Can Versus Will

This year isn’t about knowing you can. Those of us in developed countries with the foresight required to be reading professional development material all know that we can do anything we set our minds to. The question is “Will you do what you can do?”

I’m tired of seeing people who are less skilled, less competent, and less passionate than I doing better than me in the things I know I should be doing. So, this year, I’m knocking down doors to get where I need to be AND to get paid a fair amount in those spaces. Why? Not because I can but because I will. Will you?

And this isn’t just about your professional or entrepreneurial goals. In October, though I never had, I knew I could run 60+ miles but I didn’t know I would until I had 10 days remaining to run the last 35 miles. In college, though I never had, I knew I could graduate but it wasn’t until that fifth year that I knew I would. Make this stuff happen. This is your life. Put in the time. Ask for constructive criticism. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He called you by putting a fire in you to make something happen. That’s your calling. Step up to the plate. Now is the time. What are you going to do this year that you’ve never done?

 

Make knowing you will a priority.

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“I Want To…”

“Would you rather fail because you cut corners to get to the finish line or succeed by running past the finish line?” — Deryle A. Daniels, Jr.

At this point in my life, there is no such thing as “I want to _____,” and not doing it. I may not be able to succeed in it at that moment but I realize that if I want something, I must take steps to make it happen. It won’t always be easy or comfortable but I can do it. If I want to run a marathon, I can do it. If I want to bench 400 pounds, I can do it. And if I want to become debt free and have $1M, I can do it.

The trick is in giving yourself a challenging but realistic timeline for everything, one which includes a plan. I’m not going to do a half tomorrow but, being that I’ve run 11 miles at one time before, I know 13 isn’t impossible. I just have to train my body to get back to that. I don’t bench 400 lbs. now (and don’t have a reason to shoot for that goal) but if I wanted to, it’s all about making incremental increases. Financially, if it continues that I am blessed with upward mobility professionally, multiple streams of income, and an ability to save, I will be able to hit that debt-free $1M within the next 5-10 years.

If I want it, pray for it, educate myself on it, and work for it, I can have it. And, in the event that I do the praying and the educating and the work required but don’t get it, I’m alright with that because I am still closer to it than I was when I said I wanted it. Nevertheless, I don’t go into it with that mindset. I go in with the expectation that I will succeed and you should do the same thing.

 

Make getting what you deserve a priority.

You’ve Got The Keys…

I was listening to the new Fabolous and Trey Songz mixtape last night. On one track, Fabolous said “You ever been looking for your keys and they’re right there in your own pocket? See that’s what’s wrong. Sometimes people look for everybody else to give them the keys but they’re right there.” Think about it. How often do you have keys in your pocket and you’re searching around the house for them? Stop looking to everyone else for the keys to your success. You have them in you. Other people will just show you how to use them. When Future says “I got the keys… keys… keys,” know that you can say it right back. You’re in control of your success. You have been equipped with all the resources necessary to take the steps necessary to be awesome.

Take an honest inventory of yourself this evening and figure out how you can pull your own keys out of your pockets.

 

Make professional development a priority.

The Steps

It is a new year (you can pretty much say that for the first month-ish of a year, right?). 2017 (Crazy that I was born 30 years ago). And, to me, that just means that this is a new day. But to some, that means resolutions. What resolutions have you made? What are you going to do differently today that you didn’t do three days ago? My good friend Greg E. Hill always says, every day’s goal should be to be 0.1% better. That should be your goal today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life. Improve yourself bit by bit, day by day. Every day, I want to be a better disciple of Christ. A better husband. A better uncle (and one day, father). A better blogger. A better friend. A better family member. A better professional. A better steward of my body. And, if 1/1/2017 is the day that you date the beginning of that daily change, go for it.

But, to be better, you need benchmarks and a plan. So, whereas, I don’t do resolutions, I do believe that, whenever you decide to change, there must be defined steps. What steps will you take this week that you will thank yourself for next year?  Though I don’t want to tell you what goals to set, I believe that, in this day and age, to be the best relies heavily on your base of knowledge so I’d strongly suggest that you find a book that will make you better at what you do. Make reading more one of your steps toward greatness.

It’s not about your resolutions, but your resolve.

 

Make professional development a priority.

#MambaDay

Tonight is Kobe Bryant’s final game in the National Basketball Association.  The way the man has been looking before games, he may never want to touch a ball again.  This brother has sacrificed his body for the game.  Some say he shouldn’t have come back for this last season but he did because he is one to push through pain and, in my mind, he had a conversation with himself that went like this:

Kobe: Kobe, you’re good, bro.  You’ve won 5 championships.  You were named MVP.  You have played 19 seasons.  Hang it up.

Kobe: I hear you, man.  Really I do.  But I got this.  I want to round it off at 20.

Kobe: I just don’t know if your body can take it anymore.

Kobe: I don’t either but I know it can try.  So that’s what’s going to happen.  For me and for the fans.  But really for me, so I can prove to myself that I am the greatest to ever do it.  Mike didn’t go out on top either but Mike kept pushing himself.  I won’t let him show me up by giving it up before I’ve given it all.

Kobe: Ok.  You got it, man.  But know that your body is going to be beat by the end.

Kobe: And I’m ok with that.  This is what I love.  This is what my body was built like this for.  If it’s done after this, so be it.

If you know me, I’ve never been a Kobe fan.  I have always respected the man’s drive but just never been a Lakers guy.  However, I have always had the utmost respect for Kobe’s God-given talent and even more respect for the determination that took that talent to the next level.

I want to love whatever I end up doing like Kobe loves basketball.  And I think I will.  Professional development is my passion.  Helping young people is my passion.  Branding is my passion.  The three have brought me immense joy and, together, I know that I will run myself ragged to see those three things have a positive impact on the world.

What do you love that much?

 

Make professional development a priority.

The Difference

There is a fundamental difference in the words “difficult” and “uncomfortable.”   Many people say that reaching a level of success is difficult and I won’t say it’s not. But the reason most people won’t be successful is not because of the level of difficulty; it is because of the level of discomfort they feel as they stretch toward their goals.  Think about working out.  You know that discomfort you feel the day after?  That’s growth.  Well the same kind of discomfort is felt when you’re focused on strengthening your skill set.  One saying that’s often spoken in the wrong context is “It’s not rocket science.”  The saying implies one must be a genius to become a rocket scientist.  And, though you must have some semblence of intellect to hold that position, what truly sets many rocket scientists (and other generally successful people) apart is their ability to see past the discomfort and keep pressing toward their goals.  A runner with allergies isn’t going to stop running because he sees pollen on the ground.  He’s going to stay focused and push for as long as he can.  Why?  Because he knows the difference between “difficult” and “uncomfortable.”  And now, so do you.

Be All Three

If you read my last #MotivationalMonday post, you’ll know I was going through it last weekend. I wasn’t succeeding at the pace I had set for myself and it was frustrating. I told one of my good friends about what I was going through and she sent me the following word of encouragement which now sits as my phone’s home screen background.

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Giving up is the easy part. Anyone can do that. But to get the most out of life, you have to keep pushing. Good will come of your determination. It just might take more time and effort than you budgeted.