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What Is Greatness And Do You Have It In You?

I want you to close your eyes for a minute. Now I want you to picture someone you really admire. Maybe it is a famous speaker, an artist, an athlete, or a world leader. Now think of the first word that comes to mind about this person.
More than likely the word that may have come to mind was greatness. And though they may be fantastic at their chosen craft, I would caution in using the word greatness. Only because it may elevate this person to such a state that you feel the need to idolize them. The very definition leads one to believe the mythical divide between us:

Greatness can be referred to individuals who possess a natural ability to be better than all others. The concept carries the implication that the particular person or object when compared to others of a similar type, has a clear advantage over others.

See, I admire a great many people and look to use what they have accomplished in my own life. I see them as hard workers and individuals who never let go of their dreams. They worked through difficulties to rise to a prominent position in their chosen profession.
But I caution to use the word greatness only because I don’t want people to believe that it is out of their reach. That they can’t work and fight hard to accomplish all they desire. Will Smith said it best when he said:

“Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, elusive (etc) that only the special among us will ever taste. It is something that truly exists in all of us”

I truly believe that. Greatness is not something that is only in certain families’ genetic makeup. Greatness is not exclusive to any one set of people. Greatness is inside of all of us. It resides inside every inch of your body. In every vein, muscle, bone, and cartilage. In your very soul.

It’s alright to admire someone and all that they have accomplished. But don’t dare place them higher than you so they block the sun from shining on you just the same. Greatness is upon you. What are you waiting for?

-alv

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Isn’t It Time To Get In Focus?

Focus

We are rattled. Off kilter. Unfocused. Something threw us off our balance and we can’t get back on track.

You know why?  Because we won’t take the time to reset ourselves. To get back into our right position in life

We need to stop everything and get back in focus. Think about a photographer. Before he takes that picture he pauses for a second to get his shot into focus.

We need to do the same in our lives. We need to stop hopping out of bed rushing to our job. We need to know what our focus is for that day.

Write down what you want to accomplish, but do it the night before you go to bed. Then sleep. Wake up the next day and visualize your goals and focus your tasks for the day. Then execute with clarity.

When things start to get hectic get up and take a five minute break. Walk away from the chaos and refocus on what’s a priority to you right now. Focus on your breathing and quieting your mind.

Then step back into the environment and handle your business and the tasks at hand.

See, stepping away from the situation or simply focusing on your wellbeing for a couple of seconds helps you immensely. Trust me I know. I have had to do it a couple of times.

There have been times in the military I have been presented with tough decisions. But I always took a moment to focus on my state of mind and cleared it. Only then was I able to make a sound and right decision.

We all could use sometime to refocus our thinking to achieve positive growth in our personal lives.

What do you need to refocus your efforts on?  Comment below and let me know.

-alv

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Grind (Part Two of The 3G Series)

Last week we talked about grit and in the first part of this series.  I talked about how grit was combining   both passion and perseverance together and then enduring everything that came your way.  How grit was the intenstinal fortitude to continue to push for your goals.

So how does grind play into this?  Let me explain.  When you hear the word grind what is the first thought that comes to your mind?  A friend of yours with their head down locked away somewhere working hard on a project.  For me that is the exact picture.

That one person who is determined day in and day out to fulfill that one goal.  Who devotes a significant number of hours each day to it. Don’t believe me?

Take a minute and visualize with me.  Think about the first time you found something in life that you absolutely had to have or attend.  It could have been a car, a bike, a concert, etc.  You knew you didn’t have the money but you absolutely had to be there or have the item.

Each day you found different things to do to save money or find odd jobs.  You sometimes even forgot to eat.  Your parents had to remind you even.  That’s the grind my friends.

The grind is consistency.  The grind is using every waking second that you have doing what you love.  See that young girl in the picture?  She is grinding.  Not making excuses.  She has contribute and help her family and her goal is nothing but that.  It’s as if the photographer caught her mid stride in the grind.  Just enough time to snap that picture and her attention.

And I bet she diverted her attention back to the task at hand and kept going.  I don’t know about you, but I respect that.  I respect the fact that she probably does this day in and day out.  I respect anyone doing the same.

I respect the fact that you know what you want in life.  I know it gets tough and you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere in life.  That the things that you want are not coming fast enough.  But that’s part of this struggle.  That’s when you have to dig deep and employ that grit.  Then you have to put in the work every single day. That’s the grind.

What are you working hard on right now?  What’s your grind?

-alv

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Let Go and Enjoy The Ride

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We have an app to keep track of what we eat throughout the day.  We have another to help us with our to do lists.  Hell, some of us use them to tell us when to drink water.  Or is that just me?

How about we just try to take a different approach this week.  I know it’s going to be hard not tracking everything. But you will survive.  So you ready? Just let go.  Revolutionary I know. Just let go.  I don’t want you to stick to a plan this week.  No, I didn’t say not go to work.  But don’t stick to any to do lists.  Don’t fight the day’s events.

Is there something that you have been putting off?  Something you felt wasn’t important, but you wanted to do anyway?  Do that and see what happens.

Take a long way home tonight and stop by that coffee shop you saw. Go in and have some coffee and relax.  There a book that you wanted to read, but you felt like it wasn’t productive to read it?  Read it tonight before you go to bed.

Just let go and see what happens.  I think you will find that when we do so we actually grow. We become better at being ourselves.  Try it.

What are you going to let go of today?

-alv

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One Trick To Get You Through Tough Times

The U.S. Army is big on resiliency because of the stress of our jobs. We are asked to deploy anywhere from six months to a year. Then come home and train for a year just to go back again.

So the Army came up with a program called Master Resilency Training or MRT for short. It was designed to help soldiers with tools to get through tough times and continue to push forward. Continue reading “One Trick To Get You Through Tough Times”

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Invest in Number One

We invest in so much in our daily lives.  In our friendships.  In our relationships.  But how much are we investing in the most important part of our existence?   Ourselves.

When was the last time you picked up a book to broaden your mental capacity?  No matter what subject it is, read to grow your mind.

When was the last time you sat down with someone you have nothing in common with to learn about things outside your comfort zone?  You would be surprised what a fifteen minute conversation can do for both of you.

Invest in your physical being by walking, working out, or going to the park.  20 minutes a day can do wonders for your body over time. I am not telling you to run a marathon if you never ran a mile. Set a goal and gradually build up to it.

Meditation is something that has helped me for the past couple months.  I meditate for different lengths of time.  From one minute to ten minutes.  There is nothing like sitting still with a clear mind and focusing on nothing but your breath and the magnificent vessel that is your body.

Find a way to invest in yourself.  The world can wait.

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The Spark 

  

There is a spark in all of us. Regardless of what you do in life everyone has that spark. It just may be dimmer than others.

But you still have it. The issue is that many forget that it simmers inside. Ready to be set ablaze and change you like a Phoenix.

To do what you always wanted to do. Or remind you that the heat you feel inside is your wake up call to get to work. To burn ever so brightly so all those around you can feel the warmth upon their skin.

By shining and recognizing your spark you help to ignite the same in others. So rekindle your spark. Set it ablaze. Be a shining example for others to follow.  Help set the world on fire.

-alv

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Live For Others (MM)

 
In the pursuit of our dreams and goals, we sometimes forget that others are on the same road.  If you just pay attention you will see some in front of you and others behind. 

Today I want you to pay attention to those behind you. Help those who are struggling more than you to get on the right path. 

I never liked people who loved watching others struggle knowing they could help.  I can’t understand the joy in seeing others suffer. 

So go to work and seek out those in need.  Look for those individuals who are trying their hardest but are missing the one thing to tie it all together. 

Be the last puzzle piece to complete their masterpiece. Because by helping others you are ultimately helping yourself. 

-alv