture it vividly.

2. Look at it everyday.

3. Start with a plan.


Let’s take a look at each step in a little detail.

Picture it vividly

Envision your dream by creating a mental picture of it. Be very specific about your dream and envision yourself in it. What are you doing? Who is with you? How do you feel? Think long and hard about this so that it is imprinted in your mind. This is very important because almost everything that you do starts with a mental picture. You need to have a clear mental picture of your destination or you will never reach it. Now once you have that imprint in your mind, your next step is to write it down. That’s right, you need to write it down and declare what your dream or goal is. The next step is to actually speak it into existence. Tell yourself out loud what your dream or goal is. It may seem awkward at first but once you do it, you will feel a sense of urgency and a need to achieve it. You should do this every morning after you wake up so that you start your day with your dream or goal in mind. This will keep you motivated throughout the day. Just knowing that you are working toward a dream or goal keeps you focused.

Think about it. Close your eyes and picture yourself extremely happy and secure. What are you doing? What is your ideal career or business? Who is around you?

Look at it every day

When you were younger, you probably heard a lot of “no.” Well when you were younger, you didn’t know how to give up. You were a stubborn 2 year old who was going to do whatever you wanted. Somewhere between 2 years of age and now, you figured out that quitting or giving up when something got tough was OK. Well it is time to change that and become that stubborn 2 year old that doesn’t get discouraged when told no.

By looking at your goal or dream each day and telling yourself (and the world) what it is, you are telling yourself “yes.” You are feeding your subconscious with yes, and that is what you need to hear. This can help carry you through the difficult times when you don’t feel like going the extra mile.

Think about it. Tell yourself what your goal or dream is. Tell yourself that you WILL achieve it.

Start with a plan

By now you know your destination, but how are you going to get there? Do you have a plan that takes you where you want to be? That is where a plan comes in. You need a plan that will get you started off right. This plan will not be the same plan that gets you to your goal or dream. The plan may change along the way, and that’s OK. Just as long as you have a plan in place. This plan doesn’t have to be perfect. The plan can and will evolve along the way because there will be bumps along the way. Your plan can be smaller long-term (years) goals, or short-term goals (days/weeks) that will help you along the path to success. The most important part of this step is to WRITE DOWN your plan and look at it everyday to keep you on track.

Think about it. What is the first step that you will take? What is the second or third step? Now stop thinking and write it down.


Everyone knows the story of the race between the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise won the race even though he was much slower than the hare. The tortoise won because he didn’t give up even when the hare was much farther in front of him. He didn’t get discouraged when it looked like he was going to lose the race. He didn’t give up and that was why he won.

Now don’t think that slow and steady always wins because it doesn’t. Actually, a fast start is always great because it creates momentum. Then, a steady pace that allows you to achieve small goals will give you that continuous boost of confidence. A lot of momentum in the beginning can be very exciting and great for the attitude. After you have the momentum, keep a steady pace by doing something every day. Tell yourself that quitting is NEVER an option.

Think about it. What will make your quit on your dreams? Will you be able to tell yourself YES enough to overcome the NO that you may tell yourself?

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michael Bond is the owner of Ahwatukee-based 1st Place Tutoring. His company assists students in grades K-12 with math, reading and science, and has SAT/ACT test preparation classes for high school students. Reach him at (602) 751-3594, mbond@1stplacetutoringaz.com or www.1stplacetutoringaz.com.

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