1. The road to prestige is paved with pandemonium. Not everyone survives success. Becoming too successful, too early and too quickly will harm your health because although money loves speed – velocity creates stress. And stress kills people.
At least that’s what I remember thinking to myself after my left lung collapsed and I spent a week in a hospital bed with a chest tube.
Your challenge is to pace yourself. To get rich slowly. To (not) get sucked into the addictive vortex of success and achievement. What new challenges will arise once you become successful?
2. The road to confidence is paved with congruency. Nobody is going to put their trust in someone whose onstage performance is dramatically different then their backstage reality.
If you want customers to become confident in the value you deliver, you’d better make sure you’re the same wherever you go, whomever you’re with. Or at least close. Do you believe you behave in a manner that is consistent with your self-concept?
3. The road to fame is paved with flexibility. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” This scripture comes from James 4:13, although the first time I heard that passage was actually during yoga class. That’s when it occurred to me that the most profitable benefit of doing yoga is flexibility.
Not physical, but mental. It’s amazing how much more pliant your mind becomes after a few years of practice. So, even if you’re not a yogi, consider these flexibility questions:
a. Are you focused or inflexible?
b. Are you uncomfortable in situations that call for creativity, flexibility, adaptability or originality?
c. Do you have the capacity to respond flexibly to what the world hurls at you?
d. Are you flexible with people who have different struggles than your own?
Just imagine: If you can do a full back bend with your body, what type of stretches might you be able to do with your thinking? Your brand? Your business? Your life? Promise: Flexibility builds profitability. How elastic are you?
4. The road to success is paved with surrender. Surrendering to your customers. Surrendering to your constituency. Surrendering to your purpose. Surrendering to your personal economy. So many things to surrender to, so little room in your ego to do so.
That’s the hard part. Getting past your fear of sticking yourself out there and becoming vulnerable to the world. Two words of advice: Risk it. What three things do you need to let go of to ascend to the next level?
5. The road to creativity is paved with curiosity. The #1 secret to never running out of ideas – even in the midst of frittering time – is a tilted head. You heard me: A tilted head.
Like when a dog looks at you’re crazy.
Like when you stop in your tracks walking down the aisle of Wal-Mart and think, “What the…?”
Like when the entire boardroom looks up from their Blackberries and thinks, “Is this guy out of his bloody mind?”
A titled head. That’s the universal gesture of a creative moment. Your goal is to experience five of those moments each day. Minimum. What dangerous questions will you ask today?
6. The road to originality is paved with murder. I was recently eavesdropping on a conversation between two businesspeople (whatever, you do it too) and I heard a powerful statement that I immediately wrote down so I could later claim it as my own material: “Innovation occurs through death.”
Wow. Amen to that. Amen to dying! Amen to killing outdated thinking! Amen to murdering antiquated strategy! What do you need to kill today?
7. The road to serendipity is paved with strategy. It’s not an accident. It’s not fate. And it’s not luck. It’s positioning yourself in high visibility locations. It’s putting yourself in the way of success. It’s being ready to pitch on a moment’s notice. It’s being in the right place at the right time by being in a lot of places.
It’s being more intentional in every experience while maintaining an attitude of positive expectation. Remember those keys, and you’ll become the luckiest person you know. In what ways can you prepare for the serendipitous?
8. The road to dominance is paved with discomfort. To dominate is to grow, and growth is the byproduct of discomfort. Therefore: It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Yet another powerful lesson from my yoga studio. Our instructors constantly remind us that it IS possible to simultaneously experience comfort and discomfort. Exertion and relaxation.
And when you learn to respond instead of react; to breathe into that which makes you uncomfortable – like touching your head to your locked knee, for example – you discover a pocket of stillness that supports your posture. And here’s the cool part: You eventually learn to apply that same principle off the mat.
You practice relaxing into your discomfort during your daily life. You practice responding instead of reacting to what the world hurls at you. That’s what paves the way to dominance. Are you at peace with discomfort?
9. The road to matchlessness is paved with relentlessness. Bound. Determined. Dogged. Dead set. Ferocious. Fierce. Inexorable. Ruthless. Unappeasable. Uncompromising. Unflinching. Unstoppable. Unyielding. Get the point? Pick an adjective and make the choice to go the distance.
And when you come out on the other side, caked in sweat and dirt and blood, you’ll be the last one standing. Game. Set. Match. Grab a Gatorade, take your silver cup and enjoy the applause. What are you the World Heavyweight Champion of?
10. The road to remarkability is paved with reinvention. Bob Dylan did it – from acoustic to electric. George Carlin did it – from AM to FM. Tom Hanks did it – from comedy to drama. And these guys were YOUNG when they reinvented, too. Young in age and young in career.
So, remember this: You don’t have to be huge to reinvent yourself, but you have to reinvent yourself to become huge. Make the decision to constantly reinvent your own better future. You know you’re getting bored with the current version of yourself anyway. When was the last time you reinvented yourself?
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How will your advance yourself?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “24 Ways to Out GROW Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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