Facing All-Encompassing Doubt, Roger Bannister Still Broke the 4-Minute Mile. You Too Must Believe in Your Strengths.

20160412145452-roger-bannister-4-mile-barrierImage credit: Mike Hewitt | Getty Images

Self-doubt is all too common in today’s world. We have a terrible habit of letting our fears, our weaknesses and what happened in the past creep into the present and diminish our self-belief. It’s time to kick this crippling habit we know all too well. All of the failures, mistakes and heartbreaks that we have endured in the past — leave them there. They serve no purpose in the present unless you are looking back to see how far you’ve come.

When we bring negative events from our past into the present, we cloud our ability to see what’s possible and what’s important in our lives. We need to learn from all of the misfortunes in our lives and use them as a never-ending vehicle of opportunity to grow. No matter how difficult it may seem, never let the doubts of life paralyze the belief that you have in yourself. If you are deliberate about this concept, your future will be limitless.

Directing your focus towards everything that went wrong over the years will do nothing but keep you stagnant. Moving forward in life personally and professionally requires you to learn from the negatives and allow these moments to be the building blocks, the solid foundation of creating a bigger future for yourself.  Dwelling on all of our weaknesses and the substantial odds of achieving our goals is a sure way to fall short. We must think and do the impossible, and it all begins with self-belief.

One of my favorite examples of this is Olympian, Roger Bannister. Back in the 1950’s experts thought that there was no way possible that the 4-minute mile could ever be broken. They just thought that it wasn’t humanly possible. However, Roger Bannister came along and changed everyone’s view on what the experts once deemed an impossible feat to accomplish.

Roger Bannister not only broke the 4-minute mile, but he created a paradigm shift for so many others, to go on to do the same. Roger Bannister didn’t dwell on the experts’ opinions or what everyone else was saying was impossible to do. He believed in his ability more than he doubted it. Forget what anyone says about your loftiest goals and dreams, that business you want to start or the challenges that you currently face. The only thing that truly matters is that you let your self-belief become more powerful than your self-doubt.

I believe that we all have the seeds of greatness planted within us regardless of how hard, unfortunate or terrible we may temporarily think our life has been up to this point. Somewhere deep inside, we all have big dreams and strong desires. Things we want to accomplish, things we want to change, things we want to build, and things we want to do throughout the course of our lives.

But all so often, life has a tendency of getting in the way. Big plans end up falling through unexpectedly. The tragedy of losing a loved one strikes once again. Over time, our self-doubt begins to grow stronger than our self-belief.

This shift of believing in the negative and doubting the positive, creates an all too comfortable space and reliance on mediocrity. Settling for right where you are. Settling for less than your abilities. Settling even when it is fatal to your goals.

We are all here for a purpose. No moment in time is a waste. Instead of focusing on the mishaps and losses in your life, your fears or your weaknesses, do everything in your power to focus on the wins. Focus on your strengths. No matter how big or small they may be, get in the habit of counting your blessings every single day of your life, and direct your focus towards all of the good surrounding you.

Don’t doubt the talents and abilities that were only given to you. They are exclusively yours to harness and do great things with. Do everything in your power to get your fire back. Claim your greatness and recreate your swagger. Develop and search for a deeper meaning for your life. Continually put yourself in a positive, faith-filled environment everywhere you go.  Your belief must always outweigh your doubt, and you must lead with your strengths — not your weaknesses.

The message that I hope to get through to you today is that the power is already within you to create whatever life you desire for yourself no matter what you’ve been dealt in the past. You have the ability to make your life a masterpiece and leave a spectacular legacy that lives much longer than you do. Amp up your self-belief, and kick the self-doubt. There’s no room for both.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

8 Things Exceptional Thinkers Do Every Day

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Everything that we are and everything that we are not is an end result from our current level of thinking. Every great achievement in history came from exceptional thinking. Every man or woman to ever rise to the top of their profession had exceptional thinking that played a major role in getting them to where they are.

I have never met a high achiever who lacked in their level of thinking. Our feelings, emotions, professional success and happiness levels are all affected by our thinking and what takes place on a daily basis from the neck up.

If you aren’t currently happy with where you are at in life or in your professional journey, there is great news. You can drastically alter where you are and everything around you by changing your thinking. Just like any other important habit, you can’t become an exceptional thinker if you practice it only once in awhile. Working on your mind and thinking must become a daily practice.

Here are eight things exceptional thinkers do daily.

1. They focus on the positive.

Every single day of our lives, we have a choice when we wake up in the morning whether we are going to direct our focus on the positive or negative. Exceptional thinkers know the importance of where they direct their focus. They fully understand that it impacts their energy levels and will determine how they perform. You can eliminate a lot of the worry, stress, and anxiety just by choosing to focus on the positive. Regardless of how big or small, force yourself to see the good in every situation no matter how miniscule it may be.

2. They spend time in solitude.

Exceptional thinkers know that we live in a noisy and distracting world and therefore prioritize the importance of spending time alone. If you go pick up an autobiography of your favorite inventor, president, or even athlete, you will realize that they valued alone time to reflect and think in solitude.

3. They have a long-term vision.

Exceptional thinkers have a clear vision of where they want to be in the future and all of the things that they need to do in order to make that become a reality. They rarely get discouraged and disappointed because of short-term obstacles because of this powerful long-term vision that they have for their life.

4. They have a mindset-development routine.

Whether it’s a special morning routine to jump start their day, reading positive books first thing in the morning, or listening to empowering podcasts and audiobooks while commuting, they go to work on their mind daily. Most people wait for something positive to happen throughout their day to have good thoughts, but exceptional thinkers are proactive towards positively developing their mind every chance they get.

5. They only associate with those who build them up.

There is nothing more detrimental to one’s thinking than hanging around others who are constantly negative and energy vampires. You adopt the habits and channel the energy of those around you, so make it a habit to surround yourself with positive people and remain in good company.

6. They eat clean and healthy.

A large majority of the population is oblivious as to what you put into your body on a daily basis and how that plays a role in your thinking. What you drink and eat every single day greatly impacts how you feel and how well your brain operates.

To further understand just how important what you eat is to how well you think, I highly recommend checking out Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Daniel Amen. Two of my favorites when it comes to brain optimization and thriving on all cylinders.

7. They find time to regularly workout.

I have talked about the benefits of working out and how it can tremendously impact productivity levels, but the same goes for brain health and increasing your current level of thinking. The endorphins released during routine exercise are packed with positivity.

8. They have an attitude of gratitude.

Your thinking and life in general is just that much better when you possess an attitude of gratitude and find ways to regularly acknowledge all that you are grateful for. It’s impossible to be truly grateful and miserable at the same time.

There are a lot of things that exceptional thinkers do on a daily basis to help them rise above, but the above eight things that I have listed have greatly impacted the way I think on a daily basis. When you understand just how important your mind is and work to constantly upgrade your level of thinking, your life will be upgraded in return.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Want to Defeat Stress, Anxiety and Worry? Exercise, Say ‘Thank You’ a Lot and Use The Calm App.

20160329134106-calm-appImage credit: Calm

Stress, anxiety and worry are three things that drastically interfere with millions of people unleashing their best work and tapping into their full potential. Some are better than others at minimizing the negative effects that stress, anxiety and worry can have, but at one point or another, all of us will experience some sort of discomfort from the killer three I like to call them.

I call them the killer three, because they not only stop people from unleashing their best work and tapping into their full potential, but over time they actually do a whole lot more than prevent us from achieving success. Heart attacks, strokes, suicides and many other social and physical impairments can be brought upon by the killer three if we aren’t intentional about practicing mindfulness each and every day and working to defeat stress, anxiety and worry.

Here are three ways to help you defeat the killer three.

1. Start incorporating meditation into your life daily.

Meditation is a complete game-changer when it comes to defeating stress, anxiety and worry. Not only does it do a fantastic job of minimizing all of the side effects from the killer three, but the other benefits you reap when you invest in daily meditation is extraordinary.

At first, I thought I could never be someone who would sit down and relax for 20 to 30 minutes to meditate. There was just no way. I had too much to do, and there were never enough hours in the day to accommodate my strenuous workload. However, when things eventually became too hectic to function efficiently, I looked to meditation as my last resort — and never looked back.

We hear about how important mediation is for brain power and overall health, but there are still too many who are reluctant to try it. A great way to get started is to use The Calm app, which has been invaluable, as I have it with me everywhere I go. It has guided and unguided mediation sessions and I really think it can add value to your life as it did mine. If you feel overwhelmed from your every day workload or stressed with life in general, meditation is a must.

2. Exercise.

There are plenty of productivity apps and all sorts of different gadgets that promise to increase productivity levels, but the most powerful productivity tool there is isn’t an app or gadget. It’s exercise. Not only does exercise release endorphins, positively impact your mindset and take your productivity to the next level, but it is an absolute must if you want to decrease the amount of stress, anxiety and worry in your life.

When I was an athlete, I never had the worry syndrome or let stress get the best of me, even though there was so much doubt and uncertainty looming ahead. When I analyzed what the difference was between the two, I noticed that when I was an athlete, there was never a day that went by without me investing back into my body and exercising.

Sure, that was a major part of my job as a professional athlete, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete to exercise regularly. I took major notice as to how I would feel when I would go weeks or even months at a time not paying much attention to exercise or making it a priority in my life.

I made excuses, and in return, I felt like complete crap physically and mentally. Your health is your livelihood, and convincing yourself that you don’t have time to workout or exercise for at least 30 minutes a day is adding more harm than benefit to your schedule. I promise you that you aren’t freeing yourself up to get more work done or get ahead professionally. I don’t know about you, but I am all for increasing productivity levels, defeating the killer three, and feeling wonderful all day long. Daily exercise does just that — and much more.

3. Say ‘thank you’ more often.

Saying these two words with conviction on a regular basis can powerfully change the direction of your life. It’s important to set goals, create visions and think about what you want for your future, but often, we let what we don’t have get in the way of all that we do have.

We spend time worrying and stressing about where we want to be and forget to have an attitude of gratitude for having the opportunity at all. There is nothing more harmful to our health than forgetting the importance of being grateful for what we have and getting in a daily routine of saying “thank you” more often.

I have a note card that I carry in my briefcase with the two words, thank you, written on it. Everywhere I go, I’m reminded to give thanks for waking up, experiencing life another day and having the opportunity to work towards my dreams.

When you really think long and hard about it, it’s truly remarkable what a privilege and opportunity that each and every one of us has to wake up and live another day. It’s up to us how we shape our minutes, days, years and lives. Saying “thank you” more often minimizes the negative effects of the killer three and increases your sense of fulfillment every moment of your life. It’s so simple — yet so important.

Practicing mediation, exercising daily and saying thank you more often will not only reduce the amount of stress, anxiety and worry that you have in your life but also change the way you work and go about your every day life. I urge you to incorporate these three simple tasks into your everyday life, and see how they reward you over time.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

Remember: You Were Meant to Thrive, Not Just Survive

20160321191837-thriveImage credit: Unsplash

So many people today are unfortunately just surviving instead of thriving. They have a “just get by” type of mentality every minute of every day. More than likely, they have forgotten who they truly are and have settled for second best without even knowing it.

I believe one of the biggest regrets we will ever have at the end of our lives will be living in survival mode. Thinking about all of the great and wonderful things that we wanted to do but never did. Thinking about lost goals and dreams that we never acted on.

Living in survival mode prohibits us from living a life of meaning and contribution. If you feel you have been surviving and just going through the motions, let today be the turning point in your life where you turn it all around.

I strongly believe that one of the core reasons why so many get accustomed to living a life of survival instead of a life that is thriving is because they let the hustle and bustle of life completely take over their lives and clog their decision making. They let their doubts continue to pile up and corrupt their thinking. They set out on a new adventure or set a new goal, but immediately after doing so, they let their doubts take over.

Here are three ways to help you thrive instead of just survive.

1. Stay purpose-driven.

I know firsthand how easy it can be at times to let the hustle and bustle of life take over every move of yours if you aren’t intentional about staying purpose-driven. Staying purpose-driven can mean a lot of things.

Maybe you already know your purpose and life’s mission — which is great. Do everything in your power, and live that purpose each and every day. Everything that you do should revolve around staying purpose-driven.

On the other hand, maybe you don’t know what your purpose in life is yet. That’s fine, and there is no reason to freak out about it. Everyone discovers what their purpose is at different stages in life, but the most important thing is being eager and passionate to discover what that purpose is for you. I firmly believe that we all were put here to do magnificent and wonderful things in the world.

2. Hang around with winners.

You have probably heard a million times about the importance of who you hang out with, but it’s amazing how many people still don’t comprehend it and practice it in their every day life. If you hang around with people who are not motivated and searching for ways to better themselves, that’s exactly the same type of mindset and life that you will adopt.

When you hang around with people who are obsessed with growing, getting better and maximizing their potential, you will end up growing and getting better as well. If you want to forever make sure you don’t fall into survival mode, hang around with winners.

3. Constantly build yourself up.

Most of the time, the men and women who settle for a life of survival let the tough times of life tear them down while they completely neglect building themselves up. There is no doubt about it that life can be hard. It is very important that you never forget to be your own best friend and constantly look for ways to build yourself up rather than tear yourself down.

Building yourself up can mean a lot of things for a lot of different people. When I refer to building yourself up, I simply mean to stop neglecting yourself.

Give yourself the time you need to do whatever it is you want. Read great books that end up building your self-confidence and help you grow as an individual. Give yourself the permission to take that much-needed vacation you have been wanting for so long.

Find whatever works for you and stick to a plan. When you learn to be your own best friend and constantly search for ways to build yourself up rather than tear yourself down, you will begin to realize that you absolutely got this and have what it takes.

It’s easy to let all of the everyday demands take over and dictate how your day goes, but each and every one of us has a choice on whether that is the case or not. Just remember this one important truth — you were put here to thrive, not just survive.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Set Yourself Free — Let Go of the Dead Weight In Your Life

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There is no better feeling than setting yourself free and eliminating all of the dead weight from your life. I can go on and on telling you about all of the extremely talented athletes that I have either played with or have seen throw all of their potential right down the drain — all because of the dead weight that consumed their life.

When I refer to dead weight, I am referring to toxic and negative relationships that bring hardly any value or significance to your life. All of the negative and time-consuming habits that play virtually no role in helping you get to where you want to go. Environments that encourage you to stay right where you are while never stepping a foot out of your comfort zone.

Dead weight can come in all shapes, sizes and forms. To make it easy, dead weight is anything that holds you down in life and prevents you from moving forward and making daily progress.

It’s impossible to live an extraordinary life and achieve your goals and dreams with any sort of dead weight in your life. I encourage you to, once a month — preferably once a week — take the time to analyze your life, and see if there is any dead weight that can be cut out immediately.

An exercise to help remove the dead weight in your relationships

This exercise has helped me tremendously in the past when I was looking for a change. I was in a major rut and couldn’t find out what the problem was. Without knowing how much this exercise would benefit my life, I took out a sheet of paper and put a big letter Y on the top left hand corner of the paper and an N on the top right hand corner. I started with my relationships.

I began to think of everyone that I talk to often whether on the phone or in person and asked myself if they help me get to where I want to go or hold me back. If they added value to my life, I wrote their name down under the Y category. If they were negative and seemed to always have something discouraging to say, they would go underneath the N category. Y stood for yes and N stood for no.

After 15 minutes passed by, I couldn’t believe what I began to see. My N category was clearly getting longer than what I had for the Y category. It all of a sudden hit me that no wonder I wasn’t happy with the results I was getting up to that point in my life. I had an enormous amount of dead weight in my personal relationships that was drastically holding me back from moving forward to achieve the success that I deeply desired. This simple exercise really clarified that for me.

Apply the same exercise for your habits.

I applied the same exercise for all of my daily habits and again, I was completely shocked at what I saw. I couldn’t believe all of the things that I was doing on a daily basis that added no value to my life what so ever. Not only were my relationships garbage and holding me back, but my habits were also an added source of dead weight that was making it virtually impossible to advance my life forward.

By taking the time to analyze your habits and place them into a category to see whether they are adding value to your life or sabotaging your success can be an absolute game-changer for you. The things we do on a daily basis ultimately determine our destiny. Just as there can be dead weight in our personal relationships, there can be dead weight in our habits and the things we do daily as well.

Most people don’t even take the time to analyze their lives, let alone make the change to remove all of the dead weight that has interfered with them reaching their full potential. Setting yourself free from all of the garbage in your life, the bad habits and the toxic relationships is one of the best feelings in the world. You not only will be doing your happiness and peace of mind a huge favor, but you will also in an instant begin to increase your success rate.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

4 Ways Documenting the Journey Has Become More Popular Than Celebrating the Outcome

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LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is popularly quoted as saying that an entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.

While this is a bit of an exaggerative description, it accurately captures the common experience that all entrepreneurs share — their journeys as they build something from nothing.

Not all entrepreneurs can relate to high-profile exits, initial public offerings and the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. Being an entrepreneur is an extremely personal experience that permeates all aspects of life. The ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures are all parts of this experience and are what bond entrepreneurs together.

Whether you are an entrepreneur who has taken multiple companies to successful and profitable exits or a first-time founder grinding away through late nights, you all share this journey in common.

And while media tends to highlight the huge successes and massive failures, I often wonder why they miss out on covering the thousands of entrepreneurs who are hustling and living out their journey on a day-to-day basis.

Interestingly enough, within the past month, I came across two online publications that were recently featured on Entrepreneur.com for theirInstagram Accounts — HDFMAGAZINE and PRSUIT

While the lineup of all seven accounts is quite impressive, these two brands clearly had an interesting angle.

HDFMAGAZINE (Hustle & Deal Flow), founded by Matt Gottesman, documents the journeys of entrepreneurs (which they call “creators”) from around the world as they’re building their company. In essence, they feature the “hustle” and not the end results of success that many media outlets tend to do.

PRSUIT, founded by Case Kenny, has created an impressive content platform providing “perspective that inspires”. That is, they feature over 400 writers from around the world who are writing about their journeys to success.

I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the both of them, and in doing so I recognized four key trends about the entrepreneurial journey as inspired by two guys who are personally documenting it.

1. Entrepreneurship is all about the work you put in.

Ask any entrepreneur about his or her journey, and work ethic will surely come up fast. It doesn’t matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, consistently and effectively putting in the necessary work is something that all creators and founders can relate to.

Late-night hours, early-morning meetings and weekends are part of this hustle — and is something that unites entrepreneurs.

PRSUIT founder Case Kenny says that “entrepreneurs we interact with pay no attention to the hours they are working. They simply put in the work necessary to progress their visions. When you are chasing your passion, the hours mean nothing  — because you are truly enjoying your journey and know that your time will ultimately pay off.”

2. The journey is something that unites all of us entrepreneurs.

Because we can’t all relate to regular nine-to-five jobs, societal norms or working in environments that suppress our creativity, entrepreneurs do not want to feel alone. We’d rather gravitate towards each other in order to feel our version of “normal,” which is quite the opposite to the general public.

What ends up happening is pure collaboration. We not only support each other, but we share our resources, promote our ventures and introduce our networks.

In essence, we’re not concerned with the end result but the road ahead of us, and we do so by helping each other grow through it.

“Taking a leap of faith takes courage,” says Matt Gottesman. “You don’t know the outcome, and most people are not willing to take that leap. What creeps in are all those negative inputs from others who are not willing to do what you are. So, the next best thing is to associate yourself with people who are — and they will grow you just as you grow them.”

3. The lessons are in the details.

You will never know how to successfully manage a company unless you experience and embrace the finer details of running it. And you can’t do that without fully immersing yourself in the details.

Ask any entrepreneur how they have learned the skills and know-how they now possess, and they will tell you that they learned from doing. Trial and error. Success and failure. That is how you learn.

You learn the skills necessary from the ground level, not just from reading books and studying the craft. Entrepreneurs know this and embrace the experience.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Kenny says. “Entrepreneurs check their egos at the door and acknowledge that they don’t know everything. What they do know, however, is that if they try and dive in headfirst, they will find out. Entrepreneurs need to be fearless in their pursuit of experiences that will progress their visions. The only way to know what you don’t know is to try.”

4. The journey is what makes you great.

When media looks at the successes of most entrepreneurs, they’re looking at the end product. The fact is, what made that end product or outcome was a culmination of sleepless nights, daily sacrifices, countless adjustments and numerous character-building obstacles.

A successful person, whether it be an athlete, entrepreneur, actor or business person, is created during all the finer details from the lessons mentioned above. That is why you see the person standing before you. The journey was through the training in order to become great.

Where do we go from here?

With the rise of social media and Internet platforms that allow us to document our endeavors in real time, it would be most appropriate to say we’re heading into a newer storytelling generation of creativity and entrepreneurship.

I, too, find comfort in outlining the day-to-day details in my Instagram and SnapChat accounts (@matt-mayberry). I want people to see the actual work as it’s happening and not think of me as only an end result. It’s about demonstrating the work — and not glorifying my successes.

I believe the more you can document the hustle, the more you can impact others who are watching. That’s how I see serving my purpose.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Dare Great in Order to Be Great

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I gave a keynote a few weeks ago at an Entrepreneurship conference, and when I opened up for Q&A, I received a question that had me thinking long and hard. The question was, “How do you become an entrepreneur if you hate to take risks?”

My answer was short and simple. I said, “I’m sorry ma’am but it’s not possible.” I didn’t want to sound rude or negative. I had just finished motivating and inspiring a crowd of 600 people on how absolutely nothing is impossible, yet just answered a question saying the exact opposite.

There was just no other way to put it. Not only do you need to take risks as an entrepreneur, but you must absolutely get comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to be great.

How many people do you know personally who have missed opportunities because they were too scared to move past their comfort zone and away from their safety net? I bet you can come up with a few without even thinking long and hard about it. Heck, you may even start to look at your own life and realize how many incredible opportunities were left to die, simply because you never acted and decided to take a risk.

Please understand me on this. I am not telling you to be irresponsible or to run blindly into the abyss of extreme risk without thinking it through and weighing the pros and cons. What I am telling you however, is that after you have done all of that — just get going! Not only do most people not take risks, but they over think and talk themselves out of it when they’re on the verge of moving forward.

A quote that I have lived by when it comes to taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone is this one by Abraham Maslow, “You will either step forward into growth or step back into safety.” I absolutely love those words and find it to be a question that we should ask ourselves every single day of our lives.

We are either moving forward and growing or stepping backwards to what we are comfortable with. The only possible way that we can become all that we are destined to be in life and in business is to get uncomfortable and take risks. In everything that we do, the decision is up to us. Are we going to play it safe, or take risks to go after what it is we want?

Not only are great entrepreneurs risk-takers, but any man or woman who has left their place in history and done anything of significance during their time here on earth is. You simply can’t be great by staying in your comfort zone just because it feels good. Staying in your comfort zone and not living a courageous and daring life may feel good at the moment, but over time it will turn into regret and a life filled with “What if’s.”

I encourage you to take a long and close look at how courageously you have been living. Where do you stand? We all could benefit from making the decision to step away from our comfort zone more often. It turns out that the popular saying, “Better to be safe than sorry,” isn’t always applicable. Instead, let the words “Dare great in order to be great” guide your life from here on out.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Effort Is an Overlooked But Major Key to Success

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If you had to rate your effort on a scale from one to 10 and how much you give of it every single day, what would your score be? If you aren’t where you want to be or seeing the results that you want to see, then chances are a lack of effort over long periods of time may be the reason why.

Effort isn’t the only thing needed in order for you need to be successful and get to where you want to go, but it sure is an absolute must and something that lacks in a whole lot of people who desire massive amounts of success. If you followed around 10 people who were highly dissatisfied with their station in life, I can bet their effort wouldn’t even come close to someone who is doing the exact same thing they are doing except on a much higher level. Effort is the missing link.

 

The fact of the matter is this, anything and everything that you want to achieve this year has a price tag on it. You must give up something in order to get something, but the rewards and fulfillment that comes from true success are well worth the effort and fight every day.

As each day passes, we pay our lives for that day. As each month passes, we pay our lives for that month. As each year passes, we pay our lives for that year. We don’t get those days, months and years back, and the only thing that we have to show for it comes down to what kind of effort we gave throughout those days, months and years.

An often-overlooked but major key to success is to give an incredible and ridiculous amount of effort — the one thing that each and every one of us controls on a daily basis over long periods of time. That’s where the confusion enters in for most. Those who complain about their lot in life and how unlucky they have been are the same ones who only give maximum effort when they feel like it or when the timing seems to be right for them.

My good friend and bestselling author Rory Vaden said, “Success is never owned; it is only rented — and the rent is due every day.” That’s one of my favorite quotes and speaks volumes on the amount of effort and work that is required to be great and separate yourself from the pack of mediocrity. You don’t only give maximum effort when you feel good or the timing feels right. Champions give maximum effort every day of their life, even when they don’t feel like it. They pay their rent over and over, year after year, regardless of how much is in their bank account or what hardship they may be currently experiencing.

You will have different seasons in your life and business, no doubt about it. There will be times where great things will happen. There will be times where bad things will happen as well. But the one constant thing that you have the opportunity to control throughout everything that happens is your effort.

I think a lot of people look at some of the greatest athletes, executives and entrepreneurs in the world and automatically think to themselves how wonderful it must be to be in their shoes. What they don’t know is the sacrifice, work, and most importantly, the insane amount of effort that was required for 20-plus years, every day of their lives to get where they currently are at.

Orison Marden summed it all up perfectly when said, “What keeps so many people back is simply unwillingness to pay the price, to make the exertion, the effort to sacrifice their ease and comfort.”

You can learn all of the latest and best strategies in the world, but if you lack in effort, you will only get so far. It may not be the sexiest word or topic to talk about, but the one thing that effort does is produce results. Without it, 2016 will be a very long and average year.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Daily Routines for Becoming Happier and More Successful

20150824185453-breaks-work-walks-parkImage credit: Jacob Sciacchitano | Stocksnap.io

When looking back on the many blessings of my football career, I am forever indebted to the game for instilling in me qualities and traits that have helped me succeed in business. Football taught me the power of routine and adopting successful habits.

The most successful people in the world all have world-class habits and routines. If you asked the 10 most successful people you know what contributes most to their success, most would say it’s the things they consistently do daily over the long haul. The habits and routines give them their greatest return on time and energy so they can get big things done.

Here are three powerful routines and habits worth practicing every single day of your life.

1. Spend some time everyday just contemplating.

Most people aren’t thinking past reacting to the circumstances and demands of daily life. It’s amazing what can happen when you pause for five to fifteen minutes during your hectic day to contemplate where you are in life, who you are becoming as a person and where you are headed.

Those three questions can get you started strategizing a new business idea, thinking through a current problem, or simply paying tribute to all that you are grateful for in your life. Setting aside a set time on your calendar to just think can reap tremendous rewards in both your personal and professional life.

2. Build health and fitness into your routine.

A huge contributing factor to low workplace performance is failing to emphasis the importance of employees taking their health and fitness very seriously, for their benefit and for the organization as well.

When you work consistently to become the healthiest version of yourself your organization becomes healthier, too. When you get really serious about creating a powerful health routine to become the healthiest version of yourself you will feel better, perform better and boost your self-confidence.

 

3. Routinely set aside time for growth.

As a football player, each practice was dedicated to a specific component of the game. One day it may be a strong emphasis on special teams, the next day the defense is the main focal point.

You will see an extraordinary positive difference in your life if you set aside even just a couple minutes each day to grow somehow, some way in your line of work. The most successful people in the world have a strong routine of growing and getting better to reach a level of mastery at what it is they do.

Regardless of age, as long as you are still breathing, there is more for you to achieve, become, do and give. Don’t let a day go by without setting aside some time to grow and get better.

Developing a positive and strong routine in the above three areas can bring great joy, happiness and success to your life and business.

 

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Is the Greatest

20150305183724-motivation-silhouette-stading-city-inspiration-shawdow-artsyImage credit: Thomas Hawk | Flickr

Entrepreneurship is great for many reasons. Personally, it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Not only do I get to operate my own business and make an impact in so many different organizations, but I also get the opportunity to hear other entrepreneurs share their journeys and experiences.

Some of the biggest difference-makers to ever live were entrepreneurs. They were creators and self-starters who found a desperate need in the world and came up with a solution to ultimately make the world a better place. Here are three reasons why entrepreneurship is the greatest:

1. There is no ceiling as to what you can do.

There is absolutely no ceiling as to what you can do when you choose to be an entrepreneur. The only person in charge of you is yourself, and that includes your level of achievement and the difference that you make in your industry.

In a company and corporate setting, everyone has job descriptions and has to report to someone. When you make the daring adventure to go out for yourself, you don’t report to anyone but the person looking back in the mirror. In a company and corporate setting, creativity sometimes can be locked down, which can be very frustrating.

Entrepreneurship and changing the world requires extreme creativity at all times. There is nothing in the way as to what ideas you can get working on and how you go about your everyday business. You get to experience the wonderful feeling of being free and most important, yourself.

2. You can make a greater impact.

You can make a difference wherever you are with however much or little you think you have, regardless if you are an entrepreneur or not. As an entrepreneur though, your ability to change the world and create a movement to make the world a better place is extraordinary. A trait of all majorly successful entrepreneurs is creating something that was once missing in the world.

This isn’t to say that everyone who walks down the path of entrepreneurship is going to become the next Albert Einstein or Mark Cuban, but an example of what could happen is your small business has the potential to fill a major void in your local community.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to make a difference in others or in the world, but entrepreneurship does give you the opportunity to make a greater impact if you find what’s missing and create something to fill that void.

3. Dreaming is at the focal point.

The focal point of entrepreneurship is dreaming. Without dreams and hopes for the future there is nothing. I have witnessed thousands of men and women who gave up due to the hustle of bustle of life and will unfortunately die without those dreams and hopes realized.

As kids we all have dreams and things we want to do when we get older, but somewhere down the line when we reach adulthood, we start to lose sight of our kid-like ability to dream. Entrepreneurship rekindles that soft spot in your heart and gives you that same feeling as when you were a kid.

If you’re not innovating, dreaming and constantly looking to expand who you are and what you’re doing, it will be difficult to win in the long game in the world of entrepreneurship. Instead of carrying out someone else’s dream, the entrepreneur builds a team around them to carry out his or her vision.

There is nothing easy about entrepreneurship. There will be plenty of challenges along one’s journey, and those challenges never get any easier even as you become more successful.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com