Why closing these Gap’s are vital to your life and success.

If you had to sum up life it could really be summed up in one sentence.

You spend most of your life trying to close the GAPs in the most important areas of your life.

The GAP between what you might be asking.  The GAP between you and everything you want out of your life and want in your life.

So what is a GAP?  Lets get a definition for this first.

A GAP is described as a break in continuity.  I also like the definition of an, unfilled space or interval.

So where are some GAPS in your life?

Here is a quick list of GAPS that may or may not pertain to you?  This list is by no means final and is up to each person to create their own.

A Success GAP:  The GAP between the expectations you have of yourself and where you currently are today.

The Health GAP: The GAP between your current health situation and the health situation you would like to have.

The Relationship Gap:  This could be a lot of different relationships in your life such as: with your wife, your boss, your children, your parents, your neighbor, etc.  The GAP between where your relationship is today and where you would like that relationship to be.

The Confidence GAP:  Where you stand today with your confidence in your own abilities and skills in an area of importance to you versus you pursuing that of which eludes you.

The Communication GAP: Most likely this GAP exists in a variety of different ways in your life. It could be the lack of communication from your boss, the lack of communication you and your spouse may have, and may more areas of your life that are important.

The Income GAP:  This is the GAP in between your current financial status and the status you want to have.

So how do we close the GAP?  That is really all we can seek to do.

Like everything in life.  The first thing you have to do is become aware that it exists.  In this case, you have a GAP in one of the above described areas, or another area in your life. Once you identify the GAP.  Then you can seek the information to help you close the GAP.

Lets use the Health GAP as an example.  What is the GAP? What is the current situation for you and secondly, what is the desired situation you want.

I’ll use myself as an example.  I have a GAP in between where I am today and where I would like to be ten months from now at age 40.  At age 40, I seek to be in the best shape of my life.  Which would require me to be at 195, my blood pressure being at 120/75, my BMI at 15-20, and have all of the major health tests conducted and show that I am a healthy forty year old man.  I would even love it if they said I was better than average.  I don’t want to be just average.

So where is the GAP?  I currently weight about 200 or so.  My BMI is closer to 24, my blood pressure is usually around the 120/80-83 mark.  And I haven’t had all of the major tests a forty-year old should get yet.  Although I know the surface level GAP’s of where I am and where I want to be, I have to go to the doctor to get all of the necessary facts to totally see the entire picture.

Once the GAP is identified, I can now learn and create an action plan to close the GAP.

For you to close any GAP in your life, you first have to go through the process of determining that a GAP exists.  The GAP is the space between where you are and where you want to be.

After the you identify the GAP, the big question becomes how bad do you want to close the GAP?  What is the intensity of your desire to make this GAP smaller and smaller.

This GAP will exist as long as you want it to exist.

Now here is the GAP Closer.  Now that you have identified the GAP, and your desire to close the GAP is strong. What do you do?

You go and get the knowledge and education you are missing to close the GAP.  Now the chances are you may already have some of the knowledge and education, but you just aren’t applying it.  That is another blog for another day. But for you to close the GAP in anything you have to apply the necessary knowledge and education you already know, or go out and find the right information and knowledge and then apply it.

This is the only way to close the GAP.  Once you start this process, you can speed the process up, or you can take forever to close the GAP.  It is up to you.

The key to closing a GAP in any area of you life, is identifying you have a GAP.  Once you do this, you then have to identify your motive and desire to close this GAP. After that, you either must apply what you already know, or go out and get the information so you can apply it to closing the GAP.

Life is really a big GAP that you are costly managing and seeking to close.  If you don’t have any GAP’s in your life, then my guess is you don’t have any goals or dreams, which is probably the reason you don’t have any GAPs.

If you want to start closing some GAPS in your life, then reach out to me.  I coach leaders, sales people, and individuals who want to close the GAPs in their life.  I have found that without some help and accountability, closing GAP’s can be very difficult.  Everybody needs someone to push them to accomplish the things in their life that require them to change something in their life.

How big are the GAPs in your life?  How bad do you want close them?  The only way to closing the GAP is getting the knowledge and education you are missing, and then having someone hold you accountable to applying it.

To your success and you future.

 

 

How many Thursdays do you have left in your life?

I don’t know about you, but no matter what I do, it seems like I always use more time to do something than I should use.  This is not a new phenomenon.  Actually if you look it up there is actual supposed law for this belief.  Called Parkinson’s Law.

Cyril Northcote Parkinson, actually wrote about this law in a humorist essay he published in the British publication, “The Economist” in 1955.  Parkinson was actually referencing the fact, and the math to support his belief on how bureaucracies expand over time.  Long story short, he was talking primarily about how officials in government seeks to grow subordinates over time, and as they grow the staff, the work increases, but the results do not increase.  Because the bureaucracy creates more work for itself.  But I digress. Go here and read about it yourself.

In my world, Parkinson’s Law manifests in certain projects that I want to complete.  The best example of this I can give is the one I am working on this week. I have to give a keynote presentation next Friday.  I have delivered several presentations that are similar to the one I am giving, but I have to change this one up for the audience more than normal. This week has been a light week for me, which has provided me a lot of time to work on this presentation.

I started on Monday, and I am 75% complete.  But I should be 100% complete and not have to look at it again until next week.  But I know I have until next week to do it.  Well, really Monday or so.  And because I know this, I haven’t completed it yet.

I have always tried to do whatever I can to get the most out of my time, but I still find myself, like in the above example, using more time than I should.

I recently was listening to a book where the author asked me “How many Wednesdays do you have left in your life?”  Well, I had never thought about the question like that before. I never thought about how many Wednesdays an average person lives, or any other day for that matter.

After hearing this question I thought about it, and like most of us would do, and maybe you are doing it now.  I started doing some math.  The math I will do today is on how many Thursdays I have left, obviously I hope I have more, but lets just play the averages.

I am 39 years old. My dad died when he was 60 (ugh), not sure how that plays in.  One of my grandfathers lived until 86 and the other lived until 83.  However, this plays in, I don’t know, but it gives me some benchmarks.

So how many Thursdays do I have left?

  • If I make it to 60 = Currently week 15 of my 39th year, 1,077 Thursdays left.
  • If I make it to the average for males in the United States: 78: 2,013 Thursdays left.
  • Average of my two grandfathers 83+86=169/2=84.5, 2,325 Thursdays left.

If you think about life experiences how many times do you really do certain things.  For example:  How many Super Bowl parties do you really attend.  Lets just say you started going to Super Bowl Parties when you were 18.  Then you if you just use an average life span, (78), you could have only attended 60 Super Bowl parties throughout your life.  It seems like a lot, but when you look at it like this it makes it seem really small in my mind. Not sure how you think about it.

Now that I got you thinking.  Well me too.  I am trying to create a stronger sense of urgency in everything I do.  Look, I consider myself, to be very disciplined, very focused, and very consistent in just about everything I do.  But even I have a room for improvement.

This little exercise challenged me to think about how many days I really have to do what I want to do, and need to do.  When you are a kid, you think you will live forever.  And then as an adult you are too busy to think about living forever. Then you wake up one day and realize you have been out of high school for 20 years.

I have accomplished a lot.  I don’t know if it is more or less than I thought I would accomplish, because I never really thought that much about it.  However, as I am sitting here today in Naples, Florida where I have lived for the last two years, typing this blog, and now that I think about what it is I am achieving and accomplishing, I can honestly say I have accomplished a lot.

However, I know I am capable of so much more, and you are as well. We just have to quit falling victim to Parkinson’s Law and create the urgency to do whatever it takes to start and  finish things quicker.

To your success and your future.

 

New Year. New You. Or have you already quit?

New Year. New You.  Does this sound like you?  Hey, I hope so.  I think the beginning of the year is as good as any to start a new thing.  Whether it is your health, your money, a bad habit you want to quit, or anything else.

But do you want to know what is even better than a new start or a fresh start?  To never quit in the first place.

I have been looking at my Facebook feed since the beginning of 2018.  Which is exactly 31 days ago from the time I am writing this blog.  Today is February 1, 2018.  I see a lot of people on there pursuing these new things, and many of them said the same thing last year.  And most of them quit by this time last year, and many quit before the end of the year on whatever it was they were doing. They are now attempting it again.  I am proud of you.  Stay with it this time.

Hey, I have been there before.  I am no different from anyone else.  Working out is a discipline that I just do.  I don’t have to think about it. I just do it.  I have been doing it for so long that it is just past of who am I.

However, where my opportunity for a fresh start exists. Is eating better. Just like many of the people in my Facebook feed, I have made some changes to my diet this year.  When I was younger, I always thought I could just exercise my way through a bad diet.  And what I have found the older I have gotten, that this has become increasingly more difficult.  So I had to make a fresh start as well.

In this blog I want to suggest a few ideas that can keep you consistent versus always having to start over.

A new year is a great place to start a new thing.  However, it doesn’t only have to be at the beginning of a New Year though.  In Daniel Pinks new book “When: The Scientific Secrets to Perfect Timing” He actually provides a list of 86 different days, dates, events, etc. that could be a great time for you to make a fresh start.  The first year being one of them and here are just a few more from his book:

  • First day of the month
  • Mondays (52)
  • Seasons (4)
  • Your birthday
  • Your anniversary of whatever
  • First day back from vacation
  • A Holiday

His goal was to get us thinking about the different days that we could use other than the first of the year to provide us a fresh start.

If you made a commitment on January 1, 2018, and have already quit, today would be a great day to start over again. You don’t have to wait until next year.  The first of the month is as good or better day to start than others.

Here is the good news.  If you are someone who quits and has had to start again.  Don’t wait until another year goes by before you start again.  Use another date and start your commitment from that date.   Today would be a good day to do that.

How else can you keep going?  As a runner, I have had a few injuries along the way. And I am the opposite of my most people.  If I don’t workout or exercise, I get very irritable, because it is breaking my routine. And I hate to break my routine. Over the years, as I have had these injuries, I would just have to modify my workouts. If my leg or calf is bothering me, then I would just do an upper body workout.  If my upper body is sore, maybe I just do a leg workout or run.

The key is to not stop.  But you may have to make adjustments and modify. What is it that you are trying to accomplish?  If you have already quit.  Why did you quit?  Were you trying to go all-in too fast?  If that is the case, don’t quit, make adjustments.

I had someone tell me one time, that you only have to get in shape once.  And that is the hard part. Once you do, then you just have to maintain it. Since then, I have never quit. Are there times where I more focused and disciplined than others?  Absolutely, but I never quit and that is the key to success when it comes to health and fitness and most anything else in life.

Another way to keep your commitment and not quit.  Is to remember why you wanted this in the first place.  And when I say remember it, I highly demand that you write it down.  By writing it down you put it to memory.

If you want to become healthier?  Why?  Is it because you want to look good in a bikini or without a shirt on if you are a guy.  If it is to quit spending so much.  Why is this so important to you?  Is it because you want to have a more secure future?  Is your job situation uncertain?  Or is it because you hate your job and you need to be prepared for an exit?

I have written about goals a lot here.  And if you are interested in taking your goal setting and goal accomplishing to the next level, then I would encourage you to reach out to me.  I have some resources that could be beneficial to you.

But I want you to do this one thing to increase the likelihood that you don’t have to start all over again.  And that is write down your goal, why that goal is important to you, and when you will accomplish it by.  Once you do this, you will be well on your way to accomplishing the things you want to accomplish.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

The two best measurements on determining what you think is important

Years ago when I was single I would eat out a lot, even more so than I do as a married man now, I think. Ha Ha.  I can remember one year I was looking at my bank account online.

My bank had one of those software systems that put all of my spending into categories, and it gave me a pie chart of how and where I spent my money. Under the food category it would actually break down by name the different restaurants where I spent my money.

I can remember looking at this chart and thinking to myself. WOW.  I spent a lot of money at this restaurant, and that restaurant, they should be giving me so free food. I did say that in my head, but what I really thought was, Oh my God, I can’t believe how much money I am spending just to eat out and then basically flush that money down the toilet, if you know what I mean.

At the point I made the decision to change my eating habits and only eat out a few times a month. At this time, I was in the process of making some investments and doing some other things that I needed to do to secure a better future for myself. I made those changes and about a year later, I was significantly better off.  That one little change in habit and discipline allowed me to make others changes as well.  These changes allowed me to have some success in several areas of my life.

This one little measurement in my life had high gains for me.  By looking at my spending habits I could easily tell what it was that I valued.  And that was work, because I didn’t have time to cook.  Or at least that is what I told myself. And I enjoyed not having to cook. And my thinking in my head at that time was “I had the money to spend”, so why shouldn’t I do it?

I tell everyone today that if I look at your bank account and your transactions I can learn really quickly what it is you value and think is important.   And these important things could be good for you or bad for you, I don’t know.  The bottom line is, you and I both, spend our money on things we think are important.

The other area of people’s life that I can look at and take a measurement of, and know what it is they find important.  Is where they spend their time, inevitably I have people tell me all of the time in my workshops that they put their family above everything else as the most important, and the time they spend with them is sacred.

Then I ask them to complete a timelog (which is a log that you put what you do each day down on paper to the quarter-hour of every hour).  Now, most people never want to be totally honest with themselves and put exactly how, and how much time, they spend on certain things.  But those who do, can really learn a lot from this exercise.

What people typically find out is that they waste more time than they thought they did.  They also learn that what they say is most important, doesn’t always measure out to be as important. At least the amount of time, if any, given to that activity.

Are you willing to do an inventory of yourself or your household? Are you willing to look at these two measurements in your life and see if you are spending too much, or too little time and money in these areas?  Most people aren’t willing to be this critical with themselves, but you are different if you have read this far.

Take a look at how you spend your money.  What trends do you see?  Good or bad.  If you are interested in tracking your time on a timelog, reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com and I will give you the timelog sheet for free. Just shoot me an email with the subject line TimeLog and in the email put your email address.

Before you can decide where you want to go, you have to first know where you are.  You can do this by measuring these two areas of your life.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

Four hundred times later, this is what I’ve learned

On January 13, 2014, I was sitting and staring at my computer just like I am now.  I had just purchased the domain name selfdevelopmentaddict.com My goal was to write/type a blog at least once a week for a year, and at the end of that year turn those blog posts into a book.  I now write everything on that domain and share it to my website brianwillettgroup.com

I quickly turned that original goal in to something else soon after.  My goal was then to write as often as possible and see at the end of the year what I tended to write about the most.  I was looking to see what it was that I was really passionate about.  By looking back at what topics and things I wrote about most, I would be able to clarify a path for future writings or even a different career path.

I did switch careers, and with that, I changed the path for my writings to what they are today.  My job is to increase the skills and the performance of leadership professionals and sales professionals in all facets of business. To ensure I continue to make the biggest impact with my clients, I use my writing to flesh out thoughts I may have.  I use my writings as a follow-up with my clients to reenforce a concept that we may have discussed. I use some of what I write to generate leads or provoke a thought in someone’s mind.  And lastly, I even use my writings to rant at times.

The reason for my reflection this evening, is because this post is my 400th blog post since I started writing. Although 400 hundred doesn’t seem like a lot, and I know I am capable of more, and I could do more writing.  I am still happy to say that 1,075 days have passed since I started writing.  Which means:

  • Over the last 153 weeks of my life I blogged at least twice a week.
  • I have roughly compiled about 240,000 words.
  • I wrote a self published book titled “Seven Ways to More”
  • I wrote two e-books.
  • I switched careers
  • I wrote my fathers eulogy.  The reason this is so important, is writing provided me the confidence to write the thoughts I shared that day.

I haven’t made any money from any thing I have written so far.  I don’t think I have written anything that has gone viral. Most of my closest friends, family, etc. rarely ever comment, share, mention, etc. anything I have written.  I don’t know if I am a better writer today than I was on January 13, 2014.

In church last week, my pastor asked the congregation a question that was posed to him at an event he attended several years ago.  The question that was asked of him was this: “If your church were to disappear tomorrow, would your community even know it.”

He took that question and modified it and challenged us with this question: “If our church were to disappear tomorrow, would our community even know it.”  He just changed the “your” to “our”.  He challenged us with continuing to commit time and resources, and help the church and the community in any way we can.

The reason I share this story is because I am asking myself this same question about my writing.  If my blog posts didn’t exist anymore, would anyone even know it.

And here is how I answer this question.  It may sound a little selfish, but my heart is in the right place.  Based on my experiences so far, the answer is, nobody would miss it.  Lets be honest.  If you are reading this, you are most likely finding out that I have written four hundred times.

None of that matters though.  I am going to make it my mission to matter though.  I am going to go back to the drawing board and see what I need to do to produce a better and more compelling product.  I am going to continue to challenge myself to become a better writer and storyteller.  And if I still haven’t gone viral or received many comments or shares, it wont matter.  Because, here is the selfish part.  I started writing for me.

The benefits I have gained from 4oo blog posts.

  • I am more confident
  • I have added value to the people and clients that have read anything I have written.
  • That ongoing writing propelled me and gave me the confidence to find another career.
  • I expanded my skills sets. For every skill you develop you increase your potential income.
  • I have become a better communicator verbally, because I have expressed my words in written format first.
  • I have become a better goal accomplisher.
  • I have monetized writing by being a better trainer.  I don’t get paid for writing, but I do get paid for training. The writing has made me a better trainer.
  • I have met people who I would have never met, because of something I have written that they liked.
  • I showed myself that I can commit to something that is very hard to do and do it, over and over.
  • I have 135 drafts of blogs that I have never published. Because they are undone thoughts I had. Not worthy of pushing out just yet.
  • I have about ten writings that are not for public consumption. That are near and dear to me.

I am sure there are other benefits to my writing then the ones I mentioned above, but that is all I can think of this evening.  If you happen to read this, or have read anything I have written. I want to thank you.  My next goal for my writing is to make sure it doesn’t take another 1,075 days to get to 800 blog posts.

To your success and your future.

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.

40 hours is the starting line

This morning I was listening to the recorded version of the Dave Ramsey show like I do every morning.  In all his wisdom (which is why I listen) he said to someone who called in that they had competing goals.  I believe the caller was asking if her husband should go back to school or they should pay off debt.  I can’t remember the full context of the story.  However, Dave talked about competing goals and gave a few illustrations of what competing goals look like.

Maybe your goal is to grow within your company.  But you also want to spend more time with your family.  We have some competing goals here don’t we.  So what do you do?  Life is full of seasons.  You may be in a season right now where you have to pay now so you can play later.  Nothing in life is forever, seasons come and go. Summer is almost over and it will soon be fall, so seasons constantly change.   

You can’t get ahead by working 40 hours.  The bottom line is 40 hours is basically the starting line.  What you do after that first 40 hours is what will lead to success.  I have seen it, witnessed it, and experienced it.  So what is your goal?  

Yesterday I was talking to a good friend of mine. He likes to play golf, he is a big time golfer and is really good at golf.  However, in our weekly accountability meeting we discussed the fact that he doesn’t have much time for golf right now because his goal is to sacrifice now, so it will pay later.  He made his decision and even though one of his goals is to maintain being really good at golf.  What is more important right now is putting in 60 hours a week in work, training, education, etc. So he can feed his family and prep for his future desires. Which is even more important. After 40 Hours is where his real work begins.

Competing goals.  In the pursuit multiple high priority goals, one is diluted.  You can’t serve two masters. Pick a goal, pursue it, and don’t look back.  I say this many times: The reason I write/blog is for my own accountability.  I have competing goals right now in my life and career.  I have to find more focus, pick a major goal and stick with it.

Remember life is full of seasons.  Just like a baseball player, basketball player, or football player, the more seasons we have the closer we get to greatness.  Athletes during their season don’t do anything else except focus on the goal, which is a championship.  We should do the same.

What is your definition of championship?  Is it a promotion?  If so, it is time to focus on the season you are in or need to be in and pursue that goal.

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

 

Self Discipline

Andrew Carnegie stated that the greatest and the most essential ingredient to success is Self Discipline. Self discipline is complete control over ones mind which in turn complete control over their actions.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my self-discipline is absent.  I allow life or circumstances to get in my way. Mr. Carnegie goes on and explains that Self Discipline begins with constructive habits in the areas of food, drink, sex, and the use of spare time. When you have self-discipline in these areas it controls everything else.

Food:  There is a correlation between how we feel and what we eat.  I know when I am eating healthier food, I feel better, and I get more accomplished.  You can’t be very productive if you feel bad.  I honestly think the state of the nation with regards to food is kind of scary.  The stuff we put into our mouth that we don’t even know about is absurd.  I know we all make decisions on what we do eat, but what is it doing to us?  I don’t even know.  What I do know is that when I have discipline in the area of food I feel better.  I lost about 35 pounds last year, and that act alone required self-discipline and a lot of it.  I feel so much better since I made the decision to cut calories and watch what I eat.  I also credit that discipline (losing weight) leading me to many other disciplines that I now have in my life.

Drink:  Wow. Having self-discipline in the area of drinking.  I don’t necessarily think about alcohol here either, I think about cokes and other artificially flavored drinks.  What are they doing to us.  Again, a lot of health issues can be attributed to both alcohol and soft drinks.

Sex:  How many times have we seen politicians or prominent figures lack self-discipline in this area and it ruin their careers?  Too many times to count.  That is just prominent people that we hear about.  But what about everyday life where marriages are ruined, finances are ruined, lives are ruined because of lack of discipline with regards to sex. I think we can all agree that self-discipline in this area can be a major contributor to our own success.  I listen to the Dave Ramsey show in the morning when I work out.  He states that the fastest growing addiction online is porn.  He said he has watched it ruin many lives spiritually and financially.

The use of spare time.  How do you spend your spare time?  Are you watching sports or Are you actively engaged in adding value to yourself or to others?  The day can be broken down into 3 eight-hour segments.  (8) work, (8) sleep, (8) recreation.  Most successful people spend closer to 10 hours working, but that is another blog for another day.  Your success is determined by what you do in that recreation time, Lets call it “opportunity time.”  Do you spend it attending school and getting further education?  Do you spend that time reading?  Do you spend it networking?  Do you spend it working part-time on something that can generate income?

I became intentional about spare time about three years ago.  I can honestly say that everything that I have accomplished during the last three years was in direct correlation to that decision I made.  I am now being even more disciplined in how I spend my spare time to increase my success even more.

Self Discipline:  Mr. Carnegie’s teachings on this subject has inspired me even more, and I hope to do the same for you by sharing this information with you.

Brian Willett