An Unacceptable Excuse

“I don’t know how” is a crappy, unacceptable excuse.

When you say you don’t know how to do something, what you’re actually saying is you’re not determined enough and lack the discipline to learn how. You’re also saying you have low self-esteem and don’t believe that you can learn how to do it.

Is this what you mean to say?

Other Excuses that Mean the Same Thing as “I don’t know how”

  1. ‘I don’t have the resources’
  2. ‘I don’t have the skills’
  3. ‘I don’t know enough’
  4. ‘I’ve never done it before’
  5. ‘It won’t make a difference’

“Every Next Level of Your Life will Demand a Different You”

Nobody is born knowing how. We all have to learn how to do anything.

Every next level of your life will demand a different you. That different you will require reinforcement that may or may not be in your current skill set.

“I don’t know how” is, therefore, an excuse you simply cannot afford to make. It denies your potential and holds you back. Not to mention, it steals your dreams right from under you.

What They Can’t Teach You in School

Robert Maynard Hutchins said.“The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

You should not and cannot depend on a formal education to teach you everything you need to know. Why? The world is ever changing. The rules of success are not fixed. Technology is evolving faster than ever.

You are also evolving. What you may have thought is your life’s path then, may no longer hold any allure for you now. That is fine. You are allowed to change your mind.

Call To Action 

“I don’t know how” is simply the excuse you’re making to avoid having to take action.

John Locke said that “All wealth is the product of labor.” 

However you define wealth, none of it will ever be handed to you. You must work for it. If you work a little you get a little. If you work a lot, you get a lot.

You are the author and editor of your destiny. If you don’t know how, now is not the time for excuses. No one is coming to show you how so go figure it out.

Figure out what you do know and what you don’t know and then go in search of how to fill the gap. It’s how all those who’ve been there and done that, did it. They are no more special than you.

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.” ~ Steve Maraboli

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When Your Family & Friends Are Your Dream Killers

“Do not let dream killers dim your vision and steal your joy.” ~ Skip Prichard

Dream killers are everywhere.

You know many of them: Fear. Insecurity. Uncertainty. Inertia. The past. Negativity. Low self-esteem. Over-analyzing. Underestimating. Overestimating. Procrastination.

You know them. You’re prepared for them. You have a ‘what to do’ plan when they show up.

Then there are those dream killers that catch you off guard. They occupy your inner circle. Some by virtue of familial connection – grandparents, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, etc. Others by intentional or accidental selection – friends, best friends, friends who become family, ride or die friends, etc.

Dream killers have mastered one skill. Doubt sowing.

Doubt from an external force is one thing. Seeds of doubt being planted by those nearest and dearest can cause damage that is hard to reverse.

You figure that they know you best and therefore conclude that the seeds of doubt are actually seeds of truth. They are not.

Spoken word poet and poetry author, Rudy Francisco says, “muscle is created by repeatedly lifting things that have been designed to weigh us down.”  However, there is such a thing as carrying unnecessary weight. Not every thing designed to weigh you done was intended for you to carry.

In pursuit of your dreams or in response to your purpose, there is muscle that you must build. Muscle like confidence, persistence, and courage to name a few. That muscle is necessary weight. Dream killers of the familial and friendship variety are most certainly unnecessary weight.

Family will always be family. Ther’s no changing that. However, it is not your job, in any way shape or form, to convince them to validate your dreams. In pursuit of your dreams or in response to your purpose, there is only one person who must sign on. You!

Family members who consistently cause you to doubt yourself do not need to know everything that is going on in your life.  If things get really tough though, never forget that some family members can be loved from a distance. If they notice and care to ask why. Be honest. Tell them that they are sucking all the joy out of life.

“Fire False Friends as early as possible. Do it before they dig out the dream seeds you’ve planted! The earlier, the better; the quicker, the safer!” ~ Israelmore Ayivor

When it comes to your friends keep in mind the following. Human beings are creatures of habit. We don’t do good with change. Our friends might be dream killers but we rationalize the relationship by saying that at least they are the devil we know as opposed to the devil we don’t.

Therefore instead of trying to distance yourself from your dream-crushing friends, find other friends to add to your circle. What will end up happening is that over time you will start to spend less and less time with friends who have chosen to crush your dreams instead of cheering you on.

You’ll know that this is working when those so-called friends start saying things like “We don’t hang out anymore.” To which your response, if one is needed, will be succinct. “I know.”  Without apology or indication that this is going to change.

Will the above be tough to do? Absolutely. That being said though, the pain you feel now will pale in comparison to the pain of an unrealized dream.

That pain will subsequently ruin any relationship that was prioritized over it.

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I Cannot Motivate You & That’s The Best News You’re Going to Hear All Day

If you remember only one thing today let it be this.

Nobody. Absolutely nobody can motivate you long enough to do anything worth doing or to have anything worth having.

Any achievement worth talking about, writing about or reliving, takes time to create. The type of motivation required to make that time and stick with it is primarily an inside job.

Wait a second.

What about all those people who are out there making a killing motivating others?

I’m glad you asked.

For the few people who change their lives after listening to something motivational, there are many more people who go back to living their lives at status quo. This is because there are two types of people who seek out motivation.

There are those who are already motivated but need a kick in the pants. Motivators make a good living from them but not much because once the kick is delivered, it will be a while before you see them again.

Then there are those who have been convinced that someone else is responsible for getting them to do something or become something.

How can you spot them?

They stop working when the boss stops looking.

They hire a trainer and skip a workout when the trainer takes a sick day.

They stop when they are tired and there is still work to be done.

They live by other people’s schedules.

They ask stupid questions.

… How long do I have to do this for?

… Why are they not doing this?

… Did you do this?

… Do I have to do this, I don’t feel like it?

They start all action statements with ‘we.’

… We should do

… We should go

… We should try

This segment of the population is powered by borrowed motivation and are responsible for making motivators millionaires.

What Does Internal Motivation Look Like In Real Life

It looks like Jennifer Phillips X Factor audition in 2015.

Jennifer had the opportunity to change her life. That opportunity put her in front of four judges. One of whom was Simon Cowell. She had a plan. The judges, starting with Simon Cowell, of course, did not like her plan. They made her change it. She did and she absolutely killed it.

If Jennifer had been powered by the external motivation of her singing coach or friends and family she would have buckled because they were not there at the moment when she was asked to change the plan.

External motivation does not keep your schedule or any schedule for that matter. When you need it, you must go in search of it. Unfortunately, life does not wait. Neither does opportunity.

Internal motivation, if you’ve built it, will always be there. Bright eyed and bushy tailed waiting to propel you forward.

Call to Action

Let today be the day that you let whomever you had tasked with the responsibility of motivating you, off the hook for failing miserably. They were never adequately equipped for the task at hand.

Let today be the day that you hammer the following quote into your soul. “You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.” ~ Stephen Richards

James Clear says that the “environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.” So let today be the day you start to build your internal source of motivation by creating an environment in which it can grow and thrive.

That environment requires the following.

1. Simplicity

You are required to have big goals. Great goals. Scary goals. You are not required, by anyone, to have big, great or scary ways to achieve said goals. The self-induced requirement that things have to be achieved in difficult environments, stunts the growth of internal motivation.

Set big goals and keep the process of achievement simple and easy and most important, part of what you already do.

The gym should be on your way home and not in the other direction. The healthy food should be at home and the junk food in the store and not the other way round. The good books should be by your comfortable chair and not in the library down the hall.

2. Activity

Alex Mathers writes that “Life is movement. Everything moves. Everything is in a constant state of flux. You must align with such constant change, to align with reality. If you don’t move, you are no longer real. And life will punish you for that. You will feel it.”

One form that punishment will take is having to rely on the motivation of others to do anything or be anything. How awful is that?

Once thinking has been done create an environment that allows for more doing.

For example, once you decide to save money, getting the money to your savings account should be automated. If you have to think about it, you create the opportunity not to act.

3. Tracking

Jerry Bruckner says in his book, The Success Formula that, “Once you know your goals you should measure your progress to achieve them. Seeing your favorable progress will serve as positive reinforcement to continue your hard work and seeing negative progress will alert you to something you should change to get you back on track.”

Knowing that you are on the right track, that you’re getting better, does wonders for your internal motivation.

Figure out how to measure your goal. Keep in mind that you are not measuring activity but progress. Not all action is forward and forward is the only action that counts in the pursuit of internal motivation.

For example, measuring how long you worked out is more beneficial than measuring the mere fact that you did work out. Of course, this measurement assumes that working out is a thing that you already do.  If it’s not, then measuring how many days you worked out is a better place to start.

3. Rewards

Humans are either moving towards pleasure or avoiding pain.

It’s tough to avoid pain when you set big, great and scary goals. Even if you have set the easiest of achievement processes. As you continue to challenge yourself it’s going to get hard. Real hard. You’re going to need to keep your eyes on a reward to keep going.

The habit of focusing on a reward releases dopamine. Psychology Today defines dopamine as a “neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards but to take action to move toward them.”

The reward you establish should not counter the efforts that went into achieving it. That only serves to set you back.

For example, don’t choose to reward yourself for saving money by buying something that empties out your savings account. Don’t reward yourself for achieving a particular weight loss number by gorging yourself on twice the amount of calories.

4. Celebration

Celebrate the small things that you’ve done. Celebrate the big things that you’ve done. Celebrate it all. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate,” says Oprah Winfrey.

The reason for your celebration was not accidental. You intentionally put yourself outside your comfort zone and kept pushing until what you wanted to happen, happened. This act of perseverance should be acknowledged and celebrated.

Celebrations feed the insides where internal motivation resides. Celebrations make you stop. That moment you stop to celebrate your success creates a moment of gratitude. Gratitude is that delightful gift that keeps on giving.

Celebrations are not required to be big, flashy or go on for days. In fact, it’s best if they are kept brief and to the point so they don’t hold you back.

The best time to beat a winner afterall is when they are celebrating.

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How To Spot Amateur Hour

“Professionalism is a frame of mind, not a paycheck.” ~ Cecil Castle

Amateurs work from the outside in. They want to be noticed and therefore seek immediate gratification. Professionals work from the inside out. They want to influence and impact so they focus on building a legacy.

Amateurs are always hunting for motivation and inspiration to create action. Professionals are powered by their habits.

Amateurs are imbued with a permanent sense of haste. Professionals are masters of the long game.

Amateurs want to arrive so they practice as much as they have to. Professionals want to progress so they never stop practicing.

Amateurs focus on how good they are. Professionals are driven by how good they want to be and are always looking for a chance to get better.

Amateurs are ruled by the fear of failure and run from it at every chance. Professionals are empowered by failure and always choose to face it head on.

Amateurs live by default and major in minor things. Professionals are deliberate and intentional and never get caught up in the thick of thin things.

Amateurs put a clock on learning. Professionals are enrolled in lifelong learning.

Amateurs address the urgent. Professionals focus on the important.

Amateurs wait to have time and therefore let life set the pace and prioritize their schedule. Professionals make time are therefore ruthless with their time and schedule their priorities.

Amateurs have a casual relationship with the rules. Professionals have an intimate relationship with the rules. They know which rules to break and they know when and why to break them.

Amateurs opt to quit when the work gets hard. Professionals take a break when the going gets tough.

Amateurs know how to get things done. Professionals know why a thing should be done. How gets things done. Why gets the right things done.

Amateurs relive the past. Professionals move on for the know what got them here will not get them where they must go.

Amateurs act big to achieve small things. Professionals act small to achieve big things.

Amateurs act from a state of convenience. Professionals show up each and every time. Whether it’s convenient or not.

Amateurs underestimate the power of rest. Professionals acknowledge that without rest they are shortchanging themselves so they schedule it.

Amateurs have a plan for when things go right and are running smoothly. Professionals have a plan for when things go wrong.

Amateurs get ready. Professionals stay ready.

Professionalism is a state of mind. It does not require a title, a suit or a tie. It has less to do with how you behave in front of an audience of many and more to do with your performance in front of an audience of one – yourself.

 

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Arm Yourself for Monday

The start does not dictate the finish. It does, however, dictate the trajectory. Monday is the first day of the week. Here’s how to optimize the trajectory that stems from it.

1. Be Punctual 

“Promptitude is not only a duty, but is also a part of good manners; it is favorable to fortune, reputation, influence, and usefulness; a little attention and energy will form the habit, so as to make it easy and delightful.” ~ Charles Simmons

Do not allow yourself to be late on Monday. If you’re late on Monday chances are more likely that you will be late the rest of the week.

Set your alarm to wake you up and set your alarm to give you a 15-minute countdown to when you must leave the house so as to be on time.

2. At Work Prepare to win Monday on Friday

“Why not seize the pleasure at once? — How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!” ~ Jane Austen

If you work a Monday to Friday schedule make sure that before you leave the office on Friday that you have completed all the weekly tasks especially those that can add to the stress of Monday.

Also, check your calendar for the coming week so that you know what you need to prepare for. Surprises are for amateurs.

3. At Home Prepare to win Monday on Sunday

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” ~ Andrew Jackson

Thinking takes time. There are thoughts that push us forward and there are those that keep us in a holding pattern consuming valuable irreplaceable seconds. Minimize the latter to set Monday on a winning trajectory.

Do this by:

Figuring out what you’re going to wear on Monday and setting it aside. Setting it aside is crucial because where you think it is might end up being a false memory that slows you down. There’s an extra bonus for planning for the entire week.

Figuring out what you’re having for breakfast on Monday morning and setting it out.

Putting your packed lunch together.

4. Go to Bed Early

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” ~ Thomas Dekker

Human beings are powered from the inside out. Sleep revitalizes us physically, emotionally and mentally.

Go to bed early enough so that you wake up feeling rested and full of energy to set Monday off on the right course.

5. Load up on Inspiration and Gratitude

“For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him he must regard himself as greater than he is.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Inspiration is borrowed courage. Borrowed courage is still courage. When the body is willing but the mind is weak, inspiration plugs the holes and keeps you moving.

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

Gratitude makes everything enough via contentment and not complacency. It creates positivity and positivity always propels.

Both inspiration and gratitude should be a daily practice. If you are new to the practice, however, commit to doing it at least every Monday morning and build from there.

6. Do not Procrastinate

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” ~  Mark Twain

The number one way to set Monday off on a losing trajectory is to procrastinate. To take the unpleasant, difficult or boring yet important tasks (frogs) and keep rolling them down the week. You must fight this temptation with every single fiber of your being.

Tether your frogs to the first slot in the morning and get it over and done with. If you have more than one frog to address, prioritize but get them done. No exceptions.

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8 Things – The Lessons of October

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” ~ Henry Ford

1 Thing That Will Sell You Out

Habits

“The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” ~ Martha Beck

Your character is the sum total of your habits. Daily, repetitious, unconscious habit. You can only pretend for so long before your habits come crashing through and reveal the real you.

2 Things That Will Change your Life

Reading

Elon Musk is building rockets today because he read a lot of books about rockets.

“You are what you read. The information that you input into your mind informs your thinking patterns, and it influences your output in the form of the decisions you make, the work you produce, and the interactions you have.” ~ Zat Rana

Repetition

Repetition is the path to mastery. It is and will always be King.

“Each time you repeat something, you notice something different. Each time you repeat something, there’s some piece — now stored in your long-term memory, instead of being frantically processed by your short-term memory — that just comes easier.” ~ David Kadavy

3 Things You Need to Rethink

Where Confidence Comes From

Old thinking  – Confidence is a product of success.

New thinking – Confidence is, in fact, a product of repetition … but not a product of success — it’s a product of failure. It’s knowing what the fall feels like and being familiar enough with it that you can be comfortable with the risk.” ~John Gorman 

Read more about that here.

Being the Best 

Old thinking – Focus on being the best.

New thinking – Focus on being the best at getting better.

When you focus on being the best and are, you feel happy. If you’re not careful too much of that happy feeling can make you complacent.

On the other hand, if you focus on being better and fail you feel sad. If you’re not careful too much of the sad feeling can make you depressed.

Read more about that here.

Failure 

Old thinking – Failure is falling down.

New thinking – Failure is staying down.

We don’t fail because we get knocked down but because we stay down. Failure is built into the process. If you’re not failing at something chances are you’re not challenging yourself hard enough.

2 Things You Can Stop Doing Today

Stop Seeking Perfection

The pursuit of perfection always takes and very rarely gives. It steals your joy and makes sure that achievement is always unattainable.

Elizabeth Lombardo in this article offers nine reasons why perfectionism is a bad thing.

… You are never done.

… You are stressed and discontent.

… You don’t take risks.

… Your creativity is suffocated.

… You strive to keep everyone happy.

… You’re highly critical of others.

… You can’t delegate.

… You personalize everything.

… You never rest.

Stop Waiting

Regret is a terrible thing. It crushes you from the inside out. Stop waiting. Act now.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen

In the same breath, stop wishing, wanting and hoping. No amount of wishing, hoping or wanting is going to get you what you want. You either make it happen or it never happens.

Matt Cutts found out that 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit.

Today can be your Day One. Today you get a new thirty days to change your life by adding something new that pushes you forward and takes away something old that was holding you back.

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The Difference between Playing to Win & Playing Not to Lose

Playing to win and playing not to lose are only similar in the eyes of an amateur.

1

… Pushing beyond the edge of comfort.

… Focusing on what inspires you.

… Focusing on the gains. What you do want.

… Focusing on your efforts. What you do.

… Focusing on the future. Where you want to be. Letting it drive you.

… Embracing risk.

… Finding new ways to say yes

… Being proactive. Owning the decision.

… Maintaining a competitive edge.

… Subjective well-being. Controlling the mind.

… Asking continuous improvement questions.

… Creating the fit.

… Being accountable.

… Believing in yourself to do what is needed.

… Making time to do.

… Assigning the environment a ‘challenge’ label.

… Mentality – Own the day.

2

… Maintaining the status quo.

… Preserving the comfort zone.

… Playing it safe.

… Protecting what you already have.

… Focusing on the present. Where you are. Letting it stop you.

… Missing opportunities.

… Finding new ways to say no.

… Not finishing what you start.

… Focusing on outcomes. What you don’t want.

… Being reactive.

… Letting them decide.

… Creative destruction. The mind controls you.

… Making self-serving statements.

…. Manipulating the fit.

… Finding a scapegoat.

… Believing in others to let you do what is needed.

… Having time to do.

… Assigning the environment a ‘threat’ label.

… Mentality – Just get through the day.

Are you playing to win or are you playing not to lose?

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A 166 Second Video That Will Make You Rethink Your Morning Narrative

Jeff Goins says we need inspiration to live. He says inspiration provides encouragement to do the job that we’ve been given to do.

Scott Barry Kaufman in an article titled Why Inspiration Matters says that “Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities.”

Inspiration is important. However, it is not something you should go in search of. Not because it does not exist, but because it must find you in the throes of full-fledged action. As Pablo Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”

That being said though, please don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself in need of an extra push from time to time. Inspiration can keep you going when the work threatens to overwhelm.

When I find myself in need of encouragement, I gravitate towards inspiration of the direct, unapologetic and hard-hitting variety. Inspiration that shines a spotlight on my deepest darkest excuses. Giving them absolutely no place to hide.

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~ Joe Klaas

I thrive best under constant and firm reminders that I alone possess the keys to make the future exactly as I would like it to be. Sugar coating is banned from my inspirational sessions and reserved for bakery treats.

If you are like me in this regard then you will derive great inspirational actionable pleasure from Complainers by Rudy Francisco.

Complainers by Rudy Francisco

If you’ve watched this video, watch it again. Inspiration, like bathing, doesn’t take on the first trial. When it does, the results are never permanent. Hence the recommendation to engage with both repeatedly. Especially when it has to do with the topic addressed in the video.

Memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning ‘remember you must die’. Death is guaranteed to all but you are not dead yet.

When you wake up each morning, put your lamenting and whining on hold. When you’re tempted to succumb to complaining never forget that it doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty. There’s water in the cup.

Drink it, stop complaining and ACT AS IF YOU ARE ALIVE!

 

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Image Credit: Hand image created by Ijeab – Freepik.com

We Can’t All Be Famous but We Can All Be Heroes

Today marks Mashujaa Day in Kenya. Mashujaa is Swahili for heroes. On this day we recognize those who fought for our independence and contribute to the forward progress of our nation.

All celebratory events should allow for a moment of reflection. Reflection distinguishes frivolous gaiety from honorable remembrance.

On any given day, we take in a staggering amount of detail through our five senses. If we had to process each detail as a unique event we would simply be overwhelmed and unable to act.

The ability of the mind to categorize makes us super-efficient. However, this efficiency can also make us myopic. It can make us overlook what truly matters. When it comes to heroism we overlook what truly makes a hero. The result of which is hero worship.

Why You Should Not Worship Your Heroes

The people we label as heroes and proceed to worship are but mere mortals. Fallible and imperfect in every sense of the word. They will let you down. Hero worship turns a blind eye to this.

Hero worship assigns a level of spiritual divinity that automatically excludes your membership. It designates a hallucinatory level of superiority. It creates a ‘them versus us’ mentality. There is no them. They are us. We are them.

Outside the requirement for action, there is no right way to be a hero. A hero does not fit any identifiable mold. They come in all shapes, sizes and skin tones. They come from all walks of life and are not confined to any specific age group.

There is only one distinction that unites them all. Courage. They all have built courage in varying amounts and have used it to act.

The Power of Courage

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”  ~ C.S. Lewis 

No man can adopt a virtue then live so cautiously so as not to have that virtue tested. That reality does not exist. Courage, therefore, is a requirement for living.

Courage inspires you to give up your life for something bigger than yourself and find the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

It prompts you, in spite of perceived weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, to voluntarily walk into the unknown.

With courage, you recognize that nothing is given to any man on earth. Struggle is built into the nature of life so no obstacle should prevent you from pursuing the values you have chosen.

4 Ways to Build Your Courage

“We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up … discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

No one is born with the requisite amount of courage required to accomplish their life’s tasks. Courage is a skill you build through exercising it. Like a muscle. The more you use the more it grows. If you stop using it, it atrophies.

1. Sometimes forget the big picture and look at things up close

“Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it said, Nelson Mandela. To build your courage it is, therefore, necessary to sometimes forget the big picture and look at that which you fear up close.

Put it in perspective. Your perception of an obstacle or event you fear matters more than the obstacle or event itself. What you tell yourself about the obstacle or event in your path either builds your courage or acts like a stumbling block.

2. Learn to Bend

You are in control. You are not in control of everything. Things will not always go your way or according to plan.

You have to learn to bend so that when that happens you don’t break. That bending is known as resilience or the bounce-back-ability.

3. Make Tough Calls

In life, one is either existing within their comfort zone or they are not. To exist in your comfort zone takes no effort. No effort means no courage gets built. No courage means no growth.

We are all seeking magic. Magic does not happen in the comfort zone. To get out of one’s comfort zone requires you to make tough calls.

To make tough calls requires you to get crystal clear on what is valuable. Make allowance for only those things and then discard all else.

4. Experiment More

Fear of the unknown kills all courageous hero potential. While the future cannot be predicted, it can be invented. Through experimentation.

As you experiment you must allow for failure. Failure is not fatal. It is part of the process. There’s no way that you can live an adequate life without making mistakes along the way. Stick with it though and you’ll have more checks in the win column.

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7 Ways You’re Talking Yourself Out of Doing Anything Worthwhile

1. You’re Measuring Your Progress using Your Ego

When you measure your progress using your ego, you’re setting yourself up for failure because you’re going up against a level of quality you’re not capable of producing right out the gate.

Measuring your progress using your ego is essentially measuring yourself against others. You will never be as fast as Usain Bolt. Does this mean you should give up your love of running and abandon your efforts to train as hard as you can?

How to know if your ego is your measuring guide — answer this question. Are you comparing your progress to the equivalent of someone else’s “ESPN Top 10 Plays of the Week” recap?

Behind the scenes of every single successful highlight reel is the blood, sweat and tears equivalent of what it took to create it. Don’t be fooled. Mind your own business and focus on your own efforts.

Measure your progress against your own highlight reel no matter how lackluster it may appear to be.

2. You’re Making ‘No’ Mean More Than it Does

Rejection and physical pain activate the same area of the brain. So not only does rejection suck, it causes us to experience pain. Literally.

That being said, ‘no’ is more a statement of perception than it is a statement of fact. A rejection of an idea, opinion or creation. Rarely a rejection of who you are as an individual. Don’t let it mean more than it does. Don’t let it make you doubt your self-worth.

‘No’ is simply the beginning. A necessary step in the pursuit of your success. To allow a ‘no’ to stop your story means that your story was not worth telling. Your story will always be worth telling. You, however, must have the courage to and the capacity to bear all the rejection coming your way to tell it.

You, however, must have the courage to and the capacity to bear all the rejection coming your way to tell it.

3. You’re only Selling Yourself on The Idea of Success and not on The Work Required to Achieve It

Ayodeji Awosika, author of The Destiny Formula, using writers as an example, says. “There are two different types of people when it comes to writing. People who want to write, and people who like the idea of being a writer.”

Those who like the idea of being a writer have been sold only on the idea and those who want to write have been sold on not only the idea but the work. These two types of people exist in every aspect of your life.

If you don’t sell yourself on the amount and quality of work required to do that worthwhile thing you have your eye on, you will never achieve it. There are no shortcuts to success. It’s best to get a full preview in advance.

4. You’re Depending on Your Feelings to Create Action

Once you’ve sold yourself on the amount and quality of work required to do anything worthwhile, you can’t just leave it up to your feelings to drive the required action.

If you listen to how you feel when it comes to what you want, you will never do anything worthwhile because you’re never going to feel like it.

Michael Phelps, during peak training times, swims a minimum of 80,000 meters a week (approx. 50 miles.) He practices twice a day, sometimes more if he’s training at altitude and trains for around five to six hours a day, six days a week. When it comes to his diet, it has been reported that he eats 12,000 calories a day, around 4,000 calories per meal.

Does Phelps stop to check in with his feelings to see whether they feel like working out or consuming that many calories? I think I can trust you to answer that question for yourselves.

5. You’ve Chosen To Live Behind Enemy Lines

If you’re in your head, creating and recycling negative talk, you’re behind enemy lines. What your brain believes, it will work to reinforce. Reinforced negative and unsubstantiated beliefs coupled with time turn into excuses. Excuses create justifications as to why it is okay to be fine with less.

When has the enemy ever done anything in your favor? They are the enemy for a reason. You’re not fine. Saying you are is talking yourself out of doing anything worthwhile and talking yourself into being satisfied with less.

6. You’re Ignoring the Five-Second Rule

Mel Robbins is a best-selling author and motivational powerhouse. She says that anytime you have an idea that seems like a sure thing, you have five seconds in which to turn it into action. Why? Because your brain’s main job is to avoid trouble and risk. In less than five seconds it will persuade you to abandon your idea regardless of how life-altering it may have been.

We all have ideas that could change our lives but you can’t think your way there. You must act. The Five-Second rule is a crucial trick for outsmarting your brain and creating life-changing action.

7. You’re Refusing to Start Until You have an Original Idea

Without Edvard Munch, Henri Toulouse de Lautrec, Paul Cézanne, Henri Rousseau and Georges Braque, the Picasso you and I know today would have been a very different artist. Maybe even an unknown.

Jean-Luc Godard, a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic is noted as having said, “It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.” Nobody is 100% original unless they have lived their entire lives in a chasm devoid of any and all external influence from the moment they were born. This is clearly not possible. Influencers are all around.

Originality is how YOU uniquely put things together. If you commit to the work and are willing to create, experiment and take risks, in time, you too will get confirmation that you’re on your way. Taking names and kicking ass.

Recognize

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