1. Attitude is the best asset. Especially in a down economy. My challenge to you is to approach recessions as opportunities to renew resourcefulness. By blaming the economy you evade responsibility and continue to NOT taking action. Instead, believe that greatness is near.
Believe that behind every problem there’s a question trying to ask itself. And next time someone asks you, “Do these pants make my RUT look big?” just reply with, “No, but your attitude does.” How will you exponentially increase the net value of your attitudinal asset?
2. Awareness is the great advancer. Achieving mastery in ANYTHING begins with the prerequisite plunge into awareness. And I bet you’ve been there before, too. You know, it’s that crucial moment when you jolt awake out of your sleepwalking and exclaim, “Holy crap! I can’t believe I never thought of that until just now…”
That’s awareness. Business, personal, spiritual, whatever. And the cool part is, once you arrive at that space, the architecture of your spirit is never the same again. The bell of awareness has been rung, the waves have been sent, and the vibrations will echo in your heart forever.
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t experience an occasional relapse. But complete regression back into your old, oblivious self is near impossible. Awareness simply advances you too far. As the old PSA’s from Saturday morning GI JOE cartoons used to remind me, “Now you know – and knowing is half the battle.” What’s hidden from you that, if you were able to see, would set you free?
3. Contribution is the great commission. Remember when you used to go camping as a kid? What was the first rule your counselors taught you? Leave the campsite better than the way you found it. That’s contribution. And the same rule applies when you’re all grows up and all grows up. Except this time, the campsite is the world. And what you leave behind depends on how you answer the following questions:
a. What were you designed to cure?
b. What are you the World Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of?
c. What would disappoint the world if people heard you had stopped doing it?
Anyone can contribute. Clarify yours – and then find a creative way to serve through it. What have you been commissioned to contribute?
4. Complying without questioning is self-mutilation. Indoctrination causes numbness. Don’t give mass consciousness permission to think for you. Evolve out of that. Engage a different part of yourself. Invite whatever forces you to grow, rise from the ashes and surrender to the next phase of your own evolution. You’re a bigger instrument now. Are you living other people’s ideas about who you are?
5. Detection of inertia determines emancipation. Newton’s First Law of Motion defines inertia as “preserving in its present state,” or “an object in motion stays in motion.” Your challenge is to figure out what areas of your life are suffering from inertia, and what you can do to alter their trajectory. In order to do so, you have to run an Inertia Index. Spend a few minutes entertaining the following questions:
d. Where do you need to plant the seeds of movement?
e. How could you start your workday practicing your job?
f. How will you quantify the milestones of your progress?
g. How can you keep your momentum going without burning out or getting bored?
h. If you were to begin fully living your life, what is the first change you would make?
i. What one step could you take now to start moving forward to your ideal future?
j. What if, overnight, a miracle occurred, and you woke up tomorrow morning and the problem was solved – what would be the first thing you would notice?
Remember: Riding a bike downhill doesn’t mean you have strong legs. The sooner you learn where you need to peddle, the sooner you’ll be free to get where you need to go. How will inertia emancipate you?
6. Deficiency of self-esteem underprices value. Here’s one of the most powerful self-esteem building exercises you will ever practice. Put on your best suit. Go into the bathroom. Then stare at yourself in the mirror and quote your fee, over and over again, without flinching, for twenty minutes.
First you’ll feel silly. Then dumb. Then curious. Then confidant. Then excited. And then, ready to go sell something. And from that moment on, whenever fee-quoting time comes, you won’t skip a beat. Because you’re practiced it a thousand times. How much money are you losing because you don’t love yourself enough?
7. Displacement is the best sobriety. If you’re currently intoxicated – not from a substance, but from a situation – get out of town immediately. Even if it’s as simple as driving twenty minutes into the next county. Leave now. Dislocation creates clarification. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but it does. So go. Call the office and tell them you’re not coming in today. I’m giving you the day off. Where could you go that would sober you up?
8. Experience without reflection is emptiness. As my mentor taught me, “We learn not from our experiences, but from intelligent reflection upon those experiences.” So, don’t just reflect on the experience – write down your reflections. Because if you don’t write it down, it never happened. What’s more, if you don’t capture it, you can’t recreate it. And if you don’t know where the rock created the ripple, you won’t know where to throw future rocks. What did you write today?
9. Happiness is the best dividend. Happiness isn’t your goal. Contribution is. Validation is. The interesting part is, when you focus your energy on accomplishing those two things first, happiness becomes an inevitable consequence. Not intentional, but incidental. And it tastes that much sweeter as a result. What will make you happy that has nothing to do with ego or image or status?
10. Inexperience is the great limit-squasher. When you don’t know the rules, you won’t know when you’ve broken them. That’s when you end up soaring past everyone else. Because their creativity is confined by self-imposed limitations disguised as “rules.”
You, on the other hand, embraced your inexperience and took the plunge clear-eyed and confidently. And you learned that ignorance isn’t just bliss – it’s bank. If you dreamed in terms of your unrealized potential and not your limitations, how would that change the dream?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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