Profile Of A Champion: Goals, The Mind, And Mastery Of Emotions

In my experience, goals, the mind, and emotions are like a three legged stool. If one leg is removed, the stool would inevitably fall. Without goals, we experience emotions of confusion, anxiety, and frustration. Without the right mindset, we see people without enough belief in themselves to even start or get close to accomplishing their goals. And last, without mastery over emotions, each obstacle, setback, and dip in the journey presents itself as an impossible challenge. Alas, it’s only through the presence of all three, their intimate and interdependent relationship, that allow the champion to live a life of achievement and fulfillment.

None more important than the others, when you see all three aligned with intention, the cumulative effects are powerful. It presents itself clearly in the way the champion shows up for life. It’s so obvious, that I had heard stories of this specific champion before I had even met her. I’d heard stories about her confidence, enthusiasm, and influence during Venture for Canada selection day. I was told that she dominated the challenges and unlike me, was unfazed by the tough questions and competition. Finally, in May of 2017, we met and I understood why.

Do you remember the last time you saw someone that walked with purpose? Who’s presence and energy was magnetic? Who, when you met them for the first time, your immediate impression was that they were different? I do. And when I met Sharita I knew I wanted to show up for life how she showed up. I knew I wanted to deconstruct what made her such a high performer so that you and I could do the same.

Sharitas headshot

Raised as a first generation Canadian, her parents, a Micro Biologist and a Chemist, helped Sharita cultivate a love for athletics and knowledge. Much the same as many of the champions I’ve come to know and admire, she is highly motivated and extremely competitive in all of her pursuits. A recent graduate from the Honours Environment and Business co-op program at the University of Waterloo, Sharita is a fellow with Venture for Canada, a dedicated pole dancer, has Shakespeare tattoos, and is crushing Sales at Georgette Packaging. Her unique philosophy on goal setting, and the mindset required to accomplish those goals, will prove incredibly useful on our continuous journey to embody the profile of a champion.

Goals

Goal setting for blog

Personally, I’ve never liked goals. In fact, I really resisted them up until the last 4 years. Even when I did try to write them down, it proved extremely challenging. Do you notice how heavy a pen feels when you try to write down your goals? Do you notice when we start writing how limited they get? I know I’m not alone. I never wrote down my goals for same reason most people don’t, because we know we aren’t going to keep our word.

The champion on the other hand, holds goals contextually in a completely different way! Sharita for one, has a personal philosophy on goal setting that I found inspiring. She believes,

“It’s okay to set impossible goals. But, every step to that goal has to be meticulously calculated and very real.”

All you need to do to know why it’s important to set goals is to observe someone who is up to something. Those like Sharita, who are out to achieve, have a different spark. They show up in life with a different demeanor about them. There’s something attractive about people who are intending to do something. Why? Because what you’re seeing is a human beings true self expression.

In one of my favourite posts everDr Maxwell Maltz demonstrated human beings are obviously like bicycles. If a bicycle isn’t headed towards something it loses it’s equilibrium and falls over. You and I are designed exactly like that emotionally! If we aren’t going towards something, if we have no goal, our life forces and energies are splintered and splattered. And it’s clear from the first eighteen years of my life, we cannot produce results like that.

When I met Sharita I could tell she was a goal setter. She sets goals because like me, and perhaps like you right now, she knows how it feels to be without a goal. In 2011, Sharita broke her shoulder playing soccer. Highly competitive and aggressive on the field, she fell battling for the ball with another player. With her arm stretched out, the other player landed on her shoulder shattering multiple bones. Ready to play varsity soccer in University, it was one of the first times Sharita was without a direction.

Can she be an athlete anymore? Should she continue to pursue science? Would she even go to University? Like many high school students today, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. Worse, she had no goal or direction motivating her to make a decision and move forward. It was one of the darkest and most mentally challenging times of her life.

I wish we could get all the high school students that are confused about their future to read this… There are consequences to having no direction! Remember, if we’re not moving towards something it’s easy for us to just fall right over. What shows up for those who have no goals is uncertainty, anxiety, confusion, and often times even depression. All these emotions are is a warning sign that we’re out of sync!

Why set goals like the champion? Because it is consistent with our nature. It’s consistent with the machinery of how we’re made as human beings. Not only does it garner your focus and energies to get things done, it compels us to reach out and achieve.

The Mind

The mind for the blog

On a biological level, the mind is extremely complex. On the other hand, on a practical level the mind is extremely simple. Further, the worlds most profound philosophical literature has preached the importance of positive thinking and the protection of our minds for thousands of years.

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelis

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” – Confucius

To break it down, on a practical level, there are only two parts to the mind. The thinker and the prover. 

The thinker thinks.

The prover proves.

What does the prover prove? Simple, whatever the thinker thinks. Let’s explore two examples:

A) I can’t do it. That was my thought pattern for the first eighteen years of my life. With plenty of talent, work ethic, and ability, I lacked the belief in myself to think that I could win. Now, the proving part of my mind had to bring into my experience the actual events and criteria that say’s I’m right! You can’t do it… I manifested I can’t do it over and over and over again for eighteen years. I talked myself out of opportunities, I failed when I should have succeeded, and I gave up far too quickly on challenges where I should have persevered.

The thinker thinks and the prover proves.

B) I can do it. That was Sharita’s thought pattern her whole life. The thinker thinks, what must her prover prove? The prover must bring into her experience all of the events and criteria that say’s you’re right! You can do it… Sharita told me about a business pitch contest at Waterloo’s Social Incubator last year. Students had been working on business plans, financial projections, and scripts for months. With less than six hours before the start of the event she was asked to participate!

Most people including me would have backed off and said there wasn’t enough time to prepare. Sharita on the other hand didn’t question herself, the time, or if she had enough information. She read the description and immediately knew she could do it. In less than six hours, with one piece of paper and three powerpoint slides, Sharita pitched her idea with full confidence knowing that she had what it took to win. What do you think her prover did in those moments? Surprise, surprise, she showed up with conviction winning the entire competition and a fellowship with the Incubator.

The thinker thinks and the prover proves.

When you set a goal, and lay it on top of a foundation full of negative thoughts and self doubt, it’s a recipe for disaster. But, when you tackle your goals head on with the belief that you can do this. You deserve to be a winner. You were born to be a winner. And that you have all the confidence, all the skills, and all of the resources needed to accomplish your goals, your prover will bring into your life all of the experiences that are in exact agreement with the thinker.

Do not discount the simplicity of this process. The champion forces themselves to develop an empowering self-image. They force themselves to think positive thoughts. They understand what Marcus Aurelius said when he wrote that our life is what our thoughts make it. Think, and prove your way to embodying the champion.

Mastery of Emotions

emotions for the blog

From the moment we’re born, we’re fashioning our character out of our emotional responses to the world around us. I believe that emotions exist so that we can manipulate, dominate, and control everything in our experience. Think about this… When you were a baby, you’d cry and you’d get your mother or father’s response. You had a behaviour that elicited the response you wanted, so you continued that behaviour.

This is true for both the negative emotions we experienced in life as well as the positives. If we had a behaviour (public speaking, asking someone out, trying to make a joke, etc) that elicited an emotion or response we didn’t like, we cut off that behaviour all together. For the most part, this is done completely unconsciously. Therefore, for most people, they’ve unknowingly designed their life around the avoidance of the uncomfortable emotions they’ve decided are most uncomfortable for them. Sit with that for a second.

We have emotions that we’ve voted on to be so severe for us to experience that we have shaped our entire lives out of the avoidance of those emotions. Emotions like failure, undeserving, unlovable, not good enough. But the champion doesn’t do that. The champion understands that nobody attached meaning to those emotions except them. They’ve discovered that if you are unwilling to include those emotions and master their own response, they’re going to lose! There is no other reason on this planet that will make the average person lose other than their emotions.

I love Sharita’s story because she proved mastery over emotions at a very young age. When she was a teenager she played for the best soccer team in the Province. Her coach was well known for being disciplined and blunt. In fact, he was so harsh that many girls on their team would cry and quit after being given feedback on poor performance. Sharita recalls one terrible game specifically  where  her coach brought her aside after the game. He said that she could leave the team if she wanted to. That if she was going to stay she would need to step up and make a real contribution. He went on to say that her mediocre performance wasn’t going to cut it on that team.

This is where most people are slapped in the face with feelings of anger, disappointment, embarrassment and resentment. This is where most people quit. Sharita, however, displayed true mastery of her emotions. She immediately started practicing an extra three-five hours a day. She started going to camps where they taught high performance soccer skills. Unlike the runners up in life, when faced with difficult emotions instead of getting bitter, the champion decides to get better.

As you think about handling your emotions in your own life, remember that, just like you, Sharita had a choice. In those moments of adversity, challenge, and even disappointment, we get to decide the theme, or meaning that we attribute to the events in our lives. Nobody else get’s to decide the way you feel about what happens to you in life except for you. Don’t make yourself the victim of your own thinking. Rise up like the champion and attach new meaning to the emotions in life that make you feel uncomfortable.

Do This. 

  1. Write Down Your Goals– Ask yourself whether or not you have written down clearly defined goals for the second half of this year. If not, why not? Do you think you won’t keep your word? Are you afraid of success? Afraid of failure? Do you need an accountability partner to hold your ass to the fire? Whatever the reason, know that the excuses are only lies, do not rationalize. Take the evening to map out what you want and how you’re going to get there.
  2. Be honest about your thoughts- Because our thoughts are unconscious it’s challenging to pick up whether or not our thinker is helping to empower us. The easiest way to know is to check the fruit. If your thoughts are the seeds you’ve planted in your life, how are the results? Are you accomplishing the goals you set out to achieve? Did you lose that weight you wanted to? Did you hit that quota you set your sights on? Did you start that blog/business/video you wanted? Or have you procrastinated and made excuses as to why it’s a bad time to start. If the fruit is bad, there’s a good chance the seeds are bad too.
  3. Seek out discomfort- One of the quickest and most effective ways I’ve found to build mastery over emotions is to expose yourself to discomfort. My personal favourite are waking up early, taking ice cold showers every morning, and public speaking. Choose something small to start and slowly make your way to mastery over the emotions that make you feel uncomfortable.
  4. Re-read this post- Fundamentally, all of the other attributes of the champion, lay on top of your goals, the mind, and the mastery of your emotions. These three pillars are the foundation for your character and future success. Invest the time in yourself to understand where you have a weakness in one of these three areas and bring it up to par!

Leave a comment and let me know which of the three you’re going to start working on! I’m working with my accountability partner Ryan to have a clearer view of my goals and the steps and behaviours required to get them completed.

Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change the direction.”

-J

Out.

Plan Your Path

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”- Jim Rohn

Setting an intention is not enough. Making a declaration won’t cut it. Without a clear, detailed plan, screaming out your window that you’re going to be the world’s greatest just makes you crazy. Okay, even with a plan, you’re probably still a bit crazy…

Everyone talks about goals. Every personal development guru preaches goals as the key to success. Because of that I find most people take the idea for granted and do not have clearly defined goals. If I was to ask you to show me your list of goals for tomorrow, this week, month, year, and long term, what would you say? Would you say, “that’s a good question, let me think about it,”or would you say, “hold on, let me get my journal out of my bag and I’ll show you.” For the sake of you and your families future, I hope your answer is the latter.

Planning your path is simple, but it’s not easy. Most people, including myself for the first 18 years of my life, will never write out, take action on and achieve their meticulously planned out list of goals.

“The key to success, is doing what the failures won’t.”

Guess what the failures of our society aren’t doing… They’re not planning their path! I am, and after today, so will you. Let’s walk you through how. There are only 3 parts to successful goal setting: reasons, specifics and a formula for achievement.

Reasons

5am picture for blog

Do you think I love waking up at 5am? Do you think my accountability partner Ryan loves waking up at 4am? Hell no. We would both love to get 9 hours of sleep every night! Why do we do it? We have enough reasons. Personally, I love the way it makes me feel to have complete control and discipline over myself. I get excited knowing that when most people are sleeping, I can get the slightest leg up day by day. I have enough reasons. For Ryan, he trains his personal training clients at 5, 6 and 7 am. He disciplines himself because he loves what he does. He feels gratitude everyday knowing that he’s able to change people lives and do what he’s passionate about.

 

Your goals, your level of desire, your vision  for your future can explode to new heights if you only had enough reasons. Here are a few to ponder. Decide today what reasons will help you live the life of your dreams.

  1. Personal reasons– Are you driven by:
    1. Recognition?
    2. Respect?
    3. Mastery?
    4. Legacy?
    5. The way it makes you feel? Those are all good reasons. I have some millionaire friends who keep working 10-12 hours a day, not because they need the money, but because they need the joy and satisfaction of being a constant winner!
  2. Family Reasons– Some people do extremely well for other people. Human beings can greatly effect each other! In fact, we’ll often do things for other people that we would never do for ourselves.
    1. Example 1: Andrew Carnegie. They found a note written in his desk at the end of his life. At the age of 20, Andrew wrote on his goal card, “I’m going to spend the first half of my life accumulating money. I’m going to spend the second half of my life giving it all away.” Andrew got so inspired by that goal of affecting other people, in the first half of his life he accumulated $450,000,000. He spent the second half of his life giving it all away.
    2. Example 2: I’m so driven by the aim of retiring my dad, I’ll do anything for him. I’ll work three jobs. I’ll wake up at 4am every day. Anything. A good question to ask yourself is who will you work harder for than you would for yourself?
  3. Nitty Gritty Reasons- 
    1. Jim Rohn tells an incredible story about one of his friends named Bobby. He writes that as an unhappy school teacher Bobby decided he would get into sales. Bobby’s brother thought he was crazy! He had a great job, it paid well and it was secure. His brother, made fun of him, put him down and told his whole family he would go broke. Bobby got so mad at the way his brother treated him, he decided to get rich. Is it possible to get that mad? Hell yes! It turns out wealth is not a matter of intelligence, it’s a matter of inspiration! Bobby quickly became one of Jim’s millionaire friends and to this day is a great example of nitty gritty reasons for achievement.

What pisses you off? Who pisses you off? Ask yourself. Get a long enough reasons so after today you never lack for inspiration.Which reasons will get you bombed out of sight to get up early, stay up late and hit it all day? Enough reasons will forever alter your life.

Specifics For Goal Setting

goals setting picture

There are two parts to goal setting, long range and short range goals.

  1. Long range goals– These are your dreams! These are your goals for the next 3-5-10-20-40 years. Actually the rest of your life.There’s a bible phrase that says that without visions people parish! You’ve got to have something to go after that inspires the heart and the soul. Ask yourself:
    1. Where do you want to go?
    2. What do you want to do?
    3. What do you want to be?
    4. What do you want to see?
  2. Short range goals– These are your goals for tomorrow,  this week, this month, this year. I focus intensely on short range goals with my accountability partnership. First, the world changes and we change… Therefore long range goals may also change over time. However, short range goals are confidence boosters. If you set up something short range, go for it, work hard,  accomplish it, that starts building your confidence for going for your dreams!

Both long and short range goals have three categories.

  1. Economic goals– These are your goals for money, income, business, or profits. Make sure you have them well planned! Economics plays a major role one everyone’s life. That’s why they should be meticulously planned for this week, this month, this year, and long range. What if I asked you tomorrow if I could see your meticulously well planned list of economic goals? Remember, it’s worth repeating that success is doing what the failures won’t do. Make sure you’ve got your economics well planned. It will put you in the top 5 percent.
  2.  Things- This is a fun one. These are the things you want! Little things as well as major things. Put everything on your list. It doesn’t matter how small! Load your list with everything… Cars, homes, watches, a gym membership, books, a lamp… everything! Part of the fun of having a list is checking it off! 
  3.  Personal development goals- These are your goals to be stronger, be a speaker, be a leader, learn a language, all kinds of skills.  You attract what you want by the person you become. Skills are what attracts. Make never ending improvement a high priority in your life and get started on your list of personal development goals.

**** NOTE

When you check off something major, celebrate! Have a party when you reach something you’ve worked a while for. We grow from two experiences, the pain of losing or the joy of winning. We need both of them. Amplify them as much as you can. Which also means, make losing painful! If you didn’t get it, because you fooled around or procrastinated, be hard on yourself! But, if you worked hard and you did get it, live it up!

Formula For Goal Achievement

achieving-goals-pic.jpg

  1.  Work on your goals- Setting goals is hard work. There’s no point in kidding you. That’s why a lot of people just let goal setting slide. They hear it’s key, they know it’s important, but as I mentioned, goal setting is simple but not easy. Part of the work involved is called planning your path. I know most people won’t. But, don’t let that be you.
  2. Write your goals down- Put your goals in your journal. It allows your accountability partner to help keep you on track. It shows you’re serious about doing better. And to do better, you need to get serious. Everyone hopes things will get better. If you’re not serious, 5 years from now you’ll wake up wearing what you don’t want to wear, driving what you don’t want to drive and being what you don’t want to be. Now is the time to get serious about your goals!
  3. Take massive action on your plan- Go all in. Push yourself. When roadblocks come up and you don’t feel like it’s worth it, remember all the reasons you started. Keep taking action. Move past your threshold of comfort and you will see massive growth and achievement. Make adjustments when necessary, but make sure you tackle your goals aggressively.

Congratulations! This has simultaneously been my longest and most important post. Having a clear direction has not only helped me over come depression, but it’s helped me  grow my first 6 figure ARR gross sales business, become an award winning public speaker and a 2017 Fellow with Venture For Canada.

Do this:

If you’re serious about planning your path, leave a comment! I will personally reach out and work with you to hold you accountable for your goals. I’m going to retire my dad. What do you want?

Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.

-J

Out.