Episode 60: How Close Are You To Success?

Do you ever feel that success is just unattainable during the pandemic? Jimmy shares three success strategies that have allowed him to successfully achieve his massive goals for the first quarter of 2020. You will learn simple steps that can be taken that will yield tremendous results.

On this episode, you will gain insight into:

  • Powerful benefit of focusing on a positive attitude in the face of trying events.
  • Daily review of your annual and weekly goals that keep you focused on the ultimate life-changing results.
  • Understanding Michael Jordan’s appreciation for failure that fueled his success to be an NBA MVP and National Champion. Stop playing defense when your environment is not to your liking. Create your own results by going on offense in life.

Podcast Transcript

Just how close were many of those that were looking at success right in the eye and then failed to take that last step to ultimately reach the glory they had been seeking the entire time? Well that’s not going to happen to you, our listeners of Live Life by Design. Hey, good morning! This is Jimmy Williams helping you today to see the ultimate end zone, if you will. The finish line for the next big project in your world, your life, your family. What I want to say is this, you have been so close to the ultimate success of whatever you are attempting to achieve and maybe lacked that one last step.

Thanks for joining us today. Bringing this to you from the pandemic. We’re still working hard for our listeners to bring you something fresh, motivational and inspiring so that you can come out of this pandemic not just ready to go but fired up, that’s the whole key today. I want to talk to you about how close you are to success. Thomas Edison, he had a quote I really like. He said, “Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. Do you know the winner of the Preakness in 2014? You know, too often we see the winner’s name, but do you really know the name of this horse?

The horse’s name was California Chrome. California Chrome galloped into history that year, becoming the 34th horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. But do you know the story on this horse? The horses lineages far from the regal lines of most race horses. California Chrome is the progeny of a horse that cost only $8,000. By any standard of imagination the genes of this horse were not elite race horse material. You know the reason for the horse’s success though? No one told him he was inferior. That’s right. No one convinced this horse he could never win. What they did instead was what you and I should be doing.

The horse and rider had only one goal in the Preakness that year. And that was to win the race. No one could convince his rider or California Chrome that they did not have the skills, the stamina, the speed to win this race. But now, do you recall the name of another horse.? It’s called Ride On Curlin.

Most likely you don’t remember this horse cuz no one remembers this horse. And why would they? Well could it be because Ride On Curlin lost the Preakness in 2014 by less than one horse length and lost it to California Chrome. You see the difference between the winner and second place in the Preakness is $460,000. For one horse length, and a horse that was born from a purchase sire of $8,000, he won a tremendous amount of money that year. And then he went on to win many more races, California Chrome did, and earned a more than 14 million dollar lifetime earnings in horse racing. Now for an $8,000 investment, I’ve got news for you that to me is some great return on investment wouldn’t you say?

Well today we will share three strategies that give you an advantage for staying focused during this time of disruption on the most important goals you set way before the pandemic struck us. It is not an option to just simply say, “Gosh, I’ll just start again next year”. You see one thing we cannot buy, one thing we cannot earn, or one thing we cannot create is time. Don’t waste a minute of the day when you could be focusing on something that is of great value to you or to the marketplace in which you participate. Nope, that is what 99% of the world is saying is, ‘wait till next year will start over’ but not you.

You and I are different. You believe in utilizing every minute of the day you’re giving on this planet to improve yourself, your company, and your world. Let’s start this podcast with one thought in mind. You my friend are a goal achiever. I must admit that I am one of those individuals that controls every possible variable in life that I am capable of controlling. I will certainly slant the deck in my favor on those important goals that change my life. Earlier this year we began the year with great ambition and energy. However, one of the areas of life that I can’t control is nature. And I will tell you the coronavirus, covid-19, whatever we wish to call it. It came in with a thunder and disrupted our local, national, and international economies in a great way.

The environment is just one of those things that I must adapt to instead of change for my benefit. But one of the most powerful tools that I can control during this time of disruption is my mindset and response, not reaction, to the change my environment. You see too many times we can stand up and blame everything around us for failing to meet our goals. Sure, the pandemic in February in the United States and oh my goodness will it just disrupted all of my plans. I’m so disheartened and I blame the economy. I blame the weather. I blame the virus. I blame my brother-in-law, you know whatever. Let’s get over that. Control the things you can control. I’ve said that many times on these podcast episodes and I firmly believe it.

You see the one thing I can control is that mindset between my own two ears. I highly recommend you think in those terms. So the first strategy of the three that I used to stay focused during a time of disruption is daily review of my annual and weekly goals. Now if there are some of you listening that don’t have written goals I can assure you you will not be able to get them claimed. You won’t complete them. They’re not top-of-mind. You have no reference to determine if your actions today will lead you to where the end result of the goal is accomplished by the end of the year. I am a firm believer that you must have written goals.

To accomplish this strategy is to remove all distractions from the target I originally set for the goal. I agree that we may have changed our goals for 2020. We’ve had to make some adaptations and I have a list of goals now that focus on anywhere from about 8 to 10 big goals every year. And I take of these 8 to 10 anywhere from 2 to 3 per quarter. So every three months I am working towards some massive goals that are life-changing for me. Does not mean that I meet them all and accomplish them all in that particular quarter. What it does mean though, is that I am focused toward making great strides toward the accomplishment of the goal and I may finish it in the next quarter with just a small amount of effort. But the key here is to focus on those top two or three big massive goals, or have you heard me calling before BHAGs. That’s B-H-A-G, big hairy audacious goals.

Personally I performed a corporate and personal reset on some of the goals we established at our team retreat last November. For example, my wife and I were going to spend some time in Europe this summer. However, with the current pandemic we are going to postpone that goal. I didn’t say we were going to give it up. We’re going to postpone that goal until 2021. We’re not giving up on the goal but simply adapting the goal to our uncontrollable environment characteristics. You know, I am often reminded of a prolific goal-setter when facing deep challenges in attaining my own goals. His name was Earl Nightingale. Earl was ahead of his time in the field of motivation, goal setting, and positivity. The method he utilized is one that I have adopted in my personal life. As a matter of fact, the first time I had heard of Earl Nightingale I was a sophomore in college at the age of 20. That’s been 35 years ago. And he made such an impact on my life at the age of 20 that it has been profound in its manifestations throughout the rest of my life. Some great information he taught me that I learned.

The method he utilized is one that I have adopted. And Earl said, “if you will spend an extra hour each day on study in your chosen field, you will be a national expert in that field in 5 years or less”. By focusing each day on your goal, even if you only accomplish movement toward the goal in inches, you will achieve the ultimate result. Now my daily planner I use is the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt & Company. Each day I review my annual goals and create myself a quarterly goal at the beginning of each quarter that will help me reach the larger annual goal. So you can see it’s a progression. I first set, ‘what do I want my annual goal results to be’. And I picture in my mind what would my life be if this goal were already accomplished? And then I look at it and I break it down into quarterly goals ,and then to weekly goals that then become my daily tasks. So as you can see if I work my daily tasks, in the manner I should, I then focus on my weekly goals through those daily tasks being accomplished and my weekly goals then begin to become my quarterly goals accomplished and my annual goals are going to get met. By approaching the goal achievement process in this manner it is much easier to realize the huge annual goals when the end of your year rolls around.

The important catalyst to this strategy though is the daily review of the annual and weekly goals. Now some experts, as they’re called, come out and say that you should never focus on your annual goals on a daily basis. And the reason for this is they’re saying that it’s just too big for the mind to imagine. Well I disagree. I paint such a vivid picture when I write my annual goals, that that is the inspiration that helps me defeat any challenge that comes along that would keep me from realizing the goal. So my annual goals, to me, are in my mind so vivid that I can reach them through my quarterly weekly and even daily task to see that I am making progress.

Now I hear what you’re thinking. And I will say to you, no, I don’t always achieve 100% of the goal. But I set some pretty lofty goals for myself and our company. If we only get 90 – 92 % of the goal complete we have had a fantastic year. You just must be focused in life on what is important. Don’t be distracted by what is coming your way that has no bearing on your future and its of minimal value. So they often say that if you focus on what is vital and important you won’t be distracted by that that is unimportant, but also an emergency. Too often we allow ourselves to be distracted too much that we take our eye off the ball for too long. Make the commitment today to review your annual and weekly goals as part of your daily routine for success. I can assure you once you start this practice, on a daily basis, and yes, I even look at mine on the weekends. Every day. I just don’t want to waste any time when I could be realizing a big, better, and bolder life. So make that commitment as I said review your annual weekly goals as part of your daily start-up routine.

One of the greatest basketball players to ever grace the court was number 23 of the Chicago Bulls. Yes, you know who I’m speaking, Michael Jordan. The work ethic, persistence, and commitment to excellence he exhibited everyday gave rise to League MVP honors for Michael Jordan and championships for the Chicago Bulls. Now he was only one of five men on that team, but my goodness what a motivator he was. Jordan, ironically, gives credit for his success because of, now listen to me, his failures. His statement of the key to success for him is failure. It’s an accurate foundation of the type of athlete he was. One of his most famous quotes about achieving success is actually the basis for recognizing the impact tremendous failure has on the desire of a person to want to succeed. Michael Jordan attributes his success to this statement. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my basketball career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Now, if you only took part of his statement out of context and listened to how he had missed those 26 times that he had the game-winning shot and missed the shot. You would think that you would find an athlete that’s downtrodden, lacks a vision for his future. Just basically can’t deal with failure. In the case of Michael Jordan, a young man that didn’t even make the cut on his Junior High basketball team, was an athlete par excellent. He knew that as he practiced is how he would play the game. Every day in the gym shooting those high probability shots to allow him to be the most prolific basketball player of his era. And he still failed in many ways. To hear him speak is to sit back and wonder if Michael Jordan’s work ethic, persistence, dedication to the game could not give him a better shooting average than he attained then how would any of us have an opportunity or chance to even succeed? The key I want you to take away from this is his strategy. Focus not on the failure, but focus on learning from the failure to be a success.

One of the methods we use to develop our strategies and trajectory for success is by our listeners. Listening to you will help us develop the best content possible and you could provide us a review on iTunes. Here is a 5-star review from astieb16, “Listening to Live a Life by Design podcast every Monday morning while I get ready for work really sets a good tone for the day and the week. Highly recommend”. Well thank you, astieb16, for your five star rating and wonderful comments. They are most appreciated.

Our second strategy to staying focused during the pandemic is something that people have a difficult time with. It is to cease complaining. This action sounds so simple. It seems to be so hard for many people. Just open your social media platforms for a few minutes and you will find someone complaining about something in life that he or she can’t change. Make it a practice to show gratitude perhaps in your daily journal practice instead of complaining. Let’s agree on one promise. You can’t change the situation simply by complaining. You agree with me on that? Now, I want you to focus today for a 24-hour period on ceasing to complain about the weather, traffic, your mother, your brother, your job, your bank account, etc. By taking the energy you would waste on complaining and redirect it to your focus on obtaining a positive goal that will change your life. You will soon become quite a different person. Suddenly you are attracting different people in your life. You notice these people are more happy, successful, and charitable. Wouldn’t that make your life even better? Take charge of your attitude and cease complaining for one day.

Next, focus on this same approach for two days, and then a three-day span, etcetera. Until you can build to the habit of it wastes so much mental energy time that I complain that I just refuse to do so. Instead I will maintain an attitude of gratitude. Eventually your mindset will seek out only those people that are positive and life changers. Not simply those that seek validation through complaining. As a matter of fact, many people believe that by complaining they’re really gaining attention. Well, let me say they are gaining attention, but it’s certainly not the positive kind and as a matter of fact, I will say to you those listening to your complaints may pass judgment on you to the point that it’s not in a very highly esteemed position.

Elbert Hubbard, an American writer and publisher, said, “the line between failure and success is so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it”. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success? A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. Don’t quit. Change is never easy, but the fruits of succeeding in making the change are priceless. Commit today to cease complaining about life and start living the life you wish.

Now, strategy number three is going to be a sports metaphor. I like sports and I’m sure you know that by now as much as you’ve listened to this podcast, but I want to share with you a little bit of strategy in life that came from sports. Oftentimes a global disruptive force will take you out of your game for a short time. So our strategy number three is, get back on offense. It’s critical that you muster the physical and psychological strength to turn the tide and go back on offense. At one time in the past the old sports adage of ‘defense wins championships’ was valid. But the world has changed and the evolution of sports, particularly collegiate and professional football, to require us now to change this old adage this saying to ‘offense wins championships’. If one were to analyze the last couple of years in the NFL and NCAA Championship Series, the highest-scoring teams were the teams in the playoffs to make history. The lowest scoring teams either did not make the playoffs or if initially qualified to play in the playoffs did not advance beyond the first or second round. The same can be said of life.

You must find a way to attain your highest, most important and vital goals despite what life throws at you. It may take more grit, more courage, more time, but don’t give up on the goal. Simply consider changing your approach or your strategy to get there. It is time you learned the power of one degree of change. Think about that statement. If you make small seemingly insignificant changes in your life, you will achieve your goals and be thrusted toward greatness. As an example, water is hot at 211 degrees. I wouldn’t want to stick my hand in there. However at 212 degrees water boils. This one degree of change, this little change, produces exponential force. Consider that water at 212 degrees creates boiling water with steam as a by-product. The steam created by gaining one more degree of heat creates enough power to force a locomotive that can pull hundreds of rail cars.

From this point forward think not in leaps, but in one degree increments if that’s what you need to move forward. Sometimes it’s so hard to see the bigger steps you must take. But as the saying goes by the yard it is hard, by the inch it’s a cinch. What would you accomplish if you were to increase your positivity by one degree, what would your life look like if you increased your commitment to your highest goals by one degree each day? What would your relationships look like if you committed one degree more of dedication and respect to those in your relationships?

How can we take such a large step and lose everything when we can take a small one degree step and take control of our world. It is critical. Life is about your response to what you confront. 10% of the future is determined by how you are going to feel about something. 90% of your future is assured you by how you respond about something. So I tell people, you know what you have a few minutes to yourself. You may feel badly about a situation or you may feel that the situation is unfair. Well, get over it. Life as they say, is not fair. Whoever told us that little line told you falsely. Life doesn’t always seem fair. And at the end of the day we are responsible for only one thing. Ourselves and our mindset we take to the situation.

Achieve your highest goals that move the needle in life by practicing these three simple strategies. Strategy number one, review your annual and weekly goals daily. Strategy number two, cease complaining about life and take action on those things in life you can control. And lastly, strategy number 3, go on offense. You can reach your most powerful goals that sustain a bigger, better, and bolder life for you and your family. It only takes one degree more of commitment, energy and persistence.

Go to our Facebook page titled Live a Life by Design and leave a comment about the one degree that you will focus on to make the remainder of this year the best year of your life. If you wish to grow your life to be extraordinary, I highly recommend the book 212 Degrees: The Extra Degree by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. To make this simple for our listeners go to www.livealifeby.design/resource/book and click on the cover. You’ll be taken to Amazon and with a couple of clicks you’re on your way to a life-changing story.

Now do me a small favor? Take these to heart. While 99% of the world is out there, just floating around whichever way the current takes them through the pandemic. That’s not you. You have in your hands, your heart, and your head the capabilities to control your future. Don’t just let the current of life throw you about and about just so you can bounce off the shores and never really make forward momentum. The day is here. The time is now, and you my friend could go out and make the world a better place and live your life by design.

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