You have to make the decision now

You are what you are until you decide to become different than you are.  It is a hard thing to change but it can be done.  It just requires you to make a commitment and then do the work necessary to change your circumstances and your life.

I was recently speaking with a friend of mine about the current pandemic that we find ourselves in.  We were talking about how things were going with business, work, and life in general.

One of the things they said they were doing was watching a lot more television.  They  rattled off all of the shows they had watched. It was quite impressive.

I shared with them that I had been working out a lot more.  Instead of working out 60-80 minutes a day, it was more like 90-120 minutes a day of focused workouts.  In addition to more walks around the city where we live.

The conclusion that I have come to and you already know this as well.  We default and become more of who we are even during times of uncertainty, success, failure, and life as a whole.

My mentor explained it to me this way.  He said you have to decide if you are going to be a charitable person or not.  He said the amount of money you have or don’t have doesn’t matter.  You can be charitable when you are making fifty thousand dollars a year or a million dollars a year.

You are either charitable or not.  If you don’t create the habits and mindset to be a charitable person now while the stakes are lower, you definitely won’t do it when the stakes are much higher.

Many people are setting around saying to themselves “When I _______.”  Fill in the blank.

  • make more money, I will invest more
  • make more money I will give more
  • have more time I will volunteer more
  • am not raising kids I will go back to school

I am not sure where you are in journey but you have to decide now, the person you want to be and then do whatever it takes to start implementing the habits and decisions that will make you that person.

There is no “there” out there.  You don’t magically arrive one day. Life is an evolution. You have to continue to evolve, but the first step to evolution is to decide who you want to be.

Bring the pain and the results will follow.

At the first signs of pain, most people usually quit.  It could be the pain associated with exercising.  The pain of having to cook dinner instead of going out to eat to save money. Or, it could be the pain of finally tackling that project that you have been putting off.

Our ability to endure pain, physical or mental, could be the secret that leads to success or failure in accomplishing our goals.

Karel Gijsbers, a psychologist at the University of Stirling, in Scotland, published an influential paper in the British Journal of Medicine in 1981. Gijsbers along side one of his graduate students, put 30 elite swimmers from the Scotland National team through a series of pain tests and then compared those results to 30 Club Level swimmers and 26 non-athletes.

The protocol for this study involved cutting off the circulation to the subjects arms with a blood-pressure cuff, and then having them clench and unclench their fist once per second. The “Pain Threshold” was defined as the number of contractions needed to produce a sensation that registered as pain rather than merely discomfort. “Pain Tolerance” was quantified as the total number of contractions before the subject gave up.

The first finding was that the pain threshold was essentially the same in all three groups, starting around 50 contractions.  The second time the test was conducted the results were different. The pain tolerance of the National Team swimmers endured an average of 132 contractions before calling it quits.  Compared to the 89 in the club swimmers and 70 in the non-athletes.

Gijsbers remarked that because of the more systematic approach in which the National Team Swimmers exposed themselves to pain during training, that they had created or harnessed brain chemicals like endorphins, or perhaps simply thanks to psychological coping that allowed them to endure more pain.   He also said that “pain” can be strangely motivating or even required to the highly motivated athlete.

Gijsbers conducted these studies three more times throughout the year and found that the National Team Swimmers scored highest in June, which is their peak racing season; lowest in October, which is their off-season, and somewhere in the middle during their regular training period in March.

These seasonal fluctuations suggest that pain tolerance is linked to the type of training that the swimmers were doing during each of these testing periods. During the season, they were pushing their limits every single day, which provided them more tolerance based on their daily training schedules.

Similar studies have been done since Gijsbers studies in 1981, and they have all concluded with similar results.

So if pain is required to have more success, how do I train myself to be able to endure more pain?

For the purposes of this writing, I will stick to the topic of just exposing yourself to more pain.  To be able to endure more pain, you have to set a goal a reason for that goal.  I have covered those topics extensively in other writings.  Email me if you are interested in reading those bwillett555@gmail.com

In a recent book I read, it discussed the fact that when it comes to exercise that most of us will quit long before we ever run into any possibility of really hurting ourselves.  Our body is hardwired to shut down well before we could possibly ever get in to serious trouble of actually dying.  But if you have ever worked out before, really really hard, you may feel like you are about to die while you are in the moment.

At this peak of exhaustion and mental anguish is when most people quit. They don’t push themselves through the pain, because most of us are don’t want to feel this kind of pain.  However, when you are feeling this pain it is when you are actually burning the most calories and optimizing the benefits from the actual exercise you are doing.

I’m not suggesting you go forever, I’m just suggesting you may want to push yourself during this pain for a certain amount of time, and then each workout after you continue to push yourself to stay in that zone longer and longer.  This is where you will start to see more results and growth.

What about the pain associated with eating dinner at home versus going out to eat.  I have been there before, I was in debt and spending close to thirty to thirty-five percent of my monthly income on going out to eat.  If you are spending that much money on eating out and you add-on top of that twenty-five percent in housing costs, and then all of your other expenses, including the debts.  You can see real quickly that you won’t make much progress on eliminating your debts.

My suggestion is to first figure out how much you are spending and on which days do you typically do this.  I am sure you will see a pattern.  Then decide which days or day you will pick to stop doing this. It could be on Mondays or Saturdays.  It depends on your pattern. It could be on the days you attend class or your kid plays sports.

Now that you have the day picked out, decide what you will do instead. Will it be cooking at home that day.  Or should you pick another day to make additional food, so you can eat leftovers on the day you pick?   Seems like a lot of work doesn’t it?  It is so much easier to just eat out instead.

Yes it sure does. But this isn’t getting you any closer to your goals of paying off debt.  Your ability to endure the pain is what will either help or hurt you in achieving this goal.

I am quite sure that if you are reading this your goal is not to be an Olympic Swimmer.  However, I do think you are like most people and want to find a way to get ahead and move you and your family closer to your ideal situation financially as well as lifestyle wise.

To do this, it is going to require you to do things that you haven’t been able to do before successfully.  As my mentor told me, “To get what you have never had, you have to do something that you have never done.”  Maybe this is you as well.

Enduring pain and making sacrifices is not a forever thing.  It is only for a season, a period of time, it isn’t going to last forever.  If you endure some pain during a workout for three months or so, each day enduring more and more.  Eventually you will hit your goal.  If you don’t eat out for a period of time, you will eventually get to a better financial position than you are currently. Believe me, I have lived this personally.

So the question is are you willing to endure some pain to accomplish your goals?

To your success and your future.

If you need some help with this contact me at bwillett555@gmail.com I am currently meeting with clients to help them achieve the things they want in their life and in their career.

Excerpts for this blog taken from the book Endure; Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance written by Alex Hutchinson. 

 

 

 

 

Bring on the criticism. I need it and so do you.

Are you open to criticism?  If you are like most people, the answer would be no. You might say you are, but who really likes it?

We all need to criticism in our life to have success. Without it, we wouldn’t know what is resonating or not resonating with people. We wouldn’t know what works or doesn’t work.  We wouldn’t know how to adapt and evolve.

Nothing of value in life, and especially the first versions of something, are never that good.  They are only as good as they can be, based on what we know at that time.  What version of iPhone are you currently using?  What version of your Android phone are you currently using?  Well, if you are using an Android, I am sorry.  But I have an iPhone 7 that is running I think, version 11.1 ios.

In Silicon Valley, where a lot of software, social media channels, and other technologies that many of us use on a daily basis is created.  They have a philosophy they live by.  That is, they want to get the software, the social media channel, etc. to a point where they can release it to the market as quickly as possible.

They know the sooner they get it to the market, the quicker they can get feedback on it and start to make the necessary changes to make the product even better. They know when they release the product that it isn’t finished.  But they also know that as soon as they do, they will get the critiques they need to make the tweaks, and make more tweaks, to continue to evolve the product and make it better.

So I come back my question at the beginning.  Do you like criticism?  Or do you do everything you can to avoid it?  If you aren’t getting criticized, the chances are you are going with the flow. And let’s be honest, the flow is usually not that great. The flow usually has status quo ideas, with stagnant bank accounts, and stagnant careers, and stagnant family lives, and the flow wouldn’t be able to identify an opportunity if it hit them.

I know if you are reading my blog, then this is not you.  You want to have more in all aspects of your life.  You are willing to go against the crowd regardless of what every one else is saying. You are willing to state your opinion, even when it is opposite of the masses.  You are willing to do the hard things to get the things you want and your family wants.

If you are in leadership and you are afraid of criticism, then my guess is your team is today where you were yesterday and last year.  And most likely they will be at the same point a year from now. When you start to do things different and push new initiatives you are going to get criticism.

Here is the one thing I have learned in my life.  I have not, and am not currently, getting enough criticism in all areas of my life.  I am not stepping outside of my own comfort zone enough, which means I am not stepping out of the comfort zones of everyone that I know enough.

Whether we want to admit it or not. We are and become the people who we spend the most time with.  If you are overweight and don’t live a healthy lifestyle.  Then there is a 99% chance that the people you spend most of your time with are the same way.  If the people you spend 99% of your time with are in debt and are constantly negative, then the chances are very likely that you are in debt and constantly negative as well.

One of my mentor says this.  When you start doing something different from everyone else.  The first thing they do is laugh at you.  The second thing they will do is criticize you. Then the last thing they will do is admire you.  You cant skip to the third thing first.  You have to go through the first two steps.

Are you willing to do that?  I am.

To your success and your future.

 

 

My favorite quotes from 2017…don’t miss number #5, it is a game changer.

A quote or anecdote can be one of those things that can change your attitude and your demeanor.  It is a little nugget of wisdom or insight that can open your mind up to a new thought, a new way, a new anything that can make your life better.

These are the quotes, the sayings, the anecdotes that struck a chord with me.  I either read them online or in the books that I read.  Please read them and share them.  I hope they inspire you to be everything you want to be.

  • It doesn’t take money to make money.  It takes courage. —Grant Cardone. 
  • When the pressure is on you don’t rise to the occasion.  You fall to the lowest level of your preparation for the situation.–Chris Voss 
  • Being safe and in control go together, but for you to have the success you want you have to be willing to let go of both.–Brian Willett
  • There are always at least five or six things that are more important than price. –Grant Cardone.
  • Self justification is more powerful and more dangerous than the explicit lie. It allows people to convince themselves that what they did was the best thing they could have done.–From the book Mistakes were Made but not by me. 
  • Blindspots enhance our pride and activate our prejudices. —Mistakes were made but not me book. 
  • Memories create our stories, bit our stories also create our memories.
  • Talent definition: Where you are gifted, doing what you love, and are somewhat skilled at doing it.– Ryan Holliday.
  • Dont try to inspire someone with the fear fo dying, you instead of attempt to inspire them with the Joy Of Living. Change or Die book. 
  • People don’t resist change, the resist being changed. Change or Die book.
  • Consequences are a part of the learning process, without consequences we don’t learn as well or as fast.
  • Nothing so conclusively proves a mans ability to lead others as what he does on a day-to-day basis to lead himself.
  • The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
  • Remember that you need to put your attention on what you can raise or lower the most. Ex: In business, you can only cut expenses by so much.  But how much revenue can you generate?  As much as you can.  Focus on generating revenue more than you do on cutting.
  • Create systems in your life to have success.  Systems help determine your success.
  • Every skill you develop doubles your chances of success. —Scott Adams
  • The way we rate our experiences is at the peak of enjoyment and at the end of an experience.–Barry Schwartz.
  • The longer the back story, the worse the deal. —Mark Cuban
  • We gossip because we are too afraid to confront.–Kary Oberbrunner 
  • I am not comparing myself to you, I am comparing myself to me and what my potential is.–Brian Willett
  • The market rewards execution, not ideas.
  • Life is too short to be living someone else’s dream—Hugh Hefner
  • If you think the past impacts your present, you will never have a future.
  • If you want better results or even some results. Get comfortable with discomfort. That is the path to growth.
  • Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. –Oscar Wilde Value always trumps price.
  • The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge–Stephen Hawking
  • The hard part is not the dream or the idea, it is the doing. This is where most people fall short. Long on the ideas, but short on the doing.
  • Opportunities are never lost, they are just taken by others.
  • The difference between try and triumph, is a little UMPH.
  • Two kinds of people you should never listen to: The ones who quit and the ones who never started
  • Fear is a great indicator that you are moving in the right direction.
  • Success doesn’t come from 8-5 Mon-Fri. It comes from pursuing it all of the time. It needs your total commitment. Not 1/3 of it.
  • Few people actually know what they are capable of and even less want to find out.
  • Remember wherever you are today was a choice. If you like it. Great. If you don’t. Make another choice. It is up to you.
  • 88% of the wealthy spend 30+ minutes reading per day; 2% of the poor do.
  • Quit watching the news and make your own news.
  • Laziness is the root to all evil.
  • Some people: “I don’t like to read” My response: “Do you like to be stupid?” Nobody will force you to learn, you have to do it yourself.
  • Direction, not intention, determines destination.-Andy Stanley
  • If you want to be a leader of people, you have to be a master of words. Robert Kiyosaki

Please share and inspire someone else today.

To your success and your future.

A $50,000 dollar risk, and what I learned from it.

“No risk equals no reward”. It is cliché to say the least, but clichés are clichés because they are accurate. This cliché is definitely true.

Throughout my life I have never achieved any kind of benefit, at least, a significant benefit that was worthwhile and beneficial, without taking some risk that included money, time, effort, energy, etc.

Two years ago, I started preparing for the next stage in my career.  When I say two years ago, I mean it was go time. I had been preparing myself for several years prior to that time, but now it was leap time.

At the time, I thought I knew what that next stage was it was and what it looked like.  I had been preparing myself for years for this next stage.  I invested the resources to enhance my current skills.  I made it a priority to seek out and develop new skills. I put in the work and time that was required to ensure I was ready to take the leap into this next phase.

Secondly, I also made sure that my personal finances and life in general was in order. I  didn’t want any financial concerns or constraints to prevent me from making this leap.  Nor did I want to make the leap and fall flat, because I didn’t have things in order.

So with everything in order, it was go time.  I did it.  I knew it would be hard, I knew there would be hardships.  I knew that in the short run, that things wouldn’t be the same as they were before.

I was used to living off of a six figure plus salary.  I was used to spending freely and doing what I want.  I was used to not thinking too much about how and where I spent every single dollar.  I had enough disposable income that money wasn’t a constant concern.

I took the leap, and now that I am on the other side of it.  I can tell you exactly how much it cost me.  I can tell you exactly how much less I had to spend this year, versus the previous ten years. I took a $50,000 dollar risk.

As I planned the leap I didn’t know what the cost would be.  Actually, I thought it wouldn’t have been that much.  Well, honestly, I didn’t know what it would cost.  You know why?  Because I had never been here before.  I had never taken a this leap before. I had never taken this risk.  It was all new.

Monetarily I know what the cost was this year.  It is easy to see.  What isn’t as obvious is the growth that I had this year.  The things I learned that I would have never known if I hadn’t taken the leap.  The things I learned about me and what I like and don’t like. My true strengths and some of my weaknesses.  What is best for me, and what is not good for me.  How business works and doesn’t work.  I learned about people.  You can’t put a dollar figure on any of these things.

Most of us never venture out far enough to actually see how far we can go. We instead have to play it safe, because we are afraid or because of our lifestyle, we have to stay close to the dock, and never really swim out far enough to realize we can swim as far out as our mind will take us.

As you wrap up 2017, let me ask you:  Would you be willing to take a $50,000 risk for your growth and development?  Or maybe a better question is this:  Can you even do it?

The second question is probably the more important one.  Have you put yourself in a position to know what you are truly capable of.  Or have you been doing the same things for so long and getting the same results, that you can’t even begin to fathom what it would be like to do something else.

Are your debts and obligations such, that you have to keep doing what you have always done? Again, I know what this looks like, I did it for many years before I learned that I had to prepare myself today for the future I want tomorrow.

If you want to learn more about how I did this, and how you can do it.  Reach out to me and lets talk.  We all need a little coaching in our life. Someone to hold us accountable and help us get to a place where we have never been before.  Are you willing to take a risk?

To your success and your future.

 

 

Three myths you have about your potential

The definition of potential is having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.  Which means we all can become something we are not currently.  We all have the ability to work on a particular skill and become better at that skill tomorrow than we are today.

Unfortunately, many people go through life thinking that they are getting better at something by just doing it, when all research and evidence says other wise.  Yes we can develop potential. And yes we can become better at something when we work hard at it, but there is a certain way this must be done.  It can’t only be done by performing the skill or activity over and over.

Here are the three myths about your potential that you most likely have been told:

1st myth:  We are limited to what we are given.  A lot of people believe that we are born with certain innate abilities and skills that allow us to be successful in certain endeavors.  Although there are certain attributes that can help you be more successful when utilized, those attributes by themselves alone will not make you successful.

 

2nd myth: If you do something long enough you will get better at it.  Lets be honest here.  How many people do you know who have been driving for thirty or even fifty years, and you wouldn’t get in a car with them driving to go around the block?   Extreme case here, but true.

3rd myth: If you try harder you will get better.  Unfortunately, this is a common response we give people to encourage them.  But it is actually bad advice.  Sure, if we feel that a person lacks a certain work ethic and they are not putting in the effort, we may suggest that they try harder.  However, if you are in a professional position such as sales, management, etc., if you are not practicing techniques designed to specifically improve in these areas, trying harder will not get you very far.

So how do we realize our potential:

Anders Ericsson in his book Peak, Secrets from the new Science of Expertise, 2016.  Tells us the only way to become better at something and maximize our potential in an area is by utilizing the concept of purposeful practice and deliberate practice.

If you have not heard of Anders Ericsson he is the person who conducted the research that has now become known has the 10,000 hour rule.  The 10,o00 hour rule is what Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, The Story of Success brought to life.  In Gladwell’s book, he discusses the research conducted by Ericsson on what elite performers did to become elite in their chosen field or specialization.

In Gladwell’s book, he references Ericsson’s research that all studies showed that it takes 10,000 hours of practice in a chosen field to become an expert in it.  Although, some of this is correct, Ericsson points on in his book Peak, that 10,000 hours is important, but what it is in those 10,000 hours is what is more important.  And depending on how you practice, you can speed up the 10,000 hours.

Ericsson uses the term deliberate practice to explain the process of how someone can develop a chosen skill.  For deliberate practice to occur the practice must include these traits:

  • Deliberate practice must be overseen by a teacher, mentor, or coach.
  • Deliberate practice must take someone outside their comfort zone. Not too far, but just enough to stretch their current performance. Which means it will require the maximum effort from the individual.
  • Deliberate practice must have well-defined goals and often involves improving one targeted area.
  • Deliberate practice requires total focus and effort by the individual.
  • Deliberate practice must include some kind of feedback from the coach, manager, teacher on how the person did on the specific task.

The three things we have always been told or may have even said ourselves are myths, because they don’t include the traits of deliberate practice.

1st myth: We are limited to what we are given.  This is incorrect because we all start out as novices in a chosen field or skill and we have developed those skills over time and we are now better.  We might not be experts, because we have gotten to the point of good enough, which is where most people stop.  We all have the ability to continue to develop our skills as far as we want to go with them.

2nd myth: If we do something long enough you will get better at it.  Again, if we look at the traits of deliberate practice this is not true.  If we are performing good enough, we never stretch ourselves to see if we can actually do better. We never seek feedback from other people to see how we may be able to do something a little bit better.  If we do both of these things; seek feedback and stretch ourselves, we can actually get better at it, but just doing it doesn’t make us better at it.

3rd myth:  If you try harder you will get better.  If we are trying harder, but we are not actually changing how we are doing the activity, then more effort is not going to produce better results.  We have to get feedback on how we are doing something and use a different technique or process to get a better result, which we all can do.

The question I have for you is this:  When is the last time you worked on a skill or technique by using all of the traits of deliberate practice?  Your answer is most likely, “it has been a long time.” Probably since you started in whatever it is you are currently doing.

Something we use to always say in leadership is this: Some people say that have ten years of experience, when they really have one year of experience, ten times.  Meaning that they have been doing whatever it is for ten years, but they have yet to get past the first year of knowledge in their abilities.  They haven’t increased their skills past the first years development. It’s like a toddler learns how to walk, but never learns how to run.

What are you going to do to ensure you continue to develop your skills in your chosen profession?  What are you going to do to implement the traits of deliberate practice into your daily life, so you can continue to develop your skills to become better and increase your potential in your chosen field?

To your success and your future.

References:

Peak; Secrets from the new Science of Expertise; author: Anders Ericsson, 2016

Purchase the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Secrets-New-Science-Expertise/dp/0544456238/

 

Who is in your Reference Group?

The definition of reference is the use of a source of information to ascertain something. Every single day we all refer to something.  We may make a political point or point about sports and refer to a source in which we heard that point from.

What is a reference group?

  • Reference groups act as a frame of reference to which people always refer to evaluate their achievements, their role performance, aspirations and ambitions.

Your reference group are the people in your circle that you are around the most.  This could be the people at your church, your work, your football team, your friends, an organization you are involved in, etc.  This reference group over time becomes who you are and what you are.  If you are happy where you are, then stay within your reference group.  If you want to accomplish more, do more, see more, have more, and ultimately give more, then you must have a reference group that can help you fulfill these desires.

Napoleon Hill (Author: Think and Grow Rich): after studying thousands of successful men, concluded that all successful men had many things in common and one of those things was a “mastermind group”.  This mastermind group is 3-5 people who an individual associated with the most.  These are the people who all had common goals and aspirations.    This became the reference group.

Are you accomplishing your goals, desires, and ambitions?  Yes or No?  Who is in your reference group? I am re-thinking my reference group, I suggest you do the same.

To your success and your future.

 

What’s next?

I think this is a question that many of us ask at different points in our life.  Or at least we should.  I just finished reading an article about what happens to people after they reach a certain milestone in their earnings and their career.  I just have to say that the article was really scary to me, because it is like they were reading my mind.

Anyway this blog is not about me, it is about me sharing ideas and thoughts that I think we all have.  I attempt to tell you everything that I KNOW, NOT everything there is to know.  I believe that we have to keep pouring information into our heads to keep up with all of the information we forget.  That is why the fundamentals are so important.  Be sure you focus on the fundamentals.  I will be releasing a book on fundamentals in the next few months, I look forward to sharing it with you.   It only takes a half-dozen or so fundamentals to lead to success.  Ask a few athletes. Most of them are really good at just a few things, not everything.

So what is next for you and for me?  If I we knew the answer to this we would be doing it I guess.  I have found that I must appreciate everything I have, while I pursue everything I want, everything I want goes back to my goals and they should for you as well.  This is hard, but it sure is worthwhile.  My mentor says most people just live a life, Mr. Rohn said design your life how you want it to be.

A link in the chain

Every discipline that you make in your life will lead to another discipline.  Eventually you will have enough links in the chain to have a well designed life.  Maybe you start off small with just turning the television off and reading/listening to something educational an hour before you would normally turn the television off.  You do that for a while.  And then you decide to turn it off a couple of hours before you go to bed.  Then over a few months or several months, you just don’t turn the television on at all.   As human beings we have to set up disciplines in our life incrementally at times to push us towards new disciplines that will eventually become habits.

What are some areas that you need to start small, developing a few small disciplines to get you going on the right or new track?  Just start small.  The key is to just start.  The mind is an amazing thing.  By just starting you begin the process of turning the new discipline into a commitment and then in to habit.  Who knows where these little changes will take you.

The Rear View Mirror

For those of you who drive a vehicle know exactly what I am talking about.  When you are driving you frequently may look in your rear view mirror.  It is not something you do all of the time.  But it is something that most good drivers do quite frequently.  If you are like me, it something you definitely do when you have to hit your brakes and especially when you have to hit your brakes hard.

Looking in our rear view mirror is necessary to understand what is going on around us.  It gives a gauge.  It is no different from life.  In our life we must look in our rear view mirror to see what is going on.

  • How did I get here today.
  • Why did I get here today.

Just like in your car, the rear view mirror is not something you look at very long.  Looking to the past for a quick moment is always good, but don’t dwell on it.  Look forward.  As we start another week in this eighth month of the 2014, I am looking forward.  I am looking so far forward in an attempt to design the life I want to live, the passions I want to pursue and be around others that are doing the same thing.

Enjoy your week and only look in the rear view mirror long enough to be aware of what is going on around you.