Sunday, March 14, 2010

Commit to Your Dreams

Saturday was the Team's monthly seminar in Ypsilanti, MI.  Jim and Dolores Martin, the keynote speakers, really brought their game to a new level delivering a motivating message through their conviction and passion and all of us in attendance were blessed with an exciting picture of the opportunity the Mona Vie Team provides. It is an exciting time to be a distributor with Mona Vie and tied into such a powerful support system with Team.  I had several people ask me about my notes used for my talk given during the early Go Power Player meeting.  So, I thought I'd publish them here for anyone to review.  It is a privilege and honor to step onto a Team stage and discuss principles of success with such an elite group of leaders.  Orrin Woodward has certainly put together a group of people focused on continuous personal development- the only real competitive advantage in business today.  I hope never to take it for granted.  Below is the outline used for that talk. 

Commit to Your Dreams 
Dreams produce hunger. Hunger produces focus. Focus demonstrates commitment.

Has anyone ever walked the long underground tunnel that connects the A and B gates at Detroit Metro Airport? 

Big escalators lead down to a very long and dark tunnel that actually goes under the taxi & runways of the airport. In it are these long moving walkways- 2 on each side going each way. These moving walkways are pretty narrow especially when you’re dragging all your luggage behind you. And so if you’re anything like me, who does not stand still and let the walkway move you forward but insist on walking as fast as possible down these automated cattle corals, you really have to pay attention to what you’re doing.  Typically, there are also other people with their luggage whom you are trying to pass or push.  And, as if it were created to intentionally cause incidents of injury, the airport has designed visual distractions to challenge you as you maneuver along these heavy machinery walkways. Ya know, the ones with metal teeth at the ends?  As you’re cruising down the walkway, all of a sudden the entire area changes color.  It goes from a cool relaxing blue hue you hardly even noticed as you entered the walkway to a violent red causing you to look around to see what the heck just happened and just as you take your focus off what you’re doing, where you’re going, it changes again to green. Before you even know what happens, you’re already wobbly luggage wheel grabs the side of the metal footrail and stops immediately jerking you backward from the momentum you had generated and causes you to either lose balance or fall altogether.

Now, these color-changing walls of this airport tunnel are really pretty cool. It 's this translucent textured plastic with panels that gradually change colors fading in & out to different hues.  Very pretty indeed.  BUT… a distraction from where you are going nonetheless.  

Some people stop altogether and stand there 'ooing & aaahing' at the prettiness of the changing lights.  Others watch the lights while still trying to get where they’re going but cause commotion bumping into people, tripping, falling, generally wreaking havoc in the tunnel. Others have been through this tunnel before and while they may notice the pretty lights, they are not distracted from their mission.

At the airport, you have a destination, a primary destination which is the other city you are headed to.  But you also have intermediate destinations along the way required for you to get to your final destination [which is not really final because at some point from there you’re off to another and another and another.]  In life, as in airports, there is never a final destination.  There is always the next trip.  That is, until you meet your creator in Heaven which is the ultimate final destination and a talk perhaps better left for Sunday morning.

Traveling through an airport is a small but great analogy for your life.  Like a trip you take on an airplane, in life, you have a destination, many destinations… or wait… do you? 

Booking a flight is easy:  you determine where you want to go and then you get online, search your flight dates & options and book it with the click of a mouse or touch of a pad. 
If only people would practice their life the same simple way.  Where do you want to go? When do you want to be there? From there, where is your next stop?  Commitment is the means of persisting and perseveringuntil you reach your next destination. 

But commitment to reaching that destination requires that you have one.

Having a dream and committing to it go hand-in-hand.  You cannot commit to achieving a dream you do not have and you will not commit to achieving a dream that is not meaningful enough to get your elephant’s attention.  We’ve heard a lot of talk recently about a great book, The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership For the Self, and in talking with Orrin, you’re going to hear more because it’s that important.  In that book Poschente sets forth 5 C’s for building peak performance.  The first  C is Clarify Your Vision.

I want to distinguish real quick the difference between a dream and goals which are so often confused as being the same thing. They are not.  Your dream is the vision you have of your future. It’s more than an achievement. It’s a state of being, it’s freedom, it’s purpose, it’s something that will, at some point, bring you to tears.  It is significant enough to become a driving force in your waking life.  The journey is a lot more fun if you know where you’re going. That's the dream.

Goals on the other hand, are the milestones of achievement and progress on the way to seeing your vision become a reality.  Goals make up the strategy points for you to move along the journey.  The goals you set become your route. They are the A & B gates, the baggage claims, and the parking garages in the airports, the things you need to get to & through in order to get to the next stop along the journey.  They are the checkpoints of success.  Team 492- A Checkpoint Race- Chris & Terri Brady. I would recommend you pick it up in the TL 136 - Apprenticeship Pack.

Just like taking a trip, success in your business or really, in anything you do in your life: a good marriage, raising good kids, building healthy relationships, living a healthy lifestyle, literally anything and everything has a vision of where you want it to be and what is required to get there.  You will have the checkpoint A & B gates to get there and you will also have the blinking lights, the changes, the obstacles, challenges, bumps and issues (the turbulence)along the way and in your way.  Overcoming these is impossible without a commitment to your dream, your vision of tomorrow.  To have that commitment, you must clarify your vision.

We’re all on a journey whether we know it or not. If you could go anywhere, where would you like to go?  We are all traveling inevitably toward the ends of our lives.  So, a very relevant questions for each of us is whether we’re going to choose the destination or allow ourselves to be swept along with the tide and let others decide where we end up.  That choice is for each of us to choose.

The picture of success isn’t the same for any 2 people because we’re all created differently and are unique. But the process is the same for everyone. 
Success is… defining your purpose in life and growing to reach your maximum potential.

So, your commitment is dependent on the meaning of your dream and how clearly you see your picture.  The more clearly you see it, you feel it, you live it in your imagination at a subconscious level, the more you do on the conscious level to see it a reality.  It creates the faith necessary for success in any area of life.  Faith is the belief in things unseen.  You have an intended/desired/expected result that you envision.  You have to believe in your potential.  You cannot consistently act in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.  If you don’t believe you have potential, you will never try to reach it. And if you never try to reach your potential, you will never be successful. President Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” If you do that with a focus on your purpose, your dream, there is nothing else anyone can ever ask of you.  The commitment then, is to work toward your potential and believe with the faith that you can.  As you do, you will realize success.  With Team and Mona Vie, we have everything we need to “Do what we can, with what we have, where we are.”

Faith is a product of having the right people to follow, the right system to leverage, and doing the right things with the right strategy to make progress… to grow toward our potential.  Leveraging the right information with the right activity on a foundation of belief & commitment (right attitude) produces success. The formula for success looks something like this:
                      RIGHT ATTITUDE

(by right ‘attitude’ I mean the hunger, focus, desire, belief)
The right attitude is the RIGHT commitment.

Here’s what commitment to your dream creates:  you align your actions with your intentions.  You can only do this if you can clearly see where you’re going, what you have to do to get there, and continually looking up at the prize (whatever yours is).

The 1st step in the activity pattern for success in any area is to DEFINE what that success looks like for you. What is it?  It must have depth of meaning. Only then, can you commit to doing what is necessary to having it.  This is the essence of that clich√©, “If the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count.”  What that means is this: if your dream is meaningful enough, then whatever you have to do, whatever you have to go through, whatever you have to change, overcome, become, the people you have to help, and the difference you have to make, you will do because your dream is worth it. 

The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have been and what we have become.
The definition of hell is when the person you are meets the person you could have been.

Success comes as a result of growing to our potential.  So, are you committed to becoming who you can become. Now, Henry Ford said about your potential- “There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.”  We can do anything. We have nearly limitless potential and yet so few ever even try to reach it.

The commitment you have to your success is directly proportional to the meaning your dream has to you and the clarity with which you can envision having it.  It is the difference between chasing a dream and building a business.  That perspective determines the journey.  It determines your attitude. It determines your commitment which does 2 things:

i.    Your commitment is tested by action:
It’s one thing to talk about commitment; it’s entirely another thing to do something about it. See, the only real measure of commitment, is action.

ii.    Your commitment Opens the door to Achievement.
There will be challenges and obstacles you’ll face. Commitment will often be the only thing that carries you forward.
“Commitment is the enemy of resistance because it is the serious promise to press on, to get up, no matter how many times you get knocked down.”

Here's a quick strategy to strengthen your commitment:

1.    Concentrate on 1 main goal.

Reaching your potential requires focus. Your purpose is so important because it gives you the clarity of vision that Poschente talks about in the Ant & Elephant. Maybe your first goal is Go-Getter, Power Player, Team 10 or Turbo 10.  Whatever it is, that’s your primary focus to achieve NOW. Meet with your mentor to define what that immediate goal should be for you & one for your team. Once you know what that goal is, decide what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve it.  If you want to accomplish great things, be willing to sacrifice much.  The price of your time & energy is worth achieving the meaning behind your dream.  Your actions will align with your intentions.

2.    Concentrate on personal growth- continued improvement.
Continual improvement is the key to reaching your potential and to being successful.  Both of these capitalize on
The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life. A book I highly recommend understanding. Each day you become better than you were yesterday.  Your actions toward the 1 main goal and the steps to continually improve compound.  Every little thing you do puts you one step closer to your potential and to your success. As you move closer to achieving your goal, you will also see who you are becoming along the way. 

3.    Forget the Past.
You cannot gain any momentum if you’re dragging the past behind you.  You cannot make any progress looking over your shoulder.  “Yesterday ended last night.”  No matter what you have encountered in the past, you have the potential to overcome it.

4.    Focus on your future.
Think about it:  It’s the only place we have to go.  There’s a proverb that says, “He who does not look ahead, remains behind.”

Make sure you have your copies of The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership For the Self and of The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life.  Both will help with defining your vision and committing to it.

Let me leave you with this…
What specific destination are you steering your life toward right now? 
And what are doing about it?
Shoot for the moon. For even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.