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I’m deep in my Dream Room as I write this potent piece for you [a space of isolation where I come to produce my true work, free from the attractive distractions that destroy our finest potential].
You’ll find what follows supervaluable if you’re someone amped to get much more premium quality product done in far less time. And set to own your field–while you serve the world.
T.S. Eliot once asked: “Do I dare disturb the universe?”
If you’re a world-changer, I suggest you have to.
…you have to install a vision so large it frightens you to your very core.
…you have to find a mission so close to your heart that you’d take a bullet to protect it.
…you have to build the inner power/resolve/relentlessness so you do whatever it takes to get your ambitions done, even if everyone around you tells you you’re a fool to pursue them.
[I was reflecting earlier this morning on the billionaire who ever so graciously gave me a meeting when I started out as an author + leadership teacher; he strongly suggested that I give up on my dream and return to the safety of my legal career; I appreciate his time but am so grateful I didn’t listen to him].
And so, with vast encouragement for your greatest success and largest impact, I offer you 7 performance behaviors to wire in to automatic if you’re really serious about authentic winning:
#1. Fireproof Your Character. I’ve been spending quiet amounts of time studying the ways of being of Roman military commanders. Yes, they were brave. True, they had fierce loyalty toward their empire. Agreed, they understood how to inspire their followers, so they achieved seemingly impossible things on the field of battle.
Yet–what speaks most acutely to me about these titans of heroism is that they were [in general] people of principles. The best of them performed in a way that was more concerned with an internal compass than exterior approval.
How many people do you know–in this age of selfies, addiction to our devices and oversharing of once private lives–who live in a way that is true to themselves?
So many among us have lost the ability to think for ourselves. To fashion our days on our own terms, aligned with our closest values and ferociously respectful of the virtues we most adore…
…Instead of blindly wearing what the celebrities wear, talking like the famous people talk and chasing a story of success that is impotent, superficial and ultimately, empty.
World-changers play in a whole different arena…
…It’s not about fitting in. It’s about standing out.
…It’s not about popularity. It’s about mastery.
…It’s not about being served. It’s about serving.
My respectful advice for you is to spend even more time than you already do refining your character. Trusting instinct over intellect. Developing wisdom, understanding, dignity, courage + grace.
In a world that has never longed for it so much.
#2. Exploit Your Genius Hours. We all have hours within our days when our productive assets of focus/energy/willpower are at their highest. What separates average performers from World-Changers is those that influence entire markets exploit their most valuable hours to deliver beautiful things instead of wasting them.
Fascinating how common it is to want the rewards of success yet not run the rituals and put in the work demanded to receive those very gifts.
While the excuse-maker is spending precious time watching tv/playing games on their phones/coasting at the office + complaining about the economy, the A-Player is dialling in their focus/rising to their best output/putting in the hours/learning daily + doing whatever it requires to become amazing.
You only have 24 hours each day. Use them well. Because as you live your days, so you craft your life.
#3. Engage in Strengthening Scenarios. I read the other night how Seneca, the philosopher, would advise his students to spend one day a month consuming only water and bread. And sleeping on the floor.
I had dinner in Switzerland with one of the most famous authors on the planet who shared that he took many months away from the world to write a book while living in a spartan motel, with little more than a shoddy bed and an ancient desk in it.
See, hard is more valuable than easy if you’re aiming for legendary.
People who produce exceptional work consistently and lead their games understand that we grow by having the guts to go to the jagged edges of our highest limits on a regular basis. And by so doing, those limits expand.
Consciously put yourself in situations designed to push you to excel. To become stronger. To get better. To learn more. To discover talents + capacities + abilities you never knew you had.
Sure, working and living like this, that’s a formula for a messy, confusing and dangerous life. To me, that’s 1000x a more valuable way to live than spending the best hours of our greatest days watching television in a subdivision.
#4. Invest in Morning Preparation. The reason why excellent warriors engage in extreme training at the beginning of each day is so that when they are at war, they perform at elite levels automatically.
The quality of your practice determines the caliber of your performance.
And all victories are won before you even step onto the field.
Yes, I’ve been evangelizing The 5 AM Club for over 20 years [still writing the book; now in year 3. Yikes!]. But I do it because it’s a truly life-altering routine. At that time of the day, the world is asleep. You have time for yourself. To think, plan, write, meditate, exercise, read and simply be…
…Time to refine your mindset, optimize your Heartset, lift your Healthset + sculpt your Soulset. [I’ve been introducing these new words I’ve created– Heartset/Healthset/Soulset–in my work because, while I believe all the talk about “mindset” is valuable, true success requires training all four Interior Empires].
#5. Upgrade Your SOPs. I recently saw the movie The Founder. All about Ray Kroc, the man who scaled McDonald’s.
Part of his brilliance was to systematize processes. So every burger tastes the same no matter which restaurant you ate it in. So that every fry reflected one of the fundamentals every restaurant tries to get right: consistency.
World-Changers do the same. Precisely.
They have set up what I call “Structures + Systems” to automate the non-essential parts of their lives. And to ensure that even the important parts produce consistently high quality.
My encouragement is to think through what systems you need to install so you’re regularly producing at your absolute best. Then do what all leaders do: Execute on your ideas [because even the smallest of actions is superior to the noblest of intentions].
#6. Pursue Magic. New Standard: Only release work that is at a level of poetry. Watch what starts to happen to you.
Then radiate optimism, kindness, decency and love. And see what unfolds for you.
Next: focus purely on the good in others. And savor the gifts that come back to you.
Life gives you what you give it. Stand for world-class in this age of too much average and you’re pretty much guaranteed an epic journey.
Doesn’t mean it will be easy. [The Great Ones have all suffered the most; the fire purified and developed their heroic instincts].
But I promise you it will be worth it.
#7. Lead from Legacy Versus Scarcity. Been teaching this idea for two decades as well. Even wrote a book on it years ago called Who Will Cry When You Die?
One wisdom tradition states: a wise person thinks about their death every day. A fool, only about a good time.
While the ordinary person is focused on getting through the month, the World-Builder is obsessed with elevating the next generation.
I deeply believe, at the core of my heart, that life lived only for ourselves is a very small life.
To be great is to be helpful. And to become undefeatable–as you follow a Mighty Mission that is larger than your ego.
To walk with the icons, devote yourself to the building of a meaningful legacy.
One that inspires you to bring out the fullness of your natural genius, one that causes you to know powers in you that you didn’t know you had. And one that, at the end of your life, allows you to look back on the way you have conducted yourself and say…
“…I had times in the sun. I had seasons in the rain. I reached for my best. I raised others with me. And now, in a state of vast peace, I leave our world better than I found it.”
You’re meant to make a difference. This is your time. Now is your moment. Begin.
With love + respect…
Your fan always,