You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
It may not seem like it when your alarm goes off at 5am. When it seems like you are the only one lacing up your shoes to go train. When it’s the middle of the night, you are up studying, and you glance over to see your roommate peacefully sleeping.
You arrive at a place where you get to do what you love, and somehow wish you weren’t there. You wish for the simple. To sleep in. Eat whatever, whenever. Yet…if you were granted that wish, you’d be miserable. Because the passion in your heart to compete is more powerful than the pleasure of temporary satisfaction.
So how do you deal with the mental ping-pong of those thoughts?
Embrace your platform.
You’ve been given athletic talents. You have an opportunity to use them to help others. You are living out your calling, & inspiring countless others to do the same in the process.
Progress doesn’t come without struggle. Success doesn’t happen without sacrifice.
So the next time you feel like giving in, give more. When it feels like you’ve reached a breaking point, think back to where you started, and use it as the motivation you need to make this an all-in launching point.
You were made for this.
For such a time as this.
The air smells different the higher you climb. Not everyone is made to thrive in that climate. But you are. You are hard-wired for it. You thrive on it.
That is your gift.
You know the difference between thriving and surviving. The stark contrast between creating and caving. The clarity as to what it takes to achieve greatness, and the easy path to laziness.
You’ve got this…even when it hurts. You’ve got this…even when others don’t understand. You’ve got this…even when doubt tries to push you down.
And lest you think the only result that matters is…
The lowest time.
The best score.
The gold medal.
The top platform.
Those will never determine the end result. That is for you, and you alone to say.
Don't get me wrong...I'm a competitor through and through. I don't like to lose.
I'm not minimizing the effort that goes into winning, or the pain you experience as a result of losing. I've been on both sides of that coin, many times.
What I feel like you need to hear...deserve to hear...is that as time passes, the lesson of competing as a student-athlete has roots that run far deeper than one moment in time.
You'll begin to ask yourself these questions. And if you can say yes, you'll have gained far more than momentary recognition.
Did you give your all? Did you honor every person on the journey? Did you show humility? Did you act gracious to your competitors? Did you sacrifice your personal preference for the betterment of the team? Did you come a little early, and stay a little late?
Would you do it all over again?
If for no other reason than the relationships you made along the way.
Just to spend those long hours training with them. Just to ride the bus with them again. Just to laugh together, cry together…experience all of it together…again.
Because at the end of the day…
That is the truest definition of winning that I know.
Make the decision to be intentional about building relationships, so that you create a team of influence.
When that is seared into your soul,
you can do far more than win a sporting contest.
You will be ready to change the world.
So please don't throw in the towel when it gets hard. We need you to learn every lesson you can along the way. For the calling that is on your life will be accomplished because of what you learned from them. Without them, life on the other side of sports gets harder. With them you are equipped to take on every challenge thrown your way, in a way that only you can.
Because of that...
You ARE ready to change the world.
No time like the present. Lord knows our world so desperately needs it. And you?
We...those you know, and so many you may never meet...
WE. BELIEVE. IN. YOU.
For it's in the lessons of competition you will begin to understand your calling's destination. And when that happens, run in that direction with every ounce of passion your heart can muster.
You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
Now, and in the future.
You, student-athlete, were made...
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
We all know what those letters stand for.
But...I want you to hit pause for a moment.
Look at what must come first if you truly want to be a valuable leader,
to those who have been entrusted to you.
Mental. Verbal. Physical.
Stop trying to be the hero, the most valuable, and the most talked about individual. Do the hard work of being Mentally prepared, Verbally articulate, and Physically under control. Do that well and you won't have to convince anyone to follow you as a leader...you'll look around and find you simply are one.
"Most Valuable Player".
It's an individual honor that is never about the person themselves,
but rather how well they've built up those around them.
It's the difference between being a leader of influence,
or someone who needs to be seen as the authority.
Leaders of influence create teams that make a difference in the world around them.
That is what it means to be an MVP.
Too many organizations are treating social media like a digital lottery ticket.
What does that mean?
Exactly what this picture says.
You are as likely to grow your business by random social media activity as you are to pick up a lottery ticket off the ground and walk away with millions.
So what is the answer?
Building a story that your current customers see as worth telling and sharing. I said it the other day on Twitter..."If it's not #sharable it's #forgettable." Try equipping those that already interact with your brand to be able to have an impact on those you'd like to be part of your brand.
When you are looking down in search of the digital lottery ticket,
you are ignoring your greatest asset.
Identify it. Tell it. Share it.
Build everything you do around it.
Equip others to brag about it.
Lottery tickets are transactions.
Stories are about relationships.
Guess which one matters more.
Yet...too many organizations still treat social media like digital lottery tickets.
So you might be thinking..."should I still use social media then?"
Replace random with relationships.
With intentional story.
Go have a conversation with a customer. Share your story with them.
And do the same thing in your social media posts.
Stop scanning the ground for luck, look up, and see that you have everything you need.
Story and relationships.
Passion: If you aren't bleeding the vision of your organization, how can you expect anyone on your team to? Actually…I once heard it said that "the leader has to hemorrhage in order for the people that follow to bleed". Sounds kinda gross…but makes a great point. You can't sit back and send your team to the front lines to fight for you all day as you sit in your silk robe in a castle far away. Roll your sleeves up…teach them, speak into them, go with them…show them the way.
Patience: There will be days when it feels like you are on a treadmill instead of an actual run where you can see progress. Everything seems stationary at best. If you lose your noodle in frustration in this moment, you'll lose your people in indifference soon. Instead, realize that the "treadmill days" are still doing something very important. They are creating a culture of endurance. Even though you can't see progress today, you are preparing people who are willing to keep running anyway. That is a culture that will be ready for a marathon on a moments notice.
Persistence: This is beyond treadmill time. This is when the treadmill is broken, coffee pot breaks, half your team is late and the other half is playing candy crush on their phones. If you get to this point, it's time to hit mental rewind as the leader. Go back to day one and ask yourself "WHY did I start this?" Not in a pity party kind of way, but in an honest, heart-level look at your purpose. Once you've dialed into that, go back to leading with passion and preparing to be persistent to do whatever you need to do to get your team back on track.
These 3 leadership reminders aren't magic fairy tale dust. Leading always requires hard work, consistency, transparency, authenticity, and a willingness above all else to be teachable.
Grab on to these 3 things as a quick mental exercise to see if where you are, is where you should be. If it is, way to go! Keep at it! If not, now you've got a little nudge to take care of what needs to be fixed. Get at it!
As always…thanks for stopping by! It's always humbling to know you chose to be here. I appreciate your time, and wish you all the best as you lead your team…wherever you may be!
One step at a time = #progress
Even if you take three forward, and two back…you are moving forward. There will be days will when you crush it, and days when you feel crushed. But if you are committed to trying something each day to take a step forward, you will find yourself making progress.
Progress over time = #momentum
You'll eventually look up and see things changing around you. The energy you expended to move forward one step will now get you three. What seemed so hard when you started has become much easier. Think about it, lift 10 lbs. today and everyday for a month. Next month not only will it feel easier…you'll find yourself smack in the middle of momentum as you crave, pick up and crush heavier ones.
Momentum all the time = #leverage
Living in this space gives you choices. It allows you to have the options you've always wanted, because you've done the hard work you previously wouldn't. You feel better about you, and people feel more confident in you. That gives you what you need to have conversations that effect change. There is a word for that. Leverage.
Use your leverage to lead well, and teach others to get where you are now. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment as you bring others with you and
set your team up to make progress, build momentum and create leverage.
How to have engaging conversations that connect you, not uncomfortable confrontations that divide you.
They all share the same commonality.
It's a daily struggle for all of us to communicate with those closest to us, avoiding the collision of emotions that causes those people to feel far from us.
Try this little exercise to reset your perspective...
You have two ears and one mouth,
so listen twice as much as you speak.
You have two eyes and one mouth,
see things from someone else's perspective before sharing your own.
You have two feet and one mouth,
walk in someone else's shoes before telling them why your way is better.
You have two hands and one mouth,
serve someone with them before you serve yourself by speaking.
You have two knees and one mouth,
your posture to kneel in the presence of God matters more than
posturing yourself as someone who knows it all by speaking too quickly.
As the old saying goes…
I'd rather be wrong and keep my mouth shut ,
than open it...act like a fool, and remove all doubt.
As you navigate all of your relationships today look for the opportunity to do almost anything first, and speaking second. You'll connect better with people around you. They'll sense you care for them.
Together you will gain access to a level of trust in your relationship that previously went untapped.
That's how we end up having engaging conversations that connect our relationships,
rather than uncomfortable conversations that place a division between us.
The first is about the value we place on the people around us,
the latter when we make it all about us.
That's a perspective that will bring joy.
That's an opportunity to live a life of purpose, on purpose.
That's a reminder I need., everyday.
I hope it's a reminder that is an encouragement to you today, wherever you may be…
to help you get to wherever you may be going.
Have a GREAT day!
Thank you for stopping by the blog.
It's an honor you chose to spend some of your valuable time here.
You've been asked to do something incredibly important,
but fear it won't work out in the end?
You've been incredibly inconvenienced,
because this moment wasn't something you had planned for?
You've been confronted with an easy way out,
knowing full well it won't end well?
There will come a time in your life when you will come face to face with something of great importance. But that won't be the challenge. That is found in the fact that it will be inconvenient, unknown, and have a built in escape hatch if you want out.
You'll come face to face with a life altering decision.
And here is the rub…
It will likely not have as much to do with you as you think.
It will very likely have to do with your ability to effect positive change in the lives of others.
Are you ready for that?
Have you decided ahead of time how you will respond to that moment?
We will all face a "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN?" moment in our lives.
Maybe more than one.
So the next time you are feeling the weight of great importance and inconvenience,
think twice before you take the easy way out.
It's very likely a legacy moment for you.
It's very likely a game changer for those around you.
Don't say no to the challenge, because you don't know what will happen.
Perhaps it's time to double down,
and beat "logic"…
Eventually your team is going to face difficult moments.
And as crazy as this may sound, it could even be an indicator you are about to accomplish something incredible as a result.
There is a fine line between that being the case, and chaos being the result instead.
Here is another way to look at it...
When something gets hard, our nature is to do these 5 things.
1. Look for the excuse
Give up because you didn't have a vision guiding you.
Giving up for the vision so that hard moments energize you.
2. We make the excuse
Give up because it's just too hard to do.
Giving up our personal preference to honor what we do.
3. Act like it’s no big deal
Give up because our approach didn't work.
Giving up our resources to double down on building stronger relationships.
4. Make it all about ourselves
Give up because of pride.
Giving up so humility could take root.
5. Lash out at others
Give up and walk away because we think we know better.
Giving up our wants to create an environment that takes care of others needs.
Have you seen the difference yet?
When we GIVE UP it's all about excuses, whining, comfort, stuff, and pride.
When we change our posture to GIVING UP it's all about decisions, sacrifice, relationships, humility and service.
The next time your team faces a challenge,
look at these 5 things, and ask yourself one question…
Are we about to GIVE UP,
or are we willing to start GIVING UP?
It's the difference between quitting and conquering,
stopping and doubling-down,
throwing in the towel and going all-in.
Who wants to change?
What comes first?
Where do I start?
When do I just throw in the towel?
Why should I bother?
Do any of those questions sound familiar?
If so, congratulations…you are normal.
You are human. You get frustrated just like the rest of us. You have the urge to become less than 5 years old and bang your fists and feet off the ground in the world's most epic temper-tantrum.
I get it.
So let's do something about it, instead of regressing back to it.
I've identified 7 steps that will help you turn chaos into order. I am going to give you the 30,000 foot view of them today. In the coming days, I will dive deeper into each one, so that you have solid practical application on your side.
I coined a term that reminds me to keep it practical. If you have an idea that is long on theory and short on practical application, that's crap. In short? Craptical.
Let's avoid that.
Here are the 7 steps to turn chaos into order.
1. You've got to have a solid vision. You must bring things into the light so that you can determine if they belong or need to go.
2. You've got to create healthy boundaries. You must do this so that things that appear attractive don't become habits that are destructive.
3. You've got to create systems and structure. You must do this so that you can multiply your progress in a healthy environment.
4. You've got to be able to measure your progress. You must do this so that you know if where you are at this point will help you get to where you are called to go.
5. You've got to create teams. You must do this so that you primary purpose of multiplying has a solid base to grow from.
6. You've got to have the right leadership in place. You must HAVE this so that everyone in your organization knows who you are, why you exist, and how to get to your ultimate destination.
7. You've got to rest. You must do this because you need it. If God needed a day to rest, take the hint. Find a couch, a good book, a great movie…spend time with your family.
That's the 30,000 foot view.
I'll walk out more of the "how to" and why it's an absolute must that you do in the coming days.
In the meantime…
Go read yesterday's blog,
"How to fall in love with going to work…"
(Psst…it's right below this one.)
It'll get your mind on what matters most, so that this 7 step process can help you truly turn chaos into order.
One last thing…
If you haven't sensed it, this 7 step process isn't just for business. It's an organization thing. It'll change your life at work, sure. If you let it, it can change your life at home, church, where you volunteer, school, government and everywhere else as well.
As you start another week, let's put this quote from Steve Jobs in perspective. I want you to think about it from two points of view.
1. When you commit to being that "yardstick of quality" you have the opportunity to make someone else's day incredibly better. They aren't used to excellence finding a way into their life, and you get to do just that. Wherever you work, whatever you do…every ounce of your output directly impacts a customer's interaction with it. Why not "delightfully surprise" them with an incredible experience? Just because you can.
2. When you commit to being that "yardstick of quality" you have the opportunity to honor your employer. Yes, I realize that this one can be hard sometimes. But the fact is, you have a job…and doing anything less than your absolute best doesn't just cheat your employer out of what they are investing in you. Hear me when I say this next part. It cheats you out of becoming the best possible version of you, too. Some days are hard. Some are easy. But excellence isn't measured based on circumstances.
Doing excellent work every minute of every day is a habit you develop. And it becomes more a part of who you are when you realize it's not just about what you want to do…
but what you get to do everyday.
Start your week with this thought…and let it inform your approach to work.
You don't have to go to work…
you get to go to work.
Now go crush it.
Make someone's day run straight into your excellence!
Fair warning…you are going to find out that it's addicting to crush your work everyday with excellence.
Have a GREAT start to your week!
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.