If we are truly living, then we are immersed in a life of learning and growing as human beings.
As we are growing, we are in a continual cycle of aspiring, succeeding or failing. With wisdom we realize these positions are transitory. Quote from The Ego is the Enemy.
Personally, depending on which “part” of my life that I observe, I am currently in all three cycles all at once.
Aspiring, Succeeding, Failing
I am aspiring to launch and build my business, I am succeeding at helping my parents navigate their battle with cancer and I am failing at sustaining a relationship with my brother.
I am aspiring to find the best way to help my parents without enabling them, I am succeeding at keeping up with my own health and fitness routine and I am failing at prioritizing my time at work each day. I over estimate what time I really have and over promise to those clients I want to please.
What helps me during cycles of failure, is to be my own best coach. Just like a coach who faces a loosing team, I champion myself through difficult moments of exasperation by reminding myself of who I am and what I am capable of. I promise to face each moment with my highest standards.
On Being My Own Best Coach and maximizing my own potential.
I remember and I realize . . .
- the impact of my attitude on my life.
- to believe in myself.
- I am never given more than I can handle.
- I don’t have all the answers right now.
- to remain solution focused.
- to ask questions and ask for help. I investigate and research those that have been here before me. I look for guidance.
- I should listen for answers and rely on others who can help.
- I need to make corrections. Corrections in my work, my attitude and my behavior.
- that God is working with me every day. Guiding me to do my best. I am not in this alone.
- I have done more difficult things before and I have made it through, successfully.
- I remember that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
I love listening in between the lines. Especially to smart people. People like performance coach, Tony Robbins. Evan Carmichael edited an all day Tony coach session that you can watch here. I am watching about ten minutes a day every morning and taking copious notes.
Inspired by Tony’s tenacious approach, I created this surefire success equation to get anything you want. Anything. A raise at work, a new startup business off the ground, shed the last ten pounds, you name it. Anything you want.
- Know what you want and believe you can have it.
- Know what it takes to get what you want. If you don’t know, find out. Ask the people who have what you want what it took to get it. What did they have to do to achieve the results. How long did it take? How much work did they do each day?
- Ask yourself the question, what is absolutely certain, 100% necessary, in order for me to get what I want. What must I do in order to get the results I want.
- Make the list of what you absolutely must do and get to work.
- Do the work. Do it daily. Check off the list. And then review your results. Be sure you are getting closer to getting what you want. If you are not getting results, get REAL with yourself. What are you not doing? What are you doing wrong? Where do you need help? New skills?
- Ask yourself, can I do any of these tasks, the actual work, better. Not faster, not quicker, but better. Are there any tools to help me perform the work better? Any professionals out there who can coach you? If there are, then find the tools, find the people. Use the tools. Hire the people.
- When you do get what you want, appreciate it. Be grateful for the work it took to get there.
What type of mindset does it take to win? To outperform and produce stellar results.
It’s not just practice that produces results. It’s perfect mindful practice. Practice combined with absolute certainty that you will achieve whatever you set out to do. You burn the boats.
Tip Sheet for #6
Absolute certainty that makes you tap into your full potential that has you take massive action which in turn produces remarkable results that reinforces your belief in your absolute certainty.
This is what it takes to get what you want.
And using failure as a tool.
Don’t choke at the free throw line. Be absolutely certain in your mind that you know without a doubt that you will achieve the results you want.
Whether you are trying to get ahead in your career, start a new business, lose 15 pounds, cut sugar from your diet or just be a calmer and more peaceful person, chances are you are frustrated with your rate of improvement. You wish you were making more progress. You think you are doing everything right, you just don’t know why you don’t see the results.
Planning vs Action
Those of us on the improvement track all do it. We create a list, a plan, a budget and we spend hours reading and learning how to take better care of ourselves, our families and our future. It is remarkable. We have access to an amazing amount of information to help us become better versions of ourselves. Wiser financially, stronger emotionally and healthier physically and yet so few of us actually see the results we want. The results we want to see are had with less planning and more daily practice. We need to take action and work the plan.
We need to practice every day, just the way professional athletes, writers and artists do. We need to go pro.
Getting Ready to Get Ready
This is how it is for many of us who become fixated on the emotional high associated with personal growth. We might make a little progress and feel pretty good about that. It’s easy to keep learning and studying new inspiring ideas, creative methods, and techniques while convincing yourself that you must be making progress simply because you’ve invested a lot of time and effort in learning and growth.
We spend our time getting ready to get ready to improve our situations. We’re reading all the books, watching the videos, listening to the podcasts. One of the big traps is believing that you’re making progress when there’s no actual evidence of it. This idea of going pro and stepping up your game, is inspired from the quote below and the book Turning Pro.
“To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.”
Read more in Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work
Execution is the Elixir
Planning without action creates a false sense of security. You may feel more confident if you meet with a life coach, financial advisor or spiritual guide, but scheduling time with them, listening to a TedX video or attending a seminar is not doing the actual improvement work. Journaling, note taking and writing the ultimate goal list is not going to make the difference. Action and practice every day will.
From Procrastinator to Producer
Perhaps you consider yourself a procrastinator and that is why you don’t move into action. “The Procrastination habit catches people in a vicious cycle: get overwhelmed, feel pressured, fear failure, try harder, work longer, feel resentful, lose motivation and then procrastinate.” Read more in The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
Propel then Practice
Every single morning I give myself the ultimate rallying cry, a trumpet call. I call it my $25 million dollar life. I’ve printed it out on a double side of copy paper and I recite it out loud every morning. It’s my manifest destiny and it reminds me of the greatness I want to achieve and the action necessary to get there. If you try this, I would love to hear how it is working for you.
Better, Not Perfect
Execution is the real elixir, the secret, the answer to self-improvement. We just need to get better, not perfect. Sure we can still learn by the book, but we need to go out and test our new found knowledge.
What you Measure Tends to Improve
Taking action begins with making sure that whatever you are setting out to do you have –
- broken it down into daily doable habits
- created projections for success
- continue to track measurable milestones
- have a clear vision of what success looks like
For example, if you want a calmer more peaceful day, than begin to practice 10 minutes of morning mindful meditation. Measure your heart rate and breathing before, during and after with Spire, the newest device to help us navigate this chaotic modern life. Now, what does a calmer and more peaceful day look like to you? What are you doing? How are you behaving? Be mindful of the success you want to achieve. You will know you are successful after many hours of practice and the way your life improves.
Put your Emotions in Motion
Anger and frustration are huge motivators for me. If I feel really frustrated I don’t linger around and complain, I get into solution as quickly as possible and then do something about it. I make the call, put on my workout clothes, apologize. . . whatever will help me move away from frustration.
I don’t know anyone who likes ruminating about negative thoughts, so get creative and find a solution to what is nagging you and just do it.
Next time you feel like you just can’t get motivated remind yourself what you don’t want and use those emotions associated with it to propel you out the door.
Ready, Set, Action
A friend of mine told me about the 60 second tip. When you are gearing up to do something good for yourself but you are not in the mood or you are too tired, try it for 60 seconds. See how it feels. Check out this site “Know more in 60 seconds” http://www.knowmoreinsixtyseconds.com
Re-Commit Every Day
“Turning pro is like kicking a drug habit or stopping drinking. It’s a decision, a decision to which we must re-commit every day.” Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
What are you trying to accomplish? What tips do you have to help take more action?
Imagine if you will, your life as a big beautiful fruit tree producing juicy, delicious, beautiful fruit, season after season. Now follow the fruit down to the roots of your tree. Your foundation, your subconscious is the emotion and mental form that you have strengthened day in and day out. Your roots are healthy and absorbing all of the organic and sustainable nutrients from the depths of your beliefs, confidence and core which are your roots.
How do you nourish your roots?
The fruit and harvest here represents the results of the path of your life, all of the goodness in your life. The loving relationships that you have cultivated with your friends and family members, the savings and investments in your accounts, the career path you are currently on, how energized and healthy you feel and the talents and skills you are building every day.
The quality of your fruit is dependent on the quality of your roots and what you are doing every day to feed those roots. Are you forgiving to those who you love? Are you making time for friends and family? Are you working to your best ability each day? Are you exercising your mind and body to nourish your roots?
Love What Is & No Quick Fixes
Perhaps your fruit tree is not bearing the quantity or quality of fruit you would like. Because your fruit is dependent upon how you feed your roots, no amount of quick fixes to prune, spray or feed is going to change the quality of your bounty, neither will it make it better or healthier. No get rich quick fix schemes will produce the harvest you desire. No fast fad diet will have you sustainably losing weight and feeling healthier. The real juicy fruit and rich bountiful harvest comes from nourishing your foundation and weeding your subconscious, through daily habits that when done diligently, patiently, persistently and willingly, will produce healthier fruit for you, season after season.
If your tree of life is not producing precisely what you want now, do not give up. Love what is – what you have right now and ask yourself, “What can I do differently today, to nourish the foundation of my mind, body and soul for a better harvest tomorrow?“
Inspired by the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth
My husband drives me crazy. He never writes anything down. Not a single reminder. Not even a note in his phone. He laughs at all my list making. So what.
The Secret to Achieving Your Goals
Now, I imagine if you are reading this, the headline got you and you are looking to achieve something great. Weight loss? More money? Better relationships? Peace of mind? Whatever you are attempting to get better at, it helps to set goals. Here is the formula I found works for anything I want to achieve and it is a mash up of some of the best advice and tips from experts throughout history on how to go about setting and achieving goals.
Scientific behavioral studies at Harvard have proven that those who WRITE down their SPECIFIC and ACHIEVABLE goals increase their chances 10 fold. I add that WRITING and SPEAKING your goals OUT LOUD with emotion each day in the morning (and maybe in the evening too) increases your success even further.
It’s simple, it’s easy and here is how it works.
STEP 1. SET PRECISE and MEASURABLE goals that you are CONFIDENT that you can achieve.
For example: I want to lose five (5) pounds by Thanksgiving, November 25, 2015.
I found this free Body Weight Planner recommended by Shape Magazine and developed by the National Institute for Health with the help of Dr. Kevin Hall’s research group for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to better understand how diet and exercise quantitatively contribute to weight loss and weight loss maintenance.
According to this calculator, I’ll achieve this measurable goal if I walk/hike and run at a moderate jogging pace for 60 minutes a day seven (7) days a week consuming no more than 1,955 calories a day. I calculate this is a loss of .75 (3/4) of a pound a week.
STEP 2.WRITE them down on paper (or in your phone) and keep them in CLEAR site. READ the goal OUT LOUD each morning.
Me in the mirror every morning:
I will be 123 pounds by Thanksgiving in 48 days by following these easy steps to achieve this weight. I will practice self-discipline and design my days around achieving this goal. Relentlessly.
STEP 3.BREAK down the goal and REMOVE all obstacles involved in the process of achieving it.
Each Bite Counts
Each day, I commit to counting calories – the LoseIt App is wonderful for this, as is the FitBit calorie tracker. You can also use a note book. Here are 5 great calorie counting sites/apps that you might want to try. I will jot down what I ate or take a photo of what I ate to calculate my calorie intake every day.
What if it’s raining?
How will I make SURE that I get in a 60 minute moderate run/hike each day? What if it rains and I can’t go outside? Will I go to the gym? Do I have a way of doing this at home in the house? Will I ask a friend to hold me accountable? Will I get it out of the way every morning? What if I am traveling?
Have a PLAN to REMOVE every obstacle.
No more chips. Damn.
I eliminate all refined carbohydrates from my daily meals. No breads, crackers, chips, cookies, etc. I will try to each a very healthy, plant-based meal with protein three (3) times a day and limit by alcohol to 1 glass of white wine. I will consume no more than 1,955 calories a day.
STEP 4.READ your goal OUT LOUD every morning and include HOW you will FEEL when you achieve your GOAL.
Me, in my head all day long:
I will look and feel amazing in my jeans, feel lighter on my feet and freer and more energetic. All that movement will also help me feel less anxious and healthier at 123 lbs.
You can do this four step process with anything you want to achieve, including making new friends, getting a raise, building a business, whatever. The secret is a mindful attention with intention and focus on your goal.
Visit Jason’s website here
This gem of a book by Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
And the book that inspired me to lose 25 lbs last year.
Tomorrow is Today
Focusing on our future selves helps us to make new decisions about what we should be doing right now. With this vision and connection to our future self we can apply the action needed today to make the changes in order to be a more fantastic future versions of ourselves.
One caveat. It will take self-control.
So if you really want to be 20 lbs lighter in the future, put down that bag of chips right now and stop mindlessly eating at your desk.
The Future is Here
Want to know what your future will look like? Thanks to technology, you can get a glimpse. This website lets you talk to your future self using a sophisticated combination of motion capture software, speech recognition and 3D imaging. You will need to download the latest version of Chrome to check it out here. It’s really fun, I promise.
Need a bit of help with self-disclipine and control? Who doesn’t?
Instead of hanging on to hope and possibility, you can increase the probability of your success with these tools.
If you want to be Fabulously Fit
Stop hitting the gym like an amateur. Workout like a pro, forget CrossFit, practice mindful movement. Learn: Self-Limiting Movement
Boost up your cardio. Jump Rope Jump Rope Workouts: Cardio fitness for increased stamina, lean muscle building and fat burning
Find Your Very Best Friend and Soul Mate
Crushing it in Your Career
Rev up the motor. Move the Needle. Read this detailed system that will help you achieve your professional and personal goals.
Meditation is not just all breathing and quieting the mind. There are many types of meditation techniques including my absolute favorite, Smile Meditation. So, in honor of #worldsmileday I share with you a simple way to lighten up and spark joy.
To begin the inner-smile meditation, sit comfortably on a pillow or chair with your palms on your knees. Straighten your spine, lifting it up from the top of your head. Then relax the muscles in your neck and throat. Take a few deep, slow breathes.
Close your eyes. If you are tense, gently move your neck from side to side and take one or two deep breaths that fill your abdomen and chest, then slowly exhale.
Next, smile outwardly. It might be helpful to use a positive memory to evoke the feeling of joy. Once you have a grin on your face, it’s time to smile inwardly.
Picture a smiling face in your mind. Bring the smile to the space between your eyebrows – your third eye or “yin tang” in Chinese medicine – and allow it to rest there for a few breaths.
Now take the smile and glide it in turn to each part of your body. You can imagine your body as hollow and the smile as a glowing ball of light filling every dark corner. Alternatively, you can picture every organ, tissue and bone smiling. If your smile gets stuck or fades at a tense or painful spot, breathe gently into that part of your body. Imagine inhaled breath moving into that area.
Read more about inner smile meditation here.
Most of you will agree that we can read, listen and study for hours upon end on how to enhance our minds and become 1% better versions of ourselves daily, but the greatest lessons in life are from actual experience.
Mapping Out a Successful Day
I am a professional list maker and note taker. If I don’t write it down, my wild and creative crazy nine year old inner child takes over and the next thing you know I have 20 projects that I have begun but will probably never finish. This is one of the things that I struggle with daily, so I have decided that as I begin to declutter my life and brain, I will become more mindful of my approach and system to tackling the day.
Listening to an interview with one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear I love the way she handles the creative younger sister in her mind, the one who wants to do everything at once. She calms her down by devoting 15 minutes a day to letting her mind run free and capturing those creative thoughts on index cards and in notebooks – to do later on. Listen to her interview with Rob Bell here.
The Morning Journal, Master List and the Top 5 for the Day
As for prioritizing my daily to do list, I have a new approach. I have come to appreciate the wild and creative mind that I have as just an excitable version of me that wants it ALL and that is okay. I love that about me, I just know that I can’t do it ALL right now. So here are my steps/system to making it happen over time.
The Morning Journal
After a five minute gratitude journal moment, I write down my goals and tasks for the day/week/month in Evernote. I love how Evernote is accessible from everywhere – my phone, desktop, tablet and laptop and automatically syncs my lists so they are always updated.
Organizing My Tasks – The Master List
I organize these tasks in three categories: Personal, Work and Creating (writing, photography, making things). I dump everything I want to include in this master list – things like outlining my book, clients I have to call, learning more about social media strategy and tools like Periscope, etc.
My Daily Top Five
I then take a notebook from Muji (love this Japanese store) and write down the Top 5 tasks I will complete for the day – or start for the month. I am sure to include at least one thing from each area of my life to keep it balanced. I prioritize by sense of urgency and importance.
I also use Moleskin note books and Pinterest to help keep track of things that inspiring me throughout the day.
Recording Daily Activities
Try this with me. I am now committed to taking an extra 90 seconds a day and recording not only what I have achieved, but how it felt to accomplish the task. This will include my personal and work achievements because I don’t believe any one of my clients is recording my wins. This job journal will come in handy later on when I decide to raise my fees and move towards more.
If you love journals and notebooks and have developed a system for creating tasks and documenting wins I would love to hear more about what works for you. Be sure to comment in the section below.
Not just for wandering the world, Midori Traveler’s Notebook Brown Leather (1, 1 LB)
Because inspiration can spark at any time. . .
On your road to greatness, the details make all the difference. Write them down.
I am adding yet another new daily habit of 30 minutes of focus and deep concentration by journaling precisely what I want to create in life with the honest intention of being in service to everyone I meet. I imagine and behold a (super) better version of myself, eliminating any negative thoughts including envy, hatred, judgement, selfishness or cynicism. No matter what, I will carve out this time to make sure this becomes a ritual in my life.
“. . . in applying one’s whole soul to doing right and speaking the truth. There remains only the enjoyment of living a liked succession of good deeds, with not the slightest gap between them.” – Marcus Aurelius
The other evening I was pulling my hair out while trying to free up some space on my computer with Daisy Disk (not worth the $9.99, a total waste). After backing up my laptop I had to restore my operating system. Not something I wanted to be doing at 11 pm at night. I have no patience for this, but it’s like laundry and cleaning the kitchen, it just needs to get done. But I had a moment of true realization while I waited for my Mac to restart with a new blank desktop – I am also in the process of refreshing and restoring my operating system. Some call it reinventing ourselves.
The Act of Envisioning the Future
The way I see it, we can worry about the future or we can focus on creating a better story for tomorrow. Recognizing that the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually transform themselves into physical reality, I have committed to concentrating my thoughts on precisely who I want to become and I am creating a crystal clear picture of that person each day, by writing a new future. This also helps with incessant useless monkey-mind worry because I am putting my thoughts to better use. I highly recommend you try it for yourself.
Just like building a start up or pursuing any dream, this life project of mine requires deliberate practice and focus and as many have come to understand a great dose of grit. Grit defined as perseverance and persistence coupled with an unwillingness to wilt, complain, or cry about my current state. It’s the ability to accept my reality and make the best of it, never wishing I was somewhere else, or in someone else’s shoes.
I have come to understand that people who value grit have a number of things in common. They appreciate everything in their lives and what they have right now.
- Remain cautiously optimistic.
- Exercise their muscle of self-control.
- Have a higher level of social intelligence.
- Maintain the ability to preserver through even the toughest times.
- Stay enthusiastic about the process.
- Embrace the art of curiosity about everything. Even their problems.
Grit: harnessing the courage, the resiliency, and the power within.
Climbing Hills and Recreating Blue Zones
Barring heavy rain or deep wet snow, every day I take a 25 minute steep hill hike around my town. What I am trying to do is recreate the effect that blue zones have on the body. Blue Zones are places in the world where people live to 100 and stay healthy.
The five blue zones are as follows:
- The Italian island of Sardinia
- Okinawa, Japan
- Loma Linda, California
- Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula
- Ikaria, an isolated Greek island
The people in blue zones don’t need to artificially incorporate exercise into their lives with machines. The exercise comes for free, already built into their daily lives naturally. Common across all of the blue zones is that the people climb mountains, walk through the hills, work the land, and generally use their bodies in a constant grind as they perform their daily activities. And it doesn’t have to be high intensity “run as fast as you can” exercise either.
To live long and healthy requires a constant, daily lifestyle of positive enrichment for the body and mind. For many this may seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Read more about what it takes to live to 100 here.