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Our Doubts are Traitors

doubts are traitors self-talk

We all have it: An inner dialogue. This self-talk is dominated by fear and doubt. It’s programmed into our reptilian brain because risk-mitigation is a survival tool. Controlling your inner dialogue is perhaps the most fundamental secret of success.

William Shakespeare was able to describe and help us understand what most people intuitively knew and felt. Here is a favorite passage from his play Measure for Measure. He says so succinctly why self-doubt is deadly.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

In the following video, Les Brown and Jim Rohn spend 12 minutes expanding on this basic fact. It’s a great reminder that every day we should “stand guard at the door of our mind”.

Here are some main points and discussion of the video:

  1. Watching inner dialogue will determine the quality of your life.
  2. Being too cautious or too reckless
  3. Be wise and understand that everything is risky. Don’t ask for security, ask for adventure.
  4. Pessimism is a deadly disease.
  5. Our lives are most affected by the way we think they are, not the way they are.
  6. Poor thinking habits keep most people poor.
  7. As someone thinks within himself, so he is. — Proverbs 23:7
  8. Stand guard at the door of your mind.
  9. Complaining is a deadly disease of success.

If you believe success starts in your mind, this is a good reminder to keep check of your inner thoughts. Do you agree?

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Having a Vision for Your Life is a Moral Obligation

strive to be your best

Jordan Peterson, who is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has spend considerable time studying the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.

I think it’s safe to say that most, if not all, of today’s leading self-improvement authors say that you should have a plan and work your plan. Or to say it differently, have goals and consistently work towards achieving them.

It’s reinforcing for me to hear Jordan Peterson describe these same ideas, but in his terms.

There is a lot to unpack in this video, but he describes having a vision for your life as a moral obligation and those who succeed are conscientious workers (hard workers). This is a rather lengthy video, but it makes you think of goal setting in a different way.

He talks about a number of related ideas, but to me, they support the idea of achievement = goal setting + hard work.

At the very least it’s a motivating video and is a good way to start your day. Enjoy!

What was your takeaway from the video, and how can you apply these ideas to your life?

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Arnold Schwarzenegger: Rules for Success

Arnold Schwarzenegger, vision success

Achieving a high level of success in one area of your life is challenging enough. But what about Arnold Schwarzenegger who reached the pinnacle in bodybuilding, acting and politics?

When he has something to say about success, we should all take note. He’s known for pithy one-liners in his movie roles, but this video is quite shrewd. After watching it, you realize that his success was no accident. He worked hard, had terrific work habits and stayed focused on what he wanted.

Here are Arnold’s 5 Rules for Success

  1. Have a vision (goal). People don’t become successful by accident. Just as a good boat or airplane won’t reach its destination without a plan, you won’t reach yours without a goal. Pick something that motivates you. Your vision should be strong enough to keep you energized even when the going gets tough.
  2. Be happy when you are doing your work. Arnold had an infectious positive attitude and was happy when working out. Why? Because he knew every rep, every drop of sweat brought him one step closer to his goal, and he couldn’t wait to achieve it.
  3. Set a deadline. Arnold stresses it is important to set a deadline. He says you will never begin if you don’t have a deadline to meet. I’d say this is great advice. For athletes, signing up for an event can be adequate motivation.
  4. Little victories count. Arnold says the little victories are the things that can keep you motivated. It’s true that there are no overnight successes, and that it’s the tally of little victories that ultimately add up to big success.
  5. Use your time wisely. Arnold reminds us that we all have the same 24 hour handicap. He says that after sleeping, we all have 18 hours in each day. He was adamant about not wasting a single hour. Plan each day and keep to your schedule.

And if you need a little pick-me-up, here are some of Arnold’s best movie one-liners.

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Mark Cuban on Entrepreneurship and Success

not big on excuses, mark cuban

Mark Cuban is a successful American entrepreneur and investor. He is a household name due to his appearances on the TV reality show “Shark Tank”. His business career reaches back in to the early 1980’s and his first notable success came in 1990 when he sold MicroSolutions for $6 million. He earned approximately $2 million on the deal.

His career has skyrocketed since then and he has become one of the most noteworthy modern entrepreneurs.

Here is a compilation by Evan Carmichael, Cuban’s 10 Rules:

  1. Now is the time. There is never a perfect time to start (a business), but today with the internet, you can start a business now part-time without leaving your current employment.
  2. Be passionate. Cuban has always been passionate about businesses he’s been involved with. When you are passionate you enjoy what you do and you don’t watch the clock.
  3. Don’t make excuses. “I’m not big on excuses. Everyone has the ability to do it, they just have to go for it.”
  4. Learn from history. Most likely your business idea isn’t unique. Understand why the businesses before you failed and try to figure out if you have a competitive advantage.
  5. Enjoy competing. “The ultimate sport is business, because you have to compete with everybody.”
  6. Know your business. “Small business don’t fail for lack of capital. They fail for lack of brains. They fail for a lack of effort.”
  7. Be brutally honest with yourself. Mark cautions that most business startups lie to themselves about how great they are when in reality they are in a hyper-competitive marketplace. His antidote is hard work and knowing your business better than anyone else.
  8. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Leverage your strengths and work with people who compliment your weaknesses.
  9. Be unique. “There needs to be a defining feature of your company and you need to be the best at it.”
  10. Be yourself. Understand what motivates you and follow your passion.

What lessons can you learn from Mark? Is there something new here you can apply to your life in sports, business or in your personal life?

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Ben Lionel Scott: Consistency, Beast Mode, Motivation

ben lionel scott, beast mode

Here is a short video by Ben Lionel Scott to give you a little motivation boost today. Go get it! Beast Mode!

… and your problem is you’re on beast mode Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 10 AM to 12 beast mode. 1 to 5. You keep starting and stopping, starting and stopping. I challenge you. I challenge you to make up the gap. I challenge you to go from average. I challenge you to go from good. I challenge you to go from great. And I challenge you to go to be phenomenal. I challenge you to live in beast mode, because beast mode makes more money than average does, period.

Ben Lionel scott
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The Power of Consistency

consistency power to success

Outside my office window is a construction project. It’s been underway for about a year and a half. Every day the work begins at 7 AM. At about 6:45 the crane operators walk up the ladders. Crews below begin organizing and assessing the day’s work ahead.

They work every day. They begin at 7 AM. Every day.

It’s a sizable building 5 or 6 stories high. When the project began it was nothing but a vacant lot and machines used to drive pilings. Kuthunk, kuthunk, kuthunk. The sound of the pile drivers went on for months. Always beginning at 7 AM. Working every day.

The building has been slowly and steadily going up. They still have several months before the building is closed in, but progress is evident. Some days more progress is made than others. Some weeks it seems as though they have built an entire floor. Every day they begin at 7 AM.

It’s remarkable how a building of this size is built. Machinery, men, technology, equipment all come together in a choreograph that has been refined to maximize efficiency. And every day more evidence of their work. If I had traveled for the past year and a half, I may have thought on first sight, “Where did that building come from?”

But I didn’t travel. I was here every day. I see the result of consistent work and the compounding effect of small individual efforts brought together in a modern building.

You hear old sayings like, “You climb a mountain one step at a time.” and “You eat an elephant one bite at a time.” And yes, you build a building one nail at a time, one day at a time.

These sayings drive at the root of success: Consistency and perseverance are the path to success. In the case of this building: work began every day at 7AM.

Michael Phelps claims he swam every day for more than 5 years. Do you have that kind of commitment to achieve your dreams and aspirations?

Do something every day long enough and one day you will achieve your dream. What are your dreams and what sacrifices are you willing to make in order to achieve them?