If you want new results you must adopt new actions.
Changing beliefs is hard. Years and years of programming went into your current beliefs. Like they say with losing pregnancy weight it took you 9 months to put on the weight, give yourself at least that amount of time to take it off. The same with your beliefs. It will take a lot of new thinking, new programming, maybe even new friends to eliminate old beliefs that were getting in your way and adopt new beliefs that unleash your true potential. As Brian Tracy says, “you begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.”
So now we have a leaders mindset. We are working on replacing our limiting beliefs with positive beliefs and so we must start working on our actions. Why? Because again our mindset fuels our actions and our actions fuel our results. If we want different results than what we have had then we need different actions. You’ve heard that saying – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. New results require new actions.
Back to compounded interest theory.
Sure massive action may get us massive results, but is it sustainable? Or is it even repeatable? Small actions over time will build into massive results in a more sustainable way. There’s a great book out there called Atomic Habits by James Clear – by an atomic habit he means a small habit and he says “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”
There are two buckets of habits you really need to look at
You can reach your goals by establishing new good habit or by building on the good habits you already have and you can reach your goals by eliminating your bad habits.
So it’s not necessarily what are you going to start doing. It may be what am I already doing that if I do more of I will attract more success or what am I doing now that if I stop doing will get me more in line with my goals and aspirations.
To illustrate, these let’s say I want to be a better leader and I know that leaders are readers. Every January I get bit by the new year’s resolution bug and I buy a new book and dive all in. I also really enjoy binge watching Netflix’s most popular shows and some nights watch as many as three episodes in a row.
I already have a good action – reading a book in January, but it’s not really a habit yet. If I took this one thing and built on it until it was a habit would you agree that I would attract more success as a leader? Of course. So another thing we learn in Atomic Habits is that you do not rise to the levels of your goals you fall to the levels of your systems.
So, my buy a book every January wasn’t a very good system was it? No. What if I changed my system to sign up for a book club that sends me a book a month. Now I have some skin in the game and may be one step closer to making this a habit. Now what if I go one step further and dedicate 15 minutes every morning to reading first thing when I wake up. Do you see a system forming here. My system has a why – I desire to be a better leader. It has a what – leaders are readers – and it has a how – have a book delivered every month and commit to reading 15 minutes every morning first thing when I wake up.
Also we can get better results by stopping habits that are in our way of success. What about my Netflix habit in the example? What if I stopped this habit and filled that time with new more productive activities built with a success system. Of course I would start seeing new results. What time wasting habits do you have?
Does this example sound too simple. Yes – but what is simple is not easy. Simple said not so easy do right? This is where I think so many people get held up in the world of self improvement. They think that the changes or the goals have to be monumental or they are not worthy so they are paralyzed with fear. It’s too big it’s too much – so many limiting beliefs form. But when you break it down to the small – atom sized pieces – you can start to see how the changes can be possible.
Here are two quotes from Atomic habits to sum it up.
“If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.”
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
Leadership is influence. Every one of us has influence. We all lead at something:
leaders of our family
perhaps our sports team
or our classrooms . . .
Maybe you haven’t had that ah-ha moment yet . that breakthrough where you realize what you do makes a difference, your actions are impacting others. First adopt the mindset of a leader. Listen here
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The gift of time was given to us all by stay-at-home orders. It may have been a 30 minute commute each way (plus putting on pants time). Or, like in the case 3.3 million others, all of your time because you are now unemployed. Watching my friends, family, and former coworkers adjust to this gift it is much like watching different people win the lottery. Some blow their winnings right away and end up worse off then they were beforehand. Others are paralyzed with fear so do nothing, and some embrace the gift, seize the opportunity and look at how to use the gift for good.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn
No more excuses!
As a business and personal coach I have worked with hundreds of people who say they want growth. The number one thing getting in their way? You guessed it, time. They want to be healthier, but they don’t have time. They want to learn a new skill, but can’t find time. In fact, lists of wants continue to grow and yet people do not. “I’d love to read books, listen to podcasts, take a course, or even go back to school, but I can’t find the time”, they say. Here it is. The gift of time was given to you. 5 hours a week minimum. No more excuses!
“The way we spend our time defines who we are.” Jonathan Estrin
How will you reflect back on this time? With pride of your accomplishments and contributions? Yesterday was the best time to start. Today is a great time to start. Tomorrow . . . next week . . . . Start small and build. Small improvements over time are like compounded interest. They grow into something large.
Staying at home as been difficult, certainly regret is worse. Don’t let another moment pass. This is your time. Take that first step. You can do this. Yes you can!
Variety improves the things that we do too often, but it rules the things that we don’t do often enough. -Daniel Gilbert
My reading list is much like my running play list. I like to mix it up. A little American history, running stories, motivation,business, self help, and some good science fiction. As the quote above indicates, by reading a variety it improves the experience by keeping it fresh.
Here’s a review on a more recent read.
Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth by John Doerr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The case studies in this book are a fun read, especially in the audio book version which has each person related to the specific case study read their portion. The variety in voices kept the book entertaining.
Where the book lacked
was in providing detail. It is very vague and although the case studies were from companies that achieved great growth it doesn’t necessarily explain how the OKR’s caused the growth. Would My Fitness Pal really not been so successful without an OKR ? Impossible to say from reading this book.
If you are a “techie” and would be interested in hearing case studies from Silicon Valley then you would enjoy this book. If you want details on goal setting and measuring what matters then I recommend finding a different book.
Every book has a lesson or two. This one had quite a lot of great quotes because of all of the influencers used to illustrate the purpose. Here’s a few of my favorites:
“Leaders must get across the why as well as the what. Their people need more than milestones for motivation. They are thirsting for meaning, to understand how their goals relate to the mission.”
“There are so many people working so hard and achieving so little. —Andy Grove”
“When people help choose a course of action, they are more likely to see it through.”
What shall I read during Week 4 of Chicago Marathon training?
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of my all time favorites! I listened to it on Audible during my commutes. Sometimes I would sit in my car in my driveway and just keep listening. I found the history, geography and world culture lessons given through the lens of someone sharing their life story absolutely fascinating.
In January 2008, I saw the movie The Bucket List and crazy as it sounds, as a non-runner put “run a marathon” on my list. I’ve been running in a different brand ever since, but now that I have read this story I am going to the running store to pick up some Nike’s immediately.
Thank you Phil Knight for your contributions and thank you for sharing your story.
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