The first law of motion

If you watch TV at all you have inevitably watched the commercial for Celebrex which is an arthritis drug. The commercial states that “a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest”.

This commercial is based on the first law of motion that Issac Newton published in 1687.  Which states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless it is acted upon by an external force.

This week I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about this very concept. Not Issac Newton, we aren’t that smart.

We were talking about running. I was explaining to him that as a runner, it is very easy for me to go out and fall into a pace that my body is very comfortable with.  It could be an eight minute mile or a seven minute mile.  It just depends on your conditioning.  Whatever that pace is, it is easy to stay at it because your body can do it without efforting.

I am sure there are more scientific ways to explain it, but I am not scientific.

To increase your speed and accomplish running goals you have set for yourself, you must break the inertia, the temptation to stay at the comfortable pace.

It is hard to do, that inertia is so cozy, easy, and feels great that your mind wants to stay right there.  You may call it your comfort zone. But as long as you do this you will never increase your speed or times towards any distance goals you might want to accomplish.

I was a runner for close to six years before I learned how to really train.  For those first six years I definitely became a better runner, with better speeds and times, but it wasn’t until I started training my body to become very uncomfortable that I made significant gains.  By gains, I mean faster miles, longer distances, and winning races I competed in.

In running that training starts with forcing yourself out of that comfort zone for small periods of time over and over and over, until it stops being that uncomfortable to you. As you continue to do this repeatedly you eventually become better conditioned and you start moving the needle towards whatever goals you might have.

At almost 42 years of age, I am probably twice as fast I was when I was 32.  Its isn’t that that I am getting better with age.  That theory doesn’t hold up in athletics and age. Instead it is I am a more educated and I am better at training.

If I would have known how to train at age 32, who knows what I could have accomplished as a runner.

Whether it is running, biking, writing, speaking, investing, you name it.  For you to break any slump or cycle, you must break the inertia.  You must apply force someway and somehow to move yourself out of the comfort zone.

I am a real estate investor. I have purchased many single family homes. When I first started doing it, I was always a little scared.  I would just think things like this.  “Is this a really good deal”, “Will I be able to fund a tenant”, “What if something goes wrong”, “What if someone destroys my property”.  All of these question ran through my head.

Many years later, I never even think about those things. Purchasing single family homes is easy for me.  I never over think it.  However, it is too easy and too comfortable for me, that I can easily fall into the trap of continuing to only purchase single family homes.

For me to scale my real estate portfolio the way I want to, it is going to require me to buy bigger deals.  Multi-Unit/apartment buildings is now the direction I want to go and I must go.

Many of the same concerns and questions I had early in my investing career are popping up in my head. “Will I be able to find tenants for all of the units”, “What if all of my tenants move out at the same time”, “What if all of my hvac systems go out”.

As these questions pop up in my head it is easy for me to want to stick with the single family homes that I am comfortable with. But I am pushing through because I know I must get to the next level and the only way to do this is to go in the new direction.

I share these stories with the intent to inspire you to force yourself out of the comfort zone you find yourself in. Inertia is a bitch.  Without additional force and pressure from yourself or others you will never get out of the rut or zone you are in.

To your success and your future.

Grow your problems grow your life

This week I was reminded of a simple rule, law, idea? I am not sure exactly what to call it.

For the sake of this writing we will call it a rule, because rules should be followed.

“If your problems aren’t growing it means you aren’t growing.”

Pretty simple rule. Keep in mind problems are not a negative thing. Problems are good. They help us grow and develop and they illustrate progress.

One of the best examples of this rule in action.

I can remember in my twenties having a car payment. I made good money and thought I had my ducks in a row. But it seemed like no matter what I would do, I always struggled to make my car payment. By struggle I mean, I would have to adjust different bills each month to make sure I had the money to make my car payment.

It is okay to be in this situation for a little while. But if this problems persists year after year, it means you aren’t growing. You are not progressing forward. You are not solving this problem. 

Eventually I figured that piece of my life out and now I had a bigger bill and a bigger problem. I bought a house. Which means it was more money. And just like the car payment, the house payment became a similar situation.

Each month I would have to move around certain bills to make sure I had enough money to pay my house payment. After a few years of this I was able to get some money saved and create some slack for myself.  In both situtations I solved my problems.  I figured it out. That should be the goal.  As you start to solve your problems you create even bigger and better probelms you will have to learn to solve. 

I am not here to give financial advice, but if you continue to struggle with the same things year after year after year it means you are not changing and you are not growing.

Another good example is in business.

If you are running a business and you are the only employee, you obviously have a lot on your plate and a lot of problems that you are managing all by yourself.  As your solve those problems and your business grows, it only makes sense to hire an employee to help you. 

With the addition of that one employee, you may have eliminated some of the problems you were having as a solo band, but with that new employee you will start to get new problems. For each employee you add new problems will arise, but the old problems will go away.  

Many people who decide to have children do so because they want a family and that family will bring them happiness.  But ask any parent how many more problems they had when they had their first child, then their second, third, and you get the point. These are welcomed problems though, because the happiness and joy outweighs the problems and challenges children bring.  

A final example I have from my own life is this. Every since I was a little kid I have always wanted to own rental real estate.

When I bought my first piece of rental real estate it was a duplex. A very expensive one, which is another story for another day.

I didn’t realize how much money it was going to cost me for a down payment to purchase the place. And at the time, I had some money saved but not enough.

For me to purchase the duplex I ended up selling a gun that I owned to someone for like four-hundred dollars. Yes. Four-hundred dollars. At that time in my life four-hundred dollars was like four-thousand dollars.

I bought the duplex. A few years later I bought four more rental properties and I was able to pay cash for two of them and the other ones I easily had the down payments.

As I am typing this today, I am about to make the largest real estate purchase I have ever made.

There is a quote I like to use and have used many times in my life.

“There is no neutral in life, you are either going forward or going backwards.”

This week we elected a new president into office. Many people unfortunately think that what happens in Washington DC, no matter who is in charge, has a great impact on their life. This is without a shadow of a doubt, untrue.

The only person that can impact your life is you. You have to do the work. You have to make the sacrifices.

To your success and your future.

Repetition and Frequency and why you need both for success

A good question to ask yourself is “How often should I get a check up on my health?”

At my age, health, and background, my doctor believes once a year is sufficient.  As I age, it will become more frequent than that.

Someone very close to me goes to the doctor more often.  It seems like at least once a month, if not more.  They have several chronic illnesses and they have several medications that they are taking.  Which requires more tests and check ins.

Repetition and frequency for them is more important because of their situation.

Success in your health, life, career, etc. all comes down to the repetition and frequency.  And you have to do both of these to have any success in life.  I believe the more you do them both the quicker and more success you will have in the thing you want success in.

Repetition is the act of doing something over and over again. The more we repeat something, the better we should get at it.  I say should, because the level of complexity of the thing is also part of the equation.

If you take a job that now requires you to give more presentations than your previous position.  When you first start that job and start giving presentations.  You most likely won’t be very good at it.  But over time you will become better at it, or at least you should become better at it.

This is where frequency comes in to play.  The definition of frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event in some time period.

This is the game changer and why you need both repetition and frequency to have success.

What if you had a job where you delivered a presentation once a month.  By the  third month you would become better at it.  However, if you had to get up every single day and do it, your number of occurrences would be 2900% more, than doing it once a month for three months.  You would have 87 more occurrences. In each of the occurrences you would have refined your presentation and delivery and gotten better at it.  Which in turn you would get better results from it.

Most people can do some level of repetition in their life.  That is the easy part.  But where they typically fail is in the frequency part. They allow too much time in between occurrences of the the activity they are repeating.

I like to use fitness as an example. If you are over weight and unfit and decide to change.  You can’t say I will start working out once a week. Its not enough frequency (occurrences).   You could repeat the exercises once a week for the next seven months and you would most likely not change much.  Because of this you would end up quitting. Plus your body would not change much.

If you instead decide to workout every other day, your would dramatically increase your chances of having success.  You would start to see results sooner, which would motivate you to keep going.

The more often you do something the more success you will get from the act or the results from that act.

If you want to have success in anything in life, I believe you have to increase the repetitions and the frequency. And yes you can accelerate your results depending on the frequency you do the repetitive act.

So the question becomes how quickly do you want to change something?  How quickly do you want to change your financial situation?  You have to either increase the frequency you are paying towards your debt. Or you have to increase your output (work) to be able to earn more to put towards your debt.

Take a look at any area in your life today where you are not getting the results you want.  Now look at the frequency at which you do the activity that should deliver the results for you in that area.  What if you increased the frequency? I guarantee if you do you will get better results.

To your success and your future.

 

 

The meter is still running

I am sure most of us have been in a taxi cab before.  If you are like me there have been times when you have been sitting in traffic just watching the meter just keep running.  You are in the back seat just watching the dollars add up.  I really hate that.  It just seems like a total waste of money and there is nothing you can do about it.

Don’t you wish the cab driver would turn the meter off when you are sitting in traffic not moving?  That would be awesome.  But that would never happen.  Our lives are just like the cab sitting in traffic, whether or not we are moving towards our destination which are our goals, ambitions, or purpose the meter/time is still running.  If we are not moving towards these things, just like the taxi cab driver doesn’t care, time doesn’t care what we do with it either, it just keeps moving also.

So today, I am choosing to not let the meter keep running while I sit in traffic, I am going to get out of the cab, tell the driver to take an alternate route, or never get in the cab to begin with.  I am not going to let another day go by that I am not working towards my purpose and I suggest you do the same.

 

You should Stop, Start, and Continue these things

How do you know if you are on the right track?  Is that a question that we should ask ourselves sometimes?  I think so.  It is probably a question that we should probably ask ourselves more often.

I think success is a journey.  You won’t get there over night.  However there are some things in life that we should be doing, should not be doing, and things we should do more of.

STOP:  There are some things that you should stop doing immediately.  Don’t you agree?  If you are 30 pounds over weight, you should probably stop your current eating habits and exercise habits.  If you don’t have any exercise and health habits, you should continue to read further and find out what you should start doing.  Do you have negative friends that are making you negative.  Think about it.  How are the people you are around influencing your attitude, your decisions, your spending habits.  If you aren’t where you want to be, you should STOP spending time with them or limit your time with them.

About a year ago, I made the decision to STOP watching the national news.  That one little decision has impacted my life and my success (my definition of success: measurable progress towards worthwhile goals).

What do you need to STOP doing?

START:  I don’t know which one is harder to do.  Start something or Stop something.  I guess it really just depends on who you are and how motivated you are.  But there are somethings we just have to start doing.  Going back to your health.  You just have to start.  Maybe you start with counting calories.  Or maybe you start by walking around your neighborhood or up and down the street.  Whatever it is and how much you do it can always change, but you just have to START.  Your negative friends that you are spending time with, you just have to STOP spending time with them, but maybe you start by limiting your time with them.

I have a friend that made the decision to START working out and he made it a priority in his life.  It has changed his entire life from health, fitness, family, career, and accomplishing more of his goals.

What should you START doing?

CONTINUE:  Then we all have some things that we must continue to do.  There are some things that just work.  I would hope we all have something in our life that is working.  So we must continue to do those things and make sure we find the time to ensure those things continue.  I have found that the best way for me to find out if something works and I should continue to do it, is by doing a lot of things that don’t work.  This trial and error process is what has allowed me to find the things I make a priority and continue to do.

What are you going to CONTINUE doing?

Take an inventory today of your goals, your passions, your time, your friends, your daily routine, etc.  You may find some examples of things you should STOP doing, you may identify some things you should start doing, and lastly, make sure you continue to do the things that are working for you.

The American Dream is not dead

I had lunch the other day with a young man about 23 years of age. Yes, I am old enough now (at least to him) to say young man.  Ugh!  I digress.  I met him at an event I was speaking at a few weeks ago.   He got his college degree in finance from a very well-known college. He has worked with a big stock brokerage firm and that is where his passion is.  He reads all of the magazines and publications, and knows his stuff.  But what is unique about this 23-year-old, is that his family moved him from Latin America when he was 9 years old.  His family moved here with three suitcases and that was about it.  It was such a neat story.

We discussed life, goals, aspirations, cities to visit, you name it.  But something he said to me that has stuck with me for a few days now is this:  He said the American Dream is not dead.  When he said this to me, I asked him to repeat it, because I wanted to be sure I heard him correctly.  He said it again.  The American Dream is not dead. Obviously, I had to unpack this with him for a few minutes.  We discussed success, hardwork, and determination, everything that is required to live “The American Dream”.   We discussed helping people and changing lives while we change our own.  We had a great conversation and he has motivated me even more.  I like to be around people like him.   I know what the American Dream is to him, and he knows what it is to me.  But what is The American Dream?

I think it is our duty on this earth to become everything we are capable of being, whatever that is. A good question to ask yourself?  Am I doing everything I can?  If the answer is yes, that is ok.  But if you are unsure, then I think the answer is no.  So what can you do? This is a great question to ask yourself in your personal life and on the job.  My mentor said don’t just get through the day, get from the day.  When you get from the day, you squeeze every last drop out of it.

There are a lot of people who say you must appreciate what you have.  Yes, I agree with that statement whole heartedly. So a suggestion I have for you is this: Enjoy all you got, while you pursue all you want.

What is the American Dream to you?

The Forgetting Curve

A question I hear all of the time in business is this.  How do I get ahead in my career and grow within my company?  I talk to professionals everyday that have all of the credentials, education, the pedigree, and the persistence to be successful, so what is it that they are missing to get ahead?

The best career advice I got for you, is to READ a lot.  Yes, that is all.  Read a lot.  What should you read? Anything you can get your hands on.  Read biographies, read the books on your industry.  Read the books on the industry you would like to be in.  Bill Gates reads a book a week.  Peter Drucker picked one subject and would read everything he could on that subject until he felt like he was very knowledgeable on it. Anything from management to birds and plants. Benjamin Franklin read everything he could.

I have done a study.  Not a comprehensive study with focus groups and people in a room taking a survey, nope, my study has consisted of spending lots of time with people who train other people for a living and who are around people a lot in settings to help develop them.

Here is what I have found to be true with people who read a lot:

  • Influence is leadership, reading provides you increased influence.
  • They tend to be more positive about all situations.
  • They have lots of ideas backed up with evidence, instead of opinions based off of opinions.
  • They bring something to the table.
  • They become experts in their chosen field.
  • They are able lead up in their organizations because of their knowledge and skills.
  • The reading discipline usually leads to other disciplines in their life that help them in their career.
  • They add value to conversations at the water cooler.
  • They are more credible
  • They are more confident
  • They either grow within their company or they take their skills to another company.
  • Are they smarter? Yes, they have data to support their opinions.
  • They are more interesting
  • You cant give what you don’t have, period. (Biggest lesson in life) the good thing is you can go out and get anything you want (Isn’t America great)

Most people don’t read so you will see the benefits really quickly, I can promise you.  Remember this, the first mile is where it is crowded, the extra mile is where there are no crowds.

This morning I was reading a marketing book on Hot Buttons. I don’t think I have read anything that I haven’t heard before in some form.  However, I have at least one page of notes already.  That is what inspired me to write this blog today.

As I said, most of the stuff I have probably heard at one time or the other, but unless you use it and apply it everyday you forget it.  Hermann Ebbinghaus did extensive research on this topic in 1885 and is most famous for the FORGETTING CURVE.  His findings and research are still relevant today. A typical graph of the forgetting curve purports to show that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material.  This is kind of scary.  So why wouldn’t you continue to put information into your mind, especially the same information. 

To get ahead read as often as you can and share that information with as many people as you can.

 

Are you in a rut

I heard this little saying this past weekend.  What a rut really is.  Pretty funny and true.  A rut is just a grave without the dirt kicked in.  Anyone who has been off-road in a vehicle knows exactly what a rut looks like.  If it is wet and muddy you cant get your car out of it.  If it is solid and dry, your car is guided by it and it is hard to get out of it.

So how do you get out of rut.  I guess it is different for everybody.  But here are a few things that I have started doing that has slowly gotten me of ruts before and is getting me out of ruts now.

All motivation begins with inspiration. And inspiration usually begins with some kind of further education and experience.  Maybe you had a chance to see a new venture. Or someone came along and showed you a way you could make some additional money.  Or maybe someone showed you how you can actually lose that 15 pounds you have been talking about for three years.  Whatever it is, getting out of rut usually begins with some kind of inspiration which comes from some further education.

Be willing to take new risks.  This is a topic I like to write about, but for the most part I have lived a pretty risk free life myself.  I have taken a few big risks at times, some I thought I lost, but I actually won, and some I just lost.  So I guess my advice here is to be willing to take some calculated risks.  That is where my risk meter kind of stays, the calculated risk point on the meter.  However, as I continue this journey my confidence continues to grow and my calculated risk meter continues to gain momentum.

Walk away from everything and everybody that is keeping you in the rut.  If you were talking about this or that a year ago and you are still talking about it, it may be time to move on and get around some people who inspire you to take action.  This goes back to your associations.  You are who you spend most of your time with.  You are what you spend your time thinking and talking about.  So to get out of that rut get around some people who inspire you to think outside the rut.

 

Make some goals and write them down.  This is where all motivation and inspiration begins really in my opinion.  I am coaching a few clients on goal setting and goal developing as we speak (BTW: I am doing this as well) and the things that they are accomplishing and I am accomplishing are just truly amazing.

So are you stuck in a rut?  The key is to take action, do something different.  I would love to hear from you on what you are doing to get out of the rut.

Brian Willett

 

Spare Time

We have discussed this before on selfdevelopmentaddict.   What you do in your spare time will determine your success or non-success.  Keep in mind, success to me is defined as the constant pursuit of worthwhile goals and dreams.  So you must establish what those worthwhile goals and dreams of yours are and then lay down the action steps and plan to achieve them.

For some reason I wanted to sleep in this morning.  It happens to all of us.  The difference for me this morning was that I had a good friend of mine texting me on what he was working on.  This wasn’t extremely early, but it was before I was motivated to get out of bed.  His texts inspired me to get out of my bed and quickly get on with the day and ultimately inspired me to write on this topic today. It is good to be surrounded by people who push you to be better.

Most of us have three parts to our day.  We have work, sleep, and then spare time.  It is Sunday afternoon as I am typing this, so I will classify the weekends as spare time. If you work on the weekends (As I do), then you work a lot in your spare time and that is good, but what are you working on is the key?

Depending on your work and sleep schedule, it determines how much spare time you have.  Also, I realize many of you may have families and children, lets just go ahead and say it now.  It is up to you to determine what you will get out of your life. If your life is not where you want it to be, then what you do in your spare time will determine your success.  Maybe your life is where you want it to be, for you to continue to have success and achieve more success it will require you to continue to grow and develop.  Things just don’t happen, you must make them happen. So spending time with children and family needs to be budgeted in as well.  I heard a great quote yesterday, while I was spending my spare time in a meeting with other trainers (on a Saturday) learning how we can get better.  The quote was:  “The world we went to sleep in last night, is not the same world we woke up in today”.  WOW, isn’t that true, the world changes so fast.

So what do you do in your spare time.  Well since it is Sunday, most people I know make time for their spiritual thirst and need.  Maybe you attend church on Sunday mornings or Sunday afternoons.  Then you spend time with the people at your church at dinner or lunch.  I am not here to judge right or wrong in what anyone does in their spare time, however, I would say that this kind of activity leads to other good activities and feeds a person spiritually and mentally and allows them to develop and ultimately positions them to achieve their goals and dreams, I know.

What else are you doing in you spare time.  Are you recharging?  Well, that is something we all should do.  You gotta do it for your own health and well-being.  Are you investing in yourself?  That is the question. A portion of you spare time should be devoted and invested in developing your self. Maybe it is reading non-fiction book, maybe it is listening to a webinar, maybe it is working on a small business, etc.  All of these investments are opportunities that will allow you to get closer to your goals and dreams.

What are you doing today, to invest in yourself?  Is it recharging?  Is it spiritual?  Is it learning a new skill or developing a skill?  Please share with me what you are doing.

The biggest GAP

What is the biggest GAP?  If you put the word GAP in a google search, you would think that it is only a clothing store.  GAP has done a great job at owning the search engine to ensure they pop up first.  However, I am talking about the other gap:  definition:  a break or hole in an object or between two objects. an unfilled space or interval; a break in continuity.

So what is the biggest GAP?  The biggest GAP is between knowing and doing.  Yep that is it.  That is the biggest GAP.  How many times do we know what we should do, but we don’t do it?  I can speak for myself and say a lot.  Matter of fact, I am sure there will be something this weekend that I do that I know I shouldn’t.  Like eating a Mighty Meaty Wick from Wick’s pizza with a few beers.  However, I will put in a few miles of running right afterwards.  Still doesn’t make it right 🙂

Example:  Sorry smokers but its true.  How many years now have the surgeon generals been telling you that smoking causes cancer and other health related problems? Many. But people still smoke. How many of us know that texting while you drive is dangerous?  All of us, right.  Do we still do it?  Yep, because we are smarter, right?  How many of us know we should get the project done now instead of waiting until next week, when we will be pressed for time and it will be last minute?

So if this is the biggest GAP.  What do we do about it?   Well, I am a process guy.  I have to develop processes to protect me from myself at times.  Since we as human beings are habitual to a fault, we have to develop the disciplines and the processes that over time become habitual, just like the current habits you have established that you shouldn’t be doing.

1.  Pick something out that you know you should be doing and you are not. EX: Reading more, working out, stopping smoking, procrastination on something, etc.

2.  Now write down this commitment and take a picture of it with your smartphone and make it your wallpaper on your phone.  Studies show that most people check their phone 135 times a day.  So you will see that commitment a lot.  135 times a day at least and this is only if you are average and if you are reading my blog you are not average 🙂 you are above average.

3.  What other processes can you put into place to keep you from falling into the GAP between knowing and doing?

There are many things you can do to hold yourself accountable.  I am currently working with many people on developing processes to ensure they stay accountable to the goals they have set for themselves.  Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about these processes, also share with me some things you do to bridge the GAP between knowing and doing.