One year ago I attended a seminar called One Day to Greatness with Jack Canfield, the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Several months after the seminar during an annual review, I realized that I could have been doing more. I haven’t been taking enough action and my hustle was lacking. In a sense, I was becoming more and more average, sliding into the mass of mediocrity.
Take action. Things may come to those who wait but only the things left by those who hustle. – Abraham Lincoln
So, I returned to the primary objective of the seminar: learn how to go further and faster with less effort toward a life of greatness. In pursuit of more.
The way ahead was three-pronged: (1) gain greater clarity about your purpose, vision, and goals; (2) develop powerful habits and the mindset necessary for success; (3) take 100% responsibility for your results, and become more action-oriented.
MOVE FROM REALITY TO YOUR VISION
You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. – Napolean Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich
First, anyone in the pursuit of greatness must develop a system — a set of tools and principles.
The system feeds positive habits and encourages action in the right direction.
♦ Take 100% responsibility for your life and results. Regardless of what happens, ask yourself, “how can I improve upon this situation? How can I learn? How can I get better next time? It starts with taking responsibility and avoiding blame, completely banish a victim’s mindset.
E + R = O (EVENTS + RESPONSE = OUTCOME)
- Events: all external stimulus (most people blame event)
- Response: behavior, thoughts, and imagery (100% within our control)
♦ Clarify your life purpose. Mastery can only be achieved if we are connected to our life’s task. We must be obsessed with what we are doing, nothing else guarantees long-term success. A competitive environment can fuel top performers but it is short-lived, unsustainable, and responsible for the midlife crisis. Combining purpose and passion (obsession) propels greatness.
It doesn’t take any more effort to dream a big dream than it takes to dream a small dream. – General Wesley Clark, Former Commander of NATO Allied Forces
♦ Create your ideal vision into reality. Research studies have uncovered the power of visualization. Your level of performance always matches your dominant vision — what you see, you feel, and what you feel, you will. When you visualize something, your subconscious mind will work to make it happen. You can visualize yourself winning before beginning, creating concrete experiences that your body and mind will respond to.
What is one thing that most separates winners from losers? Winners visualize.
♦ Create measurable goals for your vision. Success is built slowly, over time. But it must be measured, recorded, and reflected. Otherwise, it is just a dream: a nice little notion that occupies thought matter but not much else. Action is King. The brain is a goal-seeking organism, it likes to chase and pursue challenges and if you feed your subconscious mind, it will work night and day to achieve. Make it specific – how much, by when? Then repeat, review, and repeat your goals. Make it visible and do not lose sight of your most important, breakthrough goals.
Action is King. – Outwork Philosophy
♦ Believe it’s possible. Belief is what makes the work, work. There are numerous success stories of those that are less successful, less lucky, and less ambitious. They did, however, believe.
- You think 50,000 thoughts a day, replace negative ones with positive thoughts.
- Focus on what you want to do; don’t focus on the negative. Feed your desire.
- Believe that the universe and all of its inhabitants are plotting to do you good. Always have a positive expectation.
- Trust the Law of Attraction
♦ Use the power of affirmation and visualization. A simple affirmation, such as, “I can succeed in any endeavor if I work hard enough,” translates into a powerful force of positive energy. The opposite is also true, thinking “I am not smart or talented enough to accomplish great things,” produces negative energy and stifles action. Use an affirmation that is conducive to what you are trying to accomplish, then visualize that success. Make it real in your subconscious mind.
♦ Release your fears and take action. The law of probability states that if you try enough times you will eventually succeed. Abraham Lincoln lost practically every election he ever ran for, except the one for president. Just keep trying and keep taking action. Banish from your mind indefinitely the idea that what other people think matters. Inaction is borne out of fear for what other people may think or say; it doesn’t matter, we are specks of dust in an infinite universe, occupying just a sliver of time.
Life is but a blip of time, humans but a speck of dust. – photo hanging at Outwork HQ
♦ Ask for and respond to feedback. Be willing to change. Every professional has a coach. Feedback is necessary for continuous improvement, ask for it and then respond to it.
♦ Practice persistence. Make it part of your personal makeup to be persistent, to keep going, to keep trying, no matter what. Be relentless. Be the guy that never quits. Not only is it empowering, but it will also often cripple your competitors since they will hesitate before picking a fight with you.
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. – Babe Ruth
♦ Practice gratitude and uncommon appreciation. If you ever listened to any podcast with any successful person, you will hear that they almost always practice gratitude. Being grateful emits positive vibrations to the universe, much like the Eastern idea of Karma. When I get lazy, I think of the opportunities I have and it jilts me into action.
♦ Chose uncertainty over unhappiness. Within this system, there will be times of uncertainty. Choose it. Embrace it. The alternative is mediocrity and unhappiness.
Success consists of going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Jack Canfield, The Success Principles
Choose to be Great. Embrace the process. Pursue Excellence.
PS- There are certain books that you reread constantly. Among the list is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I personally aim to read one chapter a week.