Demand Excellence of Yourself

ExcellenceSlide1It’s crazy to think it was twenty eight years ago that I won a national championship in Greco-Roman wrestling. But, alas, it was. And it wasn’t an easy path to that accomplishment. Nothing great ever is. It required a lot of dedication, hard work, and persistance. It was a great achievement, and one I’m proud of. But it wasn’t and isn’t the pinnacle of my life.

Life isn’t about the goals or achievements that we hit. I believe life is about influencing people with Truth, and the most effective way to do that is to pursue excellence in all areas of our lives.

Do you demand excellence of yourself? Do I demand it of myself? Too often we expect others to be excellent in their endeavors yet not require the same of ourselves. As Dan Hawkins video below explains, we see this scenario played out within professional sports all the time. Couch potatoes and armchair quarterbacks all over the globe scream and holler at their teams to perform and “do what they were paid to do” and yet are often some of the greatest slackers of all.

Imagine if our children, family members, and close friends watched our lives as we watch our sports teams. Would they be cheering or jeering? Would they give us high fives when we walk in the door, or would they make us do sprints as discipline for a shabby performance.

Let’s make a decision to be men and women of excellence. Let’s be excellent parents, spouses, leaders, employees, entrepreneurs, and everything in between. People are watching our life performances. Let’s give them something to cheer about.

 

danhawkins

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Press On!

I read the following story at a business meeting last night in Rifle, CO. I subscribe to Dan Waldschmidt’s blog and when this one reached my inbox, it took me a few days to read it because the title didn’t really resonate with me. Not a good reason to pass on it for so long, for as soon as I read it I was convicted. I had to ask myself some crucial questions (again).

The primary question I had to ask myself was, “Am I really willing to do whatever it takes to succeed?” Obviously, when I ask that question its within the context of being legal, moral, and ethical, but am I truly willing to do whatever it takes? For that is the ultimate question when it comes to success- no matter what we are trying to be successful at.

I won a national championship in Greco-Roman wrestling back in the day, and I was willing to pay the price to do so. It required a twelve years of sacrifice, dedication, focus, competition, mental toughness, and endurance.

Unfortunately, even former successful people, are prone to make excuses rather than make sacrifices. After all, in the short term, making an excuse to not do what it takes is easier than changing, sacrificing, and going through pain to do what it takes. But in the end, the pain of regret is much worse, than the reward of achievement.

So, if I know that I must do XYZ to reach my goal (which will include sacrifice, pain, frustration, struggle, mental toughness, and on and on), then I HAVE to figure out how to make it happen. Otherwise there will be no success in my life. Period.

So with all that, I highly recommend you read the story of Kieran Behan (and pass it along to others) who is still chasing his dream, just as each of us are. You have greatness inside you. Let this story inspire you to rise up and do what you were placed on this planet to do.

Click on Dan’s image below.

edgy
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The Top 10 Mistakes People Make Building Life

This is simply a short but excellent list of reasons why we in LIFE may not be succeeding, but also why anyone may not be succeeding in the game of life.

Source: The Top 10 Mistakes People Make Building Life

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Life on Life Helps Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity Be a Blessing

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Habitat for Humanity is a widely popular worldwide 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that builds healthy, affordable homes for qualifying families. Most people have heard of DSC_0009this great organization, but few have heard of the Life on Life Initiative which is a Life sponsored program dedicated to helping people gain functional freedom through literacy and other necessary life skills. Life is a company dedicated to setting people free through offering world-class educational programs in the areas of financial, professional, and personal development. But what we do best is Community. We build communities that work together to help one another live the life they’ve always wanted.

So when John and Cheri began their journey with Life’s Team Courageous Altitude Division, and we learned they were working with Habitat to have a new home built for them, we jumped on board. Afterall, building communities that encourage, support, and work together is what we do. So last summer, a group of Team Courageous men and women made the trip to Empire, CO and put in a day’s work on John and Cheri’s future home.

Project Manager, Bill, was asked what his favorite part about working with Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity was and without hesitancy he said, “When I hand the key off to the new home owner and see in them the joy of having not just a house but a home.”

Many thanks are due the crew that worked to help the Caldwell’s dream become a reality. Thank you Tavia Bourret for organizing this very enjoyable day of service. And thank you David Hazelton, Norm and Nancy Bacheldor, Miguel and Ana Ruiz, Malcom Partyka, Elora Devito, Micah Feller, Bryan and Courtnee Vashus, …

John and Cheri have finished closing on their house and are now comfortably living in their new Habitat for Humanity home. We are so thankful we were able to play a small part in helping this dream come true for them.

 

 

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An Impactful Walk

I don’t know why I didn’t publish this blog. I remember writing it. I remember how powerful this experience was. Yet, I find myself going through my drafts and lo and behold, there it was waiting to be published. So I read it. And it is truly is impactful. It reminds me of the poem The Dash by Linda Ellis. I recommend you read that poem, and I recommend  you read this blog.

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It was a Sunday afternoon, and I found myself jumping out of my skin. I just wasn’t comfortable sitting at home. I needed to get out of the house, so I went on a walk.

I made my way to a nearby cemetary and found myself wandering around the various tombstones. Without any intent, I found myself reading the dates, names, quotes, and in some cases, the stories engraved on them.

photo (14)It wasn’t long before I began asking myself a number of questions. “What does it mean to live a life that matters? Did the lives of these people matter? Who were they?” As I looked around the hundreds of graves, some showed the signs of family and friends who still visit them as some were decorated with flowers, toys, wreaths, and jewelry. More questions came to my mind, “What about all the graves that were seemingly abandoned? Where are their families? How about their friends? How many generations does it take before a person is long forgotten? How does one truly leave a legacy?”

Then something happened that I truly was not prepared for. I was drawn to a newer looking tombstone that was heavily decorated and was engraved with a name and included a picture I recognized. It was the gravesite for a young man that I coached in wrestling when he was only a freshman in high school. I remembered his story, for it was one that shook the community.

photo (15)When I coached him, he was a troubled young man that was desperately searching for approval. By the end of the season he was tearful in his thanks towards us coaches for encouraging and believing in him. Unfortunately, that was the only year that I coached him. A few years later, around his senior year in high school, I read in the newspaper that he had committed suicide.

As I looked at his tombstone, all the past thoughts about what I could have done better, what if I had kept coaching this young man, and the like, came flooding into my mind. I was truly overwhelmed with emotion. I stood there taking in the thoughts and memories along with all the previous moment’s I’ve thought about legacy and living a life that matters and was stunned. I simply was not prepared to have such a simple stroll turn into a potentially life-altering moment.

What are you and I doing to make a difference in the lives of others? How are we living our lives? What will we be remembered for? Are we doing everything within our power to live a life that counts for something worthy? Are we maximizing our potential? Or, are we simply trying to get by? Are we living for the weekends, for a little recreation inbetween our hours and days at work? Maybe we are simply doing what we can to pay the bills, throwing in a few good works here and there, and playing when we can. Perhaps this shoe fits better. Maybe we are simply “doing pretty good” and happy with our lives that tend to be centered around ourselves. Only the individual who asks themselves these questions can truly answer them.

It is my prayer for me (and is my prayer for you as well) that my life be lived with a courage and conviction towards my God-given purpose that affects eternity. I realize that I am far, far short of this lofty endeavor, but that does not excuse me from making choices right now to move towards that end. I believe lives, marriages, relationships, and legacies hang in the balance. Choose to live a life that gives hope to others. In doing so, maybe, just maybe, you won’t come across the tombstone of someone you wish you would have had made a bigger impact on.Alifethatmatters

 

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Dreams, Habits, and Time

time is ticking

Time. I once heard it as a cruel master. It continues on without thought of anyone’s hardships, troubles, pains, fears, tragedies or decisions. It gives no second chances and never slows down to allow us to catch up. It doesn’t even stop to celebrate with us in our highest moments or to rejoice with us in life’s victories. It just keeps moving forward every second, minute, day, month, and year after year after year. Even death does not slow down time.

Yet, time can be an amazing ally. For those who choose to understand how to leverage time and allow it to be a multiplier of good, great achievements can be attained. Whether financially, personally, or even spiritually, time can be our greatest leverage point if we will but develop the habit of patience and perseverence.

Here is a link to a short but empowering blog by one of the world’s top leadership professionals mentor, and leader of my company (who I will follow to the end). There are so many awesome nuggets within it, but a few particularly stood out to me.

“If you are going to have a dream, then make it a big dream, because the worst thing that can happen with small dreams is they come true.”

“I believe a person’s habits will eventually be revealed. If good habits, they will produce great results with time, but if bad habits, they will produce bad results with time.”

“A person will never rise higher than his daily habits; therefore, all true change begins with a change in a person’s daily habits.”

“Life is full of drama because sinful people refuse to accept responsibility, but winners think differently, they reject drama and instead focus on dreams by associating with other dreamers.”

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Carl Sandburg said, “Nothing happens unless first we dream.” Do you understand that? Nothing happens, nothing, without first there being a dream. Do you want something to happen in your life? It won’t happen if you don’t first dream it. And the crazy, awesome, powerful reality of this concept is that you and I have control over the size and scope of our dream. But as Orrin said, dream big. For if we dream small, we just might get it and in the end realize, had we dreamed big, we too would have accomplished it as well, and live the remainder of our days in regret.

Any habit in our lives, over time,  is going to produce a harvest in our lives. It does not matter if it is a good habit or bad habit. You absolutely, unequivocally will reap the harvest of the seed you’ve sown in your lives. It’s a natural and spiritual law. Some refer to it as Karma, but I feel that tends to over mystify this simple truth. Your habits determine the results of your life. So if you want to change your life, change your habits, and over time, you…will…change. And this is how you get your dreams. Be sure to examine your habits and determine if they will produce a harvest that includes your dreams. If not, determine what will, and create those habits that will lead you in that direction.

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Who are you associating with? Do they encourage you toward your dreams or lead you towards drama? Association matters. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Who is your association? Are you hanging out with chickens or eagles? Maybe you say you don’t “hang out with anyone,” but watch hours a day of TV. That would be your association. And again, will that association influence you towards your dreams? Life is a team sport. And there are good teams and bad teams and everything in between. I recommend you join a winning team, if you truly want to achieve your dreams.

If you will apply these simple principles, good habits and good association,  to your life and stick to them over time, you can achieve your dreams.

 

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What a Ride It’s Been

I have been pondering, debating, arguing, questioning, and ultimately deciding to write another blog. I just haven’t been sure what angle I wanted to take. Should I write on a topic, simply share some thoughts, or do a Vlog.

Due to these thoughts, I’ve made some short videos of various LIFE experiences but am not overly impressed with any of them.img_6532 Well, that or I don’t feel like putting in the time to edit them and make them more appealing. I’ve also written down some subjects and topics that I’ve been learning about while being part of the greatest leadership community in the world. With that being said (written), it looks like I’m simply going to share some thoughts.

I have now been involved with this LIFE business since it was founded on November 1, 2011. And what a ride it has been. This has been the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced. So just what is the challenge?

As the two or three people who might happen to regularly read my blog know, I am a Christian which simply means I recognize that Jesus saved me I have made Him the Lord of my life and endeavor to live for Him. If anyone asks me what Jesus saved me from, I always say from myself. And that is also the case when I speak of the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced- myself.

Because of this misunderstood, unusual business, I have been constantly learning how to overcome my limited thinking and become the man God has destined me to be. Because of img_6524this business I have a better marriage than I would ever have had. Because of this business I have the best friendships I’ve ever had. Because of this business I have hope in my finances due to the greatest and most complete financial education program in existence. Because of this business I get to work with bank presidents, business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and aspiring leaders to grow and develop their leadership capabilities. Because of this business, and thisfinancialfitness truly is the greatest joy it provides me, I get to lead people to Truth! I simply cannot imagine a better life than the one I get to live.

It’s not been easy. In fact, this has been the most painful, heart wrenching, tumultuous, challenging undertaking I’ve ever attempted. I’ve had every reason to quit and slip back into the status quo with the rest of “average America” and be like the steward who hid his talent in the ground. But because of the vision and hope this opportunity has provided me, I will NEVER settle for merely paying my bills and taking care of “us four and no more.”

God has called me to greatness. God has called me to go into all the world. God has called me to increase, multiply, and be fruitful in all that I do. He has called me to people. And He has lead me to follow the leadership and mentorship of Orrin Woodward and Larry Van Buskirk of LIFE to do all the above.

What a ride it has been. And what a ride it will continue to be. We will reach one million people and beyond, and I’m so thankful that I get to be part of this revolution.

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