Tag Archives: Practice

There is no Lesson without Loss.

There is no Lesson without Loss.

Life is full of Winners and Losers.  Life is full of wins and losses.  Nobody wins all the time.  Nobody losses all the time.  Winners learn to lose less often.  Winners learn from each loss.  Winners learn from losing in practice until they can win more often during game time when it matters most.  Winners learn from losses.  The only real loss in life is losing the lesson.  There is no lesson without loss.

Imagine for a minute that life handed you everything you ever asked for.  Imagine if no one ever told you “No!”  What would you learn?  What kind of person would you turn into?  Maybe the most important lesson in life is learning to lose, and then learn and then try again.

Think for a minute about the greatest athletes and the greatest teams of all time.  Did they win every match, every game, every point, every time all the time?  No, win streaks are rare at the match and game levels.  Great coaches and great players break matches and games down to halves and quarters and points and plays.  Do great teams and great athletes win every point and ever play?  No, they win each point and each play, more often than they lose.  This adds up to more games and matches won.  Great teams can string together wins more often, sometimes winning 3, 4 or 5 times in a row.  Great teams can put together win streaks of even 10 games or more.  Streaks at this level become more and more rare.  Rarely do teams go undefeated for an entire season.  The more games you play in a year, the harder this becomes.  Becoming great does not mean you never lose.  Becoming great means you lose less often.

Great coaches and great teams break down matches and games down to plays.  They practice learning to win.  The may fail in practice over and over until they learn to succeed.  Great teams learn to string success one play at a time until it turns into a win.  Coaches study player’s strengths and weakness; and how they match up against other players to figure out a way to win.  Games are won one point at a time.  Success is created one day at a time.

If you are not making mistakes, you are not learning.  Learning to lose and try again is very important to continued success.  How often have you heard a great coach say their team handled adversity well?  Adversity is loss, adversity is a tough time; handling adversity is learning to win.

No one wins all the time.  They learn to lose, adjust and succeed in practice so they can win more often when in counts.  Does it matter if it is a game, or a meeting or a day at work?  If you had a big presentation at work next week, would you practice and run it by a few people before you present it to the boss or even the boss’s boss?  If you were a new hire or a trainee wouldn’t you practice and learn your new job in a safe environment before being turned loose in the so-called real world?  In each case, wouldn’t you break things down into simple steps or plays and practice them until you got them perfect.  And then, when everything was on the line, would be able to recover from slip-ups or expect everything to go perfectly all the time?

Winners don’t win all the time.  They learn from defeat and break things down to string together more wins than losses step by step, play by play.  The only real loss is not learning from the loss.  There is no lesson if you win all the time.  The lesson is in the preparation.  The lesson is from learning from the loss.  You cannot spell lesson without loss.  There is no lesson without loss.

From Loner to Leader:

From Loner to Leader:

Can you really make the jump from a Loner to a Leader? Yes, you can; but not in one quick step. I have been a loner in the middle of a crowd my whole life. I have study, reflected on and challenged myself to become a better leader. I think anyone can make the transition; you may have to ask yourself a few questions and overcome a few hurdles; but let me say it again. You can go from Loner to Leader.

So I totally understand why people become and consider themselves “Loners.” Maybe you feel misunderstood? Maybe you feel like to do things right you need to do them yourself. Maybe you feel frustrated by everyone talking and no one acting so you are tired of waiting around and you go it alone. Either path can lead to becoming a loner. So “Why” you may ask; “Why then become a Leader?” The answer is simple. Teams get more done and birds of a feather flock together. Sooner or later if you are doing anything worthwhile, you will get noticed. If you want to increase your chance of success, increase your leadership skills.

Let me say this again; this does not happen in one quick step. Here are the steps I have discovered along the way. The first Step is to believe that you are doing something worthwhile. What you think matters. What you are doing matters. If you are not thinking or doing anything then even that matters. If you are not thinking; start. If you are not doing; start. Think and act upon the things that you believe are worthwhile. You may feel all alone in the beginning; this is OK, we all don’t think alike. Just get started and believe in what you are doing regardless if anyone helps you at this stage. I beg of you, do something positive. Don’t let life pass you by and all you are left with is sour grapes.

Step Two is to learn more about what you are doing. Search out information from experts. Scour the internet, go to the library, read a book, watch a “How to Program;” do what it takes to increase your knowledge of what you are doing! This is a very important step. You need to know when someone is snowing you, you need to know when someone is scamming you or promising you things they cannot deliver. This may have been one of the reasons you became a loner in the first place. Don’t be the person who talks without knowing; know what you are doing and what you are talking about.

Step Three is to get around people who are doing the things you are aspiring to do also. Learn from them and talk to them face to face. This is why Step One and Two are so important. You have to know that you are bringing your unique skill and style to the table and that you deserve a place at the table. You will become known for what you know and what you do. Do you better than anyone else can.

Step Four is to practice, practice and practice some more; both in a group and by yourself. Practice with the intention of continually getting better at what you do. Again, you must believe that what you are doing is worthwhile, and that you are good at what you do. You do not have to be perfect, you just have to be good and have your own style and your own ideas.

Step Five is to accept the fact that you need a mentor. This must be someone you can trust, and the best way to trust them is to know what you are doing and where you are going and to get around enough people so you know who is serious and who is just faking it. Find a mentor who is the real deal. Find someone you look up to and is not trying to feed you a line. This will help you grow even faster.

Step Six is to in turn mentor others. This is where you will really see why being a leader matters. You will get more done and you will learn more. Being a loner means it is harder to find new information and you have to learn by trial and error. Trial and error is an ok place to start in a safe environment, but you really want to excel, a strong team environment is the best place to learn and grow. Being a Leader inside of the group means you can help shape the vision and direction of the group and you can also help protect the group from people who are there to take advantage of others or to waste time.

Be the Real Deal. Know that what you are doing is worthwhile. Sometimes it seems like being a loner is the faster and easier way. It may seem like it at the start, but in the end; team work wins out. A strong team can carry a heavy load, can cover more ground and in the end will thrive. You can go from Loner to Leader; just follow the steps!

You can go from Loner to Leader!

Step One is to believe that you are doing something worthwhile.

Step Two is to learn more about what you are doing.

Step Three is to get around people who are doing the things you are aspiring to do also.

Step Four is to practice, practice and practice some more; both in a group and by yourself.

Step Five is to accept the fact that you need a mentor.

Step Six is to in turn mentor others.

From Loner to Leader:

What is your game plan?

A lot of us can relate to sports and sporting events.  We love to see our favorite teams win.  We like to imagine what it would be like to be rich and famous and loved by the crowd.  We sometimes forget the countless hours of practice that went into that game being played.  We sometime forget about how much time was spent on training and coaching those athletes.  We also forget about all the planning that goes into this big sporting events.  At many levels people have a game plan that will go a long way in determining their success level.  Then after the event is over we go home to our daily life unchanged.

So today I ask you.  “What is your game plan?”  What are you going to do today to prepare for tomorrow?  What are you going to do to increase your chance of success?  Now listen, just like every sport is different and every sport requires different skill sets and training; we also require different game plans.  Depending on your dreams, your goals, where you are starting from and where you want to finish; we each require a different game plan.  Now there can be similarities in our game plans, but we all need a game plan.  We all need to look at where we are right now, and where we want to be tomorrow; and start making some sort of plan to get there.

Let’s start over.  We all understand that no Athlete just walks out their and becomes a professional without practice.  We understand the teams do not become successful without coaching and training.  We also understand that Stadiums and Arenas where Professional Sports are contested do not fall out of the sky.  Each of these things takes planning.  So again I ask, “What is your game plan?”

What are you doing today to give your self a better chance of winning tomorrow?  What are you practicing?  What books are you reading?  Who’s advice do you take at face value?  I have heard it said many times that failure to plan is planning to fail.  So what is your plan?

Now your plan may not be my plan.  Your plan may not include blogging or writing songs or speaking in public.  Your plan may be to open a restaurant or to start a construction company.  I only hope and pray that you have a plan.  Again, all of our plans will be different depending on our goals, our dreams, where we start and where we want to finish; but are plans can all have common elements.  Let me explain.

The 1st Step is to follow your dreams.  Figure out what makes you happy and try to build on it.  Hopefully your happiness does not cause harm to others.  If it does, maybe you should rethink your dream.  2nd Step is to try.  It is OK to fail at this stage, just try to find out where you fit in to your dream.  Carve out a little bit of time and get active.  3rd Step is to learn as much as you can from people who are successful at what you want to be doing.  This may require reading books, or listening to audio recordings or watching instructional videos.  It is your dream; learn the right way to chase it.  4th Step is to make up your mind to not give up on your dream.  Chip away a little at a time.  The 5th Step, get around people who are heading in the same direction you are heading.  There is strength in numbers.

You see the one thing we all have in common is that we all have to figure it out for ourselves.  No one can hand you your dream on a silver platter.  Yes, some of us can be born rich or born into fame, but for the rest of us; we can either watch others live out our dream or we can find out where we fit into our dream.

What is your game plan?

Show Up, Show Out, Show Off and try to remain humble.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  Yes I know what I titled this post.  Please give me a minute to explain.  I do hope a few of you know where I am headed with this; for the rest of you please give me a chance to explain.  Show Up, Show Out, Show Off and try to remain humble.

Show Up:  A quick search of Show Up leads to many definitions.  In this case, in the case of chasing your dreams; showing up is step one.  You must show up.  You must arrive, you must learn, you must put your talents on display.  Do you want to be just the opposite?  Do you want to be a No Show?  Listen, I watch a few talents shows on television, and many more talent shows I avoid watching.  You can tell some performers are nervous and they crack under pressure.  At least they showed up.  At least they tried.  That is more than you can say for the people who never showed up and never tried.  Show Up, Show Out, Show Off and try to remain humble.

Show Out:  Showing out, like the term “selling out” can be used in both a negative or positive light.  I searched both terms and only found the negative side.  Maybe this is a southern sports idiom, but showing out can mean putting on an incredible performance be it on the field or on the stage.  Some people think showing out is bad, like when a child misbehaves.  I of course like to focus on the positive.  Selling out can be judged as bad in some circles in music, selling out and compromising your artistic integrity.  Again, I like to focus on the good; I would rather play a sold out show than a half empty one.  Show Up, Show Out, Show Off and try to remain humble.

Show Off:  Again here is a term that can be taken two ways: (1) To exhibit or display so as to invite admiration or (2) a person who makes a vain display of himself.  So remember since we are here to focus on the positive.  It is ok to put your talents on display, as long as you are not vain about it.  Do your best, set the bar high and then raise it.  Set a new standard.  Go ahead and show off, as long as you earn it.  As long as you can avoid being vain.  Show Up, Show Out, Show Off and try to remain humble.

Try to Remain Humble:  Let’s look at Humility vs. Vanity:  The quality or state of being humble; modest opinion of one’s own importance or rank; meekness vs. Excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments; conceit.  “True humility” is distinctly different from “false humility” which consists of deprecating one’s own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise or adulation from others.  Notice how I have said try to remain humble.  Who among us aspire to get up on stage and not hear applause from the crowd?  Who among us want to get up on stage and not Show Off just a little?  Come one, tell the truth, if you have a true talent and are chasing your dreams, do you not wish upon a star just a little?

Your talent is an honor and a privilege.  Respect it, practice it, honor it and put it on display.  Realizing that it is an honor and a privilege to reach high levels of success can keep you truly humble.  Too much pride is a bad thing; a little pride will keep you practicing.  Show Up, Show Out, Show Off and try to remain humble; do you get it now?

Seven Easy Steps to Success: Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed

Seven Easy Steps to Success, yes it is that easy.  No this is not a Twelve Step Program, this is 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  I am here to encourage you.  I am here to chase my dreams.  I am here to get you to chase your dreams.  I am not a carbon copy of someone else’s ideas.  I study, I ponder, I resolve in my mind, I add my own voice.  These are my Seven Easy Steps to Success:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed

Now let me retract that statement about Seven Easy Steps, these steps are easy to say; but it is up to you to do them:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed.  Start by dreaming, start by seeing what it is you want to be doing.  It is not about what you want to have, it is about the dream you had when you were a kid, before you understood work and bills and all the stuff life throws at you.  This is about seeing clearly how your talents and purpose line up.  You have to see it for yourself first.  I can not see it for you, and you can not see it for me.  This is the easiest step, and yet so many people can not remember what they have always dreamed about doing.

Seven Easy Steps to Success:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed:  Ponder, think about your dream.  How do you fit into this dream based on where you are right now in your life?  Do not attempt to live vicariously through your children, or be lost in a haze of watching other people live their dreams in Movies, on Television, on Stage, in a Book or at a Sporting Event.  This is your chance to break your daydreams down into ideas.  This is your dream, not someone else’s dream.  Ponder, think about how you can spend a little bit of each day or each week living a part of your dream.  This about doing not having, remember you have to do this for yourself.

Seven Easy Steps to Success:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed:  Think before you speak.  Simple rules, simple live lessons; if you have spent some time Dreaming and Pondering do not be afraid to Speak about your Dream.  Talk to people until you find people who think and dream the same way you do.  Do not worry if people make fun of your dream, they may not have a dream they are chasing.  Now listen to this one piece of advice, if you speak to someone about your dream and they say you are dreaming; it is a compliment.  You are dreaming remember, but now you are in the third step of that dream.  You are talking about it.

Seven Easy Steps to Success:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed:  Act, this may be on of the hardest and most frustrating steps of success.  To Act, to be or not to be, that is the question.  You have to act, you have to create the action that will attract the right people who can help your reach your dream.  None of us do it alone, and none of us do it overnight.  You have seen it, you have thought about it, you have talked about it, now it is time to build it.  Build it and they will come.

Seven Easy Steps to Success:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed:  Practice makes perfect.  If your dream is worth while, you will have to practice.  No one wakes up one day goes to a basket ball court for the first time and sinks a basket and is then immediately called up by a professional team and gets to quit their day job all in one day.  If you have seen it or heard of it, it was a movie or television show.  If your dream is worth doing, then it is worth practicing.  Now, learn to have fun while you practice, learn to work with other people while you practice.  You are half way there.  This stage is half the battle.  You are half way home, do not give up now.  Do not let what other people are saying or doing keep you from practicing what it is you want to do.  Develop positive habits that will help you reach your dream one day.

Seven Easy Steps to Success:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed:  Improve; this might be the trickiest step for most people.  If you did not need to get better at anything, you would already be living your dream and you would not be reading this post.  Can you step back and look at your strengths and your weaknesses?  Will you allow yourself to be coached to the next level?  Can you coach someone else so they can reach their dreams?  Again, this is the hardest step in the process.  Do you know where you fit in and where you can get better?  Do you know how you can best help your team win?  There are many people who work in the background to make other people look better.  Are you comfortable working behind the scenes on successful teams or projects?  No one can answer this for you; you have to be willing to understand how and where you fit in to the big picture.

Seven Easy Steps to Success:  Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed:  Success; so easy to say, so hard to do.  The hardest thing to figure about success is how do you measure success?  Is it having more free time to do the things you love?  Is it being paid to do something you love instead of paying someone to do it as a hobby?  Is it making the most money or winning the most games?  What is success?  To me, success is anything that helps bring you one step closer to your goals and dreams.  Success is a series of small wins that lead to big wins.  Sports teams do not win a championship at the start of a season.  They win and lose games and hopefully put themselves in place to be there at the end when the championship is decided.  Life long dreams are not won or lost in one day, they are built upon one day at a time.  You will win some, you will lose some along the way.  Reward the small wins, improve after small loses; but learn to track your progress.  This may take more thinking, more acting, more practice and more improvement.  You may have to speak positive and assuring words to yourself and your team; you can not short cut this process. Dream, Ponder, Speak, Act, Practice, Improve, Succeed; Seven Easy Steps to Success

Winners practice to win.

Winning takes practice. You can do it.  Don’t worry; I would not bring this up if I did not think you had it in you.  Winning takes practice, so practice to win!

This is 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  I am here to convince you to chase your dreams.  I am also here to convince you, that you can catch your dreams.  So what good would it do for me not to tell you what it takes to win?  I believe winning takes practice.  So practice to win.  Practice the way winners practice.  Practice the fundamentals.  Balance in a little time for fun.  Study your opponent if you have one.  Know your strengths and your weakness.  Formulate a plan, practice your plan.  Be ready for things to change.  Be ready to win, so practice to win

Arrogance comes from a false belief that you are prepared to win.  Confidence comes from the reality that you are prepared to win.  The first step is to practice the fundamentals of whatever it is you are doing.  It can be athletics, it can be business, or it can be art or science.  Study the fundamentals.  Have you ever heard the term “Standing on the shoulders of giants?”  This means learning from those who have come before you.  This allows you to see farther.  You have elevated your knowledge, and hopefully you have elevated your skills.  You have to practice to win.

Winning requires planning and planning requires you study yourself, your team and your opponent.  I some cases you opponent may be fear, fear of public speaking or performing in front of a crowd.  So you have to practice to win.  If you have never performed or played in front of a large crowd, schedule an open scrimmage or an open rehearsal.  Invite people to watch.  You may learn your fear is unfounded.  Confidence comes from proper preparation.

Winning takes time, and winning takes work.  Schedule a little time for fun.  Having fun and being able to relax in the heat of battle is something that you learn to do.  It may seem like it comes natural to some.  Yes, some people feed off the energy that crowds and intense situations create, but learning to perform on the edge without going over the edge takes experience, experience that comes from winning practice.  This is a form of practice that winners teach to each other.  So if you can’t figure out what I am going to say next; here it is, practice to win!

Let say you want to give a winning presentation or performance in a play or at a concert; practice the performance.  Do a dry run through or dress rehearsals until everyone is comfortable and confident.  Are you nervous in front of a crowd?  Practice out in public, open up a practice to the public; or at the very least the family, friends and co-workers of those who are going to be out in front.    Some major sports teams have open scrimmages to get their new members ready for the up coming season; winning teams and winning traditions know how to teach people how to win.  Winning teams and winning traditions practice to win.  Study your competition and take notes.  Study the successes of those who came before you.

Now all that being said, all the study in the world will not help you if you can not be flexible.  Times change, people change, accidents happen; nothing will ever go perfectly as planned, and if it does it is extremely rare.  Account for things to go wrong, and be able to recover.  This is all the more reason why people must learn to have fun and stay loose during practice sessions.  Winners know how to stay relaxed while on edge; winners know how to not go over board when things go wrong.  It means that everyone is ready to step up when called upon.  Winners practice how to win.  Don’t let your practice get stale, shake things up to account for changing plans or missing pieces.  Learn how to win when things go wrong.  To win you have to account for ever-changing times and conditions so practice to win!

You can do it.  You just have to put your time in.  Get around winners and step up your game.  Step up your skills, study the fundamentals, and learn how to stay relaxed when the pressure kicks up.  Be ready to step up when called upon, and make sure the people around you are ready to step up also.  Winners practice how to win!

Practice with a purpose.

You may have heard the quote “Practice makes perfect.”  You may have even heard that “Perfect practice makes perfect.”  So can I dare here at 60 Seconds Of Motivational Mojo to challenge those quotes, that nothing will ever be perfect, so maybe we should “Practice with a purpose?”

Practice with a purpose.  Are you asking yourself, “What do I mean?”  Or is it crystal clear.  Let me ask you a question, what is it that you want to get better at doing?  What is it that you know you need to practice doing to get better?  What do you want to do?  Ok so now, what is your purpose for wanting to get better?  Realize that nothing that humans make or do will ever be perfect, but we can always get better than where we started, or we can help others get better than when they started.  Forget about perfection, even best practice will not help you if you do not sign up or believe in the best practices.

Again, I ask; what is the purpose?  Some people do things out of fun.  Some people do the same things as a profession.  Not everyone who picks up a ball will become a professional ball player.  Not everyone that picks up a musical instrument will be become a professional musician.  Maybe you will do what you do for fun, may you will do what you do to get a scholarship to college.  Maybe you will become a professional at some level, even if it is not the highest level.  Either way, your purpose will go a long way in defining how you should practice.  A paid professional will have more resources at their disposal than the person who is working at two jobs just to find the money to pay for their hobby.  If the purpose is to have fun, practice should be fun.  If the purpose is to be the best, then you should practice the best proven techniques.  If the purpose is to explore and find new things, than you should practice in controlled experiments.  Can you see the difference?

How much time and resources you can put into your practice sessions will help you choose how and when to practice.  Maybe you are playing basketball to get in better shape.  Maybe you are playing soccer because you received a scholarship.  Maybe you are playing football to become a better coach or to help your kid become better at football.  Your purpose will help you choose your form of practice.  Maybe you are playing guitar because you want to sing around a campfire, maybe you are playing the keyboard because you want to write songs.  Maybe you play the drums because your friends need a drummer, either way; if you know your purpose you can figure out how to practice.

If I told you, you need to practice ten hours a day to become world-class, and you told me you are doing it for fun; I would say, practice when you have time and have fun.  If you told me you only have five or six hours a week to practice, I would tell you to get the most you can out of those five or six hours. It starts with knowing your purpose.

Practice with purpose is the only perfect practice.  Nothing will ever be perfect, no situation will ever be perfect; but every situation can have purpose.  If you know your purpose; then you will know if you are on the right track.  I can’t tell you what your purpose is; but if you know your purpose, you can than practice to fulfill that purpose.  Keep that in mind when choosing you teachers, coaches, mentors and lesson plans.  We are not all made the same, there is no one size fits all.  Know your purpose and practice with that purpose in mind.

Seven Days to Greatness.

What if I told you Greatness only takes Seven days.  Would you believe me?  Well you shouldn’t.  I am not telling you Greatness takes Seven Days, I am telling you Greatness is a Seven Day Cycle.  But that is not as strong of a tag line as “Seven Days to Greatness”  So, if you want to know the Seven Days to Greatness cycle, read on.  If not, come back in a few days; there will be a new post to read.

I have done posts on how 15 minutes a day can change your life or how you should be spending at least 10% of your time learning something new.  So let’s say you want to start a business, or learn a new skill, or take up a new hobby.  I can give you a super secret seven-day plan that will make you great.  OK, I can give you my updated take on a plan that has been around for ages, but you have to make yourself great.

Remember; this will not work if you do not give it a try; so that being said, I want you to read this over and ask yourself if this is really for you.  If not, don’t do it.  If it works, check back in a few months; maybe I will have a place where you can send me a donation as thanks for me setting you on the path to greatness.  If you don’t have a sense of humor, why are you reading 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo?

On to the plan, the cycle; Seven Days to Greatness:  The first time through the cycle, I will ask you to set aside 15 minutes a day to work the plan.  If you do not have 15 minutes to be great, you will never be great, forget you ever read this post.  We will try something else some other time.  Can you sent aside 15 minutes a day to learn a new skill, to chase a dream or to get better at your latest hobby?  If you can’t set aside 15 minutes for self-improvement, I do not have any Mojo for you.  Sorry.  OK, commit to 15 minutes a day in the beginning.

Day One:  Visualize what is you want to do.  This can be 15 minutes of prayer, mediation, or concentration; what ever you want to call it.  You have to set aside 15 minutes on the first day and actually focus on your goal.  Not the obstacles in your way.  This is not excuse time.  This is time for you to tear down all the barriers and see your destination clearly in your mind.  Day One – 15 minutes of quiet time focusing on your goal only.

Day Two:  Ask the experts.  Spend 15 minutes on day to learning as much as you can about what you want to do from someone who has done or is doing what you want to do.  Get a book about it and read.  Go online and use search engines to find out more information.  Use your favorite social media and join groups that are centered on what it is you want to do.  Ask a few questions.  Ask the right questions.  This is your time to find a mentor and learn more about what it is you want to do.

Day Three:  Do it!  Set the wheels in motion.  No, you can not build a house in 15 minutes on the third day; but you can hammer a few pieces of wood together and start getting your technique down.  This is where you will find out if you really want to do this before you commit a bunch of time and money into something only to back out halfway through the process.  This is a day when you should be feeling really good about your decision.  You may want to set the world on fire, but take your time.  Do it, put it into action; no matter how small the action may seem.

Day Four:  Join the Club!  Get around people who are heading in the same direction you are heading.  Spend 15 minutes working with people who are doing what you are doing.  This is the time to learn the value of teamwork.  Working together, you can help someone and then hopefully someone will help you.  This is where people have to learn about getting more done by working as a team than you could ever get done working alone.

Day Five:  Teach what you have learned.  Find someone who wants to learn what you are learning and help them along.  Maybe they are younger than you, or less fortunate than you.  The same way you learned from the experts on Day Two, help someone else learn on Day Five.  This will help you become an expert one day!

Day Six:  Celebrate with a purpose.  Acknowledge everyone you have come in contact with in the past.  Thank all the Experts who helped you on Day Two, High Five all the people you worked with on Day Four building your team.  Encourage the people you helped Coach or Mentor on Day Five.  This is your time to be a connector and a leader if you can find a way to get everyone in the same room, or at least send out a bunch of e-mails or thank you cards.  Become the person who everyone says makes it better for everyone involved.  If you take day six to show the depth of your appreciation and commitment; people around you will pick up on it.  The people around you will appreciate and commit to you on a deeper level.

Day Seven:  Rest, relax, recharge, take a day off. Let your mind unwind, it will still work on things in the background anyway.  Take a break, you have earned it.

“Ok, Joe it’s been Seven Days; Am I great now?” Yes, you are off to a great start.  Now the question is, can you do this again?  You may be tempted to do all on this in one day, but that is not the way for this to sink in… copy this pattern over and over for a month.  After a month, you will start to find more time to set aside to do these things.  You may spend more time practicing, or more time working as a team, repeat the pattern.  You may not spend all day in meditation, but you might start every day with a quick goal setting.  You may not practice all day everyday, but you should work on your technique alone at least one day a week.  You may not be able to be in a team environment all day everyday, but you should try to do a team building exercise at least one day a week.  You may not be able to meet with your mentors and apprentices everyday, but you should reach out to each group at least once a week.  You may not always be able to get everyone together to go celebrate this week’s small victories, but you can reach out to everyone and let them know how much you appreciate them.  And you should always, always give yourself at least one day a week to recharge.

Now let’s recap “Seven Days to Greatness:”

Day One:  Visualize – 15 minutes of concentration and prayer.

Day Two:  Ask the experts. – 15 minutes learning and consulting your mentors.

Day Three:  Do it! –  15 minutes practicing your skills.

Day Four:  Join the Club! – 15 minutes of team building and teamwork

Day Five:  Teach what you have learned. – 15 minutes of mentoring others.

Day Six:  Celebrate with a purpose. – 15 minutes thank everyone you contact.

Day Seven:  Rest, relax, recharge, 

Repeat this for a month. 15 minutes a day.  Do not lump everything into one day.

After a month expand and overlap the sections, but do them in order.

Use this simple system – Seven Days to Greatness. 

Visualize, Learn, Practice, Build, Teach, Acknowledge, Recharge

How to F.E.E.L like a Winner!

Focus, Energy, Endurance, and Leadership:  Do you have what it takes to F.E.E.L. like a winner?  Do you want to know how to F.E.E.L. like a Winner!  Sure you do, or you would have stopped reading by know.  F.E.E.L. like a Winner!  Focus your mind, apply your Energy, increase your Endurance, and expand your Leadership!

Let’s get started.  To be a winner, to be the best, to become better at whatever you choose to do; the first thing you have to do is Focus your mind to the task at hand.  I could tell you I want to become an N.B.A. Superstar.  At first glance, you would say gee Joe you started a little late.  So maybe I just want to get really good a playing Basketball, N.B.A or No N.B.A; I am going to have to learn and study the game.  I am going to have to practice, and maybe get some coaching from some people who have played the game. 

Now I will tell you that I my own opinion I am the Best Bass Player that never made it to the big time.  How did I become a Self Proclaimed Great Bass Player?  I saved my money, bought a Bass Guitar and played it until my fingers bled – literally.  I studied music, I practiced, practiced, practiced to get better, stronger and faster.  I focused on what other Bass Players were doing and what they were not doing.  I wanted to be better than any Bass Player in my neck of the woods.  So I focused on what it would take to be as good as the people who were considered the best.  I focused my mind on the task at hand.

The next thing I did was apply my energy to practice, practice, and practice some more.  Do you think I am kidding?  When I started I got blisters on my fingers until I toughened up the skin.  I had to learn to put a lot of energy into not only learning the songs, but playing the songs and developing the muscles in my fingers and arms to play, and play better and faster.  Then I had to learn to play sitting down and standing up, hour after hour of energy applied to practice.  Focus and Energy, Focus and Energy, Practice, Practice, and more Practice!

The next Step is Endurance!  So I keep leading you along don’t I?  Focus, Energy, Endurance; yes Endurance is the third step.  Not too many people just want to see someone solo on the Bass Guitar.  You have to join a band, you have to focus on what songs you are going to play and take the time and spend the energy to set up all your equipment and practice, and maybe play some shows.  Focus, Energy, and you have to Endure all the things you have to go through to get shows, build a fan base, and hopefully showcase your talent.  You have to have Endurance to be a Winner.  A big part of being a winner is being able to outlast your competition.  Focus, Energy, and Endurance are needed when times are lean, so you can learn how to win.

If I have to explain the importance of Leadership to winning, I will.  Leadership, coaching, mentoring are vital to getting better at what you do, being a good team player and figuring out a plan that plays to strengths and covers weaknesses.  Not to many musicians are going to want to join a band so the Bass player can show off all day.  Most musicians are going to want to join a band because they like the music, or that jams all the way round, or is fun to be in, or is making money and drawing decent crowds.  Every band needs a Leader to really explain the vision and set an example that the rest of the band will follow.  It is the same with any sport, or any business or any team of any kind.  Winning rarely happens purely by accident. 

Winning happens because of Focus, Energy, Endurance and Leadership.  If you want to F.E.E.L. like a Winner; you must Focus your mind, apply your Energy, increase your Endurance and expand your Leadership so that everyone around you wins!

Finishing is just as important as Starting.

Finishing is just as important as Starting.

You don’t walk out of a movie before the big finish do you?  Why, because the end may be the most important of the whole movie.  What everything has been building, the resolution of all the drama and action.  Why would you walk out on your life goals half way through?

We can not all start at the same place, but we can all reach our goals if we learn how to finish.  Pro Sports is a great example.  No Professional game is Won or Lost until the Final Whistle.  Many times in sports a team is losing what seems to be all game long, and then comes back and wins.  Other times a team can be winning all along and then fall apart and lose.  Some teams dominate all through the regular season and then self destruct in the playoffs when it matters the most.  Other teams sneak in the playoffs and find a way to win all the way to a championship.  Winners and more importantly Champions never quit, they stay until the game until the very last second.  The games played on paper or simulated on the computer do not matter, you have to take the field and play all the way to the end for it to count.

 You can’t finish if you do start so get started.  So for God’s sake get started.  Then learn how to adjust, and learn how to stay in the game from start to finish.

 Lot’s of greats say how games are won and lost in practice and in how you prepare.  They do not cancel a game because one player gets hurt.  Nope great teams have people ready to fill in, step up and adjust so they can find a way to win.  If a basketball game lasts 60 minutes you have to have people prepared to play for 60 minutes.  Practice for 90 minutes, 120 minutes.  Many great athletes keep themselves in top condition in the off season so they will be ready for the regular season and playoffs.  Top Athletes stay ready to step up and be Champions.  So why do people not keep themselves in tip top shape to chase their goals and dreams?  Practice and Plan and Adjust and Execute and Evaluate and Adjust some more until you find that winning formula, and then stay engaged until it pays off.  Don’t quit at half time, don’t quit half way through the year, or worse yet half way through your life.  Stand up and stay in the game, the game of chasing your dreams.

 If you are winning, that is great, no time to fall asleep at the wheel.  Challenge others to learn how to win so your team is stronger.  If you need to get better, practice, find a coach find a mentor.  If you realize others need to get better, practice with them, coach them, mentor them!  Make sure your team stays strong no matter who is in the game.  True champions find a way to make the people around them better.  Set a good example from start to finish and work with the people who will follow.  When you start winning more people will come along.  Do not get distracted; get more committed to make sure a winning attitude is put in place from start to finish!