As you know, I head up the Atlanta Bloggers Community. It is a great group of bloggers, social media & everything digital in Atlanta. We are group that has exploded over the past year.
We had Seth Godin join us live via Skype at our last meeting. I think you will get a tremendous value from what he has to share about becoming indespensible. We also cover standing out, blogging and more.
Three men were stranded in the woods and were hungry. One of them left to find food and came back with a deer over his shoulders. They were amazed. How did you find it and kill it with no weapons. He said, I found tracks, I followed them and got the deer.
A few days later, the second man went to find food. He came back with Elk over his shoulders. He said, I found tracks, I followed them and got the elk. Then a few days later, the last man went looking for food. He was gone a really long time. He came back after being gone for several hours. He was hobbling, his clothes were torn, & he was bleeding. The other two men ran over there to check on him. He said, I found tracks, I followed them and was hit by a train…
On our 7 Week journey we are on
3. Passion 4. Clear Direction & Focus 5. Symbolic Reasoning
6. Defined Action Steps
If you do not start with the end in mind… you can follow the path or tracks and not end up with the outcome you want. I am sure you have heard that if you do not have a specific destination in mind then any map will get you there. You will not get far if you do not know where you are going.
Go to end goal and then work backwards… It will help you design a specific path & steps to get there. Such intense focus may be the most underrated ingredient because it will give the journey purpose & clarity.
It is more than a statement… Most people and companies use only a sentence to try to convey where they are going. If they try to be more detailed it is like a checklist. This is why most fail.
Give it a story… to help cement the direction, it needs to be like a script. It has a cast of characters and each has a role. It has a background set & a layout. It paints a clear direction because it gives details and illustrates the vision that everyone can follow & understand. It uses more of a 360 degree view shown from different perspectives rather than a straight line.
This way when you or anyone is reading it they can see themselves acting this out. It puts it in a more first person perspective and ownership of their role. They (or you) will be excited and energized because they will say “ I get it, I see what you are trying to do”.
We are on this 7-week journey on goal setting. Today we are looking at the awesome power of passion. Many people who listen to me speak… tag me with this word of passion. I can’t wait to share my outlook on this.
2. Visualization 3. Passion 4. Clear Direction & Focus
5. Symbolic Reasoning
6. Defined Action Steps
In 1962, four nervous young English musicians played their first record audition for the executives of the Decca Recording company. The executives were not impressed, and the Head of Decca Records said, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.” They were devastated by their failed audition, but stayed true to their sound and would go on to achieve greater things.
A player was cut from his high school basketball team. He used it to spurn him on to greater achievements. “Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I would quit. I would close my eyes and see that list without my name on it…and that got me going again…”
The group was called the Beatles and the player was Michael Jordan… There are tons of people who were so passionate about what they were doing they did not let setbacks totally sidetrack & wreck their goals & dreams. In these 2 cases we know they used that to fuel their passion to reach higher.
Failure is just something to learn from… Nothing more. When you believe in something and you own it… you can move mountains.
If there is one certainty for everyone setting goals… Fear and self-doubt will set in followed by critics. I call it a terror barrier. It is so easy to build this wall and it will appear to be very high. However, it is very thin, but most people do not ever get to see the thickness because they give up very quickly.
This fear & terror immobilizes people… You may have to really cling to your vision even when times are tough because the path to success always has a lot of challenges & obstacles.
It requires creating goals of emotions… This will be the only thing that will allow you to stay motivated to break through the terror barrier. It will require a hunger all the way to your core.
Need something to light the fire within… Find something you believe in because just going through the motions will not be enough. That fire can be blown out with one harsh wind.
You will have to create your own intrinsic relevant valid reason… This reason will be just like Michael Jordan’s sheet without his name on it. If I told you to wake up in the morning at 4 am to get up and get your day going etc… you would probably hurt me. In that same scenario and I pointed a gun at your head to get up like you were in the Army, you would jump high… So you need to find your gun. That thing or reason that will not let you quit and continue to push through.
No one else can create that reason… It has to be set from within. You have to own it because nobody cares about that object more than the owner. Don’t look for excuses, look for that reason of passion.
What happens if you don’t… then you will be looking for circumstances, something or someone to blame for why you can not do it.. It is easier to look for the negatives. Instead flip the coin and try, I have everything I need and believe to the best of my ability that I can take on this challenge.
You own your life, your goals, your vision & your future success.
Jack Nicklaus was on the 17th green in 1986 about to win his record 6th Masters at the age of 46 as he was blazing around the back nine. He had a twelve footer down the hill with a slight break to the right. The pressure was intense and this birdie could clinch it. He struck the putt and about a foot from the hole he raised his putter as it dropped. The crowds roared as that did indeed carry him to a back nine 30 and another green jacket and his 18th Major Championship.
1. Vision 2. Visualization 3. Passion
4. Clear Direction & Focus
5. Symbolic Reasoning
6. Defined Action Steps
See it… and you can be it… Many of the greatest athletes visualize their performance before they perform it. Like seeing in the future. By seeing it in the mind’s eye, it breeds confidence because when you step up to actually perform it, you have already done it… or at least your mind thinks it has. After the round, a reporter asked Jack about the back nine. He said he didn’t really feel the pressure. He was having fun. He was seeing the shots go in before he even hit them as if he had already done it. Déjà vu… Your mind is incredibly powerful and an incredible tool.
It is more than just seeing it… It is actually feeling it as well. There is two types of visualization. You are performing like you are watching yourself in a movie. This is a more passive viewing. Good but not as intense. The better but more difficult visualization is actually in first person. Looking out of your own eyes. You feel the elements. Wind on your face, the pressure in your hands in arms and the sounds in your ears. It is as if you are actually performing the action.
Think about things you want to do and accomplish… Close your eyes and visualize it. Think about what it would feel like to do those things. Imagine yourself and how you would walk and carry yourself. How would you talk to people or how would they talk to you.
This can be hard for some people… Here are two things that can help jumpstart this process for you. The first thing is to cut out pictures of those things that symbolize what you are trying to accomplish. The second thing, I tell people to start thinking about those people who they admire and want to be like. Think how they would do it. Fake it until you make it. After time you will be able to do it with yourself with those same characteristics of the traits you admire. Become who and what you want to become.
Create your own Déjà vu.
Check out the first two articles that got this started.
The bald eagle… a symbol of our country and represents power, freedom, and transcendence. These larger than life birds of prey, the way the soar… inspires us. The eagle is really known for its vision. When you hear someone reference Eagle Eye, you know they are referring to powerful, all seeing vision.
The eagle has a few distinct features. Its eye is very large in relation to the size of the head. It has 5x the light sensors humans do. The have two fovea’s (the funnel shape of the retina) where humans only have one. It is important because we see basically three colors and eagles can see five to help them locate well-camouflaged prey. Eagles can see rabbit size objects from two miles away. Pretty impressive huh…
We can all take away something from this majestic animal… The eagle is known for soaring at great altitudes and will fly for 50 miles scouring for the perfect target. Our vision needs to start from the 30,000 foot view and decide an overall direction and see the entire landscape. We do not have to look for the details yet, just the opportunities that we might want to engage.
Your vision then needs to narrow… Eagles take in all the light possible to help them see everything. We need to take in more info. Be inquisitive. ask questions, seek counsel from top people in that niche. Do not just think the tip of the iceberg is it, go under and penetrate 3 or 4 levels deeper. You have to have the whole playing field. You have to know how the score is kept. The one with the best information set…will win.
The best visionaries have ability to see where the past has brought them, where the future will lead them tomorrow and the intuition and guts to believe in it and act upon it.
Aim Small, Miss Small… Small Details Matter… An eagle being able to see five colors instead of three is the difference from not seeing the hidden details and not eating. Look from every possible angle & every shade of color. You have to take in bad info with the good and decipher which is which.
Your vision must have a dominant thought process… Don’t think about fear and failure. Be aware of the obstacles but don’t focus on them. You make your own future. The next step will be seeing what you want to see through visualization.
The topics will be similar but tailored to the groups. Will share greatest learnings from 2009. Then everything else will be taking a look forward at the digital world. Social Media & where it should fit into your 2010 strategy. We will talk a little about standing out in a very crowded digital universe. We will take a small glimpse forward in what to expect as Web 3.0 takes the stage.
So grab a chair & a pen and let’s write a script on where we want to go and be in this exciting digital universe.
We all have well intentions at the beginning of the year. It feels like we get to start over. I am sure you are like me and come up with your goals and resolutions for the year. Only 18% actually work toward those goals throughout the year. Even though about 12% actually accomplish the goals, only a handful of those review the goals they made last year to see if they actually accomplished it or not.
What does that mean? We love to dream and think where we want to go, but it is just a shell of an idea with nothing at the core.
The biggest issues that keep us from our goals… there is no action tied to the intention. We have all been in meetings where goals, objectives and intentions are set, but no action steps are put in place and no one to champion it and lead it to the promised land.
So the goals are deemed passive… We hope they get done, but we don’t have a set of instructions that outline how they will get done and no one held accountable. Hope will never be a strategy.
Many people will be looking for jobs this year… The goal cannot be just to get a job. It has to be much more drilled down with mini goals & action steps. You set clear steps, which might be to create a resume, buy a suit, join networking groups, have coffee with 3 different influencers a week, get new or addl training etc, etc… These are small attainable things you do each day & each week so you can check them off. Some are one time occurrences and others will need to be repeatable until the goal is accomplished.
The difference is this is not only proactive, but it is progressive… It keeps you moving forward toward your ultimate goal.
So it takes several things to make sure your goals are attained. Over the next seven weeks we will take a look at each of them.
2009 has been such a challenging year in so many ways. It was a perfect storm. I do not have to tell you that… because you lived it. Based on many conversations I have had, many say they are just going to coast in and get ready for 2010.
Yes, I too feel I have run uphill 90 miles an hour this entire year and would enjoy a long slumber.
Before we settle down for a long winter’s nap, and have visions of sugar-plums dance in our heads. We need to rethink this holiday season.
No matter how much we hope, do not expect just going to sleep through the end of the year will bring better results once you awake, just like dormant grass will rejuvenate in the spring.
Although I feel them… I do not think that is the best course of action right now. We need to FINISH the year with a Twinkling.
The best teams know that the fourth quarter is as important as the other three combined… You are tired, physically and mentally. It can not only take a lousy game (or year) and make it ring with victory, it can make all the hard work you put forth worth it. I always say, it is not how you start the race, but rather how you finish. We celebrate finishers… Hitting a walk off homerun, hitting the shot with 1 second on the clock or draining the putt to win. What we do in the clutch at the end is how we are measured.
So I hope you will put down the hammer with me… Keep the throttle high. Elevate your energy. FINISH. The great news is there is hope. People are excited about 2010. Prospects & Customers are melting and actually excited to talk to you for the first time in a long time.
Even though the end of the year is not the finish line, run through it and get a head start on 2010.
I have a lot of great memories from Thanksgiving. In my childhood, that was one of the most special times because my family would travel to Chicago every year as a huge family gathering. Now, we all live within 20 minutes of each other so we see each other at every holiday, which doesn’t diminish the luster or specialness, but it sure was cool back then.
In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I want to share why we should all be happy no matter our current circumstances.
As I was thinking of Thanksgiving… I really paid special attention to the two combined words that make it up… Thanks & Giving or the Giving of Thanks. I hear my grandmother in my head telling me to give thanks in everything I do and to be thankful no matter what.
That is a challenge and very hard to do… It is hard to have a smile on your face when it feels like your world is crumbling down around you. I was talking to my dad yesterday and we were talking about what a hard year it has been. We were sharing that we have never worked harder, but with not the results you would expect from the effort. It is not the fun work, like when things are booming and at least if you are working hard it bears great fruit.
You may of read the Peanuts Comic Strip… which had a great illustration and what I want us to use as our mantra this Thanksgiving. Snoopy looked in the window, “How about that? Everyone else is eating turkey today, but just because I am a dog I have to eat dog food.” Then he jumps up on his roof and says “Of course, it could have been worse, I could have been born a turkey.”
It can always be WORSE… I am sure 90% of the world would trade for my so-called problems. In Atlanta we had the worst flood for our city ever. It was a one in over 500 years flood. People are devastated. Thousands of people are still displaced, no homes, no furniture and everything they owned is gone. 88% of the people did not have flood insurance because they were not even close to a flood zone.
Here I am feeling a little down, and I have my health, my home, my wife and son, a great job, food on the table, clothes on my back… Shame on me.
The best thing we can always do, is turn the focus off of ourselves and turn it on those who really need the thoughts and prayers and NOTHING will change your life & focus faster. Go help feed the hungry this Thanksgiving.
If you live in Georgia, I hope you will help me raise money for the flood victims. I am co-hosting the Not So Silent Night Holiday Bash at the St Regis in Buckhead on Thursday, December 3 from 6:30 – 10:30. After this year we can all let off a little steam, but do it in a way that helps people. We have partnered with the Atlanta Furniture Bank and The Cobb Disaster Recovery to help bring the relief that is needed and help rebuild not only the community, but also people’s lives. The cost is only $30 to attend.
We are also calling for sponsors. We have 3 levels.
Lifeboat – $1000 will get you 4 people into the party, coverage in Atlanta Daybook with logo, logos on the site, press at and after the event. Life Preserver – $500 will get you 2 people into the party, coverage in Atlanta Daybook, name only and some press at and after the event. Helping Hand – $250 will get you 1 person into the party, coverage in Atlanta Daybook – name only and some press at and after the event.