Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Choice

I had a couple students competing in a tournament today. They didn't do as well as they wanted or expected. They have another day tomorrow... how will they respond?

This is all that matters as we attempt to reach that next level. There will always be some type of roadblock that appears in our path - sometimes many, sometimes often. How will we react?

These students only have two choices:

99% or 1%!

Quit? Battle?


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Choose! Don't Choose!

Quit. Don't quit! 

Work. Work harder! 

Want. Want more!

These are all choices we must make at one point or another... doesn't matter what our path, goals, or future destination. We must choose one of these, and live every day with our decisions. Which one is going to be? 

Stop. Go. Go faster!

Get run over. 
Stay down! Get up!

Loser! Fighter!

Depending on our reactions and next move, we can potentially live a life full of passion or despair. Many think it's out of their hands, as if some force from beyond has them by the arm and is pulling them toward their future. To those who believe that way: How does it feel to know you're destined to live a way that's out of your control; to never have a say in your next moment? To the others who say "no" to someone else controlling your moves, why aren't you living in total control every minute? Why are you waiting? What are you waiting for? You have the last word in your day... no one else! You get to choose whether you sit on the couch watching mindless t.v., or lace up those running shoes. 

I can't! Hell yes I can!

You're right, it's too tough! Thanks for your useless opinion!

Excuse me, pardon me! Move over... I'm here!!

Do you truly want it, or does it simply make you feel good inside to say the words? Are you willing to do what it takes to grab what you want? No one will hand it to you. No one will allow you to simply borrow it for a awhile. You must take it... and take it now! What are you waiting for?

Choose! Don't Choose!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Success Vortex

I was talking to a friend, Christine, about her business and how strong it's becoming, when she told me it was all due to the success vortex. "Tell me more," I instantly urged. Any explanation with the word success in it always peaks my attention.

The Success Vortex: A cyclone of positive momentum.

She owns a relatively small business, which is highly dependent on her passion and work ethic. The time she puts in will directly affect her outcome. Being the owner of the company means every ounce of pressure to succeed balances squarely on her shoulders, not allowing her to coast for a second. There was a time in the past, she explained, where she took her business for granted, not working as hard as she could have, eventually crushing her bottom line.

She woke up one morning and made a conscious decision, telling herself, "This is it! I'm sick of sitting on my butt and watching all of my hard work go down the drain. I'm going to take this company to new levels, starting this minute." She proceeded to get on the computer and email every single client, promising a new passionate dedication to each of them. This step, alone, launched her into a different place... not only for her business, but her clients as well. They immediately felt her passion and witnessed her actions, resulting in a new growth of passion for their own companies.

... And the Success Vortex began!

Not only did it create a cycle of passion and new found dedication for her clients, but it also had an instantaneous affect on everyone else she touched. Her husband felt it at home, ironically making his business stronger. They spent hours talking about her new craving for success, and how it could possibly affect every part of their lives. He was hooked! As he got sucked in to the "Vortex", he felt a need to grow his own business to new heights - as if her new, successful attitude was contagious... IT'S DEFINITELY CONTAGIOUS! Her friends also felt the affects of this excitement that was now living in her. Unfortunately, not all of them wanted to join the "fun," which made them slowly disappear out of her life.

When she made the decision to grow, the unknown consequence of this action would be the loss of many close to her who couldn't, or simply didn't want to follow the same path. You see, when the Success Vortex starts spinning, it only grabs ahold of those who want to join. Sometimes, the repercussion can be devastating for those who would rather "stay the course," and never move forward... luckily (or unluckily), these people are surrounded with 99% of others who think the same. They won't be alone for long.

Very often, this powerful force that engulfs us can be intimidating, making many fear it's results. As with the example above, it can mean losing friends who don't share the same appetite for growth. Life's not meant to be lived in the same place! Nothing on Earth stops growing... when it does, it dies. Every living thing evolves, changes, grows. Humans, unfortunately, have found a way to stand still, not needing to climb in order to survive. This has resulted in a shared mindset that believes it's o.k. (almost expected) to stay in the same place. Human beings have learned to live in a "state of stuck."

Christine once lived in this state of thinking, but after witnessing the effects of such mediocrity, made a powerful and conscious decision that enough was enough! Today, her business is growing faster and stronger than she could've ever imagined. Her "new friends" are passionate and focused, only concentrating on the possibilities of what will be.

... And the Vortex continues.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Look Who Stopped By...

Dear You,

Let me introduce myself - my name is Pain!

I come in many different shapes, sizes, tastes, and visuals. I don't need to explain how powerful I am because you already know. You probably cringe at the simple mention of my name, which unknowingly to you, allows me to dominate your world. Most of you spend every waking moment running from me; hiding behind corners, hoping I won't find you... but as always, I do.

Mental Pain, emotional Pain, physical Pain, past Pain, Pain from worrying about future Pain... pick your poison, it doesn't matter - I'm always somewhere in your day.

What you don't realize, though, is that most of my power comes from the energy you spend trying to avoid me. The more time you invest worrying about how NOT to feel me, the more powerful I become. Every minute you take out of your day running from me, the stronger my hold becomes - the tighter my grip feels, both mentally and physically. Thank goodness you don't understand this important fact, because if you did, I'd be rendered useless. If you knew how much power you actually have in the face of me, Pain, your life would instantly change. Eventually, your worries of me would vanish, leaving you with all the strength. Until that day, I'll keep showing my face, hoping you never get it.

My strength comes in numbers. The more who fear me, the heavier I become on your minds, creating a negative cycle, difficult to change. You see, I rely on you NOT caring enough about becoming strong, positive, and confident... because if you did, I wouldn't have the staying-power. I'd come-and-go like a prick from a needle. My hope is that you'll tell another you how difficult it is to accomplish your goals due to all the Pain you feel. This will eventually start a "pity party" amongst you, creating another cycle of pain, cementing my hold on your future.

Why do I write to you? Maybe to taunt, maybe to educate and dare you to change... you choose. Your answer will dictate your next move.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

99% Vs. 1% -- Part II

Today was "Torture Day" for one of my students, where I put him into numerous "failure situations," watching how he would respond. I purposely took him through drills where the percentages were extremely low to have the results he wanted.

Because the frustration level becomes so intense, this type of day accomplishes a few things:

  • Makes him focus his attention on the process - everything that's under his control... rather than the immediate outcome.
  • Forces him to evaluate his true passion for the sport and his long term goals.
  • Makes him feel short term pain, testing his mental and emotional toughness in this moment.
  • Causes him to choose between quitting or competing.
  • Creates a mindset (if he chooses to compete) that's incredibly strong, eventually becoming unflappable.
  • Helps him realize the short term misery will eventually lead to long term success.

His automatic, almost instinctive reaction, was to complain about the drills... "I never find myself in these situations... so why practice them?" I don't mind the complaining in the short term, as it's totally normal and expected the first time he experiences these drills. The most important thing is his improved mindset by the end of the session.

Torture Day is my favorite, because it formulates a crystal clear picture of who really wants to step up to the next level. Saying you're passionate doesn't come close to proving how hungry you are with your actions. By the end of today's session, he took a leap closer to joining the 1% who do more than just talk-the-talk. He proved he was willing to stop complaining about the difficulties and poor results, and begin focusing on a stronger, more professional mindset.

During your own "Torture Day(s)," are you constantly whining about how difficult It is... or have you decided that no matter what stands in your way, you WILL compete? When you "fail," do you quit... or do you look for a new and improved way to achieve? When "it's not fair," are you feeling sorry for yourself, hoping others will too... or can you look in the mirror with confidence and pride, knowing you absolutely will find a way?

How close are you to joining the elite group of people who 'get it?' If you're on your way, I applaud your efforts, because I know how difficult it is to keep walking those everyday steps. If you haven't made a conscious decision to break away from the average... what will it take?

99 or 1?

You choose!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life Doesn't Wait

If you want it, go get it... NOW!

Too many talk... not enough do. Life doesn't wait for us to "make our move," so if we snooze, we will definitely lose.

If we take our time, hoping to make everything perfect first... our time will fade - it'll slowly disappear into the darkness of our fears and doubts. When we see that opening, take it! Take it now with unwavering faith that it's what we're supposed to do. Make up our mind that it's what we should be doing... what we're meant to do.

Take the risk, ask for adversity, hope for difficult times, and be ready to fight back with all we have! If we can sincerely say we're ready to punch back, no matter what the obstacle... we'll achieve anything. 

Make the decision to take action... then freakin' take it! No excuses, no whining, no what-ifs!

Life doesn't wait - it doesn't care if we Do or not... it simply leaves us behind.

What would you like to do, but maybe too afraid - too scared to do what really needs to be done? 
  • "I'd make that change, but that would mean I'd have to...."
  • "I'd really love to... but that means I'd need..."
  • "Achieving that would result in having to stop doing... and begin doing..."
What excuses are you making? What fears and doubts are you allowing to dominate your thinking, which is affecting your actions? 

Life doesn't wait - it doesn't care if we Do or not... it simply leaves us behind.

What will it take to finally get off the couch and make It happen? No one can make you find the drive and passion... it's all on you. No one can pick you up when you trip over the unseen bump in your path... it's all on you. Only you can bust open the door that just slammed in your face. They always say, "When one door closes, another one opens." I hate that saying. I'd prefer to take my right foot and destroy that door into a thousand little splinters before looking for "another door!"

How about you? You going to kick that door down, or let life pass you by?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oh Woe Is Me...

"She said it will be too hard for me, so I have to be realistic... I probably won't make it."

"It's not really bothering me, but if I was good enough, wouldn't people be on my side?"

(With slumped shoulders) "Whatever... I'll just do what I can."

(My all time favorite) "I know I can't. Why try?"

How do you spell D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D?

There's nothing sadder than a defeated mindset, especially when it comes from someone who's worked so hard for her goal. It's easy to say we "want" something... action in the face of adversity will always be the key to whether we achieve that something or not.

This is why I talk so much to my students about the 99% / 1% rule: 99% talk... only 1% do something about it!

We'll only reach the 1% if we're willing to do what most won't... and that's simply about getting up, brushing off our pain, embarrassment, disappointment, or whatever else is keeping us from our next level. Everyone "fails," but only 1% embrace that failure, understanding it's the biggest key to success we have. 99% view failure as the END... 1% see failure as an opportunity to find a better way.

So... to the defeated mind above: You only have two options:
2)Punch back with unwavering belief in yourself.

99 or 1?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Love To Improve!

Result: To spring, arise, or proceed as a consequence of actions.

Improve: To increase in value, excellence, etc; become better.

Look at these two words and their definitions. We all instinctively focus on needing that result at the end of the day, but "improvement" is what we should be really striving for. Look again at both definitions - increasing in value; becoming better is what it's all about in the long run, whether we're trying to become healthier, grow our business, or reach higher athletic grounds.

Results come directly from the actions we take that are IMPROVING OUR PERFORMANCE, and should be looked at as something that can't be controlled. Whether we're achieving the results we desire or not, our only focus should be the improvement of self. If we concentrate on the actions that will advance our execution, the outcome will take care of itself, and most likely be what we want in the long run.

Focusing on results is instinctive, and difficult to change (especially in our results-oriented society), but switching this mindset is absolutely critical if we want to attain our goals. To those who are trying to lose (X) amount of weight, stay away from the scale longer than you normally would, and use that attention to focus on your needed daily actions. I understand the importance of monitoring your progress through this specific journey, but the scale will always reflect your committed daily decisions and actions... make those your focal point!

To you athletes: It's not, and never will be about the winning or losing! I repeat that statement at least 50 times every single day. You're not playing to win, but instead to improve, compete, and love the personal battle that's taking place within. If you truly want to win every time, that's very easy to accomplish... simply play opponents way below your skill level... you'll never lose again! You won't do that, though. You know how bored you'd be if you only played against opponents who you knew you could beat.

Results are inevitable in life, but the important question we should be asking ourselves: "How do we attain the desired results without thinking about attaining the desired results?"

Yee-haw (did I just say that??)... what a fun question to try and answer. There are many techniques to accomplish such an answer, but the one that has always resonated with me the strongest...

Love to improve!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

No Backup Plans Allowed!

This topic has been discussed with me at least 10 times this week, mostly from parents about their kids who are attempting to "take their game to the next level." As parents, their instincts scream safety and careful for their children's future... even though they're supporting their long term goals and motivations.

"Have a backup plan... just in case."

This subject is a fun one to talk about because not having a backup plan is counterintuitive, yet absolutely essential for long term success. Plan B is a safety net, positioned to catch us when we fall... but we shouldn't be focusing on falling. Instead, only concentrating on what we're going to feel like when we achieve. This is very difficult for many - our society is all about safe, rather than risk. To not have a backup plan is scary, but it also can make us push further and harder than we would if we knew a net was below. It's amazing what our survival instincts can do when pushed to the limit.

Backup plans allow us to fail - give us permission to quit, even if it's only subconscious. I know what you parents are thinking: 

"I don't want my baby to be out there without something to catch her when she falls..." 

When we talk to our kids this way, we're telling them that they're probably going to fall. Rather, if we always said "go for it, take risks, and figure out what to do if things don't go your way..." think about how strong they'd become. How brave would they live their lives? I understand how difficult it is to talk to them this way - our instincts are all about protecting them from harm. We have to learn to let go of our fear. That's really what it is... fear that they'll fail. They know we feel this way. They know, when we talk to them about a backup plan, we're focusing on their potential failure. This can be very damaging to their confidence and long term potential. Let's show them how much we believe in them... how strong we feel that they can achieve anything with concentrated hard work.

If you're not a parent, but instead want to take yourself to another level, stay away from Plan B. Make a detailed, emotional, committed Plan A... and go full steam ahead, without looking back. Having a backup plan for yourself will only hold you back from reaching as far as your potential can stretch. Unconsciously, you'll know that it'll be o.k. to stop, due to the huge air bag beneath. Believe you absolutely WILL achieve your goals. If you know it's going to happen, why would you ever need a backup plan? 

This is a mindset change, which means it'll take a lot of practice to accomplish such a switch. We've all been conditioned to play it safe, take the easier route, look both ways. It's been pounded into our heads from a very early age, so in order to unlink this thinking, we need to make a conscious decision to create that new way of thinking. 

Whenever we feel the need to hang a safety net below, let's dare ourselves to do without. Focus all of our attention on what we want, how we're going to get there, knowing we will grab ahold!