I've been around winners, high performance people my whole life. And I've made it my work to study them. And I've studied them with a thought: what do they do when they're at their best?
I'm not an expert. I'm simply a conduit for this information.
How many diets does it take to get to the weight you want to get to? Just one. The one you stick with. How many personal growth programs do you have to have before you see changes you'd like to see? Just one. The one you commit to and stick with.
Growth, change, is a commitment to process. It is not something we are born with. We can orchestrate high performance.
If growth, if change, if improved performance is important to you, then there is a certain body of knowledge, a certain font of information you should be aware of. High performance people are aware of this knowledge. They may not be aware that they know it. But if you spend enough time around people you consider high performance you'll become aware of these thought patterns.
Winning is choosing change. Winning is choosing to grow. Winning is choosing to improve our performance. But before we can choose, we have to know we have a choice. We have to know we can. We have to know we are able to change.
You are in the belief business. It is the quality and quantity of our beliefs — this is the kind of person I am. These are the kind of things that happen to me — that directly affects the quality and the quantity of our life.
How do you take a team that doubts itself, that is tentative, and transforms itself into champions?
My father went to Green Bay in 1959. Their record was 1-1-10. In 1960, they were playing for the Championship game. They didn't win that year. But they never lost another championship game after that. That's not a study in attaining a goal. That's a study in maintaining a goal.
If you are in a maintenance mode, then you are about to become another face in the thundering herd. We win, we achieve, we excel by a commitment to constant and continuous growth.
Success is much more difficult to live with than failure. We have challenges we have to live with every week.
Character is the perfectly disciplined will.
There is no substitute for victory. That's the type of thinking most associated with Vince Lombardi. But I would say a better characterization of his thinking is: to accomplish anything worthwhile, you must pay the price. Whatever the goal, whatever the dream, there is a price.
Without goals personally and professionally, we die. We wither and we die.
We must pay the price to reach them and we must pay the price to maintain them. Striving for excellence isn't a sometime thing. It's an all the time thing. Success is a habit. Winning is a habit. And, unfortunately, so is losing.
How do we measure our level of performance? We look around and measure ourselves against the people around us. For me, that meant measuring myself against my father. That was debilitating. I was filled with doubt. Was I really this lazy? Was I really this unmotivated? Undisciplined?
His commitment was the stuff of legend. And he was so tough. One player said when Coach Lombardi told you to go to Hell, you looked forward to the trip.
High performance is a do-it-yourself project.
My father believed if you had a team of men, working together, committed to a single goal, you could achieve anything. A championship wasn't a sign of divine favor. A championship was just the outcome of working together as a team. The Green Bay Packers were a team. They had synergy. The group was greater than the whole. They counted on each other. They trusted each other. They had commitment. As my father once said, the quality of a person's life is in direct relation to their commitment to excellence. The essence of commitment is the act of making a decision. when we commit to something, we're cutting away all the other actions, all the excuses, all the rationalizations.
Sun Tzu in The Art of War said when you have the enemy army cornered, leave them a way out. Because if you don't leave them a way out, they'll fight to the death. Commitment is leaving yourself no way out. It's being willing to fight to the death for what you want and what you believe in.
What is it you've committed to? Goals, dreams, aspirations, business success — without commitment are nothing more than a good idea.
Unless our goals are clear and vivid and precise, we can't bring to the table the awesome power of commitment. So here is my question for you: your goals, your dreams. Can you see it? Can you smell it? Can you taste it? Can you touch it? Do you know what it's going to sound like when it comes down the road?
What is motivation? It's a motive to action.
The essence of motivation is gestalt. In our minds, we're always working for order, working for harmony, working for balance. We have a pretty good idea of how things ought to be. You know what your numbers should be in your business, how your kids should behave, what the numbers in the checkbook should be at the end of the month. When what I have matches what I want, then I'm content. And my system provides me with just enough drive and energy to maintain the status quo. But when what I've got doesn't match what I want: you're not going to make your numbers this quarter, your kids aren't behaving the way you want, when there is disharmony, disorder, and dis-balance, then I get nervous. I get tense, I get uptight. This nervousness, this feeling of discomfort can become the drive and energy we use to become motivation. If I know what I want, if what I want is clear and vivid and precise, if I'm committed to what I want, if what I want it stronger than what I've got, I'll take the tension and energy and stress and convert it to motivation and go after what I want.
Now, if what I've got is stronger than what I want, my first goal is to avoid the tension and stress to get back to where I'm comfortable. What do we do? We compromise on what we want. That's why more of us don't change. That's why more of us have difficulty in moving to the next level of performance.
If you don't have goals and dreams and aspirations, then today is going to look the same as yesterday and tomorrow is going to look the same as today. If that's okay with you, hey, that's the same with me.
If we don't have goals of our own, goals that are clear and committed and precise, then whose goals are we working toward? Someone else's. I can't think of anything worse.
Some of us set goals and don't commit to them. We set goals and then we get nervous and tense and we want to get rid of that uncomfortable feeling. So what do we do? We compromise. We move our goals closer to where we are right now. We don't work hard for what we want. And what happens? It gets easy to quit. It gets easier and easier to quit.
For some of us, our goals are clear and vivid and precise. But we never look at reality. We float along, thinking about what we want. When someone asks how we're doing we say, "Oh, fine." We have to look at current reality. That's what makes us nervous and tense and motivated. Current reality is not a bad thing.
I want to weigh 170 pounds. But I weigh 180 pounds. If I don't look at current reality — the scale — then I won't really know how I'm doing on my goal. If I don't get on that scale, I won't know that I need to watch my eating and exercise. But if I get on the scale, I feel that discomfort. And it will motivate me to take the action I need.
Discomfort is the price you pay to get in the arena.
We try to protect those around us from the discomfort of setting goals and then falling short. Teach your kids to bite off more than they can chew. Tell them to reach for the stars. You may not get there but you'll get a whole lot farther than you would otherwise.
Without turmoil and commotion there is no growth. Without turmoil and commotion there is no improved performance. High performance people know this. They see it as a challenge.
I believe the number one key to success is mental toughness. Mental toughness is the ability to hold on to what you want no matter what the conditions. Mental toughness is the ability to hold on to what you want in the face of what you've got. Mental toughness is the ability, day in, day out, to hold on to what you want in the face of what you see. Mental toughness is the willingness, day in, day out, to keep the commitments you make to yourself. Mental toughness is the willingness, day in, day out, to walk your talk. Mental toughness is the willingness, day in, day out, to do the little things that separate the excellent marketers from everyone else. If you've been doing your job for awhile, you know what those little things are. Mental toughness is the willingness to see your snot-nosed 14-year-old kid as a successful 35-year-old who is going to give you three great grandkids — and treat them that way.
To win it, you've got to be in it. Are you in it? Are you in it body and soul?
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