In this weeks episode of AchievingOPTIMAL I want to focus on a fundamental practice that drives your entire thought process.
This fundamental is: Positive Mental Nutrition.
In fact, if you’re not aware of Positive Mental Nutrition (and especially negative mental nutrition) it can really drain you of energy and motivation.
Think about this… to achieve a healthy body you’ve got to have the right quantity and variety of nutrient dense foods. You’ve got to drink the right amount of water, workout, sleep, and take the right supplements.
If you wanted to be healthy, you wouldn’t skip sleep, stop working out, eat unhealthy, greasy and sugary foods.
Let’s say you wanted to lose weight… you would decide in advance: here are the foods I’m going to eat, and here are the foods I’m not going to eat,
That’s your physical diet. Maybe low carb, or low fat? Who knows?
Whatever diet you choose, you are deciding in advance what you’re going to consume and what you’re not going to consume .
Now for your mindset… how do you develop a positive mindset?
You consume Positive Mental Nutrition.
To upgrade your mindset, decide in advance what you’re going to feed yourself mentally.
One of the things I’ve found working with clients over the years is that they’ve got to stock their fridge and pantry with healthy food and drink choices if they want to reach their goal of becoming physically fit.
If they are really committed to being healthy and fit, and they are clear on what they should eat and shouldn’t eat, but their fridge and pantry are stocked with unhealthy options, that creates a much higher likelihood of failure. Keeping unhealthy food at home moves them away from their goal and often triumphs because it forces an extra degree of discipline to stick with their diet when you are in the presence of junk food.
The same exact thing is true with your mental diet.
The key is to prep your environment.
Think of this as your “mental fridge” or “mental pantry.”
Only keep things that make you healthier and more joyful around in your surroundings.
“A healthy mind produces joy like a healthy body produces energy”
If you don’t have joy, that should tell you that something is not right. Joy is your natural state.
A lack of joy can almost always can be traced back to negative mental nutrition. Allowing junk in your mind shifts your focus to what’s missing or deficient or broken.
If you’re low on energy, it’s likely because you’re not eating or drinking the right things.
There’s a very interesting parallel between healthy physical nutrition and Positive Mental Nutrition.
Feeding yourself mentally with highly nutritiousness thoughts, images and ideas is pretty simple.
It’s easy to do that if you are intentional.
If you will just commit to 15 minutes a day of making sure that you consume Positive Mental Nutrition, it can transform your mindset.
If you transform your mindset, you transform your habits.
If you transform your habits, then you start to get better results.
The 15 Minute Miracle
I often call this the 15 minutes miracle.
Let’s do some math.
15 minutes every day for a week ends up being 1 hour and 45 minutes.
So what if you took 15 min each day to fill your mind with something inspiring, motivational, educational, or informative.
You could swap out 15 minutes of watching random TV episode or scrolling through social media.
Or just wake up an extra 15 minutes early to create this opportunity time.
15 minutes a day is….
1 hour 45 minutes a week
7 and a half hours a month
22 and a half hours a quarter
90 hours a year… that’s two 45 hour work weeks.
This could transform your life.
Why 15 minutes?
I wanted to show you how just a little bit every day can make a huge difference.
Imagine if you did an hour a day.
It would come out to 15, 24-hour days. Or 46, 8-hour days.
That is like a month and a half of work.
We know that it is very important to guard your heart, which means to guard your mind, because whatever goes in, comes out.
If it comes out, it was at some point put in.
That is why it is important to not let things into your system that move you way from the person that you’re capable of becoming.
It’s really important to be strategic about what you allow into your mind.
Often the reason that you’re not feeling 1000%, that you’re not as ambitious or motivated as you would like to be, or excited about the future, is because you’re feeding yourself the wrong mental diet.
You are a sponge.
We are constantly soaking up everything around us.
You don’t have to be obsessive… but maybe that wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Pay attention to the things that you read, watch, and listen to. And this includes surfing the Internet, conversing with other people, etc…All of this shapes and molds your mindset which means it shapes and molds your outlook on life, the habits and activities you engage in, and ultimately the results that you generate.
My challenge to you…
Chose a time during the day to take 15 minutes to make sure you are consuming Positive Mental Nutrition.
Two good options:
The first 15 minutes in the morning or the last 15 minutes before bed.
During this 15 minute stretch, inspire yourself.
Read the Bible.
Read an inspirational book.
Read something that will elevate your relationships.
Read something that will allow you to serve others better.
In the car or train while you are commuting.
While you are exercising.
While doing chores or cleaning up around the house.
While you are showering.
Anytime you are doing a mindless task, try listening to an audiobook or podcast.
Instead of letting your mind roam free, try loading it with Positive Mental Nutrition.
Know where you are.
It’s really easy to think you’re doing well in this area, when maybe you’re not.
Be excellent in this area.
Be sure that you are strong and consistent with you mental diet.
Know what you’re consuming.
In light of your goals, are you consuming the right quality and quantity of Positive Mental Nutrition?
If you’re not, let’s make some adjustments.
What do you listen to first thing in the morning? What do you see? What do you read? What are you absorbing mentally first thing in after awakening?
Same thing for the evening.
Right before bed, what do you tend to be thinking about? Or consuming?
It is so easy today to fill ourselves with good and bad. Choose good.
In light of my goals… what should I read more, what should I listen to more, what should I watch more?
In light of my goals… what should I stop reading, stop listening to, or stop watching?
Positive Mental Nutrition: Deliberate productive inputs, what you read, watch and listen to on a consistent basis.
Everything counts. What you consume either directly or indirectly influences every decision you make.
It is important that your reach your full potential because…
Your Success Blesses Others!
Dominate Your 20s
If you’re in your 20s or if you have loved ones such as your children who are in theirs 20s, this show is for you.
Over the years, I have worked with many teenagers and young adults on what it takes to succeed ensuring they have the right foundation for success.
Your 20s is an amazing decade of life, especially when it comes to establishing the foundation of a high-character, high-performance way of living.
What you do, or what you neglect to do, between graduation from college and your 30th birthday is huge. It sets the tone for the rest of your life.
Avoid the mindset of the “extended college mentality” or “extended college lifestyle.”
If you haven’t already, now that you’re out in the real world, you want to start thinking like a totally responsible individual.h
When you wake up on your 30th birthday, be where you want to be in life. Accomplish what you intend to accomplish.
Think about your 20s as your freshman decade.
You’re in your freshman decade right now. What does that mean to you?
A lot is going to happen in this age range that will influence the rest of your life.
Your 20s is the ideal time to set the foundation for an exceptional life, to create the habits that will build the momentum going forward.
You don’t want to make it to age 32, then look back and say, “I wasted a lot of time.” That will be a painful moment and painful realization.
Here are some recommendations to help you achieve your best. Compare yourself against these standards and see how you measure up.
Train to win.
Train to win. Train to crush it. I want you to be one of the most successful people you know on your 30th birthday. Zoom in on that picture.
Seize the decade.
How do you do that? You seize the decade by seizing each and every day. And that begins with thinking back from the future.
I want you to define what optimal is.
I want you to think about what would make your life perfect at age 35.
If you had everything you wanted at age 35, what would you have? What would be true, that’s not 100% true today?
What would be in your life? Who would be in your life? What and who would NOT be in your life?
Define that now.
Invest a couple of hours reflecting about what you really really want. Then plan back from that.
Ask yourself the same questions for age 30, then 28 and 26 and so on. This is the piece that is often not done.
It is real easy to move on in life without having a long time perspective.
“You should be very very interested in your future because your going to be spending the rest of your life there”
Set meaningful goals.
Don’t stress about it. You can always change them later.
Establish meaningful goals.
“Think with your fingers.” Either with old fashioned pen and paper – write out the things you want to be true. Or create a document.
Clarify what you want…
Define what you want, why you want it, and how you’re going to go about getting it.
Get serious about success. Unfortunately, not that many people are very serious about success.
You will be the exception.
Build success character.
If you are in your early 20s or that general phase of life.
You probably grew up with many different influences shaping what you believe about the world.
Today, I’m not covering the soft character qualities like compassion, empathy, patience, etc…
These are important. But what I want to talk about is success character.
This will be the difference that will accelerate your progress and help you get from where you are now to where you really want to be down the road.
-Service and value creation.
It begins with your outlook or worldview.
Be a good steward of your potential. This is an obligation that you have. Become everything that God created you to become.
Success is about stewardship.
You have been given talents, time, opportunities, and it’s very important that whatever you multiply what you have been given. This is stewardship.
Believe in abundance.
If you apply the principles of success, plant the right seeds, and refuse to give up, you can succeed and everyone else around you can succeed as well. All truly successful individuals understand this.
We can all succeed and maximize our full potential.
Success in real life is not a zero sum game.
The flip side of this is the “poverty mindset.” Or scarcity mindset.
“If you win, then I loose”
“If you earn more, I earn less”
“When you become more successful, it makes me less successful. ” “There’s not enough to go around.” This is all nonsense.
Stay away from people who think or talk like this. Avoid exposure that promote this toxic mentality.
Success is a blessing.
Your success blesses others.
When you succeed you create a ripple effect.
For example, when someone starts a business and the business does well it creates jobs.
When you succeed, it’s almost impossible to not bring other people with you.
Self image. (How you think about yourself right now)
A lot of your mindset has to do with how you see yourself.
This is generally developed by what you say to yourself and what you believe.
It is also developed based on what the people you love and care about say about you.
Self ideal. (Future image of yourself, who you might one day become.)
Everybody has a self-ideal. Be more intentional and deliberate with the development of this mental construct. Otherwise you will be on autopilot and let others shape your destiny.
In your 20s you can make your life whatever you want to want to make of it if…
…If you are willing to get clear on what you’re trying to accomplish and are willing to work really hard.
4:8 Mindset (Optimistic Mindset)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
In any situation you have the choice to either focus on the good or the bad.
Extreme ownership (see Jocko Willink)
Ownership of your thoughts.
Ownership of your words.
Ownership of your actions.
Create an excuse free zone.
Say “I am responsible” all the time.
It may be painful at first, but it is actually very freeing.
Pretending to be a victim slows your growth.
In your 20s, outwork everyone.
Leverage your discretionary time.
Evenings. Weekends. Vacations.
In your 20s, be more focused on preparing for your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s than simply entertaining yourself.
Make sure you are using extra time every day to get ahead, to do more than the average person.
If you just do what everyone else is doing, you can only go at that pace, which produces mediocrity at best.
Sleep and Work
There is a phase of life when for at least 5 nights a week, you go to sleep early and you get up early and you go to work.
Stress and recovery!
Don’t maintain a lifestyle form college where you stay up late and sleep in until the last possible moment.
Focus and concentration produce success. It’s really that simple. Distraction is enemy #1.
Lack of concentration and diffusion of focus produces failure. (Being scattered)
Thinking about too many things at the same time is a prescription for underperformance.
Two Types of Focus:
Task Focus and Long-term focus.
Task focus is working on a specific task. This is single minded focus.
This is stating on task until the task is complete. This is not checking your phone or multitasking.
Research shows multitasking or toggling between tasks drastically reduces productivity.
Long-term (sustained) focus.
This is having a 1 year, or 3 year, goal and being able to stick with it until it is achieved.
If you have finished college, that is amazing. That is an example of sustained focus.
Your 35th birthday will come much quicker than you think.
When you wake on your 35th birthday, you are going to wake up to a certain set of circumstances and conditions and success or lack thereof.
Now is the time to change what age 35 looks like.
Set 3-5 short term goals that motivate you.
Choose goals that have powerful and positive rewards when you reach them so that it motivates you.
Set goals that make you want to get up early and stay up late to push towards your goal. If you don’t have motivation like this, change your goals.
Develop a goal map.
This is a collage of pictures that are symbolic of what you are trying to accomplish or who you are trying to become.
You can either do it on a poster board with pictures cut out of a magazine.
Some people prefer making a keynote or powerpoint that they can flip through every morning.
I encourage you to take 10-15 minutes sometime on Sunday to review how you have performed in the last week.
What has gone well?
What hasn’t gone well?
What do I need to do differently?
This will speed up the learning curve and prevent you from making the same mistakes over and over again.
You want to make connections with other individuals that will be a part of your community of success.
Make connections, join groups, get around other success-oriented individuals.
Establish friendships with your goals in mind.
Keep track of the people that you’re meeting and getting to know.
Make notes so you can keep track of the goals and dreams of the people around you.
Ultimately, you want to focus on adding value to the people that you are meeting.
Seek to help the people you meet. This is huge!
The way to reach your goals is to help as many other people reach their goals.
Develop a list of the most important 10-20 people in your life and look at it frequently.
Build relationships before you need them.
Our rewards in life will be in direct proportion to the value we add to the marketplace.
I’m referring to service in the sense of adding value and contributing to people in the marketplace.
Find out how people want to be served and then serve them better than anyone else.
Find out how you can be more valuable to your boss, your customers and your co-workers.
Get obsessed with making yourself more valuable.
To earn more, you have to learn more and serve more.
Go the extra mile.
Pay the price now.
Your 20s is your launching pad decade.
Plant the right seeds.
Train to win.
Your Success Blesses Others!
Questions shape your thinking….and your thinking shapes your life – Coach
The power of questions.
Questions are very powerful because they steer your thinking in either an upward or downward direction.
We constantly ask ourselves questions…and answer those questions…for better or worse.
As your coach, I ask questions to help you get to the next level.
If you get into habit of asking yourself productive questions, you will create a positive mental atmosphere.
Questions redirect your thinking from something okay to something excellent.
They steer your focus toward productive aims.
They have a displacement value. Strong questions push out weak questions.
If you train yourself to ask quality questions, you can defeat negativity.
Many people drive themselves into discouragement by asking self-defeating questions.
Productive questions spawn additional productive questions…and productive thinking is the result.
I use the following five questions to upgrade the thinking of my clientele.
I encourage you to use these as well.
Question 1: What’s Your Goal?
“We have all been in situations where we’ve almost enjoyed wallowing in negative emotions. We nurse a grudge against someone who said something hurtful, or we sulk in response to being disappointed. But what is the end result? Will acting on the negative emotion move us in the direction of our highest good? Will that negative emotion bless those closest to us? Will it help us reach our goals? In a marriage spat, for example, is the goal to be right or to be happy?
What’s your goal?
I bombard my clients with this question for the purpose of activating their God-given reason and conscience, thereby enhancing their spontaneous decision making. Your goal should act as a filter, eliminating words, behaviors, and other emotional responses that oppose it.”
From p.213 of 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life.
By asking the question, you’re going to make better MICRO-CHOICES all day long.
We make so many small choices every day and we don’t notice them, but they accumulate.
Over time, those small choices add up.
“As a parent, for example, your emotional responses can be tempered by a clearly stated parenting goal-such as communicating love, not impatience, to your children- that weeds out irresponsible parental reactions regardless of their apparent justification.
Certainly, you will have negative triggers in your life from time to time. Fortunately, Got has provided a little gap of opportunity for his most valuable creation. This tiny space between stimuli and your response to it gives you a chance to think before you react. This will shape not only your potential for joy but also your destiny as a human being.
What’s your goal?”
What’s your goal?
Ask yourself: “What’s my goal?”
Don’t let the radio, or music, or social media drive you’re thinking.
YOU drive your own thinking by thinking about your goals.
I have found that decision making is very difficult if we are not clear on our goals.
Ask “WHAT’S MY GOAL” daily!
Question 2: What’s the most valuable use of your time right now?
Ask yourself: Whats the most valuable use of my time right now?
Constantly check yourself. Ask this question over and over again thought the day.
When you constantly ask yourself this question it prevents you from drifting off track.
Often, in the work environment, we drift towards the activities that are third in importance or second in importance.
The purpose of this question is to steer us back to number one.
Closely related is the next question…
Question 3: Whats important now? (W.I.N.)
I remember when my oldest son Ty was in the first or second grade and I wanted to help him stay focused in class.
Before parent’s night, I had a bunch of business cards created with “W.I.N. What’s Important Now” printed on them.
I went in on parent’s night and stuck a whole bunch of them in his desk (and later his book bag) so that he would eventually see them…and see them over and over again.
My goal was to prompt him repeatedly to remember our conversations about goals and focus.
Ask yourself early and often, “What’s important now?.”
What was important yesterday, an hour ago, or even fifteen minutes ago, may not be what is important NOW.
So ask throughout the day!
Question 4: Is it optimal?
This questions means a lot to me. It is very simple.
Is it optimal?
Is this optimal?
The reason this is so profound is because we often settle for okay or fine.
Have you seen those AT&T commercials?
“Just OK is not OK”
I often open my talks with these videos.
Sometimes we get used to things being okay.
As long as its not “bad” we accept it.
You want to start asking yourself “Is it optimal?”
There are some things that are sub-optimal and there are things that are optimal.
Always pursue optimal.
…With how you run your life.
…With what you’re eating.
…With what you’re thinking.
Is this optimal?
Question 5: What’s the number one thing you could be doing, that if you did it constantly, would have the most positive impact on your life?
What is it?
This is a question that you can not escape or avoid.
We could tailor this question specifically for different areas of your life.
What’s the number one thing you could be doing, that if you did it constantly, would have the most positive impact on your marriage?
What’s the number one thing you could be doing, that if you did it constantly, would have the most positive impact on your financial life?
These questions harness both your creativity and your ability to focus tightly on what really makes a difference.
These questions move you toward optimal, toward the best that is possible.
These questions help you be more successful.
These questions help you maximize your God-given potential.
Why is this important?
Your Success Blesses Others!
New Year’s resolutions are for Losers!
Winners set goals!
It’s that time of year…
I want to talk about something that really works.
New Year’s resolutions don’t work.
Research indicates about half are broken before the end of January and 90% by Valentine’s day.
You are above New Year’s resolutions! You are a goal directed high achiever!
New Year’s resolutions are often vague…
“handle money better”
Virtually no value at all.
Unless an intention is specific enough to drive action steps and allows someone to hold you accountable then there is no value.
Research shows they don’t work.
If there is no plan or process in place to follow through then you will tend to keep on doing the same thing you have always done. And you will get the same results you always have.
So what works?
Here is why:
Goals tell your brain what to notice and what to pay attention to.
Once you have a properly formulated goal, you start seeing opportunities and noticing things that you otherwise would not have noticed.
Because you notice these things, you take action.
And because you take action, you reach your goal.
The more specific your goal the more activated that awareness becomes.
We all have goals…
Our brain interprets whatever we think about the most as a goal.
It’s kind of scary, but it’s true.
Whatever we dwell upon gets interpreted as a goal.
It could be something negative or wanting to get away from.
It could be a flaw or something you are worried about.
You have to be careful about what you are thinking about.
With your goals, I want you to…
- Clarify what you want.
- Why you want it.
- What are the action steps?
I tell my clients to “THINK HUGE”
I challenge them to set goals that they do not know how to achieve.
You want your goals to be big and meaningful.
little goals = little motivation
Big goals = Big motivation
Set Big goals if you want Big motivation.
Because little goals don’t produce a big reward, you can become demotivated.
Set goals for all key areas of life.
- Faith/ Spiritual Life
- Marriage/ Relationship
After you set your goal…
You develop a plan of action.
Identify why you want it.
Identify potential obstacles. What are the things in your way that might slow you down?
Layout checkpoints and milestones. Figure out where you should be at each checkpoint.
Use the feedback at each checkpoint to course correct and stay on track.
Rewrite your goals daily.
Rewrite your top 3-5 goals, by hand, every day.
Write them in sentence form and include the date.
Ex. “By December 31, 2020, I …… “
Lay out very specifically what you want to accomplish.
Re-write the goal as if you writing it for the first time.
Look at and review your goals throughout the day.
Invite accountability from a like-minded individual.
Identify people you trust and respect and share those 3-5 goals with them.
Check-in on each other to make sure you are staying on track.
In 2020… Don’t be a cliche New Year’s resolution setter… Be a goal directed, high performance individual.
Your Success Blesses Others.
Your “Early Morning Success Ritual” is one of the most important acts of discipline you can practice. It is the foundation of a productive day. What you do first thing in the morning sets the tone for the entire day.
Strong early morning success ritual = strong day.
Mornings have consequences.
What you do first thing in the morning has a ripple effect on the rest of the day.
Why don’t people go to the trouble to develop a E.M.S.R that really works?
They don’t realize the value + laziness
“The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day” – Henry Ward Beecher
“Million dollar habit”
Reason 1: Weak Ambition or Motivation
If you’re not that ambitious, if you don’t have huge goals, then it’s real easy to not think the morning matters. Why not stay up late, wake up late, and just go through the motions?
Some people think they are not a morning person. I think this is B.S. Over the years I have found that people with a well designed E.M.S.R. and a big enough WHY, will be motivated to wake up early…regardless of how they’ve labeled themselves in the past. I have converted many, many individuals who once described themselves as “not morning people.”
Fix: Have HUGE goals and know your WHY.
Reason 2: No Clear Focus
Problem: You wake up early to start your morning routine, but once you are up, you don’t have a plan for what you are going to do.
What constitutes a successful E.M.S.R.?
What has to happen for you to consider your Early Morning Success Ritual to be optimal?
If you don’t have a clear focus you will be scattered. You will be thinking about what you should do next, and you will probably fall out of the habit before it locks into place.
Design an E.M.S.R. that is fun, fresh, productive, and engaging.
The three main areas I encourage you to engage are:
- Spiritual -> devotion, prayer, bible study, review bible verse, meditating, gratitude
- Directional -> looking at goals, short term and/or long term, reviewing personal mission statement, affirmations
- Physical -> some kind of movement, workout, stretch, walk
Fix: Have a clear plan for WHAT you will do and WHEN you will do it
Reason 3: Lack of preparation
Get ready for you morning routine the night before
“Set the table”
Be obsessive with your preparation. If you are going to workout in the morning, set out your workout clothes. If you are going to journal, or review your goals, make sure you have those items located, organized, and available for use in the morning when you might be a bit groggy.
The idea is to minimize the number of decisions you have to make in the morning.
If you can do any chores the night before instead of waiting until the morning, go ahead and get them done.
Fix: Get everything ready so there is no setup, no hunting for what you need, and no decision-making in the morning.
You must get sufficient sleep, preferably optimal sleep. Choose your bedtime based on the time you must get up to not be rushed during your E.M.S.R.
If you feel groggy or tired when you wake up to do your E.M.S.R., do it anyway. Over time it will become easier and easier to get up…and will help you fall asleep easier that night.
-To overcome weak motivation, remind yourself of the value of getting up early and grounding yourself.
-To clarify your focus, decide what you want to accomplish before most people wake up.
-To overcome lack of preparation, make a checklist and execute early the night before.
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?