Use competition to push you

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI don’t know about you but when I am put in a position where I’m competing against one or more people, my motivation shoots up to a whole new level. I have talked to many others who experience the same.

When you compete against someone, in any area of life, you setup 2 incredibly powerful forces.

The first is the desire to be triumphant. Imagine the excitement someone must feel when they win a gold medal in the Olympics. They have achieved a personal dream and they get a flood of recognition from friends, family, media, fans and ultimately their entire country. What person would not love this kind of validation of success? The same kind of triumph can be experienced (maybe not at the same level of intensity) when you win a competition that you have been involved in, no matter how small it may be.

The second (and more powerful) force that gets created in competition is the desire to avoid defeat. Most humans instinctively associate any form of loss with pain and in most cases, will do anything necessary to avoid that pain. If you enter some kind of competition that will help drive you towards your goals, this pain avoidance force may be the deciding factor in your success.

Use competitive scenarios to drive you forward but remember to detach from the outcome. If you happen to lose your competition, don’t get down in the dumps. Focus on what positives came out of it (usually a drastic increase in results) and continue moving towards your goals.

Successful people take action

You need a 7 Day Brainwash“It is the duty of men to judge men only by their actions. Our faculties furnish us with no means of arriving at the motive, the character, the secret self. We call the tree good from its fruits, and the man, from his works.” Ralph Waldo Emmerson

All successful people are ACTION oriented people. This means that they are willing to go out and do the work required to turn thoughts and ideas into actual, physical results. Do they achieve phenomenal results the first time they attempt something? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

These people understand that every so called failure’ provides a perfect learning experience to help them move closer to a desired result in life. Being an ACTION TAKER is nothing more than becoming someone who is willing to get involved and experiment with new ideas. Some ideas work well, others do not. The world’s high achievers simply accept the fact that success is very much a numbers game… the more things they try, the more likely it becomes that they reach their goals.

The key is to make ACTION an automatic process in your life. By this I mean, when you find a goal or objective you would like to reach, you become the kind of person who begins immediately to move towards your desire. While many other people would hesitate to act and move into a state of procrastination, you would be well on your way to completing your set objective!

A word of caution. While I do believe that all successful people are extremely action oriented, this does not mean that they blindly act on the first zany idea that enters their mind. There is still an element of planning and calculated risk that must be considered in order to reach any major

goal. The DIFFERENCE is that the high achievers gather the facts and make a quick DECISION.

They then use the power of FEEDBACK to examine the quality of their previous actions, and adjust their route accordingly. Once again, they make another quick DECISION and fire away. They repeat this process until they reach their desired results.

Seems simple…so why do so many people struggle to produce the results they want in life? I gave a clue to the answer in the previous 2 paragraphs.

The reason so many people struggle to achieve their goals is that they have never made a committed DECISION. A firm DECISION is a mental move that anyone can make that makes ACTION automatic. As the commitment level increases, so does the intensity of the actions being taken.

As an example, let’s say you want quit smoking. One option is to make a personal decision and tell yourself, I am done with this habit.’ Another option is to create a legally binding contract stating:

“I will not smoke a cigarette for an entire year. There will be a medical team assigned to test whether I have any nicotine in my system. If I fail the test at any point, I will lose my entire life savings including my house.”

While an extreme and somewhat comical example, the truth is that it would likely work. If you were in this situation you would be forced to take any and every action necessary to help you kick the habit!

Take time to relax

You need a 7 Day BrainwashOne of the “personal skills” I have been working on for the past couple of years is my ability to not take things too seriously. There are so many events in our day to day lives that make us stressed out and it is easy to get wrapped up in the intensity of a situation. This is especially true in business situations but it can really apply to any area of your life.

If you allow yourself to be consumed by the stress, it obviously can take a huge toll on your well being. Here are 4 steps you can follow to stay calm and relaxed when a situation reaches a point of stress or intensity:

Consciously relax. You can literally reduce sensations of stress and anxiety if you force the muscles in your body to relax. The easiest way to do it is to start at the top of your head and focus on each area of your body. Make a point of relaxing any muscle that seems to be tense. In many cases, you will be amazed at how much tension you were holding onto (this technique works well if you are nervous before delivering a public speech as well).

Focus on breathing. Similar to the first point, focused breathing is a simple trick you can use to immediately reduce any tension you might be experiencing. Breathing into the stomach for a count of 3 and exhaling for a count of 6 will slow your breathing to a point where you will automatically start to relax.

Visualize something funny. This is a personal trick I use but it really works. The fastest way to move yourself out of a negative thought pattern is to totally replace the thought with something different. For example, if I am speaking with a customer who is angry, I might visualize myself interrupting the conversation so that I can break into a fast paced dance routine. Then I visualize the other person’s stunned reaction and I immediately feel like laughing.

Verbalize your relaxed approach. This is the key step in process. If you can demonstrate to the other person that you are not allowing yourself to get “out-of-control angry” and tell them that you intend to reach a solution without getting upset, they will often match your energy. A conflict can only escalate if both people are willing participants. By refusing to participate in the conflict, you remain in full control of the situation.

Next time you have a situation where there is conflict or an argument, try these techniques and see how much more effectively you can handle the situation.

Practice a new response

You need a 7 Day BrainwashSince we were kids, all of us have understood the value of practice. If you want to get good at hockey, reading, piano, singing, or any other engaged activity, you have to practice.

Practice is defined as the application of a skill repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. I think most people would agree that the highest achievers in an area of life are those who practice the most.

How does this apply to our every day lives?

If you think about your overall quality of life, it is basically made up by the accumulation of moments. Each moment you are expending energy in a certain way. Sometimes you are in a positive state and other times you are negative; and there a varying degrees of intensity in between.

Most of the time, we are all operating on auto-pilot. What I mean is that we are going about our day and we react and respond to events based on how we have conditioned ourselves to do so. If we have spent the majority of our lives practicing an anger response when things don’t go our way, we have become very proficient at being angry. Likewise, if you have spent the majority of your life reacting with laughter to various events and circumstances, you have become proficient at maintaining positivity.

This is a great place for any person to begin when it comes to improving their life so that it works… on all levels.

How do you do this?

Start by doing a basic assessment of your results. Are you constantly in a state of stress or anxiety? Do you constantly feel frustrated or upset? For any result that is not positive, examine what you have been practicing in that area of your life. If your current result is that you get angry and upset whenever the slightest thing goes wrong, think about how you can practice changing that result. You can actually begin looking for the next “opportunity” for something to go wrong so that you can practice a new response. Just like learning an instrument or sport, it may not go smoothly the first time but it is a start. Then you do it again and again and each repetition gives you an opportunity to get stronger.

In a relatively short period of time, you can develop an entirely new skill set that serves you better and improves the overall quality of your life. Try it. Challenge yourself. And see how your results change over time.