My “Never Quit” list and why I created it

Let me start by prefacing this blog with I don’t believe you should keep doing something that isn’t important.  You have to decide what is important and never quit on those things. In my world I have a few of those “Never Quit” items that I outlined in my self-published book titled 7 Ways to More.

This book turned in to a manifesto for me. Manifesto definition: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.  It was important for me to do this at the time that I did it, because I was having success and I wanted to document the reasons for that success.   So when things got tough, I could be reminded of what I used to do, and do a gut check and see if I was still doing those things.  It also became a declaration for myself that said these things are the most important things in my life, and I am publicly committing to them forever.

So here are a few of those never quit things:

  • Never quit on your health and fitness
  • Never quit on your personal development and self-education
  • Never quit on the pursuit of fame and fortune, mainly the fortune.
  • Never quit on your friends for life.
  • Never quit on your marriage
  • Never quit on setting and accomplishing goals.
  • Never quit on your family.

This is my never quit list.  If you don’t have a list of never quit items. I would encourage you to create one.  If you don’t draw the line in the sand today, the chances are you will cross that imaginary line tomorrow.  You will do something you don’t want to do, or you will stop doing something that you should do or that is important for you to do.

I was recently scrolling through my news feed on Facebook.  I can’t count how many times I read where someone was re-committing themselves to their health and fitness. They had taken time off from it for whatever reason and was now getting back to it.

Let me first say I have done this before.  Yes.  Way before I ever wrote my book or my list of never quits.  Hence the reason for the writing of the list.

When you quit something you are saying that this is no longer important to me.  You are saying that there are more important things in my life than this (whatever this is) right now. You are also setting yourself up for a very difficult time when you decide to go back to whatever it is as well.  When you quit something for a while it is a hard road back.  One that is full of pain and discipline and regret.  Regret, that you allowed yourself to venture off as far as you did.

I can remember when I slacked for a season or two on health and fitness and then I got back in to it.  I said “never again”.  I will get back in shape again once, and will stay there forever.

After graduating from college with my bachelors of science, I took some time off from my learning.  During that period of time not much happened for me either.  Until, I made the decision to make regular and frequent deposits in my self-education and personal development, I did not grow.

Growth comes from putting ideas in.  For you to have ideas coming out, you must have ideas going in.  I made the decision that I would never ever quit learning again.  And I am not talking about the learning you get on the job.  Most people think that is development.  It can be.  However, development and growth only comes from an intentional movement on your part to grow.

To grow you have to devote time, resources, and be willing to get feedback on your growth.  Most people do none of the three.  They instead think that just because they have been in leadership, sales, or whatever role it is they are in.  And they have successfully lead people who get paid to follow them, they are growing somehow.  You have to make time, spend the money, and get the gift of feedback on how you are doing to actually grow.

To ensure I never quit on the above to aforementioned areas on my never quit list.  I must always be creating, setting and managing my goals.  A goal properly set is half-way accomplished.  Why don’t people accomplish goals?  Because they never set them.  In my health and fitness and my personal development I continue to set goals on a daily and yearly basis.  This one exercise in goal setting is responsible for much of my success I have had up until this point and I know it will be responsible for the success I have in the future.

If you have quit setting goals.  Now is the time to get back to it.  If you do nothing I have suggested in this blog, do this one thing of setting goals in your personal and business life. Things will only get better for you.

Create your “Never Quit” list today.  I don’t know what it is for you, but you must do it today.  You never want to find yourself in a situation where you have to make a decision to not do something that you should be doing, make the decision today and manage it forever.

To your success and your future.

 

 

The justification

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

To your success and your future.

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.

Willpower is finite…

I am reading the book “Start” by Jon Acuff.  I am half way through it, and it has me so motivated.  In one of the chapters he focuses on willpower.  I consider myself to have a lot of willpower, but as he states, willpower is finite.

I remember, when I was about 14 my buddy Wes and I was asked by his uncle to dig up these bushes in front of his grandmother’s house.  Most of us have all done some yard work in our life and forgot about it, but this particular job was special (I still remember it.)  I am not sure what kind of bushes these were, but they had deep roots and he wanted us to get all of the roots out as well.  This was one of those July summer days in Louisville that we all are aware of where the temperature during the day gets above 100.  I think we had a shovel, axe, saw, and maybe some other tools, but none of them were the right tools.  There were three bushes across the front of the house.  We worked on these bushes for about 16 hours in two days, as much as I wanted to quit, we never did until the job was done.  I remember this story, because I was mad because I think we ended up splitting $25 between the two of us.  I can still remember going down to that cool basement both days after working on this project and just lying around resting.  This story illustrates how I have alway been a hard worker and had the willpower to get a job done.

The older I have gotten I have realized that willpower is finite.  And depending on the amount of rest you get your willpower will run out.  In his book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg describes how executives tend to have affairs late at night, when there is very little left in the tank so to speak.  So knowing that willpower is finite how can we insure we maximize our willpower.

I know that my willpower is the strongest in the morning, before I get started on anything I know that for me I must get my workout done.  If I put it off until the end of the day I will not get it done, because after a long day of work, I am exhausted and my willpower is depleted.  For me, to get my reading accomplished, it requires me to do two things.  Have a goal for my reading and to do it in the morning. So I have personal goals on what I want to read and how many books I want to read.  Maybe you have a different system, find what works.  Since I started reading in the mornings when my willpower is the strongest I have accomplished more reading than ever before.

My days look like this:  The morning when my willpower is the strongest. I focus on me and my goals.  The best investment I can make is in me, so I must maximize my time and my willpower focused on the thing that gives me the greatest return.  (Also, a better me, makes me a better employee to my company as well.)  I start my day with my workout, because without HEALTH, none of this other stuff matters that much.

The day-to-day routine of life doesn’t require much willpower.  Like waking the children up and cooking breakfast.  This one action doesn’t require all of your willpower. Playing with the children after work.  This one action doesn’t require all of your willpower.  However, when you add all of the actions up on a given day it dissipates your willpower and by the end of the day you won’t have much left.

So to accomplish more, to have more, to get more done, it requires willpower.  If none of this matters to you, you probably wouldn’t have read this blog.  You have to find a way to maximize your finite willpower when you have the most of it.

Brian Willett

What is average?

What is average?  As many of my closest friends and colleagues know, I am reading books on excellence.  In each of these books I have found that the company’s, the people, the country’s, the leaders, the CEO’s, etc. are not doing extraordinary things, they are just doing the ordinary things very well.  There are about five to six things that they are well above average in doing.  I am on a journey to be above average in areas of my life that I have been average in.  There are many areas in my life I have been above average, however there are some goals I have made that I am painfully stuck in being “average” and it is because of my lack of commitment to do what is necessary to become above average. So today’s list is a pledge to myself to be above average in areas of my life where I have allowed average tendencies.

So what is average:

  • Average company’s say process over people.
  • Average says that is the way we have always done it.
  • Average leaders have no vision for themselves which means they can’t have a vision for the people or company.
  • Average says don’t rock the boat, its not worth the trouble.
  • Average says I will do it later, instead of how can I get it done now.
  • Average says I will watch the show instead of reading the book.
  • Average says how much do I have to do, instead of what can I do.
  • Average says I will save for retirement later, instead of how can I start saving now.
  • Dave Ramsey says most people (average) say: How much will it cost me a month, The rich (above average) says how much does it cost.
  • Average says one more piece of cake won’t hurt me, instead of that is enough for now.
  • Average says: you’re in a safe place don’t take the risk.
  • Average allows the day to run them instead of them running the day.
  • Average allows their calendar to be dictated by others instead of controlling it themselves.
  • Average says I know it all, instead of what can I learn.
  • Average says it will always be this way, instead of saying how can I change it.
  • Average says networking is not important, instead of making time for it.
  • Average hits snooze instead of getting up (I did this today)
  • Average stays in their comfort zone.

This list is really for me and it is my public commitment to myself to continue to be above average in everything I do and seek to do. I hit snooze today on my alarm, I do this too many days in a row and I will become average. In the pursuit of excellence I go today!

Brian Willett

 

But I did it anyway

  • I really didn’t feel like getting up this morning and putting 60 minutes on the bike, but I did it anyway.
  • I really didn’t feel like reading for 30 minutes this morning, but I did it anyway.
  • I really didn’t feel like sending out several emails just following up with people I am connecting with to see how we could assist each other, but I did it anyway.
  • I really didn’t feel like eating that protein bar for breakfast, that McDonald’s sausage egg biscuit sounded so much better, but I did it anyway.

We all have choices to make in life.  If we only made the right (your interpretation of right) choices in life when we felt like doing it, I don’t know about you, but I would probably have more days where I didn’t feel like it than I do feel like it.   What keeps me making the right choices, right in my mind, is the “WHY” associated with making the choices I made today and make each day.

I want to have a depth of knowledge that makes me more valuable, which in turn I can be of value to others. I want to live a healthy lifestyle so that I can live a prosperous long healthy life free from illness, so I can earn all I can and give away all I can.  These are some of my WHY’s, but the passage below paints the picture even more clearly for me and maybe it will for you as well.

  • There is no doubt that every human being comes to this earth with a mission.  We are not accidental puppets thrown off to be buffetted by luck or chance or cruel fate.  We are part of a great universal plan.  We were made to fit into this plan, to play a definite part of it.  We come here with a message for humanity which no one else but ourselves can deliver, and faith in our mission, the belief we are important factors in the great creative plan, that we are in fact, co-creators with God, will add wonderfully, to the dignity and effectiveness of our lives, will enable us to perform the impossible. —Author: Orison Swett Marden

I am just a seeker on a path and I really like and enjoy this path I am on.

To think you can, creates the force that can.

Brian Willett

 

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

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

7 lessons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time….

Brian Willett