These are the building blocks of sustainable success…

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

Lou Holtz

Success is an outcome, and if you define being successful as doing something exceptionally well, then I would argue that it only comes when you score well on all three of these areas. The key is that you can’t be lacking in ANY area if you want to create success.  

Write down a particular goal that you want to achieve. Then look at this list and score yourself from a zero to a ten in each area. Do you have the score necessary to create the outcome you desire?  

Ability – Talent, Skill, Capability

Motivation – Desire, Passion, Inspiration

Attitude – Willingingness to learn, Ability to be wrong, Positivity in the face of adversity, Service to others, Capacity for growth, Ability to persevere through failure

It seems to me that Attitude is the great enabler of future growth. Without a good score in this area, you will always be limited.

What do you see when you look within?

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Those who look outside, dream. Those who looks inside, awaken.”

Carl Gustav Jung

What do you draw on to find your energy? What motivates you to bring your dreams to life? Does it come from something external or internal?  

The only way a dream can become a reality is if the vision and the motivation come from within yourself. All the dreaming in the world won’t work if you don’t know why you are doing it.  

If you dare to look within, what do you see?  

Imitate the action of the tiger…


“The best feeling in the world is finally knowing you took a step in the right direction. A step towards the future where everything that you never thought possible, is possible.”

Author Unknown

One of my favorite speeches from all of Shakespeare is the one King Henry delivers to his troops during the storming of Harfleur. These words convey such passion, such emotion, and summon energy that is palpable every single time I read them. (I might be guilty of having the entire speech memorized…)

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;

I can only imagine the impact this speech would have had on the soldiers upon hearing this delivered by their King.

Fortunately, we aren’t charging castles much anymore but the passion and fire demonstrated in these words captures the essence of how I feel when I’ve made the decision and it is time to charge forward and turn dreams into reality. There is nothing quite like knowing you have made the call, and you know it is the right call because there is a lightness in your step and an energy that is felt in every fiber of your being.

What are you waiting on? What decisions are you wrestling with? What is holding you back? Find the actions of the tiger, stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood and spring forward. That next step might be the one that changes your world forever.

“Once more unto the breach…”

Are you surrounded with Yes or No people?

“Surround yourself with people that push you to do better.  No drama or negativity.  Just higher goals and higher motivation.  Good times and positive energy.  No jealousy or hate.  Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.”

Warren Buffett

There is something special about being around people who push you to be better for the right reasons. These are the people who energize you and motivate you to go and do and be more than you even thought was possible. People like this make life fun, enjoyable, meaningful, purposeful, impactful, and the list goes on and on.

This is in marked contrast to those who might push you, but they do so for selfish reasons. They push you because doing so is all about them. It is what you can do for them that is all they care about. These people make life challenging, empty, miserable, draining and demotivating.

Here is an interesting exercise. Look at each of these sentences and simply rate the people you have surrounded yourself with with a “Yes or No” for that specific aspect.

“Surround yourself with people that push you to do better.

Y/N

No drama or negativity.

Y/N

Just higher goals and higher motivation.

Y/N

Good times and positive energy.

Y/N

No jealousy or hate.

Y/N

Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.”

Y/N

How do the people that you have chosen to surround yourself with measure up to these words? Do your “Yes’s” outnumber the “No’s?”

You have a choice. Pick the people you want in your life. Prune the rest. Life is too short to surround yourself with people that don’t energize and inspire you to become the person you were meant to be.

Give it away…

“Satisfied needs do not motivate. It’s only the unsatisfied need that motivates. Next to physical survival, the greatest need of human beings is psychological survival—to be understood, affirmed, validated, and appreciated.”

Stephen Covey

What is enough? In many ways, okay most ways, we live in the greatest period of human history. For the majority of the world physical survival isn’t the challenge that needs to be solved. Yet, the greatest needs of human beings, as defined above, seems to be a more difficult challenge than ever. We strive to get more validation, affirmation, appreciation for ourselves, but do the things we seek truly last?

How much of our lives do we waste seeking to be satisfied by the things the world says are important, but give no real and lasting comfort? Think back to this day one year ago. What was your single greatest worry and fear? How were you spending your precious energy? Do you even remember?

What if, instead of desperately seeking our own satisfaction, we could strive to spend some of our energy fulfilling the unsatisfied needs of others? If we could invest our time, creativity and passion INTO another person and fill their greatest needs to be understood, affirmed, validated, and appreciated don’t you think that would have a much more lasting impact?

Today, don’t allow yourself to be a slave to the calling of self, take a moment to be intentional and give part of yourself away to another human being, with the intention to fill their greatest needs. Think of how different your world, and theirs, would be if this was part of your intentional daily practice. What might the world look like one year from today if we all did this…

Mind over matter…

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Marcus Aurelius

It is amazing how much power we have over our minds, when we choose to exercise control of our thoughts. If we don’t, then we are giving control over to something, or someone else. That would mean that we are choosing to let someone else be in charge of our lives…

It’s not about you…

“Leadership is all about people.  It is not about organizations.  It is not about plans.  It is not about strategies.  It is all about people-motivating people to get the job done.  You have to be people-centered.”

Colin Powell

The best leaders I have worked with understood this principle fully. The worst saw people as a necessary evil to achieving their goals and objectives.

As a leader how well do you know what motivates your people? And by “people” I don’t mean at an aggregate level, but individually? What motives, inspires, and drives the folks that you serve? How much of your time and effort are you investing in making those things come true for them?

Are you genuinely interested in the hopes, dreams and desires of your people? If you aren’t, trust me, they already know…

Which scorecard?

“The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard.  It helps if you can be satisfied with an Inner Scorecard.”

Warren Buffett

How do you measure your success? Is the scorecard for that success one that is public and visible for all to see? Or is it private and internal for just yourself and God to see and understand? Do you care more about the outer scorecard and what others think and say or do you put more emphasis on the inner scorecard based on your own core values and mores?

I guess you could have two scorecards, but they had better be aligned in almost every way, because if they aren’t you will inevitably make a choice that violates the principles of one of them. So in all reality there is just one scorecard. Where and how do you keep score?

Mediocrity…

“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.”

Andrew Carnegie

It is easy to motivate yourself to do the fun things, those activities that are rewarding and enjoyable. But do you have the internal drive to do those things that need to be done when you don’t want to do them? That is where the need for motivation comes in. If you can’t push yourself to do the effort that matters, when it isn’t necessarily enjoyable, you will never be all that you are capable of becoming.

So what drives you? What gets you out of bed in the morning with energy and vigor ready to do the hard work necessary to achieve your goals? If you can’t answer this question immediately then I highly recommend that you spend time figuring this out. Because if you don’t, then life will be mediocre…

I can think of nothing worse than to know that you have achieved less than you were capable of simply because you didn’t have the discipline and motivation to do the work.

Why are you running?

“Every morning in Africa, an antelope wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest antelope, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or an antelope – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” ―

African Proverb

What really gets your attention?  What brings everything into focus and ignites within you the ability to hit the ground hard in the morning and run your very best game?  

When I think of this message I think of how awesome it is when there is a burning focus to life that brings clarity to everything else around me.  Without this focus, during the seasons where it is unclear, life just isn’t quite as rich. 

Do you know why you are running today? 

Sign up here to receive the daily quote that inspires my blog posts. Thanks!

dusty

%d bloggers like this: