Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Canvas Is Waiting

It's too easy to fall into the trap of rolling out of bed, going through our daily routine, and accomplishing nothing of true meaning. We may even wake up, focusing on what we want, yet never achieve anything due to the lack of commitment needed.

Wanting vs. Commitment to doing: Night-and-day difference!

Recently, I found myself walking along this same, simple, habit-formed path... working hard, yet resultless. The amount of hours I was putting in masked the fact I wasn't achieving what I wanted. Something was missing from my daily equation. That "something" was a detailed, long term picture of what I needed the results to look like. I fell into the quicksand of hard work. The more I thrashed, the quicker I sunk. Long hours, staying up until 2 am, just weren't going to be enough. I needed to refocus my mind on the picture I was trying to paint.


It looks like this...

We've all been taught that long hours will beget positive results. "The more I practice, the better I'll play." This advice is flawed. It's true, we do need to work at our craft in order to improve, but more efficient practice is the key, and actually reduces the time needed to practice. Taking it a step further, when practicing correctly, we won't be able to put in an over abundance of hours because we'll be too fatigued, physically and mentally.

The most important factor in achieving anything out of our comfort zone will always be our mindset. What will we create from this day, and what are we willing to sacrifice in order to grab ahold? This detailed picture will ultimately affect and construct the long term result we're searching for.

Make a conscious decision to commit to a detailed mental picture of your desired outcome. Before attempting to make improvements, this mindset must be locked in place in order to maximize your potential. Having a fuzzy, "it would be nice if" attitude will never allow your greatness to surface. Next level success lives in all of us, but it's waiting for a specific path to walk along. It needs this passion and discipline to be visualized before it can materialize.

Tonight, when you go to bed, take a few minutes to see exactly what you'll have in the future. Feel the sensations that come from achieving those goals. Make it real in your mind. When you wake up the next morning, repeat that mental picture, making it a habit of success.

Design a path for yourself. Don't allow your day to be shaped by thoughtless steps. Take back the control you have over your passions! Paint a picture in your mind, and watch what the canvas gives you in return.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trust Me... It Is!

"It can't be this simple."

"It IS this simple."

"What if..."

"No what-ifs. Only do's. Do when you wake up. Think about doing when you go to bed. Wake up and do even more."

"It can't be..."

"It IS!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pressure... Don't Believe The Hype!

What is pressure?

Pressure: Verb
To force (someone) towards a particular end; influence.

Pressure: Noun
The exertion of force upon on surface by an object, fluid, etc.

Where, in any definition, does it say that pressure is a negative or something to be afraid of? We've been taught to believe that we must fear pressure; avoid it as much as possible. And if we DO face it head-on, we must do our best to "handle" or "deal" with it.

Last night on Twitter, I was asked what comes first... pressure or anxiety? For 99% of us, pressure is always first, as anxiety is the result of one's definition of pressure. My goal as a teacher is to completely eliminate all anxiety and fear linked to pressure, simply by redefining the word. Pressure, and the emotion associated, are completely separate from each other.

Pressure's simply a moment of potential consequence... a moment we've been taught to connect negativity to. Unfortunately, we've had years of unconscious linking, selling the "truth" that pressure is a naughty word. Why is it bad? Why do we look at these moments as times of potential failure?

Pressure is not an emotion. It doesn't create a reflexive, physical reaction in our bodies. What causes this physical and emotional backlash is our mental reply to the pressure. Fear, anxiety, doubt, and hesitation aren't synonymous with pressure, yet most connect them all, combing them in one lump sum.

Pressure is a point in time, giving us two options:

1) Embrace the potential positive outcome, understanding these times will ultimately define us.

2) Focus on the negativity that may or may not result.

It's literally this simple.

I can name countless number of people who have fallen victim to the pressures of their specific situation. Why? Because they've allowed the imagined negativity of the moment to overtake their thinking. If, instead, they focused on the power and success that could result, maybe their outcomes would've been different. Concentrating on the "negative what-ifs" during stressful situations is instinctive and habitual. Our brain does this as a defense mechanism. It doesn't want us to feel the pain of failure, so it focuses it's attention on fighting it, ultimately making it manifest. By definition, a habit is something we cement into our unconscious by repeating over and over, so conversely, creating new habits must be accomplished in the same fashion.

Redefine pressure, and consciously engross yourself in the process of creating this new habit. Make these occasions of pressure work for you. They don't have to make you feel anxious, scared, or doubt yourself. The 1% know how powerful these moments of consequence are, and only focus on the success of the situation.

Pressure... what does it mean to you?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

If I Only Knew Then...

During a recent playing session, I caught myself thinking about my past, almost as if time paused for a moment. As I was explaining how to take his strengths to the next level, I experienced a powerful flashback, taking me to a time where I needed the same advice.

I was born swinging the tennis racquet and making jump shots. At two years old, I was rallying over the net with my dad. Andre Agassi wasn't doing that until he was five, to put it into perspective. Numerous articles were written about how I was going to be the "next huge thing," etc. On the basketball court, I played point guard on traveling All Star teams from third grade on. My mom and dad handed me some wonderful DNA, to say the least. I had the physical talent to be top 10 tennis player in the world, and play college basketball almost anywhere in the country.

So then... why did I end up in junior college for a year?

The answer is why I created Coach Your Mind, and why I understand, so deeply, what my students are feeling: I never had a mentor guiding me, helping me see what could be if I pushed past my own comfort levels. There wasn't anyone teaching me how to overcome the fears and doubts that paralyzed me. My ego was in charge at all times, never allowing me to feel free during competition. Sure, dad was always there, giving me good advice, but he was d-a-d... what did he know?!

My physical abilities were a gift, and helped me reach a high level, but that eventually ended! Raw talent wasn't enough!

I needed a vision. I lacked the understanding of how powerful my thoughts and actions were. I needed someone who would push me further than I believed, or even wanted to go. My entire youth, I was told how good I was, which is great when it's coming from family, but no one from the outside stepped in and kicked my butt to another mental level. My mind was focused, but wasn't discipline. It could concentrate for long periods of time, but wasn't expanded past mediocre beliefs. I never learned what it meant to separate myself from the pack; to become the 1%!

If I knew then what I know now... a statement I hate, and one I'm shedding from my daily thoughts. My biggest goal is to help my students never have to lean on that crutch; help them KNOW NOW!

Flash into the future, and look back on today. What could you have accomplished? How could you have pushed harder? What did you need to do in order to separate from the pack? Why aren't you doing all of those things NOW?!

Don't repeat my mistakes. Read this, think about it, and take action. You have an advantage I never had. Because of today's technology, there are an unlimited amount of mentors for you to grab ahold of... you have no excuses! You're not allowed to say, "If I only knew then..." You DO know.

Separate from the pack. Become the 1%!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Not Magic

Next level success has reached a few of my students lately- almost at the same time. All time best scores have occurred, personal best records, and goals met that were once thought "unrealistic." As I sit here writing, I think back to the days each one of them said things like, "It would be nice to become great, but it's going to be really tough... maybe even too tough. I'm not sure if I have what it takes to achieve such lofty goals." 

Without exception, they all had reservations about being able to touch the places I guaranteed they'd reach. They were all excited about beginning, but natural fear and doubt lived inside, mainly from past beliefs. Thinking back to where they were then, compared to today, I can't help but pump my fist a little in celebration. 

The recipe for their success wasn't a magic pill they took with water twice a day. It wasn't blind faith, where they closed their eyes and hoped for greatness. Next levels entered their lives because they were unwilling to accept anything less. They became immersed in the process of figuring out what made them tick, and used that knowledge to propel them forward. They called and/or texted me daily, asking questions or simply sharing milestones. They went to bed thinking about how to improve the next day, and woke up doing whatever it took to make it happen. 

They believed before they were shown evidence!

Amy was a scared girl two years ago, believing she was destined for average. Her lack of self belief manifested itself through temper tantrums and a cold-blooded stare that could scare the devil. She went from a girl who "participated" in sports, to a hardcore athlete! Before we compete against each other now, I have to stretch for 30 minutes, and pray that I'll walk away without a limp. She made a decision to commit to the next level, and is now reaping the rewards. As a result of her newfound confidence, she'll forever be called an All American!

John was angry, to say the least. He was mad at you, me, and all of them. He was frustrated that his potential wasn't being reached, but didn't know how to change it, angering him further... and the cycle went round-n-round. After making a decision to immerse himself in a future successful mental picture, he realized that potential. After seeing it happen before it happened, and believing it WOULD happen, he shot his personal best score on the golf course, surpassing it by 8 strokes. He's currently reevaluating  his long term goals, knowing he can go bigger and better. 

When I met Karen, she wanted to lose 80 lbs., but didn't think it was possible. This mindset was paralyzing because the want was so great, but the lack of belief was even greater. This left her in a "state of stuck," not allowing her to move. Imagine yourself trying to walk head first into a 50 mile an hour wind. This was her daily existence. After creating a mental picture of 100% success, and a belief that it absolutely WOULD happen if she acted every day, she shed 75 lbs., and is on her way to running a half marathon. Creating new mental habits was her key to becoming 1%.

It's not magic. It's commitment, discipline, and a willingness to become immersed in the process!