Don’t follow, lead.
Don’t copy, create.
Don’t start, finish.
Don’t sit still, move.
Don’t fit in, stand out.
Don’t sit quietly, speak up.
This week’s challenge is to jot down a few powerful mantras and read them each morning. When I say, “mantra,” I am referring to a statement or slogan repeated frequently to help us make better decisions.
If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. Zig Ziglar
Mantras can help us to navigate our lives; like navigational beacons that help keep us on course. They help to guide our everyday actions like written goals do, so we don’t get lost in the world wind of daily distractions.
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. Warren Buffet
Adopting a mantra and repeating it to ourselves throughout the day can help us make better choices. An effective mantra will guide our actions when we are confronted with an unexpected situation that is tempting us to stray from the path. They remind us of our broader intent.
Effective organizations ensure that everyone knows the intent of the CEO so they can make decisions that support the overarching goal of the organization. Southwest Airlines’ intent was once to be the lowest cost airline. Therefore, any decision that would have added to their operational cost was not in line with the CEO’s intent.
The military developed the concept of a commander’s intent to empower subordinate leaders and guide their initiative. The commander’s intent describes the desired end state of a successful mission. For example, a company commander’s intent might be to secure Hill 81 by destroying or forcing the withdrawal of all enemy forces.
Few plans survive contact with the enemy, but armed with the commander’s intent; all the soldiers can take actions in the absence of orders. Each soldier is empowered to improvise, adapt, and take actions that will result in securing Hill 81 by destroying or forcing the withdrawal of all enemy forces.
Great sources of mantras are leadership lectures, self-improvement seminars, motivational speeches, and books. Here are some examples.
- Don’t be lazy about learning. Jim Rohn
- Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest. Warren Buffett
- We become what we repeatedly do. Aristotle
- For things to get better, we must get better.
- If you don’t have the success you desire, it is because you aren’t the person you need to be, YET.
- Consistency is more important than intensity.
- Today I will do, so tomorrow I will become.
- Hard work always pays.
- Success must be earned daily.
- Do not think about it, be about it.
- Success requires doing it; whether you feel like it or not.
- You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.
- If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. Zig Ziglar
- You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Wayne Gretzky
- If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. Thomas Jefferson
- Nothing will work unless you do. Maya Angelou
- Leadership is a privilege, not a right, and I must earn it in the arena of action. Mark Divine
- The best leadership tool you have is your own example. John Wooden
- A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. John C. Maxwell
- I will seek to improve myself, my team, and the world every day. Mark Divine
- Be the leader you would follow.
- Exude the traits and behaviors you want in your followers.
- Just do it. Nike
- Embrace the suck.
- Set small goals and build upon them.
- No growth without resistance.
- Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate.
- No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.
- Create healthy habits, not restrictions.
- You cannot outrun a bad diet.
- Strive for progress, not perfection.
- Do better today, be better tomorrow.
- You don’t have to go fast. You just have to go.
- Dream big. Start small. Act NOW! Robin Sharma
- It is not over until I win. Les Brown
- The old ways will not open new doors.
- The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas A. Edison
- The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Chinese proverb
- We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. Aristotle
- Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. Oprah Winfrey
- Don’t wish for it, work for it.
- Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. Warren Buffet
- If you want to be rich, you need to create multiple income streams. Bo Sanchez
- If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need. Warren Buffet
- Building wealth is a marathon. Not a sprint. Discipline is the key ingredient. Dave Ramsey
- The Stock Market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient. Warren Buffett
- If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die. Warren Buffet
I begin each morning reviewing my journal for 10 to 15-minutes. I read my gratitude list, my goals, and a series of inspirational mantras. When our minds are left to their own devices, they focus on lack, which leads to negative feelings.
Better gratitude, better attitude.
My gratitude list helps remind me of all my blessings. A spirit of gratitude chases away negative feelings like anger, frustration, and depression. Gratitude is the light that chases away the darkness of these negative feelings. Gratitude helps us to connect with our higher self.
My list of goals and mantras help to guide my daily decisions and actions. They allow me to reconnect with my values and priorities. The goals provide direction, and the mantras provide guidance. Both help us to establish priorities based on the life we want to create for ourselves, instead of being a slave to the demands of others. Most people are either pursuing their dreams or helping someone else pursue theirs.
Besides writing my mantras in my journal, I use a blank desk blotter at work. It is great for capturing notes and brainstorming. I often write a few of my most important mantras in the upper corners of the blotter as a constant reminder of my values.
Until next week, good luck!
First we do, then we become. Change your habits, change your life!
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