If you are aware of this principle, it can lift you up quicker than just about anything else, but if you aren’t aware, it can pull you down just as fast. Yikes!
Don’t wrestle with a pig. You will end up getting dirty. The pig will like it.
The bucket of crabs. When one crab tries to climb out of the bucket, the other crabs will reach up and pull that runaway crab back down with the rest of the crowd. This is just like humans.
Misery (and mediocrity) seek companionship – Those who are not growth-oriented are actively recruiting others to keep them company. Be on the look-out for these folks.
“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington
“Do not be fooled, bad company corrupts good character.” – I Corinthians 15:33
“Our associations are like the buttons on an elevator; they either lift us up or pull us down.” -Coach
The people we hang out with the most influence our thinking. If they influence our thinking, they affect everything else that happens to us.
Relationships have consequences.
Many natural laws aren’t convenient or nice. If you walk off a cliff, gravity will bring you down. This is not unfair or mean spirited; it is just gravity.
Likewise, it is an inescapable fact of life that sometimes the law of association will be inconvenient. Some people you hang around are harmful and toxic.
We are sponges.
We soak up the exposures around us. We become like the people we hang out with the most.
“The Nudge Principle”
We do not get punched or kicked off track in life. How do we get off track? We get off track just a little bit at a time. The negative individuals in our life nudge us off track just a little bit at a time. It can be so subtle that we hardly notice.
Be intentional with the people in your life.
Think through the people you spend most of your time with. When you’re thinking about who you spend your time with. Are you spending your time? Or are you investing your time?
How to evaluate your relationships?
Red relationships: People you shouldn’t spend time with at all.
Most people have only 1 or 2 people like this in their life.
Yellow relationships: People who you need to be careful around or limit exposure.
This might be the biggest category. People in this category aren’t aligned with your goals and values.
Green relationships: People who lift you up and move you toward the person you want to become.
Be intentional about spending most of your time with these people. Make sure your close friends are in the green.
“Make sure you’re not spending major league time with minor league people.” – Jim Rohn
When it comes to your most important relationships, the influence that they can have on you is profound. Avoid denying this truth.
Why does all this matter?
You have a legacy you are working toward… and Your Success Blesses Others!
The Gratitude Mindset
“The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.” – Albert Schwietzer
Questions for Reflection:
-What is positive and unique about your family?
-What are three of your best memories from your first year with your spouse?
-What is the most magnificent goal you have already accomplished?
-What parts of your body tend to work really well most of the time?
-In what ways has God shown his grace in your life recently?
-What is the nicest compliment you have received in the last month?
-What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from another person?
-What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen in the last week?
-What is an old crisis or rough situation from the past that in retrospect has turned into a blessing or benefited you in some way?
-What is the number one thing you are going to be grateful for this time next year?
What is Mindset?
Mindset is the X-Factor that determines what you do with your natural talent, and with your opportunities. It includes the attitudes, assumptions, and expectations that you hold about life. It’s really how you choose to approach the different circumstances of life.…whether your habitual thinking multiplies your talent and work ethic or whether it does the reverse.
What is Gratitude?
1) Feeling – a sense of joy and appreciation after receiving something, being blessed in some way
2) Capacity – skill, practice, mental discipline
3) Choice – conscious and deliberate decision;
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Why is Gratitude Important?
-The master attitude
-Shapes how you see the world
-Influences your relationships
-Affects your health
Blocks to Gratitude
-Over-exposure to media
-Worry, negative forecasting
-Lack of connection to the Creator.
2 Levels of Gratitude
1) Routine, minimal, basic, elementary
-reactive thank you/relief after learning of someone else’s misfortune
2) Exceptional, proactive, intentional, detailed, relationship-focused. (doesn’t require something to be missing before it’s appreciated)
-Fast lane to living 4:8
-Discipline, practice, repetition
-Perspective: past, present, FUTURE
Habits of Gratitude
-Blessing/grace at mealtime
-Handwritten notes, emails, texts, phone calls
-Public acknowledgments of others’ efforts and excellence
-Asking 4:8 questions
-What am I grateful for?
-What are my strengths?
-What are my recent victories?
-Who are the people that really love me?
-What am I excited about and looking forward to?
-Sunshine and rain
-Forests and deserts
-Mountains and beaches
-Freedom in all forms
-And so on…
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” -Thomas Merton
Ways to Express Your Gratitude Now (“Thanksgiving Binge”)
Here are some thought stimulators to turbocharge your gratitude. Most of these have come to me from clients over the years. Now they can be yours. Your Thanksgiving binge officially begins now.
1. At night, count your blessings silently as you drift off to sleep.
2. Count your blessings as you lie in bed in the morning after the alarm clock goes off.
3. Journal your blessings for three minutes immediately after waking up in the morning.
4. Make a list of what you expect to be thankful for ten years from now.
5. Before grace at mealtime, discuss specific things you are grateful for as a family.
6. Every day send a brief thank-you e-mail to someone who’s been helpful in any way, large or small.
7. Leave mini thank-you notes around the house to let your family know you notice their efforts.
8. Leave quick thank-you notes around the office to ensure that coworkers know you notice their efforts.
9. Make a list of twenty-one things you are grateful for, and meditate on that list for fifteen minutes without distraction.
10. Journal your blessings for three minutes before getting into bed at night.
11. Go the extra mile to help someone who has helped you.
12. Go the extra mile to help someone who has not helped you.
13. Ask God for a greater sense of awe and appreciation.
14. Create fun surprises or little rewards for those you appreciate.
15. Ask the important people in your life what makes them feel appreciated.
16. Repeat the affirmation “I am so blessed. I am so blessed.” Repeat this silently over and over again as you fall asleep, as you exercise, or as you drive somewhere by yourself.
17. Thank someone belatedly for the help, encouragement, or assistance they provided in the past.
18. Give yourself a special treat to express appreciation that you are unique and irreplaceable.
19. Show gratitude for a particular loved one as if it were your last opportunity to do so.
20. Itemize all the possessions in one room of your house. Thank God for those you’re glad to have, and then give or throw the rest away.
26. Discuss with a good friend some of the things you used to want but now you are glad you don’t have.
31. Greet everyone with the type of smile you’d exhibit if you had just received great news.
35. Write a previous teacher, coach, professor, or employer, thanking them for what you appreciate about them.
37. Show extreme gratitude for your own physical body by upgrading the way you treat it for a designated seventy-two-hour period.
38. Say a quick prayer of thanks for all the things in your life that don’t need fixing.
Here’s my challenge to you: Make Everyday Thanksgiving!…because your success and YOUR GRATITUDE blesses others.
In this episode of Achieving Optimal, I talk about Finishing Strong. I want you to finish this year strong and head into the new year with lots of momentum. We always intend to finish strong, but it’s easy to get consumed with busyness and end of year clutter.
It’s easy to get to mid-January without having your plans fully developed.
I want to give you four ideas that you can put into practice immediately to make sure that you finish strong because finishing strong is key to starting strong.
Number 1: Immerse yourself in gratitude
-Get super appreciative of all the goodness in your life.
-Think about your victories and accomplishments, both big and small
-Write thank-you notes to those you are appreciative of
-Call those who you are especially grateful for
-Write an exhaustive list of all the things you are thankful for
Q: Who are the people in your life right now, who were not in your life a year ago, who you are grateful for?
Q: Who are the people are in your life today, that have been in your life for decades?
Q: Who are the people who, this time next year, you would like to be part of your life?
Number 2: Develop a punch-list
-Make a comprehensive list of all the things you need to accomplish before the end of the year
-The list should be as detailed as possible
-This will allow you to start the year with no loose ends
-Try to have everything completed by Christmas so you can enjoy the final week
-Take care of all your personal, household, clutter, and cleanup projects
Q: What are the things that you need to get done that will position you to go into the new year with lots of momentum?
Q: Are there maintenance items? Are there clutters items? Are there things you need to do with /car/house/school/doctor/etc…?
Number 3: Act the part.
“Act the part, become the part.” -Coach
-Begin doing the things now that you plan to start in the new year
-Don’t wait until the new year to become a better version of yourself
-“New Year’s resolutions are not goals.”
-You must be serious about things you want to improve in the new year
-Begin to act as if you have already become the person you want to be in 2020
Q: What are the upgrades that you want to see in your life in 2020.
Q: If you’re acting the part of this revised version of you, what do you need to stop doing?
Q: What do you need to remove from your life?
Number 4: Workout double
-If you usually work out twice a week, work out four times a week
-This is going to set a new pattern for you and build momentum
-It will also help prevent the weight gain that affects many people during the holiday season
-Sweat more, workout more, and listen to more positive mental nutrition
-Instead of waiting like most people until indulgence of food and drink has ended, get a head start by starting now
Most importantly, remember… Your Success Blesses Others!
Clarity is a vital element of success. I sometimes like to joke with my audiences that lack of clarity is the root of all evil. Well… maybe its not the root of all evil, but I do believe lack of clarity is the root of underperformance in almost any area of life.
“You can’t change your destination immediately… but what you can do is change your direction.” – Coach
Once your are clear on what you’re trying to accomplish, the plan for how to get there becomes a lot more apparent.
4 Steps for getting clear:
Think purpose, mission, legacy.
Who are you intending to become?
At the end of your life what do you want your legacy to be?
Are we leaving the kind of legacy that we want to leave?
Is your legacy something that you are going to be proud of?
What are the goals?
Are you clear on the goals you are pursing right now?
What are your goals for the next week? Month? Year? Three years? Decade?
The driving force, the motivator.
For all of your major goals, identify the reason you must reach those goals. Shoot for at least 10-12 reasons for why reaching those goals are critical.
Review your reasons why constantly.
How are we going to get from where we are now to where we want to be?
If we don’t know exactly what we are trying to accomplish, it makes it a lot harder to come up with a plan of action steps that will take us there.
One we are clear, then we start noticing opportunities, resources, people that can help us reach our goal.
A simple plan is a list of action steps that move you closer to your goal.
Acknowledge the list of actions that move you away from your goal so that you can avoid them.
A GREAT life is, more than anything else, an accumulation of GREAT weeks. We can all have an off day now and then, and we shouldn’t worry too much about it. But if we have an off WEEK… we need to take corrective action.
Planning is when you reach into the future and pull it back to the present. In this episode of weekly planning Coach Tommy Newberry explains the importance of planning your weeks and coaches you through the steps needed to WIN your weeks.
- Where have you won in the last seven days?
- Where have you lost in the last seven days?
- What are you going to do differently?
How strong was your performance on a scale of 1-10?
What was the biggest reason you hit your goal or fell short?
Would this weeks result be acceptable to me if they became my new standard?
What preparation is necessary ahead of actually producing better results next week?
Your body is composed of trillions of cells that either contribute to or detract from optimal health. In this week’s AchievingOPTIMAL session, wellness coach, Darren Fink, discusses how to fine-tune those cells via inflammation control, purposeful antioxidant consumption, healthy blood sugar, and the practice of detoxification.
Choosing the right foods and engaging in smart exercise goes a long way to producing optimal health. But there’s another major factor to consider that is essential to your energy and vitality. I’m referring to your environment. Your physical environment, home and office especially, either enhances or compromises your health. Knowing the “what and how” of cleaning up your surroundings is the focus of this week’s AchievingOPTIMAL episode with our wellness coach, Darren Fink.
Whether you know it our not, your digestive system is ground zero for your health and vitality. The ability to absorb nutrients, eliminate toxins and avoid inflammation is essential for if you intend to have the energy to crush huge goals. In this week’s AchievingOPTIMAL podcast, we discuss the importance of gut health as we continue our series with wellness coach, Darren Fink.
Knowing what you want to achieve is not enough. Achieving your goals and living your best life requires that you line up your daily habits with your goals and aspirations for the future. Think about the habits that influence your early morning time and the habits that color your evenings. Think about your spiritual, financial, marriage, parenting and fitness habits. And, most of all, evaluate your habits of thought. In this week’s episode of AchievingOPTIMAL, we mastermind about the repeated behaviors that are shaping who you are becoming.
Working hard right out of college is not enough. When it comes to launching your career (and life), nothing matters more than developing a winning mindset. Like an internal operating system, your mindset governs your potential for crushing your goals during your twenties and beyond. In this week’s episode of AchievingOPTIMAL, we continue our series aimed at coaching young adults toward peak performance early in life.