What’s easy to do, is easy not to do…

My mentor Jim Rohn taught me this little saying almost two years ago.  It is a really simple phrase, but it has a lot of meaning.  Since I read this, I am not saying it is easy to follow.  But as I continue to grow in different areas of my life, I find myself repeating this phrase to myself when there are things I don’t want to do.  What I have done is taken this little phrase and modified it to provide me the extra motivation that I need to make things happen the way I would like for them to happen in my life.

“What’s easy to do, is easy not to do”.  I have turned this into, “What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it”.  A slight modification to this phrase, but one that applies to me.  In my mind when things are hard, I tell myself that I can either do this or not, nothing will happen today when I make this decision, but choosing not to do something for a long period of time has major impact on my life.  The double-bacon cheeseburger at White Castle doesn’t hurt me today, tomorrow, or a month from now, but do it for 20 years and what happens.

What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it: I will be 35 years young in about two weeks.  My goal is to be in the best shape I have been in since my early twenties.

  • What’s easy to do: get up a little earlier and work out, modify my eating habits, watch my calorie intake.
  • What’s easy not to do: get up a little earlier and work out, modify my eating habits, watch my calorie intake.

What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it: My personal brand is to add value to myself so I can add value to others. Value=worth and to increase your worth (value) to the marketplace it requires you to increase your skill sets. Also, I can’t add value if my value never changes.

  • What’s easy to do: Read 30 minutes a day, get out of my comfort zone, make networking a top priority, intentionally grow and develop, ask for feedback.
  • What’s easy not to do: Read 30 minutes a day, get out of my comfort zone, network, be intentional about growth and development, be open to feedback.

What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it: Build a portfolio of opportunities for myself personally and professionally that deliver revenue streams, assets, and leveraging business contacts to make a difference with many kinds of organizations and businesses.

  • What’s easy to do: take calculated risks, be growth minded, associate with different people, colleagues, and business associates, get involved.
  • What’s easy not to do: take calculated risks, be growth minded, associate with different people, colleagues, and business associates, get involved.

To sum it up, I define “Easy” as something I can do, which means it is not beyond my ability to do it.  So when I find myself overwhelmed and tired, I remind myself of “What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it”, and the difference between getting it and not getting it, really comes down to doing what’s easy to do, and most things are easy to do, you just have to do it.

3 lessons learned while lying around for 3 days…

I was forced to be laid up the last three days.  What a bore.  I couldn’t even do anything overly productive while lying around because I didn’t have the energy.  Being a highly productive person, on the go all of the time it has been very difficult for me to sit still.

  • I was forced into being un-productive, however it has been a blessing.  As I am sitting here typing. I realize that I have more energy because of the rest, to do the things that I don’t want to do sometimes. For example:  I like blogging, but sometimes being creative is so difficult and mind numbing, that I don’t even start, (this blog is an example of not being creative (LOL) ), however, I am still doing it because I have the energy to do so, even if the creative juices are not flowing.  The great Dale Carnegie said: “Rest before you get Tired”, I need to follow that principle more often.
  • If you thought Night-Time Television was useless, try day time television.  I have never seen so many shows that add absolutely no value to human-life.  Maybe I missed them somehow, but the talk-shows, the news-shows, the sports-shows, you name it, none of them really do much for anyone.  One could actually argue that it could make people regress if you watch day-time television all day.  At least Night-Time television has some entertainment value.  Even though I don’t watch these shows I understand their impact on our culture.  American Idol, The Bachelor, Survivor, etc. to name a few.  Each of these shows educate us on winning and competing if nothing else.
  • When you are not around, life around you, work, and pretty much everything else still goes on.  We all know this, but it just becomes even more apparent when you are sitting on the sidelines watching.

I am truly blessed, I was only out of it for three days. However, there are some people that have no choice in the matter and can’t even be in the game.  My passion and vigor for life and doing something of significance and worth is even hotter because of this down time.  I have the opportunity to do what I want, when I want, and how I want, what a blessing that is, I need to take advantage of it, and you should as well, most of us have a choice in the matter.

My Top 5 best books of 2013!

I challenged my self to rank the best five books that I read last year.  This exercise allows me to go back and digest the information I learned from these books as well.

In total I read 28 books last year.  Every book I read is for personal or professional development, period.  I don’t read for any other reason.  Some seek enjoyment from reading, I seek education and wisdom.  A discovery I have learned in the last three years, is that it takes in some cases a lifetime of winning and failing to be successful.  Many people who have done both winning and losing at high levels, were smart enough to put this information in a book for me to buy and learn from, I only wish I had this epiphany years ago.

So how did each of these books get the distinction of being my Top 5 best?  There is nothing scientific about it.  However, I do keep a spreadsheet (by title and author) and a star rating system with a few brief notes.  I also write in my journal a few general thoughts that I took away from the book.  So I do have those things,  but really as I look back on each book it is more of a feel thing, and what do I remember most out of each book.  Maybe, I will inspire you to read one of these books.

5.  The Greatest Business Decisions Made of All Time (author: Verne Harnish and Editors of Fortune Magazine) 

This book made the list, for a few reasons. I am just inspired by the business and the people who were/are running those companies and the decisions, the process to make those decisions, and ultimately the results of those decisions, of the biggest companies we all know today.  The book was an easy to read format and didn’t over do it with the details.

   Biggest Takeaway:  Sometimes you don’t know what the future holds, you just have to  make a decision, put all of your effort into it and see what happens.  

4.  The Gift (author: Ron Reynolds)

This book was a novel, a story.  Typically not my kind of book.  It was about an educated girl, who was recently divorced, down on her luck, not excited about anything, watching television everyday. She makes a decision one day to go in for a job interview selling seminars and training tapes (yes tapes).  This leads her down a path where she ultimately works for the President of the United States.  Since this book was written during the early 80’s and for those who were old enough to remember what those times were like (I don’t :)), but our newly elected President, Ronald Reagan was restoring HOPE back in America, and this story revolves around all of that.

  Biggest Takeaway:  We each control our own destiny and we can do whatever we want as long as we our passionate about it and work hard. 

3.  The Five Great Rules of Selling (author: Percy Whiting)

I was asked to read this book by a Sales Trainer for my Dale Carnegie Sales Training Endorsement.  I read this book in about 5 days.  What was really cool about this book, is that it was written in the 1950’s and dates back to the 20’s, and all of the Sales suggestions apply today.  I would have never picked up a book that old, but I discovered while reading it that reading some of these older books like this one, is something I should do more of.

    Biggest Takeaway: Rapport, Interest, Solution, Motive, and Commitment.  This 5 step sales process worked in the 1920’s and it still works today, once you get to the table.

2.  Rich Dad Poor Dad (author Robert Kiyosaki)

This is an older book.  I had heard about it, and saw many presentations by Robert, but just had never read the book before.  So I picked it up one day and read it in one sitting (I was on an airplane.)  I liked the concepts he taught, and how he talked about his childhood which helped lead him to making the decisions he did.  To grow up the way he did and be exposed to the two different philosophies of each of his fathers, must have been interesting to say the least.

Biggest Takeaway:  Owning your house is better than nothing, but a home is a liability, not an asset as it takes money out of your pocket each month. Your 2 greatest assets: Your cash flow, and your ability to earn (hopefully)

1.  Leading an Inspired Life (author: Jim Rohn)

No shock here for anyone who knows me.  Jim Rohn and his principles changed my life.  This book is basically all of his philosophies summed up in one book.  It is a big book, but I read every single page, most of the stuff I had read and heard from him before, but this book and what you can learn from it can change your life.  It changed mine.

  Biggest Takeaway:  Life is pretty much the same for all of us, you grow up, you go to school, you go to college, you go to work, have a family, retire.  You have an opportunity to live a really cool life, so “Why Not You”. You have control over it all. 

7 lessons I learned about life and running that running taught me…

On June 8, 2013 I technically started running.  My plan wasn’t to become a runner it was more of a way for me to lose a few pounds that I committed to losing on January 1, 2013.  As I started running (and losing weight) I started really liking it.  At that time, I liked losing weight more than the running.  However, over time I started liking the running just as much.  The morning run at 4:00 am. when no body is awake, just me and my thoughts is one of my favorite parts of the day.

7 lessons:

1.  If you want to lose weight…running is the most efficient way I know to burn calories and lose weight, with proper diet of course.  A good long run can allow you to bank a few calories and you can still eat what you want, in moderation of course.

2.  Goal Setting…As I mentioned I started out running really just to help me lose a few extra pounds.  For most of my life I have always been an athlete.  Playing sports and lifting weights and being fit was a way of life. Since High School, I have lifted weights, but really didn’t have any firm goals set. Running has forced me to set goals in running as well as every other area of my life.

3.  Seeing things differently…I bet I have walked through Cherokee Park a 1000 times throughout my life.  I would take my dog to there almost everyday during the summer for many years.  But running in the park as the sun comes up and it is just you and your thoughts, the park looks differently and it has a different feel to it, it is majestic.  I would have never experienced this if I didn’t start running.

4.  There are no shortcuts…We all know there are no shortcuts on the road to success.  However, in basketball from time to time you will hit a lucky shot, or in football the defense makes a mistake and you are wide open, lifting weights you can tweak your form and cheat to lift more weight.  In running, however far you go, there is only one way back. There are no shortcuts back, it is the same amount of steps.

5.  The last mile…is the hardest.  You are worn out, you’re dehydrated, your body hurts, but you have to finish.  Life is the same way, when you are about to accomplish something worthwhile the last few tasks are the hardest.  In college, the last few classes were the most difficult, every test and every activity was a grind.  In the beginning, they weren’t as bad, you just did it, but as the end drew near, the more cumbersome the tasks get.

6.  The journey is hard…but it is worth it.  Life is hard and sometimes we don’t know what path we are going down and it can get really difficult.  As early as this morning, I was thinking about how hard the run was. My body ached, tired, a lot on my mind, but as I finished the run, I felt better, and I know the run was worth it for my health and well-being.

7.  Life and running…only gives you what you deserve and earn.  I can’t run 7 minute miles unless I earn it through hard work, preparation, and dedication to that goal. These are the same principles needed in life to have a life of success as well.

Until next time….

Brian Willett