By Casey Grey
I like to believe that I have strong will power. I can get myself to take action. I can make the tough decisions.
On the outside, this may look true. I eat healthy, I work hard, I exercise (sometimes), I floss (sometimes), I meditate daily, I write daily, I read daily and so on.
In reality, I've just created habits by setting up my environment to win. You put me around people who eat fast food every day, watch the latest TV shows every night and drink beer with the boys every weekend, I would likely end up doing that.
The thing is I don't want to do that. Personally, I want to grow and experience greater and greater things every day. I want to live a long, healthy life. I want to feel alive. I want to help millions of people. I want to producer more than a consumer. I want to show my wife and my son that I can do anything.
And it takes way more than will power to do those things.
It's all about putting the systems in place so that I can't fail.
I want to eat healthy so I don't go places where they serve unhealthy food and I don't buy crappy food.
I want to be fit so I joined a gymnastics course where I have people who are expecting me to show up and I started skiing with the family every weekend. Both of which I prepaid for so I have to show up unless I want to waste my money.
I want surround myself with amazing people so I joined a mastermind group and attend events that push me beyond my limits.
I want to floss so I put the floss beside my toothpaste so I see it.
I want to read every day so I bought a kindle and put it beside my bed so I don't have to keep the light on when my wife is trying to sleep. Plus I can pick up the same book from my phone any time and anywhere I have cell phone reception.
Will power will only get you so far. Set your life up to win.
P.S. Remember to have fun while you're doing it :)
It's not about who you know, it's about who knows you.
People know people. When you're building a business (or awareness for anything), you need to get out there. Share your ideas, visions, successes, failures and what you need help with.
People love to help. If they can help, they will help in their own way.
I can tell you that we're all in this journey together. We have our own paths but they zig zig and cross each others all the time.
Be open to the next person who crosses your path. You never know where it will lead.
If you want to be happy, smile.
If you want to change your state or somebody else's state, smile.
If you want to influence people, smile.
If you want to feel good, smile.
If you want to see other people smile, smile.
If you want to smile, smile :)
Good things come from genuine smiles.
It's easy to start coasting through life and continuing to do what you have always done. The problem with this is that what got you here will not get you there.
Within my business, I have always been focused on moving forward. I'm always looking for what needs to happen next. What's coming up? What do we need? Who do we need? Always looking forward. Although I believe this is where most of my focus should be as the leader, I need to look in the rear view mirror every once in a while and understand what I left behind.
I've made a point to start sitting down with clients who's projects we have finished in order to get real feedback. What worked? What do we need improvement on? What would you like to see more of? What would you like to see less of? And so on...
The tricky thing about meetings like this is that I need to make sure I go in with an open mind. Do not take things personally. This is an opportunity to connect and serve the clients even more than we already have.
Most of us say that we like to receive feedback but the truth is we like to receive positive feedback. The negative feedback is a little harder to swallow and accept even if it's coming from a loving place. Typically we do what we can to avoid pain and this exercise may very well be heading right into it. That is assuming you take it personally instead of professionally.
Now that I've started doing this with clients, I'm looking for other areas I can do this in. What kind of feedback can I get from my parents, my wife, my son or my team? Anybody who is important in my life.
As you start working through this, there's one important thing to remember...
Not all feedback is equal. Choose wisely who you decide to get feedback from.
What is fear? It's our mind saying "Be careful! You might get hurt!" That pain could be physical or emotional.
Where does that come from? Past experiences and beliefs.
We're not born with fear. We learn it.
We learn it through our experiences or through what people have told us.
Be conscious of the fear you are putting into your kids minds. As parents we have the ability to empower them or disempower them.
More importantly, remember that they are always watching you.
There are sheep, shepherds and lions. Our world needs them all. But don't complain when you make your choice of who you are.
If you're a sheep, don't blame the shepherd if the lion gets you or the lion for coming after you.
If you're shepherd, don't blame the sheep for not being able to protect themselves or the lion for plotting against you.
If you're a lion, don't blame the sheep or the shepherd for not liking you.
If there's anything I could do without in my life, it's having to make a decision on what I should wear.
I just spent way too much time choosing what I was going to wear today. I was thinking about who I was going to be meeting, where I was going to be and what I felt good in.
Today is a particular productive day of meetings so I needed something that addressed many different things. I'm looking at two projects for a design firm here in Ottawa. I'm meeting with a past client at their home to look at some exterior work. I'm meeting for lunch with a potential client to discuss their project. Finally I have our usual weekly team meeting at one of our sites.
So I want to be presentable but I need to make sure I'm warm plus I need to go onto the job site so I need steel toe boots. Most importantly I want to be comfortable and I want to be me.
Like most people, I enjoy nice stuff. Clothes is one of those things. That being said, I'm a jeans-and-long-sleeve-shirt-with-rolled-up-sleeves-kind-of-guy. Add a nice watch to that, nice shoes and maybe a hat depending on the circumstances and I'm good to go. Problem is my long sleeve shirts are coming to the end of their life, one of my watches recently broke and another one has a dead battery. I left one of my hats at my mother-in-laws as well... Now I'm looking at my clothes and things aren't matching and I'm not feeling good about my options.
Time to make a change! Like I said, I've wasted too much time on this already. If I dig deep, that's the part that bothers me. The wasted time. Life is too short to worry about this stuff.
So what's the plan? I need to make sure I have clothes ready to go and I don't care if they're all the same. Actually, I would prefer it if they were all the same because it's one less decision I need to make for the day. "Do I want jeans or jeans? The black shirt or the black shirt?" Perfect!
"Hey sweetie, can you grab me five plain long sleeve shirts and a couple pairs of jeans next time you're out shopping? And if there's a nice wood watch, grab me that as well. Thanks, sweetie. I love you."
Hop online and order what I need.
Head to the store myself.
I will not be wasting time on this stuff anymore. I'll keep my decision making points for things that really need my skills. Choosing clothes is not one of them.
Where are you wasting time in your life? What can you do to solve this? Can you systemize it? Can you delegate it? Can you delete it? Figure it out so that you can focus on what you're good at.
Whatever it is you are you holding onto, let it go.
If it's a person you are holding onto, set them free.
If it's a memory you are holding onto, let it go.
If it's an object you are holding onto, release your grip.
The more weight you are carrying, the harder it will be to fly.
I believe that we're all here for a purpose. We each have a gift inside of us that needs to be shared. It may be needed by one person or it may be needed by a million people. It does not matter. What matters is that we do what we know we're here for.
In order to achieve that purpose we often need more skills that we personally have or want to know. The majority of the population tries to do everything themselves. Most of us are brought up to be independent so that makes sense. "I don't need anybody's help. I can do it myself." Everybody is an expert. do a quick google search, watch a youtube video and you're good to go, right?
I know this does not work and only creates unnecessary pain for myself. Knowing this, I have shifted my focus to filling the gaps in my skills. Finding people who can do what I'm not good at and, if I'm being completely honest, the stuff I could care less about doing. Yes, I could hire team members to help with certain aspects but I don't believe this works for everything.
There's something very powerful about taking ownership of something.
When it comes to business, when we own it, our mindset changes. It's an extension of us. We are invested in the success of it. The better the business does, the better we can do, the more people we can serve and the larger impact we can have.
When we move our ego out of the way, the right partners will appear before us.
I don't strive for perfection nor do I expect any of my team members to be perfect because perfection is impossible. I do, however, expect to be better than I was yesterday. I expect to continuously learn and grow. I strive for mastery.
Mastery is simple but not easy. It's not easy to take the time to build a solid foundation when all you want is the beautiful house. The most important part is the foundation and the details need to be done properly. The beautiful house will tumble if the foundation starts to crumble.
Mastery is the foundation to anything that stands the test of time.
There is a shortcut though. That being said, I suspect it's still not short enough for most of us. The shortcut is to learn from others who have been where we want to go.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
The shortcut is to start working on that one kick before you try 10,000 kicks and realize you should have just been doing one from the beginning. The trick is figuring out which one you should be practicing. That will take awareness and some inward work. What are you after? What are you here on earth to accomplish? What is calling you? What is your WHY?
Figure that out and you'll be on your way to becoming a true master.