Episode 25: Realizing Greatness Within You – Part 3

Good morning! Man, I tell you what a beautiful day to get out and about and start your week with a smile on your face. This is Jimmy Williams for Live a Life by Design thank you again for joining me this morning and giving me just your undivided attention as we go into part three of “Realizing Greatness Within You”. Let’s revisit just a brief moment on what the first two ingredients to realizing greatness within you would be.

You know, part one we discussed how intentionality plays a role in us achieving our goals. Intentionality plays a role in how we want to live our lives in a more deliberate nature that brings us pleasure. It brings us the opportunity to see how we can help others, thereby increasing the pleasure of this life. And in part two, we talked about influence. How we can utilize this particular trait to bring about better people in our midst, in our sphere of friends by attracting those that are appealing to you as you are appealing to them. By your good nature, your smile, your personality, what you do in the world. In other words, what I’m saying to you is your influence can be a powerful trait to realizing greatness. 

You know, the biggest thing though about this process is this next step. You know, we need to consider how do we refresh, how do we recharge, how do we create the future we want if we don’t take the time to review our own conduct. If we don’t take the time each day, each week, to introspectively look at our actions, our philosophy and our beliefs. You know one of the things that I do is weekly take a few moments to myself. Some weeks I may do this two or three times depending on the availability of this quiet space that I’m about to discuss. 

But first and foremost, I like to have a few moments with myself. I got my planner there, I’ve got my goal sheet. I mean you do have yours written, right? Cause if they’re not written they’re merely wishes, right? Merely dreams. But I’ve got my written goal sheet, I’ve got my planner, and I sit down for just 30 minutes even, and give myself some time to introspectively. Now a lot of you say, “Well, I reflect upon what I’ve done this week”, but this is far deeper than a reflection. You know, a reflection of what your actions are, it simply means that I have thought about what had occurred. It doesn’t necessarily look at the philosophy, a deeper means not just your actions, but a deeper means of your thoughts this week. How you perceived yourself to grow as a person. And introspection basically means you must look at your philosophy, and you know, why did I act in that manner when this certain situation or these circumstances presented themselves. How did I conduct myself, am I proud of how I responded to that situation? 


So today, to help you become a bigger, better and bolder you, step three of realizing greatness within you is gonna be about introspection. The real impact of introspection is nothing more than this, know yourself. I have developed six steps of how to create your own introspection strategy that we’ll cover a little later in this episode. But the real impact of introspection is simply knowing yourself. You know, spend quality time, each day or at least each week learning more about yourself. Too often we simply go with the tide. Yep, you know we ebb and flow our emotions, our philosophies with whomever we’re with. You know we call these emulators. So they’re basically impersonating someone else’s conduct, philosophy and so forth for a lack of strength and conviction of their own. Don’t be an emulator. Do you, and the reason I say that is because there’s no one else on this planet. You are unique and only you can do you in the way that you do you. 

Now I know that sounds a little bit redundant. But the point I’m making is be yourself. Know who you are and why you are your unique self. Introspection helps me, if you will, take a few moments to myself and see where I may need to chisel away some of the areas of my performance, my philosophy, my thoughts that are not exactly what I want them to be. I need to often sit down with my journal, there it goes again, I’m bringing up another tool. That journal I use to write down my innermost thoughts, or my concerns about my actions. Perhaps my language wasn’t as appropriate as it should have been, or maybe I showed an emotion such as anger, when I should have been more empathy. Whatever that is, let’s look at it at the end of the week and determine how we’re going to make next week better. 

I often say to people that come into our office, you know clients that have failed to prepare properly for many years, now they’re getting into the period right before retirement, and they go “what do we need to do” and I always give this statement. It is almost subconscious coming out of my mouth. I cannot change yesterday, but I can help you form tomorrow. And what I’m simply saying to you in terms of introspection on this particular episode, we can’t change what you did yesterday. We can’t take back the words you said yesterday. We can’t take back an erroneous philosophy of yesterday. 

But we can start now to form a bigger, better, and bolder future. I can work on today. And today only. You see, don’t sit down and think, well I have got to make numerous changes so I can really be the person I want to be. I simply this week want you to take one step toward that changed individual. If in fact, it’s your philosophy which controls in my opinion a big part of our life and how we believe, respond, and react to things. I want you to take a few minutes this week and just work on your philosophy. What is it that you truly believe is honorable, is right, and what makes you the owner of that philosophy?

When all else is coming to you that is wrong in the world, what part of your philosophy keeps you on the straight and narrow. Keeps you focused on what you know to be your goals, to what’s to be the right path for you? You see in my philosophy is what I believe. It affects Jimmy, and it affects Jimmy’s family. But my philosophy is for me, you must develop your own philosophy. But one key phrase in my philosophy of life, and I’ll share this with you now. One key phrase is that I actively what to be kind to all those I meet. So I actively want to be kind. It doesn’t mean I have to work at it, but I want to be conscious. I don’t merely want to be meandering through the world, going with the flow if you will. I want to be purposefully showing kindness to all that I meet. 

I’ve been accused many a time for being a minister because I’m always smiling. And I asked them, now why would you say such a thing to me? And I take it as a badge of honor, but they also say you’re always smiling, you’re always happy. I never see you without a smile on your face. And I say, well, thank you. But my point I’m making is I’m not consciously going around just trying to impress people. What I want to do is philosophically always be happy within myself. 

The next thing is to spend quality time each day or each week learning more about yourself. The only way to do this is to find that still quiet moment. Find that opportunity to be alone, with just your thoughts, your journal, your notes, your notebook, whatever you use to hopefully record how you’re feeling. Get some of these things off of your mind and onto paper. Now I don’t share my journals with anyone. My beloved wife of almost 32 years, I still don’t share my journals. To me these are the moments I can reflect my honest opinions of my own conduct. Now I do have instructions that on my passing that my wife and children can review any of them they wish. I don’t ask they be shared with the world, because at the end of the day, again, these are my innermost thoughts about me. 

Next, journaling helps me record, review and implement my thoughts to achieve my goals. now many of you may say I don’t have time to write down my thoughts in a journal or on a piece of paper and so forth everyday. And I’m not telling you that I do it every day. But at critical moments during my week. When I need a few minutes of reflection and introspection of my actions, my philosophy, I pull out my journal and I look back over the last few weeks. I notice patterns as well when I’m in certain activities that I have now declined to accept those activities when offered. That I looked back and I thought that those were not the happiest of times for me, that did not fit my philosophy for what I consider for happiness. And so this helps me as a journal, it is an accounting if you will, of what I have done and how I felt while doing it and who I was with and how they made me feel. It all comes down to a point of records. A point where I can go back to a space in time and see yes, I need to change what I’m doing there to achieve my utmost goal for Jimmy. 

You know, I also recommend that you implement a life or business coach in your activities and strategies. Now this may sound a little self-serving, and that’s not my point of this comment, but I have a business coach that I have used now for many years. This is someone that helps me see where I am, because in business, you can become so frenetic, so busy, so in camped with all these other things going on around you, it’s hard to see what’s going on truly without you. So what I mean by that is, it’s hard to watch the movie when you’re in it. That may be a terrible metaphor, but my point I’m getting at is have someone that can give you that honest candid opinion of how you’re conducting yourself compared to only what you told them you wanted to do. So my business coach is very honest with me. Scott’s his name, Scott’s in Omaha, Nebraska, and I will tell you this. He is the most honest, most candid of persons and holds me accountable, and has been instrumental to reaching my exponential heights of greatness within myself. 

Now I don’t tout that greatness as a means of saying I’m bragging. That’s not my point here, what I’m saying to you thought is we all have potential that we’ve been given in life. Some realize that potential and some don’t. At the end of the day though, you are responsible solely for the realization of your potential. I’ve often seen people that are very good at certain things that they do in life. Certain skill sets, but they don’t work hard enough to master those so that they rise above the fray. That they’re not better than mediocre because they didn’t take that brave step to move forward, take the opportunity, forget about failure and move to the upper echelons of that particular skill set. 

You know I speak a lot across the country and I will tell you that most the people I talk to that go, oh my goodness, how can you do that? These crowds are thousands of people to as small as a couple of hundred. And I tell them that really part of me just looks at this as a conversation. I look at this as a means of how I can impart a little bit of wisdom or help, or yes, encouragement to someone in that audience. If I’ve got an audience of 1,500 people, which my largest has been about 1,700, but if I can impart just a little encouragement to that one person in the audience that takes that encouragement and helps another, and then that person helps another. You can see quickly how exponentially that small seed of encouragement impacted a large populations of people. 

You see my goal in life is to be kind, as I said, to everyone I meet. And part of that kindness that we realize in life is because we are endowed with greatness. You know an impact question I would ask you to consider today would be what would you do with your life if resources and time were unlimited? If you have a journal or have some means of recording your thoughts today, I’d like you to write that down. What would I do with my life if resources and time were unlimited. You know we think about ourselves as being finite individuals. And we are, we live for a certain time on this earth and go eternally to where-ever we believe. But I suggest to you that we can maximize the impact and influence on this planet by thinking more abundantly. 

Have you ever been around someone that takes the glass half empty approach to everything? When they are given an opportunity they can find every obstacle in its path, you know those people. I call them Negative Nancies. I don’t function well around Negative Nancies, now I’m not saying we have to totally be oblivious of the challenges. That’s not my point to this comment. My point is the mental framework, the philosophy of life that I’m going to live life abundantly. 

Abundantly doesn’t not mean with wealth and riches in terms of money. Abundantly means I’m going to give abundantly to my family of my emotion and my means and my support. And my attention. I’m going to give abundantly to my church, my synagog, my club, my whatever. Give abundantly of yourself so that you feel rewarded within yourself, that you’ve done your best to help others. To me this is what introspection allows me to do. Did I give my best during that opportunity to do so?

So, this week think about that question. Another impact question, what would you attempt in life if you know you wouldn’t fail? You’ve heard this question in some form before, I’m certain. But at the end of the day, ask yourself, what could I do tomorrow if I knew I wouldn’t fail? I was given assurance 100% of success, what would I do? So this is a question I ask myself each week during my critical review and preview time for the next week. I have goals that are truly stretch goals. I have never, never in my life that I’ve kept goals. Since I was age 20, I’ve never reached all of them 100%. Now many of you may sit back and say, oh my goodness, that’s gotta be negative to your psyche, and that’s gotta be bad for your motivation and so forth. And it’s just the opposite. My best year though, I will tell you, was 92% accomplished and that was a boom of a year.

But you see I want you to set stretch goals that make you a better person, if that’s one of your goals. I want you to reach the pinnacle of wealth, if that’s one of your goals. If you want to have a loving family that is perfect about going on vacations that others only dream, I want you to reach that goal. But you can’t do it haphazardly. You must look for those means of, again, intentionality. And then you must also influence those in your midst, your family for instance, that this trip to Europe would be something that the family would remember for a lifetime. 

A last question I want you to think about, in terms of introspection, what motivates you to become a better, more empowered person? What motivates you? Now I’m going to go on record today, this podcast and I am so thankful, is heard now in 11 countries, and I want to make this even clearer. This is the most clear I can make this statement. It has never been about money alone that gives me the desire to improve myself. Has never been about money that gives me the desire to improve myself. You see it’s not the money and and making of money and so forth, but to me, I live off the old Zig Ziglar again comment. Zig’s my old mentor, that if I help enough people get what they want out of life, I will get everything that I want. What’s he saying? He’s saying by placing others needs first, you’ll get all the wants you wish. Now that doesn’t necessarily translate always to wealth. Well, at least not monetary wealth, what it does translate to though, is a well balanced lifestyle that gives you every opportunity to maximize what is your philosophy of happiness on this world. 

You know, your attitude about life is so critical. Again, going back to the Negative Nancies, you know they wake up in the morning, and they go oh my goodness the alarm clock went off. Well, I don’t even call them alarm clocks, I call them opportunity clocks. You have an opportunity that day to go out and make a difference in someone’s life, and you may, by the by product, make a difference in your own. You have 24 hours like everyone else to do some good. Well, why is it during that 24 hours that certain individuals can maximize their productivity to such a level that they go out and create thousands of jobs for their company? Or they may go out and file a patent that day that brings millions and millions of dollars of revenue to their company. Or they may go out and make a speech today that touches the hearts and lives of millions of people of TV that now see a bigger, better, and bolder future for themselves. You see we all have the same amount of time, it’s those priorities and the dedication of resources and intentionality that cause the difference.  

You know Zig had a statement as well, I’ve lived by this ever since I first saw him, after I heard the first, don’t laugh, cassette tape that I had bought. And boy I was broke too, and in college I had a cassette player, and for those that are very young, you won’t recognize what this is. It’s now a matter of antiquity I’m sure, but I wore this tape out. Every time I finished one side, side A, I’d flip to side B. And I tell you I listened and listened and listened, I probably could have made his presentation for him, had he been called in sick, I could of done the show, is how much I listened to that. 

But Zig had a quote about attitude that I appreciate so much, he said that “your attitude will determine your altitude”. Your attitude in life, determines your altitude in life. So what’s he really saying? He’s simply saying this, a rotten attitude about life will get you nowhere. A bad attitude as soon as you arise in the morning will gain you a bad day. A good attitude may just give you the catalyst that you need to rise, smile, realize you have 24 hours of greatness within you to be realized. This is what is critical in life. We have to understand that our attitudes are the most important, if not the most, it’s one of the most important traits to realizing greatness. 

And certainly when you are looking at potential employment, I will assure you that attitude plays just as much role as a skill set if not more. I tell people when our companies needs someone, we always hire for attitude and train the skill set. I hope you heard me correctly, we hire the attitude. If I got the right person with the right mindset to wish to learn, to be better, to be bigger and bolder than what they do. To be a leader in their area, that we wish to train them. That want to, can do, will do attitude, I can train all the technical stuff. Right? 

Six Steps of Introspection

Step One: Create a Quiet Space

So now we’re gonna visit just a few moments on our six steps to developing your own introspection strategy. Step one, create a quiet space, a place that is private for you. As if you were the only person in the area, the room, the house, whatever you wish to do. I call this, just like Superman, my “Fortress of Solitude”. I want that area to be just my private space. I can be Jimmy. I can do my best to just do what I wish and it is set up in a manner that allows me to be so creative and there is no negativity anywhere in the midst. Create this quiet space. 

Step 2: Ask Questions

Step number two, ask yourself deep, open ended questions about your philosophy of life. Your actions, your language, your relationships. Ask yourself these questions and make certain that you have an unequivocal answer that also aligns themselves with your goals. If in fact you say that you wish to increase the number of books you read this year. However, you’re watching six hours of television a day, and yes that’s the average in the United States. Most people are working 8 hours and they watch TV for 6, so that makes 14 and then they sleep for 8, you see where I’m going here, that’s 22. We’ve taken almost as much time watching TV as we’ve slept. Then I would suggest to you, that that hard open ended question is why am I watching TV when I have all these great books that if I’d read them, applied them, and implemented that in my life, I might be a better person. I understand that each of you listening, know that I’m a voracious reader. I love to read good books, and I have quite a library. But ask yourself the deep open ended questions. 

Step 3: Let Your Thoughts Flow

Number three, simply let your thoughts flow and release any judgement on your behavior. Now this is gonna sound just a little bit silly. But I actually have a larger white board on a tripod in my study, my quiet space. And I have erasable markers, and I just start jotting down some of my one word items for the week of how I felt of certain situations, my actions, what I felt about my philosophy being maintained this week. I just jot them down, I don’t even have a format. I start writing them all over this white board. I turn my back to the white board for just a few moments of solitude. Yea, you can call it meditation if you wish. I just have a moment where I close my eyes, I release my mind of all those things I just wrote down. When I turn around and look at that white board and things jump out at me and post into my mind real quickly, like a flash, of what occurred that week, that that circumstance gave me, that feeling that that word was written down. 

You see you don’t judge yourself, you correct your behavior. You know, I always loved those people that sit back, tilt their hat a little bit and put a little scowl on their face and then start judging other people. When you then look at themselves, and they can’t even do that type of behavior of where they just judged someone. Particularly, I don’t appreciate those that run around judging others that may be battling an issue of obesity, or battling ill health or something. And the person judging them is smoking cigarettes and doing other things that are unhealthy. My point I’m making is, take care of yourself. You can do you better than anyone else. 

Step 4: Take Notes

Step number four, take notes of your thoughts. In those notes, I’d like for you to include the date, the location for the notes. Where were you when you wrote these notes, the time, so that when you go back and reflect and introspectively look at your notes later you’ll know the time of day. And I recommend that you use a journal for these types of notes. Now I don’t sit down and say, I’ve got to write a whole page or two pages, or three pages of notes every time I sit down with my journal. You’re gonna laugh, sometimes I only write two or three sentences, but they capture the essence of what I’m going through and thinking and allows me to release that from my mind and move forward. You see, too often, we as individuals have so much going on in the world that we can’t stop for a moment and give ourselves the time we deserve to introspectively determine are we on the right path? If we can’t do that from time to time, you’ll quickly find that your path has moved away. 

Step 5: Reflect

Step number five, reflect on your notes, your state of mind, and philosophy and moving forward to greater heights of accomplishment. If you feel comfortable, I want you to change your thought process to where you’re now challenging yourself to become bigger, better, bolder, you’ve heard me say it many times. I’m encouraging you to find that within yourself that is greatness. Right, that’s what we’re here today talking about. If that’s the case then you need to challenge yourself, if you’re comfortable you need to become comfortable at being uncomfortable. I don’t want you to do the same thing today that you did yesterday and consider that greatness. I want you to do no just what you did yesterday, but do it better. Do it in a bigger way. Become more bold, more positive about it. 

Step 6: Schedule an Appointment With Yourself

And then step number six, this is one of the best things you can do, that you control. Schedule an appointment with yourself each week, and repeat this process for the rest of your life. You see over a short period of time, you will realize growth and excitement about your new attitude toward the future if you allow yourself time to think. Schedule an appointment with yourself. Literally write it on the calendar. Now if you’re like our team, where I have a calendar that everyone can see, so we can communicate where each of us should be each day, I actually on the weekends and my free days, write things down on there to schedule time with myself. Now granted our team, when they first saw this, was wondering what has he done now, this is crazy. But I put I have an appointment with Jimmy, for one hour and I’ll designate a time and day for it on the calendar. It’s a pretty comical thing to explain, but after the end of the day when you’ve done it one time, I want you to know you’ll do it everywhere week. Schedule that critical time. That appointment with yourself. 

As a young man I looked for opportunities to spend some time alone. And there were 8 of us in a small, frame house with only three bedrooms and one bathroom. So, do the math, 8 people 3 bedrooms, I never had a bedroom to myself for quiet time, thinking, reading, studying my bible, whatever it would be, until I was 15 years of age. Today I often place myself in my Bose-noise cancelling headset, and they didn’t pay me to say that. But I wear them all the time on airplanes, or I take them with me anywhere I need to be to create my own quiet space when I’m not at home. And I go to the local library perhaps, or the local coffee shop. I’ve often been found in any Barnes and Noble bookstore you can find, you’ll see Jimmy Williams sitting there if I’m in the area. 

I like to make tranquil spaces for me to feel as if I’m the only one there, and by using my noise-canceling headset, it allows me to do what most successful pro baseball players can do that are pitchers. I drowned out the audience. I simply ignore the noise around me from the barista making coffee over here, or people talking or cell phones ringing. I don’t listen or pay attention to any of that. I create my own tranquil space.

You see the time spent in thought and creativity has been rewarding beyond my own imagination, for personal growth. The exponential growth of our companies has come about from these times where I got an idea that had come to me during one of my weekly appointments with myself. Our team has grown tremendously in skill because of these weekly appointments with myself. 

So your challenge this week: Build on your introspection time and record your thoughts to review later. I don’t care if it’s only 30 minutes, 15 minutes, but build some time into your schedule, because if you don’t take control of your time someone else will. And at the bottom of today’s show notes, on www.livealifeby.design, describe to me the location you utilize to do your best thinking about life.

Thank you for reviewing and rating our podcast on iTunes, and your email comments have been so encouraging. Thank you again for everyone that has written in. The support has been so appreciative, our team is very, very thankful. But each day seek space for yourself away from the hustle and bustle of life. You can and should live your life by your design. So join us next week when we close out our four-part series on “Realizing the Greatness Within You”, as we discuss the rocket fuel that makes life grand. This rocket fuel we’re gonna talk about next week is one that you’re already aware, but I’m going to talk to you about how you can use it to bring about your greatest dreams and goals. So we’ve talked about intentionality, influence, and introspection. So join us next week as we begin a fourth phase of this particular episode on the rocket fuel. 

Until then, go out and LIVE A LIFE BY DESIGN!

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