A duh! moment

I had a thought the other day while running.  It really wasn’t a very profound thought, it was more of duh moment.  However, I think those duh moments tend to have the most impact when you actually think of it as a duh moment.

Here is my duh moment. I was running listening to a book on audible.  My thoughts based on the message from the book, had me thinking about the past and what I called memorable things of great significance and importance that I have accomplished.  Maybe it was a promotion, maybe it was accomplishing a degree, a certification, or doing a presentation that I wasn’t comfortable in doing, etc.  You name it.  Most of the things were of great significance and at the time was a major accomplishment.

So the duh moment.  As I look back on all of these accomplishments, I don’t know if any of these things were planned with great in-depth detail.  Most of them were really just “doing”.  Let me put some context around this for you.

After I completed, my bachelors degree, I wondered should I get a master’s degree.  The decision was really made on my question to myself, why not?  It only requires twelve more classes of hard work and effort, of which I have been accustomed to because of my previous work in my undergrad.  It wasn’t anything but more work, well, and showing up.  See that is where most people fail, they just don’t show up.  This is another topic I could go on for days about.  In my mind I just needed to do the work and show up for another eighteen months, and I could get a master’s degree.  The “doing” is all that it required.

As I look back at the above as major accomplishment, I can think of just about everything else since then and maybe before then occurred really from just “doing”.  The more I do, the more I get done.  The goal now is to do bigger and better things.  Things of greater importance, things that can be significant to others, and significant to a legacy.

My mentor said it like this.  What is easy to do, is easy not to do.  The more you do, the more you will accomplish.

The biggest GAP for most people is the Gap between knowing and doing. (For the sake of the blog, the gap between the following doesn’t look that big, but is it?)

knowing (what we know we should do)                                           Doing (what we actually do)

What are you going to do today?

To your success and your future.

 

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Take A Time-Out

  • It is only very few of us who pause and think of what we are, what we would like to be and what we should do to get there. 

Today, I want to challenge the readers of this blog and who ever else stumbles upon it with the following:

Take a few minutes today and think about where you are and what you have become.  Ask yourself?  Am I ok with this?  Then (this is the fun part) think about what you would like to be.  Q:  Where do you go with that.  A:  Anywhere you want and think you can go.

Next, what do you have to do to get to the place you would like to go and be the person you would like to be.

Lastly, are you willing to do what it takes?

Life is too short to be little—Benjamin Disraeli

To your success and your future. 

 

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Michael Jordan: The Life (What MJ has taught me)

I have read a dozen or so biographies of some of the most historic and prolific individuals that have contributed to our society.  I grew up watching Michael Jordan and I can remember the 1992 USA Olympic Team and my buddy Wes and I playing the Sega or maybe it was the Nintendo basketball game created from that team and the teams they played during those summer games.  The average margin of victory for the “real” team that summer was 30 points, I think our average margin of victory on the game console was more like 60 points.

We have all heard the many stories of Michael Jordan’s competitiveness and his intense pressure that he put on himself as well as his team mates.  But after reading this book, I have a new appreciation for Michael, not necessarily for what he accomplished.  We know what he accomplished and has accomplished, but I just really appreciate his “pursuit of excellence”.  He is truly a man who pursues excellence in everything he does.

Michael worked EXTREMELY HARD.  Michael was the first person at the gym in the morning and the last one to leave.  He is the best ever, but he still knew that he had to work hard to maintain being the best.

  • Where are you in your career?  You have to show up first and leave last, if you want to be the best.

Maybe you don’t like your boss, but if you are good (great) they will leave you alone.  I had heard the Michael and the General Manager Jerry Krause didn’t get a long.  However, even though Jerry was the boss, he gave Michael his space to do what he needed to do.

  • My advice to anyone is that you don’t have to love your manager or leader (it helps, but it isn’t necessary) but if you are really great at your job they will give you space to make things happen, just like Jerry did for Michael.

When others on the team weren’t giving it there all, Michael called them out.  Time after time the book tells stories of how Michael would challenge players in practice to give it their all, and if they didn’t they would get the scorn of Michael.

  • If you really care about the team and your company you have to not only give it your all, but it is your job and responsibility to make your other team mates give it their all.

There were no off days.  I knew Michael worked hard.  However, in the book there are countless stories of when the Bulls would come back from a series of games on the road, that players would be exhausted from the road trip and would attempt to not push too hard in practice, Michael refused to allow them to do this.  He would work even harder in practice and make them work as well.

  • Have you had a great day at work or maybe even a great week, and you think you can not push it as hard?  What would happen if you pushed hard all day everyday.

Don’t complain about the conditions, just play.  Before the Bulls had nice practice facilities and awesome resources for the players.  They shared an old gym at a community center.  It was old and not much there.  Michael took one look at the facility and threw his gym bag down and said lets play.

  • The conditions will never be perfect. However, your play can be, it’s up to you to change your attitude and just play.

Respect the chain of command.  There were many things that Michael may have disagreed  with over the years with coaches and with his general manager.  However Michael always respected the chain of command and never said things to media or others to discount their authority.

  • You can respect the chain of command by talking to your manager or your leader in person, never do it behind their back or to others on the team.

You have to give it your all even when you don’t feel like it. Yes, we have all heard about the Flu game.  Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals Michael was sick with the flu and ended up with the following stats. Jordan played 44 minutes, finishing the game with 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block

  • You are a professional and what if you approached your job this way everyday?  Now I know if you have the flu we don’t want you in the office getting everyone sick.  However, the point here is that there are times throughout the week, the month or the year, that you are needed.  Be there no matter what.

You can talk smack when you can back it up. I can’t even recall all of the stories in the book and the many players that were quoted for the book describing the language that Michael used to talk trash to them on the floor.  But Michael backed it up, play after play.  

  • If you are going to say your are the best, be able to back it up with results and evidence.

Be humble. Michael was one of the most dominant players to ever play the game.  However, he never put him self above the other players he held himself to the same standards as everyone else (even higher really) and never got too big for the game and fame, even though he could have.

  • You are never bigger than the team or the organization, remember that and always give appreciation to others for their contributions.

Be coachable. Michael was the best player of all time.  He knew it and everyone else knew it.  Michael was his own hardest critic.  However, he would still listen to the advice of his coaches and his fellow teammates on things that he could do better.

  • We are never perfect and we must be willing to be coached, learn, and get better.  Once you think you have it all figured out, you will never reach excellence.

Have fun even in the moment of intense practice and preparation.  Michael was one of the most intense and competitive athletes of all time, but there are countless stories of Michael joking and playing around in practice and in games once the task that needed to be complete was complete.

  • Once your job is complete, make time for cutting up and have fun.  However, only do this once the job is done.

I remember watching the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan during their run in the mid 1990’s, however, I didn’t know the man (Michael) the way I do now. I just knew how good he was on the court.   Michael hated losing more than he liked winning.  A loss in basketball, table tennis, golf or anything would just eat at him.  He hated losing, which pushed him to make sure that he won.

I have a greater appreciation for Michael and who the man is.  His daily pursuit of excellence and not settling for anything is amazing.  I would compare Michael’s style to that of the late Steve Jobs.  Jobs and Michael both believed in not doing anything half way, and always giving it their all. These two iconic figures both changed the world.  Michael transformed the NBA and the athletic shoe and apparel industry.  He helped Nike become the dominant force it is now.  Jobs created an entire industry and truly change the world.

Michael was definitely provided with great gifts such as height and athleticism, however, he focused on those gifts and developed and refined, practiced, and worked at them to become what he became and is now one of the most transformative figures of all time.

Define and develop your gifts that you have with the same approach as Michael did and what can you accomplish?

To your success and your future.

 

 

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3 Things

Life is really busy, but it is always busy isn’t it?  We have more and more things pulling at us and our most precious commodity, which is the time we are blessed with everyday.

So today, I have put three things to accomplish on my list.   I am calling these three things the big things.  The things I must accomplish to make my day a productive and successful one and move the ball forward in my life and my career.

1.  I will accomplish one thing that will push my company forward and exceed the objectives of my job and my position.

2.  I will accomplish progress towards one of my personal goals. 

3. I will invest some time and resources into my continued development. 

This is how I am approaching today, I would invite you to do the same and then let me know how it works out for you.

To your success and your future.

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The justification

Yep, we have all been there done that “The Justification.”  We have a decision that we have made or we need to make.  It can be big or small, major consequences could come from it, or no consequences.  It could have very little impact on our lives or major impact on our lives.  It could be a daily decision, weekly, monthly, or a recurring decision.

Do you know that little person inside your head.  The one that sounds like you talking to you.  Telling you that you’re good, just do it, or don’t do it.  It can be either one.  But this voice (which is your voice) has a way of convincing you to do something or nothing doesn’t it?

I had the conversation this morning with this little voice.  Yep, I and the other me inside my head had a long conversation.  The real me, ended up winning though.  I’ll call the “real me” the outside me.  The one who decided to do it any way.

I woke up at my normal time and hit the snooze button on the annoying alarm sound that the iPhone perfected. It has to be the most annoying sound ever.  Call me lazy.  I then hit snooze again. After hitting it twice, I finally got up.  Not up and out of bed.  Just awake and stopped trying to fall back asleep. (this is called being extra lazy)  The whole time I was doing all of this,  the little voice inside me is telling me, “you don’t need to work out Brian.”  “You deserve this day off.”  “You have earned it.”  “Come on sleep in”.  I actually went back and forth with this person several times this morning.  After two hours.  Yes two hours.  The real me won.  I got up and said, let’s go and get this work out done.

What are you trying to justify in your head right now.  Are you trying to justify that you and your spouse didn’t talk last night before you went to bed, because of a stupid argument.  Did you justify eating that dessert last night because of a long day at work?  Or are you like me and struggled with that little voice in your head that tried to prevent me from getting closer to my goal that I have for my health?

 

That little voice is the best salesperson on earth, but he didn’t win this morning.  I did.  Excellence is pursued daily, it is not a sometime thing or when I feel like it thing, it is an everyday thing.

To your success and your future.

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7 Ways to More

While “less is more” can sometimes be a commendable attitude, there are certain areas of life where pursuing more is the best, and only approach to a more fulfilling life.

Be on the lookout for my first book.

7 Ways to More!  (Maximize and enjoy what you have while reaching for the next)

To your success and your future.

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Book Announcement: 7 ways to more

Subtitle:  Maximize and enjoy what you have while reaching for the next. 

Yes the subject of this blog is my book title and above is the subtitle.

This is technically my first announcement on my soon to be released book.                            7 Ways to More.   I am getting excited.  I met with my design team yesterday on the book cover and book layout for my upcoming book.  We are about 12 weeks away.

A lot of people hear or see the word more and they instantly think, “do I really need more of anything?”  “I already have more than enough on my plate.”  “I have more responsibilities at work”, “I have more deadlines”, “my children need and require more than ever”, “there is more of just about anything and everything that is constantly pulling at me, I am not sure I can handle more of anything else.”

This book is about “What If” and “Why Not”.   “What if” you had more of these 7 things in your life.  “Why Not” me to enjoy all I have while I pursue all I want.  In this book I discuss 7 concepts for you to consider having more of.  I want you thinking about what could be the results of having more of these 7 concepts in your life.  I will also challenge you as the reader at the end of every chapter with 7 questions to get you thinking about “What If” and “Why Not”.

This book weaves in personal stories from my background and my pursuit that is probably not any different from yours, I am sure.  I want to challenge the reader to say “I am happy where I am”, “But I am just getting started.”  I feel like the future is bright and gets brighter everyday. As the author I personally feel that I just got started and my goal is to convey to you as the reader the same message.

I look forward to sharing this book with everyone.  I will be sharing more information as we get closer.

To your success and your future.

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A percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing

Over the weekend I ran in a 10K race.  This was the second time I have run this race.  Last year my goal was to complete the race in under 50 minutes.  This was the first 10K and race I had ever actually competed in.   I ended up completing the race in 49:42 and that is about an 8:01 average minute per mile.

So this year after training for well over a year, I set a much higher goal.   This year my goal was to complete the race in 45 minutes or less.  To complete this race in 45 mins or less I would have to pace at a 7:15 minute mile.  I can do this for 5 K and maybe 4 miles, because I have done it before, but I have never averaged that time for 6 miles or in this case a 10k (6.2 miles).

So needless to say this was a lofty goal I set for myself.  I am proud to say that I finished the race in 46:40 seconds, which is an average of 7:32 seconds per mile.  This was still by far my best time for 10K and I finished 49th overall out of 1170 participants in the race.

Did I set my goal to high?  Did I place unreasonable expectations on myself?  Absolutely not.  What if I wouldn’t have set a goal and I just went out there for the heck of it.  Or worse case, what if I would have never even signed up for the run?

Most people are doing this every single day.  You are heading out there for the heck of it.  Maybe to just get by. Or even worse, maybe you just aren’t signing up for anything.

Set a few goals today.  Don’t set a goal too low either.  Set a goal that makes you stretch some.  Get in the game.  Do something that you don’t normally do.  Don’t just get by today, get something accomplished that pushes you further, your family further, and your future desired state closer to the present.  Please share with me what you do differently today.

I should have completed the race on Saturday in 45 mins. but instead I completed it in 46:40, which means I completed 97% of my goal.   A percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing.

To your success and your future.

 

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Head Games

Accomplishing new goals and goals in general really is a mindset thing.  For you to accomplish a goal it requires you to first set a goal.  (this is where most people fail)  They never set a goal.  (Shoot me an email if you would like a copy of my goal setting program) Once you set the goal you have to lay a game plan on what you will do differently to accomplish the goal.  A goal requires you to do something different, if it didn’t require something different you would have already accomplished it.

This morning as I think about the 10K I am about to run, I am taking a different approach and doing something different in my mind.   For those of you who dont know.  10K is 6.2 miles.  I have run this distance many many times, and even longer runs.  My body is conditioned to run this far, and since I have done it so many times I can do it pretty easily.  But today my goal is to set a new PR (Personal Record).  For me to do this my mindset will be different, it has to be different, because I have yet to accomplish the PR time that I plan on hitting today.  When I normally allow myself to slow up (I will remember its in my head that my legs hurt).  When I say its only a race and who really cares (I will remember that I will care, when I cross the finish line).

So most of our success and failure in life is in our own head and our mindset.  Today for me to accomplish the goal I will not allow my mind to play games on me.

What goals are you allowing your mind to keep you from accomplishing?  The great Napoleon Hill said it this way: “Anything the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”

To your success and your future.  

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8 super-duper short book summaries

Here are my latest reads in my traditional sweet and short summary style.

1.  The Highly Paid Expert (Turn your passion, Skills, and Talents into a Lucrative Career)  author: Debbie Allen

  • You have the knowledge, turn the knowledge into content and sell it using the channels outlined in the book.

2.  Be Good To Yourself   author:  Orison Swett Marden 

  • Everything in life and in business is about how you treat yourself.  The biggest success factor in life is you.

3.  Start with WHY (How great Leaders Inspire Everyone to take action)      author: Simon Sinek

  • The What is not as important as the Why, find out the why and you can lead and inspire people.

4.  Hot Button Marketing (Push the emotional buttons that get people to buy)                    author: Barry Feig 

  • Best book of the year for me on sales and marketing to really hit on the real reasons why people buy products.

5.  Reinventing Yourself (Overcome your Anxiety and Fear when faced with Life’s Problems and Challenges)  author:  Mario Alonso Puig

  • Cant recall anything good out of this book.  Sorry but true.

6.  Change your thinking, Change Your Life (How to unlock your full potential for success and achievement) author:  Brian Tracy 

  • A playbook on how to get out of your own way so you can succeed in life and in business.

7.  Stop Stealing Dreams (What is School For)  author:  Seth Godin

  • Seth Godin is the master at getting you to think differently, this books does this with brilliance.  A must read.  If you want a PDF version of the book email me.

8.  The Art of War  author: Sun Tzu

  • Real War and Business are both battle fields, to win at either one you must have a strategy for your success.  This books gives you that strategy.

To your success and your future.

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