Why I can’t quit, a glimpse in to how I stay motivated.

I’m not sure if this is you or not. But I know for me, it is a constant day-to-day struggle.  I believe it is the human condition.  I don’t think I am wired any differently than anyone else.  I think we are all similar more than we are unlike.

When faced with difficulties, challenges, pushback, obstacles, and any other words you want to include in this collection of words that prevent you from your desired result. I believe we all have to ask ourselves one question.  Why I can’t quit.

I don’t know if this is actually a question, even though it seems more like a statement to me now than ever before. I guess because I have stated it to myself over and over and over again.

When I have made the thirtieth phone call of the day.  I make this statement. When I want to slow down after running two miles of a six-mile run attempt. When I say lets shut it down now, you have been working for twelve hours. When I want to cut my workout short. When I want to take it easy.

The statement or question, (Why I can’t quit) however you want to look at it.  Has become a phrase that I tell myself over and over.  Here are my answers to this question.

Why I can’t quit:  Because if I do I will not achieve my potential.
Why I can’t quit:  My wife needs me.
Why I can’t quit: It is way too important.
Why I can’t quit:  I have two brothers, one didn’t get to live the life I have the opportunity to live.
Why I can’t quit: Because I am here now, and why not do everything I can do to have the best time while I am here.
Why I can’t quit: My health is too important.
Why I can’t quit: My dad worked for forty-five years waiting to retire.  And he didn’t get that chance. I refuse to do the same.
Why I can’t quit:  I don’t ever want to have a gut or love handles.
Why I can’t quit: I like to eat nice foods with my wife and drink wine.
Why I can’t quit: Because someone needs to hear what I have to say.
Why I can’t quit: Quitters don’t get paid.
Why I can’t quit: This is easy, someone else has it a lot harder.
Why I can’t quit: Because I just started.
Why I can’t quit:
I know I am faster. 
Why I can’t quit: I know I can do it. 
Why I can’t quit:
I hate the feeling I have when I know I could have done better.
Why I can’t quit: 
Because you told me I couldn’t
Why I can’t quit: 
Because this little problem is nothing compared to what others are going through.
Why I can’t quit: Maybe this will work
Why I can’t quit:  
Because I need it.
Why I can’t quit: 
Because I want it.
Why I can’t quit: There is something bigger I am destined to do and this is the path.
Why I can’t quit: Because most people do, or already have.

Bobby Jones the great golfer said this about golf. “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course — the distance between your ears.”

What he was saying is that golf is a head game.  The person who has the ability to think through things, keep their emotions in check, focus on what is important in the moment, keep the bigger goal in mind, and then lastly execute the game plan, are the people who can achieve success on the golf course. The technical skills necessary to play golf are important, but they don’t mean anything if your head is not where it needs to be. While on the golf course there will be challenges, obstacles, and barriers, but you must keep your head in the game and execute.

I believe the golf course is no different from life.  I don’t golf that frequently, however, I get up every single day and play the game of life.  And so do you.  We are blessed to have this opportunity.  Just like Bobby Jones said about golf, I believe the same is true for life.  The game of life is played on a five-inch course as well, the distance between your ears.  Which is your head.  And I think we all have to do things to keep our head in the game.

Remembering why I am doing something keeps me focused on why I must persevere. Why I must not stop and why I have to keep pushing through any obstacle that comes my way.  Remembering why also keeps me motivated to do the things I may not want to do or even hate to do.

The why, is what will keep you motivated long after you have lost the desire to do whatever it was you were going to do, or needed to do.

I shared with you a little tactic I use.  What do you do?

To your success and your future.

3 Reasons you missed the opportunity that knocked on your door.

I am sure we have all heard the old saying when “Opportunity knocks you have to answer the door.”  A little old school saying.  It is so old school that the chances are, you don’t even hear the message that lies within this little saying.

I know a lot of people who are walking around saying that their card has never been punched, or their numbers haven’t been picked, or opportunity has never showed up and knocked on their door.  And the problem with all of these statements is they are false. You have had many chances. Opportunity has presented itself several times. Your number would have been picked if only…., etc.

No matter who you are, opportunity has knocked and you just didn’t answer the door. You were too damn busy playing on your smart phone to answer the door.  Or you had your damn ear buds in and didn’t hear it. I am joking.  Kind of.

#1:  You were too busy to see hear it or see it:  I told you I was kind of kidding.  The reality is that you were probably too busy to see it or hear it when it knocked.  I don’t know what you were doing at the time.  However, my guess is you were doing life.   You know.  Working, taking care of kids, making sales, dealing with problems, and just doing what we all do.  So yes, you were just too busy to get the door.

So what do we do.  Well, life isn’t getting any less busy is it?  Nope. We have to constantly make sure we are aware of what is going on around us.  We have to take the time.  Yes. Take the time, and make the time. To become aware of what is going on around us.  There are clues all around us.  We just have to be aware of them.  We have to be more intentional about what is around us at all times.

#2: You weren’t ready: I can remember when I bought my first car.  It was a 1984 Ford Tempo.  It cost me $400.  Within three weeks I was without a car again. The motor blew up or locked up.  All I had saved was the $400 dollars and that is all I could afford. About three weeks later a better car popped up and it was $1200, and I didn’t have the money.  So I couldn’t buy the car.

The point of the story is that when the opportunity to buy another car popped up, I wasn’t prepared,  because I didn’t have the money.  I wasn’t equipped with what I needed, money.  To buy the car I wanted.

Another situation where I learned a lesson from a leader I had many years ago was along the same lines as this. I had just finished my bachelors degree and I was thinking about getting a Master’s degree.  I went to my Senior Leader at the organization I was with and asked him if he thought I should pursue the Master’s degree.  His answer was simple: “It is nice to have when you need it.”  Meaning, when an opportunity presents itself and you need a Master’s degree, it will be nice to have it.  What he said was when you need it, you want to make sure you have it.  All you can do is prepare yourself now so when the opportunity presents itself you are ready.

#3: You weren’t ready to hear it:  The other day I was listening to one my favorite radio sports guy.  His name is Colin Cowherd.  He is an intelligent host. He is smart business guy, and a smart guy in general. He not only talks sports, but he gives a lot of advice that can provide you success in your life. I digress.

He had Jay Cutler on the show.  Colin was actually out that day so there was a fill-in host that asked the question. If you are a NFL football fan, you know that Jay Cutler just recently retired to become a commentator.  He was a starting quarterback for more than ten years in the NFL.  The host asked Jay this question.  Keep in mind.  Jay had a reputation for being a highly emotional guy, that wasn’t a very good teammate or leader at times.

The host asked him, “If you could go back to the rookie (first year in the NFL) Jay and give him any advice on how to be successful in the NFL, what would you tell him?”

Jay answered the question very quickly with this answer.  He said “I couldn’t give that guy any advice, because he wouldn’t have listened to me.”  Meaning at his younger age.  I think 22-24, he thought he knew it all and wouldn’t listen to any advice anyone would give to him.  He had to figure it out on his own.  He wasn’t coachable and wouldn’t listen to the people who have already been there before and learned the hard lessons.

Ask yourself.  Has opportunity knocked for you and you were in one of the above three places at that time?  The chances are you were.

So what can you do about it. Very simply is this.

You have to make the time to become aware of what is going on around you.  It could be in your organization, your team, your business, your industry, the world, etc.  As I said before there are clues all around us that things are going to change.  We just have to be aware of them.

Secondly, you have to prepare.  Prepare today, so you will be ready tomorrow.  That is the only way you can stay ahead of it, and be ready to take action when an opportunity presented itself.

And lastly, be open to feedback and coaching.  There aren’t any new situations that someone out there hasn’t already been through.  We just have to be open to hearing it from them.

To your success and future.

 

How do you motivate people? My response is always the same.

I meet with a lot of people in my business.  As a trainer and expert in the area of leadership, training, and motivating. I get asked quite often how do I get people motivated to want to work hard?  The people who ask me this are typically in a leadership position and have a team of people that they are responsible for.

Here is how I respond. You can’t motivate People.  It can’t be done.  It is impossible for anybody or any person to motivate another person.  The definition of motivation tells us why this is impossible.

The word motivation comes from the root word.  Motive.  And the simple definition for motive: is a need or want that causes a person to act.  The suffix ation means: indicating an action, process, state, condition, or result.  When you put the words motive and ation together, it simply means: the state or condition that causes a person to act. 

You can look the words up yourself and come to your own definition. As you can see though, motivation must come from internally.  Another person can’t get you motivated.  You have to motivate yourself.

So the real question people should be asking me is this.  How do I get people to motivate themselves?

Now this I can answer, but they typically look at me with uncertainty with my response.

Here is how I respond:  You show me someone who isn’t motivated, I will show you a person who doesn’t have any goals set for themselves.  And if they do have some set, (they usually don’t, at least not clear ones, and why) they are usually not big enough, or exciting enough, for the person to do what it takes (motivation) to accomplish them.

It is as simple as that.  When we have established clear goals on what it is that we want, we will find the motivation to do whatever it takes to get it done.  We will get up early, stay late, spend money, cut expenses, work harder, do things differently, etc.  We will do whatever it takes to accomplish our goal.

What I have found though is that most managers that ask me this question can’t answer the question themselves, because they don’t have very clear goals set.  At least not ones that are more personal.

Sure the company gives managers a goal to hit X targets, or X revenue goals, etc.  However, those are not their goals.  They are the goals the company has set and told them to hit.  To get motivated you have to know how hitting the companies goals are going to help you hit your own personal goals. They go hand in hand.

And most managers and leaders haven’t set their own personal goals on what it is they do and why they do it. Which makes them incapable of helping their employees excited and motivated about hitting their goals for the company.

A person can’t give that of which they don’t possess. So as a manager, if you don’t know clearly why you do what you do, and what motivates you to do what you do.  You will be unable to help others do what they need to do.  And when you do have to get others motivated, you don’t know how to do it.

I have tried to simplify the process as best as I can, but it can be complicated or clunky when explaining via words on a page alone.  If you are interested in learning more about what I am discussing, reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com

Simply put.  To get others motivated you have to create an environment for them to be motivated.  Which means the individuals must have set some clear goals for themselves personally and professionally, and when they see how the job or the company can help them achieve their personal and professional goals, they will be motivated to take whatever action is necessary.

To your success and your future.

 

The real Freedom that you should be seeking

The word freedom is a term that is used a lot in the United States.  We say we want our freedom to say what we want.  We want our freedom to be able to do what we want.  We want our freedom of speech, of religious beliefs, sexual beliefs, etc.  We want to go to war, because we believe by going to war we are protecting our freedoms.  Many of what politicians say or do, usually comes back to the word freedom.  They say by doing this or that, they are protecting the freedoms that we have here in the United States.

And no matter what party you stand behind. You and I both, are always willing to stand up and agree with the politician or whoever else says it.  That we must do this or that, to protect our freedoms.  Or they might say, if we “don’t do” this or that, it could erode our freedoms.

Lets face it, we as Americans will say or do a lot of shit to protect or enhance our freedoms won’t we?  We love that word.

Here is the irony though.  As much as we all agree with protecting and enhancing our freedoms from a political or religious point of view.  We never look at what true freedom is.  I am not saying that the other freedoms aren’t important.  They are, however, they usually don’t impact me as much as the daily freedom that I seek in my daily life.

So what does the word freedom even mean?  Here it is, I looked it up for you.  I personally like this definition, because it makes the case for the freedom I am looking for. “the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.”  Which ever definition you choose to agree with or like it doesn’t matter.  We all have a similar belief of what freedom is to us.

The political shit, although really good talking points if your business is “Politics”.  And yes, I mean your business. Because it is a business, like any other business. For almost 241 years the United States has had freedom as its own country.  For those 241 years, we have done whatever we can to protect our freedom, our soil, and our livelihood as a country.  Could that be harmed?  Maybe, but it is doubtful as this point in time.

Here is the freedom I am looking for. Here is the freedom that is more important to me. Here is the freedom that I care most about.  It is the freedom in my own life to do and have whatever it is that I want.  Absolute freedom means this to me. I don’t have to rely on anything, anybody, any entity, or anything for my own survival. Which means:

  • I don’t owe anybody anything. (except for real estate that generates a profit over and beyond the cost)
  • I don’t want to have to rely on one customer to pay their bills.
  • I don’t want to have to rely on the government to pay my bills.
  • I don’t want to have to make sure I pay my car payment on time.
  • I don’t want to have to make sure my credit cards are paid.
  • I don’t want to have to rely on my employer to pay me.
  • I don’t want to have to rely on my social security check.
  • I don’t want to have to rely on a doctor to cure me from the problems I created with my health.
  • I don’t want to have to report to a boss that is an asshole.
  • I don’t want to have to work for an organization that I don’t believe in.

I don’t want to have to do anything for anyone that I don’t personally want to do. To me this is the ultimate freedom.  Some of you think that is unrealistic.  Depending on where you are today, maybe it is.

However, it doesn’t mean that it will always be unrealistic. You have the freedom to choose a different path.  You have the freedom to make a choice today to change how you will continue to live your life. The question is will you make the decision to do something different or continue doing what you have always done?

I am not sure if it is clear to you by now or not. But the point I am trying to make in the post is to get you thinking about what freedom is. You already have a lot of the freedoms the politicians say you are in jeopardy of losing.  Whether you are really in jeopardy of losing these freedoms or not, is exactly what they want you to believe.  That keeps their business going. Many of the stuff they are talking about, we are not going to lose.

That is why I am focused on the true freedom that I seek to have. The freedom in my daily life that can allow me to live the life that I seek to live.  I am not to the point in my freedoms where I want to be.  I am getting closer.

Hey, this stuff takes time, when you finally figure it out.  I am working my way towards it.  I will tell you the one secret that has allowed me to get closer to this ultimate freedom.

It is very simply that I made a choice to design a life, instead of living a life.  Which means, I invested more and more money into my personal development and my self-education.  This is the one thing that has netted me more and more returns as I continued to invest more and more in it. You should be making those investments too.

To your success and your future.

 

5 Ways to build Trust, Credibility, and Respect for yourself

Tomorrow I will be doing a presentation to a group of Young Professionals.  I will be speaking around the topic of Leadership; How to build Trust, Credibility and Respect.

Obviously an interesting topic for this group of people.  Most of the folks that will be in attendance fall into a few different categories in the workforce. They are either starting out their careers.  They could already be in their second career. Most likely most of them, if not all of them, will be looking for an edge to continue to grow in their current role and in their organization.

I will allow them to come up with their own playbook of what they think it takes for them to build their leadership skills to be trusted, and have the respect and be credible to those in higher positions in their company or in their communities.  As they decide for themselves what they think it takes. I will share my thoughts as well.

Here are five things they can do, and you can do to: To become a trusted, credible, and well-respected leader in your organization or in your community.

  1. Invest in yourself: There is no better way to become known as a person who knows what they are talking about than actually becoming that person that knows what they are talking about.  The best way to do this, is to first become an expert in your business or the work you do.  Sign up for any trade magazines in your industry, email lists, newsletters, etc.  Whatever you can get your hands on, do it.  In addition, to getting your hands on that information you need to attend seminars or conferences in your business.  If your company will pay for it. Great. If not.  Pay for it yourself.  Become known as the person who is willing to do whatever it takes to become an expert in your business.
  2. Develop your foundational skills: Yes I said foundational.  Most people call them soft skills.  However, I call them foundational, because if you don’t have a strong foundation built it is hard to put or build anything on top of it.  You have to become a better speaker, communicator, connector with others, small talker, influencer, etc. There are  two ways to develop these skills.   First, you can attend courses to learn how to do this more effectively.  Like a Dale Carnegie Course or Toastmasters. Secondly, you have to practice a lot.  You have to go out of your way to attend networking events, find ways to speak in public, and just go out of your way to always be connecting and communicating with others.  The more you do this, the better you will become, which in turn allows you to become more known and more credible.
  3. Brand You: The first two items on the list, obviously help build you up amongst your peers and colleagues.  However, if you are working really hard to build yourself up, but meanwhile you are doing things that can pull you down. It isn’t going to help you become more respected and trusted.  Here are a couple of things to not do. Don’t be negative.  You know who those people are.  You try to avoid them don’t you?  They are the ones that are on Facebook or on your lunch breaks, complaining about everything. You don’t want to be known as that person.  Secondly, don’t feed in to the gossip.  When someone starts the gossip, exclude yourself immediately from the talk. Avoiding the negative talk and avoiding the gossip scene will help separate you from the pack and let people know that you are trustworthy.
  4. Listen and think before you speak: You could easily put these into the foundational category above.  However, I believe it needs its own space here at number four.  First of all, most people are not very good listeners.  People respect people who will listen to them.  We want someone to sincerely listen to us. Secondly, if we become good listeners, we will have the correct and accurate information before we start speaking.  How many times have you heard the old saying “Foot in my mouth” cliché.  Too many to count most likely.  And the reason people have to say it so often, is that they didn’t do enough listening on the front end to learn what they should or shouldn’t say.
  5. Speed, Accuracy, Consistency: I am still waiting for a returned phone call from a Realtor from two weeks ago.  How much credibility do you think that person has with me right now?  You got it.  Zero.  I believe you must become known as a person who does things quickly.  Lets face it.  We now live in a world where I can have pretty much anything I want within a few hours, at the longest, a couple of days.  We are all conditioned, and getting more conditioned every day, to have less patience than we used to.  If you want to become more respected and credible, become known as the person who gets things done quickly. I know when we speed things up, the chances of accuracy and consistency can be affected.  But you can’t allow that to happen.  You have to deliver everything with speed.  It must be accurate, and you must be able to do it consistently.  Period.  Look at Amazon.  They do all three.  Become known as the Amazon to everyone you know.

These are five simple things you can do to become that respected, credible, and trusted person at your office, within your organization, within your community, etc.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

No matter what…

One of my mentors eloquently stated that most people are not very creative because they haven’t committed to whatever it is they are trying to accomplish.  They say that commitment precedes creativity.  Most people aren’t creative because they aren’t committed.  Once you make a commitment to whatever it is you are trying to accomplish, you will find a way, hence the creativity part, to make it happen.

What is commitment you ask?  I am sure that you have your own definition of what commitment is.  And you can look it up online or pick up a Webster’s Dictionary (Do they still make these?)  One of the definitions I read for commitment is: “it obligates you to do something.”  Now a little more Language Arts class here for you.  I apologize, but most people never take the time to look up the definitions of words.  They just assume they know what they mean.

The word obligate: “to bind legally or morally”.  Now we are getting heaving into what a commitment is. Lets review here: “A commitment is something that you must do because either legally or morally you must see it through.”  I like that definition.  However a definition by itself isn’t going to help you see your commitments all the way through.  I instead like to suggest to the uncommitted on how they can become more committed with a very simple instruction.

That instruction is this:  “No matter what”.  Meaning:

  • No matter what…happens today you will fulfill your commitment
  • No matter what happened yesterday you will fulfill your commitment.
  • No matter what happens tomorrow you will fulfill your commitment.
  • No matter how you feel you will fulfill your commitment.
  • No matter how busy the day is you will fulfill your commitment
  • No matter what your spouse says or does you will fulfill your commitment.
  • No matter what your children do or have done you will fulfill your commitment.
  • No matter what happens at work or doesn’t happen at work you will fulfill your commitment.
  • No matter what the weather is you will fulfill your commitment.
  • No matter what the situation is, or could be, you will fulfill your commitment.

As my mentor said.  All of the above are excuses that the uncommitted come up with that give them permission to not fulfill their commitments. And until you fully commit. I mean totally sell out on your goals, your commitments, your future, your obligations.  Whatever it is for you, you will never become creative enough to make sure you meet those commitments.

So let me ask you.  Have you sold out and fully committed on whatever it is you say you are committed in achieving? Come on, have you?  Have you put a stake in the ground and said “No matter what” I will make sure I pursue this commitment all the way through, no matter what gets in my way?  Also, keep in mind.  As the definition states. A commitment is an obligation.  Which means it could be legally or morally binding.  My guess is that your goals and your future are not legally binding.  However, they should be morally binding.

The biggest lies we get told every single day are the lies we tell ourselves.  The “I am doing everything I can.” Are you really?  Everything?  “I am committed to get this done”,  Are you?  When is the last time you worked on it?

If you can’t trust yourself, than who can you trust.  Your commitments are a moral contract between you and yourself. It is your obligation, as the definition states to see them through.

Final question for you.  Have you truly committed and sold out to your commitments, your goals, your future self, the one you desire to be?  Have you put that stake in the ground and said “No matter what” happens I will make sure I make a constant effort to these commitments I made to myself?

To your success and your future.

The missing link between training programs and performance change

 

I recently conducted a training session for the Association for Talent Development.  I discussed the missing link and followed up that training session with the article below.   

Training is supposed to change performance by changing behaviors.  So often this is just not the case. In this program, we discussed the missing link between training programs and achieving the performance change our training is designed to enhance.

The three key areas we focused on during this session:

  • Learn the Cycle of Performance Change
  • Discuss how to get better performance through changed behaviors.
  • Identified three ways to get participants engaged in training.

Cycle of Performance Change: 

Most training programs fail to actually state what the real objective of the training is.  In developing a training program, it is critical to actually state the key objectives of what it is the participant (learner), will actually learn and should be able to do at the end of the training.  This allows the participant to know what they are getting, and what they should expect.  By doing this it also allows for the participant to state what their objectives of attending the training are as well.  None of this happens in silence.  All of this should be discussed in advance of the training and throughout the training.

Once we have identified the goals and objectives, we can now move to what we call attitude.  With attitude, it is pretty simple.  Does the participant see the need to make a change?  If yes.  Move forward.  If no.  Then find out why.

If they see the need.  We now have to determine; do they Want to?  If yes. Move forward.  If no.  We need to find out why.  Then we have to assess skills and determine if they can make the necessary change. And secondly, does the participant believe they can make the necessary change.

Lastly, we have to assess whether or not the participant will make the changes.  This is not only for trainers to determine, but the participant must determine this for themselves as well.

Attitude comes down to this:  Do they see a need, Do we see a need?  Do they want to, Do we want them to?  Do they think they can? Do we think they can?  Lastly, Will they do it, Will we follow up to make sure they do it.

After we have determined our goals, assessed the participants attitudes toward training and changing their performance.  We can now impart new knowledge to the participants.  This new knowledge is techniques, information, processes, etc. that can enhance their skills when used.

There is no point to provide training to someone who doesn’t have the right attitude to take the training and actually use it to get better results.

Now that we have equipped them with the new information, we now have to get them practicing the new concepts, processes, and techniques.  Once they start practicing the new techniques they can then start to become more comfortable with it.  When practiced enough, they will turn those new skills into a permanent way in which they conduct business.

So, the new skill becomes a changed behavior in how they conduct business.

Three ways we can get participants engaged in the training. 

Before, During, and after.  These are the three areas most critical to success for a training program.  Training is not something you just go to.  Training is an ongoing requirement for everyone, especially for those who are seeking to get better results.

Before the training:  We sit down with participants and get their buy-in on the training and why they think it is important for them to attend the training. As pointed out above, we also let them know what the objectives of the training are and we get their objectives for the training as well.

During:  There are many ways we can get participants engaged in the training while we are actually delivering the training.  Here are just a few.

We facilitate versus lecture.  I think everyone knows this.  However, it is still happening.  Adult learners learn best by doing. The best way for us to teach is to get them practicing sooner than later.  The process I use, is simple.

  • Introduce the concept
  • Give an example of the concept being used.
  • Have the participant practice the concept using their examples.
  • Give some coaching to the participant while they are practicing.
  • Summarize how it worked and when and how they will apply it.

Another way to facilitate is by having the participants works in pairs, triads, groups, and then the entire group as a whole.  In each of the different pairings they have the ability to learn from each other.  As a pair, they may be more willing to be honest.  In triad, they have an extra person holding them accountable and giving them feedback.  In groups, they get the benefit of seeing what others learned by applying the concept.  Mixing these pairings and groupings up create a more engaged participant.

After the training.  This is one of the most critical pieces of an effective training program that is often overlooked.  After the training, you can do some assessments to determine what was remembered.  You can also assess the program to see if the expectations were clear.  But what is most important, is following up with the participants to ensure they are using the new concepts discussed. It is hard to change a behavior.

If you have a veteran employee, this step is even more crucial, as it will be easy for them to fall back in to the old ways of doing things.  While a newer employee, might be more open to the changes if they haven’t had anything specific they were using.

When we use the Cycle of Performance Change correctly we can change the behaviors of people, which in turn makes our training programs more effective.   Getting participants involved in the training from the very start, through the end, gets their buy-in to the training and creates an atmosphere of wanting to learn versus having to learn. It is also makes the training experience more enjoyable when they get to practice the newly learned concepts.

There is no perfect way to ensure all training leads to an actual changed performance.  The key is to be creative, keep it simple, use lots of examples, and lastly, get them involved in the training and practicing the material.

 

Three reasons why you will never fulfill your true potential

This weekend I ran my sixth half marathon.  I personally believe that there are very few things or activities, outside of running, that stretch you and challenge you the way running does.  When I got in to running several years ago, I did it just to lose some weight.  I didn’t know that it would be a catalyst to a process that has pushed me in so many ways.

Most of us have not, or will never, put ourselves in situations that require us to be uncomfortable.  It is not totally our fault, it is unfortunately ingrained in our DNA.

Here are three reasons many out us will never fulfill our true potential and what you can do instead to prevent this from happening.

You will never put yourself in the situation:  When I first got into running, I didn’t know anything about it at all. I just started doing it one day.  Then, I read somewhere that running an eight minute mile was considered really good.  It meant that you were a good runner.  A really good friend of mine told me that anything less than an eight minute mile is considered jogging.  He considered the eight minute mile to be the great separator between runners and joggers.  He said do you want to be a runner or a jogger?

I decided that running an eight minute mile would be my first goal in my new exercise program.  The first time I ran an eight minute mile, I quickly learned what the difference was between what I was doing before and running that eight minute mile.  I felt like the eight minute mile was full on sprint.  I didn’t realize how slow I had actually been running. The day I ran that eight minute mile, everything changed for me.

I now knew what it would take for me to become better than average at running. I then set my next goal.  Which was to run three eight minute miles with an average of eight minutes per mile.

I am proud to say I have accomplished that and then some since then.  I have accomplished many of the goals I have set, and I am still seeking to accomplish a few that I have set that I just can’t seem to get to.

The best thing I did was to put myself in a situation to actually get me out of my comfort zone and push me beyond what I thought I was capable of. As I look back on my life, I now see that of all the things I have accomplished, it required me to go first and actually put myself in situations that I wouldn’t normally put myself in to.

To realize your full potential you have to seek out situations and activities that you have never been in before.  They just won’t happen on accident.  You must go to them.

You seek comfort over growth:  We all have been really sick before.  You know the feeling.  You just don’t feel very well, and you are not at home.  You may be at work.  You may be on a trip.  Or just visiting with family.  But you are really, really sick and you can’t get comfortable, because you are not at your house and in your bed.  You have to travel back home somehow, and for some length of time.  All you can think about is that bed and how comfortable it will be when you finally get home.  When you finally do get home, and you get in your bed.  You immediately have this comfort feeling wash all over you.  Now don’t get me wrong, you are still sick, but you are at least comfortable.

The comfort we seek in our every day life is no different from the comfort we seek when we are sick.  The only difference is, when we are sick we know we are uncomfortable and we seek what will provide us comfort.  Our bed, may be some type of medication, etc.  However,  when we are not sick and we are just living, we are never forced in to an uncomfortable situation. Instead we just live in the comfort zone.  Most of us will never force ourselves outside of our comfort zone, because we don’t have to.  We go through each day just being comfortable.  It is easy, it doesn’t require much.

To get out of your comfort zone it requires you to put yourself in a situation where the chance to get out of the comfort zone could occur.  Most of the time, people avoid this possibility at all cost.  For you to grow and realize your full potential.  You have to get outside of what is comfortable and plan, prepare, and seek opportunities that will force you outside of your every day comfort zone.

You think you have all you need:  I recently talked to a person that said they have everything they need.  They are an accomplished professional that has their own business. They live in paradise, they have their health, and everyone in their life seems to be doing well.  Most people would agree that this person has it all.  Having it all is great, and I have no doubt that this person is happy.

However, when you get to a point where you feel like you have everything you need and you are satisfied with  where you are in your life, many times you stop seeking growth and development.  Life is not all about getting to a point and saying, “I have made it, this is all I am going to be.”  No.  Life is all about maximizing and realizing your full potential.  All of us have to be willing to try to reach our full potential.  If you are capable of more, you must be willing to go out and do more.  This is what life should be all about.

Like the individual I recently talked to that said they everything they need.  The really interesting thing is that they said they have everything they need.  In their conscious brain, they believe this to be true.  However, in their subconscious brain, the part of the brain that doesn’t allow ourselves off the hook, is telling them that they are capable of more.  Which is why I connected with them in the first place.  They came to me, looking for more.  They came to me and said, I know I need to work with you on these things.

What this situation tells me and what I already know.  We as humans are always seeking more.  In it is built-in to our DNA and genetic code.  Many people may say they are content, but that is only because they have decided that is what they want to say.  The real you, inside of you, is wanting more, you just have to listen to it and be willing to embrace it.

As I have recovered this weekend from my sixth half-marathon, I have already started planning for what I must do next.  I am not satisfied with my results from my last race, because I know I am capable of more.  I know I haven’t maximized and reached my full potential.

Let me ask you.  Have you reached your full potential?  Are you capable of more?  Let me answer for you.  No.  You have not reached your full potential.  And yes.  You are capable of more.  The question is: What are you going to do about it?

To your success and your future.