5 Things the World’s Greatest Achievers All Have in Common

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Something that has always fascinated me is what separates the world’s greatest achievers from everyone else in the world. What do they know that we don’t?

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author and host of the wildly successful podcast, The School of Greatness. Lewis has one of the most successful leadership and success podcasts in the world; some of his recent guests include Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, Russell Simmons, Daymond John, Alanis Morissette, and Tim Ferriss. What’s interesting about The School of Greatness is that it’s less about where the popular and ultra-achiever guests are right now in their lives, but more about the process, attitude, and journey that led them to their greatness.

Here are five things that the world’s greatest achievers all have in common.

1. They all have some practice of daily gratitude.

Howes says, “Gratitude matters most. It’s one of the core themes shared by all of the guests who come on the show. These are some of the most successful people in the planet. They can be, do, and have anything they want, and every single one of them is quick to talk about gratitude.” It’s hard to be angry, resentful, upset and grateful at the same time.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? I have talked a lot about keeping a gratitude journal and writing down 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for each and every morning. Another great practice to unleash the tremendous benefits of gratitude is to try a Walk of Gratitude in the morning. It can be just 10 minutes around the neighborhood before the kids get up, or it can be a walk with your dog. This helps set the tone for a fantastic and happy day ahead.

2. They set a high bar.

The guests who have appeared on The School of GreatnessShow are there because at some point in their lives they decided to set the bar high and dream big. It’s all the more challenging to become the best version of yourself, make an impact in the world, and become all that you can be in the business world if you don’t do the same.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Take your most important goal right now and expand it. If your goal is to make $300,000 next year, increase that number to $400,000 or $500,000. Whatever that goal may be for yourself, set the bar even higher. Don’t worry about how is it going to manifest or all of the obstacles that you may run into along the way. Get into the habit of expanding your thinking and the goals that you set for yourself. Even if you do fall short, you will more than likely have done better than what your original target was.

3. They work ridiculously hard for long periods of time.

Greatness takes time and persistence. As Lewis says, “most people want instant gratification and the rewards right away, but in reality, all of the seemingly overnight successes that you hear about takes 10-plus years.”

Working ridiculously hard for long periods of time isn’t nice to think about. Most people want instant success without putting in their due diligence. But line up leaders in any industry — from business to the arts — and I am certain you will hear each and every one of them talk about how insane their work ethic has been over the years even when they didn’t see much in return for their efforts right away.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Take that most important goal that we just discussed about earlier and schedule an extra 30 minutes to an hour of working on making that goal become a reality each day. Be persistent about working longer, smarter, and harder than everyone else. You will be amazed at what evolves when you regularly add an extra 30 minutes to an hour of working on your most important goal.

4. They know they need to care of themselves.

Nothing will get done if your mind and body aren’t performing. Don’t wait until you have a health scare or lose a loved one to force you to take complete charge of your health. Taking care of yourself needs to be a regular commitment.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Don’t wait for next month or next week to take action on making your health a priority. Hire a personal trainer, gather friends together who share this same goal and work out together, start a new fitness program, work on improving your diet, or sign up for an upcoming marathon. Keep great people around you and make sure you’re not isolating yourself.Whatever it is, take the initial step toward improving your health, which is always the hardest. Schedule it into your daily activities every single day.

5. They know the value of giving back.

Whether it’s loving what they do, loving other people, or loving the climb to the top, successful people approach each day with a “love and service” mentality. They understand that whatever they put out into the world will come back to them in some way. The greatest business leaders, salespeople, and athletes try to serve life. Look at the great life of the late Muhammad Ali. He served not only the millions of people who watched him in the boxing ring,but used his celebrity to support humanitarian causes.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Rather than looking at it what can you receive in return, start examining the different ways that you can give to life. Donate your free time to charities. Offer to help a neighbor or friend in need. Go the extra mile to listen to someone in need. Do not expect anything in return for your service. Love the process, love others, and embrace the challenges that you will experience along the way.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

3 Things That Will Always Rob You of Reaching Your Full Potential

20160613150421-GettyImages-182448108Image credit: Martin Barraud, Getty Images

Working to get better every day of our lives and striving to reach our full potential should be a major life goal for us all. Whether it’s complacency, the fear of failure, bad habits and plenty other factors that come into play as to why most never fulfill that major goal — that doesn’t have to be the story for you.

You can increase your chances of making sure that’s never going to happen to you by being intentional in your approach and understanding what’s holding most people back in the first place.

Here are three things that will always rob you of reaching your potential.

1. Having a limited vision.

A very sad but hard truth is that one of the main reasons that robs so many of reaching their full potential is the limited vision that they have for their lives. They let their failures, heartbreaks and misfortunes throughout the course of their lives dictate what’s in store for them and cloud their vision as to what’s really possible.

Any great organization, individual or even team that went on to achieve an incredible accomplishment all started with expanding their vision and being able to see it all take place in their minds before it happened in reality.

Expanding your vision consists of constantly going to work on your mind. Read uplifting and inspirational books to help rewire your current level of thinking. Set big and challenging goals that excite you — and then look at them every single day. Adopt positive self-talk as a daily habit and start to picture yourself as a healthy, accomplished and positive person. Visualize yourself winning and accomplishing whatever major goal or dream that is deep within your heart.

2. Associating with negative and toxic people.

We end up becoming who we hang out with the most. Over time, we begin to adopt their habits, talk like they talk, dream like they dream and embark on the life journey that they embark on as well.

I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of the most talented athletes in the world throw their career down the drain all because of who they associated with on a regular basis. I have seen hundreds of entrepreneurs who had a great idea and even begin to take action moving that idea forward, but ended up falling flat on their face all because of who they let hang around them.

I have seen incredibly talented teams that were expected to dominate the market in business or win a championship in athletics, but the few negative and toxic team members ruined it all for everyone. The bottom line is that who you choose to have around you absolutely matters — and has a large determining factor as to what the final outcome is.

3. A lack of fight and resolve to persevere through the challenging times.

Things will never be perfect for any of us. We will fail, lose focus from time to time, get discouraged, lose self-confidence and maybe even think that where we currently are is all there is.

Every great achievement to ever take place in history was all because of someone who possessed a ridiculous fight and resolve to persevere through the challenging times to end up getting to their final destination that labeled them a champion. You are going to get knocked down throughout the course of your journey.

That’s just a non-negotiable. However, the one thing that you determine is what happens after you get knocked down. You have the decision to either stay on the ground and accept defeat — or get back up and fight every waking moment to get to where you want to go.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Ways to Stop Playing the Blame Game and Get Better Yourself

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One of the most beneficial things that I have ever done from both a personal and professional standpoint was to decide early on and commit to creating my own personal growth plan that would force me to grow every single day.

The reason for this monumental decision all transpired when I was having coffee one morning with a mentor of mine. I was extremely frustrated with how things were panning out in my life at the time and quickly started to play the blame game and make excuses as to why I was so dissatisfied.

The moment that changed everything for me was when my mentor interrupted me in the middle of one of my negative sentences and said, “Matt, you need to get better. It’s not your circumstances or other people around you that need to get better. It’s all on you. You must constantly go to work on yourself if you want to begin to experience different outcomes.”

At first, I was kind of pissed. Here I was going on and on about this rut that I was in, and his only response was, “You need to get better.” However, as a couple minutes went by, and he continued on with the conversation, it all started to make more sense. He shared a quote with me by Jim Rohn that really hit home. The quote was, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” It was that quote by Jim Rohn and that particular conversation with one of my mentors that changed my life forever and started my journey of becoming growth oriented in all that I do.

It’s more than likely that all of us want some area of our life to be a little better than what it currently is. When things aren’t going as well as we would like, it’s so easy to start participating in the blame game and keep a running list of all the excuses as to why things are the way they are.

This type of mentality, the one that I possessed for so long, will do nothing but keep you exactly where you are. If you want to change your situation, circumstances, finances or professional success, look to change yourself before you look anywhere else. Understanding the power and true significance of developing a personal growth plan can be worth more than a gold mine.

Here are three ways to help get you started in creating your own personal growth plan.

1. Know why you want to grow.

When you know the why behind why you want to grow and go to work on yourself, it becomes that much easier to actually do just that. Maybe you want to increase your income, start your own business or achieve a massive goal of yours — whatever it is, know exactly why it is you want to grow. Whatever it is you want to do, it’s going to require you becoming a completely different person. When you know exactly why you want to grow, you will begin to develop a sense of urgency that helps you to make sure you grow somehow, someway each and every day regardless of what else comes your way.

 

2. Know when you are going to grow.

After you have discovered why you want to grow, knowing when are you going to grow is all about creating a game plan to ensure you execute. What gets scheduled gets done, and if you want to make sure you are growing and working to get better, you must know exactly when that growth is going to take place. Chances are you are extremely busy, already have a full calendar, have family to attend to when you get home from work and have a ton of other obligations.

This is the main reason as to why most never fall through on creating a personal growth plan for their life. It may initially sound great to them, but they never end up following through. They don’t take the proper time that is needed to determine when exactly their growth is going to take place throughout their bust day. Figure out what works best for you, and make sure you schedule it into your calendar just like all of your other very important obligations.

3. Know how you are going to grow.

Once you know why and when you are going to grow, the third key is to know how you are going to grow. To give you a small example, my own personal growth plan consists of reading a new book each week, listening to some type of audio when driving in the car or on the plane, setting up calls with my mentors each month and having a mastermind group that consists of other ambitious and successful individuals. Find a plan that works for you — and make it a major priority to execute that plan.

Creating a personal growth plan can radically change your life. Let these three steps guide you in the process of creating your own game plan.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

15 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Stressed

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Have you mastered stress, or is stress mastering you?Between work deadlines, bills, and family and friend obligations, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And if it goes on for too long, you’ll find yourself struggling to merely survive instead of thrive.

 

I know firsthand how brutal it can be when you don’t make an effort to manage your stress on an everyday basis. And I also know firsthand that if left unmanaged,it puts you at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, weight loss or weight gain depending on your physiology, depression and other problems.

Around three months ago, the hustle and bustle and stress of everyday life started to derail me. I was sleeping only three hours a night, neglecting the gym almost every day, and withdrawing from my loved ones. I stopped my daily walks and moments of solitude, prayer and meditation, and stopped writing in my gratitude journal. My life was quickly spiraling downward into one big fat mess.

Here are 15 things that I did to take control of my stress. You can use these or modify them to fit your own life and personality.

1. Increase your endorphin production.

One of the quickest and surest ways to defeat the negative side effects that come from stress is to get your sweat on. You can start small if going to the gym seems too overwhelming. Take a daily 15-minute walk. When you do physical activity, your body releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in your body.

2. Pay attention to what you’re putting in your body.

People often turn to junk food when they’re stressed. Eating a cookie now and then won’t necessarily harm you, but if you do it regularly, there will be consequences. According to Mark Hyman, New York Times bestselling author of Eat Fat, Get Thin, eating whole, real foods restores balance and reduces the effects of stress on your body. Replacing harmful substances such as caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars, with clean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats helps regulate your hormone levels – including the stress hormones.

3. Create a stress jar.

Sit down every morning (or before you go to bed) and make a list of things that are bothering you and stressing your day. Write down the things you can control and the things you can’t. Once you make that list, fold the piece of paper and put it into a box or a stress jar. Put that jar in a closet or in a place that won’t constantly attract your attention. “Out of sight, out of mind” is an old saying that can help you in this instant. You’ve written down your worries, so now put them away for the day and forget about them.

4. Keep a gratitude journal.

Whether big or small, write down everything that comes to mind that you are grateful for right this moment. You can start small with something as simple as, “I am grateful that I am healthy and strong. I am grateful for my family and friends. I am grateful I live in a city that’s enjoyable and fun.” The mere act of writing down things you’re grateful for will change your outlook on life. Do this every day.

5. Make a list of your goals.

After writing in your gratitude journal, make a list of your goals – no matter how far-reaching they may seem at this point in time. Writing your goals in a journal is a powerful way to rekindle your passion and remind yourself of your dreams, ambitions, and what’s truly important.

6. Learn how to say no.

Learn how to say “no” to things that would only add more stress to your life. It’s easy to fall into a “people-pleasing” trap where you say “yes” to everything. Perhaps you want to spend an evening at home alone and someone invites you to go to a party? What do you do? Perhaps people are asking you for free services because they’re your friend or because they don’t respect your time. What do you do? You have to learn how to say “no.” Whether it’s in your personal or professional life, agreeing to more than you can manage is a surefire recipe for stress.

7. Surround yourself with positive and encouraging people.

Surrounding ourselves with positive and encouraging people during stressful times can brighten our mood and help us put things in perspective. Who wants to be with someone who is negative all the time? There’s nothing more depressing or stressful, so avoid those who stress you out.

8. Get lost in a great book.

Being able to pick up a great book and get lost in it has the potential to transform your mindset and help you start to see the world in a different light. There’s nothing more relaxing and wonderful than reading a great book by one of your favorite authors.

9. Create your own Mastermind group.

Gather together some highly motivated and ambitious individuals, peers and associates, and build a Mastermind group. The group works like peer-to-peer mentoring in which you either meet or talk on the phone a minimum of once a month. You can even create a private Facebook Page for this group to discuss ideas. In this group, you can brainstorm with one another, talk about your current goals, plans for the future, and the stress that is bothering you at the moment.

10. Look in the mirror and talk to yourself like you’re a champion.

There are two types of people in the world. There are those who tell themselves they are a victim, and those who tell themselves they are not a victim, but rather, a champion. This brings to mind the great Muhammad Ali who died last week after many years of suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. He was the grandson of a slave, but did he let that define him? No, he saw something greater in himself. He proclaimed himself “The Greatest” before anyone else did and spent a lifetime living up to this statement. Instead of negative self-talk, Muhammad Ali created empowering self-talk.

11. Tap into the power of meditation and solitude.

When I finally decided to give meditation a try, I became instantly hooked. Practicing meditation on a regular basis can not only drastically minimize the effects of stress, but also help you live a more fulfilled life. I recommend an app called “Calm” aimed to help newcomers practice meditation. Solitude goes hand-in-hand with meditation because you need quiet for both. Amazing things begin to happen when you shut off the noisy and distracting world and listen.

12. Resolve to finally complete a project or task you have been begun.

Take a look at your important projects and tasks to see what you have been putting off for quite some time. Pick that one thing and work until it’s completed. You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride.

13. Sleep more.

If you have been sleeping six hours, sleep seven. If you have been sleeping seven hours, sleep eight. Find 20minutes or so throughout your day to close and rest your eyes. Sleep matters and a lack of it is a major contribution to the negative effects of stress.

14. Leave the office for lunch.

Take a walk or eat outside. Force yourself to leave the office for lunch if you can. This will help you to redirect your focus and come back even stronger for the second part of the day.

15. Be of service to someone

How many times have you helped someone today? It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture – it could even mean just listening to a friend tell you about their day. Asking others how they’re doing is a way to be of service. We get wrapped up in our own worlds far too often. There’s a whole world out there that’s waiting for you. Want to feel instantly better? Go be of service and make someone else’s day.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

Book Cover Announcement

Book Cover

I am so happy to reveal the cover of my upcoming book, Winning Plays: Tackling Adversity and Achieving Success in Business and in Life, which releases on September 6th, 2016.

About the book

Today, former college football star and NFL linebacker Matt Mayberry is an acclaimed keynote speaker and performance strategist, but he was once on a downward path to destruction, struggling through drug addiction and a career-ending injury. Then one day he had an epiphany; he didn’t want to throw his life away day-by-day. Instead, he decided to transform his failures and create a bigger future for himself. Taking each setback as an opportunity to learn, Mayberry surrounded himself with mentors. With an infectious never-give-up attitude, he tells his story of transformation into a nationally sought-after speaker and success coach. Through the hardship and trials, Mayberry found his true passion and gift–helping others achieve massive success. Offering readers practical steps on applying his strategies to their own lives, Mayberry explains how anyone can power through and learn to create opportunity and success.

What others are saying

WINNING PLAYS is a story of hope and renewal. Author Matt Mayberry has seen the highs and lows — from drug addiction to an NFL career cut short — and he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about finding success in the ashes of failure. Let his story inspire you to achieve your goals. –Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of To Sell Is Human and Drive

 

If you think your failures are painful, you haven’t met Matt Mayberry. His experiences with persevering in the face of adversity are full of inspiration and lessons for all of us. –Adam Grant, Wharton Professor and New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

Available for pre-order now

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