4 Visualization Techniques That Can Propel Your Success

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I strongly believe in the power of visualization. We must “see that image” in our mind before we ever venture forth to manifest it.

Jim Carrey is one of my favorite examples of this. The famous comedian and actor was once a “wannabe.” I remember seeing a highlight of his appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” back in 1997 and he spoke about his early days trying to make it in the entertainment business. He was broke and had no future. But he took a blank check and wrote out $10 million dollars to himself for acting services rendered and dated it for Thanksgiving 1995.

He said that he carried that check in his wallet at all times and looked at it every morning, visualizing receiving $10 million dollars. Five years after he wrote the check to himself and right before Thanksgiving 1995, he found out that he was going to make $10 million dollars from the movie “Dumb and Dumber.” That’s the power of visualizing your dreams. That’s the power of dreaming. That’s the power of relentlessly believing and working toward your vision every single day.

Here are four ways to help make visualization work for you.

1. Picture yourself victorious.

If you can’t see it, then it’s not going to happen. In order to achieve your biggest goals and dreams, you have to picture yourself victorious. You have to look beyond your current circumstances and past failures. Visualize as many details as you can. If you’re on the beach, feel the warm sun on your body, the wind in your hair, the salty ocean waves spraying on your face. Imagine the environment, the people around you, what you’re wearing, what you’re hearing. Re-create any feelings that are in alignment with your dreams. For me, I visualized myself playing college football. I smelled the locker room and the cut grass on the football field, and I heard the crowds in the bleachers as they shouted for Matt Mayberry. If you make this part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at the improvement in your life and astounded when your dream is realized.

2. Utilize the power of a trigger card.

When I was 16-years-old and after a teenage drug addiction easily could have killed me, my biggest goal and dream at the time was to get a Division I college scholarship for football. I put this incredibly huge goal at the time on a note card which served as my trigger card. From my 3×5 index cards, I read daily: “I will receive a Division I college scholarship for football by next year.”

I could feel how awesome the moment was, and I felt happy and alive. Get in the habit of doing this every day like I did. Each morning and each night, read those index cards, close your eyes, and imagine yourself accomplishing and following through on that major goal of yours. Whether you write yourself a check like Jim Carrey did or put your biggest goal and dream on a note card like I did, just make sure to utilize the power of a trigger card. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

3. Create a vision board.

A vision board worked wonders in my life when I believed there was no bigger future in store for me. It gave me the chance to actually see my goals. This vision board can be a poster board, a piece of paper, the back of a cardboard box, or anything you have. You could even use a vision book. On the vision boards and inside the books, put pictures that illustrate what you desire in your life. For me, it was photos of college football players who played their optimal best. I wanted to be one of the best, too. On my vision boards I also posted quotes that embodied what I wanted and I read them every single day.

4. Feed your mind with happy, loving memories.

It’s important to constantly feed your mind with happy, loving memories. I’m not referring to reliving the past, but to recreating those moments that once made you smile. Recall times of happiness in your home, such as a birthday party, a get-together with friends, a special holiday or something encouraging a loved one expressed. Do whatever you have to do to keep the naysayers and negative people out of your life as much as possible. You need all the happiness and love you can surround yourself with if you want to constantly focus and work toward your dreams.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

How to Turn Negative Experiences Around and Thrive

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This column is an excerpt from Matt Mayberry’s book, Winning Plays, out now.

When we experience failure, tragedy, or hardship, I believe we all struggle with envisioning the absolute worst outcome. When I got injured in my very first game in the NFL, I was completely broken and defeated in that moment, but I made it even worse because I chose to feel sorry for myself and refused to take the initiative to improve anything.

In times of despair it’s imperative that we constantly remember to see ourselves beyond our current circumstances. Just like clouds in the sky can temporarily block the sun, the clouds in your life should only be passing through.

I struggled desperately to see my life beyond the football field. I wallowed in disappointment and self-pity over things I could not change at the time. It was my own doing. And it was eye-opening and life-changing when I finally realized this.

I’m sure you must feel this way at times. Do you feel that you struggle with the negative experiences in your life? Can you see yourself beyond them? Do you just want to give up and have part of you die like I did? Or wallow in self-pity? Do you feel ashamed? Angry?

The negative experience could be anything — small or big. Maybe you were fired from your job. Maybe you failed at achieving an important goal. Maybe you’re battling depression over losing a loved one. Maybe you were rejected by a company or a friend. Maybe something has happened in your personal life that’s been difficult for you to come to grips with. Whatever it is, take it from me: there is hope beyond your current state of mind. You just have to think beyond yourself.

If there is one thing that completely derails aspiring business owners, athletes or anyone for that matter, it is the inability to turn failure into a gift and thrive despite negative experiences. It takes a lot of work and practice, and I don’t think that it ever becomes an easy thing to do, but once you learn how to stop overanalyzing and beating yourself up over something that didn’t go as planned, the better off you will be. It’s important to put yourself in a position to grow from that negative experience instead of surrendering to it and remaining stagnant.

Here are two ways to help you come alive again after getting knocked down and turn negative experiences into positive ones.

1. Create your own opportunities.

Create your own opportunities instead of waiting for someone to hand them to you. If something happens where you feel broken, but you know there’s a dream out there waiting for you, then know this: you can create your own opportunities. It’s up to you. If you’re passionate about a goal or anything you want to do, create and design the opportunity in the best way you can.

For example, if you’re interested in a new career but aren’t sure what the culture looks like from a workplace environment, offer to work as a free intern so you can get some hands-on experience. The people who wait for the door of opportunity to swing wide open so they can waltz through will likely be waiting a lifetime. Sometimes you have to walk right up to that locked door and break it down.

2. Power through like a champion.

Champions experience rough times like everyone else. But you know what? They simply power through them. I hadn’t learned how to be a champion yet when I felt broken and desolate about losing my dream as a professional athlete. Since then I’ve learned that champions develop alternate winning plays that will put them on top. Absolutely nothing stops them.

They grow stronger through the challenges. If life is easy for you, then you’re not going to grow. It’s the difficulties that present the opportunities for growth. One of the biggest mistakes most people make when confronted with failure or a negative experience is they don’t look for the “positive” in the negative. There’s value in every experience no matter if it’s a positive or a negative one, and it’s up to you to analyze the situation and create an opportunity to turn that negativity into a gift.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

4 Things You Can Do to Stay Positive In Trying Times

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Everyone will agree that the current presidential campaign is turning out to be one of colossal angst, controversy and mudslinging. Friends, families and businesses are fighting with one another over which candidate is best.

The thing is, if we keep our minds on the controversies, disharmonies, and fighting, we stand a very good chance at losing hold in our businesses and in life. And we can’t let that happen.

What we can do is be of service to others. As Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Take a look at yourself. You can strive to make a difference in your customers’ lives, in your friends’ and families’ lives and in your own business and world. A good way to counteract all the disharmony that’s taking place in our country and the world right now is to focus on the service we provide to others. Whether it’s through our business or through our relationships, we can give more, listen more, and understand more. We can glean much understanding of others by giving of our time to those in need. It was Mother Teresa who said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

This may sound so cliché and simple, but it’s a truth. So, in this time of political angst, here are some things you can do to stay more balanced in your business and life.

1. Teach humanitarian service and love.

Volunteers of all ages build houses for the homeless. They traipse to other countries to build homes and provide aid to those in need. Not only that, but they collect shoes for the homeless, they pick vegetables and fruit on farmers’ fields for the homeless. They donate leftover food to the homeless from restaurants and social events. They ring kettle bells for those less fortunate. They read stories to children and play games and do arts and crafts with the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes. There are a million kind acts that people do for others. When you offer yourself to be of service to others in some small way, the love will come back to you a thousand-fold, and this will benefit your business and life.

2. Giving and mentoring: A gift that lasts a lifetime.

I know a friend who tutors and mentors at-risk youth to help prepare them for exams. His students come from all ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. He has told stories about how he helped gang members get out of their gangs and focus on their studies so they could earn good grades and attend college.

Other people I know serve as volunteer lifestyle coaches in halfway houses to help people who have been to drug and alcohol rehab. Those recovering people need ongoing help and support, and the volunteers serve as a guide to those in need. Many times these lifestyle coaches will save lives because of their gifts of service. This kind of “gift” and service is everlasting.

You can even give your time to your nieces and nephews. This is more valuable than any gift you could ever purchase for them.

Giving of yourself to others in any way will help you learn more about people and in turn, this will help you achieve more in your business.

3. Join a group like Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a wonderful organization that allows you to be of service to others by volunteering your time to guide and mentor a child so he or she can fulfill their life’s potential. It gives you the opportunity to help shape that child’s future by playing sports together, reading books together, or simply going out for pizza. Some children need a big brother or big sister because they have no one else.

4. Teach by example and be a role model.

One of the best ways to serve others is to teach by example and to be the best role model you can be. Again, this sounds so simple, but it’s not. The way you carry yourself, your actions, your conversations, your thoughts, your demeanor — all write the story of who you are. People respond to that. If you’re negative or angry all the time, that’s how people will perceive you. And there will be some who will copy you because they think if you can get away with it, so can they.

You can start slowly. Maybe even just block out one or two hours a week to give some time of service to an organization or someone. You can come up with your own creative way of volunteering. It can be at a church, a hospital, a school, a nursing home, a pet shelter or your local gym.

It’s very important to display your best at all times. Be your best. Teach your best. There’s always someone out there who needs guidance or mentoring. When you are kind to others and offer your service, it acts like a boomerang. The kindness will bounce back to you.

Stephen Covey said, “Seek to understand before being understood.” In these times of political turmoil, it’s important to stay balanced in your business and life more than ever before. We desperately need more understanding. Stop and look inward through meditation, silence, and prayer to better understand your own self.

To stay balanced and productive in your business and life, which includes a sense of empowerment and unity as a country and people, it starts with you and with love in the home and service outside.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

7 Secrets to a Killer Morning Routine

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Time is a precious commodity, particularly in those pre-work morning hours. How you spend those moments can either make or break the rest of your day.

Unfortunately, an average morning for many people involves hitting snooze until the very last minute, skipping breakfast, throwing on clothes, sitting in traffic and sidling into the office a few minutes late.What we don’t often realize is that rushed, uninspired behavior can contribute to a negative, unproductive attitude for the rest of the day.

It’s challenging to perform at a high level and make a significant contribution in the marketplace if the above perfectly describes how you generally start your day. Creating a powerful morning routine can very well be one of the most important things that you do to ensure success, happiness, and high energy throughout the workday.

Here are seven things that you must do in order to create a killer morning routine.

1. Stop telling yourself you aren’t a morning person.

Just because you’re not a morning person now doesn’t mean you can’t become one. You can change your mindset and make your killer morning routine a daily habit. Instead of telling yourself you aren’t a morning person, try saying this instead, “With proper lifestyle changes and some persistence, I can absolutely become a morning person and become more productive throughout the day.” Changing your mindset is the first step to creating a killer morning routine. Believe it and you can achieve it.

2. Wake up two hours early.

I’m not going to tell you that you need to wake up at 4 a.m. everyday, but I am going to propose that you get up at least two hours before you have to be anywhere. If you need to be at work at 8 a.m., get up at 6 a.m. This gives you enough time to feed your mind, body, and spirit before you head out the door. You have daily obligations and adequately preparing for them first thing will help set the tone and mood of the day. It’s nearly impossible to have a great killer morning routine and productive day if you are rushed and in a hurry.

3. Drink water as soon as you get up.

Drinking water first thing needs to be a staple when designing your own morning routine. We tend to be dehydrated when we wake up, so it’s critical that we reach for water before we reach for coffee. I start every morning with a glass of warm lemon water to jumpstart the detoxification process. Heat some water in your teapot, and then squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water. This helps me to feel more alert right away. After that, I drink four glasses of water. It’s a win-win because it rehydrates your body and kick-starts your metabolism.

4. Read something inspiring.

I make sure to read something positive and uplifting for a half hour every morning. If that seems like too much time, start with just 10 minutes. You can read from a book or a blog that you find inspiring, or listen to an audiobook or podcast while you’re commuting. While it’s important to read the news and know what’s going on in the world, it’s equally important to feed your mind with positive messages that fuel your thoughts and mindset for the day ahead.

5. Feed your soul with solitude.

Once your day is underway, you’ll be moving in a million different directions with a million different distractions. Finding time in the morning for solitude to meditate or journal, even if it is for just five minutes, has been a complete game-changer for me. You can start by simply taking five minutes each morning to say thank you for your life. Tuning in to this solitude will calm your mind and help focus your energies for the rest of the day.

6. Do some type of physical activity.

When you get up, get moving! If you aren’t a gym goer, walk around the block. Do a workout in front of your TV. Exercise increases endorphins and helps start your day in a positive way.

7. Eat a healthy breakfast.

Your mom was right: breakfast is important. I generally drink a green smoothie, but if I’m still hungry after that, I’ll have a few almonds or an omega-3 rich omelet.

After this killer morning routine, you’re ready to tackle just about anything.

Originally Posted on Fortune.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

4 Habits the Highly Successful Have Mastered

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Whether it’s a famous CEO, professional athlete, superstar entrepreneur or anyone who is thriving at the highest level of their profession, chances are they didn’t just wake up one day and be in that position that they are in. There is no doubt about it that there are some who are ridiculously gifted at what it is they do and were destined since day one to make it to the top, but even then when you dig a little deeper, you will come to the realization that their habits is what ultimately drove and determined their success.

There may not be anything more important to ensure future success than to adopt world-class habits and master them daily.

 

Here are four habits that the highly successful have mastered.

1. They use failure and adversity as a springboard to greater success.

No matter how big or small it may be, we have the choice whether or not failure and adversity is going to serve as a roadblock for lack of achievement or springboard to greater success.

The highly successful use their failures and adversities throughout the course of their life to help them grow and reach new heights of success. If you can adopt this often-challenging but greatly rewarding habit into your life, you are putting yourself in a fantastic position to win and become the best version of yourself.

2. They are obsessed about energy management.

We hear all the time about time management and how important it is, but I strongly believe that energy management is more important than time management. You can manage your time well, but that does absolutely no good if you direct all of your energy towards low-rewarding and tedious tasks. The highly successful are fanatics about time management, but they also are even more obsessed with where they direct their energy every minute of every day.

Something that I am always looking at is ROE (return on energy), and that’s how I eventually decide what gets my attention on a daily basis. Time management is important, and I think you should constantly look for ways to better manage your time, but don’t forget about the importance of energy management. Stop wasting valuable energy on low-rewarding tasks that don’t inch you closer to the achievement of a major goal of yours or living out your purpose.

3. They never stop learning.

The highly successful are lifelong learners. I have never met someone at the top of their game and doing magnificent things in the world who weren’t lifelong learners and always searching for ways to develop the skill set and expand their knowledge. A sad reality is that most people stop learning the second they finish their formal education. Don’t be like most people. Commit to becoming a lifelong learner, and join the ranks of a very small percentage of people that get to reap the tremendous benefits of doing so.

4. They have an incredible vision for their life.

Having a great vision and seeing yourself beyond your current circumstances is a habit, because it is something that you must do every single day. The older we get in life, the more we experience failure and adversity. One day you can be extremely happy and then the next day you can be completely miserable. Having an incredible vision for your life must be an everyday habit that you not only incorporate into your daily life, but also work to carry out that vision every minute of every day.

The highly successful visualize themselves succeeding and achieving their loftiest goals and dreams in life way before they actually do so. Having an incredible vision for your life is only half the battle, believing that you fully can make it come true and then working daily to bring that vision to life is what brings everything full circle. Start to create an incredible vision for your life if you haven’t done so already, and then develop your self-belief while working diligently to bring that vision to reality.

Becoming the best you and reaching your full potential all comes down to your daily habits. Incorporating the above four habits into your life can be a complete game changer for you.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

These Mindset Shifts Will Transform Your Life Forever

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As the saying goes, football is a game of inches. For all of you football fans, you know exactly what I mean by this. Some of the biggest and most painful losses throughout the course of my football career came directly from either being a second too late, a second too soon or an inch away from a favorable outcome of the game.

Just as football is a game of inches, so is winning in life and in business. If you want to start living life on a new level, then you will need to make some crucial mindset shifts. How we think largely determines our destiny.

The quality of our relationships, business success and happiness among so many other things boils down to our mindset. We are all talented at something, and while I think there are quite a few different variables as to why others are more successful than the next person, I strongly believe that mindset ultimately separates the best of the best from everyone else.

Here are three mindset shifts that will transform your life forever.

1. Grow through the tough times instead of just going through them.

One of the most important mindset shifts that could instantly open your life and business up to new possibilities is to grow through the tough and discouraging times of life instead of just going through them. There is nothing easy about this mindset shift, and it will take a lot of intentional effort on your part to fully execute this, but the results will end up changing your life.

I talk about this mindset shift a lot in my upcoming book, Winning Plays: A Top Athlete’s Advice For Tackling Adversity and Achieving Success, and how it completely changed my life forever. Some of the biggest failures and adversities in my life ended up becoming some of the biggest blessings and opportunities — all because I chose to intentionally grow through them instead of just casually go through them.

2. Fuel your faith, not your fear.

We all have faith and fear to some degree, however, where it becomes a major stumbling block for most is when you fuel your fears more than they fuel your faith. Fear is normal, and even the best of the best experience it from time to time, but what they do differently is they re-channel it. When they feel fear, they face it head on by acknowledging it, and then shift their mindset to instead fuel their faith.

What you give energy to will likely manifest. When I refer to fueling your faith, I am referring to seeing yourself beyond your current circumstances and flirting with all of the possibilities for what could go right instead of paying attention to what could go wrong.

 

This small and simple mindset shift will not only help you get to where you want to go, but it will ignite a fire deep inside of you and help you to push through all of the discomfort you will experience along your journey. There is absolutely nothing positive that could come out of fueling your fears rather than your faith.

3. Love the process more than the outcome.

I have never met an incredibly successful entrepreneur, athlete, business executive or any other high achiever who has reached a level of greatness in their life that didn’t love the process. So many people would rather focus on the desired outcome and destination instead of savoring the process that will get them to that destination.

The obstacles, the challenges, the sleepless nights. That pathway to success is what builds champions. You don’t just put together a football team and go out on Sunday’s and win a Super Bowl. You don’t just hire employees and expect to have a thriving organization right from the get go. You don’t just come up with an idea one day and fall into fame and fortune. In all three of these scenarios, a process is required.

The best of the best absolutely love the process and journey no matter how difficult it may be at times, because they know that’s where the real value is at. Of course, you are going to get inspired, motivated and excited about the destination or end result of something that you are deeply passionate about, but believe it or not, the value is minimal there.

The growth, strength, perseverance, skill set and courage that is instilled in the greatest men and women in the world all came from the savoring the process, not from the destination or end result. If you can learn to love the process, you will give yourself a competitive advantage in life and in business, that does a whole lot more than pay you monetarily.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

5 Ways to Get Out of a Rut and Enter a State of Flow

1414100476-navigating-rough-watersImage credit: Kris Williams | Flickr

More than likely, all of us at some point will feel like we are in some type of rut or struggle with getting back on our feet after getting knocked down so hard from sort of failure or hardship in life or in business.

Here are five ways to help you get out of a rut and enter a state of flow.

1. Solitude is king — find your special place.

What – who – do you want to become? You won’t know if you don’t pause and listen to yourself. We all have to do this more often. We have to listen to the silence. As Thomas Edison once said, “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst thinking has been done in turmoil.” We need regular time away from our everyday hectic lives and schedule specific time to just sit and think. Some of the greatest achievers to ever step a foot on this earth all spent time in solitude every day.

It can be very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. So often, we think that if we’re sitting in silence not doing anything, that we’re missing out on something important or not being productive. But that’s the farthest thing from the truth. When failure, disappointment or challenging times present themselves, as they will, what we need most is silence. One of the major reasons why so many get caught in a rut and can’t seem to move past failure is because all of their thinking and decision-making is being made in turmoil.

One of the hardest things to do when we are upset or mad is to go sit in silence, but this also has the potential to be one of the most rewarding things we can do. The great thinkers of this world all have a special place where they can go sit in complete silence and just think.

2. Take baby steps to get to where you want to go — but move!

It’s quite difficult to get into a state of flow and get your feet back on the ground, raring and ready to go after failure hits if you don’t take immediate action. Do not wallow in self pity and misery. Change your attitude to one of positive — and move! Maybe it’s only a baby step, but it’s a step. After failing or experiencing a rut that has you stuck, you might question everything in your life — your relationships, your career. A surefire way to stay exactly where you are is to do nothing, which is what a great majority of the population does.

The risk takers, the dreamers, the men and women who go on to create everlasting masterpieces get moving even while some of the most difficult times in their lives are right in front of them. There is a magical magnetic power that follows the person who is willing to take massive action even when times are not the best.

3. Exercise is king.

Especially after being in a major rut or failing tremendously, everyone needs an emotional lift. A way to blow off steam and frustration. Exercise offers many benefits. Many people experience being in the flow when they exercise. If you’re not accustomed to a daily exercise routine, I encourage you to start one now. A workout at the gym or even a brisk 30-minute walk can help.

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals including endorphins that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. Write a ‘count your blessings’ list.

When you count your blessings regularly — and I recommend that you do this daily — you will feel significantly better and happier after each time. When you measure how much gratitude you feel in your life, you’re going to shift your mind and body much faster into a state of happiness and success. The more gratitude you feel, the faster your life will begin to change.

As you continue to count your blessings and to be grateful, you will begin to notice a bigger difference in the way you feel and your blessings, and gifts will multiply. What’s easy to do when we are in a rut or going through a painful time in life is to analyze and look at what’s going wrong. Shifting your focus on all of the good in your life instead can without a doubt redirect your direction.

Here are some sample ideas to get you started:

A: I am grateful and blessed for all of the tough times in my life, because they are teaching me to be strong, persistent and more motivated than ever to go after my true calling in life. If I never try, I’ll never know if I can achieve something, so I’m grateful that I can keep on trying.

B: I am grateful to have my health, energy, mobility, intelligence and the ability to earn a good living.

C: I am grateful and blessed to have a wonderful loving family and friends.

D: I am grateful and blessed to have a warm, comfortable home.

5. Discover the incredible benefits of meditation.

In my own personal experience, especially when the going gets tough, or I seem to be in a rut that I just can’t get out of, meditation has been one of the best ways to discover how to shift my body and mind to happiness and success. Numerous specialists and spiritualists provide online podcasts and classes on meditation and contemplation exercises. You can also find these in your community if you search online.

For example, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra announced the launch of an all-new meditation experience called “Finding Your Flow.” They also offer “Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience,” co-produced by Harpo Studios and The Chopra Center. Other programs include “Creating Abundance,” “Perfect Health,” “Miraculous Relationships,” and “Desire and Destiny.” All of their workshops are designed to help you achieve flow. Go to www.Oprah.com/meditateand sign up for a free 21-day meditation experience.

These ideas have helped my life enormously, and I hope they will serve as a powerful and energizing inner guide for transforming your life when the down times of life get the best of you or a rut that you are in begins to seem never ending.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

High-Performance in Any Profession Is Rooted in Physiology

20151218171955-athlete-jumping-polvolt-winner-jumpImage credit: shutterstock

For decades, scientists believed that once we reached adulthood, our brain was incapable of any change beyond than the negative alterations associated with disease and aging. We now know that the brain is incredibly dynamic, with a potentially unlimited ability to change throughout our entire lifespan. At any age, new neural pathways can be created and refined, and our gray matter can actually be thickened.

The brain’s plasticity is an infinitely precious quality that we can harness to move from habitual negative-feeling states, including depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — to an expanded experience of emotional well-being and happiness in our daily lives.

When you realize that what’s really driving our behavior is our thinking, then the next realization is that our thoughts are largely determined by our feelings — and these are driven by our emotions. Our physiology is made up of our feelings and thoughts. It’s really simple when you think about it.

This is one reason that many athletes, students, entrepreneurs and businesspeople lose time and time again and experience numerous failures that completely wipe them out — and why many give up after only one or two big failures. They let their feelings and emotions control their thoughts, and their thoughts control their actions. If they don’t learn how to change their emotions and feelings and turn their failures into success, then they will repeat them over and over again.

Sometimes, people will settle for second best or for mediocre lives because of their physiology. Their emotions. Their thoughts. They lose their drive and inspiration, and when they start feeling this way, this is going to affect their thoughts. Their thoughts may then lead to poor decisions or lack of decisions, which could ultimately cost them numerous breakthroughs, opportunities and financial rewards.

On the football field, when a player does not function at his best, part of that is because he doesn’t understand and integrate the complex internal and external systems and processes that need to be working harmoniously together to consistently perform better — i.e., being in the flow. And we’re not talking about physical injuries that limit a person from achieving his best — we’re talking about the emotional and mental processes.

When a player and his team lose a game, it’s important for the coaches and team members to take all of the bad plays, rethink the processes and create plans on how they can turn them into positives. This same physiological process can be applied to every walk of life, no matter if you’re a businessperson, a student, an athlete or a stay-at-home parent.

Being an athlete and having studied high performance for a great majority of my life, I am intrigued with the physiology and biology of my physical makeup, which has spurred a lot my research. I was fascinated with the thought that we as human beings are these giant computer systems operating on physiological data.

Physiology is just data or information streams like the data that is processed in a computer program. Your body is like a computer, and your information streams comprise your physiology. According to the online encyclopedia, a bit stream is a contiguous sequence of bits, representing a stream of data, transmitted continuously over a communications path, serially (one at a time). These vast streams of data are continually being sent and received from one physiological body system to another in the form of electrical signals, electromagnetic signals, chemical signals, pressure and sound and heat waves.

Everything is energy. Just like a computer, the human body is the ultimate performance machine, which is why it’s so important to take care of this body with good thoughts, good programming and good nutritious food and exercise. It doesn’t require different apps or an instruction booklet. It runs its physiological program whether we are aware of it or not.

At first, I didn’t fully understand the impact of physiological information flowing around our body 24/7. Very few people do. We all go about life existing — almost like robots — and some of us are more zombie-like than others. But the fact is, we exist almost on autopilot. We breathe, we eat, we think, we feel, we act, we love, we get angry, we get happy, we sleep, we dream. We experience highs and lows, successes, setbacks, heartbreaks and failures. Sometimes, we get up, dust ourselves off, and continue onward, doing the best we can and oftentimes, screwing up more than we succeed over and over again.

We seldom break down any one failure — or success, even — and try to figure out the components of the situation, let alone think about the data flow of information that comprises our systems and helps or deters us from the best performance possible. But if you’re anything like the high performers in the world, then you want to be the best. You’re not going to settle for seconds or thirds.

And once you reach the top, you’ll climb to the next plateau, higher and higher, over and over again. That’s the core makeup of high-performance individuals, and it’s all rooted in our physiology.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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