- self growth
“From the beginning, I wanted to be the best. I had a constant craving , a yearning, to improve and be the best.” – Kobe Bryant
The death of Kobe was a great shock, not only to the basketball world but everywhere. Kobe and his mamba mentality changed how people do life world over. Whether you loved or hated him you were a fan of Kobe. What he represented was phenomenal as an athlete, husband, father and entrepreneur. As high achievers go, Kobe was high up there with the greats without a doubt and in honour of this man I shall try decode the mamba mentality.
Kobe defined the mamba mentality as “a constant quest to find answers. It’s that infinite curiosity to want to be better, to figure things out”. It is a mindset where you do not worry about what people will say and think about what you do. You will go out there and lay it all down for the purpose of being better. Seems easy to say but there is a lot that goes into such a mindset, you have to think and act differently. Below are some things I learned from Kobe and I believe form part of the mamba mentality.
Time is important
Time is really the only asset you have. Time is what creates everything. Time is what makes you money. Time is what allows you to eat, sleep, read, learn. Time is the most precious resource.
When deciding where to invest your time, be extremely greedy. You have to be. Give time to the things that really matter in your life, your craft, your family and yourself. Anything else, weigh the investment versus the return and go from there. It might not be “normal” but it’s required to reach the levels of success you want for yourself. Kobe was the first one in at practice and the last one out, he understood what giving time to his career meant. If you are going to be successful at anything in life, invest time.
Set Goals and execute them
When you set a goal, put a date to it. Specifically tell yourself when you’re going to have it done by. If you don’t have it done by then, evaluate the reason for not doing it. If you don’t have a good reason, set another date and push yourself harder to reach it. Do the same thing even if you have a good reason in the first place. The difference between those who “achieve” and those who don’t is the follow through. It’s the ability to set a goal and walk through the finish line. When we set goals without an actual plan to execute them they usually die as dreams. This in turn cause frustration because the end result is never achieved. Set goals, plan for them and execute.
Every decision is crucial
Every decision you make has an effect. What time you go to bed, how much time you spend reading or writing, how much time you spend with my friends, etc. Everything you do, every choice you make, ask yourself whether or not it is moving you closer towards your goal. Will this burger make you feel sick and will you waste an hour feeling groggy later? Yes? Ok, then don’t eat it. Is staying out late tonight going to keep you from waking up early to exercise? Ok, then don’t go out. Every single decision has to, in some way, be contributing to your growth. Are you perfect? Are you 100% consistent? No. But I’d say you’d be somewhere around 80-90%. And that percentage over a long period of time is insanely, profoundly, immeasurably valuable. Be mindful of the day to day decisions you make and see how they affect your plan overall.
Learn something from everyone
Kobe was obsessed with getting better he learned from everyone, even people outside the basketball universe. He studied the likes of Tom Brady and Novak Djokovic and was inspired so much by writer Paulo Coelho. The reason is simple, you do not know everything. Every single person you meet, try to learn something from them. Whether it’s a CEO of a major company or a random person next to you on the bus, I believe we all cross paths for a reason and there is a lesson everywhere you turn. By seeing life this way you are always open to the process. Every moment is an opportunity to grow. And the more moments you string together, the faster you learn, the more you grow, and better you become at everything you do. Strive to be a well rounded individual, you never know where your next inspiration will come from so stay ready.
Invest in skill, not in reward
Kobe was all about improvement. He could dribble, pass, he could dunk and he could defend. This didn’t come easy, he had to work on these skills at different levels of career so as to give us the whole package. We saw the end result, but never saw the large doses of sacrifice that went into learning and mastering these skills. I say this to point out the fact that he was not a prodigy, he was not a genius, he was NOT ANY MORE GIFTED THAN YOU. The only difference is that instead of spending Friday nights going to clubs and getting drunk, Saturday nights hanging out at bars, Sundays at brunch sipping mimosas, instead of being super social and mr. on-the-town, Kobe worked. He worked really hard. And it got to a point where it was no longer work, it was fun.
Rather learn a new skill than waste time. I’d rather socialise with people who I can learn from rather than having the same repetitive conversations with inebriated acquaintances. And it’s sad how this mentality is seen as “above” other people but that’s just part of the gig. People don’t like it when you get good at things. People want you to be lazy and average like them, level up! You only have one life to live.
Find your tribe
There are people out there who live life the way you want to live yours. There are people who want to learn more than they want to get rich. There are people who want to build something of their own more than they want to climb their way up the corporate ladder. There are people out there like you, you just have to find them. And once you do find them, become friends and help each other. Plan meet ups and exchange ideas, set new goals, and hold each other accountable. These sort of groups of peers are beyond valuable. They will help you remember what you’re working toward.
Kobe had Shaq with him, Jordan had Rodman, Steph has Draymond and Klay. Find your squad and make the journey worth it.
I cannot stress this one enough. Whatever it is you are looking for there is a book about it out there. Not only does reading expand your capacity to think but it is also relaxing. On average, high performing people read a book a week because reading has been scientifically proven to allow one to learn fast. So alternate between self development, How-To books, timeless fiction literature, books on spirituality and meditation, books on creative process, nonfiction memoirs, and books on marketing and advertising.
Expand your horizons by burying yourself in a book today. Kobe used to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo every year, find your power book here and start going.
Find a mentor
A mentor is someone who has excelled in the field you want to venture into or in life in general. The key to choosing a mentor is to find someone you can be vulnerable to. They need to be someone you can give everything. Throw everything you think you know out the window and allow yourself to be completely open to what they have to teach. Always work harder than they expect you to work. Ask a million questions and spend as much time around them as possible because this relationship is rare and valuable.
And also, it is OK to have more than one mentor in life because no one is master of all. I have had mentors teach me how to carry myself, how to dress, how to handle clients, how to pitch clients, how to explain my creative ideas, how to stand up for what I believe in, and how to be willing to pursue ideas that other people would call “impossible.” I have had mentors for almost every critical phase of my life and I cannot stress the importance of having these people around you who just want to see you win.
Love what you create
Kobe wasn’t in it for the money or the fame, those were a bonus. He was there because he loved basketball. In his own words from his book Mamba Mentality he says “…the tap, tap, tap of when a ball bounces on the hardwood. The crispness and clarity. The predictability. The sound of life and light. Those are some of the elements I loved about the ball, about the game. They were at the core and root of my process and craft…”
This kind of passion might be the most important differentiating factor in being a high achiever: Love it and love it a lot. I care about what I create, about the difference I make. I care about helping people, I care about helping others learn and grow. I love it so much, and as a result, I take things personally. I care if someone doesn’t like what I make. It doesn’t deter me from what I want to do, but I do care. And because I love it, I put my everything into what I do.
People that don’t love what they do, go nowhere. And do you know why most people don’t care? Because it’s hard. It leaves you vulnerable. It is a chink in the armour where people can point and aim and say, “Hah, you care.” Especially as a man, we’re told not to show emotion. And a lot of people don’t care about their craft out of fear that what they DO care about will make them look naive. What if other people don’t care about what you care about? How weird will you look then?
Listen, if you want to achieve, if you want to become successful—use whatever words you want—if you want to reach something that is slightly out of your grasp, you have to fall in love with it. You have to be obsessed with it and grow a huge appetite for it . You have to allow yourself to feel all those emotions: excitement, fear, ambition, vulnerability. And you have to use what you feel to propel you to create, create, create. Kobe would lose a game and cry on the floor, he would have put up the most points but the fact that the team lost would make him cry. That kind of passion is what the mamba mentality is about. Get in there and give it all you got.
There’s no better way to honour the black mamba and his mamba mentality than to level up and put in everything you got in achieving your dreams. The legacy continues, mamba maybe out but lets all go MAMBA IN!
“It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”
― John Guare
With 2020 fast approaching many are already future thinking. There are goals to be smashed, habits to be dropped and milestones to be reached. With this piece I am more interested in talking about how you can leverage your average skill in 2020 and become great at what you do even if you are not the best. Dr Eric Thomas wrote a book called Average Skill, Phenomenal Will, which I recommended in 5 books I wish everyone could read. The book simply talks about how phenomenal will will trump excellent skill on any day if that skill isn’t combined with dedication, hard-work and patience.
Normally, people think that success comes from developing talent in one skill. This works well in some fields. In medicine, the natural progression is to pick a speciality. Sports, you train to become best in your field, like Tiger Woods (golf) and Michael Jordan (basketball). In acting, you develop the best acting chops, like Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman.
But besides becoming world-class in one skill, talent can come from having a unique stack of skills that no one else has. You can utilise different skills to create value in a way no one else can, thus becoming one-of-a-kind in your own league. Scott Adams created Dilbert, a famous comic strip that appears in 65 countries. Scott is said to have a net worth of $75 million, majority of which comes from Dilbert, and he coined a phrase that he called talent stack. It’s the idea that you can combine normal skills until you have the right kind to be extraordinary. An example is Scott himself. He’s not the best artist — there are better artists than him. He’s not much of a business expert — there are more savvy experts. He has never taken a college-level writing class, yet he has a comic strip that is doing so well.
He says, “When you add in my ordinary business skills, my strong work ethic, my risk tolerance, and my reasonably good sense of humour, I’m fairly unique. And in this case that uniqueness has commercial value.” As you can see, he attributes his success to his character not his skill.
When I wrote my book and started my blog, I was not much of a writer — I have never taken a professional writing class. I am average at web design skills. My marketing and business strategy skills are also average. I however have very strong analytical skills and content creation skills plus a strong passion for growth.
Put these together and I was able to create a business that thrives despite stiff competition. And the driving factor is not the content I deliver but the fact that it is me that is delivering the content. Many people future thinking now are stuck because they feel they lack in one or more areas hence their venture will not succeed. What i will tell you though is that you are enough. You may not be complete but you are enough. The skills that you lack can be learned or hired, but your character cannot be. In your future thinking include this phrase: I AM ENOUGH.In 2020 you are your only limitation, please do not self sabotage. Click To Tweet
To help you with your future thinking here’s how talent stack works:
- You leverage on the skills that you have, to create an edge. Marketing, networking, technical, design, etc.
- Even if you don’t have a skill, you can learn it to set yourself apart from others.
- You mix seemingly normal skills together and become extraordinary in your own right.
Let’s say you are a software engineer. You are average in your field but you design and develop software with ease. However, you are stuck in a job that pays you almost the same amount every year.
Many software engineers are technically competent but lack the waviness to market themselves. They are simply not taught how to market themselves in engineering and computing classes. A possible talent stack here can be:
- Technical. You already have this skill if you’re a software developer.
- Networking. You form positive relationships with people across the organisation. This gives you high visibility among the management. You form relationships with recruiters, headhunters, and peers in different industries to expand your job options. You know how to use tools like LinkedIn to connect with industry peers and get potential job offers.
- Presentation. You can present yourself well, and your ideas eloquently.
- Marketing. You know how to market yourself and sell your strengths. Your resume is filled with achievements but not responsibilities. You know how to present your skills and job history in the best way.
You don’t need to be the best in networking/presentation/marketing. Just knowing some networking, presentation, and marketing skills puts you at a sweet spot, ahead of others. Because everyone else (in your field) lacks these skills. Read more about the Sweet Spot here.
The goal of a talent stack is to stack different skills to create a sweet spot. A sweet point that dramatically raises your value in a competitive field. This applies whether you are a blogger, salaried employee, business owner, baker, software developer, coach, or something else.
My questions to you are:
- What industry are you in? Blogging? Health and fitness? IT? Coaching? Online business? YouTube? Others?
- In your industry, what skills do people compete on?
- Given that everyone has these skills in #2, what new skills can you learn to triple-double your market value?
If you have absolutely no idea what to learn, some true-north skills that are great for stacking are:
- Public speaking
- Coding (it’s no longer for tech geeks alone)
- Social media marketing
- Business management
- Design (graphic or otherwise)
- Whatever you are passionate about
Again, you don’t need to be the best in every skill. Simply learning a new skill opens up so many options and avenues. For some, learning and combining different skills may be the answer to discover your passion and talent — rather than something that you discover by sitting around and waiting for life to happen. In 2020 you are your only limitation, please do not self sabotage. Share with us you your future thinking in the comments section.
Happy holidays and merry Christmas
“Women may fall when there’s no strength in men.” – William Shakespeare
We are a few days away from closing 2019. Not just a year but a whole decade. Now when the year started we all set goals that we wanted to pursue. The reality is not all of us have managed to do so and this creates an internal conflict. Many people have been asking me if I have any thoughts on reshuffling, re-prioritising, or finding new purpose in life, as they are not really sure if what they thought they wanted before is worth it anymore.
Life happens to everyone, but to some its brutal. Some lost babies, some got divorced, others lost their business, some got disabled. To some degree, we have all suffered loss in 2019 and I am no exception. Below I share a few lessons I have learned about navigating through these losses.
1) Give yourself space to grief, to heal
Firstly I’m not going to tell you that what doesn’t break you will make you stronger.
Instead I’m going to tell you to grieve and take some time out for yourself first. Our society today is very much about doing. Do, do, do. Move on. Get over things. Get over yourself. Go beast mode.
Yet we are humans, not machines. When we fall we need time to heal and climb back up. When we have an emotional tumble the wounds may not be visible, but they cut so much deeper than physical wounds. Trying to “move on” when we are still hurting and feeling lost not only hurts us, but may cut us deeper and leave us more broken. Worst case scenario our wounds will begin to hurt the people around us as well.
Take some time out for yourself. To heal. To recover. To find yourself. Give yourself the space to grieve, cry, and mourn over your loss.
I recommend to journal your darkest feelings. Pour your heart out on paper. Talk to your loved ones and share your pain. Spend some time alone, by yourself. If you are working, take a few days of no-pay leave (if you don’t have paid leave left) to rest and get a timeout. Work can continue for a while without you. But you, you need time to rest, recuperate, and heal, before stepping forward.
2) Think about the things that matter
Maybe you feel lost because you have been working so hard on something that amounted to nothing. Maybe you just lost your job. Maybe your marriage ended in shambles. Maybe your business is not doing well. Maybe you just lost a loved one. Or maybe you just lost your baby, a pain that no one should ever have to go through in their lifetime.
In these darkest of times, think about the things and people that matter. Your parents perhaps. Your sibling(s) if you have any. Your partner. Your passion. Your beliefs. The people you care about, whom you’ve touched. Your children, if you have any.
And then there’s someone you may have forgotten. Your higher self. He (She) has always been there with you, quietly watching you, comforting you. He (She) has been with you through everything and wrapped his (her) hands around you and tightly hugged you in times of pain, even when you thought you were alone.
When all hope seems lost, remember that you are not alone. If you find it very hard to think about someone or something you care about, close your eyes and ask yourself, “What matters to me? What matters to me in this world?” Write down all your answers in your notebook, and write until you cry and until you can cry no more. As you lie in a state of darkness and grief, think about the things that give you light.
3) Reflect on your future
When you’re ready, and only when you’re ready, think about your life ahead.
As you stand and see your life before you, what do you wish to do moving forward? What do you want to achieve in 2020 and beyond?
For example, 5 years from now, what do you wish to see in your life?
- Do you want to start a family, if you don’t have one yet?
- Do you want to work on a new career?
- Do you want to run your business or start a new one if your previous business failed?
- If you’re single, do you want to be married or be in a relationship?
- Where do you see yourself living? Do you want to be living in the same country or elsewhere?
- What do you want to be doing?
It doesn’t have to be one answer but a few answers for the one question.
Doing this envisioning exercise is about getting clarity of what you want. Defining a direction that you care about. This direction can be the exact same one you were working on before. It can be a similar direction to what you were doing before but altered based on your new priorities in life. It can be a totally different one. Take this as a good timeout to think about what you want vs. just going through the motions.
For example, someone told me that she felt lost because she had been working so hard on her career/business all this while and made sacrifices, yet the people there for her during her darkest hour were her family and husband. While she is working on her business today, all she can think about is her baby and family. All these things that I was chasing, that I thought that I wanted, what for? she couldn’t help but wonder.
I told her to think about what she wants to see down the road. “What do you want to see in your future, 5 years from now?” This future can involve being a full-time mom. It can involve running a successful business. It can involve having a family and running a business of meaning to you. Alternatively, it can involve returning to employment while starting a family. There are no right or wrong answers, only what inspires you and what you want to do.
The most important thing is to know that there is no right or wrong answer, only what matters to you. There is pride and joy in being a full-time mom and caring for the household. There is great fulfillment in being a single business owner. You can also be a multi-tasking parent and entrepreneur, managing family and business. Or you can be married with no kids by your choice, dedicating yourself to your goals, career, partner, and family members.
Your vision can also change along the way, and it is okay. This person said to me, “I don’t want to set [a vision] that I realise I don’t really want, or that if I set a mediocre one I would feel restless after a while.” Know that our visions are meant to be dynamic reflections of what we want at this current moment. We will change, and our goals will change, and it is okay. What’s more important is that we have a vision that inspires us enough to take us forward, and we continuously update that to reflect what inspires us now.
Likewise if you are a guy, you can be a full-time dad if this is what works for you. You can be a full-fledged entrepreneur building your business. You can be a family man having a stable job and raising your family. You can be a nomad traveling across countries and speaking at different places where you go. This is no one fixed path, but the path that holds the most meaning to you. None of the path is better or more superior than the other, just different.
If you haven’t, do what I call a life purpose exercise where you write your life purpose for 30 full minutes until you cry. It will give clarity of your overall life direction and where/how you should steer your life as you step ahead.
4) Start to pick up the pieces
When you return to life after a hard fall, it may feel disjointing. You may do X but think about Y. You may feel like you are at a loss. You may feel distanced, like you are far away from the things you are doing even though you are trying to move full steam ahead.
Start with the things you enjoy and that give you meaning. What did you enjoy doing before? Start with these.
- Maybe you enjoyed writing. Start writing a few articles. Pen down your deepest feelings. Write not for others, but for yourself.
- Maybe you liked going for walks with your partner. Add this to your routine.
- Maybe you liked watching movies. Pick a few new releases and watch them.
- Maybe you liked to travel. Plan your next vacation. Or go for a quick weekend getaway. If your finances allow and you have no immediate obligations, go on a trip for a few weeks. Clear your mind and realign your priorities.
- Maybe you enjoyed volunteering, which you find purposeful as you help out individuals in need. Go for some volunteer work that you care about.
- Maybe you liked to work as working keeps your mind moving and your work allows you to do very meaningful stuff. Take on projects that inspires you the most, that get to create the most impact.
The goal is to reintroduce the things you liked about your life back into your routine, at your own pace. Also, focus on doing things that interest you vs. doing things out of obligation. Let yourself be guided by what you want, what you love, not what you feel you have to do. The former is to be driven by love while the latter is driven by fear.
5) Start rebuilding your life
Once you are ready, it’s time to rebuild your life.
Ready meaning you are ready to reintegrate with the world. To give life your all again. To be your true authentic self.
Remember the vision you have painted in step #3? How can you get started with that?
Perhaps you lost your child and you are grieving over their passing. You still hope to have a child one day, to start a family.
When you are ready, try for another child with your partner. I know someone who lost her baby but subsequently conceived again and gave birth. Their newborn fills them with joy each day. Yet she could never have entered the world if they (the parents) didn’t decide to try again, for another baby. She doesn’t replace her lost sibling in any way, but she brings joy and love to her family all the same.
Maybe you just ended a marriage. You are still hurting but you have decided that it’s time to move on.
There’s no need to jump right back into the dating scene if you’re not ready. In fact, use this time to focus on yourself. To work on the goals you couldn’t when you were married. To date yourself and fall in love with life again as a single.
Maybe you just went through a crushing business failure or your business is tanking. You feel ashamed and you’re not sure what to do next about your business.
Remember that businesses fail all the time though. Colonel Sanders was rejected 1,009 times when he tried to sell his now famous KFC recipe. Richard Branson, business magnate and billionaire, has failed in many businesses, from Virgin Cola to Virgin Brides to Virgin Cars. Steve Jobs got fired from the very company he founded, and very publicly so (he would be famously rehired later on).
That your business has failed or yet to take off is hardly the exception but the norm, especially in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace. In fact every entrepreneur almost certainly fails a few times at least before succeeding. As Richard Branson says, “Every person, and especially every entrepreneur, should embrace failure with open arms. It is only through failure that we learn.” The focus here isn’t “How can I not fail?” but “How can I fail quickly, learn from my failures ASAP, and use these lessons to achieve my next success?” Read: Failure Is Not Defeat
If income is a concern, get a job or do some part-time work first. Budget and save up while you work on your business on the side. Quit when you gain enough traction to make a living from your business.
Maybe you just got retrenched. Your previous company is the only thing you’ve ever known your entire working life.
Take this as a fresh new start. Your previous company is not you. What are some goals you’ve always wanted to pursue? Hobbies? Take this chance to explore them. Is there a different industry you’d like to dip your toes in? Create a plan that safeguards your financial risks while paving your new path. Reach out to your friends, industry contacts, and headhunter agencies to understand the industry status and job openings. Attend recruitment events. Use sites like Glassdoor, Vault, and Linkedin to research and understand the inside scene of the industry better.
While I can’t say that things will get easy because they may not, here’s one thing I do know: We are alive right now. You and me, we are alive. Because of that, it means the possibility to create what we want. To be with our loved ones. To touch them, cherish them. To pursue what we love. To impact others. To make a difference in the things we care about. To show appreciation to the people we love, while we still can. To create life, for some of us.
I hope you’ll be able to find the strength to carry on soon. I hope you’ll be able to break through this darkness to find light. When you do, you’ll find that the whole world has been waiting for you to re-join it all along. That everyone around you, including the people you care about and love, has been waiting for you to join them. That no matter what you think, you are never alone. That even in times of darkness, you can see a light. A light that is inside you, that is burning brightly within you. Lets Go!
There was once a billionaire who had all the money in the world but not much else.
Sure he possessed regal mansions, royal yachts and jewels of every sort.
But each morning, when he awoke, his heart longed for a wealth that felt more true.
As a child, he sensed he had gifts within him that could produce artistry, talents inside him that would reveal mastery and potential that just might astound humanity.
As a young man, he knew the secret to a special life was less about things–and more about experiences. Less about getting and more about growing. Less about taking and more about giving.
…discovering beauty in unexpected places, doing work that enriched his spirit, being kind to strangers on everyday streets and passing through each day with simple grace. And quiet strength.
But as he grew older, and as he accumulated his vast fortune, those ideals became less important.
He stopped thinking about his special life. And started living fully in society.
One day, the billionaire met a beggar on a road.
The beggar’s clothing was tattered. The old man’s hair was in knots. A tin can sat before him. With only a few coins in it.
Yet, for all his seeming poverty, the beggar had an exquisite richness about him. The kind cash can never buy.
“You’ve lost your way, haven’t you,” spoke the beggar. “I sense you have everything yet you feel very little. You own so much in the world but remember so little of your true–and best–self.”
“Yes,” admitted the billionaire. “Yes, you’re right.”
“Who are you when no one is watching you?” Questioned the beggar.
“What are the deepest longings of your heart and the most daring dreams of your soul?”
“Are you intimate with your greatness? And in relationship with your highness?”
“This is the wealth that the wise amongst us know of.”
The billionaire stared at the beggar.
“How do you know me so well?” he wondered aloud.
“I know you because I was once you. And my misfortune can serve as your lesson.”
“It’s never too late to remember who you truly are, you know,” offered the beggar as he scratched his ancient beard.
“And this new day offers you a second chance at beginning your finest life. It’s never too late to be who you wish to be. And lead the life I trust your heart aches to live.”
The billionaire closed his eyes for a moment.
The billionaire felt tears in his eyes. Over the years he’d betrayed himself. And the regrets that had consumed him. He vowed to change.
Not just for he and those he loved most. But for the world. That demanded more of his genuine nature. And brightest light.
The billionaire promised himself–that from then on–he’d only release work that was poetic. That he’d develop the people at his businesses. That he’d serve more humans in the marketplace and within communities. That he’d take more risks and count more blessings.
And that he’d model possibility while dedicating himself to philanthropy. For the benefit of humanity.
He also told himself he’d be more vulnerable, fill the holes within him he’d been trying to mask with materialism, become a better man and show up as a dramatically kinder person.
As he opened his eyes, he saw that the beggar was gone.
And where he had sat was a torn piece of paper that simply read:
“Every life matters. Every one of us can be great. Each day is a gift. Today’s a perfect time to start. I believe in you. You have what this journey takes. And I love you.”
2020 is a precious platform you’ve been blessed with.
–To unchain your potential.
–To elevate the caliber of your work.
–To serve your customers vividly.
–To multiply your health beautifully.
–To get lofty ambitions done.
–To install the skills of the titans.
–To forgive those yet unforgiven.
–To exemplify strength, honor and decency.
–To start living with true beauty.
This–above all else–is my vast wish for you…
…I’m here to help you. To inspire you. To serve as an instructor for your genius and a champion of your bigness.
We CAN do this together. Just because last year may not have been amazing doesn’t mean that this year can’t be iconic.
But PLEASE do something to get the process started. Make a decision, read a book, take a leap, start a course.
It doesn’t have to be one of mine. Just do something now. And then again tomorrow. And the day after. And when it’s easy. And definitely when it’s hard.
If you’d like me to help you make 2020 the single best year of your life yet, I’d LOVE to work with you.
For 20+ years I’ve been showing people exactly what to do to transform personally and fly professionally so they get serious and gorgeous RESULTS…
Just read what’s below and if you’re ready to make this New Year epic, don’t make any excuses and just do it…
I am totally dedicated to helping you make the changes and see the results in 2020 that you’ve never seemed to be able to get in your life.
There are just too many people who could be doing epic things with their lives but aren’t, because no one has ever taught them the insights, habits, practices and ways of being of the best.
I’ll be direct [with respect] because I care about you, your potential to win and the responsibility we all have to show our gifts to the world…
…if you don’t make some changes now, nothing will change for you this new year.
Every great performer has one thing in common: they have a coach. [Because you just can’t raise your game + your impact significantly alone].
So I’m with you. I really do have your back. I fully want you to fly this year…
This post was originally posted here by Robin Sharma
“Make measurable progress in reasonable time.” – Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn is one of my all-time favourite mentors. His “Challenge to Succeed” from the early nineties continues to be a game changer for me. Jim drops wisdom bomb after wisdom bomb after wisdom bomb. Just one of those is “Make measurable progress in reasonable time.” I take that to mean we must take the right amount of time to get the right things done, and no more. Rohn goes on to say “When is the right time to measure?” the conclusion?
- At the end of the day.
- At the end of the week.
- At the end of the month.
I would add,
- At the end of the quarter.
- At the end of the year.
Life requires being intentional and being intentional requires discipline. The discipline to stop and look back to learn the lessons and then look forward with purpose and anticipation. A ninety-day cycle is an excellent time to think through what worked, what didn’t and how you want it to be different for the next quarter.
Here’s how can you do this with focus, efficiency and the right outcome.
The Nine Questions – To help you nail the next year
In my research I have navigated the reflection and planning based on the following three frames.
- Where am I strong?
- Where am I stuck?
- Where can I stretch?
This helped me in three ways. Firstly I was able to affirm what I did well and be celebrated. Secondly, I was able to acknowledge any area I haven’t made progress in and what might be underlying that. Lastly, I was able to consider what a preferred short term future looks like and see and feel the conviction and energy of that.
- When you know where you are strong and where you are stuck, you can understand your context and identify your challenge.
- When you know where you are strong and where you can stretch, you can pursue capability and deepen conviction.
- When you know where you are stuck and where you can stretch, you can clarify your perspective and double down your persistence.
To make the most of the next ninety days ask you self these nine questions:
Strong – Leveraging your superpower
- What worked well and why?
- Where are your energy and passion easily engaged right now?
- How can you give more of you at your best in the next ninety days?
Stuck – Naming your nemesis
- What have you procrastinated over and why?
- Are you knowing any self-sabotaging tendencies and where are they coming from?
- What’s the one question you don’t want to be asked right now?
Stretch – Challenging your context
- What 3-5 actions when done will give you the highest payoff in 90 days time?
- Who do you have in your network who can bring you high support and high challenge?
- What can you write down, what only you know, that would wildly surpass anything done before?
Getting to done:
First pass is like drinking an espresso, look over it and jot down the things that come to the top of your mind. Secondly, treat it like a main meal, take your time, reflect, write, make sense of the thoughts and be truthful about what to acknowledge and what, to be honest about. The last pass is more like cheese and dessert wine put the finishing touches on your next ninety days and put the most important things in your diary, week by week. Treat all these things like an appointment that you must keep and enjoy both the sense of accomplishment from that and the cumulative results of your efforts.
Make the most of the next ninety days. You will be so pleased you did. Lets Go!
“I hope I live to the fullest of my potential” – Mansfield
Today I enter my thirty fifth lap round the sun. Even now it doesn’t seem quite real that, “that number” will come up soon. It seems so far away from when I was twenty-five and I sat down and thought long and hard about what my life was going to count for at forty. That’s now both history in the sense of my age, and future in the sense of it not being fully fulfilled yet.
People seem funny about age don’t they? We are too old for this, too young for that. We listen to millennials reflect on worthy aspirations without the experience and our more mature relationships consider the sum total of their life and contribution. Some with contentment, some with regret, many with a balance of both.
I am more convinced than ever, that so much of life is meant to be shaped by seasons not calendars. A season is a time and space in which work is done IN us and THROUGH us with no specific time constraints. The calendar is much harder edged, a beginning and an end, often forced and sterile. I prefer the gentle change of seasons, shifting out of winter into the beauty of spring, and the heat of summer only to lean back into change and hibernation in specific areas of your life.
So, my thoughts about the next five years (and beyond) include the following:
The health of my body, soul, and spirit are my top priority.
THIS WILL ENSURE YOU CAN DELIVER ON YOUR PROMISES.
I’m a little late to what Richard Rohr calls ‘the crisis of limitations’ experience. It took a significant life stumble to wake me up and pay more attention to my formation, my limitations, my insecurity, and fears. Even now they play out most weeks, but I am more on top of HOW they look in my life, and what I can BE so I see less of the dark side of me and more of what lies beneath that is healthy, restored, and frankly, useful to the world. I want that more than anything else from now on.
The best gift I must give my family is a healthy self. The best gift I must give my team and clients is a healthy self. Well formed, aware of my limitations, humble in my strengths. Passionate to add value, and to see real, deep change take place.
So I have slowed things down in terms of what I demand of myself. I am trying to train at the gym regularly and read at least five times a week. I am under the supervision of a wise and experienced Psychologist and wish I had done it sooner. I am careful what I eat most of the time so there can be times we have ‘sometimes food’ – I am far from perfect but if inputs determine outputs then it’s pointing in the right direction.
I’m increasingly convinced life and leadership should be more integrated.
THIS WILL MAKE YOU MORE CONSISTENT AND ALIGNED.
I take myself to work and home again. I don’t have a professional and personal life. I just have a life. I want my values and convictions to be as alive and integrated in my home and family as I see it in my work and profession. It’s not an issue of personal life and work life. It’s an issue of roles and responsibilities. I can be integrated as a person and understand how and when to work and how and when to play.
I came across a “Making The Most of a Year” program, which talks about one thing being better than goals. Themes are better than goals. Themes give context to your skills, your responsibilities and set the framework for your goals. I have decided to live my life under six major themes and pretty much ignore everything else outside of that.
My six themes are:
Under these six themes I live, learn and lead. Period.
I am only just beginning my life’s work.
THIS WILL BE THE WORK THAT OUTLIVES YOUR LIFE.
I thought I had begun my life’s work. I misread that.
I have carried the genesis of what I want my life to count for since my early twenties and even more so since my late twenties. I spent a significant amount of time thinking through what I was all about when I reached forty years old, as I mentioned earlier. I concluded that I was going to be “helping people reach their potential.” My blog is called Team Know Your Purpose because I want to lift people to a ‘higher realisation’ – that purpose plays out in everything I am doing.
I’ve discovered that work is just the expression of your purpose.
Your purpose transcends your work.
I’ll repeat that, your purpose transcends your work.
Right now I have a beautiful balance of professional leadership and community leadership. I am writing blogs, books, creating podcasts, delivering speeches, mentoring leaders, ideating the future and looking into ways to help even more people access the profoundly wonderful experience of connecting their purpose AS their work. When your purpose and your work align no-one will need to motivate you, it will be more like people will have to slow you down!
I want to see others succeed and continue to make my mark on the planet.
THIS WILL BE THE REASON FOR YOUR PASSION, WORK AND DEDICATION.
This is a healthy tension. That tension between doing that which is in your heart to do and making sure you are helping others succeed. Like Zig Ziglar framed it when he said you get what you want when you help enough people get what they want. I live in between the tension of become the best version of me and emptying my cup for the sake of others.
Please join me in navigating the tension of being proud of who you are and what you accomplish and content to see many others win because of you.
I (still) want to change the game when it comes to walking in purpose.
THIS WILL INFLUENCE CULTURE, CHANGE CONVERSATIONS AND SHAPE THE FUTURE.
More than ever I want to change the conversation and change the game in my lifetime. Most people become leaders by accident, that’s not good enough. We must become leaders BY purpose and ON purpose. Intentionality (if that’s even a word) is critical to the quality of purpose driven people we produce and the kind of stories they bring.
I see too many people living with tensions and challenges that are not sustainable, I’d like to change that. I see too many people living from a place of emotional deficit, I’d like to change that. I see too many people trying to prove something to someone, I’d like to change that. I see too many people impacting others unhelpfully, I’d like to change that.
How would you like to spend your next lap around the sun? Let me know how I can help. I toast to the future.
“If you are your authentic self, you have no competition.” – Anonymous
People have an insatiable appetite to make something that ACTUALLY helps. That drive towards an ideal and a higher purpose is much of what creates the resilience and the grit that the world requires from us.
And then there is the new HBO Theranos documentary “The Inventor”. It is brutal from so many angles. The very fact that this happened and $900 million was thrown away ($300 million on legal fees) they also failed to answer the one question the interviewer asked right near the end. Does it work? In addition, there seems to be some sort of Silicon Valley underbelly which, at its worst, doesn’t just ignore the deep flaws of founders and inventors, but actually props up their pathology and supports their dysfunction.
On another level, the documentary likens the role of founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, to that of Thomas Edison himself, who claimed he had invented the incandescent lightbulb and held off any accountability and demonstration of the product itself for four years while he kept the financial balls in the air. Like the early days of the Tour de France, with cocaine-laden riders competing against one another, there seems to be something in the deep, dark history of Silicon Valley that is entirely ok with the type of innovation that is devoid of the deliverable at the end. I get this isn’t true of many companies (most even) and this might be a small part of the whole. However, there comes a time when in life, business and leadership the system you’re in must be challenged if it appears to have institutionalised this kind of behaviour.
Theranos, once the blood testing darling of the tech/science/medical world is now defunct. With lawsuits following both the organisation and Holmes and the CEO and Sunny Balwani as the COO the mess promises to be, ‘getting cleaned up’ for some time coming.
As I watched this documentary I thought of one question that needed to have been asked and answered by the leadership, granted it was in the interests of Holmes and Balwani NOT to ask nor answer the question. That one question was simply ‘Does it work?”
By “it” I mean The Edison, the actual machine that claims to have miniaturised technology to the point where 250 blood tests were able to be completed from pinpricks worth of blood. Disruptive, revolutionary, and life-changing. But no, it didn’t work. The Edison Machine never worked. It was in fact, quite dangerous for its purpose and delivered less than acceptable results most of the time. It just didn’t work.
It’s not that failing is wrong either. It’s failing over and over again and that is why I succeed (Thank you Michel Jordan). When you have a dream to create something from nothing you must take a three-stage approach to leading, and communicating what’s working and what isn’t.
This means asking the question “Does it work?” and leading of the following three frames of reference:
- Taking responsibility – refusing to blame.
- Accepting transparency – refusing to hide.
- Acting with integrity – refusing to compromise.
This triple filter test gives you and perhaps your brand a way to identify what is really going on, what the quality and status of the product are and what you should do about it now you know the reality. When you do this consistently and well you are able to build trust, confidence and quality. That is the glue that keeps the reputation and the positioning in place and the quality product that does what you promised it would do.
Horst Schultze, leader of the Ritz Carlton and much-celebrated hotelier said that people want ‘a defect-free experience.’ And when it isn’t that way your response to fixing the issue becomes more important than the issue itself. You can blame, hide and comprise all you want but The Edison Machine didn’t work. It never did.
Reminds me of that concert in the desert that didn’t happen too…
“When admiring other people’s gardens, don’t forget to tend to your own flowers.” – Sanober Khan
In a recent conversation with a friend he mentioned his time off and what a joy it was, only to follow it up with “I felt a bit selfish….”
And I thought to myself, no it wasn’t. It was really really really smart.
Self care is NOT selfish. And on the whole I’m questioning how good we are at self care at all.
Life can become a series of competing and conflicting demands. Time spent in meetings, responding to emails, managing up, managing down, winning work, delivering work, leveraging your business…
Family life can be dangerously reduced to “Mum and Dad’s Taxi” while we get caught up in the hyper parenting craze thinking all that activity for our kids is making them well rounded citizens.
Raphailia Michael said, self care is defined as, “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” It’s not a selfish act, it’s rather intentional. I am not psych trained but I have studied people for over twenty years. We have the propensity to be our best friend and worst enemy when it comes to life.
What self care is not is narcissistic or pathological in its intent to harm or neglect others. I am a partner, a father, brother, a colleague, son, and a friend. All these roles have expectations of me and self care doesn’t mean I neglect these responsibilities in a way that’s harmful to myself or others. What self care does is ask us to look more closely at the importance and priority of what we are placing on the activity, the demands and the circumstances we are in. We self care in order to be responsible individuals and also good stewards of who we are and our contribution to the planet.
One way of thinking about self care is that it is the combination of awareness and action. As in we know what’s going on with ourselves and circumstances and we have the resources to do something about it.
- When you have low awareness and low action you are in burnout. Intervention is required.
- When you have low awareness and high action you are in fatigue. Rest is required.
- When you have low action and high awareness you are stagnant. Change is required.
- When you have high awareness and high action you are resilient. Discipline is required.
We were not designed to work all the time, nor are we designed to play all the time. We are designed to reach our maximum potential and serve others to the best of our ability. The key is self care. Self care is NOT selfish.
In practice, the following five steps will help you self care more effectively so that you can contribute more intentionally.
Know yourself in order to lead yourself.
Self leadership is the first step to leadership and self awareness. The more you know how your nature, nurture and choices have shaped and influenced your life to date, the better you can realistically place yourself in both the present narrative and the future you’d like to participate in.
For example, I am passionate about ideas, progress and making things happen. I am terrible at follow through, details and overly sensitive to criticism (First voice connectors are prime to this, I know it but it doesn’t mean I like it 🙂 The more I know myself the better placed I am to get the right help to lead myself.
Get the best help to make the most sense of your reality.
Mentors, supervision, assessments, friends, professionals, they all help you make sense of the puzzle called you. As you develop, grow and mature in life, getting the best help possible is your finest gift to the future.
When you have a clear beginning point and an aspirational end point you can take the first step to becoming the best version of you. Use ‘all the brains you have got as well as all the brians you can borrow.’
Place yourself in the quadrant and be willing to change.
Are you leaning towards burnout? Are you more fatigued than expected? Do you have a sense of the wheels spinning?
The beginning point of any journey is being able to accurately locate yourself. Know where you are and who you are being in that moment. You can then measure off where you’d like to be. Be ruthelessly honest here and listen to the feedback of the ones you love and respect the most. An accurate starting point will give you the best picture of what to do in order to move forward.
Spend the next ninety days saying no.
No is your secret sauce after you’ve said yes. When you know what you need to move towards you must become absolutely forensic in what might distract you from that journey. It’s in the no you find the gaps in your disciplines, your systems, your contentment and your habits. This is critical to true and lasting transformation.
Say no to anything and everything that takes away from you preferred future. The margin you’ll create is beyond incredible and margin creates peace.
Make progress your goal and not perfection.
One of the most significant things I have learned in 2019 is that the progress you make is more important than how perfect the work is.
I’m convinced we don’t spend enough time telling people how good they are. We need to get so much better at pointing out contribution, greatness, service, things that make a difference, and the impact it makes.
Be immediate. Be specific. Be personal.
When you see your progress two things happen. Firstly, you have a sense of achievement and that in and of itself creates momentum. Secondly you are reminded that you can actually do it and do it well. At least well enough to make this much progress, so why not make that little bit more?
Your best gift to the world is a whole version of you. The more we do that the better we do life. Share with us your thoughts in the comments section.
“Direction beats intention every time.” – Andy Stanley
There are three very specific elements to making direction decisions. Get these right and the quality and conviction of your decisions will 10x in a very short space of time. I recently read about the importance of paying attention to direction and the article talked more contextually about the idea of direction. In summary it said:
- Everyone is going somewhere in every area of life.
- Direction beats intention every time. (Attribution: Andy Stanley)
- You must decide on direction before taking action.
You can be ‘busy’ and ‘full’ and ‘have lots on’ but none of that matters if it’s taking you to a place you don’t want to go. Activity doesn’t change destination. Direction does. Only direction.
The key is to make activity live inside the direction you have chosen.
Try this by responding to these thoughts on the assumption that nothing changes from now for at least 12 months, if your brave try it on for five years, ten even.
- Where is your mindset taking you?
- Where is your physical health taking you?
- Where is your emotional health taking you?
- Will you have deeper intimacy with your partner?
- Will you have invested into your family legacy?
- Will you be able to do you best work?
- Are you better positioned to serve? Leverage influence? Make an impact?
- Will you be closer to your dreams?
- Are you more the person you intend to be?
- Would you be delighted to meet you?
Direction determines destination. Every single time.
Direction has three fundamental components – each one combines to give you a place to assess, a place to decide and a place to act.Activity doesn’t change destination. Direction does. Only direction. Click To Tweet
Direction Fundamental #1
Mission – Where to. A compelling why.
It’s so profoundly useful and potentially overstated that you need to start with a powerful why.
And, you need to start with why.
Because it answers the question of purpose and reason for being. In life very little is as dissatisfying as meaningless work, purposeless relationships, ineffective activity. Motivation drops, disengagement grows, cynicism breeds, negativity results, departures develop. None of it good. Having a compelling mission can be the starting point of reversing that.
Direction Fundamental #2
Means – How To. Options to move.
We live about 2,000 km from our wider family. To get to see them there are three main ways.
We can fly. Short, sweet, fun. We really enjoy this experience.
We can drive. About 5 days. We only did this once, we didn’t love it and really are not looking forward to it.
The train, I’ve not done it but it’s on the list. Would love to see the changing scenery pass us by. We’ve enjoyed doing this back home so I’m looking forward to it here as well.
The mission is the same. Go and see the family. The means change based on what we want to experience on the way. How much time we have and what we want to make memorable as part of the process.
It’s why you have an offsite and not an office meeting. This is why you’d walk around the block for that one on one and not sit in the meeting room. It’s why you’d invite a colleague to come with you and share the journey, experience the room, meet the client, debrief an event. The mission might be clear but HOW you choose to make progress may change regularly. Do not be afraid to try different things.
The beauty of a clear why allows you to innovate your how.
Direction Fundamental #3
Map – A Way To. Alternative Routes.
I have had long term trust issues with all the Map Apps I’ve been using. The reason is despite their algorithm I believe I know better (it’s a male thing). It’s safe to say that over time between the feedback from taking longer to get places than intended and ‘conversations’ with my wife I have established a more trusting relationship with them (and they’ve improved haven’t they??!) The beauty of a clear destination and a selected mode of transport means the options as the WAY become more apparent. I narrow down the number of decisions I have to make, the better I become at the mission and the means.
When you have a mission clear and the means available to you there are options as to how you would see that become a reality. You drive via the freeway or the park, or a combination.
In life sometimes we take the ‘long way round’ because that gives us time to engage, converse, mentor, listen, get feedback, give feedback. It all matters. It matters about being intentional even more.
What’s the payoff?
- When you know your what and have chosen your how you are able to start.
- When you know your how and have selected your way you are able to plan.
- When you know your why and have selected your way you are able to adapt.
When you are able to start, plan and adapt you are best positioned to place your efforts properly, use resources effectively and fulfil your purpose enthusiastically.
That’s why direction essentials are essential. Share with us your thoughts in the comments section.