Friday, February 24, 2012

If you want to achieve something great...

1. Be unique. Be original. Be innovative. Be courageous enough to stand out. The world needs more individuals and less robots. Add your own individual flair and finesse to everything you do. Push the limits and the boundaries – see how far you can stretch them.

2. Focus on the details. Every top athlete in the world is finitely focused on the details. It’s about the way you land, the way you catch your release skill with legs glued together, etc. These are what make the biggest difference. The pointed toes, the straight knees…all of this translates into life beyond gymnastics and sport. Those who place an importance on the details are the one’s who rise to the top. Perfection is when you take 100% effort and make it look effortless.

3. Do the hard stuff, even when you don’t feel like it. Ask any person who’s achieved success and they’ll tell you this: they’ve faced that moment where that little voice inside their head screams “I don’t wanna do it today!!!!”. This usually happens when you’re tired, sore and feeling overwhelmed by the number of arrows being shot your way, demanding your time and energy. Those who reach excellence have had to force themselves, with all their might, to take the initiative and start.  They make the decision to push past the voice that says, “Put it off until tomorrow” and that is what makes all the difference.  It’s about testing yourself to see what your capacity is. A quick tip: the things you want to procrastinate and put off NEVER get easier ‘tomorrow’.  It’s simply fear that is trying to control you. That negative voice inside your mind is of the one of comfort and protection. It wants to keep you safe and it hates change. The more you feed the good wolf, the more powerful it gets.

4. Set daily goals and measure your progress. Do not enter the gym or your place of work without a reason to be there. Create an intention and work your hardest to make it happen. Setting goals and writing them down is critical because measuring your efforts allows you to stay motivated and on track. What happens when someone wants to lose a lot of weight, but they don’t take the time to do weekly measurements and reflection? They usually fail. Measuring the loss inches and pounds is motivating because you see that the hard work is creating results. Our goals are the driving force behind our daily actions. If we don’t have a goal then there is no purpose behind what we are doing and we will quickly fall victim to outer influences. We humans seek and crave purpose – a place to be, a group to be a part of, something to work towards and a meaningful existence -  and this purpose helps us focus on the days when it’s hard and we don’t feel like doing it. 
You also need to have really audacious long term goals – a BIG vision of what's possible?

5. Obsession – You’ve got to be a little bit crazy ;) Read about your dream, visualize your dream, research your dream and people who have done it before you. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and people who are chasing the same thing. Make it your bubble and be single minded in your approach. Obsession isn’t always a bad thing – it can really help you stay motivated and inspired.

6. Define success on your terms. John Wooden once said, “success is piece of mind, that sense of self-satisfaction, you get when you know you did the best you could to be the best you are capable of becoming”. We often think that we’ve failed if we haven’t won first place, but that isn’t the truth at all. Success is when we meet our personal potential and we know it.

7. Be professional – act like you are a champion and you become a champion. In your mind, what types of things do champions do? Eating right. Sleeping well. Showing up with a plan. Pushing themselves to max capacity. Treating your teammates, coaches and colleagues with respect, ect. Now, take all of those things and apply them to your life and what do you get? That’s right, A Champion!

Realize as well that you’re a role model. Your life is bigger than just YOU living it – there are people who look up to you and who admire you for your strength, courage and dedication and you have the responsibility to set a good example for them.

8. Consistency – Lasting success is not a flash in a pan. There is no quick way to the top. To guarantee success, you have to show up every day with a consistent work ethic and attitude. Eventually, it will happen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Setting up shop in the java joints

The coffee barristas of Calgary will all soon know me by name…

This past couple of weeks, I've been frequenting the coffee shops in my hood to create some space to write. And write. And write.

I've been deeply inspired by my friend Jayson who published his book 52 People at the end of last year. I ran into him almost a month ago and holding a physical copy of his masterpiece gave me goosebumps.

I've been working on a personal memoir for nearly 3 years now. It's been an up and down process - sometimes I feel intense motivation and sometimes I stare at a blank page for months. In fact, I backed away entirely from the project last September because I was so stuck that I couldn't even figure out where I was in the story. It seemed as if it was just a jumble of words and I was insanely overwhelmed. I had lost my writers voice. I was beyond frustration and felt like I had hit a brick wall. Writers block had taken it's grasp and it was holding on tight.

I trusted that motivation would come again. I just knew that it would, but I didn't know when. I just couldn't force it.

Finally, after months of waiting and trying to fight off guilt, it hit me on that day that Jay handed me a copy of his book.

Looking back to those times when I've been stuck, I think there's a large part of me that was afraid no one would buy my book. When I get writers block, it's because I start to edit before I even get the words out. I'm afraid that what I'm writing won't sound eloquent and it won't provide resonating messages for my readers. I get caught up in thinking, "No one will ever publish this" and I let that thought control me.

Seeing Jay and hearing about his novelistic experience gave me hope. There's a way! I don't want to sell a million copies. Hell, I'm probably going to give most of them away. What I do care about is that I don't want all of my experiences, stories and lessons learned to go to waste and be stuck inside my mind and heart. I want to share them and I am hopeful that they can bring knowledge and inspiration to someone. If they can help one person, then it's worth it.

I've realized that art is a war. You can't always have the creativity flowing through you. When you force it or you edit yourself, then you create a giant road block.

So, I am focused and determined to get my stories out and to get this sucker published. I am just writing and writing and writing and writing. I'm trying not to judge it. I'm trying not to read it back and make sure it sounds sensible. I'm just trying to get it all out and then I am going to figure out a way to put it together into something that makes sense. I'll probably need someone to help me, but I will face that bridge once everything's divulged.

Until then, maybe I should make up a name tag so that reads, "I'm not a stalker, I'm just determined to finish my book".

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

A very important quote to remember on those days when negative thoughts begin to prevail.