blog

I Dare You.

dare you to be great
It’s so much easier in life to be average. To not rock the boat and to toe the line.  It’s so much easier falling into a routine with everyone else.  Falling into the norm.  Doing exactly what your parents, not you, want you to be in life.

Yea, ok.  No.  I have always been someone who wanted and did the opposite of others.  I didn’t follow the crowd in school.  I never really had a ton of friends.  Just like-minded people on the fringes like me who always did their own thing.  Sure, there were times where I wanted to be popular.  But that quickly subsided when I figured that high school was very temporary and we actually had to be something productive in life afterward.

I knew early on that I was destined to be something bigger than just another kid graduating and joining the workforce.  I joined the military knowing I wanted to be the best Logistician and Soldier I could be.  Sometimes I fell short and others I excelled, having retired after 23 successful years. During that time I fell into depression and grew very pessimistic.  But one thing that kept me going was that phrase:  I Dare You To Be Great.  I often told myself this.  I dare you to do good on this promotion board.  I dare you to do your absolute best on this deployment day in and day out.  I dare you to give your best leading these soldiers.  Every single day that was my mission:  to be great just that one single day. Like I said, some days I was great and some days I fell short.  But I always dared myself and gave the best I could.

It’s something that all of us can do.  It’s not a gift given to the rich, privileged, or gifted.  Each one of us has the “greatness gene” dormant inside of us.  Each one of us has the willpower to be everything we imagined. We just need to follow these simple steps:

 

Believe in Yourself

Set Your Goals

Accept and Take Action

Acknowledge and Repeat

In the coming weeks, I will be elaborating more on these four principles in a new way titled the Becoming Better Project. My goal is to assist one hundred people in realizing their fullest potential. The plan will be to build a community of people from all walks of life who just want to become better.  And it’s free.  All I want is your time and commitment to want the best for you and others on the same path.

Will you commit?  Drop me a comment below or send me an email with Becoming Better in the subject line letting me know you want to be apart of this.

 

-alv

blog

How Getting Through Today Is One of The Keys To Success

 

Go through today; quit tomorrow living the dream

I don’t know about you, but there are days that I don’t want to do anything.  Well, anything productive that is.  Where I feel like my schedule is too full and I don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish it all.

And a lot of times it is easier to just give up and crawl back in the bed.  Pulling the covers over our head and shutting the world out.  But let’s not mistake getting rest with avoiding things that are important.  Avoiding today is not going to solve anything.   The right thing to do is to get through today.

Let’s not worry about tomorrow.  Just today.  24 hours. That’s our focus.  But how can you work on anything when your day starts out not how you wanted it to.  You are already running late or thinking about what type of traffic you have to fight through.  I know from experience that it’s a terrible feeling to start your day this way.

So let’s stop it now and I am going to help you.  If you are at home and reading this, let’s take five minutes to get into the right frame of mind.  I like using what’s called.  Affirmations are things that people say to us or we say to ourselves that provide emotional support and encouragement.  They are positive motivational words that help to quickly get you in the right frame of mind.

Here are some of my favorite ones that I use daily:

“You are enough.”

“I believe in you.”

“Remember why you started.”

“Luck is the preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.”

“Let your faith in yourself be bigger than your fear.”

There are many more, but these are just a few that I say to myself each morning.  Now I want you to say these or other ones you find to yourself now.  Don’t just speak the words.  Put some meaning behind them.  Really feel what you are saying and focus on the words to solicit a real impact on your day.

Next, close your eyes and envision how you want your day to play out.  Get very detailed on what the end of the day looks like.  By doing this you already know the outcome.  You already know the steps you need to take to have it all play out.  Visualizing your day this way can have lasting effects on not just your mood but how productive you are on anything you do for the entire day.

Look,  I am not saying that it’s not going to still be a challenging day.  You still may have some hiccups and setbacks, but you can manage them better.  You are in the right frame of mind and ready to deal with whatever comes your way.

Don’t think ahead to the things you have to accomplish tomorrow.  Only focus on today.  Taking each day one at a time is one of the keys to success.  Discipline and focus are two others.

 I know you we have talked about discipline in the past.  You know what needs to be done and how to go about it.  We talked about stepping back and refocusing when the situation warranted it and how it can help you stay mindful of what you need to accomplish.

So the only thing to do now is seize the day.  Get dressed.  Get ready. Stay focused and disciplined in everything you do.  Refocus when you need to.  Don’t think farther than these 24 hours.  Only concentrate on these 86,400 seconds that you have to become that much better today.

Like Soledad O’Brien recently said at a conference, “Go through today.  You can always quit tomorrow.”

What steps are you going to take to get through today?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

blog

If This Is Your Monday Face Read This Post

monday face monday blog

Was this your face this morning?  Did you walk into the office and got hit with “emergencies” before you got to your desk?  Did you plan to do some writing today, but your mind is blank ever after two cups of coffee?

Welcome to Mondays.  Well, actually it can be any day.  Last Friday week we talked about getting our life in focus.  We talked about taking a minute, stopping everything, and centering ourselves.

We could easily come up with one thing and work on it till it’s done.  But what do we do when we have a lot of things and don’t know where to start?  I have your solution and it won’t cost you a dime.  Just your time.

You ready?  Write it down.  But not just any type of way.  Grab a pen and sheet of paper and prepare to be more productive.

The method we are going to use is called the Ivy Lee Method.  Mr. Lee was considered the founder of modern public relations.  He is famous for creating successful public relations firms, but most notably for the work he did for Charles M. Swab at Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Mr. Lee instructed the managers at BSC to write down their top six priorities for the day when they arrived to work.  Once they had them listed he told them to list them in order of priority. When they finished that he told them to begin working on the first one.  Easy enough right?

Yes, but the key was the managers could not move to the next item on the list until the first one was completed.  No matter what.  They had to complete all tasks in the order they set and couldn’t move on for any reason.

See, in the Lee Method there was no multitasking.  No working on multiple tasks and projects at the same time. Why? Because honestly, multitasking simply doesn’t work.  Studies have shown that it slowly lowers your IQ and weakens your ability to focus effectively.

So why do people still like to multitask?  Because society tells us it works.  In the military I always prided myself as an efficient multitasker but honestly looking back I wasn’t.  In hindsight, the projects I worked on never were done with my best ability.  Not when I was juggling more than two projects or missions at the same time.

I learned quickly that if I delegated the majority of the tasks to someone else, they could give it their best and then reap the praise for their work.  The key was having them give one hundred percent of their attention and effort to one task.  And it always worked wonders.

So I want you to try it.  Take out a piece of paper grab the writing instrument of your choice. Now list the top six things you want to accomplish today.  Now prioritize them on how important they are by labeling them one through six.  Done?  Good.  Now remember that you can’t move on to number two until you are completely finished with the first task.

Do it to today and comment below how it worked for you.  What’s on your list?

-alv

General Information

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

blog

Focus on Number One

Focus-Denzel

Day in and day out your focus on making sure things are running smoothly. At work and at home.

You focus on your goals and aspirations. You focus on ensuring you have things in place to accomplish them. You focus on the future and how you will spend that hard earned time.

But when are you focusing on you? Continue reading “Focus on Number One”