Get Your Free eBook

GET IT NOW! Rory Vaden eBook

Sign up to receive my Daily Discipline blog posts via e-mail and get a copy of my popular e-mini book of quotes FREE.

Get a free Rory Vaden e-book!

Search Results for: intention

10/24/08 – Intention

One of the sisters to self-discipline is intention. If discipline is the action of doing things you don’t want to do then intention is the conscious thought that immediately precedes discipline. Most people do not live life with intention and as a result only have a sputtering chance at ever being disciplined on demand.

We are creatures of habit and what’s more important than knowing that we are creatures of habit is realizing that the habits that rule our lives are executed subconsciously. Do you realize that you probably dry yourself off with a towel almost exactly the same way every single day? Do you realize that you drive the exact same way to work every single day? Let’s cut deeper… do you realize that your interaction with loved ones almost definitely follows the same repetitive cycle? Did you know that you spend your money in almost a perfect pattern in which unless intentionally changed you are hopelessly bound to experience the same level of financial security for the rest of your life? (Or lack of security)

Many of the problems we encounter in our lives have nothing to do with the problems themselves. IE the other person involved in the bad relationship, or the financial tragedy that seems so “un lucky”. Because the one thing that is in common with all of the problems you encounter is…YOU. In my case, me.  And actually most of our “problems” aren’t the real problem. Most of our “problems” are actually just the bi-products or manifestations of an internal lack of intention.

We’ve all had that experience where we’re driving home from work and suddenly we arrive home without having any idea how we got there. The same is true with most people’s lives; most of us wake up one day not really understanding how we got to where we are. That’s because just like we were on autopilot about choosing which turns to make driving on the way home, many times we’re on autopilot about choosing which turns to make in deciding on how to live our life.

However, for many parts of our lives our habits are survival mechanisms; they allow us to complete things quickly without requiring much focus. The problem is that some of the things we haven’t been focusing on are REALLY important. You can change this all by simply being INTENTIONAL about how you live your life. What areas of your life are “broken”? By acknowledging the areas that are broken you are already adding intention to your life. Because you are consciously looking toward a solution.

Of course the key is to not focus on the problem but rather to be INTENTIONAL about seeking a solution. And then INTENTIONAL about taking action. The action part is where intention is transformed into discipline.

 

 

12 Dichotomous Daily Practices of Millionaires

12 Dichotomous Daily Practices of Millionaires

Through our coaching work at Southwestern Consulting we get a rare chance to spend a lot of time around millionaires.

While many of them have made their money doing all sorts of different types of businesses, my observation is that almost all of them seem to share certain habits and attitudes.

There are certain principles that almost all of them follow but to some it could also seem confusing because they often times have what might on the surface seem to be competing philosophies, opposing principles, and conflicting beliefs.

Here is a short listing of some of them accompanied by an explanation and distinction of what might otherwise seem to be dichotomous habits.

Millionaires practice both:

Speed and Patience – They typically are highly efficient and have an extraordinary sense of urgency where they are intentional about every single second that they spend and how it is used.

Yet at the same time, at a more macro level, they are patient and know that accomplishing great things often takes a long time. So they work fast but they don’t get discouraged if big visions show up slow.

Generosity and Frugality – Contrary to what people often think, millionaires are usually very generous people where they give large amounts of money and time to help other people without expecting anything in return.

Yet they also seem to be very financially disciplined and prudent in the monetary spending and practices of their core business where they tightly manage expenses and scrutinize over budgets. They typically are not wasteful.

Exercise and Rest – You might think that what makes people rich is that all they do is work all the time and they have no time for anything else. But actually, very often wealthy people are also very healthy people. And frequently a crucial part of their daily practice includes physical exercise. Many of them believe that their physical prowess and mental prowess are connected.

But in addition to making time for physical activity almost all of them also are very deliberate and intentional about quiet time and solitude. I don’t think there is a single millionaire that I have ever met that doesn’t have some sort of regular routine that involves either prayer, meditation, reading, reviewing affirmations or all of the above.

Gratitude and Ambition – If I had to identify the number one most commonly shared habit, attribute, or daily practice of millionaires that I’ve personally observed it is that virtually almost all of them that talk about starting their day with some deliberate practice of gratitude. They set aside time to specifically say “thank you” for all that they have been given in their life. In their gratitude is a profound sense of peace and satisfaction.

Yet also almost all of them also have an insatiable hunger for growing, improving, and achieving the next level of success and contribution.

Control and Faith – Millionaires do the hard work it takes to be successful. They are relentless about focusing on the things they can control. They focus intensely on building strong work ethic, good work habits, taking action and being brilliant at the basics.

Yet at the same time they seem to be able to release themselves of the pressure, fear, and worry that comes with having to always know what the outcomes are going to be. They instead have a strong sense of faith that empowers them to act meanwhile not having to know the specifics of what will result.

Principled and Adaptability – I don’t think I’ve ever met a millionaire who wasn’t strong willed and personally convicted. These individuals typically are very confident and passionate about the philosophies that they have come to know as true and they are definitely principled people.

But they somehow still remain adaptable and humble to the idea that while principles don’t frequently change, practices often do. They know that technology and competition and evolution require themselves to be continually learning growing and improving.

While these various practices may appear to be conflicting and opposing on the surface, they are actually very complementary and clearly defined in the distinctive value that they provide to successful people.

So, if your goal is to one day be a millionaire, don’t just watch for the ways in which they are absolute but also in the ways in which they are nuanced.

3 Ways to Outperform Your Competition

There is a lot of value for any organization to be gained from being “best in class, #1, champion, or industry leader, etc.”

But with so much competition and so much universal availability of resources, how can you consistently rise above and outperform your competition or even just outperform your own potential?

Simple.

Regardless of whether you’re trying to beat someone else or just break your own personal records, it brings us back to 3 truths that remain timeless and relevant even in a world of constant change and technological advancement.

1. Work Longer – Work more hours than anyone else or than you ever have before. There is so much power in sheer volume. Don’t underestimate it. Find a way to take time from insignificant activities you’re engaging in to reallocate towards your goals that really matter. (Hint: if you’re watching the US average of 27 hours a week of television, start there!)

It’s also not just your own total personal hours (which should of course always be maximized in the direction of your key priorities) but that of your team as well. When you grow your trained staff, you’re growing the total number of hours being invested into the achievement of your mission.

2. Work Faster – Become more efficient. Stay more focused. And increase your sense of urgency to squeeze the ultimate value out of each second out of yourself and your team every single day. If you can eliminate distractions or unnecessary work from yourself and your team that will give you instant lift.

Also, as discussed in our most recent book Procrastinate on Purpose, “automation is to your time what compounding interest is to your money.” So, anything that can be automated, operationalized, or streamlined should be because over the long haul you will get ROTI Return on Time Invested. Most of all though it’s your own internal intention, focus, and discipline that needs to be mastered.

3. Work Smarter – There is such a thing as “a sharper axe.” So, it does make sense to be intelligent and strategic. For example, if you’re in sales, learn to master asking for referrals, prospect by vertical markets, use scripts and get a sales coach.

If you’re a small business owner learn the tools that will help you scale your business and generate leads.

If you’re busy at all, learn to multiply your time by spending time on things today that create more time tomorrow.

If you’re a leader, create the space you need to spend time developing your people. You also could get a leadership coach to shortcut your learning curve.

But never use working smarter as an excuse or justification for working less.

And never use the excuse that if you can’t work longer for some reason that you still can’t find a way to beat your best.

Because it’s not just about working smarter or working faster, or working longer.

When it comes to outperforming your potential, it’s always about a combination of all of the above.

The Limit of a Leader

Your level of influence as a leader is directly limited by the size of your ego.

The larger your ego, the less your chance to reach your leadership potential.

The smaller your ego, the greater your chance to reach your leadership potential.

Ego is a conundrum that many leaders will eventually have to face.

Overcome it, and there is no limit to the impact and influence that you can have.

Because a selfless leader magnetically draws in the loyalty and commitment of a team.

But a self-serving leader inadvertently creates fractures in the team and begins to push people away.

It’s a fascinating dynamic how it all happens.

Because you often become a leader by being a top achiever.

But it’s a case of what got you here as an achiever, won’t get you there as a leader.

An achiever cares about earning respect.

A leader cares about building relationships.

An achiever is used to competing for positioning.

A leader progresses by fostering principles.

An achiever rises by pushing themselves to new heights.

A leader rises by helping others along the path.

It doesn’t mean that a great achiever can’t be a leader.

It just means that they have to lay it all down for the team.

They have to intentionally choose to put the team first.

They have to evolve and adapt and mature to the point that their personal ego dies for the sake of advancing the team.

You can have any level of personal success as long as you have a higher level of selflessness towards serving the team.

Become selfless and do it right and you and your team will reach a whole new level.

Remain self serving though and do it wrong and you may start to find yourself increasingly isolated.

Getting Through Grief with Debbie Lee – Episode 208 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Debbie Lee is an author, public speaker and CEO of America’s Mighty Warriors who travels the nation telling her son’s amazing story and advocating and supporting our troops, their families and families of the fallen. Debbie understands the sacrifice our troops make and that “Freedom isn’t free.” On Aug 2, 2006 she received a knock on the door that would forever change her life. She was notified that her son Marc Alan Lee had been killed in action becoming the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq. Since that day Debbie has dedicated her life to honoring our troops and the families of the fallen, defending our defenders and fighting to keep the freedoms that our troops have fought for. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that our troops and military and Gold Star families have access to respite and important services that help assist recovery after injury or loss.

By God’s strength she chose to rise above the most devastating circumstance of her life to impact other’s lives giving them hope and encouragement. In response to her son’s last letter home to “pass on the love, the kindness, the precious gift of human life” she founded America’s Mighty Warriors and is providing programs that improve quality of life, resiliency and recovery.  Debbie has completed a multitude of cross country tours, visited Gitmo, and visited Iraq in 2007 and 2010 becoming the First Gold Star Mom in history to visit the combat zone where her son died. She has conducted over 1000 media interviews and has been a regular on FOX news. Debbie appeared on stage with Tim McGraw at the ACMA’s in 2007, has met with President Bush numerous times and can often be found on Capitol Hill advocating for our troops.

“God has equipped me and given me amazing strength and hope, and I want to share that with others.” ~Debbie Lee

Show Highlights:

How do we move on when bad things happen? @MightyWarriors

I had a choice of how I responded. @MightyWarriors

Read Marc’s last letter home here.

“To all my family and friends, do me a favor and pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life to each other..” – Marc’s last letter home

Doing random acts of kindness will help you overcome grief. @MightyWarriors

Rory shares two key elements of responding to grief. @rory_vaden

Going through grief is a take the stairs moment. @rory_vaden

In the darkest moments, extend your perspective. @rory_vaden

Our ability to have peace is directly proportionate to the term of our perspective. @rory_vaden

The size of the problem doesn’t change, but the term of your perspective does.  @rory_vaden

Make an intentional choice to take your pain, go out and use it for good. @rory_vaden

Hero’s are those that serve. @rory_vaden

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

The Determinant of One’s Happiness

The Determinant of One's Happiness

One of the most empowering and sometimes simultaneously destructive truths is that you always find what you’re looking for.

If you look for the positive in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something positive.

If you look for the negative in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something negative.

Which suggests that it matters much less what is, and matters much more what you think about what is.

You then, are the author of your own life.

You are the creator of your own happiness or unhappiness.

Your positivity or negativity is completely your own fault.

What we need to train ourselves to do then is not to spend so much time looking for a better situation, thinking that there is an easier way, or wishing some person was different.

Instead, we need to train ourselves to see the positive in whatever it is we are looking at.

We need to focus on looking for the positive in each scenario.

We need to be intentional about finding the good in every circumstance.

And we need to be deliberate about seeing the best in other people.

We need to notice what is right with the world and what is right with the people in our world.

Because it is a peculiar truth of the human mind that we often care less about accuracy and more about just proving ourselves right.

So whatever we decide to be true about ourselves, our friends, our jobs, and our circumstances is what our brain will seek to validate as right.

Our brain typically searches for and recognizes only the information that supports its original premise.

So be careful.

Be careful what you choose.

Because whether you choose to see the positive or the negative is what is likely to actually become true for your life and be the determinant of your happiness.