Welcome to Monday!
I want to talk about setting expectations for yourself. Sun Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Henry Ford, Greek philosophers and many others all recognize one important human characteristic. “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right”
I learned to swim at a very young age, and eventually part of the program I was required to do a series of dives off starting blocks when I started to compete. While attempting to do them in the beginning, I sometimes hurt myself as I was still in elementary school diving off what seemed like the high dive at the time. In retrospect it was probably not a serious injury, however, it placed a mental block on my brain and gave me a sense of fear. Even today, though I no longer compete, there is no way I can climb up on to a starting block without this incident rushing into my mind and creating immense adrenaline. Eventually, after much determination and practice, I was able to become one of the top starters on the team. I learned to turn that fear into a positive thing.
While the ability to dive off a starting block is no longer important in my life, my brain continues to put up blocks for other more important activities. In fact, psychologists tell us the brain is very good at finding and remembering reasons not to do something.
Deliberate plans are required to overcome the blocks our brain puts in place.
While it’s easy to be busy and crank out the tasks on your to-do list, it’s a bit more difficult to choose to do the important things, to live your life by priorities that you set for yourself. But living a life of smart priorities is one of the best ways to become much more effective, to make the most of your time and reach your goals with less effort. Instead of running around like a chicken with no head, you can walk calmly in the right direction. Do less, but be more powerful in what you do. Something I still need to remind myself of is that priorities are not what you say they are—they’re what you actually do. So take a moment to reflect on how you spend your time, what your priorities have been lately, until now. And reflect on whether those are the priorities you want to live by.
What you accomplish this week is up to you. There may be some things which are genuinely out of your control. If you do not think it is possible, however, you probably will not ask, and if you don’t ask the opportunity might just go away.
The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win. If you’re in business, the very first question you must ask each morning is ‘What opportunities are there that can or need to happen today today?’
Extend this to everything you do by asking the question ‘Is this going to help me achieve my goals today, this week, or this month?’
I will leave you with a quote by the wonderful Thomas Jefferson:
“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.”
Have a great day!