Good morning! This is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design, coming to you this morning to bring you that positive, powerful moment of motivation to get your week started on the right foot. I hope each of you had a wonderful weekend. Man, I tell you I must be called a weekend warrior. I like to take on the weekend. Did just that, over the last two days some great time of relaxation. Some great time of working out, getting my body back where I needed to be. I just had the best of weekends. Spent some time with family as well. A well rounded weekend, how was your weekend?
You know, one of the great things about weekends, it’s a time of rejuvenation for some. For others it may be a time of challenge where you do things where you have more time on a Saturday and Sunday. It’s also a time of introspection, as we spoke last week. A time on worship, where you go to your worship on Sunday and you come back home refreshed in that spirit as well.
I want to thank you so much for the comments you’ve been leaving on our iTunes of rating and review. You’ve done wonderful in helping support and motivate me to be the best I can be in bringing you value on this podcast. Let’s talk just a few minutes about the first three episodes of this four part series. You know the very first item we talked about, this four part series, the “four I’s” if you will of greatness. The first to realizing greatness within yourself has to be intentionality. As we said you do not do anything that is successful without being intentional. You know certain people may win the lottery for example, but they intentionally bought a ticket. So it didn’t just haphazardly fall into their lap with millions of dollars while they’re just simply standing there. So, intentionality is vital as an ingredient to realizing greatness within you.
The next “I” was influence. You are an influencer. You may also still be influenced by those that you’re looking at, mentors, talking with. These types of people that are influencing you to be a better you. And one of our goals on this podcast has always been to make it a bigger, better, bolder you. Not to change you, but to bring out from within you what is great about you. And you individually.
The third “I” we talked about last week, was Introspection. This is an area where you don’t simply examine your actions, you examine your philosophy, your thoughts, your beliefs. Why do I function the way that I do? These three “I’s” are powerful, but today I hope you’re seatbelt is on. I am going to bring you the rocket fuel that takes these three characteristics and turns these things into an explosion of power within yourself. Not that you don’t have it within you, it’s just you may not be realizing it and utilizing it to your best benefit. The fourth “I”, today, that we’re going to discuss for just a few moments is investment.
You know this term investment gets thrown around quite often by people that they simply think that it means money. Well today this investment does not mean money. This investment means you. Yes, you physically, mentally, spiritually, and also maybe financially as a by-product. But I want to talk about three areas that you can focus on as an investment to take these first three I’s and multiply them exponentially to your benefit.
The first investment is reading. Yep, you heard me right reading. What you fill your mind with, what you ponder on. What you place in your heart and live by is critical to you realizing greatness. The one thing I do know, and you’ve heard me say before on this podcast is that not necessarily are all great readers leaders, but all great leaders are readers. I hope you caught that. You have within you the opportunity to simply fill your mind with the great books, the great strategies. Learn from those that have blazed the trail before, so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel so to speak. You don’t have to go in and find and discover how these outcomes are brought about, you simply need to go and take them from the tree of knowledge. Read the good books. Read those things that I place on our website at livealifeby.design. You will find my successful reading catalog. I list some books on there that are simple reads. Some that you can read in a weekend. Some that may take a little longer, but fill your mind with these powerful tomes of knowledge.
I basically read 50 books per year. You heard me right, 5-0, 50 books. Now I’m not talking about thin books, I’m talking about books that could be anywhere between 250 to 300 pages, for example. I also enjoy reading some fictional books, those written by John Grisham, for example, when I want just to enjoy the act of reading about something that’s not within my craft. But read those books that make you a balanced person. Makes you more knowledgable, makes you more wise. I love reading about history. I love reading about biographies. About those great people that went before me. That opened up the doors to success and allowed me to peek inside just for a moment knowing that the admission ticket for that entry would be a full dedication to what my talents are and my knowledge will be.
You can’t simply sit down on the sofa, watch tv and absorb greatness. It just simply doesn’t work that way. You must apply yourself. You know it goes back to that intentionality. Write down the top ten books you wish to read over the next 12 months. That’s right, I’m giving you more than a month to read one book. Something that I do generally in a week. I’m gonna give you an entire month. Just write down 10 great books from my reads that I have on the website. And you can pick them up on Amazon. And I tell you, I get nothing from you buying these.
I simply am providing this information to you for your benefit. I get paid not one dime. But I want you to know the result of that small investment, $10 here, $15 dollars there. By truly reading and absorbing and implementing the tactics within these books will immediately give you a greater confidence, will immediately empower you to know that your knowledge is greater than when you began this book. It will give you confidence to be a bigger, better, and bolder you on all levels. But it takes that investment.
You see reading is something I know many people don’t enjoy. So I’m gonna give you another option. Audible books. Audible books are just that. The same book that I’m reading can, in most forms, be bought for audible purposes where you can listen while you’re in your car, or you can strap it on and go get the treadmill and do a run, and listen to the author of the book read it to you. You see there’s simply, in my opinion, and I hope I don’t offend anyone. But there is simply no reason why you can’t increase your knowledge in this day and age of technology.
The only thing better, I would say, is if you were to lie down on your pillow, and absorb the knowledge though the pillow. That would be the next step I think we could make in technology for knowledge increasing. So increase your knowledge by reading, this would be the best thing you could do for investment in the least amount. Now I’m going to give you a secret. Not everyone probably knows this. Listen closely. This secret requires no money on your part, but will avail you those great books I listed on the website. It’s simply this, go to your local library.
That’s right, you get a free membership card, you can check these books out. Now granted they do have a requirement for time, you must have them back within two weeks in most cases, but hey I gave you a month. You can go back and recheck the same book one time. But at the end of the day this is free. Now who would turn down something free? Now I hear what you’re saying, there’s some people saying can they not just bring me the book? No! You must exert some intentionality to go to the library and get the book, pick it off the shelf and get the free card from the library to be a member. Man that is cheap, that is very very cheap and a great way to increase knowledge by reading. So, that’s number one. Read the good books. That’s your first investment.
Find a coach
Your second investment, find a coach. Many of the greatest athletes on this planet that have reached what we consider the number one spot in the world continue to use a coach. You know, I love to watch these golfers that are just the best of the best. They can put that ball near the pin. I mean if they’re 180 yards out they put it within 2 feet, it just amazes me. So that is what you call their front stage. The days that they’re playing in a tournament. But none of us really watch the backstage for these performers. You know that hard work. The sweat, the hundreds of balls they hit each day. The same club they use over and over and over until the muscle memory is where they wish it to be. Til the distance, the feel, the finesse of that hand holding the club is where they want it to be.
But behind them, during all of this process of preparing for the day of performance is the coach. He’s the one saying make a slight degree difference on your back swing, follow through a little bit further. Slow down your club hit speed, speed up your club hit. Whatever that small amount is. Just a small slight degree change in your stance could be the difference between world champion and tenth place.
Then there’s also the runners. Man, I love to watch the Olympics. You know, Usain Bolt, this guy. I think he’s part machine. But anyway, he doesn’t even seem to sweat much, when you see him on tv, I don’t see the lights flickering off his body as you see I do during crossfit. I mean, you put a light on me I would shine brilliant like some kind of reflector. I sweat pretty well. But I will tell you, Usain Bolt runs the race and then before he gets to the finish line, breaks every rule of sprint running. Yep, he looks back to just see how far he has exceeded the distance of his competition. But he didn’t do that during practice. Why did he not do that? Because his coach, here we go, his coach taught him that you must stay focused on the end result. The same thing we ask you to do in your life each day with whatever your role may be.
I understand each of you listening are most likely not elite athletes on a professional tour. You’re not olympians, I get all that. But let me tell you within your heart and mind you can think like one. And that’s the key. The key is not for you body to continually be performing it when you’re in your 50s as I am. Now I’ll admit to you here, just a side note, I get a little frustrated myself that I can’t do some of the things I used to. But that’s just a part of aging. The maturity process as we age tells us what we need to be more wise about doing. Now I’m gonna mention another secret. I did something one day that I kind of regretted after I did it. But I really pushed myself, and I attempted a 500 pound back squat. I hear what you’re saying, I’ve kinda got my hubris up a little bit ahead of my head, and I attempted it. Oh man, I flung the bar off my as quick as I got down in the squat. There was no way that even though I’ve done 435 pounds before, this 65 pounds was if I were lifting a car off my shoulders. Just 65 pounds. I have done 65 pounds many times, but that small increment of challenge, an additional 65 pounds over my most recent personal record of 435 was a step too far.
I didn’t suffer defeat so much in my body, oh I was sore, I’ll be honest with you. That was pretty tough, just straining to get it up and finally just letting it go. But I will say to you that I suffered more mentally. I looked at what I had as my goal and realized that perhaps I needed someone to coach me how to get to that upper limit. And then I set down and thought, as I wrote in my journal, why would I be doing 500 pounds anyway. See 500 pounds is more than twice my own body weight. Now many of you that are younger, more viral, can do these things where you can take your body and push it to those upper limits with proper coaching, technique, and a time of training. But some of us must realize that perhaps we need to be more wise and invest in yourself to take what we have at this stage of life, and hone it to its most perfect point. And that may mean I don’t ever lift 500 pounds on a back squat. But I will tell you I will continue to work toward a goal and maybe that next one is 440.
You see those small increment steps keep investing in the process. Do not give up at the first time you hit the wall. And folks, I will tell you there are many walls that I hit out there in life. There were some business challenges that I had early in my career when I first started our company. And I just thought it’s going to be my head or the wall, but something will eventually give. And boy I prayed it was the wall, you know what I mean? But I worked hard, I worked diligently. And I realized something. In my older years, as I’m now in my mid 50s, I understand the difference between intensity and consistency. And I’m gonna speak on this in greater detail in a later episode of this podcast, and I will say to you there are times to apply intensity versus just simple consistency.
But as we go back and visit in our childhood days, the story of the race between the tortoise and the hare. You see the tortoise represents consistency. A nice smooth path, continued running and focus on the in line. The hare, not so much. Quick bursts of energy, he was so far out ahead of the tortoise he decided to lie down and take a nap. When upon awakening just a few moments later, he realizes he’s in trouble. You see the small but yet consistent plays we make each day move us further and closer down the line to that end result then just quick bursts a day here, a day there. The key thing I’m mentioning about this type of investment, is to invest in yourself in the opportunity of consistency. So you’ve done reading. Get yourself a coach. Get a person to keep you consistent.
This doesn’t even necessarily have to be someone that’s a coach expert that’s gonna cost you money. Perhaps you just join a fitness facility that has coaches that may not work with you exactly one on one all the time, but are there to help point you and keep you moving forward. Helping you to refine, hone the skills that you have. Now I will admit one thing to you today. I have several coaches. I have been speaking publicly for more than 20 years. I, when compared to other speakers, they have told me, oh my goodness you are very successful. To be truthful with you as I am with all of my Live a Life by Design listeners, every week I’m gonna be very truthful and honest. I didn’t feel like I was a success. I didn’t feel like I was growing at the pace or to the level I desired. I thought my level of optimum performance would be.
So I did something. I did an intentional search for a speaking coach, that’s right, a speaking coach. I reached out to someone that’s an expert in public speaking. The crafting of the speech. The delivery of the speech. Even the backstage performance before you speak. Those things that you must do to put in combination an entire presentation in front of an audience that will simply wow the individuals sitting in those chairs. And I’ve gotta tell you, the first year with this lady, her name’s Deirdre Van Nest and her company, now you’re gonna laugh at this, but her company I think is ingenious, and what caught my eye was her company, called Crazy Good Talks.
Crazy Good Talks is her company, look her up on the internet. Deirdre Van Nest did something that I had needed for probably 15 to 17 years of my speaking. I needed someone to help give me a formulaic approach to my speaking. To give me a more of a system that I can delegate to on my team to help me become better, instead of me seeming to carry, again back to the 500 pound back squat. Carrying all the weight of a performance on my own. Use your strengths for what you do best and hire others to help do those things you either don’t wish to do, or don’t enjoy doing, but they are necessary for your life to be fulfilled. Deidre taught me another thing, she taught me that just be yourself. So don’t emulate the other great speakers that I just adore and I just believe are the best in the world, you know your Zig Ziglars, your Jim Rohns, your Darren Hardy. Don’t emulate, but take their type of performance, or some of their strategy and conform it to your own. Make it a part of what you do, but don’t make yourself them. So the second investment is get a coach.
Time Alone With Yourself
So first reading is very simple and easy. Now we’re taking it up a notch, coaching. Now the third thing that I want you to think about, in terms of investment, is truly the easiest of the three. Invest in time alone with yourself. You see, greatness as we spoke of introspection last week, can not be yielded from your body, brain and efforts if you don’t have some times of solitude where you can reflect on your actions and introspectively listen to your heart and your mind as you move forward. I’m talking about every weekend at least. Or at sometime during the week. Find those still quiet moments. If it’s only 30 minutes, take the 30 minutes, if it’s 15 minutes, take the 15 minutes. Personally I like to spend about an hour, where I’m at now in my life. Of just alone time to allow me to introspectively look back. Look at my actions, understand my philosophy even greater so that my life will be more fulfilling. And then also mentally give myself that opportunity to check the box.
Did I perform this week as I desired to perform? And I want you to simply write down three things this next week that you want to have happen, this is your weekly big three. Three important, either tasks or functions that you need to perform, and it could be personal. It can be business. You see there’s more to life than you just being a one dimensional person. On my weekly big three I always, pretty much, tackle something personal in that, and then something professional. Because that gives me balance in my week. You know one of the first episodes of this podcast was how to find balance in a hectic world. In a very frenetic pace, how do you find balance to your day? And this is where your weekly big three come into play.
I want you to write them down. I don’t care if it’s on a notecard. I don’t care if it’s on a scrap piece of paper. I hope it’s in your journal or your planner. But write them down, and on Monday, the start of the week. I’d like for your to purposefully and intentionally tackle one of the three. What this will do for you is give you such motivation and a rush of adrenaline that you’ve tackled one of the most important tasks of the week so early in the week. And literally my goal every week is if I can complete those three weekly big three tasks on or by the end of Wednesday, I’ve had a great week. You can do the same. It goes back to the intentionality. Your influence that you’re going to use is going to be the influence on yourself. Don’t worry so much about influencing others, influence yourself first to be the best you can be.
You see it’s like on the airplane. I recently had a trip to California, which I gotta tell you the coast line is beautiful this time of year. Always rent a convertible when I’m out there and I go up the PCH, the Pacific Coast Highway. And you can smell the salt air, the wind is blowing cool off the Pacific, the heat from the inland is coming from the other side of the car. I’ve gotta tell you I have the best time out there. But what I’m going to say to you is, is I intentionally build the environment around me to help me be the most enjoyable that I can while I am out there. So I’m saying to you today, to give yourself some time. So while I was on this trip, I spent time in two presidential libraries, President Nixon in Yorba Linda, CA and President Reagan in Simi Valley, CA.
These two gentlemen accomplished such great feats in the world that it cemented their place in history. I’m not saying that you must be someone that cements your place in history with starting the discussion to opening the door of China so that the United States and China can have a trading partnership, relationship. I’m not saying that you have to end the cold war for those of you that are younger might want to look at your history books, but President Reagan planted the seeds with President Gorbachev of Russia to bring down the wall that separated a great nation of Germany into two parts. I’m not saying that you must solve world hunger. But what I am saying is whatever your goals may be, whatever you need to invest. This is the time to invest in that particular trait.
Take the time today to give yourself the opportunity for success. You see merely running around in a hectic pace, people all day say, oh I am so busy. Oh I hate to hear that phrase, because I will tell you that is the cop out. You see we allow the minimal unimportant items to take over our life and we leave the big chunks. We leave those great acts of where our best talents could be played sitting in the jar. We don’t get a chance to show or shine what could be our unique talents, our abilities, because we’re so busy dealing with triviality.
So today, take a few moments. Write down your weekly big three, tackle them starting Monday morning. Today. Start off your week with intentionality. Start off your week with influence. Start off your week being introspection of yourself. And certainly start off your week with investing in yourself. So I’ve given you quite a bit of requests to do today to help you realize the greatness within you. This four part series has been an eye opener, even to me, as I reflected upon my own personal life and habits.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this. I hope that you don’t just turn off your recording and go throughout your day as you did last week. I hope you take this moment to implement, you see that’s where the important change comes about within your life. It’s not the hearing, it’s the action that comes from the hearing. You see simply knowing what to do is only half of success. The implementation of what to do, and putting it to action is the second half. That’s where the rubber hits the road, the investment “I”, the fourth “I” in this series is the most critical. Without it, it’s simply not going to be the best you can be.
Well, thank you for joining me today. Next week we’ve got another exciting topic we’re going to be bringing to you. I hope you implement today these four I’s. Look within yourself, be a bigger, better, and bolder you. We’ll see you next week.