Focus in 3-Steps: Executive Coaching John Wooden Style

In a previous post, I talked about the acronym F.O.C.U.S.S. and how a person can create greater levels of purpose, self-confidence, and direction. Today, I’m going to approach the concept of “focus” from the perspective of one of the greatest coaches in basketball history, John Wooden.

“In 1948, I began coaching basketball at UCLA. Each hour of practice we worked very hard. Each day we worked very hard. Each week we worked very hard. Each season we worked very hard. For fourteen years we worked very hard and didn’t win a national championship. However, a national championship was won in the fifteenth year. Another in the sixteenth. And eight more in the following ten years.” ~JW

My question is this, “Did the teams develop to a point where they could finally win a national championship or did Coach Wooden develop himself into a national championship coach?”

 

First Step: Be clear who you are and what Skill you choose to pursue excellence in (internal focus).

If you are going to become a master at a skill or craft, make sure it is one that you love and will emotionally support you for the next 20 years. Then, work to be the best!

To support this assertion another quote, “I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not what I am going to be, but thankful that I am not what I used to be.” ~JW   Focus on being your best now in this moment, every moment!

“For an athlete to function properly, he must be intent. There has to be a definite purpose and goal if you are to progress. If you are not intent about what you are doing, you aren’t able to resist the temptation to do something else that might be more fun at the moment.” ~JW

 

Second Step: You must set goals that align with the expression of who you want to become and the skill you are choosing to master.

Set BIG, HUGE GOALS (external)!

For example, I chose a skill set of running many years ago. After thousands of miles of mastery, there was room for growth to always set the bar higher in terms of external goals: a 10K, half marathon, marathon, Goofy Challenge, 50-Miler, 100K Ultra and the pinnacle…100-Mile Ultra. Those goals took 20+ years of focus. As I took yoga along the way to keep flexible and train, I didn’t set a goal to become a yoga guru.

Big Goals provide the impetus to learn to perfect yourself in the execution of becoming more. They create the pressure to become meticulous because every detail counts. A hot spot on your foot in a 10K or half marathon is not big deal, on a marathon it becomes a little more important but during an ultra-marathon it means the difference between success and epic failure. Large goals are critical because they provide motivation to be diligent, prudent, and sustain a heightened level of awareness; internal and external. That creates focus.

“Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” ~JW

 

Third Step: Large goals create large obstacles to overcome.

This scares other people away from you so you have more time and energy to focus on your pursuits and not be presented with their problems.

How often during the day are we interrupted, distracted and presented with other people’s problems and life issues? People tend to conspire with others who will give them solace, empathy, and commiserate with them on their problems. The more a person commiserates with another, the more they keep coming back for more commiseration! If a heavy set person starts telling you how bad they feel, most people think it is OK to say, “I’m sorry, you know, it’s not really your fault. After all its genetics, thyroid issues, etc.” What happens when they get that response?  They keep coming back!

Granted it’s not polite to say to them, “then get off your fat buns and do something about it.” BUT, if you are setting a high goal of health for yourself, that person will naturally shy away from you. They know intuitively, as they see you pack your bag for a lunchtime workout, they won’t get much sympathy. You scare them away by setting higher standards.

 

BIG Goals scare people away because they suffer internally by comparison.

This cuts down in interruptions, distractions, and people telling you their problems. FOCUS comes from setting a higher standard than your peers. An added benefit is that the only people who will interrupt you are the people who have high standards and the exchanges will be more in the form of support, encouragement and sharing of tips that help you refine and master your craft. These can be good because they actually boost your energy, efficiency and the time spent for the interruption is time saved with what is learned by sharing.

Welcome the adversity and feelings of “being alone” in your singular pursuit. This creates focus. Here’s a supportive quote.

“When everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking.” ~JW

 

Let’s recap these three steps:

1. Be clear on who you are and what skill you want to master (internal mindset)

2. Set Goals in that skillset that are HUGE, stretch yourself as high and far as you can go!

3. Get comfortable with scaring other people away and being alone…set a higher standard. Your only interruptions will be from others with high goals. Those interruptions will be fewer but very supportive!

 “The road to real achievement is usually bumpy and long, but you do not give up. You may have setbacks. You may have to start over. You may have to change your methods. You may have to go around, or over, or under. You may have to back up and get another start. But you do not quit. You stay the course.” ~JW

To your continued success,

James, Executive Business Coach

Learn more about Coach John Wooden here:  www.coachwooden.com

How to Succeed: 4 Master Steps

In the science of Neuro Linguistic Programming, (NLP), one of the fundamental skills is modeling. NLP is the study of how to be excellent at something. If someone is getting excellent results then there has to be a pattern that can be replicated for someone else to be successful too.

In looking at diets for instance, whether you are South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers or any other, the same pattern for getting results stands true. Basically, the body absorbs calories in the following order: simple sugars/carbohydrates (most processes things like high fructose corn syrup, sugar, pasta, etc.), next is complex carbohydrates that come from fruits and vegetables with higher fiber content, next is fats and last is proteins.

The common pattern in all of the diets is that you cut out the first source, simple sugars/carbohydrates, and most of the second. Then, your body is trained to use fat as energy. Hence, effective reconditioning of the body use fat as its primary energy resource.

What does this have to do with self-help, motivation and living the life of your dreams?

Every successful person has followed these basic 4 Steps to Success.  Most self help program covers many, or just one, of the following 4 Steps to Success.

1. Become Definite about your Mission, Purpose, or Path in Life.

2. Release any and all negative associations that aren’t in alignment with your Mission or Purpose.

3. Create a Master Plan to build and create something that provides an emotional experience for others that will help them to create/live their purpose. Build it!

4. Make sure the Tithe, give generously to complete the circuit of energy.

Follow these four steps and success will be knocking on your door sooner rather than later.

TO your continued success,

James

If you are stuck finding your Purpose, Clearing Negative emotions, creating a Master Plan or finding a worthwhile means for tithing, call for your “Success-Now” Session.

(919) 792-0085 

Happiness Project App Announcement

HAPPINESS! Could you use a little more of it in your world?

In an article by Rob Silverblatt, “The Science of Workplace Happiness,” April 14, 2010, “a recent study…indicated that just 45 percent of American workers are “satisfied” with their jobs” and “the lackluster economy has put a damper on upward and even lateral movement, leaving many workers feeling trapped in their current positions.”

WOW, that means that an estimated 55% of the American workplace just aren’t happy. In addition, the one key step that is needed for happiness, “the ability to be purposeful, grow, and achieve” is missing in the workplace today.

What is a person to do?

Well, there is a solution and it doesn’t entail quitting your job. Take a look at this new app that I have the pleasure of being a part of. It specifically addresses the Happiness Factor.

The “I Am Happy Project” is launching a mobile app called the “Happy Button” to help users improve their health, relationships, work and life by boosting their happiness. The app is free and will be available for download on October 1 at www.iamhappyproject.org and on Apple iTunes.

The Happy Button App has several functions to help users boost happiness:

  • A daily inspirational message to boost their happiness level.
  • Video messages about happiness from experienced life and business coaches.
  • Audio messages about happiness from experienced life and business coaches.
  • Blog posts about achieving happiness written by life and career coaches.
  • A simple question to measure where you fall on the happiness scale for the day.
  • Your average daily, weekly and monthly happiness measure.

I decided to be part of this project because after working with people for over 14 years, it amazed me how people value achievement, learning, growth, and prosperity but many times forget to add Happiness to the list. When I was contacted by Edwin about the Happiness Project, it resonated with me personally. In today’s world, there is a huge undercurrent of uncertainty and fear. Happiness is a lifeline for people struggling with career changes, financial stress and lack of a clear future. The purpose of this app is to help people work and live happily achieving with less stress, frustration, and anxiety, both at home and in the workplace.

 The app will be available for download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as of October 1 and later on Blackberry and Windows phones.  

About the I Am Happy Project: The I Am Happy Project is a non-profit organization with the mission of spreading happiness globally, one person at a time. In early 2009, Edwin Edebiri set out to shift people’s minds to happiness from the gloom and doom that dominates the news. The nonprofit is having an impact on our communities around the world, from Davis, California, to Chicago, Illinois, to orphanage homes in New Delhi, India and Benin City, Nigeria. I Am Happy Project groups are in 63 cities and 18 nations, representing every continent.

Join the Happiness Movement today and I look forward to hearing your feedback!

To your continued Happiness,

James

Need more happiness in your life? Call for a “Success-Now” Session and Change your happiness levels!  (919) 792-0085

Happiness: 3 Simple Steps

3 Secrets to Happiness

Do you remember that great book you once read? It seemed kind of long when you picked it up but as you read the first page there was anticipation, excitement, and desire to find out what was going to happen?

And like most books, it started slow as the characters developed. But, the plot thickened and it got more and more exciting and it started to go by faster and faster. Until finally, the ending was in sight and you couldn’t put it down, time stood still and you voraciously relished every last word to the very end.

Life is like a good book for the “Happy Person.”

There are three steps to achieve happiness.

1. A Happy Person has a long term vision, mission, or purpose for life that is achievable. In essence, they begin with the end in mind. Knowing what your purpose is and where you are going in life has many benefits.  First, it allows a person to relax and not get stressed because they “aren’t where they are supposed to be yet.” Mission and purpose allow positive emotional states like peace and relaxation to be present when a person focuses on their long term purpose. Second, in the face of obstacles, they have all the time in the world to find solutions because they have confidence, knowing they are on the right path and doing the right things.

2. While keeping their purpose in mind, A Happy Person chunks down their goals into small measureable actions that are easily attainable. At first, learning to tie your shoes is a laborious process. You have to bend down, get the laces, work through each single step to get the knot right. A happy person can focus on one small step at a time because they are very present in the moment. They are “Happily learning” each small step of the process because they know it is their mission and purpose to learn to tie their shoes. There is anticipation, curiosity, and excitement in discovering the joys of working towards their goals.

3. Chunking down goals into small attainable moments, a Happy Person can anchor in positive and inspiring thoughts, feelings and emotions to “living and learning.” Each and every moment becomes a joy. Just like at the end of the book. Momentum grows exponentially as happy people experience success in every moment of the day. Smiles and happiness are infectious and move the world.

BONUS STEP: More Happiness Now!

Go for a walk and ask yourself these questions 3-5 minutes a piece in this order. This exercise should take about 3-15 minutes. Let you mind answer the question each time before asking the question again.

1. When have I been Happy in the past? (3-5 min)

2. How do I know I am feeling Happy now? (3-5 min)

3. How am I going to continue to be Happy throughout the rest of the day? Tomorrow? Next week? Next Month?  (3-5 min…future pace out this question, ie  day, tomorrow, next week, month, etc)

When would NOW be a good time to continue to be Happy?

Your life is one great story. Write your own book of happiness, achievement and success. Happiness is contagious and so are smiles. Wear yours proudly!

To your continued Happiness, James

Anyone you know UNHAPPY with their life? Have them call to set up their “Success-Now” session at (919) 792-0085.

 

How to manage time…1 Simple Solution

Over the weekend a friend asked how business was going and I heard myself say, “I need the world to stop for 4 months so I can get everything done I want to…and then have it re-engage.” I got to thinking about what I said later that evening and I realized if that was truly the case…I wasn’t managing time effectively at all. How does an entrepreneur/CEO/Executive manage time better? Here is one simple solution…

First, accept the fact that you can not manage time. It isn’t time that needs to be managed but your mental focus and actions. A persons mental focus will always be in one of three places at any given time. the past, present or future and each one has a definitive purpose.

Looking back to the past allows us to reflect on successes and failures (which are just opportunities to learn). Understanding the successes and failures of the past allows a person to take useful strategies forward and find new ways to use and apply them. It also allows us to identify negative actions and behaviors and reframe them into positive “learnings” so any negative emotions disappear and new possibilities for how a person “could choose” to do things differently in the future are uncovered.

Focusing on the Future is crucial because it allows a person to focus on one of the greatest human needs…becoming more. If we are not growing we are dying, it is a fundamental law of nature. The challenge is that some people focus on growing more that is positive and some people get into the trap of growing more of what they don’t want. A positive future opens the door to possiblities, growth, and “more” of life. The negative future, signalled by statements like “I don’t know or want…” only perpetuates negativity, scarcity and disempowering emotions.

And last place your focus can be is in the present, being immersed in the exact action, thought, belief and feeling right NOW…and NOW…and NOW…and NOW…and NOW. The present is the hardest to focus on because the mind is constantly pulled between the past and future.

THE SIMPLE SOLUTION…HERE IT IS!

Future—Past—Present

Focus on exactly what you want in the future…(not what you don’t want, but what you do)
Think about what tools, strategies and resources you need to be creative, industrious and solution oriented FROM THE PAST
Combine both into ACTION NOW in the PRESENT clear of any distractions.

Oh yeah, celebrate your success from doing something different today! When applied consistently, you will find yourself more motivated, inspired, fearless, and results will start to show!

If you find yourself lacking focus, a fearless attitude, or clear direction forward…call today for your “Success-Now!” Session. (919) 792-0085.

In the month of August, email me at james@evolutionforsuccess.com with the word 30-Day Challenge. I will send you a 30-Day Success Sheet and two complimentary 15-minute checkin’s, personally with me, as my way of saying thank you for your support over the years!

To your continued success,

James

You have problems, compared to what…?

Bad Monday

Are you having a bad day? I thought I was one day last week. I was going to be late for an appointment and I was really frustrated since being late is one of my pet peeves. My frustration level grew as I turned off the highway and my forward progress came to a screeching halt. In front of me was an accident and a long line of backed up cars. As I took the detour in front of me, I snapped the picture you see in the post above. An interesting thing happened as I drove past this accident. Somehow, seeing the plight of this truck driver, putting myself in his shoes, and thinking about the phone call he was going to have to make to his boss put my problem (frustrated by being 10 minutes late) into perspective.

One of the greatest questions I ask clients when they are frustrated and angry at a problem in life is, “OK, its bad, but compared to what?” As human beings, it is easy to get wrapped up in OUR life, OUR problems, OUR perspectives, and OUR beliefs. To jumpstart the process of getting a person out of their OWN way so they can work to a solution, just ask, “Compared to what?” When we shift our attention to the plight of others, the challenges of others, the life circumstances of others (that we can relate too) it helps to put things into a different perspective. When you can shift your “referential index,” how you are referring to something, with a different perspective, it lessens the emotional impact so you can think more clear and see the opportunities to think or do something different.

It is not to be used as a justification for NOT doing something different but a means of getting unstuckk so you can find a new solution and take action to achieve a different outcome. Next time you are stuck and think something in your life really stinks…just state the problem and then ask yourself, “Ok, this stinks but compared to what?” So you thought you were having a bad day, compared to what?

In the end, my ten minutes late was nothing compared to the delays this driver faced, his boss faced, and their clients and their customers may have faced. It’s good to keep life in perspective.

If you are feeling stuck and frustrated with your job, career, relationships or finances…CALL today to schedule your Introductory Strategy Session to start moving forward again. (919) 792-0085

To your continued success,

James

Self-Confidence, The Side Benefit of Keeping Your Promises

One of my clients, an extremely successful entrepreneur and businessman for whom I feel tremendous respect, closes every coaching session with, “I will strive to complete my campaign in its entirety, you have my word, and I have my word.” To which I respond, “And, I love your word.”

What is so powerful about that sentence is “the word.”  The secret power of the “Word” is the underlying commitment to achieve what is on his list no matter what the cost before our next coaching session. Remarkably, he has completed his campaign for the last straight 108 weeks of coaching. How powerful is that? What’s the secret?

Over the last two years, things have come and gone on his weekly commitment sheet. Some have stayed the same but many others have come and gone as he completed them. What has been consistent is that he has kept his commitment and word to himself.

At the core of all self-confidence, power and success is the ability to follow through and do what you say you are going to do long after the excitement and passion of the moment passes.

And, why is that so powerful? Because when you set a commitment or goal, you have to automatically put your obstacles in place.

Specifically, you will always have to overcome some combination of the following challenging emotional states to keep your word: fatigue, discouragement, feeling inadequate, loneliness, overwhelm, doubt, nervousness, humiliation, incompetence, frustration, resentment, powerlessness, anger, and even jealousy of others.

The power of self-confidence and keeping your word is learning to embrace these emotional states as they come up, and accept them as appropriate and warranted given the goal that you are pursuing. If you stop trying to run away from these negative emotions,  you are already half way towards the successful completion of your goal. The power comes through pushing through those disempowering states. Even better, get excited about them! Anticipate these emotions and welcome them as part of a natural component on your path to victory.

I recently supported another high level business executive who had an interesting belief about what needed to happen in order for him to be successful in his job. He needed to be put into a position where he was expected to do the impossible, solve that challenge when no one else could, and in his words, “face that ugly beast that no one else could kill.” He gets paid handsomely to do such valiant deeds!

Successful people know how to embrace and use fatigue or moments of indecision and take responsibility. They create a link that takes them from the disempowering state to a more resourceful one.

My client has powerful days because he conditions himself to push through obstacles and push through what most people would consider disempowering states to create an incredible business and life.

In many ways, your success –not only in your business, but in your personal life too, is directly proportional to amount of challenging emotional states you can overcome on a daily basis in the pursuit of your goals. Not surprisingly, that’s also directly proportional to the amount of self-confidence you will have. That’s the power of keeping “your word.”

 

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5 Ways to Not Achieve Your Goals This Year

Since the new year is right around the corner, here are a few thoughts to make sure that no matter what your goals, dreams and aspirations are, you can fail to achieve them all.

1.  Stop Learning & Being Curious

Success comes from being curious and resourceful. There are three types of learning a person can experience. There is educational learning which gives theoretical understanding of concepts, ideas and ideologies. Take some formal classes at your local university or learning facility. Second, is experiential learning. This happens in seminars, events, and trainings that require practice scenarios, role-playing and simulations. Third, is the actual application of the concepts, theories and ideas in real-life situations. You can read a book on sales, role play scenarios and then eventually you just have to pick up the phone and start to cold call. Experience is the greatest teacher. Understanding theory and role playing helps to build the confidence to immerse yourself in the real world experience. Learn, be curious and take action to apply what you learn.

 2.  Keep distracting yourself with TV & Internet

In 2009, Neilson ratings came out with a statistic that the average American watches 153 hours a month watching television. That is almost an entire week a month with nothing to show for it! The study also revealed that Americans spend an average of 29 hours per month on the internet. If you are what you eat, then isn’t your mindset influenced by what you put into it?

 3.  Keep up the “I’ll start tomorrow” thinking

Keep thinking that all of the little changes you could make today are not worth anything and you will start tomorrow. Many people start towards their goals and as soon as they experience an obstacle, get off track, and lose momentum or motivation, think that it is no use continuing. They sabotage their success with perfectionism. Success lies not in whether or not you fall off track, because you will, but how soon you can change, re-commit to your goal and get back on track. Nothing is too small to celebrate when creating change.

4.  Keep the Negative Messages Coming into your Brain

Are you surrounded by friends, colleagues, social media or environments that are negative and unsupportive? Upgrade your external influences by changing to more supportive people, places and things in your life. As they say in Feng Shui, clear the clutter in all the areas of your life that don’t support you and your goal. Clear the clutter in your mind by practicing to “say it the way you want it to be” in your life. Stop watching the new and feed your mind some uplifting, motivational, and supportive material.

5.  Stay Comfortable, Do the Same Thing You Are Doing Now

Most people don’t achieve something because they never stop and ask themselves, “What do I need to give up in order to make a space for this new goal in my life?” For example, if you want a relationship, are you stepping out and going different places, trying new experiences, and meeting new people? In an extreme, if you want a new car, are you selling the one you have now, have you test driven cars at the dealership and talked to your bank about a new loan? Are you willing to “burn your ship?” If the answer is no, how bad do you really want to experience your dreams, aspirations and goals? You have to make space for what you want to have.

 

So there you have it, five dynamic ways to ensure that you will be a total failure with your goals in the new year. You have, of course, my sincerest wish is for you to be a contrarian!!!  I wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.

Liked This Article?  Subscribe and Get my Thought of The Week newsletter directly in your inbox!  (You’ll also get a free copy of my “Emotional Mastery” training and my Free Special Report “5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating“)