In a recent 1/2 day training I facilitated, I had the opportunity to “peel the onion layers” and really engage my audience to dive deeper into a new topic that I’ve become extremely passionate about.
Last year I designed a new presentation titled, “The E.D.G.E. Factor” which uses the “E.D.G.E.” acronym to quickly outline a process helping people and organizations fill the gap between where they are and where they desire to be.
While designing my new presentation last year, I also revised my book, “Think Differently to Achieve Success” and transformed it into an Audiobook and interactive eBook. (it’s been a busy past 12 months!)
Through my research in revising my book, developing that new presentation, and now having experience facilitating it in both keynote and workshop formats to both college and corporate audiences, I want to share a short nugget of it with you, my “virtual” audience.
Whether you’re a student, student leader, employee or employer, these questions are ideal for anyone who desires to achieve more, be more, lead more, and live more.
“How we do anything is how we do everything” … so let these 4 questions guide you in a reflection process to help make 2019 not only the best year of your life, but also the lives of those around you.
(Question #1) What do I want?
“It is impossible to achieve a goal if you don’t know what that goal is.”
I’ve had the blessing and opportunity to speak for well over 1,000,000 people over 1,000 audiences in all 50 states and numerous countries. What I’ve discovered through so many interactions is that most people don’t actually know what they want. Extraordinary leaders do though. Their vision is what makes them unique. Not only do they have goals, they have lucid visions of the reality achieved.
Asking yourself, “What do I want?” sounds like a simple question, but answering it isn’t. I understand because I’ve been there. I’ve battled depression, been arrested, had a home foreclosed on, been fired, etc.! Life isn’t “fair” sometimes and sometimes we don’t make life fair either. So knowing what you want is the first step to achieving it.
I believe anyone can be extraordinary with the right mindset. In fact, the #1 determinant of anyone’s success – and I mean anyone – is that you believe in yourself. So knowing what you want and believing you can – and will – achieve it is beyond crucial. It’s imperative.
However, most folks are more committed to what they feel they should do, or must do, that they lose sight of what they truly desire to do and what makes them come alive.
I explain this in much better detail in the 1st chapter of “Think Differently,” but think about what you spend the majority of your day doing … is it what you truly want to do, or is it because you feel you need, must, or have to do it?
You deserve to pursue the desires and dreams that were planted in your heart for a reason. Those desires are what make you come alive. Those are part of your purpose and further purpose to be revealed.
To help you identify what you truly want, reflect on these questions below:
What do you truly want?
If I had a magic wand and could make your dream possible, what would that look like?
What makes you come alive?
What are you passionate about? (Read “Passion” in chapter 2 of my book!)
What is it that when you do it, time stops?
** Remember, most people can’t answer this question immediately because they are so caught up in what they have to do, that they settle on not making time to do what they want to do. So take a moment to reflect on only you.
(Question #2) What is keeping me from achieving it?
Once you have identified at least one thing you truly want and desire, now you have to ask yourself, “What is keeping me from achieving it?” It’s a simple-yet-profound question that will unleash creativity and possibility in your mind.
Another way of asking this question that many people have told me resonated with them is, “What will it take to get there?”
Folks, it doesn’t matter what your goal or vision is. I’m convicted (convicted = convinced x 1000!) there is a process you can find or create in order to achieve your goal. But this relies on you to discover it – not anyone else. And likely, it won’t be easy. As Nelson Mandela once said, “It’s always impossible until it’s been done.”
In my TEDx talk, in my book “Think Differently”, and integrated within all of my professional presentations, I share example after example of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary goals because they had the persistence and grit to eventually identify a path. They envisioned new possibility and helped others do the same. They saw things differently, and used setbacks as setUPS for future success.
They took “A.C.T.”ion (Action Changes Things) and battled through the “squiggly lines” to “P.U.S.H.” (Persist Until Something Happens).
Are you willing to A.C.T. and P.U.S.H.? If not, it’s OK, but don’t expect that goal (question #1) to manifest if you’re not willing to work for it – respectfully.
Also, what I love by asking yourself, “What is keeping me from achieving it?” is that you open your mind to all the ways it will be accomplished.
Additional advice I would give you is to find someone who is already successfully doing what you want to do. Ask them questions. Study their “story” of success. Ask them to be your mentor. As John Maxwell once said, “If you want to do what I do, then do what I’ve done.”
Expect naysayers. Expect doubt. Expect mistakes. Expect feeling like an imposter. Expect wanting to quit. Expect every roadblock you can possibly imagine. Because those moments when you want to quit are the moments when most people do quit. And the reason you’ll be successful is when most people quit, you don’t.
(Question #3) What needs to change?
We can’t expect anything to change in our life if we’re not willing to make one. More direct, YOU can’t expect anything to change if you’re not going to make one.
Success doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by intention. Success is a byproduct.
The most extraordinary leaders I’ve met, researched, studied and talked about all understand that change is inevitable. Growth, though, is optional. It is impossible to grow without change, BUT it’s possible to change without growth. Extraordinary leaders, cultures, and teams, all possess a growth mindset.
In order to fill the gap between where we are to where we desire to be, change will be required. Growth will be required.
So which will it be for you? What needs to change in order for you to achieve your goal? Something does. How do you need to grow?
Don’t expect change if you’re not willing to BE ONE.
(Question #4) How bad do I want it?
Perhaps you identified what you want from question #1, have started exploring a way mentally to get there (question #2), AND you know you need to make a few changes (question #3). If so, congratulations!
But that’s not all that is required. More is required, hence question #4.
How BAD do you want it? Because you’re going to need to want it BAD, and “BADDER” (spelling, I know) than anyone else.
Will it be easy? NO. But worth it? Abso-freakin’-lutely. So before you start, just know you’re going to have to want it so badly that you’re compelled to drive through the brick walls that will at some point appear in front of you. And once you break through them (because most people won’t), you’ll arrive at your destination.
“The destination to success is a road that should always be under construction.” ~ ME 🙂
Before I leave you, I have posted a series of short motivational Youtube videos on my website that affirm these questions I’ve asked you today. Videos such as:
- Steve Jobs on “Passion”
- J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Address on “Failure”
- “The Truth”
- E. T. “Hip Hop Preacher” on “How Bad You Need to Want it”
- Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame Speech on “Rejection”
Share these videos with your team, your loved ones, and most importantly yourself. Because we all have that inside voice that sometimes tells us nasty things we don’t like. I have it too sometimes. So I tell it to “Shut Up!” 🙂
My best to you,