The Usual Risk

We sure do talk about mindset a lot around here. It’s probably because it’s more critical to our success in all areas of life than anything else. Letting our mindset get too settled into unquestioned patterns runs the risk of getting us stuck in the wrong ones, ultimately grinding us down into a rut until we have a hard time seeing over the edge and how to escape.

For the sake of this conversation let’s call this pattern the usual, and if we want out of that pattern, we’re going to have to change up our thinking. It’s going to require we be willing to question pretty much everything we know and believe in our efforts to find something greater.

It might seem scary at times, yet we’ve done it so many times already. Think about the first time we switched jobs, or dated somebody totally new. Heck, go back to our early childhood and look at how risky it was to learn how to walk or say our first few words.

Should we decide to remain in our current patterns then we are always going to get what we’ve always got. It’s pretty much that simple.

If you want something different, then it’s time to look around and see what else is out there. You might be surprised.

Work vs Luck

Work ethic trumps most anything else when it comes to business. Of course we want to work smart and that’s the goal we should be continuously driving toward. However, skills can and need to be developed and when we’re not entirely up to speed with our skills we pretty much have to do whatever it takes until we’re running more smoothly. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we will find there are always ways we can improve and expand upon our skill set, which will still require we put in the work to see our plans come together.

We’ll find plenty of people along the way that want to count all our successes as luck or good timing. They tend to call it luck or good fortune. What they don’t are all the days and nights we’ve invested, the struggles along the way, the planning and strategizing, overcoming failures and trying again until we finally figure out what ultimately makes our businesses tick.

The fact that Jefferson spoke of these things several hundred years ago demonstrates there are some fundamental principles at work that we are wise to adopt should we also wish to achieve our success. Most importantly, get to work and you’ll sort the rest out along the way.

You Gotta Be Bold!

Smart and bold aren’t always measured correctly in this world.

Too often we think we have to wait until we have all the answers before we take any action. We can get ourselves stuck, looking for one more answer, one more fix, trying to get “smarter” until we get ourselves so confused and stuck in an endless circle that we forget we need to at least take the first step.

That’s where boldness comes in: having faith that we know at least enough to get ourselves in motion and adjust along the way as we learn. Growth never comes from inside the comfort zone. In fact that’s not even a proper name for it; we’re better off thinking of it as the “familiar zone” because let’s be honest, are we ever really comfortable when we’re having a hard time paying the bills or wondering how we’re going to get off the plateau we’re currently stuck on?

Go ahead and get a little wild and do something today that stretches you outside that familiar zone. That’s both bold and you’ll be amazed and how much smarter you get along the way.

Do it Now!

It’s pretty straightforward.

The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet, which leaves us only the present. Time is the only resource we can never renew and the clock is ticking. Why would we waste another minute once we know who we are what we’re aiming for? And when is there ever going to be a better time?

Is there anything else to say?

YOU Are The Solution…

You’re the only person in your life you’re ultimately accountable both to and for.

How’s that for a bold statement?

Think on it, though. Every single relationship we might form in this life has the potential to go away. Our friends, family, work partners… All of them. At the end of the day it’s the person we see in the mirror that we are ultimately accountable to.

What to make of this? If it seems a burden, please think again. When we understand it is the sum total of all our decisions that have led us to this exact moment we can see it as blessing or a curse. In a very real sense it can be both.

Of course there have may have been bad things that have happened that were beyond our control. Accidents happen, injuries, abuse… Plenty of things. This isn’t to suggest it’s our fault that we’ve had the experiences we have; only that we are responsible for our responses to what has happened. We can let them defeat us or we can use the experiences as stepping stones to something else.

Which is where the blessing arrive. If we don’t like where we’re standing, we also have the power to change it. Recognizing that we are 100% responsible for our lives isn’t meant as an anchor to drape around our necks; it’s a declaration of freedom! If we have the absolute power to make decisions then to get different results we only need to make different decisions. It’s literally that simple! It may take some effort and work, but this is the truth.

Hence Bob’s simple statement is so brilliant because we really ARE our greatest solution.

You Can Choose Your Destiny

We spend much of our time cruising along through life doing whatever we have crafted into our routine. Even those of us that are more restless and easily bored still have our patterns that over time become predictable.

Whether we realize it or not our daily patterns are the result of decisions we’ve made leading up to this point in time. On the higher levels we consider things like thoughts of how we conduct ourselves, the kind of work we do, and the type of people we interact.  On the lower levels we think about how we dress, the words we speak, or how we brush our teeth. It could be an extensive list should we want to create it, but the point remains that all of our decisions ultimately make up who we are

What we don’t often realize is how much control we have over our decisions. This world does not lend itself much to independent thinking, yet those that reach the highest levels in business, leadership, and other assorted callings are the ones that have mastered the art.

Nor is it as complicated as one might think to achieve greater success: figure out your long range goals and then start shaping your decisions around how to get there. We commit to the journey, we take one step at a time, looking around us daily with the long range focus in mind, and we can accomplish many great things.

Your Calling In Life…

Think on this. The average work week is counted at roughly 40 hours, not counting transit time and the other miscellaneous things we need to do as preparation. Multiply that by 50 weeks to get 2000 hours a year, multiplied by 45 and we come to roughly 90,000 hours of our lives spent just on work. That’s a fair bit of time!

If we’re going to invest that kind of time, why would we waste it on something that doesn’t keep us inspired and motivated? It doesn’t have to be something grandiose or of earth-shattering importance, but wouldn’t it make sense to invest ourselves into something that keeps us looking forward to each new day instead of just praying for Friday so we can escape it all?

Finding your calling and making it your career brings so much more opportunity for fulfillment on so many levels. It’s worth the effort.

The Cornerstone of Abundance

There’s a magic that comes to our lives when we’re on point to our purpose in all that we do. We’re stretching ourselves beyond our comfort zones, yet not so far that we’re constantly in distress. It’s the kind of growth we crave rather than simple endure. It’s the difference between an authentic life and mediocrity.

We don’t have to have the entire plan mapped out to get started. Obviously the more we can map out to achieving our goals the better, yet we must not make the mistake of waiting to start because the conditions aren’t just right. They never will be and life is too short to spend it waiting.

Figure out what it is you most want to do, draft out even the first few steps to move in that direction, and then do it. Living a purpose driven life is a very different kind of life than what seems “practical” or “realistic.” The truth is that the only thing in life that is practical and realistic is doing what you truly love to do. It changes your outlook on life, your relationships, and your motivation for anything you ever do. This is the true source of abundance and entirely worth your time to find.

The Mind is Everything

We can boil all of life down to four key words: your mindset is everything.

It is literally that simple. Yet somehow we so often seem to make it much more complicated. We get all these crazy ideas about what we should and should not do based on someone else’s opinions until we are so confused that we don’t know what to do at all. We get stuck in overwhelmed, incapable of taking even the next step forward.

We get stuck in that confusion and start looking outside of ourselves for answers when everything we need to know it’s already inside of us. Only when we learn to start letting go of everybody else’s opinions of who and what we are, how we should behave, can we get back to the truth of who we actually are and get back into a beautiful, creative, productive state. This doesn’t mean we should seek anarchy, rather authenticity about what are most passionate about doing in life.

As we learn to honor our selves we better serve those around us which in turn lifts us to a higher and more beautiful state. Our businesses grow, as do our relationships and it becomes a continuing upward spiral of awesomeness.

If you never listen to anything else ever again, look at the condition of your mindset and evaluate from there. Learn to cultivate what makes you unique. It is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and everyone else around you.

…And Then You Win

As entrepreneurs we are regularly outspoken. We see the world differently than most and that can create a fair bit of confusion and chaos for others at times. Speaking generally, we’re not interested in disturbing the lives of other so much as we’re interested in serving others through problem solving even when the masses don’t see there’s a better way.

It can be lonely at times as we begin to assemble our businesses. There is much to do and the path forward may not always be clear yet, except we know that there is a problem to solve and there’s no one else who can do it the way we can. So forward we move, sorting out the issues along the way until we have a better defined way to go.

Then come the critics; the ones that think they know all there is about what we’re doing. Rarely have the critics attempted something so bold and even if they have, how could they possibly know what exactly is on our minds, in our plans, and all the other details that form your routine? We too often mistake the opinion of the critics with the counsel of our mentors and get bogged down. Remember this much: the critics are enjoying the only glory the will ever found. We have bigger destinations in store.

It’s going to take some work to get this all done. While the saying about it being better to work smart than hard makes sense, the work still must get done whether it’s hard or easy. You will be met with resistance along the way, sometimes from your own mistakes and sometimes from others trying to slow you down. It’s how you’re tested to prove you’re really going to see this all the way through to the goals you’ve set.

And the final phase of all your work? Your success. Stick with anything long enough and it WILL pay off. Go ahead and enjoy the rewards for your, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re done. The smart thing after you’ve enjoyed the moment is to sit down with a sharpened pencil and scratch out what comes next.