How To Prepare Your Mind For Your Next Breakthrough

I recently spent a morning speaking to a group of high school football players for a program called Suits for Seniors.

We talked about mindset and the power of contributing value so you can get more of what you want, which ultimately lead to the topic of personal growth.

After all, if you don’t grow, the amount of knowledge, creativity and ideas you can contribute is limited.

In fact, most people get stuck in their lives because they stop growing…

They get set in their ways and their mind becomes a prison that they can’t see outside of.

Major Key: If you’re stuck in a rut, it’s probably because you stopped growing somewhere along the way.

If you're stuck in a rut, it's probably because you stopped growing somewhere along the way. Click To Tweet

I was reading an article recently that talked about how people only grow their businesses or get promoted until the point that they get overwhelmed.

I love this insight because it’s incredibly true….

We all start out thinking we’re goign to take over the world, and little by little, we take on responsibilities until we get to a point where we start rejecting opportunity.

… Thennnn, once they’ve mastered those skills, they find themselves bored out of their minds and in a rut but because they haven’t continued to grow, they’ve hit their ceiling.

The point?

Never stop growing.

Personal growth can be soooo overwhelming… So what do you play a video game and you’re out of lives, money and other resources, what do you use to keep playing?

You find cheat codes.

Reading, my friend, is the cheat code to life.

Reading is the cheat code to life. Click To Tweet

I’m not talking about cuddling up with a good book… I’m talking about treating books as instruction manuals for how to live your life.

There’s a strategy behind reading as a cheat code, rather than reading for pleasure.

People have lived and struggled before you… Learn from them.

People have lived and struggled before you... Learn from them. Click To Tweet

Every problem that you’ve ever had or will have, someone has already had and solved.

The answer is somewhere in the millions of pages in bookstores and libraries, you just have to go find it.

Don’t reinvent the wheel.

There’s a quote that says “you’ll be the same person five years from now that you are today except the books that you read and the people that you meet.”

The reality is that we don’t know what we don’t know, so we will continue to operate in the small mind that we have today if we’re not constantly expanding it.

“I don’t have time” is not an excuse.

If you don’t invest in your personal development, your ceiling is going to come way sooner than you think it will and one day you’ll look back and wonder what happened to all of your big dreams.

 

Step 1. Identify The Area For Growth

The first part of this is to let go of your ego and get ready for some extreme ownership.

If there’s an area of your life that isn’t extraordinary, it is because you haven’t developed that area…

However, in order to grow that area, you need to be able to identify what the root of the problem is, not just the surface problem.

Imagine getting 20 or so hours to sit down and pick the brains of your idols or imagine asking them about their greatest struggles and how they dealt with them.

That’s exactly what you’re doing when you read a book.

Someone is taking everything they’ve learned through their entire lives and handing it to you on a silver platter.

The challenge is that most people read for the sake of learning, rather than reading for the sake of doing.

Our brains are already overwhelmed with information, so it’s exhausting if you’re just reading to learn.

Every theme that I read has a purpose that directly relates to something I’m actively working on improving.

 

Step 2. Pick the Top 5 Books In That Category

It’s easy to get caught in the analysis paralysis trap..

Overthinking, over planning, over everything.

Last year, I was at a point where I felt like I was suffering from a severe case of squirrel syndrome.

I wanted to try every new shiny thing and I wanted to do a million things but I felt like I was constantly trying to finish ANYTHING, even though I was feeling like nothing was ever getting done.

I decided that I needed to get some structure in my life… and structure starts with habits.

I picked up the Power of Habit and fell in love with that book… and then as soon as I finished it, I picked up the Compound Effect. I noticed myself talking differently after reading those two, so I wanted to keep going…

I read the Miracle Morning to fix my morning routine, the 12 Week Year to start getting more stuff done and then read Grit to stay focused on my goals.

That was just five books and my whole life changed.

When you read for the sake of implementing, it will fill you with ideas and inspiration, rather than draining you.

My golden rule has become five books.

Anything you want to learn, you can learn the basics in five well-written books.

Anything you want to learn, you can learn the basics in five well-written books. Click To Tweet

By no means will five books make you an expert on any topic, but after you’ve read five books, you’ve rewired your brain with these new thought patterns and you have also encountered enough different perspectives to begin to develop your own opinions on the topic.

Five books isn’t intimidating either, so you can commit to that.

Let’s say for example, you’re getting ready to hire your first employee…

Read five books you can find on hiring, interviewing and training.

The hiring process will go exponentially smoother for both you and the interviewees.

Reading books on hiring when that’s a short term goal of yours will make the information a million times more impactful and useful, rather reading on hiring when your short term goal is product development.

By reading five books on the topic of your short term goal, you’ll be able to eliminate much of the trial and error because you’ll learn from the mistakes of others, which will then end up saving you time in the long run.

I realized that I did a few things right during that period, which leads me to step 3…

 

Step 3. Read The Right Way

Reading for pleasure is VERY different than reading as a cheat code.

Firstly, it’s not about how quickly you read… It’s about how effectively you do it.

That means it doesn’t matter how quickly you finish the five books, focus on what you can get out of them.

I’ve always hated taking notes, so when I went through this period, I would read 10 pages or a chapter at a time and as soon as I put the book down, I would spend a few minutes thinking about how I could implement it into my life.


That has been INCREDIBLY helpful… and because you start to realize how much of an impact it makes on your life, you start getting addicted to reading more.
Here are a few of my best tips for reading successfully:

  • Here’s the crazy thing: if you read 10 pages a day, you’ll read 18 or so books in a year. Yes, you will have to build the habit, so at first you might struggle to do it. After the first few weeks, you’ll find that you’ve really started to enjoy what you’ve learned.
  • If you’re going to read on a tablet or phone, make sure you get an anti-glare screen. The anti-glare makes you feel like you’re reading paper instead of a screen and is less exhausting on the eyes.
  • Always keep a book on you. Once you’re about halfway through a book, make sure you have the next book ready to go.
  • Read at the same time every day. Whether that’s in the morning, over lunch or before bed, the habit will be easier to build. I recommend reading in the mornings because it’s a powerful way to start your day in a positive mindset.
  • Finish a book before you start a new one. Not only will you get the feeling of completion when you finish the book, you’ll get a lot more value out of it that way too.
  • Listen to audiobooks. I don’t really count this as reading, but it’s a great way to continue shifting your mindset.
  • Surround yourself with other readers. They’ll hold you accountable to reading and their enthusiasm will keep you excited about reading too.
  • Pick a theme that really applies to your current goal. If you want to lose weight, read about nutrition or working out. If you want to sell more, read about sales. If you want to be more creative, read about other creative people or the topic that you’re focused on developing. If you want to be more productive, read about that.

 

Step 4. Implement

Reading drastically improves your problem-solving abilities.

Reading drastically improves your problem-solving abilities. Click To Tweet

When you know that any question that you have or any issue you may encounter already has an answer, you really start to focus on finding solutions rather than focusing on the issues.

Your brain almost becomes wired to identify a problem, figure out what book to read and then implement what you’ve learned.

It’s like downloading a manual into your brain.

That feeling is incredibly freeing.

One of the biggest benefits that I’ve noticed is that through reading, I’ve been able to reiterate a lot of the stories, lessons and topics during day to day conversation.

It’s given me the ability to really expand my conversations with other people and have more meaningful and authentic conversations.

I don’t follow your typical networking rules like “don’t talk about religion, family, politics, etc.”

I believe the fact that we take away every ounce of depth to conversation is why so many people have such a hard time with it.

As long as you’re willing to listen and have a conversation, not an argument, you will find that having conversations about those “taboo” topics is what will really fill your soul.

 

Step 5. Analyze, Adjust and Start Back At 1.

This is not a once and done process… This is an ongoing feedback loop of growing, implementing, analyzing and starting over.

Putting it into action is going to be the hardest part of this entire process and truthfully, it’s the one that matters the most.

One of the biggest mistakes that most people make is that they learn for the sake of learning instead of learning for the sake of doing.

Reading will save you a lot of trial and error so while it might take you a little while every day, in the long run, your learning curve will be slashed and whatever you’re pursuing can be done more efficiently and with less stress.

Take advantage of the cheat codes this world has to offer and you just might win at this game of life.

Take advantage of the cheat codes this world has to offer and you just might win at this game of life. Click To Tweet

I created an entire growth plan course which includes a list of 30 topics with the top 5 books for each topic along with a workbook to help you identify your growth areas.

How many times have you set CRAZY goals, only to fall short of them and then you're left feeling frustrated and unfulfilled? The key is to find a cheat code to skip through trial and error and to find a system to get you from A to X faster so that your journey to Z is infinitely easier. Click through to learn how to find your cheat code and to take the free course to develop your personal growth plan.
Overnight successes are a result of consistent, persistent action. The key is to identify the specific area that you need to grow and then immerse yourself into the topic so that you can start implementing what you've learned. Creating plans is great but overplanning is the enemy of your goals. Click through to learn my BEST tips for making sure you start putting your plans into action so that you can experience your first or next breakthrough.

This isn’t your usual “top 50” business books list… This is drilled down to the top 5 best, most impactful books for each topic. You ready to have your breakthrough? Get started with the growth plan course for free right here:

Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goals + What You Need To Do Instead

Have you ever been SUPER excited about something to the point where you’re like “omg yes! I’m doing that!”

… So you go and set some ridiculous goals.

… Then like 2 weeks later, all of your inspiration dies off and you’re back to your regular self.

HOW FRUSTRATING IS THAT?!

Now here’s the thing…

There are literally THOUSANDS of things that you can do with your day.

You are constantly making hundreds of decisions at any given time… Some of them are on autopilot and some are conscious, like…

What should you wear today?

Will you go to happy hour?

What should you do this weekend?

…. and then some of our decision should are subconscious habits like…

Are you going to start brushing your teeth on the right or left side first?

Do you tie your left or right shoe?

Do you workout in the morning, night or not at all?

Our habits define us.

Our habits define us. Click To Tweet

If you have a habit of smoking, you’re a smoker.

If you have a habit of drinking, you’re a drinker.

If you have a habit of running, you’re a runner.

If you have a habit of procrastinating, you’re a procrastinator.

We ARE our habits.

… and sometimes we don’t even realize how our habits affect us because it’s all we know.

… but if you don’t even recognize your habits, how do you know which ones are sabotaging your success?

You don’t.

… and THAT is why you’re not reaching your goals.

You don’t need to reset your goals or give yourself a crazy pep talk.

You need a growth plan.

You’ve probably heard about having a “why” to keep you motivated, but no matter how much you want it, that doesn’t fix the issue of MAINTAINING your mindset and gaining the new skills and habits to execute on your goals.

 

So, What The Heck Is A Growth Plan?

You have financial plans, fitness plans, health plans, goal plans and business plans… But what about a YOU plan?

You have plans for your finances, fitness, goals and business... What about a YOU plan? Click To Tweet

A MINDSET plan?

A growth plan is designed to help you find the areas of your life that you’re slacking, figure out the habits that you need to create, change to strengthen, and then execute them.

It’s sort of like a doctor’s check-up, except for your mindset and habits.

A growth plan will keep you from “my life is a hot mess” breakdowns or “I need to get my shit together” self-talks because you’ll actively be working on you so that those areas of growth are corrected in small increments,

rather than waiting until your life details before trying to get it back on track.

After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

You can't pour from an empty cup. Click To Tweet

… and if you’re not working on you, your cup is definitely going to empty quickly.

 

How To Make A Growth Plan

Step 1. Audit Your Mindset

We always talk about the things we want to do and if you’re anything like me, you fantasize about what it will feel like when you’re massively successful in every area of your life…

… but putting it into action is a whole different story.

So the first thing you need to do is to do an audit on your mindset:

What are your strengths?

How about those weaknesses?

What do you need to work on?

What’s holding you back from reaching your full potential?

How are you currently spending your time?

How SHOULD you be spending your time?

What limiting beliefs do you still carry?

Where do those limiting beliefs come from?

Digging really deep, especially on the questions you’d prefer not to answer is the only way to begin your breakthrough.

 

Step 2. Audit Your Goals

Going through life without a goal is sort of like getting in the car and driving without a destination, while blindfolded.

Going through life without a goal is like driving a car blindfolded without a destination. Click To Tweet

When you lack a destination, it’s way too easy to have ‘squirrel syndrome’ and to get distracted by every, single, teeny-tiny, itty-bity shiny object that may or may not yield a potential opportunity to possibly succeed.

Creating your growth plan will help you set a direction for each of the 7 ‘S’ words* so that you can start setting yourself on a path to have more balance, be more fulfilled and reach your full potential.

The 7 S words represent the various areas of your life…

They are self, self-development, spirituality, security, service, spouse and security.

 

Step 3. Audit Your Habits

Point A is where you are.

Point Z is where’s you want to go.

(I don’t like using point B as the destination because that insinuates that the journey is just one step and that’s almost never the case.)

Your habits represent every step towards point Z.

If you take a teeny step to the left or right, you won’t detour too much, but if you keep taking detours, you’ll end up wayyyyy off of your goal.

It’s the compound effect at it’s finest.

Identifying the habits that are holding you back is one part of it and the other half is identifying the keystone habits that you can start implementing, which will give you the max return on your effort.

 

Step 4. Audit Your Skills

Most people never reach their goals because they completely skip steps four, five and six.

If you plan to set massive, crazy goals, it only makes sense that you’d have to grow to reach them… THIS is where the growth plan REALLY shines.

You’ll identify the areas that you need to grow, analyze your learning style and decide how you want to immerse yourself into the new habits so that you can start executing and making CRAZY progress on your goals.

That level of immersion will start changing your mindset and get you to start taking action.

Immersion will start changing your mindset and get you to start taking action. Click To Tweet

 

Step 5. Audit Your Schedule

If it’s not in your schedule, it doesn’t exist… It’s as simple as that.

If it's not in your schedule, it doesn't exist... It's as simple as that. Click To Tweet

Once you’ve gotten your mindset in the right place, set some clear goals, worked on your habits and decided what skills you need to work on, it’s time to figure out how to actually implement it all by creating a powerful schedule.

You’ll want to look at what your schedule is like now, prioritize the 7 S words and make sure that your priorities align with your new schedule.

 

Step 6. Actually Do It

Creating a growth plan is one of the most important things you can possibly do for yourself because it covers every area of your life… but because it’s soooo comprehensive, it can be easier to get overwhelmed and decide to do nothing at all.

… However, if you’re absolutely committed to reaching your full potential and being your best self, decide, right now, that you’re not going to be like, “oh this post is awesome, let me bookmark it (or pin it) to come back to”…

Then never come back to it.

Let’s put it into action, together, so you don’t have to do this by yourself.

I have a totally free growth plan course that will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end so that you can start living up to your full potential and stop setting goals that you’re not going to hit.

In the growth plan course, you’ll get 12 videos, a 45-page workbook and a 10 day email challenge to make sure you are executing on your goals… and you can register fo’ free right here:

How frustrating is it when you set all of these goals.... but you never hit them? The problem isn't your goals. The execution part of goals is where most people trip up, and in this article I'm walking you through exactly how to execute them like a ninja. Click through to read the whole article and to take the free growth plan course.
How frustrating is it when you set all of these goals.... but you never hit them? The problem isn't your goals. The execution part of goals is where most people trip up, and in this article I'm walking you through exactly how to execute them like a ninja. Click through to read the whole article and to take the free growth plan course.

30+ Personal Growth eCourses, Facebook Groups and Podcasts For Millennials

When you start learning, your brain’s appetite grows like crazy.

You find yourself wanting to learn, implement, grow and repeat over and over and over again.

While there are hundreds of blogs and articles out there about self-development and personal growth, I wanted to put together a complete collection of resources that will help you actually implement what you’re learning.

After all, skimming an article isn’t going to have the same influence as participating in a community of people in a Facebook Group, getting tons of feedback from Twitter chats, constant information from Podcasts or really actionable content from courses.

If there are any other resources that you think should be on this list, go ahead and add them in the comments below.

Facebook Groups

Have I ever told you how much I LOVE Facebook groups?

They’re awesome because you literally get to curate your newsfeed to focus on the things that you’re interested in… And you’ll see a whole lot less negativity, cat videos and pointless updates from your friends and more

about what you actually care about.

Rich20Something: This group was created by Daniel DiPiazza of Rich20Something. This group is full of young professionals who are CRAZY ambitious and focused on online entrepreneurship and they vary at every range of the spectrum from thinking about starting a business to insanely successful entrepreneur.

Classy Career Girl Network: This group was created by Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl. This community is for women and focuses on career development. There are daily threads to encourage interaction and there are also people in this group that are entrepreneurs.

Millennials On A Mission: This group was started by Natalie Duncome and has an awesome group of millennials who are passionate about setting and reachng their goals. 

The Miracle Morning Community: Boasting 100k+ members, if you want to talk about positivity, mindset, inspiration and morning routines this is the ULTIMATE group for that. The community was built on the foundation of the Miracle Morning book which was written to help you create a really powerful mindset.

Podcasts


I have discovered a new passion for podcasts… I especially love the ones that are quick mindset tips that are less than 10 minutes and give you something awesome to think about for the day.

School of Greatness: This is probably one of the most popular podcasts in existence. Lewis has interviewed some of the most incredible entrepreneurs and business people in today’s day and with almost 500 episodes on his podcast, it’s no wonder why it’s so damn popular.

Rich20Something: This podcast covers everything entrepreneurship and has incredible guests who’ve built (and sold) amazing companies and everything is done from the perspective of a 20-something.

Classy Career Girl: Anna gets really deep and personal about everything personal growth for women. She’s built an incredible company and shares her stories on this show.

She’s Building Her Empire: Stacy started a dance studio way back that now does seven figures and she now teaches women how to build their own empires. She talks about everything from life to personal growth, online entrepreneurship and even has some really awesome guests.

Gary Vee Audio Experience: There’s no such thing as not having an opinion on Gary Vee. You either love him or you hate him and if you can’t get enough of him, his audio experience never disappoints

Entrepreneur On Fire: This podcast is the mack-daddy of all podcasts. EOF is a daily show that has over 1,000 episodes covering every area of entrepreneurship and talking to the most influential minds in business today.

Tony Robbins: I have a huge nerd crush on Tony Robbins because of how incredible his mind is. Regardless of what your thoughts are of him, if you haven’t been to one of his events, keep an open mind. Tony calls himself the “why guy” because he’s not a motivational speaker. He’s all about helping you understand why you do the things that you do so that you can change and develop them.

The Tim Ferriss Show: Tim Ferriss changed the game with the book 4 Hour Work Week, and has one of the most popular podcasts of all time. He’s such a “regular guy” and that’s what makes his podcast so approachable.

The Daily Boost: This podcast is exactly that… a daily boost. Super inspirational, motivational, positive and uplifting material designed to help you be your best self.

TED Radio Hour + TED Talks Audio: I’m OBSESSED with TED Talks…. and these two are constantly feeding my addiction. I don’t have to tell you how awesome TED Talks are, so go subscribe to this ASAP.

Something You Should KnowI love this podcast because there are so many random fun facts to know on this show.

The Productivityist Podcast: Mike Vady is like the ninja of productivity and hacking your life to get more done. On this podcast, he’s

This Is Your Life: This podcast was created by Michael Hyatt, the self-designated “virtual mentor”. His podcast focuses on intentional leadership, and helps you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.

EntreLeadershipStarting a business is one thing, but being an extraordinary leader is another and that’s exactly what this podcast does.

Your Kickass Life: If you need a quick kick in the ass to step it up a notch, this is the podcast for you. Andrea’s intense focus on personal growth and mindset made me fall in love with this podcast.

The Lively Show: This is an awesome podcast for female entrepreneurs that covers a range of topics from systemizing your life to wellness, to design and blogging.

Knowledge for Men: I don’t think there’s enough talk about men’s-specific issues, and this podcast interviews incredibly successful men and helps you master your mindset.

 

Free ECourses + Challenges

6 Day Job Search ChallengeChanging careers is one of the most stressful times of your life because there’s so many things that have to change. This free course will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end so that you can own your new job like a boss.

What Women Want From A Relationship (Free 8 Week Challenge): I thought this was an interesting one to include in this list. If you’re struggling with the ladies, this just might be the free challenge that you need.

Launch Your Podcast In 7 Days: If you’re looking to start a podcast, here’s a really awesome course to help you get started. Ani, the creator of this course, has over 10k loyal listeners to her podcast and is teaching you how to do the same.

3 Days To Increase Your HappinessBeing happy is a choice that you make every day and this 3 day course will help you get in the right mindset to help you constantly make the decision to be happy.

The Self Love Strategy Mindset Masterpack: I always say… Self-care is the best care. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else either.

Have an awesome free course, podcast or Facebook group that you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Your mind is a muscle. If you don't spend time growing it, it's going to stop working. Personal growth doesn't have to be complicated... Just a quick podcast a day, curating your social media feeds and changing your brain food will go a LONG way.Your mind is a muscle. If you don't spend time growing it, it's going to stop working. Personal growth doesn't have to be complicated... Just a quick podcast a day, curating your social media feeds and changing your brain food will go a LONG way.

The 20-Something’s Guide To Personal Values, Controversial Topics + Hard Decisions

First of all, let me start by saying that this isn’t going to be your parent’s lecture about “upholding family values” or your church’s lecture about being righteous…

This is about making better, faster and more efficient decisions with your own personal values and knowing that you’re not going to regret them later on.

This might not be the sexiest topic in the world but it will help you get your life together.

All of your overthinking, anxiety and indecision can generally come back to a lack of understanding of your personal values, so it’s important to understand

Let’s get started…

 

Types of Personal Values

Firstly, there are two different types of personal values… The first is ethical values and the second is nonethical values.

Ethical Values: Values are the values that we use to determine right from wrong and are values like fairness, justice and equality.

Nonethical Values: Not to be confused with unethical values, these are values that we like or deem personally important like money, status or spirituality.

 

Value Conflicts

If only it were as simple as defining the words and being like, “awesome, you got it!” buttttt it’s NEVER that simple…

Even once you understand your personal values, there will literally be THOUSANDS of situations that will put your values to the test and you need to know how to respond to them.

How you handle these challenges will define the person you become and the story that people will tell about you when you’re not around, so get RIDICULOUSLY clear on your values.

 

Moral Temptations: Ethical vs. Nonethical

First up, let’s talk about right vs. wrong…

Let’s say you’re up for promotion at your pharmaceutical company where you’ll get a huge raise in your income (like we’re talking a 30% pay bonus… HUGE).

You find out that your company lied to the FDA about the results of the tests for one of the new drugs that they just released…

Turns out, people were dying from the drug but they covered it up…

Even if this example doesn’t relate to you, just bear with me for a second…. I just want you to get the idea.

What do you do with that information?

The right thing to do would be to report to authorities to make sure that no one else dies from this drug…

But that would mean that you’d probably have to quit your job, you’d have a harder time finding a new job because now you’re the “tattle tale”, you’ll probably have to testify before a jury anddddd that promotionnnnn

You start losing sleep over the fact that people are dying over this and you go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth (and back and forth a few more times) and then finally decide that it was only a couple of people that died and that happens in drug trials, right?

So you keep your mouth shut and get your promotion…

Except the names and faces of those “few” people will continue to haunt you until you push it so far into the back of your mind that you can finally forget about it…. and probably push it down with lots of alcohol.

… Or maybe wine, because being a wino is supposed different than being an alcoholic, but it still helps you clear your mind…

… and the spiral downwards continues.

You had the option to do the right thing but you chose not to do it because that promotion was on the line.

This is what’s called a moral temptation… Situations that challenge your ethical values and could be justified by using a nonethical value.

I know that sounds fancy and formal, so let me break it down and make it super simple for you (using the above example)….

You know what the right thing to do is but if you do the right thing (ethical value: integrity), you’re going to have to give up that promotion and job (nonethical value: status and money).

Moral temptations are dangerous if you don’t know how to identify them.

Moral temptations are dangerous if you don't know how to identify them. Click To Tweet

This specific situation might not relate to you directly but I wanted to use an example that would get you to understand this concept…

Other moral temptations you might think of are things like blackmail and ransom…

But what about smaller things like plagarism?

Plagarism is taking credit for someone else’s work to elevate your own personal image…

Definitely a moral temptation.

Most of us end up in situations of moral temptations that “aren’t a big deal” and end up killing our integrity one teeny-tiny “no big deal” at a time… And this is why understanding your personal values is so important.

Moral temptations kill our integrity one teeny-tiny no-big-deal at a time Click To Tweet

Oh, and you know when politicians get caught cheating or high level execs get caught embezzeling from their companies and you’re like, “how could anyone ever do that?”

Yep… Same thing.

Human nature often sets in in the presence of these situations and if we think it’s not a big deal or that we won’t get caught, we’re INFINITELY more likely to go with the nonethical value.

We are also more likely to satisfy those nonethical values if our basic needs aren’t being met.

I’m not just talking about food, shelter and water… I’m talking about the needs of the personality and the needs of the spirit. I’m not going to get into all of those here because I wrote an entire article about it that you can check out right here:

The bottom line is that understanding your own ethical values will make it easier to avoid situations like this.

While right vs. wrong might seem like a no-brainer, what do you do when you’re stuck in a right vs. right situation?

 

Ethical Dilemmas: Right vs. Right

How many times have you been in a situation where there were two options that both seemed right and you had no clue what to do?

Say hello to our little friend Ed (aka ethical dilemmas).

Ethical dilemmas are the root of most internal conflict and heated debates with others approximately 99.99999% of the time (that’s a scientific fact, based on my own super legit personal scientific research).

Ethical dilemmas are the root of most internal conflict and heated debates. Click To Tweet

Knowing your personal values in an ethical dilemma will literally save you hours of stress, tons of overthinking and mountains of anxiety.

Before we talk about our internal ethical dilemmas, it’s easier to understand when we look at our relationships with other people…

 

Why We Argue

You know those arguments that we get in on social media or in person that only leaves everyone feeling flustered?

The root of those arguments is a difference of values.

For example, let’s look at abortion…

Yes, we’re getting controversial but I’m not taking sides, so just entertain me for a second.

Outside of the abortion debate, does a woman have a right to choose what to do with her body, yes or no?

I really hope that you said yes.

Does a child have the right to live?

Absolutely.

Both of these are right… and on their own, they’re no-brainers…

It’s only when they’re put against each other that the question becomes which is more right.

… and these arguments get so heated because personal values aren’t based on logic or scientific evidence, they’re based on the very foundation of who we are.

In fact, we usually decide on our beliefs and then find facts to validate our beliefs and opinions, rather than seeking facts and then building opinions and beliefs around those facts.

As a result, we feel so strongly about our personal values that it’s nearly impossible to process how someone could see it any other way.

So when someone tries to present a different way of thinking, we fight back because agreeing with them would require us to change our values… and when we change our personal values, it feels like we’re changing who we are as a person.

… and this is why those conversations almost never go over smoothly.

So now that we understand what ethical dilemmas are and how they affect our relationships, let’s chat about our internal ethical dilemmas.

If you’re ready to start putting this into action, I created a free workbook for you that you can get right here:

 

Internal Ethical Dilemmas

Here are a few different examples of ethical dilemmas that we deal with internally.

Some of these might seem like no-brainers and some of them you might struggle with.

The ones that are easy for you are likely to be your strongest personal values, which is why it was so easy for you to answer.

 

Truth vs. Loyalty

My favorite example of truth vs. loyalty is mobsters that testify against each other. The mafia is all about “the family” and loyalty… and the people who go against that “sleep with the fishes”.

When someone (or an organization) is doing something wrong, do you stick along for the ride because of loyalty or do you do the right thing?

I remember when I was in 10th grade, I had a girlfriend who was dating this guy who was just the worst person ever… I could never understand what she saw in him, but one day I asked her where she was and she told me she was skipping school to go hang out with him…. again.

She had been skipping school regularly to go hangout with him. Her freshman year, she had been a straight A student… she was now failing every class, so I had two classes with my favorite teacher and I pulled him aside to let him know.

Her butt was in school every day for the rest of the year and she got her grades up.

She still doesn’t know that I told but I don’t regret it.

Am I a snitch?

Yep… and I don’t care. It was worth it.

 

Individual vs. Community

Well well well, we’re about to get controversial again.

Let’s talk gun control.

Again, I’m not taking sides… but this is exact situation is why that argument gets so heated.

Obviously, there have been way more mass shootings than anyone would’ve liked… so to someone who values community over the individual, it’s going to make logical sense that we need less guns.

On the other hand, someone who values the individual over community is going to see it as their need (or right) to protect themselves.

This argument could be made for rioting, police brutality and a whole bunch of other things.

Are you starting to see how our personal values shape our mindset, society and laws?

Let’s start putting this into action:

 

Short-Term vs. Long-Term

Since we’re on a roll with controversial topics, we might as well keep going…

Yay for controversial topics.

On a grander scale, the best example that comes to mind is global warming and carbon emissions.

Regardless of where you stand on global warming, you know that we need to take care of our earth… There’s no question about that.

If you value the short term over the long term, you might have a hard time justifying killing off companies that aren’t living up to that standard because of the amount of people who would lose their jobs so you’d rather make sure that doesn’t happen and we can take care of the other issues later.

If you value the long term over the short term, you’ll likely view it from the opposite side.

From your perspective, the long-term is going to come whether we like it or not, so we need to take care of it now before it continues to get worse.

Maybe you don’t really have a stance on global warming, so to drive this whole short term vs long term point home, on a personal level, we’re talking about things like habit building.

If you value the short term, your level of comfort right NOW is more important than what you could possibly gain or lose in the future…

So maybe you’re supposed to be prospecting for new business or going to the gym every morning, but you just can’t find it in you to do them….
orrrrr maybe you have a bad habit that you won’t break because it takes too much work to change.

If the long term is more important to you, then you’ll suffer through them in the short term even when it’s uncomfortable so that you can get through it and reap the rewards on the other side.

 

Justice vs. Mercy

… andddd another controversial topic.

Two words: Death. penalty.

To some people, justice is more important than mercy.

If this is you, you probably identify with the phrase “an eye for an eye” and are probably in support of punishing people equivalent to their wrongdoings.

On the other hand, if you’re driven by mercy, you’ll likely want to see the threat removed, but you also probably believe in the phrase, “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

By the way, I just want to throw this in here…

We’re always told not to talk about controversial topics but f- that! Let’s talk about them.

There’s an art to doing it so that everyone who participates in the conversation can walk away feeling uplifted rather than frustrated and I’ve outlined all of it in this post for you:

Understanding your personal values is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and for your relationships.

By knowing your personal values, you can make decisions faster and more efficiently, knowing thta you won’t regret your choice later on because it’s in alignment with your most important values.

Knowing your values means you can make decisions faster without regretting it later on. Click To Tweet

Your relationships will improve because you’ll realize that most of their crazy beliefs is just a result of their core values and you’ll learn to accept them for who they are, rather than changing them or trying to prove them wrong.

My three main values are fairness, integrity and growth…

If you want to figure out what your values are, I put together a whole workbook to help you do that that you can download for free right here:


I get it... Personal values seems SUPER unsexy.... but what if I told you that by digging deep and getting to know your personal values, you'll be able to build better relationships, stop having that anxiety feeling anddddd make hard decisions with way more confidence, knowing that you made the right decision? Sexier now, huh? Yup. Click through to learn how to do this for yourself and to download the FREE workbook.

How To Own Your Life Like A Boss (+ Give Up The Victim Mindset)

Everything in your life is there because you allow it to be there.

Everything in your life is there because you allow it to be there. Click To Tweet

If someone is treating you like shit, it’s because you allow them to.

If your company isn’t growing as fast as you would like, it’s because you’re not taking massive action or you’re not being effective.

If you feel like you just can’t get your life together, it’s because you haven’t committed to creating powerful habits to keep everything together.

If your relationship is failing, it’s because somewhere along the way, you stopped doing the things that made you relationship successful in the first place.

If your life sucks, it’s because you’re choosing to only see the negativity in the world.

Even if you weren’t directly responsible for the things that happened to you, you are directly responsible and in control of what happens next.

I get it… Being a victim is easy.

You don’t have to DO anything to be a victim, you just have to exist.

Being a victim is easy because you don't have to do anything except exist. Click To Tweet

… But having a victim mindset drains you.

It drains your relationships because people get tired of hearing about how the world is against you and being a victim leaves you in a state of hopelessness.

You see, hopelessness doesn’t come from being in a bad situation. Hopelessness comes from being in a bad situation and feeling like there’s nothing you can do to fix it.

Hopelessness is a victim’s mindset.

Hopelessness is a victim's mindset. Click To Tweet

Now, the first step to fixing your mindset is realizing that you’re stuck in the mindset.

In fact, you may not even realize you have a victim’s mindset…

We have about 90,000 thoughts in a day and 95% of them are the same habits we had yesterday and the only thing that can change that is for something to happen to break that thought pattern.

There are three decisions we’re making at any given time that shapes our thought patterns…

… What are you going to focus on?

… What does this mean?

… What are you going to do?

Tony Robbins gives the PERFECT example of this.

Watch the first five minutes.

… and I know what you’re thinking… “That’s too long.”

“That’s too long.”

Watch it. You’ll thank me later.

The moral of the story is that Tony accepted the stranger’s offering as an act of kindness and treated it with gratitude.

His father (with his victim mindset) treated it as an act of charity and treated it as an insult.

Do you see how a simple change in perception can change pretty much anything?

Awesome.

So let’s talk about the different ways that your victim mindset might be showing through…

 

Victim Mindset: Not Asking Questions + Accepting Things The Way They Are

The easy way is to accept things the way they are and accept them at face value.

Have you ever said something that someone perceived differently than you meant and then wouldn’t let it go?

That’s exactly what you’re doing every time something happens and you automatically assume the worst.

I know, I know…

When you don’t ask questions and just let your mind do the wandering, you don’t have to worry about confrontation because you accidentally pissed someone off for asking the wrong question and you don’t have to worry about accidentally over committing.

You just accept it the way it is.

Let me ask you…

How many hours have you spent overthinking something and then coming up with a story about that thing that happened?

Yep… Stop doing that.

The problem with not asking questions is that it leaves you assuming… and you know what they say happens when you assume…

You make an ass out of u and me.

Instead, try this…

Ask powerful questions that seek to bring clarity.

Your questions shouldn’t be passive aggressive or out of sarcasm, you should be asking out of complete curiosity.

When you “assume innocence” and give people the benefit of the doubt, chances are, you’ll find that whatever they said or did wasn’t meant the way you percieved it.

When you ask powerful questions and bring clarity to the seemingly complex, your relationships will start to blossom and become more genuine and you will inevitably start to be seen as a leader.

In the post I wrote about how my epic failure made me a better leader, I wrote all about the questions I’ve learned to ask those I lead which has MASSIVELY changed my relationships:

 

Victim Mindset: Fighting Reality

A victim who is fighting reality will say stuff like…

“That’s not the way it is…”

“That’s not how we do things…”

“That’s not how I see it…”

“That’s your perception…”

Statements like these generally come from a fear of or resistance to change.

Just because something worked in the past, doesn’t mean it will continue to work…

… and just because something didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future.

Remember, the only thing in life that’s certain is change…

The only thing that's certain in life is change. Click To Tweet

So embrace it or you’re going to have a tough time in this world.

Instead, try this…

It’s perfectly natural to think about the effects of this new change, however, that doesn’t mean that you should be resisting it.

If you’re resisting change, keep an open mind and seek to get clarity on what those changes would entail. You might use language like…

“Let me see what’s going on.”

“I’ll figure it out.”

“Got it.”

“Let’s make it happen.”

“Let’s walk through this together…”

By focusing on possibilities and seeking to get clarity, you’ll find that everything becomes easier.

Giving up the victim mindset isn’t a one time decision… You’re going to have to work at it, mess up and say the wrong thing.

That’s perfectly ok.

To help keep you on track, I created this free cheat sheet for when you need a reminder:

Victim Mindset: Blaming Everyone And Everything Else

There is NO faster way to make your relationships crash and burn than to NEVER take responsibility for the things that happen in your life.

This is as true for little things as it is for the big things.

In fact, I would argue that the little things are MORE important than the bigger stuff, like when you’re late because everyone else is a terrible driver or your boss is harder on you than your coworkers.

Blaming everyone else for things might seem like the easy thing to do but it puts a HUGE strain on your relationships because everyone else bears the burdens for your struggles.

Blaming comes in many forms and will often sound like some variation of the following…

“If everyone would just do their job…”

“It’s not my fault…”

“It didn’t work because of the economy.”

“The market wasn’t ready for it…”

“Why didn’t you do something?”

“If you/they didn’t ___, I could’ve/would’ve ___.”

Instead, try this…

Take ownership by bringing energy and focus to the situation.

Even when someone else IS actually responsible for whatever misfortune has happened in your world, take ownership anyways.

Note: I did not say blame yourself. 

Take ownership.

Taking ownership means recognizing that you have the power to change whatever happens next. Blaming yourself puts you right back into this victim mindset.

Taking ownership means recognizing that you have the power to change whatever happens next. Click To Tweet

Not only will you earn the respect of others but you will also build emotional capital with the person

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

“What’s my ideal outcome?”

“I have to do something.”

“This is my responsibility.”

I know this is a lot so I created a cheat sheet for you to use that will help you put all of this into action:

 

Victim Mindset: Making Excuses

Listen up!

You can have reasons or you can have results, but you can’t have both.

That means if you’re really serious about your goals, you’re either going to step up to the plate or you’re going to make excuses why you can’t have it.

… And quite frankly, excuses aren’t going to pay the bills and they’re not going to build relationships.

Your excuses might come in a bunch of different forms like…

“Nobody told me.”

“It’s not my job.”

“I did my part.”

“I was never given a chance.”

“That won’t (or doesn’t) work here.”

“I did what I was supposed to do but it didn’t work.”

“I can’t think of anything else to do.”

“I did everything…”

“It’s not working…”

“I tried…”

“It won’t work anyways.”

You’re not going to get recognized or rewarded for your effort, my friend.

“Almost” isn’t going to help you achieve your goals…

So from this point forward, there is no try… Only do.

Instead, try this…

Take massive action and seek more possibilities.

As a leader of this incredible community, I have frequent conversations with our members and students about their crazy goals and we often talk about taking minor adjustments they need to take to actually achieve them.

By asking yourself powerful questions, you’ll identify really powerful questions that force you to dig deep and look for new solutions.

“What’s the goal?”

“Is that still the goal?”

“What have we tried so far?”

“Why didn’t those efforts work?”

“What else can we try?”

“How do we put that into action?”

“What are my options?”

“How can I make that happen?”

“What can I do?”

 

Victim Mindset: Waiting, Hoping and Wishing For Things To Happen.

Your empire isn’t going to build itself.

Victims will throw their hands up and wait for things to happen for them, then get upset when they don’t happen the way they want.

The waiting victim will use language like…

“If it was meant to be, it’ll happen.”

“Let’s just wait and see.”

“We’ve done all we could, let’s just wait.”

“Time will tell.”

“It’s out of my hands.”

“The proof will be in the pudding.”

Instead, try this…

Make a plan and execute on it with ninja precision.

When you have crazy goals, things are going to go wrong…

It’s inevitable.

You just have to decide to pick yourself up, find a solution and move forward.

“Let’s get started.”

“Time’s up. Let’s go.”

“This is what I’ll do.”

 

Victim Mindset: Focusing on Your Weaknesses + Problems

“I’m terrible at this.”

“It’s just not my thing.”

You know when you’re giving someone advice and no matter what you say, they find a reason why that won’t work?

That’s called deflecting.

… and then you’re like, “why did you even ask if you weren’t going to take any of my advice anyways?”

What that person is doing is putting up a wall and rejecting any and all potential solution.

… Or maybe the person who is constantly deflecting is you.

This generally happens when you’re spending more time focused on the problem than the solution.

It’s completely understandable…

Being the victim is easy because you don’t have to think, you only have to follow your emotions.

The problem with that is it will ALWAYS leave you stressed, feeling like you can’t get your shit together and in a constant state of hopelessness.

Being a victim will ALWAYS leave you stressed, feeling like you can't get your shit together and hopeless. Click To Tweet

Every single person in the world has weaknesses.

… Even the people you idolize the most and think are perfect.

Elon Musk, one of the most amazing minds of our time (if not the most amazing), is notoriously bad with people.

I LOVE Beyonce and I’m like 100% certain that she’s crazy. I mean, you don’t get that successful without being at least a little crazy, right?

Your weaknesses are not unique to you.

Instead, try this…

Identify and focus on your strengths.

If you’re having a hard time recognizing your strengths, it’s probably because they come so naturally to you that you don’t even realize that you’re good at it.

Start looking for solutions rather than problems and when someone offers a suggestion, don’t deflect… Accept it, try it and then give your feedback.

Learning new ways to think and speak is going to require constant effort on your part to change your mindset. To help you with that, I’ve created a free cheat sheet that I recommend that you hang at your desk, on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror and anywhere else that you look frequently enough.

Having it constantly in front of you will help you ensure that you’re consistently reminding yourself that you are not the victim that you used to be and that you are going to be a creator of your life instead.

Go ahead and download the free cheat sheet here:


The language that you use shapes your life... So if you're using victim language, you're going to constantly be in a state of hopelessness where everything in life happens TO you instead of FOR you. When you let go of the victim mindset and realize that you have the power to change everything in your life, only then will you be truly happy, free and fulfilled. Click through to see if you're using any victim language and what to say instead.

The Best Way To Find Your Purpose In Life + Create Your Vision

As I’m sitting here, I’m drinking my Chai tea (because I’m obsessed) and literally stretching my fingers before I start typing because I know this is going to be a beast of a post.

I could talk about this topic for DAYS ON END… In fact, I’ve taught it now at least a dozen times and put together a webinar about it because I love it so much.

My ultimate goal is to walk onto the TED stage to talk about this exact subject because EVERYONE needs to hear it. That’s how damn obsessed and passionate I am about this.

Before you get overwhelmed, you can sit back and get comfy because there’s a free workbook that goes along with it to help you take all of this and put it into action so we can make it happen.

 

The Pathetic Statistics

Let’s look at some CRAZY stats about people, their careers and how fulfilled they are.

  • Only 3 in 10 people are engaged in their careers (Gallup)
  • 88% of employees don’t have passion for their work (Deloitte)
  • 79% of businesses believe they have a significant engagement and retention problem (Psychometrics)
  • 86% of businesses and HR leaders believe they don’t have a good leadership development path

That goes across every industry and level of employement…

LESS THAN ONE IN TEN PEOPLE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT THEY DO.

How INSANE is that?!

90% of people spend 1/3 of their lives doing a job that they don’t even like. If you could die a million times, I imagine this is how it would happen.

The formula for fulfillment is this…

 

Growth + Contribution = Fulfillment

Do you realize how freaking simple that is?!

In order to be more fulfilled, you need to spend more time growing… That means *ahem* spending more time on blogs like mine and attending our workshops *shameless plug*, watching documentaries, reading, attending events and surrounding yourself with people who push you to grow… and you need to make a conscious effort to go out of your way to give more.

It’s simple, but it’s not easy… I get it.

Here’s the thing… Most of us set our goals COMPLETELY backwards.

We lead through our days rushing about to get everything on our to do list done and it feels like we never finish anything so we’re just aimlessly wandering through life.

Let me ask you a question…

Would you get in the car and start driving aimlessly with absolutely no destination for days on end?

NO!

SO WHY THE HELL DO WE DO THAT WITH LIFE?!

We do it the other way around when we’re in the car…

We pick a destination, decide on how to get there and then we get in the car and drive. Leading with vision and effective goal setting works the EXACT same way.

We should set the destination (vision) FIRST, then develop our stretch goals out of our vision, then make our manageable goals from our stretch goals and decide on our activities based on our manageable goals.

When we set goals this way, we have a higher sense of completion because we know that what we’re doing is getting us one step closer to our ultimate goal, it helps us have more clarity in our lives and in our decisions, we are going to grow faster and it makes it easier to accept or reject opportunities that don’t align with our vision.

Here’s a quick visual to show you what I mean.
Goal Setting Ladder
Most people start from the bottom and climb to the top of the ladder and it goes like this…

  • I’m going to go to school today… (activities)
  • I have decent grades so I guess I’ll apply to college… (manageable goal)
  • I’m in college so I guess I better pick a degree and then change the degree a few times (stretch goal)
  • Oh look, I’m in my field, I think what I do matters (vision).

They go about their day leading with their daily activities until something happens that requires them to start thinking about their manageable goals.

Maybe they’re planning a vacation or a project at work, but they don’t generally have their own manageable goals. They’ll talk about their stretch goals when they’re feeling inspired and will generally distance themselves so they don’t have to take any ownership. They’ll say things like “it would be cool if…” or “somebody should…”.

Most people RARELY talk about their visions or even realize that they have one until someone comes into their lives and forces them to think bigger.

We’re going to do it the opposite way…

We’ll start with your vision and work down to your activities.

… and speaking of making things concrete, we’re going to start HUGE and abstract with a crazy vision and work our way all the way down to the super concrete with our daily activities.

Don’t start checking out on me because you’re overwhelmed. If you know me at all, you know that I always have for you to put all of this into action.

Go ahead and get that right here so you can fill it out while you’re reading through this.

We don’t learn for the sake of learning around here… We learn for the sake of doing, so go get the workbook!

Ready?

Let’s dive right in.

 

Developing Your Vision

First things first, let’s talk about your vision.

No, I don’t mean if you have like 20/20 vision… We’re talking about your idea of the perfect world.

I want you to close your eyes and answer this question…

Seriously, close your eyes…

Are your eyes closed? (They’re definitely not if you’re reading this, just sayin’).

If you had unlimited resources and could have the world any way that you want, what would it look like?

Paint a picture in your mind of what that perfect world would look like.

That my friend, is your vision.

Whatever that looks like to you, that’s what I want you to keep in mind.

Now, I want you to put your vision to the test…

A great vision has a few things going for it (I wish I could take credit for this part but I learned it from a training I did in college called LeaderShape and have yet to find anything that can beat it). This test is flawless:

  • Compelling: When you talk about your vision, does it get people to want to take action? Your vision should be so moving that when you talk about it, they literally can’t help but get involved.
  • Service-Directed: Making a lot of money is not a vision. Making a lot of money is a result of achieving your vision but it is NOT the actual vision. Your vision should benefit others first.
  • Challenging: If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing 😉
  • Vivid: When you talk about it, you should paint a picture in someone’s mind about what the world would look like if your vision became a reality.
  • Expandable: A vision shouldn’t be a finite destination… It’s sort of like when you’re driving on a flat road and you can only see so far but as you get further down the road, you continue to see the road in front of you. That’s how a vision is. Even when you hit your original goals, you’ll continue to think bigger.

In the workshops that I’ve done of this topic, I find that this is the step that people struggle with the most… and it’s completely understandable.

Firstly, we don’t think about stuff like this until you’re feeling inspired or there’s a reason to think about it (like reading this article). Secondly, The idea of having a vision allows for a ton of possibility and makes it seem super abstract.

Our job as empire builders is to pave the road for others to walk down and so we have to start somewhere.

Our job as leaders is to build a vision and make it concrete for those that we lead.

It all starts with vision.*

Even if your vision isn’t perfectly worded yet, that’s ok.

Oh, and if it sounds insane, good! That means you’re doing it right.

Your vision SHOULD be abstract and have millions of ways to approach it.

I always like to start my vision with, “I envision a world where…” because that statement gets you to really think big.

My perfect world looks like this…

I envision a world where people were passionate about helping each other reach their full potential. People would take the time to mentor each other and uplifted and inspired people. Rather than feeling like someone else’s success was to their detriment, we saw each other’s success as our wins too. I believe in abundance and I believe that we can all achieve our craziest, wildest dreams when we choose to work together. The world will be better off when we are all pursuing our dreams. I believe that when we all pursue our dreams, the world will be a better place to live. 

By using words that evoke emotion, it helps you to connect to your own vision and it inspires action in others. There’s a couple of other ways to inspire other people with your vision which are all outlined in this article.

When you lead with vision first, it almost guarantees that you’re going to be fulfilled because you have to grow as a person to make progress on your vision and if your vision meets all five criteria, it’s service-based by it’s very nature.

 

What’s your legacy going to be?

Oh, and before we move onto stretch goals, let’s talk about legacy.

If you ask most people what legacy they want to leave behind, most of them will say something along the lines of “I just want to make sure my family is comfortable and taken care of.”

While you’re reading this, I want you to imagine me grabbing you by the shoulders to shake you and yell all of this at you to make sure that you’re hearing me. If you take just one thing away from this article, let it be this…

That’s an awesome goal and you should definitely do that, except it’s a COMPLETE. WASTE. OF. YOUR. POTENTIAL.

Leaving money behind is not leaving a legacy.

I want to challenge you to leave a PURPOSE and a way to do it (*ahem* your vision).

When you lead with vision, you are setting an incredible example for your family, you’ll be a better family member because you’ll be truly fulfilled and when you leave this earth, you will have something that carries on long after you.

Money will be spent and forgotten but PURPOSE becomes who we are and the culture of our family.

Not to mention, shooting for comfortable is irresponsible.

If you think about all of the people who were living large in the early 2000’s, their comfort became nonexistant when the market crashed in 2008.

All it takes to steal your comfort is a medical emergency, something to happen to you, some crazy natural disaster or a market crash and your comfort becomes struggle in precisely 0.0074 seconds flat (that’s a super scientific number, I swear).

You can argue that insurance will take care of stuff like that and the reality is that way too many people end up in situations where they’re (for lack of a better word) FUCKED… So insurance is not the answer. It’s plan C or D, not plan A or B.

… Andddd to top it off, shooting for comfortable is selfish and lazy. You have a duty, a calling and a responsibility to reach your full potential. The world needs YOU. Not someone else, the world needs YOU.

Imagine how different the world would be different if the lightbulb was never discovered, if Elon didn’t invest $180M back into Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City.

What if Steve Jobs or Mark Zuck didn’t feel like challenging the rules and changing the way we know of everything?

If they can do it, there’s no reason that you can’t either… You just have to have a vision and be willing to take massive, ridiculous action to make it happen. You can be the one to change the world and you have a responsibility to do so.

I know this is a lot… Let’s get to work. Go get your workbook!

Once you’ve worked out your vision, it’s time to figure out HOW you want to make that happen by deciding on your stretch goals.

 

Get Some Direction With Stretch Goals

Your stretch goals are the things that you would like to do at some point but don’t have a clue how.

They should seem impossible to achieve, out of your comfort zone and other people might see them as crazy (and what’s interesting about that is that the more that you talk about them, the more realistic that they become).

Most people struggle with their stretch goals because they’re using a stretch goal as their vision. Think of the vision as the why and the stretch goals to be the how.

 

Stretch Goal #1.

As I think about my own stretch goals, the one that’s at the top of my mind every. single. day. is that I want to build the largest young professionals organization in the world.

Young professionals are the future and the next generation and so I truly believe that it is my responsibility to educate, inspire and empower them to reach their full potential. Once I get closer to this stretch goal, I’ll start working on my second stretch goal.

 

Stretch Goal #2.

My second stretch goal is to completely change the entire education system. I don’t just mean change the way students are tested, I want to change the way that they learn.

First of all, why are we still making kids regurgitate stuff that they can google?! THAT IS WHERE LACK OF FULFILLMENT STARTS.

Where is the growth in that?!?!?!?!?!?

I would love to people go back for a year or two to each what they do as an actual career, for kids to learn through hands on experience (like simulations, virtual reality, etc).

Seriously, who likes learning from a textbook? What if we could teach kids like the Magic School Bus? They would go on a field trip by putting on their VR glasses and get to visit the dinosaurs or go back to the signing of the declaration of independence.

The engagement of kids would be insane and they would learn so much more from it.

Instead of teaching kids to be great test takers, we need to teach them how to have better critical thinking and communication skills so their curriculum would include a bunch of socratic seminars where they learn how to have an opinion, listen and have a healthy debate.

I hope that my stretch goals will help you with your own.

Your stretch goals are the things that you want to be remembered for after you leave this earth and will help you determine which opportunities you’ll take so you don’t overcommit.

 

Make It Happen With Manageable Goals

Your manageable goals are your typical SMART goals.

What I find interesting is that every time the conversation about goal planning comes up, there’s almost inevitably a debate about whether you should set the bar high and have big dreams or you should have realistic goals.

Here’s the answer: you need both!

The realistic goals are the bricks that build the stretch goals.

Your manageable goals should be realistic and achievable that lead to predictable success. These goals bring clarity, focus, keep people engaged and keep everyone on track for the bigger goal.

I like to set manageable goals of 3-6 months. That timeframe keeps you on your toes and is still enough time to make great leaps within that timeframe. Your will help you break all of this down so that you can put all of this into action.

 

Get to Work With Activities

Lastly, you have your activities. Your activities are the day to day activities that help you reach your manageable goals. When you build your goals backwards, you’ll feel like you’re always reaching towards bigger things and will have a MUCH greater sense of achievement.

When those activities start to get redundant or you find yourself struggling to complete them, you need to get some accountability around those actions. Accountability steps in where willpower fails.

The key here is to work backwards so that you continue to feel fulfilled, know that your life is on the right track and you are leading with passion.

I know this is a lot to break down and you’ll forget 90% of this if you don’t put it into action, so go ahead and download the workbook.

Tame The Inner Voice That Tells You You’re Not Good Enough

I was recently in Orlando with my devil children (aka the cheerleaders that I coach) and ended up at a table with one of the younger coaches and one of the moms.

I’m not sure how the conversation started, but the other coach started talking… and my first instinct was to get annoyed because she made everything about her and she was so damn skeptical about every single thing.

I felt myself getting to a negative state and reminded myself to stay out of judgment and in curiosity, so I started asking more questions and instantly recognized her destructive thought patterns…

She then came out and blatantly said “the things I say to myself are horrible and I’ll never say them out loud”…

How sad is that? It literally broke my heart.

She started talking about how she’s not smart, how she’ll make a terrible wife and all of these other things…. She went on and on and on about all of the reasons she won’t be successful. I don’t think she even realized that she was letting it all out and I could tell she was getting emotional.

She told us about how every time she sits down to study, she cries because every time she studies, she still fails.

She’s not normally that type of person but she was having a complete breakdown.

Hopelessness doesn’t come from being in a bad situation… Hopelessness comes from being in a situation that you feel like you have no control over.

The first teachable moment here is that when you focus on problems, you have no control over it. If you focus on the solution, it’s completely in your control and you don’t have to worry about the anxiety of feeling like you’re hopeless.

Unfortunately, when we started talking about solutions, she deflected every one of them. The more we talked about solutions (the mom that happened to be sitting next to us was actually a college professor by complete coincidence), the more she kept attacking the problem from different angles.

Teachable lesson number two… Most people deflect solutions because it would require them to change. This led me to realize that her self-hate was a result of her hopelessness which came from her victim mentality.

In her mind, everything happens TO you instead of FOR you. When you start taking extreme ownership of everything that happens in your life, you have the power to change it. Being a victim is easier… But it will leave you in a state of misery.

You’re not late because of traffic… You’re late because you forgot to account for traffic. You’re not broke because you’re paid minimum wage, you’re broke because you haven’t found an opportunity that pays more. You’re not in your situation because you have to be… You’re in it because you choose to be.

This is a worksheet that I got from one of the workshops I attended… It shows you the difference between victim language and taking ownership. I thought you’d find it helpful 😉

Your thoughts influence your feelings, your feelings influence your actions and your actions influence your results so you need to get a handle on your thoughts.

We have 90,000 thoughts in a day… 95% of those thoughts are the same thoughts we had yesterday. That means those destructive thoughts you’re having, you’ve probably had for a longggggg time.

If you drive over grass, there probably won’t be a huge mark left in the grass… But if you drive over that same piece of grass over and over and over and over and over again, there will be a dent in that grass that you’ll have to put some serious work in to fix.

That is EXACTLY how our brains work. Every time you have a thought, there’s a little neuro pathway that’s created in our brain… and every time you have that same thought, that ridge gets deeper.

So now if you’ve been telling yourself something since you were in middle school, that little ridge is ridiculously deep in your brain… No wonder it’s so hard to change the way you think… That ridge didn’t form in one day so it’s not going to go away in one either.

You can’t control all of your thoughts… That would be exhausting.

You can’t control your first thought, but you CAN control your second thought.

Here’s a super four-step simple system to change the way that little inner voice talks to you.

Identify the destructive thought: first things first, identify the recurring theme of what that little voice in your head is telling you. It may not be the same words every time, but you’ll find a common theme.

Change it to an “I am committed to…” statement: Ask yourself what the truth is… In her case, if she thinks she’s not smart, her truth is that she hasn’t learned how to learn in a way that works for her. Her “I am” statement could be “I am committed to learning about my learning style and communicating that with my professors.

Make the affirmation constantly: It’s hard to change your thoughts, so you have to repeat your affirmation every time you think about your destructive thought.

Focus on the second thought: every time you have your destructive thought, immediately after, remind yourself of your new affirmation. This is a slow process to change your thoughts but it’s effective.

I’ve created a worksheet to help you work on identifying your negative thought patterns and turning them into a powerful affirmation to help you change that inner voice.


Inner Voice

Stop Feeling Guilty For Outgrowing Your Friends

Outgrowing your friends doesn’t make you a bad person and don’t let anyone make you feel differently.

In every stage of our lives, we make friends because of similar interests or circumstance.

When we were in middle school, we made friends with people who were in our classes, lived in our neighborhoods or were on our buses…

In high school we made friends with people who played the same sports as us, went to the same gym as us and were around us regularly…

In college, we made friends with people who went to the same parties, participated in the same organizations, stayed in our dorms and had the same classes or majors as us.

At each turn, you might find a friend or two that sticks around through each stage of your life but most won’t… and that’s perfectly ok.

As your lives change, you lose the commonalities that brought you together in the first place.

That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you or wrong with them, you just started to grow apart.

I had a group of girlfriends in college that I was super close with… and we started to grow apart because we really didn’t have anything in common anymore.

When we would hang out, I wanted to talk about Millennial Empire Builders (which was called South Florida Young Professionals at the time) and real estate.

Both of those topics were genuinely of no interest to them and because I wasn’t around that much anymore, I started to feel like an outsider when we would all get together.

Some of them even tried to make me feel guilty for not being around as much which stuck a wedge into our relationship even further.

It sucks but it happens.

Outgrowing your friends isn’t a bad thing.

 

Changing Your Circle Is A Good Thing

If you’re constantly around the same people, your world, opportunities and perspective get really small.

You start to dress alike, talk alike, think alike and care about the same things… Life becomes routine and you become content.

The group comes to a consensus on what “success” is, what “failure” is, what behavior is acceptable and even your values start to align with each other…

It’s sort of like how women’s cycles synchronize when they hang around each other too much (sorry guys, I know how much you love when we talk about that time of the month).

This synchronizing happens in teeny tiny interactions that you don’t even realize have an impact on your own mindset.

Those interactions go something like this…

Let’s say you workout every day at 5am.

You start hanging out with people who go out more often so they’re like “oh come on, you can come out with us and still get up early to go to the gym… Come out with us!”

You all have a great time so you start to do it more often… and eventually, your body starts to fight back and you remember that sleep is actually a mandatory thing your body needs.

You don’t want to ruin your new friendships so you miss a gym day here or there…

Which breaks your routine and you start to go less and less. Before you know it, you’ve gained weight and you’re wondering what happened when you used to be so good about it. You try getting back into it but it’s wayyyy harder than you thought.

After all, breaking a habit takes like 0.02 seconds and building a habit takes about 66 days (as evidenced by the book ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller).

You don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

Changing your circle of friends allows this to happen in reverse, too.

Your new friends can push you to build new, good habits too…

Let’s say you’re a salesperson who does well enough to get by comfortably….

When you start hanging around mega’s who are doing millions of dollars in sales, your level of action and mindset will change and grow, too.

It’s inevitable.

The people that you hang around are the single most important decision that you’ll ever make in your life.

 

As you continue down your growth journey, your friends will change.

Here’s what you have to remember… There’s only a small percentage of people who are committed to being their best selves (and don’t debate me on this… everyone wants to be their best self, but if you take one look at their habits and the conversations around them, you’ll see if they’re actually committed or simply interested… For most people, it’s the latter).

As you start to talk more about habits, reading, mindset, growth and taking action on your goals, the people around you are going to either join you or they’re going to fight it.

That doesn’t mean they’re fighting you… Some people are comfortable with their situation and changing is SUPER uncomfortable. In this scenario, outgrowing your friends is almost inevitable.

That doesn’t make them bad people.

You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped…

You cannot force someone to grow who doesn’t want to grow…

… and it’s not your job to force them to grow.

The best thing you can do for them is to achieve your definition of success and then inspire them to pursue their own.

People grow into the conversations around them, so inspiring them with your own success and encouraging them to pursue theirs is all you can do for them… So lead by example.

Your priority needs to be to surround yourself with other people who are committed to being their best selves too.

It’s your duty to yourself… or you’ll end up one of those middle-aged men or women who go through a mid-life crisis because you don’t understand how you ended up in the boring, mundane life that you settled for when you were so ambitious in your 20’s and 30’s.

Your duty, responsibility and obligation is to commit to being your absolute best self with as much integrity, compassion and love as you possibly can.

No one believed Everest could be climbed until it was.

No one believed that a mile could be ran in one minute until someone did it.

If you love your friends as much as you say, you’ll be the change maker.

Blaze the path and show them what’s possible.

Stop trying to bring people who don’t want to be brought with you to the top…. Once you’re there, you can always go back and get them once they’re willing to grow too.

You’ll be a better leader, motivator, helper, inspirer (is that even a word?!) and friend when you’ve shown the people around you that reaching your goals is absolutely possible and encouraged.

This article will walk you through the process of sharing your goals with other people (because it truly IS an art) and I also created a whole network audit workbook to help you go through your closest friends and really evaluate your friendships.

The workbook, this article and the article that I just mentioned are all designed to work together. Let’s get your relationships on track with your goals:


How to Reach Your Goals When You Have No Willpower

What keeps you accountable to your goals when your motivation fails you?

If you said nothing, you might find that you’re having a hard time reaching your goals.

The good news is that this is an easy fix.

We know that big goals require you to build new habits and we also know that building new habits is uncomfortable as I’ve laid out herehere and here. The quick fix to a lack of willpower is to add accountability around those new goals.

In order to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to get uncomfortable… This is nothing new. It’s easier to stay in bed at 5am than go to the gym, play on Facebook when you’re supposed to be making phone calls or going out when you should be sleeping… and it’s wayyyy easier to say ‘I’ll just start tomorrow’.

Sometimes, your big why just isn’t enough. No matter how many vision boards you make or no matter how much you intend to do it, you just can’t find the willpower to do it.

… But when you have a deadline or someone to report to, you’re a whole lot less likely to slack off.

Introducing… Drum roll please!

Accountability. 

You might have just cringed a little (like I did when I first learned about it)…

… or you might be thinking something along the lines of:

  • I don’t need accountability
  • My bank account keeps me accountable

If you said the first, I mean this in the most humble and compassionate way possible – that’s all ego. If you didn’t need accountability, you would have achieved your goals already. We all need some sort of accountability.

Embrace it my friend, don’t fight it. Our willpower is finite so accountability steps in where willpower fails.

If you said the second, having your bank account as an accountability partner will make sure that your bills are paid but it will keep you in a state of stress, unfulfillment (because you’re only living to pay bills rather than living to reach your goals) and you will likely only do enough to meet your requirements (which means you will continue living paycheck to paycheck).

There’s a lot of negativity around the word ‘accountability’ because so many people go about it the wrong way.

If your way of holding people accountable is harassing them about why they did or didn’t do something (or people are doing that to you), how is that perceived?

Yep, like an attack.

And then what happens?

Yep, you guessed it. They (or you) will become defensive almost every single time. There’s a different way to approach accountability. The key is allowing the person being held accountable to take ownership of their actions or lack thereof and you are just the person helping them see that.

 

What are you going to be held accountable for?

The first thing you’ll need to decide is what you’re going to be held accountable for.

You can choose to be held accountable to a specific activity or to a specific result. I like to be held accountable to consistent activities over the result for a few reasons…

First, setting accountability for the result can put you in a state of “by any means necessary”… and contrary to popular belief, that’s not always a positive place to be in. When you’re willing to do anything, that’s how you get yourself in trouble.

The most effective way to decide on your most important goal right now.

Seriously, what’s your MOST important goal? I know they all seem important so ask yourself which goal will make everything else easier?

Got it?

Awesome. Now, ask yourself what ONE activity that you can do (whether that means doing it once or doing it consistently) that you can do to help you reach your goals. Don’t go crazy making commitments that you aren’t going to keep so start with one thing and leave it at that (trust me, this is coming from a true recovering over-committer).

Maybe your goal is to lose twenty pounds. You might decide that you’re going to workout three times a week and you’re going to send a picture every time you’re at the gym so your accountability partner knows that you’re actually there.

 

What’s the consequence?

Now that you have the activity, you need to decide what happens if you don’t meet your commitments.
Some of the best examples that I’ve seen for accountability (and some of which I’ve participated in) are as follows:

  • Having to send a picture at the gym every morning at 6am and having to write a check to your partner if you don’t make it there five times per week (someone from my office did this with me, he slacked off and I bought a pair of shoes with his money. I rubbed it in his face for a few weeks and he stopped slacking off at the gym)
  • Telling your kids that you will take them to Disney if you hit your specific goal. Kids are great accountability partners because they’ll be on your case to make sure you did what you said you’ll do and you never want to let your kids down.
  • Writing a check to an organization whose values you strongly disagree with and setting a specific goal (say writing a certain amount of pages or talking to a specific number of people). If you don’t hit your numbers, your accountability partner gets to send the check to the organization that you disagree with. This one is awesome because even when you’re not in the mood to hit your commitments, that voice in your head going “I don’t want my money going to ___ organization” is loud enough to get your butt moving.

There’s a million ways to hold someone accountable and it doesn’t always have to be money involved (like the kid example above), but I find that it’s a great motivator. No one wants to have a check cashed for not doing something, especially if it’s for something that you don’t agree with.

 

Who’s going to hold you accountable?

The people that you allow to hold you accountable should be someone who you respect and don’t want to let down, not someone who is going to let you off easy.

If you’re going to use the check example, don’t write it to someone who you wouldn’t mind them spending your money. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out.

If your commitment is to go to the gym three times a week and you write your daughter a check for $100, when it’s time to actually go to the gym, that little voice in the back of your head will go, “it’s your daughter… You’d give her $100 if she needed it anyways.”

Accountability should HURT if you don’t hit your commitments, so make sure it goes to someone you don’t want spending your money.

Make sure it’s someone you trust and who won’t cash your check unless you fail to hit your commitments, just don’t give it to someone who you would give money to anyways.

There’s a guy in my office who wrote me a check and his commitment was to workout 3x/week. I let him off the hook once and the second time that he missed, I went and bought myself a pair of shoes.

The next day, I went into the office wearing the shoes. He didn’t know that I bought shoes with his money and he complimented them…. So I told him he bought them for me and then rubbed it in for like a week. He hasn’t missed accountability since 😉

 

Accountability Questions

Here are the six accountability questions.

Whether you’re working on a team, are an employer or a parent, these come in handy.

By asking these questions, the answerer is forced to self-reflect and answer for themselves.

They won’t feel attacked but will get clarity on their progress and it will help make it clear for them what their next steps need to be.

  • What was your goal?
  • How did you do?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • Based on how you did, what’s your new goal?
  • Is there anything that might keep you from doing that?
  • If you needed training or support to do this, what might it be?

Every time that I use these questions to guide my accountability conversations, they’re massively impactful and we both walk away with a ton of clarity and ready to take on the world.

Ready to put some accountability around your goals? I’ve created this cheatsheet to help you kick those goals into high action so you can start seeing results.


reach your goals when you have no willpower

How To Get People To Buy Into Your Goals (And Why They Doubt You)

When we were kids, our parents and teachers would tell us we can be anything we want to be when we grow up.

By the time we get to middle school, we start to get a glimpse of how the real world works.

Instead of being president, we settle for being a CEO of a huge company and making millions of dollars every year.

… And then in high school, we have to start getting ‘realistic’ because we’re getting ready for college.

… College comes around and we’re told to go with something ‘secure’ that pays well and to forget passion.

Little by little, our ambitions are cut down by those around who want to protect us so we become quiet dreamers and are too afraid to speak those dreams for fear that someone is going to tell you that you can’t do it because when we do share, we get frustrated and maybe even wonder if they’re right about us being too ambitious.

Now I’m not justifying their case but since we’re taking focused on taking complete ownership, we have to look at it from their side, understand them and then address how we’re going to pursue our dreams without their negative influence.

Here’s the deal…

Our family and friends try to get us to be realistic because they love us, want the best for us and they don’t want us to be disappointed when we don’t reach our goals. At least that’s what they say, right?

Here’s what it comes down to…

 

FEAR

Every fear that humans have comes from one of two places — the fear that we’re not good enough or the fear that we won’t be loved.

To make it worse, remember, we have 60,000-90,000 thoughts in a day and 95% of them are the same thoughts that we’ve had every single day so far. Now I’m not justifying their thought process, I just want you to understand their perspective.

They’re afraid that…

  • When you’re successful, you’re going to be different (and we don’t like change — it’s human nature).
  • When you’re successful, you won’t love them anymore.
  • When you’re successful, they won’t be good enough for you.

They say they’re doing it for us (and they probably genuinely believe that they’re doing it for you) but they’re actually doing it because they’re afraid that your relationship will be different.

Their limiting beliefs have absolutely nothing to do with you.

It is their own fear that holds them back from thinking big and they’re doing the best that they can to hold onto what they love — you — just the way that you are.

Does that mean that you should cut them off?

No.

If they’re someone in your life that you can’t get rid of (and I mean that in the most loving way possible), pay attention to how you’re communicating with them.

 

Start by watching your word choice…

If you’re using exclusive phrasing (words and phrases that don’t include them) like “my success”, “my future” or “when I’m successful”, you’re telling them that they won’t get to be part of your success.

You can’t expect them to be happy for you if they don’t get to be part your success.

Don’t just assume that they know that they will be part of it… You have to reassure them that you want them to be there with you and that you love them unconditionally. Make sure you’re including them in your plans and making it clear that they are part of it.

On the opposite side of that, the fastest way to lose their support and get them to resent your ambition is to the weight of it all on them. If and when you’re using phrasing like, “I do this for you”, you’re putting the blame on them for your hard work.

Even if you mean it as a compliment, you are giving them the responsibility of your exhaustion, your struggle and you are telling them that they are the reason that you aren’t present for them right now.

Before you get defensive… Remember, we’re focused on taking complete ownership. We can’t control how they feel or react. We can, however, try to understand where they’re coming from and we can control ourselves.

All of this applies if you can’t get rid of this someone in your life. If this is someone who doesn’t deserve to be in your life, the most graceful way to allow them to dismiss themselves from your life is to have a conversation that goes like this, “over the next 10 weeks, I’m really looking to make some drastic changes in my life like [be specific about the changes in your diet, prospecting, whatever]. Would you be wiling to join me?”

If they’re willing to join you, make sure that they don’t distract you if and when they slack off. If they aren’t willing to join you, then ask for their support with the approach of, “I completely understand… I just thought I would ask. Even still, it would mean the world to me if you’d support me through this journey. Here’s what you can expect… [tell them how it’s going to affect your time, mood, etc.]”

Even still, it would mean the world to me if you’d support me through this journey. Here’s what you can expect… [tell them how it’s going to affect your time, mood, etc.]”

If they can stay supportive throughout the process, you probably don’t need to get rid of them. If they can’t, remind them how important it is to you and that you’re not giving up. If they still don’t support you, they will likely exit your life and that’s perfectly ok.

Before you let them dismiss themselves, remember…

 

Remember that it’s your vision, not theirs.

Ready to start putting this into action? I have a whole workbook to help you learn how to communicate more effectively with the people in your life. It’s totally free and you can download it here 😉

We have 60,000-90,000 thoughts in a day.

Just because you mention your goals once or twice, doesn’t mean they’re going to be jumping over joy with your level of passion. Some people just don’t have vision or they are simply skeptics by nature.

They will only get on board when they see results. All of that is fine, you just need to remember that you’re not going to get these people’s support without results.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you, they just can’t see the vision without hard, tangible evidence that they can see.

Just because you mention your goals once or twice, doesn’t mean they’re going to be jumping over joy with your level of passion.

Some people just don’t have vision or they are simply skeptics by nature. They will only get on board when they see results.

All of that is fine, you just need to remember that you’re not going to get these people’s support without results.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you, they just can’t see the vision without hard, tangible evidence that they can see.

You can’t be mad at them for the inability to think big, you just have to communicate at their level… which brings us to the communication ladder (cue Law and Order Style *don-don*)

 

The Communication Ladder

A few weeks ago, I posted something on Instagram asking for people’s goals. Almost every single person commented with something super vague and general. Vague, airy-fairy definitions of success might sound pretty but they’re immeasurable.

If you can’t measure your success, how will you ever know that you’re successful?

There were two specific people who I asked to clarify and both of the people I was interacting with were hesitant to tell me what their goals are (even in private).

Firstly, if you can’t share your goals with other people (especially those that are supportive), that is the ultimate form of self-doubt.

You don’t need to share all of your goals with everyone but you do need to share them with people.

By sharing your goals, you create automatic accountability around your goals and you give them the opportunity to help you achieve them… and the worst thing you could possibly do is to belittle them by telling them they don’t get it or that they just don’t think big enough to understand.

That’s not going to get you the understanding and passion for your goals that you’re looking for.

No matter how much of a superhero that you think you are, you cannot and will not succeed at the level that you’re looking to succeed at if you can’t include people in your vision.

Here’s the caveat — you don’t need to tell everyone your entire vision.

The goal is to communicate with them at their level. When you do that, you’ll find that when you share your goals, they are more supportive of your goals and you will leave the conversation without being frustrated that they’re not “getting it” or they’re trying to break you down.

Here’s the thing… Everyone’s capacity for thinking big is different. None of them are wrong, they’re just different.

Treat your conversations and relationships like rungs on a ladder. Start from the bottom and work your way to the top, just like you would climb a ladder.

 

Activities

Some people can only handle the monotonous day-to-day activities.

These people can handle (or are only interested in) your weekly plans, low level goals (like finishing a project) and specific activities.

These are simple tasks that can be achieved within a designated calendar time frame (a few hours or even a few days).

They don’t deserve to know (or care to know) anything beyond ‘right now’.

 

Manageable Goals

Next, you’ll have some people who can handle goals that take a few weeks or months to accomplish.

These are people who can handle your projects that can take up to 6 months to accomplish.

These are low-risk projects that lead to predictable success.

These are people like your significant other, coworkers and other people in your life that you’re likely in frequent communication with.

 

Stretch Goals

These are goals that you probably don’t know how you’ll achieve but they’re big enough that you’re passionate about them and they can make a massive impact.

You can achieve these within your lifetime and they might even make you a little comfortable to talk about (quick tip: the more you talk about them, the easier they become to talk about and the more you’ll believe in them).

You know those random conversations that you have that fill your soul and make you excited about all of the possibilities the world has to offer?

You’re probably talking about your stretch goals.

These are giant goals like building the largest young professionals organization in the world (which is mine), reforming the education system or creating equality for the homeless.

 

Vision

Lastly, there are the few conversations that we have where we peel back the layers of our soul, allow ourselves to be open, vulnerable and intimate with the inner most parts of ourselves and we talk about our vision.
If our stretch goals are the what, our vision is the why.

These are the inner most thoughts that we generally don’t think about unless we’re prompted to.

Our vision is what we want to be remembered for and the things that we want people to say that we stood for at our funeral and long after we’re gone.

Most people have absolutely no clue what their vision is, so you can’t expect to talk about your vision with any ol’ Joe Shmoe and expect them to get excited about it with you.

While a vision doesn’t have to be complicated, the level of thinking required to think of the impact that you will make overwhelms most people.

Related: Develop Your Vision

 

The Responsibility of Leadership

As a leader, your responsibility is to push the people that you’re communicating with to the next level on their ladder and you can do that very simply by asking great questions that force them to think big.

A simple formula to follow is the FROG, which I’ve outlined for you in this post.

Instead of word-vomitting and throwing your goals on other people, be genuinely interested in their goals.

Learn what’s important to them and why it’s important.

When you focus on learning about their ladder, you can see where they currently stand. Meet them there!

Don’t talk to them from the top rung if they’re on the bottom. Talk to them on the bottom and help them get to the next rung where you can share that new journey together.

 

Not to be confused…

While you should communicate your goals from the bottom up, you should be setting goals from top down.

When you set them from the top down, you will lead your life with a whole lot more purpose.

I’ve also prepared a workbook to help you learn about where you stand on the ladder and how to communicate it with those around you.


Share Your Goals