Fast Friday 5: Strengthening Your Race Model using Personal Growth Tactics & Hallmarks of Leadership
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
Leading from the front can be tiring and downright depressing if one is always chasing a new competitor in the "Comparison Games." Unlike the Olympics, "Comparison Games" competitors put it on the line much more frequently than once every four years. Every day we are all guilty of contrasting ourselves against friends, foes, colleagues & the more “successful types.” Running our own race is impossible with our frantic thoughts. Our competition is infinite. We may use others for motivation and feel a quick surge only to crash from that poor and fleeting fuel. We cannot hear the slogan "It's you vs you" enough. Competition with the man in the mirror and purposeful practice are a 1-2 combo of choice for those fighting the good fight with themselves.
While we often swing at the trivial, “fighting the good fight" is to honor those who've invested in you by becoming your best. "Pissing excellence" every morning and projecting perfection is the mantra of self absorbed losers. Often, a reflection of poor self esteem camouflaged. Becoming your best is a long and winding path cemented through consistency in daily thoughts, habits, actions and dialogue. Jim Rohn eloquently spoke on discipline as "the bridge from our goals to accomplishment." Masters of self discipline uniquely embody these 5 Tactics that will help you compete and lead more effectively:
1 Filter your feelings first....Never be a victim to your emotions. God gave us one mouth that closes and two ears that don't for a reason. Listen twice as much as you speak. Listen with the intent to understand others. Increase self awareness by using your inner monologue to ask probing questions during adverse moments: "Why am I triggered?"..."How can I find middle ground?" or "keep an open mind?" Use the OODA Loop. Observe, Orient, Decide, Act....Before conversing always ask yourself, "Will my words build or break?" Often, when I find myself amidst turmoil or negative thought traps I listen to mom... “wait a day” and “sleep on it. “
2 AMPlify your weaknesses & CONNECT ...Keep your strengths strong while acknowledging your biggest emotional, intellectual, spiritual or social limiting factors. Quit looking externally and start looking within. Find that ONE THING. After assessing, create an action plan. Attack that ONE THING with a ONE THING plan. Follow through for 66 days to rewire effectively...(Old science said 21 days).. Be humbled...Seek the help of a coach or mentor to improve strategy and accountability. We all have blind-spots. Growing your network is a surefire step to broaden your horizon and expedite positive outcomes. New connections may provide future opportunities to pay it back. Create win-win relationships as Joe Sweeney, author of Networking is a Contact Sport encourages, "I see networking as a chance to give, not get, a way to make myself available to friends or contacts without any expectation of reciprocity." Who we help along the way is part of the process of our distinct and very own PURPOSE PROJECT. Your path towards improvement is forever ongoing. We are always becoming and this race has no finish line. Keep your eyes ahead and turn them feet over.
3 Learn from the best & always pursue truth. Great leaders are hungry for information, research and experience. I'll never forget the words of renowned S & C coach Mike Boyle at Perform Better 2015, "I'm not smarter than any of you guys, I'm just better at getting to information first." The worlds best thinkers, doers, movers, and shakers are sometimes equally insightful and paradoxical. While imperative to study the greats, don't blindly accept what you hear. Ask healthy questions. Use all of your senses and resources. Establish a network of mentors and use the information you gather to build a foundation of research, science and experience. Science and the known is important but offer wiggle room towards the ESOTERIC...Reading is a gateway to creative portals as Norman Maclean said in A River Runs Through It , “All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something that isn't even visible.” An open mind shows intellectual maturity and is a catalyst for creativity. Innovation always favors a divergent path.
4 Choose VALUE wisely... Time, whether its on our side or working against us, is "the true currency of life" Robert Harris famously wrote. Not all of us may agree. VALUE(S) carry varied connotation and meaning for all. Value is part of the worldly ecosystem in which we always act as either a consumer or producer. Values give weight to “value.” Decide on your values and use those desires to decide “value.” Decisions...we make 35,000 a day.....Roy Disney describes the ease a good road map can play in chartering our choices, “It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Questions to consider: "Do my values and time intersect with my purpose?"... "How am I spending my time?" ..."Who am I spending time with?"... "How is my energy most efficiently used?" ..."How do my relationships, finances, energy and time interplay?" Always remember, the wrong question will yield the wrong answer. Ask the right questions.
5. USE pit stops & partners... On this race that never ends, we're going to encounter hurdles. We will need fuel, moments of rest, and teammates along the way to overcome and move forward. When you hit that hurdle or catch that cramp don't panic. Have faith. Practice your faith. Forgive yourself and others of shortcomings and stay the course. It will be okay to work on auto-pilot every once in awhile. You are allowed to stop to tie your shoes or stretch out your hips or simply take in the view. Find friends who challenge you, listen well and have your best interests in mind. Keep close to the ones that make you laugh or feed you with their character and goodness. High five a stranger...put two hands together over your head to acknowledge the ones cheering you on...When it rains open your mouth and stick out your tongue...When the wind hits get in front of the guy hitting "the wall." Eat CLEAN...EAT a big-ass juicy cheeseburger when you've earned it. Fast every once in awhile when you're ready for the challenge. Drink a GOOD BEER for a "here-in -there unwind" or to celebrate and rewind with an old buddy....