With the Black Belt Spectacular less than 2 weeks away, I wanted to share with you why the goal of Black Belt and why the Black Belt Spectacular is such an important event to me and the Elite Force family.
Our mission is to see that martial arts training impacts our students’ lives across the boards. We want martial arts to help a young student at home, at school, and of course, in the dojo. We want it to help adults personally as well as professionally, and we have received thousands of messages and comments saying that it absolutely does that!
Back in 1987 I was an unconfident, chubby 10-year-old kid. I loved superheroes & professional wrestling. I always wanted to be in great shape like the people I idolized on television but had no idea how to achieve that.
I was unconfident to say the least, and I was getting bullied at the bus stop. I had no tools or strategies to stop these kids from bullying me. It got so bad that I had to wait for the bus in my dad’s work truck. This frustrated my dad because he was a tough guy, and he wanted me to go smash the kids. That idea scared me to death!
This was in the mid-80’s and “The Karate Kid” movies were hugely popular. My grandmother suggested to my parents that martial arts training would give me confidence and would keep me occupied on something positive so I wouldn’t get into trouble.
I took my first lesson on August 1st, 1987 (it’s crazy that I remember that day :). I instantly fell in love with it! The instructors were so friendly, encouraging, and incredibly skilled! I knew I wanted to do this and become a Black Belt. Within a few weeks, I had a vision of me running my own martial arts school.
As I trained and became more skilled, my confidence increased. I was able to stand up to the bullies that were bothering me, and I was feeling much better about myself.
I achieved my Black Belt on October 20th, 1990, a day that changed my life. From that moment I knew that if could achieve my Black Belt and do all of the requirements that were expected of me, I could achieve anything if I focused and worked hard. Black Belt gave me that gift!
From there I started teaching part-time through high school starting in 1992. I taught full-time while attending college. I moved to Florida from Syracuse in 2003 to open my first school and have never looked back!
It’s been over 20 years now! June 1st was our official 20-year anniversary. I know we are talking about the Black Belt Spectacular a lot in classes and promoting it hard, and it is because we know the impact this goal and this event will have on the graduates and people watching it live.
So, I urge you to buy your tickets! Invite family and friends. You will leave feeling great! You will feel inspired, entertained, and in awe of our graduates and professional instructor team.
You can get your tickets here: https://efma.ticketleap.com/fall-2023-elite-force-black-belt-spectacular/
I recommend that you buy them from a computer and not a mobile device. This way you can select your seats. The venue holds about 625 people and there is truly not a bad seat in the house.
I urge you to go! If you are a parent, this event will have a HUGE impact on your little ones.
Plus, you will get to see Mr. Luis lead the team as he earns his 3rd degree Black Belt, and he is awarded his SENSEI title. He will be one of only 6 people in 20 years to earn the title of Sensei in Lighthouse Point history! David Parker is also earning his 3rd degree Black Belt. He is a 60-year-old realtor and real estate coach. He is a very successful, well-rounded individual and a great role model for us all.
Again, I urge you to get your tickets and show up at the Black Belt Spectacular on Saturday, October 7th at 11:00 AM!
Jocko Willink is a retired Navy Seal, best-selling author, entrepreneur, and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. Jocko is famous for his 4:30 daily wake-up. He posts a picture of his watch every morning on Instagram and Twitter then he does his daily morning workout consisting of weight training, calisthenics, sprints, and more. He also train Jiu-Jitsu every day in the afternoon. His mantra is, “Discipline Equals Freedom”. Jocko is currently 50 years old.
The word discipline is derived from the Latin word, discplina, which means “instruction or training”. It is derived from the root word discere – “to learn”.
In simple terms, discipline is doing what you are supposed to do whether you feel like it or not. Sounds simple and easy, but we all know otherwise!
How does discipline equal freedom?
Most people wait around to get motivated before they do something. That may involve watching a video on YouTube, reading a book, talking to a friend, and more. They are depending on something from the outside to spark the desire to do what needs to be done.
When business philosopher and teacher, Jim Rohn, was teaching a seminar about success, a guy said that he needed his boss to motivate him every morning. Jim Rohn smiled and asked, “What if he doesn’t show up? Jim then said, “You have to have a better plan for your life than that.”
Discipline truly is freedom because you are the captain of your own ship. You are in control of what you do and when you do it. You aren’t relying on anything external. When it’s time to work out, you do it. When it is time to work on the project, you do it. When it is time to spend time with the family, you do it.
Award-winning composter John Williams wrote the score for Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more. When asked about his success, he said it came down to daily discipline. He said that he sits down every day and writes music whether he feels like it or not. He said sometimes I write great stuff and other times it is terrible.
He said that doesn’t really matter. What matters is writing every day led him to writing the masterpieces that have defined his career.
What is the problem with motivation?
The problem with motivation is that it is temporary. You get fired up for a moment or a few days but that wears off. If you are relying on that, you are stuck in the mud. Being disciplined means you take 100% responsibility for your life and take the action necessary to succeed.
How can you be disciplined in your relationships?
Discipline plays a key role in the success or failure of relationships. Most people think that relationships, such as marriage, is a 50/50 scenario. The thought process is I do my part and you do yours. On the surface, that makes sense.
In reality, successful relationships are 100/0. You take 100% responsibility for the relationship and what happens. When your spouse is upset, don’t ask what is wrong with him or her. Instead ask yourself, “What did I do (or didn’t do) to cause him or her to be upset, angry, frustrated, etc.”
This can be very difficult to accept and implement, however, it works. The commitment is to the relationship and the other person. You understand that you cannot control what someone else says or does, but you can control your response to their actions. You can choose to respond positively, proactively, and calmly. You can choose the disciplined path and check your ego at the door, so you can zero in on what you can do (focus on solutions) to improve the situation and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again.
What do most people do? They react! They get angry, sad, emotional, or any slew of negative emotions. We have all been guilty of this before. I am not proud of it; however, I am trying to learn from it.
Let me be clear, I am not scoring straight A’s on all this stuff. I, like you, are a work in progress. I am constantly “under construction” and working towards the best version of myself. One thing I know for sure is that when my focus is on taking disciplined action, the better version of me comes out.
How should we discipline our children?
I also read that the word discipline comes from the root word “disciple” which means “to teach”. When we discipline kids, we are doing it to teach them something – the right way to behave, follow the rules, etc. It should never be done out of anger or emotion. Is this easier said than done? Hell yeah! As my dad would say, “That’s why they call it work!”
In closing, we have to understand that there is no easy way out in life. There is only discipline. When we understand that and stop fighting against it, life becomes more fun and your results will go through the roof!
We live in a society that is getting busier and more cluttered. We have thousands of marketing messages thrown at us throughout the day, the demands on our time are greater than they have ever been, and we can’t seem to catch up.
Every one of us has felt that there are not enough hours in the days or days in the week. This feeling can lead to frustration, stress, and anxiety. The worst part is that there does not seem to be an end in sight.
What do we do? What is the solution?
Author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Jim Rohn says that time, not money, is the most vital commodity. He said we can always make more money, but we cannot make more time.
In fact, he says that the richest people in America have something in common with the poorest people. They all have the same 24 hours in the day and the same 7 days in the week.
So, how is it that some people can rise to the top of their careers, have great family lives, tremendous health, and live the life of their dreams while others are barely scraping by?
It’s true we all have the same amount of time, however, the way we use that time differs greatly from person to person, generation to generation.
Author Stephen R. Covey wrote a best-selling book entitled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. In that book he outlines his four time quadrants, and his insights are eye-opening to say the least.
Quadrant #1: The Procrastinator
This quadrant focuses on doing tasks that are both urgent and important. These could be fixing a flat tire, bringing a loved one to the emergency room when they are sick or hurt, doing an assignment at the last minute, and repairing a broken computer.
They are tasks that need to be done so everyone stays healthy and whole, and they need to be done right away.
You probably know some people that always seem to be in the first quadrant. They are constantly running around dealing with the urgent items, and they have to get taken care of or there are real consequences.
The challenge in this category is the person is always in a rush and the stress levels can be high. None of us are immune to being in quadrant #1 from time to time. Life happens and we have to deal with it.
The key to avoiding this quadrant most of the time is proper planning. As the old cliché says, “Proper planning and preparation leads to peak performance.”
Quadrant #2: The Prioritizer
This is the quadrant we should all strive to be in most of the time. In this category, you are working on tasks that are important but not urgent.
People with strong planning skills are in quadrant #2 most of the time. They are working on tasks that are important, such as creating marketing plans, building relationships with prospects, doing homework assignments, etc.
They key is that none of these items need to be done immediately. They are not urgent. This is where a college student has a paper due in 4 weeks, and they do a little bit of work on it each day, so they are not rushing and stressed at the end.
This is the business person that creates a marketing months in advance so they have plenty of time to get the materials together, train their staff, etc.
Most people do not work well under pressure. Some people claim that they work best under pressure, but if they really analyze their work and performance, it is usually not the case.
Quadrant #3: The Yes-Person
Tasks in this quadrant fall in the category of being urgent but not important. These are things like answering an unimportant phone call, text, or email message. It could also be someone interrupting you with an unimportant request or problem while you are working on an important project.
Peer pressure falls into this category also.
The person who spends most of their time in this quadrant usually has a hard time saying no to people, and they end up overbooking themselves. This leads to stress, anxiety, and very little important work or activities getting done.
We have all fallen victim to being in this quadrant at one point or another.
Author and speaker Darren Hardy has a great strategy for staying out of this quadrant. He says that most of the time, people commit themselves to things they don’t really want to do because they don’t want to disappoint another person.
He says when you are presented with an opportunity to do something or go somewhere and your answer is an excited, “Hell yeah!” then it is OK to go.
But if your true feeling is that you don’t really want to go, use this polite line, “Thank you for thinking of me. I appreciate it. As of right now, I can’t go but if that changes, I will let you know.”
This way you are cordial and polite, and you are staying out of quadrant #3!
Quadrant #4: The Slacker
This is the worst quadrant to be in for long periods of time. These are the tasks that are both not urgent and not important. Watching too much TV, endless phone calls, playing video games, and wasting time in general are what quadrant #4 people do a lot.
It is OK to be in quadrant #4 for short periods of time, so you can relax and recharge your batteries, but spending too much time here can ruin your career, family, and health because you are wasting time in the wrong areas.
We all know people that never get ahead in life because they are wasting their most precious commodity…time.
Don’t let this be you! Quadrant #4 can be avoided when you have clear goals, a solid action plan, and high levels of ambition and initiative.
As author and speaker Brian Tracy says, “Clarity is power!” And clarity will help to keep you out of quadrant #4 and get you back in quadrant #2 where we all belong!
None of us are guaranteed another day, and none of us should take any time we have with family, friends, and loved ones for granted. Make the most of your time and use your time the right way, and your quality of life will skyrocket!
Over the last 2 months we have focused on the first 10 qualities in Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. He created his Pyramid of Success to clearly lay out what a person would need to do in order to be successful on and off the basketball court.
Coach Wooden was not solely focused on creating basketball champions. He was focused on creating successful people in life. That included getting good grades in their academics, having strong family connections and friends, having a spiritual focus, and more.
He never referred to himself as a coach, he saw himself as a teacher. The pyramid of success was one of his best teaching tools ever!
Let’s focus on the final 5 qualities on the Pyramid of Success.
Number 11: Skill
“What a leader learns after you’ve learned it all counts most of all.”
Coach Wooden knew that repetition is the mother of skill. His practices were extremely well planned out so he could maximize the time put into skill development.
There were certain fundamentals he drilled with his team over and over again to develop the necessary muscle memory and reactions to be at their best. It all started on day #1 of the new season when Coach would teach the right way to put on your socks and lace up your shoes.
He knew that if a player got a blister on their foot it would deter their performance, so he made sure they knew the right way to do it, and he inspected what he expected.
Number 12: Team Spirit
“The star of the team is the team. We’ supersedes me.”
Coach Wooden had some basketball legends during his time coaching at UCLA. Some of those players were hall of famers, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. It would have been easy for him to let them run the game and focus on scoring all the points, but he knew the team would not be at their best if they did that.
He focused on developing a well-rounded team that could do it all – handle the ball with great skill, shoot, pass, defend, get rebounds, etc. This lead to a focus on performing at their best and no one overshadowed anyone else, eliminating jealousy and in-fighting.
Number 13: Poise
“Be yourself. Don’t be thrown off by events whether good or bad.”
Coach Wooden never spoke of winning or losing. Instead he focused on being prepared for anything and everything that could happen during a game and giving your best effort 100% of the time.
He never wanted his players to fear failure, whether that was losing a game, missing a shot, etc. He knew that if a player was afraid of losing or making a mistake, they would not play at their potential. Instead, the focus was doing their very best and learning from their victories as well as their failures.
This allowed the players to be relaxed and excited for that moment when the game was on the line. They were calm, cool, and collected, which is why they dominated college basketball.
Number 14: Confidence
“The strongest steel is well-founded self-belief. It is earned, not given.”
Coach Wooden believed in a concept called “Confidence through Competence”. He knew that as his players developed higher levels of skill and ability, they would be more confident and sure of what they could do on the court.
This is why his practices were so thoroughly planned out – so they could drill the fundamentals that they needed to succeed. Interestingly enough, Coach never watched film of other teams. He felt that he could not control what they did, but he knew he could control the level of preparation he put his team through.
By game time, they were so well prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally, that their confidence was through the roof. This led to winning 10 National Championships in 12 years and an 88-game winning streak.
Number 15: Competitive Greatness
“Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.”
This was Coach Wooden’s top attribute on the pyramid. So many things in life are out of our control, but giving your best effort is always in a person’s control.
Because Coach never spoke of winning and losing, his players did not feel pressured to score a certain amount of points or post certain statistics. They were relaxed and focused on giving their best.
This led to the team performing at the highest of levels and succeeding more than any other team in sports history.
Coach Wooden will go down in history as one of the best coaches and leaders ever. His pyramid of success is a blueprint of how to lead a team to greatness and develop champions off the court as well as on. We should all be paying attention to his teachings. It will help us all get to the next level of success and fulfillment.
Last month, we started our deep dive into the most winning coach in sports history, Coach John Wooden. Coach Wooden led the UCLA Bruins basketball team to 10 National Championships in 12 years, and at one point, had an 88-game winning streak. His record is likely to remain intact for many, many years to come.
Coach Wooden created his own definition of success along with the Pyramid of Success. He wanted to create a definition of success that had nothing to do with how a person compared to others. His definition is solely focused on doing your best and preparing yourself 100% of the time.
Coach Wooden’s definition of success is, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
This month, we are going to focus on the next 5 qualities on the Pyramid of Success.
Number 6: Self-Control
“Control of your organization begins with control of yourself. Be disciplined.”
Coach Wooden wanted his players to develop the habits of champions. That meant having the self-control to eat the right foods, drink plenty of water, abstain from alcohol and other drugs. By doing this, they could be at their best in practice and in the games.
Coach knew that good habits are hard to form but easy to live with, while bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with.
Self-control also meant not over celebrating when something good happens in the game, and not getting overly upset or emotional if they lost. He knew that if his players did their very best, they could and should feel proud of themselves for being 100% prepared for the game.
Number 7: Intentness
“Stay the course. When thwarted try again; harder; smarter. Persevere relentlessly.”
Coach Wooden knew that life is full of challenges and obstacles. He stressed being intentional about preparing themselves mentally and physically for the upcoming games and their upcoming tests and papers in the classroom. He was a stickler that his players do well with their academics. He viewed himself as a teacher, not just a basketball coach.
He also stressed the importance of having a relentless mindset. He encouraged his players to train hard and play smartly. He encouraged them to never give up regardless of the circumstances.
Number 8: Alertness
“Constantly be aware and observing. Always seek to improve yourself and the team.”
Coach Wooden stressed how important it is to be aware of everything going on around them, and to focus on what he can learn from a situation or another person. He reminded his players to not have tunnel vision and get wrapped up in their egos, but instead, to be ready, willing, and able to pay attention to their surroundings and learn everything they can.
Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying that he never met a person that he did not learn something from. Be aware, be alert, absorb valuable information, and apply it at the appropriate times!
Number 9: Initiative
“Make a decision! Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.”
Coach knew that the worst thing you could do when confronted with a challenging situation or task is to procrastinate and do nothing.
He wanted his players to make a decision and follow through on that decision. When his players asked what if they made the wrong decision, he said you can always change your mind and go the other way.
In fact, if you decide quickly and discover that you made the wrong call, you can switch your direction and start doing the new approach. In almost every case, you will still be further ahead from the person that did nothing – did not make a decision and act. They are still there thinking about what he/she should do.
Number 10: Condition
“Ability may get you to the top, but character keeps you there – mental, moral, and physical.”
Coach Wooden was a stickler for getting his players in peak physical condition. He said that they should never lose a game because the opposing team was in better shape than they were. You can’t control how good another team is, but you can control your level of stamina and conditioning overall.
He also demanded that his players be conditioned and disciplined to act the right ways off the court, as well as on the court. That meant always being respectful, kind, and doing the right thing.
Character education and development were as important to Coach Wooden as was playing basketball at the highest level. He felt his players were representing the school, their families, and God all the time, and they needed to act that way.
Attitude, behavior, and character development was talked about and stressed every day in the Bruins locker-room.
Next month, we will focus on the final 5 qualities in Coach Wooden’s legendary Pyramid of Success!
Coach John Wooden is the most winning coach in sports history. He was the head coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball team for 27 years and is most known for winning 10 National Championships in 12 years. At one point, his Bruins had an 88 game winning streak. Very impressive to say the least!
Throughout his coaching career, Coach Wooden often thought about what success meant to him. He, in his infinite wisdom, realized that not everyone is born with the same gifts and talents. He did not like measuring people by the same standard, since some people were naturally more intelligent, some were more athletic, etc.
He developed his own definition of success, which is, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
Not only did Coach Wooden develop one of the best definitions of success in history, but he also created the Pyramid of Success. The Pyramid of Success is a compilation of 15 qualities that a person must have to reach their true potential.
Coach Wooden was focused solely on helping his players reach their true potential and making sure they were completely prepared for the upcoming game. He never spoke of winning…ever!
Winning was not his goal. The goal was to make his players the best they could be by preparing them diligently and encouraging them to give their best effort 100% of the time.
For the next 3 months, we are going to take a deep dive into the 15 qualities that Coach drilled into his players and assistant coaches. This month, we will focus on the bottom of the pyramid, which focuses on the first 5 attributes of a successful person.
Number 1: Industriousness
“Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way.”
Coach Wooden encouraged and demanded his players give their best effort 100% of the time. He never compared players to one another. Instead, he looked at each player on his team and pushed them to be their best all day, every day.
He not only insisted on this in basketball, but in their academics as well. If a player’s grades were not up to par, they rode the bench regardless of how good of a player they were. This is not a common practice in sports today.
He viewed himself as a teacher, not just a coach. He was teaching them how to succeed in life, and that cannot happen without them putting in the hard work necessary to succeed.
Number 2: Enthusiasm
“Your energy and enjoyment, drive and dedication will stimulate and greatly inspire others.
Coach Wooden knew that to be great in anything, basketball, academics, and everything else, you have to enjoy what you are doing, be driven to be your personal best, and that enthusiasm will carry over to your teammates, friends, and co-workers.
He wanted them to have fun, because when a player is enjoying what they are doing, they will do it better and more efficiently. He also knew that one player’s enthusiasm and energy will inspire others to act and feel the same way.
Number 3: Friendship
“Strive to build a team filled with camaraderie and respect: comrades-in-arms.”
Coach Wooden knew that not everyone on the team would be best friends and always see eye to eye, however, he encouraged and demanded that his players have a mutual respect and camaraderie on the court. He wanted positive and respectful communication among his players, so the team could play at their best.
This avoided the formation of cliques on any of his teams. Everyone was an equal part and of equal value on the team.
Number 4: Cooperation
“Have utmost concern for what’s right rather than who’s right.”
Coach Wooden understood that together everyone achieves more – the true meaning of the word TEAM. That meant that players had to be focused on winning games ahead of their own personal statistics and accolades. Sure, some of his players were superstars, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.
While he appreciated their high-level of skill and ability, he never treated them better than anyone else. He demanded that they all focused on the team and working together to be successful. That meant not shooting all the time but looking for the pass, and everyone helping out on defense.
Number 5: Loyalty
“Be true to yourself. Be true to those you lead.”
Coach Wooden often referred to being true to yourself, which meant that a person does everything they are capable of to be their best. He felt that was one of the best ways to help your team win. This creates trust and loyalty among the team.
He encouraged and demanded that his players be there for one another, so the team could function at a high level. When everyone shows up prepared, focused, and ready to give 100%, everyone works harder to help the team succeed.
This creates a tremendous amount of loyalty and camaraderie among the players.
Next month, we will focus on the next 5 qualities in Coach Wooden’s legendary Pyramid of Success!
History has taught us that top achievers and the top 10% of the most successful people in the world have had to act courageously from time to time. Sometimes that means taking risks to start a new business, challenge for a top position in their company, or attempt to have a career in show business.
Sometimes high performers need to take risks to turn their business around and get it on a profitable track again.
Dealing with the unknown is scary. We all want to be in control and be able to predetermine the outcome. Unfortunately, life does not always allow us to do that.
One of my best friends, Bill Storm, was working for a company with a boss that was arrogant, rude, and had unrealistic expectations. After a disagreement, Bill quit his job only to then find out his wife was pregnant with their first child.
Now more than 20 years later, Bill has become that ultra-successful entrepreneur. How did he do it? Because he had to! He had a baby on the way, and he had to make things happen.
How do the most successful people in the world act courageously when the fear of failure and defeat is very realistic?
Strategy #1: Honor the Struggle
When you have the opportunity to learn and serve, you don’t complain about the effort involved. High performers view struggle as necessary, important, and a positive part of their journey so that you can find true peace and personal power.
They never bemoan the inevitable hardships of self-improvement and chasing their dreams. They have reverence for the challenge! That is honoring the struggle!
Jay-Z knows first-hand the mindset of honoring the struggle. He came from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood and had big dreams to make it big as a rapper.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world didn't agree with him at first. Not one record label would sign him. That didn't stop him from creating his own music label. His label would eventually turn into the insanely lucrative Roc-A-Fella Records. Forbes has estimated his net worth to be $500 million and, in 2013, TIME magazine called him one of the most influential people in the world.
“If things are not going well with you, begin your effort at correcting the situation by carefully examining the service you are rendering, and especially the spirit in which you are rendering it.”
Strategy #2: Share Your Truth and Ambitions
High performers know that the main motivation of humankind is to be free, to express our true selves and pursue our dreams without restriction – to experience what may be called personal freedom.
Follow this impulse by consistently sharing your true thoughts, feelings, needs, and dreams with other people. Do not play small to placate others.
Top performers are driven to live their truth!
McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, used this strategy after meeting the McDonald brothers in California. He had a grandiose vision of what the business could become – a worldwide powerhouse that would serve millions of people every day and would make everyone hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Where attention goes, energy flows, and results always show.”
Strategy #3: Find Someone to Fight For
We all need a noble cause to fight for. High performers tend to make that cause just one person. They want to fight for that person, so they can be safe, improve, and live a better quality of life.
You will always do more for others than you will for yourself. In doing something for others, you will find your reason for acting in a courageous manner, and your cause for focus and excellence!
Legendary actor and comedian, Jim Carrey, dropped out of high school at 15 years old to go to work and support his family. He also continued working on his dream of becoming a highly paid comedian and actor. In fact, Jim wrote a check to himself for $10 million, and in the memo section, he wrote “for acting services rendered”.
He fought and overcame incredible rejection, including being booed off stage the first time he attempted stand-up comedy. He wanted to give his family a better life, and more than 7 years later, he was offered the starring role in “Dumb & Dumber”.
What was he paid for that role? $10 million!
Sylvester Stallone demonstrated this mindset in his blockbuster movie, Rocky 4. In that movie, a menacing Russian fighter, Ivan Drago, killed Rocky’s best friend, Apollo Creed, in an exhibition fight. Rocky trained harder than ever and defeated Drago to uphold the legacy of his late friend.
Life can be tough, and there will be times when we need to step up and act boldly. Top performers step up and act confidently in the face of adversity. They are not afraid to fail because they know that failure is an event, not a person.
Take that step and be courageous! You can do it!
Today more than ever, many people feel they have so much to do and never enough time to get it all done. Yes, we know that many people are hitting huge goals, making massive strides in progress, and seem to be doing it with ease.
We all know other people that seem to be just sliding along laterally, making little to no headway towards their objectives, and they are getting more and more frustrated.
What is the difference? We all have the same 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. What is the difference between the person that is moving the needle consistently and the other person that seems to be stuck in the mud?
The answer lies in their productivity strategies. The high performers have very specific productivity habits and strategies that help them make insane progress and yet do it sanely!
I am sure you are asking yourself what those secrets are. Well, you are in luck. I am going to share them with you!
Productivity Strategy #1: Increase the Outputs that Matter
High performers realize that we are all inundated with information, marketing messages, and distractions. On top of that, they have realized that if they don’t have the ability to focus on what really matters, they will never hit their targets.
High performers are diligent about figuring out what numbers they need to pay attention to, what skills they need to develop, and what their top priorities are.
We call them your vital functions, vital metrics, vital improvements, and vital priorities.
Your vital functions are the 3 more important things you do that move the needle closer to your goals. Your vital metrics are the 3 most important numbers you need to pay attention to in your business, academics, etc.
Your vital improvements are the top 3 skills you need to improve and eventually master so you can be extremely effective in your endeavor. Lastly, your vital priorities are the top 3 priorities that need to be done each day, week, and month so you stay on track.
Notice that we never go above 3 with any of these categories. Why? Because, as Tony Robbins says, “Complexity is the enemy of execution.” If you don’t have clarity on your goals, your reasons why, and your top actions, you will never make progress.
What happens when we are not sure what to do? Most people do nothing! They get overwhelmed with all the confusion, so instead of doing the hard work to figure it out, they head to the couch, watch Netflix, and sip on a beer. Of course, I am not talking about you – just other people! :)
What can a lion tamer point an upside-down stool at a lion and the lion does not attack? The answer is because the lion interprets the 4 legs of the stool as 4 separate threats that could attack at any time. So, the lion does nothing because he cannot focus on one threat at a time. We are the same way.
What are your outputs that matter? Do you have clarity? If not, grab a note pad and get to work!
Productivity Strategy #2: Chart Your 5 Moves
This is a great strategy to simply your action plan and get you taking the actions you need to in order to achieve your big goals.
Ask yourself this question, “If there were only 5 major moves to make that goal happen, what would they be?”
Neil Armstrong, the first man to make it to the moon, said getting to the moon is a matter of 2 simple steps. Number one is figuring out how to get there, and number two is figuring out how to get back. Simple, right!
Not really, but making the process simple in your head, makes it easier to begin working on that project.
The key is to break up the project into deliverables, deadlines, and activities. Then put them in your calendar and get to work!
Productivity Strategy #3: Get Insanely Good at Key Skills
The late, great author, Jim Rohn, says “to have more, you must become more.”
Understanding that success is not something you pursue, it is something you attract by becoming an attractive person. How do you become an attractive person that attracts success.
Jim also says the key to life change is not motivation, it is education. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, you now have a motivated idiot who is more of a danger to himself and others! Not good!
It starts with education! Determine the 5 major skills you need to develop over the next 3 years to grow into the person you want to become. Then set out to develop those skills with obsessive focus through the 10 steps of progressive mastery.
Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, Pat Riley, says that you are either getting better or you are getting worse. There is no staying at the same level.
The answer is to be obsessive about learning the most vital skills that will allow you to hit your goal and grow your business. How do you do that? Easy! Focus on a few strategies.
Stop the Insanity – The Power of Saying “No”!
I think we live in the busiest time in human history. We have more demands on our time than ever before. We are working longer hours, have more responsibilities, more people to communicate with, and are inundated with distractions.
The worst part of it all is I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. In fact, I think it will get much worse.
We opened up our first martial arts school on June 1st, 2003. This June will be our 19th anniversary. There is no doubt that the families we teach today have far more on their plates than the families we worked with nearly two decades ago.
I was born in the 70’s, and kids’ schedules back then are nothing compared to what they are now. Kids are given more homework, more tests, and more projects than ever before. Football and baseball coaches are demanding that kids attend 4-5 practices per week plus games. It’s insane!
Like the philosopher, Susan Powter, said in the 90’s, we need to “Stop the insanity!”
How do we do that? How do we stop the insanity? How do we slow our lives down so we can make time for the really important things in life?
It starts with one very powerful, short, straightforward response – NO!
What I have learned over the years is saying “Yes” is easy.
When we are over scheduled, too busy, have too many priorities, too many tasks to do, we get overwhelmed, stressed, and irritable.
When we have too many things to do, what do most people do? Nothing! We get stuck in “paralysis of analysis” trying to figure out what to do first, where to start, and how to proceed. We can’t figure it out, so we do nothing.
All of the sudden turning on Netflix seems like a good escape from trying to figure out the labyrinth of your daily and weekly schedule.
Why can the lion tamer keep away a large, hungry, and aggressive lion with only an upside-down bar stool. The answer is because the lion interprets the 4 legs of the stool as 4 separate threats that could attack at any time or at the same time. So, the lion does nothing!
Saying no can be freeing. It cuts down the number of tasks and responsibilities that make their way on to your daily calendar. Saying no creates calmness, focus, and serenity throughout your day.
In order to feel good about saying no, we have to be clear about what things to say yes to. When you are clear with your top 3 goals, vital functions, vital metrics, and vital priorities, it becomes much clearer what does not move the needle in any of those areas, and you can see those things for what they are. Distractions!
Now, it goes without saying that we can not go through life saying no to everything. We do have to say yes sometimes, so how do you know when to say yes?
You can say yes when in your mind the answer is a “Hell yeah!”
Creating clarity on the following areas makes saying “no” much easier.
There is no doubt that saying no is hard, so when you have to say no, say it in a nice, polite, and friendly way.
Say, “No, thank you. I appreciate you thinking of me. Right now, I don’t think I can make it, but if that changes, I will let you know.” You are basically saying, “Don’t call me, I will call you!” But you are saying it in a nice way. 😊
In closing, I think we have all learned that more is not better. More things to do, people to see, commitments to live up to is not the recipe for a better life. Identifying what is truly important to you and keeping those things first place will make your life, more calm, focused, and will make the journey far more enjoyable.
I forget who I was talking to but someone once told me that the quality of your life comes down to the quality of your relationships. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with him.
Money is important, but there are a lot of very rich people who are miserable. So, money alone is not the answer. On the other side of that, we all know people who are earning a modest living and yet they are some of the happiest and most fulfilled people out there.
I have been thinking about relationships a lot lately, because I just read an incredible book on marriage called “Go Giver Marriage”. The essence of the book is about how having an attitude of giving will allow you to receive more.
This is the 4th book in the series, and all of them are centered around the Pindar Principle, which is, “The more you give, the more you have.”
The 5 Secrets to Lasting Love were so profound that I wanted to share them with all of you, and to learn more about them, by all means, get the book!
The 1st Secret: Appreciate
When you appreciate your spouse or significant other, you look for specific things about them that you love. Appreciation does not stop there though. To show genuine appreciation, you must tell them, and the more things you find to appreciate, the better!
Is your spouse a great parent? Are they hyper focused on climbing the corporate ladder at work? Are they incredibly thoughtful?
My wife is very committed to helping our daughter succeed on the dance team. She brings her to all the events, which are incredibly long! She is enthusiastic and encouraging when Alexa Rae is about to compete.
She prepares thoroughly for these events, and believe me, there is a lot to remember. The sheer amount of stuff you need to bring to be sure your dancer is prepared is incredible!
What do you appreciate about your spouse or significant other?
The 2nd Secret: Attend
Being attentive means showing that you are paying attention through some tangible action. It is noticing what your partner needs, wants, and enjoys, and then giving it to them.
This could be as simple as helping with the laundry or housework if they are sick or extremely busy at work. This could be bringing them a cup of coffee in the morning if they had a rough night’s sleep.
When you are attending to them, you aren’t just paying attention. You are taking action to show them you are paying attention and you that you care.
What can you do to be more attentive in your relationships?
The 3rd Secret: Allow
Allowing has two sides. On one side, it is being responsible for the energy you bring to the relationship. That means being aware of your attitude, actions, voice quality, and tone.
Oprah Winfrey hangs the same sign in every room in which she has a meeting, and that sign says, “Be responsible for the energy you bring into the room!”
The second side of allowing is accepting your partner for who they are. You are accepting all their flaws along with all their great qualities. When we are dating someone new, we are totally focused on that person’s positive qualities. However, once we have been with someone for a while, the tendency is to focus more attention on that person’s flaw, quirks, and bad habits.
To be great at the third secret, you want to become your partner’s safe harbor, according to John David Mann. Let them know you love them completely, flaws and all, and that it is AOK to be who they really are.
Can you be more allowing of your partner?
The 4th Secret: Believe
Believe in your partner 100%! Show them that you completely trust them, and you have faith in them.
Every one of us has fears, uncertainties, and doubts that hold us back. They are a part of life, however, if you are feeding your spouse with encouragement, praise, and faith, you can boost them to be their best self.
As rock icon Jon Bon Jovi says, “You’ve got to keep the faith!”
How can you show your partner how much you believe in them?
The 5th Secret: Grow
The fifth secret is not about your partner, it is about you. It is you identifying what you need to be happy and fulfilled and then giving that gift to yourself.
The reality is you can not be your best self for your partner if you do not take care of yourself. There is a reason they say on the airplane to put your mask on first before helping others. If you don’t help yourself first, you could end up dead!
Fitness is very important to both my wife and me, so we make sure each of us has time every day to workout. It keeps us both feeling good. We are both far more patient, proactive, and happier when we have worked out.
She loves martial arts, Yoga, and tennis. I love mixed martial arts, Jiu-Jitsu, and weight training, so we make sure to give each other time to grow individually.
What gift can you give yourself so you can be your best for your partner?
In full disclosure, I am a student of these principles. I have not mastered them yet – Just ask my wife! 😊
I am working on them though!
Now it is time for us to get to work. Read? Set? Grow!