Our Excuses are a Prison that Protects Us from Pain

We tend to take responsibility for our successes, but we create stories for our failures. If there is an area of our life that we are not doing well, we usually have a story around it. My boss doesn’t like me. I have a slow metabolism. I don’t have time to log my food or prepare meals. I don’t see a path forward in my career, so there is no point in doing more than I must. They don’t pay me enough. I don’t have time to read or take a course. I don’t have the resources. I don’t know the right people. I don’t have time to work out.

These stories protect us by shifting the responsibility. Blaming things outside our control serves to insulate us from self-incrimination. The reason we feel physical and emotional discomfort is to force us to act. Pain causes us to remove our hand from a hot stove, and we instantly learn not to touch it. When we create a story, we don’t feel the pain we should be feeling. It is like a medicine that treats the symptoms of a disease but doesn’t address the underlying cause. Remove the pain and, the lesson is never learned.

Taking ownership is empowering. When we take responsibility for everything good and bad in our lives, we can fix them. When we fall into the trap of blaming others for our problems, then we are held hostage. We must wait for them to fix our problem, and we could wait forever for that to happen.

The problem with our excuses is that many of them are valid, but that doesn’t mean they are outside our control. Your boss doesn’t like you. You can either become too good to be ignored, or you could find another job. Your metabolism is slow.  A lot of people overcome a slow metabolism. There is no shortage of body transformations on the web. Many of these people share their strategies to help others. We have the power to overcome any obstacle, but it all begins with believing we can.

The secret to doing better is taking responsibility. When you realize that you are both the source of your problems and the source of your solutions to those problems, your life changes. “Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” —Theodore Vail.

Learn more, Let’s Get Real, Let’s Get Motivated.

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Wisdom without Action is Wasted

“Knowledge is NOT power. Knowledge is only POTENTIAL power. The execution of knowledge is where your power lies. Knowledge is not mastery. Execution is mastery. Execution will trump knowledge every day of the week.” Tony Robbins

The best strategies in the world will not help you if you don’t execute them. The world is full of highly intelligent and knowledgeable people that don’t accomplish anything. Their ideas are never implemented. Their plans never executed.

Reading, learning, and planning are great, but without execution they are meaningless. Reading a great book and becoming excited about what you learned is only the beginning. You must find a way to execute on the ideas.

I recommend you read a great book over and over again until you have sucked every bit of useful information out of it. True learning occurs through repetition. “It is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency.” Aristotle

Don’t fall into the trap of reading a lot of books but failing to apply what you have learned from any of them. It is better to read one book, highlight it, re-read it until repeatedly until applying it is smooth and natural. Repetition leads to mastery. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Bruce Lee

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”  Zig Ziglar

Learn more, Knowledge is NOT Power

Be Serious, Don’t Be Casual

People that are casual about pursuing their goals become life’s casualties. They are continually disappointed in themselves, but not too disappointed because they never really expected to achieve their results. They never put pressure on themselves to produce results.

Casual people take a lax approach to life. They have no written goals, and they don’t share the vague goals rattling around in their head with anyone else. The only time they come up is when they complain about not reaching them. These are the same people that waste their best hours chatting, gossiping, watching TV or addicted to social media.

Serious people expect to make progress. If their goal is to lose weight, they set weekly goals. They track their food to ensure they create a caloric deficit. They share their goal with supportive friends who they check-in with regularly to share their progress and frustrations. They spend their time with people that have achieved their goal and will be a positive influence on them. They put internal and external pressure on themselves to make consistent progress.

When someone tells me their frustration with losing body fat I begin by asking them, how many calories they are eating each day. When they say they don’t know, I know they aren’t serious. Many people complain about their genetics, but when I ask them how many calories they are eating each day, they don’t know. If you don’t know how many calories you are consuming each day, don’t expect to lose much weight or keep it off.

Learn more:

Flying Blind – If You Aren’t Logging Your Food You’re Flying Blind,

Top 5 Priorities of Effective Fat Loss and Looking Great, and

Group Norms & Expectation- Don’t Put Rocks in Your Backpack and Pebbles in You Shoes

 

Stop Constantly Checking Email!

If you want to be productive, you must do things that produce results. Being busy isn’t the same thing as being productive. Determine one thing you need to accomplish each day and work on it during your most productive hours. The first two to three hours of your workday are your most valuable. Your creativity, focus, and energy are at their best. Don’t squander your best hours on low priority tasks.

Win your morning, and you win your day. We have all experienced days where we felt like we did a lot, only to realize we didn’t accomplish anything meaningful. You’ll discover that you spent the day reacting to others instead of sticking to your plan. I recommend you use your smartphone to check your schedule for the day and ensure there are no legitimate emergencies in your inbox, then ignore it. Don’t even open your email browser until after lunch.

Spend the best hours of your workday on your most impactful task. Devote yourself to something that will produce results. Checking email is addictive, but you must overcome the temptation to continually respond to everyone else’s demands and work on meaningful projects. That is how you become productive. If you want to be more productive than 90% of your colleagues, stop checking emails and start producing.

Learn more, Eliminate Distractions to Reclaim your Focus & Productivity

Stop Chasing Success!

Chasing success is futile. Success is something we attract. Success is looking for a good place to stay. If you want to attract people to your organization that are smart, energetic, and have a great attitude, you must first display those things yourself. “We don’t attract who we want, we attract who we are.” John C. Maxwell

An A player doesn’t want to work for a B or a C player. That isn’t how life works. Eagles don’t fly with ducks. A players are attracted to other A players. We unconsciously model the behavior of the people we spend the most time with, so successful people tend to have successful friends and colleagues. Success is something we attract by the person we become. Instead of chasing success, we should focus on becoming someone that attracts success. “Personal development – the never-ending chance to improve not only yourself, but also to attract opportunities and affect others.” Jim Rohn

Learn more, Work Harder on Yourself than You do Your Job.