Greg Knopp, one of my college fraternity brothers, now lives in Washington DC and serves as the Executive Director, Political Affairs for the American Council of Engineering Companies. In a recent newsletter to his members, Greg shared the following:
“After 35 years in the advocacy business, the best secret I’ve learned about growing your organization (or yourself, for that matter) is that there are no secrets. What makes a real difference is a commitment to the fundamentals, to what Covey referred to as “principles.” Jim Rohn put it this way: “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals. ”It’s not fun. It’s not sexy. It requires focus, hard work and patience. But when you trust both the process and yourself, you will see results.”
Wow…what a great reminder on how to live – thank you Greg! In fact, it inspired me to revisit another great article, “How to Live With Purpose Every Single Day,” by strategist and author Benjamin Hardy. Like Greg, Ben shares the “principles” to living each work day with passion and purpose. If your New Year’s resolutions in that regard have been long abandoned, time to reboot. Read the following excerpts from Ben’s article and recommit to greatness – you are worth it!
Today can be as great as you want it to be. But sometimes we feel powerless to change our life and circumstances. That’s a complete lie. Give one or two of these a try and watch what happens:
#1 – Have a Weekly Reflection and Planning Session
“The game is won or lost before it begins – John Wooden
One day per week (my preference is Sunday), take 10-30 minutes reflecting on your past six days. Ask yourself the following questions:
Who did I not meet this week that I should have?
What did I not do that I should have?
What did I miss?
What should I tighten up?
With this awareness empowering you, make better plans for the next six days. Then, in six days do all of this again. This one step can dramatically improve the quality of your weeks.
#2 – At the end of each day, make your game plan for tomorrow
“Never begin the day unless it is finished on paper.” – Jim Rohn
If you wake up without a plan you will undoubtedly bounce from thing to thing without really doing anything. It’s so much more powerful to wake up with a purpose. To be intrinsically pulled out of your bed rather than clinging desperately to your tired body, without a clear reason to get up. Taking just a minute or two at the end of your day to make a game plan for the next day will provide you the needed structure to purposefully move.
#3 – Focus on today, not tomorrow
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought fort the things of itself” – Jesus Christ
During your day, don’t worry about anything else. Follow your plan. Crush it. Live today to the fullest and be the person you intend to be.
#4 – Three Month Energy Cycles
When it comes to your future, have three vantage points:
Your lifetime vision of WHY – 10-25 years out
Your Long Term Goals – 3 years
Your Actual Goals – the next 3 months
Framing your actual goals in 3 month increments gives you a clear and realistic future to sprint towards. Of course these goals are based upon your longer term goals and your lifetime vision. However, your three month goals are your main focus.
And like your weekly planning sessions, at the end of every 3 months, spend a few hours or even a full day reflecting on your previous three months. Make any adjustments you need and make better plans for the next 3 months.
#5 – Organize Yourself
“Happiness lies in the cultivation of the garden.” – Voltaire
Your life is a garden, cultivate it.
Organize yourself. Clean out the weeds. It doesnt matter how long it takes. The very act of cultivating your garden will enliven you. You
Will never be finished but every day, week and year you can make your garden a little more beautiful and fruitful. So:
Clean up your finances;
Clean up how you use your time;
Clean up your relationships;
Cultivate. Just a little bit every day.
#6 Finally, always chose the harder road
Perfection is not the goal. However, consistently making better choices is the only way to get momentum. And momentum is exactly what you need. It take some work pumping the water-well to get it going. But it’s worth it. And it really only takes one great day to get you moving. You are one great day away from having a breakthrough. Don’t worry about the output when you’re trying to build momentum. Instead, just get yourself to do whatever you feel you need to do. You will feel hope and optimism when you’re done.
So, when you woke up today, how did you feel today was going to go? I challenge you to wake up tomorrow with this thought, “Today can be as great as I want it to be.” Then make it so.
Thanks Greg and thanks Ben. And readers – let’s begin now to make each day GREAT!