What drives a human being to desire a walk on the moon or beyond? Why would you feel that push to leave the comfort of home and strike out in a world that is fraught with unknowns? The reason is that you have potential within you. As humans we were endowed with a mind that creates its pathway to realize our own fullest potential. What type of person attempts a task or project facing supposed insurmountable odds to simply say, I did it? You! You’re that person. You are that type of person. Today we’re sharing three proven strategies that will help you see the next big accomplishment in your life.
Hey, good morning! I’m Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design your pastor of positivity for your positive powerful moments of motivation this morning. You know we are now in a situation of this world of total disruption. We’ve seen airline travel, hospitality, restaurants, work in general disrupted across this country and across this globe. As this comes to be published, this is a podcast today that I want you to do me a big favor, while you’re hopefully self-isolating and distancing yourself from others so that we can stop or at least slow down the spread of this COVID-19 virus.
I want you to do me a favor, now, to lock out the world, whatever it may be, put your phone on silent. Do whatever’s necessary to create for yourself an area of solitude. Even Superman, as you’ve heard me say before on this podcast, had to enjoy a few days if not moments in his solitude hidden up north in the pole of North Pole. He was one of those guys, that even as Superman with all of his capabilities, as you can imagine in the comic books and the movies, he still needed some time to think.
Today I want to visit with you on three strategies of pushing the limits. Too many of us have gotten comfortable with the status quo. Perhaps your lifestyle where you want it to be, and that’s wonderful. However, I will encourage you to think beyond today at what else you could do to help mankind. This pandemic that has risen so rapidly and spread across our nation now, and the globe, has got me to thinking what more can I do to help mankind instead of what I’m doing now.
This podcast has one role and one role only. That is to give you the best advice that is actionable. To help you achieve greatness on your own terms, and for you to understand that your song within you must be sung so the world can be a better place for all of us. The only goal today on pushing the limits is to make you feel and understand yourself in a bigger, better and bolder way. We each have the capability within us to do just that. Thank you for joining me today.
Let’s look at the courage, will power and desire of an individual that made history in our country. This person had accomplished many successes in their career but yearned to realize more. In their chosen career of education, perhaps more would have been designing a new method of teaching. Or establishing schools in third world countries to bring the level of learning in that country to greater heights. No, this person chose something that was even greater then these important and lofty goals. She chose to go to outer space.
When I think of Christa McAuliffe, I think of her as one of the bravest people I know. An individual who trained for their passion to be the best teacher she could be and then decided that teaching on Earth was limiting to just those students around her, she could teach from space. Now that is living your potential. Christa, a history teacher from New Hampshire, described herself as an ordinary person who has always dreamed of doing extraordinary things. Her mother described her as the type of person who put her entire heart and abilities into every goal she aspired to achieve.
McAuliffe is an example of pushing the limits in life. We can learn the first strategy of pushing the limits in life. And it is to pursue your dreams, not to simply survive. Your dreams are defined as those goals and tasks that require you to become your best person to achieve them. Your strength in mindset to reach and realize your dreams must be honed by focusing on the goal daily. The goal must be painted in such vivid colors within your mind that you are drawn toward the activity without regard to the naysayers, obstacles, and other self limiting beliefs.
There will appear many distractions to attempt to earn your attention. You will be hyper focused though, on your goal. Be fearless. You can be one who you want to be if you want it bad enough. The great writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen”. Now that’s a conspiracy I want to be involved in. So strategy number one to pushing the limits is to pursue your dreams. You must sit back for just a moment, close your eyes, if you’re not driving, and I hope you’re not closing your eyes if you’re listening to this in your car. But close your eyes when you get a moment to sit still, in a quiet moment and just dream about what you would like to achieve in life. Dream about how you could change the world for the better, for your family, your community. Your nation, your world. How could you, as one person, start a spark that would create the fire of creativity and imagination throughout the world?
One of these people that I admire most in life has now deceased, but I have enjoyed nearly every year something from this man’s great intellect and creativity. This person was one of those men in life that was told by a first time hired supervisor that he lacked creativity, he would never make it in his world of being a cartoonist, and that man left such a legacy. His name was Walt Disney. There is probably no one on this planet that hasn’t heard of Disneyland, Disney World, Disney Studios. Walt Disney left such an impression on this planet that he is now down in the history books as one of the creative individuals accepting of all people to come to a commonality and that is to see life through a lens much different than the real world.
He saw imagination become realization. And how did he do it? He didn’t listen to all those people on the side lines say, “Listen, you can’t even build a building there in the Orlando area where you’re buying this swamp land. No one would ever be able to exist in this area, the ground can not contain it”. And guess what he did. He built Disney World, an attraction that brings people from all over the planet, to the community of Orlando in Florida, USA. This man did something that everyone set on the side lines and said he couldn’t do.
Another great inventor pushed the limits of his time, Robert Fulton. You may not know Robert Fulton as well as you know Walt Disney. But let me give you a little background on Robert Fulton. He was raised on the Mississippi River. One day he decided that there’s got to be a better way then simply sailing a boat. There’s gotta be a way that we can power one in a different manner. He then sought out to create, develop and implement the steam engine. He placed this steam engine, powered by coal at that time, in a boat with a paddle wheel and he put that steam engine and boat on the Mississippi while lots of people sat on banks laughing.
They said there’s no way, you’ll never get it to work. How in the world could that heavy heavy engine in a boat make it power itself up and down the river, surely you don’t understand that wind is the best power. Well, those people had their mouths probably gapped wide open, I mean, I don’t know, history didn’t record it. But I’m certain they looked as he powered himself up and down, against the current, against the wind in his steam powered boat. The Mississippi was now conquered. It didn’t matter which way the Mississippi flowed, which was typically south as a river. But it was now his to control and he started a brand new industry, merely from his dream of seeing a new way of transportation. So don’t simply limit yourself. Push those limits to your utmost.
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Our second strategy to pushing the limits today is to increase your skills through continual learning. If you’ve listened to the first 51 episodes of this podcast, you know that I’m a big believer in lifetime learning. Today it is so easy to gain knowledge. Did you know your local library will loan you some of the most historic, prolific books written by earth changing authors? There’s just simply one catch, you must pick them out. If you want to improve your knowledge, you must be reading, participating, or listening to books, courses, webinars, etc. Your current state of knowledge has taken you to where you are today. To see farther in the future, you must be equipped with the knowledge to take you there.
I am a big believer, as I said, in lifetime learning. Many of the successes I have achieved, thus far, are due to the books, courses, and lectures I have read or attended. It is not necessary to listen or read a book and then duplicate the acts to achieve greatness for yourself. This is a shallow existence. You are a unique person. You should take the knowledge you gain and apply in a unique way that helps you progress or reach your big, hairy, audacious goals. Do something uncomfortable today so that you will be more comfortable tomorrow.
One of my favorite quotes is from Elenor Roosevelt, “Do one thing everyday that scares you. Those small things that make us uncomfortable help us to build courage to do the work we do”. And didn’t Elenor Roosevelt live that statement? She literally served as a pseudo President of our nation during the time of her husband’s illness while in the office. She protected her husband, President Roosevelt, from all of the press and so forth that may give our nation a fright concern feel as though we don’t have leadership. And instead she did something she was most uncomfortable. She got up everyday, sought out to be the best wife, first lady she could be, and she helped our nation through a difficult time. And then after the passing of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she continued to serve our nation and the world through her outreach for those in need, as well as to continue to help others see a brighter future then what they’ve experienced. Elenor Roosevelt’s truly, in my opinion, a dynamic leader who did realize her potential in life after she was thrust in a role she never asked for.
Perhaps one most famous entrepreneurs in our U.S. History, Henry Ford. Experienced a learning process that many of us dare to subscribe. I’ve gotta tell you, I live off of what’s called measured risk in every I do. I not only look to see what will it cost me now, but I also try to somehow quantify or qualify what would be the outcomes that would be gained in this process. To simply do a task, not considering the risk at all, is not properly setting your path to be achieving the goal.
Henry Ford would wholeheartedly jump into a new project or strategy without regard for the negative consequences. His friends, co-workers, eventually board of directors would always say we can’t do that, we can’t do that. Henry Ford had the attitude of we will do that. And then became the father of the assembly line that we now enjoy today in the auto making business.
Ford’s idea of failure was this, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. I like that. Measure your current skills and seek ways to increase your capabilities to empower you to greater heights in life. I’m often puzzled at the thought of people wallowing in self pity for days at a time, instead of working on the mindset to learn a new way of doing something.
You know, one of my favorite rock bands of the 70s, through today, is REO Speedwagon. Their leading songwriter’s a man from Illinois named Kevin Cronin. Kevin knew about success, he had experienced failure and he understood the price of reaching new heights in his career required him to change his inputs and his way of thinking. During the lull of their career as a band, Kevin immediately sought his fortress of solitude. He moved to one of the Hawaiian islands, and then he found himself in a way that he needed to change his body, change his mind and thus change his attitude. He immediately sought out a dietitian, someone who would help him eat better. Workout more, take care of his body. And then he sought himself someone that would help him find a way to meditate. Get his mind right. Get his focus back. And lastly his attitude changed as he stared over the top of those nice mountains and looked down on that powder of an ocean on the banks of Hawaiian islands.
You know, he did something we all must do. We must find a place away from the noise of the world to reach the potential we have within us. And one of the biggest hits that came out of this moment of solitude is a song titled “Keep Pushin”. A portion of the lyrics of this great song paint the picture of transitioning from despair to goal realization, and not certain that was his intent at the time of writing the song, but that’s what I gained from it. The lyrics, as they partially have written are like this, “I used to be lonely ’til I learned about living alone. I’ve found other things to keep my mind on. And I’m getting to know myself a little bit better, I keep pushing on”. To me this is good advice from the rock n roll front man. The second strategy to pushing the limits in your life is to increase your skills through continual learning.
The third strategy to pushing your limits is to keep records of your smaller accomplishments along the way. If you have listened to any of our podcast episodes for the past year, you will know that I am a prolific journal writer. You must find a means of freeing your mind of the current to focus more on the goal of the future. I have volumes of journals that provide me a history of where I came from as a person to the man I am today. These private journals will be something my children will read one day and gain a better understanding, I hope, of their dad. Write about your strategy, your process, your steps toward your goals. Record your missteps, failures, lack of resources, etc. The general logic for such an activity is to provide space for your mind to be creative, innovative and imaginative without all of the clutter of the past projects. I call this, for lack of a better term, a brain dump.
Get it out of your mind. Don’t be afraid to write things down that give witness to your shortcomings. I have written my innermost thoughts about certain phases of life and or business ideas. Some were wonderful, and some were painful. But the key was to get them off your mind and move forward. Going back to read these times gives me motivation to keep pushing forward in life. You can inspire yourself through the lens of introspection. Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of our time, was a journal writer to such a degree that he left hundreds of volumes of journals that communicated some of the technological advancements that came about after his passing. He had the seed idea to many inventions that did not come about until years after he had passed. Now, wow, that to me, that is how you inspire people.
And to think you could inspire those around you for years after your physical presence has passed. That to me is truly living a life by design. We encourage you to not simply listen to the content of this podcast, but to take the content and give it life. By implementing the strategies, hacks and thoughts of this podcast, we hope to inspire you to become a bigger, better, bolder leader, parent, citizen and most of all, you. So keep pushing the limits for your future by pursuing your dreams. Increasing your skills through continual learning. And keeping records of your smaller accomplishments along the way. You can be a bigger, better, and bolder you but it takes action today. There’s nothing holding you back from pushing the limits to success.
Now reach out, today, see someone that might need a helping hand during this difficult, disruptive period. Reach out to them, meet the needs of someone else. I assure you the person that’ll generally be feeling the gratitude will be you. Go out, Live your Life by Design.