Episode 12: Living Your Potential

Good morning! This is Jimmy Williams, your host for Live A Life By Design. For your Monday morning moments of motivation. To help you live a bigger, better, and bolder you for this week. I enjoyed a great weekend, I spent time with family, had a great visit with some old friends I haven’t seen in a while, you know that’s what makes life worth living. It’s those higher priorities in life that we can experience when we intentionally look for the positive powerful things in our life. So today if you would, let’s spend just a few minutes clearing everything out of your mind this morning as you listen to this podcast. I want you to think for just a moment on nothing but what we’re going to talk about. I want you to know that I’m sharing with you today some powerful tools to help you live your full potential.

First and foremost, aren’t we always busy? It seems like in this day in age we’re all busy. We’re so busy we have menial tasks here and there. We feel like our day is already set up and running before we get out of bed. I’m going to help you regain that information, I’m going to help you regain that thought, I’m going to help you regain control of your life. You see it is your life. Life is meant to be lived on your terms. And today we’re going to talk a little bit about how you can regain that if you’ve lost it.

First I want to ask you, do you purposely plan your days? Or do you simply wake, put your feet on the ground, and repeat yesterday? If your today’s look a lot like your yesterdays and you continue in this pattern for very long, you truly are not living your potential. You see, you must live to your potential in intentionality, you must plan that day. I hope you have your goals set. We’ve talked about goals previously on the podcast and I want you to know there’s an episode I’m going to dedicate strictly to goal formation, planning, and achievement in the near future. We’re going to talk about some of those things today, but I want to dig deeper on a further episode to help you understand how to do this simple task that is just powerful to make your life better.

So if you feel like a hamster on a wheel in the cage, you don’t feel like you’re making any progress, today’s episode will bring the to light somethings for you that you can act on today to start this path to bigger, better, bolder you. You see planning for progress is a daily progression. It’s a daily step, it’s a daily task. You don’t simply wake up one morning and say, “I’m thinking about doubling my income this year.” You have to work towards smaller steps to get that goal met. You have to wake up and do more tomorrow than you did yesterday. You have to wake up and think, what can I do differently to make me better, more attractive to the marketplace. Hey, how can I be a better father to my children today, then I was yesterday? How can I be a better spouse to my partner, my wife then I was yesterday. You know one of the things I look for is continual improvement in my life. I keep a list of my goals, ever present, everyday I look at my goals and see what am I trying to achieve. How high can I climb on the mountain of life today? And you know what, it doesn’t take a long step, a big step to do that. It takes a continual walking toward the goal.

I didn’t say you had to run, I don’t think you have to leap, I do believe though you need walk, everyday toward your goal. I love President Eisenhower’s quotes. At a time of leadership for us, when we were coming through a difficult period of the United States, President Eisenhower had a quote that I’ve used a lot in planning for my day. His quote is this: “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless. But planning is indispensable.” You see the big thing here is don’t get hung up on your actual plan, if it gets abrupted, if it gets abbreviated somehow and you didn’t get to reach your full goal by end year but you made progress on something, focus on those items that you made progress. You know I don’t ever hit all of my goals because I set stretch goals every year. Let’s talk about stretch goals for a moment. I set goals that I know in my heart of hearts that if everything fell perfectly in place, if the economy was right, if my mentality was right, if my physicality was right, if my family was just right, if everything fell into place, I could hit these goals. But that’s the fun thing about life. It’s not always going to be perfect, right?

I don’t know about you but I haven’t had too many “perfect” days in my life, but I’ve had a lot of great days. And I’ve had a lot of days where I could start off my day achieving two, three items on my task list that moved me toward my goals for the day. And feel like I’ve set the tone for the rest of the day. Yea sure, I don’t get up and watch tv and all that news and negativity to start my day, I listen to something positive in the day. I like to start my day with my mind being filled with those purely positive powerful thoughts. So I can achieve something in the day versus it being filled with the negativity of the world. Yea, I’m saying turn off the TV, turn off the radio. If you’re listening on your way to work, and you’re hearing nothing but bad news, it’s time to stop. It’s time to listen to the good things in life if you wish to move forward. If you wish to accomplish things. So that planning in the morning, you have to plan to listen to those positive words and you have to read positive books and you have to do things in the morning because once you open those eyes, put the feet on the ground and you set out your day. The tone you set within the first six minutes of your day, according to scientists, will totally direct your day.

Now you’re saying how can 6 minutes direct a 24 hour period? That’s just how were wired. Remember our brain is set out for only one purpose, for us to survive. And if you fill it full of negativity your brain’s going to go on defensive mode, it’s going to go one survival mode, first thing in the morning. Well you don’t do your best work if you’re in survival mode. You can’t be your most creative in survival mode. You need to be set out in the mode that helps you get to your end result, which is to make today better than it was yesterday.

You know, I have a saying I always tell our team: “Never sacrifice the important for the urgent and unimportant.” To me this means always focus on what you need to move forward instead of being pulled in the cesspool of negativity for the day. You’re just setting there, spinning your wheels so to speak. Kinda stuck in that mud of life. When you could be moving forward by doing what is important. And you know sometimes those three tasks that I do for the day, I call it my daily big three, sometimes I only get one of those done that very top one, if I get that one done though, I am empowered to move forward. You see it’s not if I get them all three done, it’s that I’m working toward my goal. Some days I get all three of those done, and then most days I do. However, there may be something, maybe something big on there as my number one that I am going to have to develop a full amount of my mental facility to get that done for the day. A tremendous focus toward what can be accomplished to take me out of my comfort zone. You know I love this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was the first president in the United States history to be elected to more than two terms. And his wife, Eleanor, which happened to be a second cousin of his that he had married, Eleanor was quite the leader that came out after his disability and then final death, she came out and became a real trooper, a real leader, in terms of her impact on America. One quote she has that I just love, she has a quote that says, “Do one thing every day that scares you”. You know that makes good sense, what she’s really saying is do something that you didn’t think was within your grasp your talents, your thoughts. And go out and achieve it. Man that is powerful stuff. I always kinda take that, and I put it in Jimmy’s vernacular, if you will, and I say do something everyday that takes you out of your comfort zone. If you’re doing something all day long that you’re just comfortable and it’s not putting you to the test of your capabilities. Then you are not growing.

In a future episode, I’m going to talk about disruption being the only proven method to growth. Without disruption, you’re not growing. Same thought concept here. If you’re staying in your comfort zone at all times of the day, if you’re not moving away from those things that are simple and easy, and you could do them in your sleep, kinda pattern. Then you’re not growing. Your’e not growing as a person. Now I hear what you’re saying. You’re saying, man I’ve been under a lot of stress. You know what there’s two types of stress right? There’s good stress, that says hey, if I lift this weight five pounds more than the weight I’ve been working at I get more challenge to the muscle I grow stronger. That muscle grows bigger. Right? That’s good stress. The bad stress is it’s just sitting there worrying about those things of which you have no control. And allowing those things to take over your life.

I’m talking about doing what Eleanor said. Go out, do one thing everyday that scares you. You see the key to living your potential is simply this. Start today. There’s never going to be a perfect day, a perfect week, a perfect moment, a perfect morning, they just don’t exist. And I don’t want you to think I’m getting negative, I’m doing just the opposite. I’m framing in your mind, today is the day we all have. We only have 24 hours today, to live to our potential.

My goals for you is to start right now. If you’re listening to this podcast early in the morning, sit down, stop, give yourself 15 minutes. Take out a plain piece of paper and write down the top three things you need to do today, to fulfill your goal of moving forward. And then we’ll worry about all the other unimportant urgent things at a later time. Matter of fact, take them off your list if they’re unimportant, correct? If they’re just urgent and unimportant you don’t even need them in your thoughts. Not worth your time, if you will, not worth the brain power in my opinion. I want to share with you a book that I’ve read several times by a great writer, it is a small paperback, and you can find it on Amazon or you can find it on this website. This book is called, A Better Way to Live, by Og Mandino. A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino, this books is wonderful. I use this books to keep me in my best thought pattern because he writes in such a positive frame, that the book gives me something to live for, to look for, something that I can live with each day and I can repeat in my mind and grow my mindset to that of being successful. His 17 ways, or if you will strategies, of living a better life.

Strategy number 1: count your blessings. Now how many of you each morning get up and say, thank you for another day. You need to look at the many things around you that are positive and are working and give you value in life. I use a statement all the time in our in our company, I always say we worked on most things for families, that money can’t buy and death can’t take away. So each day count your blessings.

Number 2: today and every day deliver more than you’re getting paid to do. You know sometimes in America we have these individuals that want to work just enough to hang on to their job. What a pitiful existence, right? We want to deliver far more than we’re paid to deliver. This is called creating value for others. And in the process of creating value for others, you create tremendous growth and value for yourself. In the marketplace, in the eyes and mindset of that person that you performed the service, or you provided a product or whatever you’re role is in your job and your career, whatever you do provide it at greater value than what you get paid to do. Always deliver more.

Number 3: whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. On a previous episode, you heard me call this the gap. Where you sit down and you have this kind of a pity party, you know hey, whoa is me, it was a hard day. Boy, Sally, she didn’t have a hard day but I did because I had to do this extra work at the office. You know, whatever, had a flat on the way to the office, it is a thousand things that can go wrong in a day. Pick it up, acknowledge it happened, and move forward. I dedicated a complete episode on this podcast to remember something, give credibility to it, but don’t dwell on it. Keep moving forward.

Number 4: always regard your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way. Surrounded by your family. So see the real reason you’re working is not just for you. Even if you’re a single person you’re working to provide others in your company an opportunity as well. You’re providing them growth, you’re providing them opportunities to be a bigger person themselves. To grow within themselves, in skills, whatever. But you’re not just simply working to be working. you’re working for a purpose. You’re working with a purpose.

Number 5: build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. This is one that I have used for many many years. The first thing I do is fill my mind with pleasant positive powerful thoughts to start the day. Again as I said earlier, if you’re starting it with negativity, you need to rethink your approach to life so that you can start your mindset in a very powerful manner. Let your actions always speak for you, but be forever on guard against the terrible traps of false pride and conceit that can halt your progress. You know I want to say it this a way. I am proud of the progress I make, but I don’t let my pride overrun my potential. What I’m suggesting to you is don’t get comfortable. Now I don’t mean you can’t take vacations, we’ve talked about that on the podcast. I have a whole episode about taking a vacation, how to relax, but remember that’s only a step in the process of becoming a bigger, better, and bolder you. You must rest the mind, you must rest the body, but hey, do this. Be proud of what you’ve done. But not so much that your pride allows you to become conceded, and thinking you’ve reached your pinnacle.

Number 7: each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude, and plans for yourself and your future. What this statement says to me is, I’ve got as ,I said earlier, 24 hours. That’s all we’re given. If you awoke and are listening to this podcast today I want to give you the mindset not to depress but to encourage. You have 24 hours. Go out and make it a day that you can be proud of, that a day that you’ve given others your best. A day that you’ve encouraged others. Who are having a worse day than you.

Number 8: never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. Do you know some of these people? I have some friends that just can’t even take a vacation. They can’t work on those things that can move them forward because they’re so busy doing less important things. They’re so busy with things that they dream up that they believe just because they’re busy, they’re making progress. Well I got news for ya. Being busy, is not progress. Being busy takes away from the opportunity, energy and strength you have to go do those things that really move the needle if you will.

Number 9: live this day as if it will be your last. This is one statement that I believe could help each of us develop the mindset to really go out and conquer the day. Go out and seize the day so that you do what you think is most important that if you weren’t here tomorrow, will you feel your family, your friends, your company, your colleagues, would have known that you left this world doing what was most important? Live this day as if it will be your last. If you have no other take from this entire episode, please think about this. Fulfil the day, seize the day that you’ve been given.

Number 10: beginning today treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Wow. Man, that frames it up, does it not? If you do this, and you treat everyone that you meet as if they’re going to be dead by midnight, you’re going to have a different mentality, you’re going to have a kindness within you that’s going to reach these people, leave something to help them become better than they were when you found them. Mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, whatever it may be. But if they were to be dead at midnight it’s not on your conscience that you didn’t do what was the right thing.

Number 11: laugh at yourself and at life. OK, guys, I’m gonna open the curtain a little bit and tell you a little bit about me. When at the end of the day I’m a little bit tired and I’ve had a great day but I’m just a little tired and my emotions may be a little lower than where I started, and I hear you, most of you that know me understand that I don’t have bad days, I just have days that are better than others, but I will say this, I listen to some comedy, now you’re gonna laugh, I like to listen to something that’s funny or watch YouTube videos that are funny. Just good clean humor that I can just laugh. Or think back on something, I’ll read in my journal that I’ve written that I’ve had a, if you will, a funny moment in my life, and relive that moment for a moment just to laugh at myself. I do believe that helps us as a person to realize as a person that we’re not just robots. We are people with emotions. We make mistakes, we have great accomplishments, we say the wrong words at the wrong time. Heaven knows during this podcast I say somethings sometimes that do not make sense. However, in my mind I’m pouring out my heart and my mind to those people, you my listeners, that need to hear something good, positive and powerful. That’s my only goal.

Number 12: never neglect the little things. When I’m talking the little things, you know, we talked about earlier your daily big three. Have those big things that move the needle if you complete those tasks today, you’re moving toward your goals. Well, there’s also some little things, let’s talk about a couple of those. First and foremost, I have two daughters. I never want to neglect them in terms of conversation. Time to impart on them maybe some wisdom, give them some support in the area they need to make a good decision in life. Or simply just to share a few words. You know, sometimes we need to pick up the phone and call a mom or dad. Tell them you love them, it’s just something real simple, just something short. It doesn’t take a lot of time. But it is a tremendous and impactful way to help others understand you love them and care for them. Never neglect the little things about family, never neglect the little things that really build up to bigger things in life. You know if you just need to read this one book, you just need ten pages left, finish the book. Check it off. Never neglect the little things.

Number 13: welcome every morning with a smile. Now folks, I’ve gotta tell ya, you’re gonna leave this episode thinking this man is crazy. But here’s what I do. I look in the mirror as soon as I get up, I walk to my bathroom sink, I look in that mirror before I shave, and I smile the biggest smile that I can, looking at that mirror and I say today is the best day of your life. And I’m talking about that man in the mirror. And I implant that thought in my brain. I do that seven days a week, 365 days a year. If I’m traveling I do it in the hotel. Gosh, I hope the walls aren’t very thin in a lot of these hotels cause these people next to me are gonna get a lesson in life without even wanting one.

Number 14: you will achieve grand dreams one day at a time, so set goals each day, not long and difficult projects, but chores that will allow you to take step by step towards your rainbow. Mandino’s telling us there, each day as I said earlier, is one step toward the goal. Now you do have to take action. To gain that step, you do have to take intentionality as we’ve said to take that step. It’s not by haphazard means or just by chance that you actually achieve any goal. You know, I’m talking about weight loss for a second. And I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to me. If I want to sit down and say, ok I need to lose 20 pounds, and I simply say, you know, I’m gonna have that 20 pounds off me in four months, and the first month I’m so confident that I can get the 20 pounds off in four months that I don’t even start, so I don’t start until month 2, well now I’m already behind the 8-ball, am I not? So I need to actually look at this as what small step can I do today, how about I just forego any sweets starting day 1. Eat my regular meal, forget the sweets, just cut that part out. And then after maybe two to three weeks, I look at what I’m eating and I say you know what, maybe I don’t need breads, how about I cut anything to do with wheat out. Let’s just cut the bread out. And now I’ve cut out sweets and breads. So you see what I’m doing, I’m building up to the momentum of creating this loss of weight over a period of time that really moves inches now, to lose pounds later.

Number 15: one of my favorite sayings, never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast the pile of gloom and defeat on an entire day. Do you know these people? There are certain people out there that look for somebody that can be a target for their negativity, just to come over there and tell you that the glass is half empty. When you and I know that it’s just simply half full. That the sun is shining great, coming up on the east. However, they’ll look and say there are some clouds up overhead. These are the people I’m gonna tell you, I don’t hang around much, I don’t simply like to be told all the negative things in life. You see your day is challenging enough, surround yourself by those people that are eagles. Eagles I say, you don’t want to hang around with chickens that sit around and scratch and dig up whatever they can dig up. Know the eagle, up from his majestic heights up on the air, comes looking around for those things he can eat, the rabbits, the other varmints that he’s gonna eat. Because you see he’s a brave, bold bird, he’s up there doing what he wants to do. Flying with the freedom that he can go anywhere he desires. And those chickens just sit right there in the same coop and they sit there and poke on the ground. Digging up old things that they had underground yesterday. Continuing to stay in one spot. That’s not you, you’re an eagle. Get out and take charge of your life. Don’t let anyone rain on your parade.

Number 16: search for the seed of good in every adversity. Now, this is a difficult task, to say the least. But look for the good in everything bad that happens. I was talking to a friend of mine, and he had a difficult time in life. His car was involved in a wreck that he’d loaned his friend. His father was in the hospital, suffering, he obviously didn’t know at that time, but his father was not going to be coming home to live very long. He just had a difficult time in life and had a lot weighing on him from his office, had a growing office but some challenges that were coming out so he was getting hit on all sides. The one thing I always talked with him about was, tell me three things that are positive today. That you’ve found, you have to look for, right folks? You have to look for the positive, because I’ve gotta tell you the negative jumps up in your face. And I tell you, you have to push that aside. Physically and mentally push it aside and say I’m looking for some good. And sometimes that good we find is something very very small. Very tedious. But I want you to know, if you’ve focused on the small tedious good in those challenging times, it’ll be all that you need to give you the strength to rise above it. And again you get 24 hours tomorrow to start a new day.

Number 17: and finally, realize that true happiness lies within you. True happiness lies within each of us. It’s only up to us if we’re going to realize it. You see it lies dormant within us, you’ve got everything within your body and brain that you need to be happy. Temporal things, tangible things out in the world. Sure they can bring you some temporary happiness, but they will not bring you long term lasting happiness that will give you fulfillment in your life. You must learn to find that within yourself. Again like I said it’s those things that money can’t buy. And death can’t take away. Family, faith, fellowship, friends. These are the things that bring us true happiness. Now I’m not above going out and making a good living. I think that’s fantastic. However, I say this, that the thing the good living provides me, that gives me true happiness is not the money or the material items you can buy. It’s the freedom you have to choose a path you wish to go. Perhaps it’s the freedom you gain from a livelihood that allows you to take 12 to 14 weeks a year off and rest and relax and recharge. You see, those are the important things in life that give us the opportunity to be a bigger, better, bolder us.

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