The Great Fighter

Frank Mir says that the difference between a good fighter and a great fighter is mindset.

Now, obviously I believe mindset is one of the single most important things in the life of an entrepreneur and a business professional; otherwise, I would not have built Mindset Engine for you.

But the important thing with mindset is to realize that it is not only just a key ingredient. It is a foundation ingredient for those who are successful.

The most successful, the greatest fighters in this quote, are those who have the ability to focus, to really hone in on what it is they want, how they can drive, and most importantly how they can strip away distractions that cause them to procrastinate.

I have found in my own life that the closer that I get to success, the marker that showed me so was that my mindset became much, much more focused.

Take Action:

I invite you today to stop and look back at your calendar over the last month. Have you been deeply focused on what you’re trying to build? Or has it been a zigzag—off to the left, off to the right—where you’re just swinging at whatever’s in front of you hoping you might get lucky?

We need to remember that the best fighters have a very focused goal.

That’s what makes them winners and champions. So use that concept today.

What do you need to win this round. Do so. And think about the next round.

Truth in Effort

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Dr. Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, explains the concept of having a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

One of the key principles of a growth mindset is the relationship that we have with effort. Effort is one of those things that gives meaning to life. It simply means that you care about something, something that’s important to you, and you’re willing to work for it.

Now, I love that quote because we tend to think that if something is hard, we might should shy away from it. We procrastinate. We avoid it.

When in truth, effort is a marker and a flag we should pay attention to. Effort indicates that we are on to something that is worthwhile because we’re willing to do the hard work.

I’ve always found that the greatest successes, as well as the greatest joys, come at the end of significant effort.

There are some in the internet marketing world and in the digital space that’ll tell you that everything is easy and it’s simple. I don’t believe they’re telling you the truth.

It is important for us to know that anything that is worth doing well, that is able to impact mankind, takes significant effort.

So what are you spending your effort on today?

Risks and Wisdom

Taking risk is something that entrepreneurs have a love/hate relationship with.

We love it because of the energy and the adventure that can come with it. With that risk also comes a great opportunity for failure, for ridicule, for suffering, or for the struggle. But we know that our struggles and challenges are the sources of our battle scars.

But over time, our battle scars become medals of honor mentally for us as we go forward.

So in thinking about the risk that you take, obviously you want to make wise choices and take a calculated risk, educated risk, and not just blind faith jumps. However, it takes a while to learn that when you do take a risk, which if you win you end up happy, and if you lose you end up wise.

The true ingredient of success is wisdom. Learning, even through the midst of failures, allows us to steer clear of those pitfalls later.

Winning is an awesome thing. Losing is a wisdom thing.

Often we allow ourselves to get beat up because we may not have reached the level we wanted. But I encourage you to flip the script and look at setbacks for the value and wisdom they have given you.

We all have setbacks. Real wisdom comes from what we gained from those setbacks.

Think about that.

The Past and The Future

This concept of writing a letter to your past and then also to your future is a very powerful tool that I use with my coaching clients.

When thinking about something in our past that is adverse, we tend to remember it far worse than it actually was.  We often inflate the traumatic incident and as a result, fear can set in.

To move past these thoughts and feelings, it is important to put a marker in the sand, a flag, that simply says this is a stopping point and from here forward, is a starting point.

I encourage you to write a letter to your past and address that which has been a struggle. As you do, think about what you have learned about yourself or the situation. Often we can become thankful for past hurt.

The benefits are significant. First you get past the memory and in doing so, you release your mind and heart to dream again. It is in this dreaming that your future emerges—free.

 Releasing the past is key in building the future you want.

Think about that.

Do Not Judge Me By My Successes

For many of us as entrepreneurs, patience is not an ingredient we have a lot of.  We like to go, move, and get things done…now.

At the same time, this gift of drive and focus can become a judge that allows a voice of discouragement to run rampant in our head.

There have been many seasons where I beat myself up about where I am and why I have not gotten farther.

But I learned a serious life lesson to keep everything perspective.

Focus on how far you have come, not on the distance remaining to your goal.

By learning to celebrate the progress what than focus on things un-done, you give your body, mind, and soul the ability to create and go faster in the future.

The freedom is liberating, and your work will be far better.

Take Action:

As soon as you finish this Mindset for Today, take 5-10 minutes and focus on all you have accomplished. Celebrate where you are.

Compounding Investment

We all like nice things. But if you take a look, nice (and expensive) things actually could cost you a whole lot more than you originally thought.

I am not opposed to taking care of ourselves with quality provisions and rewards. However, if we do so at the expense of our health or our mindset, then we could be costing ourselves far much more than thought.

Our health is paramount. Our mental state and focus are equally critical.

That is why I encourage you today to make sure you “budget” for time for your health and your mind time.

We need time to relax, meditate, pray, sit quietly, whatever your practice.

So before you drive through for that next In & Out Burger, remember, your body will be around longer than that expensive handbag, shoes, car, whatever.

Budget wisely.

Think about that.

The Perspective of Speed

In one of my Group Calls, I have people who are just making the jump from the corporate world into their first entrepreneurial venture.

At times it feels like that they’re moving so slow, it is like a turtle’s pace. They are often frustrated because they see other people moving super-fast. Other people appear to be doing things quicker or easier than they are.

The truth is strength and success come from constant movement forward and upward.

Confucius says, “It’s not a matter of how fast or how slowly you go, it’s that you don’t stop, that you keep moving.”

You may be in a situation where you’re unable at the moment to give your full attention to your dream venture.

I can relate. I know when I first started coaching, I was managing an agency and was in a full-time job that was challenging. It took a lot of after-hours and then coaching clients late in the evenings.

There were times that I wanted to give up because I was tired or I was frustrated. I didn’t feel like I was moving as quick as I wanted to.

It took discipline and constantly chipping at the project as a way to move forward. It’s hard work that requires a commitment to action.

Take Action:

I caution you to stay away from the trap of saying you do not have enough time.  Even that mindset can limit your thinking significantly. I started saying, “I have all the time in the world.  It is just that my priority of projects is in need of being adjusted.”  Boom!  I started finding blocks of time where I could build my dream.

One other tool is to use mental sprints.  Instead of trying to tackle a huge piece of you project all at once, try to break down just the first thing that you need to do.  Then, give yourself only 33 minutes (or some other odd number) to take action.  Whether it is to brainstorm, or write, or record a video, by setting a deadline in your mind along with a timer on your phone, your brain will see this as something you have to deliver immediately. 

This mental sprint certainly worked for me.

Think about that.

The Toxics

We all have them. Friends, family members, co-workers, Facebook ‘friends’. You know who I am talking about…

Those people who drain energy from us rather than build energy into us—the Zombies in our life.

I am talking about the people that we cringe when they call us; we try to scroll past their self-absorbed rants on social media.

Those people can be toxic to us if we let them.

At first, I did not believe they were toxic. Rather, I tried to label ‘the toxics’ as just more ‘negative’ than me, or someone who sees the glass is half full.

Then, it hit me. The toxics’ draining negativity sets tiny seeds of negativity that I do not even see at the time.

So, it is time to pay attention to who you let in your head. Whose voices do you need, want, and feed on? Whose voices do you need to release, block, unfriend, and clear?

Think about that.

What Courage is Not

Recently I had a conversation with a group of entrepreneurs about the idea and the concept of courage.

Many often misunderstand—believing that courage is the ability to throw the facts out the window and storm the gates anyway.

The truth is courage is being able to take wisdom, understanding, and fortitude to keep driving forward even when something is difficult.

Courage is persistence to get past something that may be holding you back, and for many, the willingness to start in the first place.

We all know that mindset, courage, energy, and discipline all require a workout.

These actions have to be exercised much like our muscles do. The more we practice courage, the more we have peace amid conflict. The more we exercise our mindset, the less likely we become trapped in self-doubt and other busy-ness.

Take Action:

I challenge you to look at what is holding you back and frustrating you. Do you know what you need to do or is your uncertainty feeding your procrastination?  It is time to do the hard work by first being brutally honest with yourself. 

Easy comes to those who do the hard work.

Think about that.

Mindset of Greatness

Michael Jordan is, without question, one of the greatest athletes of all time.

One of the big reasons why is because he is known for embracing failure. There were several times and seasons in his life where he did not make the winning shot or when he didn’t make the team.

Michael Jordan will tell you that his determination to learn from every failure, and to use that as the path to his next success, was the secret ingredient that gave him a Hall of Fame career and a legendary world reputation.

Take action:

For your action today, I want you to look at your last struggle, or your last failure, your last project that didn’t work out the way you wanted it to, and ask yourself this, “Did I learn from it? Do I appreciate the lesson?”

When you learn and appreciate struggle—and even failure—you put yourself on the brink of success.

Think about that.