“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Jack Kornfield
Too many of us are waiting.
We’re waiting for the right time, the right opportunity, the right person, etc.
We’re waiting to be noticed, chosen, or given permission.
We’re waiting for someone or something to fix the problems we see clearly.
What if those things never happen?
The danger and trap of waiting is that nothing happens. Nothing is getting created, nothing is getting done. Time is simply passing. While we have plenty of time to do most anything we want, we don’t have time to waste.
Stop waiting, start doing.
Stop thinking and or talking about it, and start being about it.
Stop wishing you were something and start becoming it.
Succeeding and personal excellence is about knowing what you’re here to do, and doing it.
It’s about doing the work. It’s about doing your work.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What do you want?
- What will it take to achieve?
- How will you do it?
Let’s get started.
What do you want?
What are you here to do? What is your work?
If you’re struggling to answer that question, you’re not alone. It took me a long time to get clear on what my work was, the meaning I was looking for, and what impact I wanted to have.
Jordan Peterson teaches that meaning is found in responsibility. That the constant process of self-exploration and self-improvement will lead to self-confidence, which in turn will lead to mastery, which will lead to passion.
So, figure out what you like well enough to work really hard at. Make sure that it’s something that, when you become world-class at, will give you the rewards you require.
Did you ever learn this in English class, “Show, don’t tell?”
My work is focused on helping people get better at money so they can live how they want. I do that through my work as a financial advisor, speaking and course creation around financial wellness, my writing, and my podcast.
Put yourself on the hook. Once you’ve figured out what your work is, tell people. Then, show them.
Make your intentions known through your actions, not just your words.
What will it take to achieve?
One of my favorite words is Arete. It comes from ancient Greece, and has no literal English equivalent. Its definition is “What I can be, I must be.”
As you’re working to achieve personal excellence and to do your work, you must get clear on your core values and goals. In service of helping you to do that, you can access our Goals and Values Courses at no cost.
Once you’ve done that, you need to create a plan for achieving each goal. As you’ll discover in the course, I break goal-setting out into six key areas. For each area and goal, you need to figure out what you truly want.
When thinking about your goals and making your plans, I advocate for short deadlines and high expectations.
How will you do it?
No doubt we’ve all experienced the yo-yo effect. You set your intention and work hard to achieve it, only to slide back to old habits and give back our gains. This is something we want to avoid. But how to do it?
We create sustainable success through rituals of certainty. Things we do no matter what.
Right now, every human being has rituals of certainty. They may only be eating and sleeping, but they have them.
The highest performers among us have many more. Professional athletes, CEOs and thought leaders have turned essential activities into rituals of certainty. What are some examples?
Within each of the six key areas, you can create them:
For Family it could be spending one-on-one time with your partner or kid at least once a week.
For Community it could be stopping by an elderly neighbors house once a month.
For Career and Financial it could be earning a new certification every year, and paying yourself first every month.
For Wellbeing it could be eating a specific diet at specific times, and weight training at least three times a week.
For Personal development it could be reading 10 pages a day.
For Peace of mind it could be getting outside in the morning before work everyday.
Your rituals of certainty will develop over time. What’s important is putting structure in place first, meaning some type of accountability measure. That can be hiring a trainer, scheduling essential activities in your calendar, and getting an accountability partner.
You must start with structure first. Creating guardrails for yourself will help keep you on your path to success. Self-discipline will follow.
And don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. This isn’t a game of perfect. When you slip up, get back on your program the next day.
I’ve used the word “self” consistently throughout this post, and I’ve done so on purpose. If it’s to be, it’s up to me (in this case, you). No one will ever be more concerned or invested in you than you. Act accordingly. Take ownership of every aspect of your life.
Total effort equals total victory.
When you get tired and don’t feel like it, or want to complain, remember the t-shirt worn by NFL quarterback Lamar Jackson that read “Nobody cares. Work harder.”
The time is now. Your time is now.
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