Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What is in your Jar?

I love the story in Orrin Woodward's book, Resolved, on the importance of putting in the big rocks first. (Pg. 39). If you remember the story, the presenter had filled a wide-mouth jar to the top with big rocks to where no more would fit.  After doing that, the presenter then added gravel, next he added sand, and finally water.  That jar was used to its capacity.  The interesting thing in the analogy is, if the presenter had started with any other ingredient-water, sand or gravel the materials would not have fit. It is only because he had put the big rocks in first that everything was able to fill the jar.  Our lives are just like the jar. Every one of us has obligations, priorities and choices that we make daily that are either water, sand, gravel or the big rocks.

The question that comes to my mind is what are the big rocks that you are putting first?  Or are you even starting with the big rocks, maybe sand or gravel or water is consuming your jar and you are leaving the big rocks sitting on the table.

I hear people all the time say, "I would like to do that, but I don't have time."  We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so what this person is really saying is, "I don't value that enough to make it happen."  I have watched business partners of mine, myself included, do amazing things when their business is a big rock. When laser focus is employed great things happen!!  I've also seen and experienced the opposite- water, sand or gravel filling the jar before it's even noticed.

I believe it is important to always evaluate your life plan and make sure you look at your big rocks and look at your schedule and make sure they line up.  It is very easy to get caught up in the busyness of life.  I know it happens to me all the time IF I don't ask myself,  Are my big rocks lining up with my schedule?

It is always eye opening to me when someone says to me, "I want to make this goal happen by this date!" But when I look at their daily schedule I know what they said they wanted to do but their actions show that their goal is not a big rock.  Self deception is a devious suitor!  The only way that I can make sure I am "living" my big rocks is to make sure I continually revisit my schedule.  I challenge you to do the same!  If you want great things to happen then you need to plan for them!

Ask yourself, what am I running for? And then, check last month's schedule and see if it says the same thing.  Don't allow yourself to be self deceived.   If you are honest with yourself on these points amazing things can happen.  I know I have a lot to learn and I know I need to work on this also.  but I also know that when I am diligent about this process my life is on fire for my purpose! Remember,  YOUR SCHEDULE SPEAKS SO LOUDLY I CAN'T HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

Put the big rocks in first 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Physically Fit, Mentally Fit

Looking at the Mental Fitness Challenge from the eye of Olympic Gold

This morning I watched a video about Michael Phelps; the man who has the chance to become the most decorated Olympian in history.  He's just three medals shy of this accomplishment.  His accomplishment hasn't been without a price.

In the Slight Edge, Olson writes, "Success is not a random accident."  Phelps' life is a testament to this very statement.  Currently 26 years old, Phelps has been in Olympic training for 16 years.  Of that time, he went 6 straight years without missing a single day of training.  That's 2,190 days straight of being up in the dark and arriving at the pool at 6:30am and staying there for the day.  In the video he said he has visited so many fantastic places during his career as a swimmer and yet, he hasn't seen a single one of them outside the pool and his hotel room.  16 years.  Swimming.  Dedicated.  16 Olympic medals.

"Success is not random." Michael Phelps has paid a great price to achieve what few people will ever achieve.  In the 116 years of modern Olympic history the standings are 20 individuals have earned 10 medals or more.  Just 20 people have achieved 10, and yet Phelps stands at 16 with a chance to be the most decorated Olympian ever.  2,190 days straight.  16 years of training.  Sun up to sun down.

"No success is immediate," writes Olson.  Phelps has spent years of his life to achieve what he has.  He wasn't a medalist at 10 years old, not at 11 or 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 or 16 or 17.....but when he turned 18, he won 2 bronze medals and 6 gold at the Athens Olympics.  And then in Beijing in 2008, at the age of 22, he won 8 gold medals!  The most gold medals every awarded in a single Olympics.  "No success is immediate."  Day after day after day, training for 8 short races.  16 years.  Hard work. 

The power of Phelps' victorious swimming career is the power of the Slight Edge: "The power of daily actions compounded over time."  Michael Phelps used this principle to become one of the most physically fit, most decorated and most successful athletes of the last 100 years. 

If the Slight Edge worked for Phelps with his physical goals, couldn't it work for you and me and our mental goals?  That's exactly what the Mental Fitness Challenge is all about, using small actions, repeatedly over time to achieve an extraordinary result in your life and my life not just in one day, but over time. 

When taking the Challenge there are a few practices that need to be repeated daily:
1. Review Your Goal
2. Take Action Toward Your Goal
3. Listen to 2 Cds
4. Read 15 minutes a day
5. Watch the MFC video
6. Grade Your Performance

Did you read sun up to sun down training?  In a pool?  Swimming lap after lap after lap?  Or lifting weights or strict dietary guidelines?  No!  Just take 6 easy to do steps daily for you mental fitness.  WOW.  What a program.  It's so easy to do, but easy not to do too.

That's the the whole point of Woodward and Brady's Mental Fitness Challenge.  Small incremental steps done over time to create the Life YOU'VE Always Wanted!   Easy to do, easy not to do. 

Isn't the chance to live the life you've always wanted worth some focus and discipline?  We're not talking duplicating the physical endurance and abilities of Michael Phelps, abilities most of us don't have.  But what the challenge is about is no less important!  In fact, in your life and in my life, it's more important!  By training mentally, something everyone can do, stacking up daily disciplines, in the same manner any winner does, you can begin to compound efforts over time by creating successful habits in your life to achieve whatever it is that you and I set our minds to doing.    6 steps.  Every day.  Read, listen, watch.  Set goals. Check your goals,  Take the challenge. 

I imagine swimming lap after lap in a pool over years can get lonely.  Sure there are other swimmers in the water, but none of them can share in his laps with him:  Michael Phelps swims alone.  The Mental Fitness Challenge is different.  In this challenge, there are daily disciplines no one can do with you, yes that's true, but built into the Mental Fitness Challenge is a group of people who are going to go the distance with you.  This group is called a Challenge Group.  

A Challenge Group is an opportunity for you to gather with like minded individuals twice per month to share, discuss and learn together.  What a brilliant concept!  Creating success habits for myself, but not by myself.  Challenge groups are going to take our mental fitness to the next level.  

It comes down to one thing,  "Success is not a random accident."  Michael Phelps has achieved greatness because he put in the daily disciplines to do so over years of time.  It's no different for you and me.  Daily disciplines over time will compound into success.

Take the Challenge.  Become mentally fit.  Achieve your own gold medal in life and 
Live the life you've always wanted.