Are you in charge of your life or does life sort of just happen to you? Take a space of quiet time to examine the facts and come up with an answer.
Be ruthless in your scrutiny. Be honest in your conclusions.
If you find that, for the most part, life happens to you — that both unanticipated and anticipated factors run the show — it’s time for a change.
At worst, failing to change this dynamic will ultimately lead to the ruin of your business and maybe even your personal life. In the very least, continuing to experience life as an inadvertent series of events will leave you with the feeling that something’s missing, something important that you simply can’t identify with any precision.
True Success Requires Deliberate and Relentless Pursuit
Success begins with a whisper, not with a sonic boom. And that’s a good thing, according to Seth Godin. But to get there, you’ve got to become the master of your life; not the other way around. You’ve got to develop a plan to get where you’re going and then take deliberate and relentless action to get there.
Take yourself back. Rule yourself.
Start With These Seven Steps
Define what your success looks like. How do you define success? Decide that first using concrete ideas and words.
Forgive yourself and start fresh. Everyone misses the boat sometimes. Don’t dwell on past mistakes, even if you made some whoppers. Find a quiet place, empty your mind. Breathe in and out. Let it go and move on.
Resolve to do what’s necessary. Don’t make some lofty promise about developing self discipline. Self discipline isn’t a skill. It’s an act; a state of doing whatever must get done, incrementally, to reach a larger future goal.
Find your why. Why = motivation. If the reason (the why) you’re pursuing this goal energizes and inspires you, that will fuel your motivation. Without motivation, you’ve got nothing. Motivation will drive you to do the necessary things even when you desperately don’t want to.
Focus on the moment. If you constantly brood over the struggle and the misery involved in some of the things you must do, you’ll wallow in a negative soup the entire time. Instead feed your ability to focus by remaining in the moment. If you must complete a mundane task no matter what, why make it worse by dredging up woe-is-me thoughts? Say you want to run a half marathon. Internal whining about the brutal 800 meter sprints your coach has you doing for speed work will only make it worse – probably much worse. Clear your mind and, like the Nike slogan says, just do it.
Enjoy the small victories. Everyone needs little victories along the way to the big triumph. These small wins provide silent, but powerful encouragement that can inspire you to break past seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Each time you overcome a struggle, you experience an incremental victory. Allow yourself to enjoy the win.
Persevere. If you’ve set your sights on anything but the simplest goal, you’re bound to slip up at some point along the way. Most people fail to achieve their goals because they see these setbacks as final. They see them as some sort of cosmic sign that they can’t do it. This is a copout, a giving up of self that will continue to speak lies to them in the future and leave them with that vague feeling of inadequacy and powerlessness. Instead, honor the progress you did make. Stand up, clean up, and begin again with step one.
In reality, these 7 steps seek to guide you to do one thing and one thing only:
This ad (and the above slogan) from Under Armour(R) featuring Michael Phelps depicts what it looks like to practice those seven steps with relentless focus and grit. It’s not just another inspiring sports equipment ad. From the moment I saw it (Thanks to my friend and Social Media Influencer, Eric Routenberg for first sharing it), it brought clarity and a two word definition to what I do everyday in my various pursuits: Rule Yourself.
Take control now. Rule your life. Rule your career. Rule your day. Rule Yourself.
Every Day is the Best Day.