How to achieve more than you ever dreamed
If I were to distill into one short blog post some of the major lessons I have learned over the past 25 years competing in the world's toughest endurance events, running multiple business and overcoming many personal tragedies and challenges then these would be it.
1. You must have a vision and a concrete goal to aim for. If you have no set goal you will wander aimlessly around and never hit anything. You need to know when you are successful
2. Work your ass off and advertise. You need to a strong work ethic and you need to tell everybody about what you are doing. To get momentum, When you share your goals, dreams and visions you might be surprised who gets on board with you to help or guide you.
3. There are no magic bullets, no knights in shining armour. You have to rescue yourself, you have to take ownership for your life and your dreams. Waiting for your ship to come in, the lotto ticket to win, or for some magic thing that is going to save you is a belief that many of us subsconciously have and it leaves us searching "out there" for answers when we have to actually look inward, do the deep work and find our own way.
4. Never be afraid to fail. When we fear failure we paralyse ourselves, we don't push the limits of possible, we don't find out who we can truly become, we don't get outside our comfort zones and we don't learn. Our society teaches us that failing is bad. But all super successful athletes, business people, inventors, scientists fail on a regular basis and understand that that is just the learning curve. You are either winning or learning and both are valuable. But if you never take the leap of faith, never push yourself to reach a goal you you will never know what you could have achieved.
5. Stop saying "I don't have time to...." we all get 24 hours in a day and if we sleep 7-8 that still leaves a huge chunk of time to get stuff done. We need to manage our time and more importantly our energy wisely. Doing the high priority things first.
We also need to priortise our own health and wellbeing so we can handle the demands of our dreams, our work, our goals, our families. Self care and time managements are key aspects of this.
Planning is a word I always hated but planning is what will set you free. If you have our priority tasks built into your week ahead of time you can then work in the other things around them but you won't miss the important things that will truly get you ahead. That strategic work that will bring big rewards, that training time that you need to make a priority will only happen if you schedule it in.
Make time don't find time.
6. Never ever listen to the naysayers of life. People, sometimes even those closest to you will tell you things like "it's impossible" and "you can't do that" when you hear those words, turn them around in your head to say "it is possible" and "I can do that". People my entire life have told me I can't this or that... I use that as oil on the fire. It puts a fire in my belly to prove them wrong, I use that as motivation. People are always putting limitations on other people, sometimes out of love or fear but understand it's you that has to be strong enough to go up agains that if you want to achieve your dreams.
7. Follow only your own dreams, goals and visions. Never subordinate yourself to the wishes of others even your parents or loved ones. If you take on their goals you but they are things that don't resonate with you you are far less likely to succeed and if you do succeed you are likely to be miserable in it. Your goals have to align with your values and these are as unique as your finger prints.
8. Make sure your goals aren't pie in the sky unrealistic. This is not to say they can't be huge goals but that you need stepping stones to aim for, sub goals if you will. If . you set unrealistic goals with no path way forward, you are dooming yourself to failure from the outset. For example if you want to earn $5 million a year say. A huge big goal for you. But you are currently earning only $100,000 then setting that huge figure as your goal will just demotivate you and seem impossible to reach. Now if you set an incremental figure within a fixed time frame then you will get your creative juices flowing and find ways to get to the next step in the process.
So breaking huge goals down into manageable chunks and not setting unrealistic goals is important. You need to have an action plan, you may not know all the steps ahead or all the obstacles but you need to know the next step.
9. Have a higher purpose than yourself. When you a dream or a goal or want to achieve something big you are more likely to get there if you are doing it for something more than just your selfish ego driven desires. An example of this in my life, was running through NZ 2250 km for charity. A hundred times a day I wanted to quit, so many times I was so close, exhausted beyond belief, suffering terribly and if I hadn't had some of the kids with cancer come out and support me and I hadn't had their plight in front of my eyes, I would have given up.
We all have a duty to giveback to this world, to give more than we take and when we have a higher purpose we pull far more out of ourselves than we ever thought possible.
10. Commit to improving something in your life for one hour every day. What if you did this. What if you committed to either learning a new skill, advancing your education, improving your sporting performance or concentrating on your health for one hour every day, come rain or snow. Where would you be in 365 days. Tiny micro commitments can have huge results.
11. To perform at your best you need be relaxed and balance so prioritising your mental and physical health must be at the top of everyones list. We need to manage stress, have a calm mind, we need movement in nature everyday.
12. Never make a decision or set a goal in a hyper, excited or eurphoric state. You will set unrealistic goals and underestimate the obstacles ahead if you do. Everything will look easy and by the same token never make a decision or set a goal or change something major in your life if you are in depressed, angry or frustrated state, in this case you will set the bar too low, over estimate the obstacles and problems and not have the power to overcome them. Make important decisions and goals when you are in a balanced state so that you can see objectively all the facts and make an informed not emotional decision. An example of this is when I have athletes who go and do some mammoth event say an ultramarathon multi day stage race in some exotic place. They come back in a completely altered state of conciousness. They have been through something huge, they are physically and often emotionally exhausted and when they come back home are often lost for weeks, unsettled, confused and changed while their mind integrates the experience and the new learnings this experience has given them. I tell them in this time to do nothing rash or stupid. Don't get divorced, don't get pregnant, in other words don't do anything you might regret when you come back to your centre.
13. Now this piece of advice is not relevant in every situation, there are times when this won't apply but if possible have no plan B. No safety net. When you have a way out of something you often don't commit to it fully. If you have a plan B you have to put energy and resources into that option that could have gone in to plan A. If you know there is a risk you are more likely to be motivated to make sure it works and to work your butt off to make it happen. You will be more creative, think outside the box if there is no easy way out.
I hope these thoughts will empower your future. Strengthen your resolve to live more of your potential. That these tips will give your dreams wings to fly.