Doubt can be fuel for the engine of accomplishment…

“If people are doubting how far you’ll go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”

Michele Ruiz

There are two powerful lessons for me in today’s quote.  First, I recognize that some of my greatest motivators in life have been when someone has said “you can’t.”  For me this fires an immediate “I can” mentality. Looking back on life I can see a number of really positive outcomes that were seeded by the doubts of others.

Second, the danger of being a person that casts their own fears and doubts onto others.  In hindsight I recognize that some of the “you can’t” people had limiting beliefs about their own abilities and for some reason they needed to project that onto others.  They weren’t happy unless their “I can’t” mentality was twisted into a “you can’t” and shared.  I never want to be this person.

How have the doubts of others fired your engine of accomplishment?

 

 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

Paulo Coelho

I love Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist.”  It is one of my favorite reads and another book that I try to read at least once a year.  If you haven’t read it is the story of a young shepherd boy who is on a desperate search for a worldly treasure.  He keeps his eyes open along the way and pays attention to the many omens that he finds to bring him to the treasure he truly seeks.  It is an easy book to read and carries much deeper meaning than what is available at first glance.  

What does it mean for you to “concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want?”  For me it means clearly answering, with great detail, these questions:

What does success look like?  What is it we are trying to achieve?  What will it feel like when we get there?  How will we know we have achieved our goal?  What would prevent us from getting there?  These are key questions and ones that cannot afford to be overlooked when planning out our goals.  Far too often I find that we have good ideas but don’t put in the effort to clearly define what exactly it is that we are trying to achieve.  

For me “keeping your eyes open” is doing the hard work up front to paint a crystal clear vision for yourself of what it is that you want to accomplish.  Without this it is just muddy and subject to many detours and deviations along the way.  It reminds me of Yogi Berra’s quote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  

 

 

Discipline = “No!”

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” 

Jim Rohn

In today’s world everything is beeping and dinging and chirping to get your attention.  Their is a constant barrage of information coming at you to try and take part of your precious time and energy.  In this world of continuous distraction how can you focus, where do you start?  

It starts with writing down the goals.  I’ve found that anything short of a written goal is simply a wish or an aspiration.  Writing the goal down, meditating over it, thinking through the necessary steps to make it a reality.  That’s where it starts.  But that isn’t enough.  Actually taking action and putting those steps in place on a daily and ongoing basis requires the discipline to say no to the things that going to get in the way of making that goal a reality.  

I think that is the key.  Discipline isn’t some great “yes” to suddenly doing the right things.  Discipline requires a strong “no” to the things that are going to get in the way of your goal.  Knowing what needs to be done, and then having the conviction to do them, is critical.  

It reminds me of the great quote by Muhammad Ali, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” 

To enhance your ability to make your goals a reality what do you need to have the discipline to say “no” to?

Start today!

“You will never win if you never begin.”

Helen Rowland

Starting something new can often be the hardest part.  The work can appear to be  overwhelming when you look at the goal and how much needs to be done to make it a reality.  The key is to break whatever it is into the smallest tasks and just start today.  

I signed up for my first Ironman race having only done one sprint triathlon and one half marathon. I was in way over my head and had no business trying to take on that extreme of an endurance race.  But when the race morning arrived one year later I was very relaxed and I knew, barring any unforeseen accidents, I had already won the day and finished the race.  It wasn’t because I had discovered some unknown physical gifts, it was simply because one year earlier I had committed to my goal and then planned my work out to achieve that goal. The Ironman race itself ended up being a reward for all the work that happened in the year it took to prepare.  Finishing the race was the easy part once I had a plan and committed to the daily effort.  Just starting every single day with the task for the day was the key.

Whatever it is that you want to achieve find the one small thing that you can do to start today and do it.  Even if it is simply writing the goal down and capturing why it is important.  It starts today.

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