By Gino Blefari
This week my travels found me first in Denver for a meeting with the team at Kentwood Real Estate and president/CEO Gretchen Rosenberg. The theme of the meeting was “Rooted in Excellence” and I spoke about creating an unstoppable mindset and routine.
From the mountains, it was off to The Lone Star State to collaborate in Dallas with Corporate Magic on ways to make our 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention the best one yet, which is my number one goal to accomplish in Nashville.
Last week, we talked about the mindset you must develop, maintain and grow to achieve your goals. And if you aren’t there yet, as long as you’re evolving, you’re still where you need to be. According to the Law of Accumulation, success is the result of hundreds or even thousands of tiny sacrifices you make – the late nights, the hours of intense focus on the presentations, the books you read – that compound over time to create incredible success. If you can get just a little bit better every day, then you’re on a path of continuous improvement. Remember, once you think you know it all your slide to mediocrity has already begun.
When you wake up in the morning, think to yourself: Can I become just 1% better today than I was yesterday? That’s a 7% improvement each week or 30% in an average month, 365% better in a year. Personal improvement compounds over time to generate long-term results.
The term “improvement” is an interesting word to dissect. Improvement means different things for different people. However, the tactics to improvement are basically universal. Here are a few key concepts you can implement into your daily routine to positively and endlessly evolve:
- Commit to reading or listening to one book for one hour each day. If an hour seems like a long time, the hour doesn’t have to be completed all at once. I like to listen to a book during a portion of my workout or on a long drive with my phone on Do Not Disturb mode, so I’m not distracted. Many times, I listen to an audio book right before I go to bed, which calms my mind. If you use Audible, you can set a timer for a short listening session. For instance, let’s say you feel tired enough that you’ll fall asleep in 30 minutes. Set the recording to go for thirty minutes and it’s perfectly OK to fall asleep while the book is still going. Just remember the next day to push the start back the recording about 15 minutes. At worst case, you get a review of what you heard last night and at best case, you don’t miss a thing. Also, reading a book once is often not enough to digest its insights. One of my mentors Jim Rohn once told me you’re better off listening or reading to the same book four times than listening or reading to four different books.
- Review and rewrite your Wildly Important Goals each morning. In the minutes after you wake up, take time to write down your Wildly Important Goals and review them throughout the day. This programs them into the non-conscious portion of your brain and activates your mental abilities to subconsciously make decisions and generate ideas that will move you toward accomplishing those goals.
- Plan your day well in advance. Plan the day the night before. Plan the week the Sunday before. Plan the month the day before the month begins and plan your year in advance. In fact, planning the month is the reason why team members should set 10 commitments each month because it forces each member to plan the month in advance to complete the activities necessary for getting those commitments done.
- On a related note to planning, when you write down your daily tasks for the following day, put your hardest tasks first. Once you tackle your hardest tasks, the feeling of accomplishment will carry you through the rest of the day. For all to-dos on your list, concentrate on the activities that make the most valuable use of your time.
- Ask yourself these two questions after every experience to unlock even more potential: First, what did I do well? Second, what can I do better next time? Write down your answers and review them frequently. For instance, after you finish a sales call, identify the positive aspects of that call. Next, critically analyze the experience to see what you can do better next time. Unsuccessful people harp on the negative aspects of an experience and are therefore more likely to repeat them. Successful people focus on the positive, and program their non-conscious mind to duplicate positive attributes the next time a similar experience occurs.
- Treat everyone with equal importance. From the concierge who checks you into a hotel to a big, prospective client, everyone should be treated with equal compassion and respect. When you treat people well, they’ll treat you well in return and your business and professional network will naturally grow through mutual warmth and kindness.
Another mental state tied inextricably to improvement is optimism, which is really the measure of your mental health and level of internal positivity. Just as we go to the gym to become more physically fit, there are ways we can strengthen our mindset to become more optimistic leaders:
- Constantly think about what you want and how you’ll get it. What we think, we become. Our minds do not like vacuums or empty spaces and so when we have one, we mentally fill it with For negative people, this vacuum is filled with negative thoughts. Positive people fill voids of thought with uplifting and inspiring ideas. When you recognize a negative thought passing through your mind – “I can’t do this” or “I’ll never accomplish this” – try an exercise to interrupt the pattern. Simply tell yourself “STOP” then immediately replace the negative thought with a positive one.
- Seek the good, not the bad. Every situation is a gift. Every challenge reveals some stronger part of you that wasn’t there before. Whether it’s an emotional, financial or physical roadblock, the experience itself contains wisdom you couldn’t learn any other way. Many of the brightest business minds recognize pain is one of the most powerful triggers toward personal improvement. Without feeling real pain, we cannot experience real growth. Put another way, the more potent the pain, the more powerful the progress.
- Just as you feed your body with nourishing food, fuel your mind with mental nourishment. Whether it’s a stirring podcast, a motivating book or even an inspiring conference, when you satisfy your hunger for improvement with a steady diet of positive, optimistic sustenance, you will build a more positive, optimistic mindset every day.
So, what’s the message? Incredible achievement to some seems like a lofty, intangible state of existence. But to leaders dedicated to steadfast execution and goal-accomplishment, achievement is simply a biproduct of powerful mental activities that train the mind to become sharper, more focused and more positive. Bottom line? Achievement is possible and probably for anyone willing to unceasingly improve.