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Why Will Power is Not Your Friend
When will you get yourself to do what you say you want to do?
More people than you know lose sleep over that question. If that sounds like something you have experienced, you’re not alone.
Almost everybody begins their journey when a thought pops into their mind. Then, day-to-day life keeps them busy, and they spend frustrating months fixin’ to get ready. You know, starting to prepare… so you can start to do… so you can do… and say you did.
If that doesn’t work, you summon your friend, Will Power.
Will is not a person, but more like a kind of friend that you don’t know why you keep letting into your life.
They are a bit of a slacker, live rent-free in your mind, say they want to help, and never deliver on their promise. Will’s job description should read -- to force you to do things you say you want to do but can’t get yourself to do. When you give up, Will leaves.
The good news is, there’s no need to force yourself to do anything. Achieving your biggest goals in life has nothing to do with Will Power. Instead, shift your mindset -
“To act at your discretion without constraint.”
That’s the definition of Free Will, Will Powers, good cousin.
Use your Free Will to harness your excitement and choose the path of least resistance. Start making the smallest changes in your life. Those steps will lead to big results sooner than you think.
Climbing The Mountain of Success
I was standing in a parking lot high in the Great Smokey Mountains surrounded by tourists and the smell of hot engines. I was about to take a hike to the Clingmans’ Dome observation tower - 6,644 feet above sea level.
There is a sign at the beginning of the trail that warns hikers that the hike is considered strenuous, the average person will take 30-minutes to complete, and there are places to take a break along the way. While reading the sign, two conversions caught my attention -
A couple that had driven hours to get there said, “They say it might be foggy at the top. Let’s not and say we did.”
Then my wife said, “I think we should do it non-stop and in half the time. Who knows? It might be clear at the top.”
With that, we headed up the hill with thighs ablaze. We passed hundreds of hikers giving up on the trailside benches; even more had turned back as they hiked through the fog, but we kept going.
As we closed in on our goal of 15-minutes, we broke through the fog and found a beautiful day and a 100-mile view in all directions waiting for us when we arrived.
That’s the thing about setting big goals and going for them.
Even if you can’t see the outcome from your starting point, your goals and your mission will carry you to your vision - even if your legs hurt. When you get there, you’ll find that the journey up the mountain and the view from the top are always worth your effort. It’s also less crowded since most people never even start.
3-Steps To Peak Motivation
As a child, I wondered why I couldn't always have my way. Mom and Dad were so mean! I couldn't wait to grow up, move out, and experience being an adult. Everything would be different - or so I thought.
After stepping into the adult world, it didn't take long to realize that not much had changed. It turns out it wasn't my parents. It was life turning down my requests. Life was getting in the way. What was even worse was that I was getting in my way.
I've joked over the years that if I'm the Boss of me, so why don't I do what I say? Eventually, I realized having a big ass goal, being on a mission, and most importantly, motivation on demand was the solution.
Motivation is a powerful, if not fleeting, tool that we all need. But we need to understand how our minds generate motivation:
1) Your physiology dictates your feelings. The easiest way to break free of a slump is to stand up, take a step, and REPEAT. Movement wakes your body up, guides your emotions, and makes anything feel possible.
2) Focus fuels your fire. If you're feeling unmotivated, you are also drifting in the wind with no direction. Shifting your thoughts in a positive direction and toward what excites you will break you out and get you moving.
3) The words you say create the emotions you feel. Negative self-talk will drag you, and everybody else, down. When you make the words, you say to yourself, internally and externally, positive and uplifting, everything changes. Words matter more than you think.
You're human. Your brain isn't wired to stay motivated all the time unless you are willing to give it a helping hand.
Primary Morning Focus
I love the quiet peacefulness of mornings, but I'm not too fond that mornings happen so early.
Still, the focus, creativity, and feeling of momentum that comes with getting up before the chickens have such value that I needed getting up a bit easier. My solution to drop the complicated and establish a simple routine.
I begin by deciding the area I’m currently prioritizing and choosing a "first thing" task to move me closer to my goal.
Next, I set myself up for success the night before. Depending on my task, I make notes, organize my desk, get my gym clothes ready - whatever it takes to prepare.
Finally, when I wake up, I get licked by the dogs, take care of my personal needs, read something inspirational for five minutes or less, and start my day. No distractions. No email, social media, or news. Just start.
My goal is to make my primary focus the first thing I do in the morning before life gets in the way. It works like a charm.
There's a reason the Marines do more before 9 AM than everybody else. Now it's your turn.
Lifestyle Driven Business
Laurie Greiner schooled an entrepreneur on Shark Tank with a business lesson that shot through the screen and knocked my remote control out of my hand.
He said, “I’m in the lifestyle business.”
She said, “I’M OUT! There’s no such thing as a lifestyle business.”
He looked confused, but I got it. Then again, I wasn’t in the hot seat with my entire QVC future on the line.
If Laurie were to ask me, I would tell her I run a Lifestyle Driven Business. The goal for myself, and those I consult, whether business or career, is to operate in a way that supports a chosen lifestyle in every way. No compromise.
Yes, it’s business first, but your mission should be to earn a living that lets you enjoy life today instead of waiting until retirement.
Is it Time to Take a Talkabout?
For years, I've built a reputation for being a guy that never misses a chance for a good conversation. Sometimes I head out the door for a good old-fashion "Talkabout" - an ode to Crocodile Dundee's "Walkabout."
I'm not sure when it began, but since exploring life's possibilities is a core value, I know why; there is no better way to learn something new than striking up a random conversation with another human.
But, there are rules:
1) You must be focused on exploring and open to following whatever direction the conversation goes. No judgment. No challenging.
2) Your mouth should be open as little as possible. When you speak, everything you say should focus on learning more from the person in front of you.
3) No matter what you hear, remember that you checked your ego; you are here to listen and learn. When you feel the need to make it about you, it's time to move on to the next conversion.
Maybe I should start calling them "Listenabouts."