Today is the foundation of tomorrow…

“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”

Robert Kiyosaki

Maybe tomorrow will be the right time to start that project, but not today, I’m too busy…

Next week will be a better time to tackle that tough conversation head on, but not today, I just don’t have the energy to deal with it…

I’ll start reading that book on breaking bad habits next month, but not right now, there is just too much going on and I don’t have time…

I’ll start spending more time with my family when I get through this busy season at work, but I can’t right now, they’ll understand that I am doing this for them anyway…

It is amazing how many excuses we can create to put off or delay work that will make the biggest difference in our lives. In our “instant gratification” society it seems that all that matters is living in the moment. The easy things we embrace, but the hard things we put off or ignore. But if we want to create a tomorrow that we will be able to live in fully and completely, we have to do the work today.

Yesterday can’t be changed, fixed or undone. Tomorrow is just a dream. Today is the only day that matters if you want to make your visions come true. Live it fully and completely and do the work that will be the foundation for your future.

Every. Single. Day.

 “Don’t cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you’ve got.”

Steven Pressfield

What is the difference you are going to make in the life of one other person today? This isn’t a rhetorical question. Stop now, get a pen and paper and write down a name and write down what you are going to do. Be specific. At the end of the day, look at this note and take great satisfaction that you chose to contribute to another person very intentionally. Doing this act might be your greatest contribution for the day.

The world isn’t where we should focus our energy. Instead we should focus on the one or two lives we can impact the most through our gifts. That is our greatest contribution, to live life fully in this way. Every. Single. Day.

Allow no easy days…

“Nothing really worth having is easy to get. The hard-fought battles, the goals won with sacrifice, are the ones that matter.”

Aisha Tyler

If it is easy to achieve, easy to get, easy to do, then it just can’t and won’t be valued. But those things that you have to put in blood, sweat and tears to accomplish, those are the things that matter. Think of it this way, does accomplishing easy things motivate you to put in extra effort? Of course not, easy things aren’t the ones that motivate and stir your soul.

Ask yourself this question: What is it that motivates you to give the extra energy, the discretionary effort, the ability to do whatever it takes to get the job done? Find that, and then do it! Don’t allow easy days to become your normal…

Don’t lower your bar…

“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.”

Arnold Palmer 

When is it okay not to give 100% effort? When is it okay to stop trying? If you know you aren’t going to win, is dialing back the effort or intensity okay?

NO! If you are going to do something, do it. Don’t put in 75% effort because you “can’t win” or because “it’s harder than you expected.” The first time you deliver less than you are capable you are lowering the bar and setting a new level of acceptance. If you commit to doing something do it all the way, no excuses, no exceptions.

Why? Because what if you are wrong? What if you are about to achieve the breakthrough necessary to win? What if you are teaching yourself, and others, that giving less than your best is okay? Is that acceptable to you? I would argue that making a total effort, when the odds are against you, is the most important time to give it your all. That’s when you learn what you are made of…

No one needs to see…

“You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile.”

Brian Tracy

The behind the scenes work is how things are truly accomplished. The little things matter and they are likely things that no one will ever know about.

What are some of those efforts that you put in, day in and day out, that contribute to the end results? How do you stay motivated to ensure they are done the right way?

It comes down to staying focused on achieving the goal and knowing that the efforts invested, regardless of who sees them, are what is necessary to get the job done. If you are waiting on someone else to notice you are focused on the wrong things…

Who really counts?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt 

This has long been one of my favorite quotes. I have it inscribed on a plaque in my office to serve as a constant reminder of the power of doing things, of being in the fray instead of timidly sitting on the sidelines. Often it seems that there is so much time and energy spent armchair quarterbacking every action and decision made by others. Those who can do or they just figure out how. Those who can’t are simply bureaucrats who talk about what others could have done better…

How do you want to live your life? Do you want to be in the arena desperately striving to win knowing full well that you will suffer defeats at times and you will have to pick yourself up to fight again? Or are you content being a passive observer of your life with your greatest accomplishment becoming your ability to point fingers and make excuses?

Can we guarantee success?

“Effort does not guarantee success, it only removes the guarantee of failure.”

Eric Davis

No matter how hard we work at something success is never guaranteed. All the hard effort in the world just might not be enough. But if you don’t put in the effort you are absolutely going to fail. I think the real key is how you answer this question:

If we don’t put in our best and maximum effort will we look back later and wonder if failure happened because we didn’t try hard enough?

%d bloggers like this: