Almost every successful person begins with 2 beliefs: The future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.
For the last few weeks I have been speaking about the idea of Excellence, Commitment and Action. In fact, I decided to forgo having a guest on this particular show, because, as I progressed through the message, I needed more time to talk about how you can choose to make the changes that will change your life.
The idea of excellence is rarely talked about because it is hard. It’s easy to be good enough, and for many that’s all they are willing to give. What I wonder out loud is this: what would it take to go all out—to give it 100%, to push yourself to the limit? Not asking you to do more than physically possible, but to simply and honestly give it your best.
And since you know, instinctually, that this a good idea to be excellent, why don’t you do it? I get that you are tired, you have a lot on your plate, you really aren’t sure the benefits outweigh the effort (not the consequence, but the effort) and I understand, but I simply ask: Have you considered the value of living your best life for the rest of your life?
I like the quote that “true excellence takes sacrifice, mistakes and enormous amounts of effort.” I committed when I started on the speaking circuit and when I started on my radio show that I would always tell you the truth about the enormous amounts of effort that living to your full potential would take…and I won’t sugar coat it to make it seem easy, because it is not, but I want you to know that even though it is hard…YOU CAN DO IT. It is simply a daily choice you make.
I like the motivational speaker Tony Robbins for a lot of reasons, and he is well known for his simple concept of: strategy – story – state. Let me give you just the big ideas of this concept that he has pioneered, and encourage you to pick up his books for a good, encouraging read.
Tony Robbins says, “Everyone wants to change something about his or her life.
Whether you want to find love or improve your relationship, master your finances, or finally get in shape it’s absolutely possible—if you have the right approach. There are three steps to creating a breakthrough—three forces that, together, can massively change any and every aspect of your life. They are:”
- Find the right strategy.
“To make a lasting change, you have to start with a proven strategy,” Robbins says. “Planning to eat 500 calories a day to lose weight or trying to get rich off one hot stock tip will not be sustainable over the long term,” he says. “How do you find a strategy that works? I’ve always believed the best way to get a result, the fastest way, is to find someone who has already accomplished what you’re after, and model his or her behavior.”
- Understand the power of your story.
“Even if you have the right strategy, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t follow through. It’s the stories we tell ourselves that make or break our best-laid plans,” says Robbins. “If you’re not taking action,” he advises you to “consider the story you’re telling yourself. Someone trying to save more might limit themselves by thinking deep down: ‘I don’t make enough,’ ‘I can’t save more,’ or ‘That’s only for rich people.’ Is your story holding you back or empowering you? I always say 80% of success in life is psychology and 20% is mechanics.”
- Change your state of mind.
“Your mental and emotional state colors your perception and experience of everything in life,” Robbins says. “If you feel afraid or insecure, it’s hard to make a big change, but if you feel like a million bucks, you’re ready to conquer the world. That’s how you create a real breakthrough—a new state with a new story and a proven strategy.”
So the big idea is simply this—YOU are in control of your life.
Beardsley Jones has said, “You have this one life. How do you wanna spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning? Hating yourself? Dieting? Running after people who don’t see you? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud”.
Continuing with this idea of Excellence, Commitment and Action brings me back to my theme for today… Almost every successful person begins with 2 beliefs: The future can be better than the present, and I (you) have the power to make it so.
And, let me tell you, there are a lot of reasons why you should consider stepping up. One of the most important reasons I can share with you today is this quote I found. I don’t know who wrote it but it is a keeper.
When you find yourself in the position to help someone, be happy and feel blessed because God is answering that person’s prayer through you. Remember: Our purpose on earth is not to get lost in the dark but to be a light to others, so that they may find their way through us.
That is the reason why you should commit to making the change in your life to excellence and be ready to take the action to make it happen. And please don’t think is impossible.
Audrey Hepburn is famous for saying, Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, “I’m possible”.
And you are, so just for today can you set aside all your self-doubt and see yourself in a new way—the way you always secretly dreamed others would see you? Remember, Almost every successful person begins with 2 beliefs: The future can be better than the present, and you have the power to make it so.
So, just like a new coat, try on this new sense of purpose and see how that feels and if it fits right. Go ahead and wear your new you…your new strategy, story and state of mind for others to see, the others who are looking for the light that your life could provide.
I’ve spent a lot of time on the idea of excellence because that is the linchpin to the crafting of an amazing life, but I want to remind you that you can do all things I have suggested and hope and dream and believe that you can be a life-changer, but if you do not make some hard personal choices and you do not remove the negative influences in your life, I can guarantee (unfortunately so) that your flame will be short.
I wish it were easier to keep your circle of loser-friends who are a lot of fun but going nowhere, but to live a life of excellence you are going to have to face the fact that they will not understand your new purpose and will, over time, deflate your big idea down to a flat tire because they are running on flat tires. You’ll be ridiculed in slighted, small ways to be reminded that you’re not so special, so settle down. So let me remind you to:
Surround yourself with positive people. Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people—people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams and applaud your victories.
That is the best way I can tell you that you will begin to see the benefits of an amazing life. You might be lonely when you start out, but over time you will find your tribe (or you might find some comfort in being alone to work on yourself), either way, you must make the hard decision to seek out those who will applaud your victories and not ignore or belittle your success.
So that brings me full circle to the idea of commitment and action.
Wouldn’t it be great if it all just fell into place and you didn’t have to lift a finger? Well, if you commit to doing your work, the work will become easier and the weight of the problem or issues will become lighter because you did the hard work.
There is no doubt that one of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it, and over time the discipline will become the everyday standard by which you live your amazing life.
Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gymnast who brought home the gold medal, said, “Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.”
And I like the quote from Greg Reid who says, “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
So back to my Tony Robbins 3 steps to success. You have to think through your strategy, meaning make your plan, write it down and put dates to the actions that need to take place and then you have to work your plan. Just writing it down and taping it to your refrigerator doesn’t get it done but it is a great start… so go ahead and take the plunge and START.
Then, as you are building (or in some cases rebuilding) your life, your dreams, your plans… seriously think through the story that you have in your head. I attended a workshop many years ago where they asked us to write down the biggest disappointment of our life, and as I re-read my story I was struck that I had not really gotten past the anger of the situation. It was then that I had to choose to move on, because while I was still annoyed about it the other person had moved on and frankly didn’t care what I or anyone else thought, so it was abundantly clear to me that I had to change the story in my head to see it for what it was—a life lesson that taught me hard truths.
Sometimes the only way through is to re-write the story for your happy ending, because, as I say on this show all the time, you (and I) get to write the ending story of our lives.
And for that to happen I trust you will take to heart my thought for today… that Almost every successful person begins with 2 beliefs: The future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.