Everyone has a notion of what it takes to be successful. I was born with severe cerebral palsy which left me in a wheelchair. But I too wanted to be successful.
The key principles of success were always important to me because I had to find new ways of achieving it. This is what I have been focusing on since the early 2000s. I don’t want to sound like a contrarian but some common wisdom about success simply doesn’t make sense and may even be stunting your growth if you believe it. I have discussed many of these ideas in my two decades of studying and research.
1. Self-made person
The self-made person does not exist. We are all influenced by those around us and by education. This could be reading books, attending conferences, or watching people succeed (or fail). It could even be asking for advice. We have all done that. But nobody came out of the womb as a full-fledged football player or guitarist.
Every entrepreneur has somebody who gave them their first account,...
Last week I wrote about the lessons that this pandemic has taught us, and how to apply those lessons to your goals. This week, I would like to explore how to deal with a big goal and look at how we are going to get rid of one of the biggest goals that everyone wants to achieve— getting rid of a pandemic.
Last year was definitely one of the most unique years of our lives. A little more than a year ago very few people had heard about the coronavirus, and then it hit us hard and fast. In the middle of March we were trying to get our heads around the ensuing disruption in our lives. The first time I was concerned about the coronavirus was when I went to the mall, and it was empty. The same day I heard that my cousin’s restaurant had a whole bunch of cancellations. Then, we heard about America’s royalty getting the coronavirus (yes, I’m talking about Tom Hanks). After that came the cancellation of the NBA season. One by one we cancelled most things including baseball and the Olympics. We started working from home, having school around our kitchen tables, and the world found out about a little software called Zoom.
Before the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, I was planning three amazing trips, including watching my...
The quality of your life is in proportion to the quality of your behaviors, actions, habits, routines, and processes. In order to have a better life, it is important to have better behaviors, actions, habits, routines, and processes. These inputs determine life’s standards, and the results become the quality of your life.
No matter how motivated or inspired you are, you are not going to feel like performing the right actions all the time. Sometimes this is due to a simple lack of energy. There are so many factors that dictate your level of energy or motivation. There are so many everyday attacks on your well being. These attacks impact your get up and go. Then there is the fact that your energy levels that ebb and flow throughout the day depending on how much rest you get, what you eat, whether you get bad news throughout the day, whether you have to deal with an emergency, or whether you have to deal with other people and their...
It looks like we are turning the corner regarding the pandemic. We all can’t wait to go back to normal. I can’t wait to travel again, go to a crowded stadium, and even have many people over to my house.
I have some thoughts about the way to look at the last year and how you can enjoy life in the future. It all comes down to perspective and having the right perspective. We all have a narrative about how we processed the last year. The more you make the best of the unfortunate situation, the more prepared you will be to succeed and, more importantly, enjoy life.
A little caveat- some people may have had some very painful experiences during this time. Some have lost a job, a home, a business, or the ultimate loss— a loved one. To anyone feeling the pain of these losses, I truly empathize with you. However, if you experienced only inconvenience, then this is for you.
There is much to...
One of the concepts often written about in developing an amazing mindset is rewriting your narrative. Part of our narrative is the way we see ourselves and the way we go about achieving our goals. I have been writing and thinking about this concept for a while now. One thing I know to be true is that no matter where you are in your life, this process is never ending.
There are two reasons why this journey is never ending. First, times are always changing and in order to keep up your narrative and mindset have to keep up with the times. Your approach needs to keep evolving. Your understanding needs to keep evolving. Your approach needs to keep improving. You also need to keep up with the times. Second, is that it’s challenging to get away from your narrative that has been ingrained in you from a very young age. No matter how much you want to change, there are still going to be voices in your past or...
We don’t live life in a vacuum or in an echo chamber. Our behaviors, decisions, habits, and routines are influenced by the people we spend time with and even look up to. Any good parent values the influences that contribute to children’s behavior. Some examples of this may be the friends that they have, the activities that they partake in, and even the media they consume. Also, good parents are engaged in their children’s behavior. They promote good behavior and discourage less than ideal behavior.
Society promotes independent thought and people’s free will. However, truly successful people are influenced by those around them. If you look at the nature of pro sports and elite athletes, their behavior is highly influenced by others. From a young age, coaches and other adults dictate their practice schedule, weightlifting schedule, and other regimens, and activities. This continues throughout the college career and beyond.
If you want to live out an...
When many people set goals it’s a wish list. In order to accomplish them, you need to measure many more indicators besides the results. Results may come slow, and, in fact, when you start accomplishing your goals results may be negative. Your time and resources become stretched because you are devoting more resources to your goals and the rest of your life may suffer.
In the beginning of an endeavor, we are excited for all of the possibilities of our goals coming true. We imagine buying clothes that are two sizes below where we are now. We imagine making money, opening up a bank account and seeing dollar amount. We imagine opening up a company and not dealing with bosses or coworkers. However, the journey is bumpy and it’s filled with ups, downs, and twists. We must have other factors that we can measure rather than results. If we measure success by arbitrary dates, times or events, then we might not work on our goals as efficiently as we should.
One way we grow as human beings is by relating to each other and learning the lessons that others have learned along the way. Unfortunately, some people want others to relate to them instead of relating to those that are successful.
It would have been easy for me to want other people to relate to me as a disabled person. I always looked at it this way. If I want to become successful, I have to relate to others, not the other way around. Other than appreciating life and the lessons that my disability taught me, there is little to be gained by people relating to my disability.
Those that are struggling want successful people to relate to their struggles in order to help them. Although this is a necessary process, such as psychologists relating to a patient or a financial advisor relating to financial challenges, or even a motivational speaker relating to their audience, you need to relate to other successful people. You want people in your life who can understand...
In the book, Indispensable, by bestselling author and Hall of Fame speaker, Joe Calloway, there is a concept called Your Normal. He said that everything that happens to you is normal. This resonates with me so much that I even wrote a chapter in my book Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices.
There have been many periods of my life where my unique challenges felt well… unique. They felt so abnormal that it left me sad and frustrated. When I read this book, I realized that everything in my life was my normal. The times when I accepted the fact that my unique challenges were my normal life became easier.
Right now, we are in the thick of dealing with the coronavirus and it feels so unique. It feels so unfair. We miss our freedoms, but guess what? This is normal. Scientists were warning about some pandemic for years. Throughout the decades and centuries, humans had to deal with different illnesses and different pandemics.
I always looked at my life like this. I was always fascinated...