Lucky Number 200!

This is my 200th blog post.  I started writing in January of 2014.  Since then I have compiled over 200 blog posts and a book was born from those posts.  Below are links to amazon and kindle where you can purchase my book.

http://www.amazon.com/Ways-More-Maximize-enjoy-reaching/dp/150257800X/

http://www.amazon.com/Ways-More-Maximize-enjoy-reaching-ebook/dp/B00TQTX29C/

I will keep my 200th blog post short and sweet by paying tribute to a few of the quotes that changed my thinking and started me on this journey!

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better–Jim Rohn

For things to change I must change–Jim Rohn

Your income very rarely exceeds your personal development–Jim Rohn

Lastly, a word from me.  Why not you?  That is the question that my mentor asked me several years ago.  So that is the question I leave you here with today?  Why not you?  You have the ability to be what ever you want and have all the things you ever wanted.  So why not you and why not today?

To your success and your future.

 

Twelve Pillars; book summary and notes

This is one of the very few “novels” that you will see Brian Willett read.  It isn’t a typical novel though, it is a story that we all have seen and heard, and maybe the story it tells could even be one of us.  The authors of the book are Jim Rohn and Chris Widener.  To learn more about Jim Rohn click on this link.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Rohn   This man has had serious impact on my life and I never met him.  Chris Widener. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Widener_(author)

The story starts off with a guy who is forty years old, married to his wife of 15 years that he no longer is very connected with, and two kids who he barely sees.  And a boring job where he makes about 40K as a sales rep.  His car breaks down on his way to a sales meeting.  He didn’t have a phone so he walked to the closest house.  This house had a large brick and wrought iron fence stretched at least 500 feet along the roadside. And the gate was at least 10 feet high.  Behind the gate was a house that was well over 10,000 square feet.  It was white plantation style home that had twelve two-story pillars across the front which made sense since the sign at the side of the gate said “Twelve Pillars”.  He runs into an old man who was a bout 70 years old in some old overalls.  The man asked if he could help him.

The man takes him to this garage and they start talking.  The old man pretends that he doesn’t own the home, which you find out later in the story that he does.  Instead he tells the young sales guy that he is the yard guy for the very wealthy man who owns the big house.  They start a relationship where the sales rep comes by and meets with the old man for months and each week that he comes back to meet with the old guy the old man teaches the sales guy a principle of the twelve pillars.  So it is a story with a powerful message weaved in.

Pillar #1:   The only way things are going to change for you is when you change. 

A lot of people think working hard is the key to success, and it is, but it is only one piece of the success puzzle.  For you to get a better job, with more money, and more opportunity, you must increase your skill set.  Which requires you to change your thoughts, your actions, and what you do everyday.

The conversations between the two of them are deep and every sentence has a pearl of wisdom.

Pillar #2:  You should make sure that the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you. 

Pillar number two is total well-being.  The body is made up of three parts: the body, soul, and the spirit.  You have to give equal attention to all three to have a healthy overall well-being.

Pillar #3:  Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationships flourishing and growing.

The old man asks the sales guy to tell him about his family.  He tells him about his struggles to find the time to spend with his family and that his relationship with his wife could be better. The message is that we must cultivate any and all relationship that is important to us.  Just like a garden it requires constant upkeep to keep the weeds out.  If you don’t weed for a few weeks, what happens to a garden? It doesn’t take much time and the weeds will take over.  It is no different for our relationships with our family, friends, and colleagues.  Maintenance of a garden is easier than starting all over again.

Pillar #4:  The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it.

Goal setting is deciding where you want to go and then designing a plan to get you there.    Setting goals that stretch you and make you do things differently is what will lead you to a future that you want.  Don’t wait for people to set goals for you.

Pillar #5:  Everyday has many opportunities, but only one best opportunity.

We all must suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The difference is that discipline weighs ounces and regret weights tons.  Your best opportunity each day are those that align with your overall goals and should be what you spend your time on. Don’t just go through the day, get from the day. Don’t spend you time on urgent, spend your time on what is important. We must be our own designer of our lives.

Pillar #6:  Don’t join an easy crowd; you wont grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high.

Ask yourself these questions:  Who am I around?  What effect are they having on me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most importantly, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the final question: is that okay?

Friends of convenience.  This is an interesting concept.  Is it easier to keep certain people for friends, instead of pursuing new friends. Successful people look for relationships with other successful people who will push them, challenge them, and encourage them to become better. To attract attractive people, you must be attractive.  Not physically but mentally and who you are.

Your attitude is greatly influenced by the people who you associate with.

Pillar #7:  Formal education will make you a living.  Self education will make you a fortune.

Self-education is what you teach yourself.  It is what you learn along the way so that you are constantly improving and growing. Most people don’t continue to learn and grow, to separate yourself from everyone else, be focused on continuous learning.

Learning is the beginning of wealth.  Learning is the beginning of health.  Learning is the beginning of spirituality.  Searching and learning are where the miracle process all begins. Most of life is lived after your formal education. That means the rest of it is up to you.

You have to read the books.  Books are and will continue to be the best learning tools of mankind.

Pillar #8:  One key to having influence with others is to have others perceive you as a person of talent and virtue.

All of life is sales.  Sales is really just the application of having influence and that is a skill that we must all possess in life to get the things we want and desire.   Talent and virtue are the foundation of successful influence and sales, whether you are selling a product or selling yourself–and a successful person is always selling him or herself.

Skills of sales:

  • Know your stuff. You can’t teach what you don’t know.  You cannot share that which you do not feel. You cannot translate that which you do not have. You cannot give that which you do not possess.
  • Talk to lots of people. 
  • Never take no for an answer. 

Pillar #9: What you become directly influences what you get.

The skills you develop to become a millionaire is more important the than money itself.  Money can always go away.  You can lose it.  You can get sued, inflation can eat it away.  It can be stolen.  Every year you hear of what were once millionaires and multimillionaires having to file for bankruptcy, going from hundreds of millions of dollars to nothing.  However, many of them can come back from these things because of the skills they learned to accumulate such wealth.  The skills can never be taken away.

Income seldom exceeds personal development.  Th increase your paycheck, you must increase your skills.

Pillar #10:  Communication is two or more people working together to find the common ground of understanding.  And when they find that common ground, they are positioned to have tremendous power together.

Success is based on human relationships and communication is the foundation for people working together. A lot of people spend their time communicating to convince the other person to their way of thinking, instead look for areas that you agree on, and then build from that. Look for common ground. It isn’t just what you say, it is how you say it, when you say it, and the receptiveness of who you say it to. And that is only half of it.  The other half of it is making sure you really listen.

Pillar #11:  To lead others is to help them change their thoughts, beliefs, and actions for the better.

Leadership is a misunderstood concept.  Most people when they hear the term “great leader” think of people who lead nations, corporations, or social movements.  Leadership means you have mastered the art of influencing others. To lead others is to help them change their thoughts, beliefs, and actions for the better. Sales and Leadership are similar because they are both the art of influencing others.

Managers help people see themselves as they are, and leaders help them see themselves better than they are. If you want to get paid more, bring more value to others by becoming a better leader. Leaders talk about what could be. Learn to help people with more than just their job, help them with their lives. Great leaders are interested in people.

During this book each week and each meeting that the sales guy has with the old man he teaches him the twelve pillars and the methodology around it.  All the while referring to a guy who owned the house.  When the sales guy goes to meet with him to learn the twelfth pillar, he gets there and finds out that the old man had died.  He learns this from the old mans wife, and this is when he learns that he (the old man) was the wealthy guy that owned the house and came up with the twelve pillars.  The final pillar, number twelve is given to the sales guy by the old mans wife in a letter from the old man. Leaving a legacy.  In the letter the old man talks about the growth and development of the sales guy he has witnessed and that is when he reached the final pillar on legacy.

Pillar #12:  Live a life that will help others spiritually, intellectually, physically, financially, and relationally. Live a life that serves as an example of what an exceptional life can look like.

You cannot choose how long you will live, but you can choose how well you live. You can also help others along the way and when you help others that is when you will build a legacy.  Helping others and giving to others is what life is really about and when you are dead and gone, be remembered for what you did for others and not what you have.

This book was an easy read.  It is a such a great story and it is one that we can all relate to.  I hit on many of the highlights that I saw as very valuable throughout the book, but the book is full of some of the greatest success principles you anyone can learn.

Please share this book summary with someone who you think could you use it.  Also read the book.

To your success and your future.

 

Winning is easy

What do you consider winning?  Is it landing the next promotion?  Acing the next exam?  Living a life that God wants you to live?  Be able to provide for your family?  Having more than enough to live off of?  Having money left over in the bank after all the bills are paid? Whatever you definition is of winning, it is really easy to do isn’t it?  All it requires is doing a little more than you would normally do.

Isaac Newton figured it out long ago.  The natural pull is downward.  If you don’t believe me.  Get on top of your house and throw a rock off of it and see where it goes. Look at a bird, sure it can glide for a few seconds, but if it isn’t flapping its wings it is falling down.  So if the natural pull is downward, and you look at the above list as winning, how do you win?

I believe it begins with making a commitment to win.  Meaning you will do whatever it takes to win.  When I say whatever it takes, I mean, it must be moral, ethical, and legal.  But it requires you to make a commitment.  Don’t forget to add the why to your commitment.  Your WHY is what will keep you going when the work gets hard.

You have made the commitment, now what?  Well now it is time to make a game plan.  You just can’t go into this thing without some preparation and a well designed plan.  A poorly designed plan is better than no plan at all, but why not take the time to develop the best game plan you can to win the game.  How much time do you think Nick Saban spends on designing a game plan so his Alabama Crimson Tide can win on Saturday afternoons?  It is a lot of time.

So now you have made the commitment to win.  You have designed a game plan.  What is next?  It is now time to go to work!  Nothing can be accomplished without the work.  Nothing happens until the labor is done.

When the work gets hard, remember your why.  I am not sure any of my suggestions on winning fits what you would classify as winning.  However, the game plan as outlined above is the same for everybody.  You must make the commitment, design a game plan, and go to work to make anything happen.

My mentor Jim Rohn talks about the ant philosophy in this video: check it out by clicking on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnBif7kOeoI we can all learn a few things from the ants.  They have no choice but to win everyday, because if they don’t they die.  What if we took that approach to everything in life that matters.

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.

How Much and How Many?

About three years ago, I was listening to some guy who later became one of the most influential mentors I have had in my life.  I have never met him, I can’t, because he died about two years before I had ever even knew of him. Since then, I have read everything (I think) he ever wrote during his lifetime, I have listened to almost everything he has ever created on video or audio.  Jim Rohn forever changed my philosophy. This morning I am reading his book again just because I know there is one more idea in there that could change my life, my family, and my legacy forever.  If you seek, you will find.  Very rarely does a good idea just hit you, you must seek it out.

When I listened to him that first time he asked this simple question in several different ways, that changed my thinking forever.  It probably sounds more powerful in audio.

  • How many homes can you own?
  • How much money can you make?
  • How many books can you read?
  • How many places can you visit?
  • How generous can you be to others?
  • How many businesses can you own? 

The answer to all of these questions is the same.  As many as you want and as much as you want.  We live in America and this is true in America.  You can do just about whatever you want, it’s up to you.

Pretty simple questions and pretty simple answers. The question for you is what are you going to do with the information?  That is the question I ask myself everyday.

Brian Willett

 

 

The Law of Diminishing Intent

This truly is a law.  It’s a law because it is true and without a doubt I have, and many of you have all broken this law many times in our life.

What does the law mean:  We have all had that moment when we get really excited about something, maybe it is dieting, getting out of debt, planning our day more effectively, redoing the kitchen, painting the bedroom, etc.  You name it.  At that moment we get excited about doing the “thing” but we don’t take any action to get the ball rolling on doing it.  So for every second, minute, hour, day, week, month that goes by, we lose that passion and excitement about accomplishing what we were so excited about accomplishing.

I can remember learning this lesson years ago.  It was around November or so, and I was telling a friend of mine that I was planning on starting to workout after the New Year.  Sound familiar?  He replied back “Why wait, why not start now, what is the difference between now and then?”  He was right.  I learned the Law of Diminishing intent almost 16 years ago.  He didn’t call it the law of diminishing intent, but that’s what it was.  I started that day.  Guess what?  It is a discipline that I practice still to this day.  My mentor Jim Rohn says it like this:  “The pain of discipline weighs ounces and the pain of regret weighs tons.”

The key is to set up the discipline while the emotion is at its highest.  Go buy the paint, clean the refrigerator out of all of the snacks, cut up your credit cards, go outside and run a mile or walk.  The goal here is to start down the path of setting up some disciplines in your life, some activities, that can then turn into habits that will allow you to accomplish the activity or goal that you are so excited about at that time.

Is there something in your life right now that you are excited about?  What are you doing to set the disciplines and activities in motion to ensure you keep the energy and actions moving forward? Please share with me, I would love to hear them.

Brian Willett

 

You don’t get paid for merely showing up

I just finished “LinchPin” a great book by Seth Godin.  This book really gets you thinking about how you can become a “Linchpin”.  A person that adds so much value to your organization or your market that they can’t afford to lose you, you are “Indispensable”.  In this book he talks about how the Attendance Based Compensation is dead!   Attendance based compensation (ABC) means you get paid for just showing up to the job, showing up to the factory, and that you can earn a decent wage for just showing up.

In 2014, this (ABC) no longer exists and if it does, then it shouldn’t.  Everyone should be more worried about the value they bring to a company, a job, and the workplace.  Jim Rohn says it like this: “You don’t get paid by the hour, you get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”  To get more money and hour, you must become more valuable, and the way you become more valuable is develop your skills.

First, are you bringing so much value that your company can’t afford to lose you?  Can’t afford to outsource you?  Cant afford to bring in an expert and pay them on a contract, versus paying you a full-time wage with benefits.  Do your actions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc. move the company forward and make the company better?

Don’t just show up to the job, bring value, become a “LinchPin” become a difference maker, be so busy doing that you don’t have time to think about anything else.

Brian Willett

Invest in you first

I am a process person, I can learn anything and do anything as long as there is a process.  Throughout grade school and my teens, I understood money.  I made it and spent it, that was my understanding of it.  That was the depth of my knowledge.  I don’t recall learning a very solid financial plan in school that made sense to me.  Maybe they taught it, but I just didn’t hear it.

I was introduced to a financial plan by my mentor Jim Rohn, he had what he called the 10-10-10 plan.  He basically said you gotta have a financial plan, and this was the one he came up with.  He said never spend more than 70 cents out of a dollar.  And use the other 30 cents this way.  Tithe the first 10%.  Tithe can mean giving to charity or giving to a church.  You choose.  The point is give it to something.  I have discovered the more I give the better I feel.  Obviously, I get excited about having the ability to give money and who it will help, but I like the feeling personally that I get when I give away money.  The second 10% you should save.  Save it, don’t touch it.  The last 10% you should invest.  He called it active capital.  Maybe you buy something for $2 dollars and sell it for $4, but use the money to invest in something that will provide a return, either short-term or long-term.

I am sure Mr. Rohn says this somewhere in all of his teachings, and maybe he counts this 10% in the investment part of his 10-10-10 plan, but I haven’t heard it clearly stated that way from him.  But I think you should invest no less than 10% in your personal and self-development. Mr. Rohn would agree I am sure. The great Brian Tracy says, for every dollar you invest in yourself on your personal development, it will have a $30 dollar ROI in your lifetime to your bottom line.  No other investment you can make will have that rate of return.

Mr. Rohn has a quote that I love:  “Never begrudge the money you spend on your own personal and self-development.”  I agree with that statement, but the thing that I would add is that you have to be intentional about your personal and self-development.  If you just go through the day without a plan, you most likely won’t fit it in to your day.  It has to be built-in to your day.

So what is my financial plan, I suggest.  Depending on where you are in your life and financial situation, I would suggest that you allocate 10% of your money to invest in yourself.  Maybe you use a combination of Mr. Rohn’s plan and include the 10% investment in your self somewhere in your budget. The investment could be a book, attending a seminar, a program on (you name it), a health plan, etc.  Invest in something that will make you better. When you get better things will get better.

Brian Willett

Are you willing to do something different?

I have the fortunate opportunity to speak to a lot of people everyday about their personal goals and what they would like to accomplish in their career.   It is one of the coolest things about my job and it is definitely my passion.

When meeting with someone I always ask do you have clearly defined goals in all areas of your life personally as well as professionally.  And as you might guess, everyone says yes.  My follow-up question is what are they?  They blabber through a few of them, but you can tell they aren’t well-defined.  BTW:  I used to be the same way and in some areas of my life, I still might be, but I am deliberate about the big ones, which include career, passion, money, and future. You are crazy if you think there is such a thing called work life balance.  There must be a work life integration and find balance in managing that.  Your career should be your passion and if it is not, then find another career.

So back to goal setting.  Everyone says they goal set.  For example.  My goal today was to  cut the grass. Weren’t you going to do that anyway?  If the answer is yes.  Was it really a goal?  Meaning, if you didn’t cut it today, were you going to cut it tomorrow, the answer is probably yes.  So to me that isn’t a goal.  It is a something you were going to do anyway, it is just a matter of when.  I work with a lot of college graduates.  I like to ask them if graduating from college was a goal for them.  Sure enough they all say yes.  So my follow-up question is, so if something better came along would you have quit college.  The answer is usually no.  Not Graduating college wasn’t an option. So I ask, was it really goal?  No, it is not a goal, you were going to do it anyway.

I am suggesting you create goals that require you to do something that you wouldn’t do other wise.  I met with a person just yesterday.  They would like to make extra money. I said is that goal or a wish?  They said it was a goal. So I said “How much extra money?”, “When would you like to make this money?”, “What would you do with the extra money?”, and then lastly “What are you willing to do differently than you are doing right now to accomplish this goal?”.  SEE this is the magic question.  WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO DIFFERENTLY, to accomplish this goal.  If what you were doing was working to accomplish your goal (that is if you have a goal at all) you would already be making the extra money.  Since you’re not, your program isn’t working, so you must do something differently. A goal is something that requires you to stretch, to reach, to change, to try another way.

Today I woke up and I am going to work.  Guess what that is a crappy goal, I was going to do that anyway.  Create goals that make you stretch.  My mentor says:  Don’t set your goals too low. If you don’t need much, you won’t become much–Jim Rohn.

The point I am making is that A) Set some goals B) Set some goals that require you to do something you wouldn’t do otherwise.  If you make 45K a year and you want to make 55K a year, what are you willing to do differently to make that.  Maybe it will require some extra education, maybe not, maybe you are really good at X and you can do that on the side.  Maybe you deliver pizzas.  I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers I just have some suggestions.   The key here is set some goals that are worthwhile. 

Spend some time setting some goals today.  If you need some worksheets or some help please let me know.  I have a bank of resources that I can send you for free.  These forms changed my life, maybe they can change yours.

Brian Willett

Leaders share, sharing 6 thoughts on the mind today

I am sure there will be many times throughout my life that I will think and ponder the lessons I have learned that I don’t want to forget.  At 35 years of age, I have been thinking about it and like most things in life, in work, and in just about everything, there is not a dozen things I need to know or do to be successful.  There is typically just a few things we must do well, a half a dozen or so that lead to success.  The great Vince Lombardi said football is just “blocking and tackling.”  When you break things down to their simplest form and focus on the simplest things it brings clarity to the situation.

So as I think about life and success I really wanted to pair down some philosophical views that I think have led me to success and more importantly views that I think have shaped and continue to shape my daily pursuit of doing and accomplishing great things.  My definition of success is “steady progress towards ones personal goals.”

Seeking excellence in everything I do is the goal.

Why wouldn’t I, I gotta stay here until I go, why not do whatever I do the to the best of my ability.  There have been times in my life as I look back and say, I could have done better there, I should have done this, I could have done that.  I hate thinking that way.  I don’t want to live in the past, but it is ok to think about the past as an education and an investment in your future.  If you don’t learn from your past and you just dwell on it, then we call you a complainer.  But if you learn from it, we call you smart.

I am now at a point in my life, where I am challenging myself daily to be excellent in everything I do.  If I am in a relationship I need to be an excellent partner in that relationship. If I am not, I should not be in the relationship.  If I am a leader, I need to be excellent in leading, which means I start with leading myself first.  In whatever I decide to invest my time or my money in, I will do it to the best of my ability and pursue excellence in it.

There is a direct correlation between formal education combined with personal education and self-development and your income.

My mentor Jim Rohn says this:  “Formal education will make you a living and self-education and personal education will make you a fortune.”  The first time I heard that it changed my life.  I was already dabbling in the area of self-development and taking additional training, reading a few books, etc.  But when I heard that statement my life hasn’t been the same since.  I can an honestly say that my income has increased about 40% and my assets have doubled since then.  John Maxwell who is another mentor of mine, asked the question one day “What is your growth plan?”  “And are you intentional about your growth.”  I answered both of those questions with “I don’t have a growth plan that is intentional.”  Since that day, I have had an intentional growth plan, and I invest a percentage of my income towards personal growth and self-development.

There are two areas of personal growth and self development that I work on.  Personal growth is reading the right kinds of books with a goal.  Three years ago, I set a goal to read a book a month.  I have accomplished that goal each of the last three years, actually reading more than a book a month.  I am sure everyone who is reading this blog probably reads a lot as well, and you are saying I read all day long.  Emails, certain websites, blogs, etc.  However, you have to be more intentional than that. Pick a subject and become engrossed in it.  My goal this year is to read four books a month.  That is the funny thing about goal setting, is that when you accomplish the goal, you will set new goals and you accomplish even more, I get so excited about goal setting.

Self development is a little broader.  Reading the books, watching the seminars, listening to the recordings, etc. is a piece.  But your health is a piece of this as well.  A person who can have the discipline to be healthy can also have disciplines in other areas of their life as well.  So health and fitness is just as important to me as mind fitness and education fitness, you have to do them all everyday. Being disciplined in health to me includes exercising and eating correctly.  Eating correctly is being conscientious of my eating habits, and be disciplined in what I eat and drink.  I have found that discipline in this area of my life leads to other disciplines in my life that are all positive.

Without the journey the destination doesn’t mean anything:

I have heard for many years from much wiser people than I am, to enjoy the journey, that it is not about the destination.  I am sure we have all heard this and it makes sense, but without an example of the application in our own lives I don’t think it makes much sense or you can’t really understand the true meaning of this message.  I think a better way to say this is.  The destination doesn’t mean a damn thing without the journey.  The journey is where the growth happens. The journey is where the learning takes place.  I personally feel that we never truly arrive at the destination and I am constantly moving the goal line.  My mentor Jim Rohn says we all must make “measurable progress in reasonable time.”  I think that is a good goal to achieve in most things.  Some things can’t be hurried.  For example, it has taken me about 35 years to become this philosophical where I can actually think long enough to type a blog of this nature.

Destination disease.  I am trying to remember who I heard that from.  I think it was John Maxwell.  He says that many leaders have destination disease we all want to get somewhere, because leaders are goal oriented and we want to achieve something.  I think that is where we must have a vision for ourselves and everything we do in our daily lives, activities, work, etc. should be in pursuit of that vision.

Enjoy the journey and take notes, so when you do arrive to destination you will know how you got there.

The hardest and best lessons learned were probably the hardest to take at that time 

Growing up I spent a lot of time at my grandparents house, especially during the summer. What a blessing this was for my brother and I as well as my parents that we were able to spend that time with our grandparents while my parents worked.  We have all heard a story of the lesson you can learn from touching a hot stove.  Well, I actually touched a hot stove when I was kid and learned that lesson. It hurt.  That is a lesson that I have never had to learn again.

Many of the lessons I have learned throughout my life so far have hurt in one way or the other.  Hurt can be physical pain, financial pain, opportunity lost pain, relationship pain,  etc.  I remember buying a vehicle I couldn’t afford and I didn’t want to afford any longer.  So I made the decision to sell the vehicle.  The offer I received wasn’t enough to pay the vehicle off.  So I had to get a loan to cover the rest of the money to be able to sell the vehicle.  What a lesson I learned.  When you are making payments on absolutely nothing, you tell yourself, “I won’t do that again.”  Another example of something that hurt.  Here am I doing what I can to make a difference and drive business in a position that I am in.  I think I am doing things well, and really making the team and everyone around me better.  My boss, pulls me to the side one day and says, my colleagues are not happy with me, because I am too aggressive.  It was a good lesson in being more aware of people around me.  I had no idea that I was being divisive. Lesson learned, but I was kind of upset at that time.  I thought I was doing the right thing.

Many times we learn what to do, from doing what not to do.  The way we learn what not to do, is to try new things more often.  I have not failed fast enough to learn more lessons, I am just now at a point in my life where I am taking more risks and learning from my failures more often.  The only way to learn is to try new things.  This is my goal, fail more often.

My retirement, My health, and My wealth is up to me. 

Being a single hard-working guy this is not meant to say I don’t care about the people in my life and that the people in my life don’t care about me. I am just being very specific in saying, what happens to you in your life is up to you.  Nobody but you can control the above mentioned.  Why does this one make my list?  Well, it is a reminder to me that I must control those things and that ultimate responsibility of my health, my wealth, and my retirement is up to me.

No brainer right?  Sure it is.  But do you really know this. I have great friends and a great family.  I am truly blessed in this area beyond my wildest dreams and have been my entire life.  However, at the end of the day, or the beginning of the month it is just me and my responsibilities. Recently, I had a surgery (minor at best) but its surgery and it isn’t just a cut on your hand.  I had family that helped me to the hospital and back, I had friends and colleagues that asked me how I was doing, I was so blessed to have this in my life.  However, at the end of the day, when it came down to healing and getting better, it was up to me.

Time Flies

Many people talk about milestones in their life.  Maybe it was when they turned 16 and could drive, maybe it was when they turned 50 (not there yet), maybe it was 30.  It seems that we all have a number in our head that we joke about and when we get there we can’t believe we are that age.  For me, age 16 was significant, because I could start driving, but I wasn’t sophisticated at that time to think about anything else, so now at age 35 (seems like it was just yesterday I was learning how to drive), I look up and I say time flies.  How did I get to 35!  When I say 15 years ago I was 20, and in 15 more years, I will be 50.  I know how fast the last 15 years have gone by, and if the next 15 flies as quickly as the last 15, I will look up and be 50 before I know it.  Knowing how quickly time flies, I am committed to getting things done quicker and more efficiently.

I am going to do the things I have to do quickly, so I can focus on doing the things I want to do–Jim Rohn.

Since I have started blogging, I have become more organized in my thoughts, more disciplined in daily activities, more clear in my goals, and all of these things have made me a better trainer, leader, friend, and mentor.

Thanks for reading the blog.  I always welcome feedback.

Brian Willett