Episode 106: Would, Should, Could

Do you ever doubt your ability to conquer your greatest challenges in life? Not any longer! In this episode Jimmy shares his mental approach to life’s greatest challenges and the methods used to seek and retain success.

Episode Keys

  • The power behind challenging your limiting beliefs with simple questions that empower you to achieve success.
  • How you should approach your toughest obstacles for the highest degree of accomplishment.
  • When your mindset may be holding you back from your next successful venture.
  • Why your thoughts rob you of your potential!
  • Overcoming excuses by using a simple, yet effective approach to building your confidence.

Podcast Transcription

Good morning! I’ve got something on my mind I just have to share today. There was a friend that I talked with yesterday that was just in this complaining mode. I mean, you know those ladies and gentlemen that come up to you and they just pour out on you all this negativity, right? And I’m sitting there listening, and I made no comment, no gesture, just sat there listening. And I cocked my head just a slight couple of degrees to the left a little bit, kind of like our dog does when he doesn’t understand what’s going on. So this man just kept complaining to me. And finally he saw that I was basically sitting there just listening and not ever making a gesture. And he said, “Well, why aren’t you agreeing with me?” And I said, “Because there’s nothing with my agreement that would change your situation from where you are right now.” And I gave him a secret that I used to help get out of those kinds of situations in my mindset. And I’m going to share it with you today, my top three secrets, and it’s a simple phrase that will help you become the master of your mindset.

Hey, this is Jimmy Williams. Good morning, your Monday morning moments of motivation right here on Live A Life By Design. I don’t want to start off with that negative story, but I just thought it would relate to what’s going on in the world. We’re coming out of all this disruption. I see nothing but great days ahead. That’s because I expect them. If you’re going to reap the benefits of a great life, a great attitude and so forth, you’ve got to believe in yourself first before you can achieve in your mindset. So believing that you’re going to have those good days ahead will certainly lay the groundwork for them.

So let’s talk just a minute about these three items. There have been goals that I’ve pursued and came up a little shorter than my ideal outcome. One method of dealing with this shortfall was to berate myself for a few moments for not committing enough energy, time, focus, whatever, to reach the goal. But why would I do that to myself? Well, I’ve got some ideas. Because I believe each of us has a great potential and we only need to commit to releasing from ourselves to serve the world in the manner we were designed.

And that’s what I’m saying to you. You were designed for greatness. You were endowed with seeds of greatness. Are they growing? That’s what we’re going to find out today, how we can make those seeds of greatness grow within us and how you can help others grow as well. I truly believe each of us possess a unique ability, that when coordinated and working with others, gives us unlimited power to change our world. I can almost hear your heads shaking in disbelief. I’m proud this is an audio and not a video at this point.

Now let me explain in greater detail what I’m referring to you. Each of us has an uncanny ability to direct our own path. Along with this ability comes a detriment. Life is a balance, right? So for example, self-motivation is a wonderful attribute in achievers. Matter of fact, I would say it’s a necessity if you’re going to be an achiever. If you’re going to be someone that’s an entrepreneur, you must have, in my opinion, self-motivation. However, the opposite of self-motivation is self-oppression, and those do not help us reach our potential. When this occurs, the excuses abound. You’ve heard them all. This gentleman that was complaining to me gave me many excuses during his diatribe of why the world is wrong with him. And some of those excuses may have been, and if you hear one, this may jog your memory, “If I only had more time,” or how about, “If I had more resources.” I know I’ve used this one before, “If only I had an assistant.” It’s easy to listen to our own limiting beliefs and begin to take them to heart. What we must ask ourselves is one simple, yet powerful question. If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I attempt to achieve? If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I attempt to achieve? This is where you fill in that blank. What is that that you would attempt to achieve if you knew you couldn’t fail? If you knew that something was a dream of yours, you were passionate about it and it would exponentially change your life and impact those around you, what would it be? Instead of focusing on our lack of talent, resources or time, why don’t we focus on the abundance in our lives? That’s where the wellspring of achievement actually comes from.

The story of someone you may never have heard of named Stevland Judkins inspires me every time I hear it. You haven’t heard of Stevland? Well, let me give you a little background on him. He was born six weeks premature, and due to an oxygen issue with his incubator in the nursery of the hospital, he suffered retinopathy of prematurity, a condition in which the growth of his eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach, resulting in full blindness. Instead of thinking about all the trouble he experienced in life with his eyesight robbed from him, Stevland turned to the strengths he possessed. He began playing musical instruments when he was very young. To hone his voice and ear for music, he began singing in the church choir. After being discovered at the age of 11, now, keep that in mind, at the age of 11 singing and writing his own music, he was taken to Detroit to audition for Berry Gordy, the famed record producer of Motown. Immediately Stevland was a big hit and began touring the country as a singer musician at the ripe old age of 12. His career has been recognized the world over for his songwriting, singing, playing, and producing of music. I’m certain many of you know of whom I speak. His real name today is Stevie Wonder. Instead of letting the loss of his sight dictate his life of poverty and misfortune, Stevie Wonder used his abundance in natural tone and musical talent to rise to the top of the music world. He was invited to the White House in 2011 and honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Now that is a person that knows how to talk to himself because he thought that failure was not even in his vision. He did not look at the scarcity, his lack of sight, as being a hindrance, but rather being an abundance of now his hearing and talents being honed without distraction of sight. To me, that is a powerful, powerful story. To help you reach the pinnacle of your talents and potential, use this simple hack that helps me. I call it would, should, could, the choice to move forward.

The first word “would” helps me compare the goals to my values. Would achieving this goal infringe or compromise my personal values? One of the best opportunities that may present itself may require you abandoning your principles. To me, this is not what you should be doing. It is better to continue seeking opportunities that align with your values than to seek instant gratification and possible fortune at the sacrifice of your personal reputation or loss of self-respect. What if you had worked and sacrificed for years and an opportunity to be a board member of the company you had given your professional career to growing and expanding? When asked by the chairman of the board if you would serve, you smile and respond with a yes. However, before your acceptance can be heard, the chairman also states a caveat. You must vote and support all of his proposals while serving on the board. If you don’t, then you would be removed from the board. Would the title, prestige, money, be worth the sacrifice of your principles in this particular case? Would you be able to serve the customers and stockholders and yourself knowing that you are being totally dishonest with yourself? I think not. When faced with a decision that has significant impact on your life, your career, or your family, simply ask yourself, would this opportunity cost me my values and self-esteem? That word “would” is a good start to what we’re discussing today to take control of your mindset. So would you do something if it asked you to sacrifice your self-respect or your values?

The second question I ask myself is should I do this? Would something happen, but should I do this gives a little bit more reflection on the guiding forces in my life. For example, I’ve been given many opportunities to join international firms in my field. When I asked myself the question, “Should I do this?” My mind immediately flashed back to the reason I became an entrepreneur in the first place, the word freedom pops brightly in my mind. It is more valuable to me to have the freedoms of choice, time and creativity to do what interests me most than it is to simply be told the areas I must work and what I must do in a larger organization. The structure of these giant companies is critical to their success and accountability for their products and services. Instead, I prefer the freedom to express myself in the manner that directly changes the lives of the families that we work with.

Daily, I get the opportunity to meet families that are remarkable. These families rely on our team to bring them goals into evidence, not simply that they wish something to happen and we make it happen, but we work on a plan together, if you will, hand-in-hand, through the future days until they see the results they wish to see for their families.

So I’ve got a question for you. What is your reason for getting up each morning? Are you motivated by inward or outward means? Thomas Edison, the great inventor, knew about inward motivation. Known as one of the most industrious inventors of his era, Edison had a goal of completing one new minor invention, now get this, every 10 days. Now that my friends is a short-term goal that he focused on. This mindset powered to his ability to stay with a project through its completion and earning him significant wealth in the process. Edison didn’t do what he did every day for wealth. He did it to satisfy his curious mind of science and other types of activities that he had learned as a small boy. Edison used a form of the should question when deciding on a particular project to undertake. Which of these minor inventions should I take on? He took that type of approach every day when he awoke to see how he could change the world for better. It is obvious that this question has served him well.

The last of these three words is perhaps the toughest for me. It forces me to recognize my limitations and do something anyway. Now I’m going to share something a little personal with you at this point. Our subscribers and listeners to this podcast have been remarkable in their emails and words that they’ve given us to inspire me to keep moving forward, taking on challenges that otherwise I maybe wouldn’t approach. This is something personal. I have been a big, big supporter and fan of Special Olympics. When Special Olympics got started by Sargent Shriver and the family, you might know them. The Shrivers were of course married into the Kennedys. And when he started this with his family, it was an opportunity to help athletes that perhaps were not considered by the world to be the Olympians that we see on TV. But these athletes I think have as much heart, as much determination, and perhaps even more grit than the athletes that compete in the Olympics.

And the reason I say that is for this last of the three words. The Special Olympics athletes have to overcome enormous physical, mental, and other challenges just to compete. I didn’t say to win their particular field of it, but I did say to compete. So the organization gives opportunities to these individuals that possess enormous talent and passion for their sport. You will not find an athlete, in my opinion, in most cases, by attending a Special Olympics event where a person can have more passion for what they’re about to undertake in a challenge toward other athletes.

Today, I want to introduce one of those fantastic world-class athletes of the Special Olympics. Her name is Chelsea Werner. She was a Special Olympian who not only asked herself if she could do something, she answered it emphatically by performing gymnastics at a competitive level and won multiple national titles. She was born with all the negatives that you and I have never even come close to facing. Chelsea was born with low muscle tone and trouble with mobility. These are the symptoms of a Down syndrome child. She began doing gymnastics as a way of building her strength. At the young age of 22, she had become a champion in her sport many times. Her first competitions were not that impressive and she would typically come in last place. This wasn’t good enough for Chelsea. You see, she had remembered the first few steps and how painfully it hurt her body just to move. And she said to herself, “I am better than this. I will not allow one simple issue of Down syndrome to dictate my life.” She was not allowing herself to be relegated to the dust bin of society as just another person that didn’t fit in. Not Chelsea. She began to understand what her lower scores on those first competitions meant, and she began a new journey of training to win a medal. You see folks, she put that goal out there. She asked herself, “Could I do this?” She had already said, “Would I do this?” Emphatically yes. “Should I do this?” Again, with great excitement, yes! But could she do it? This is the toughest of the three words that I share with you today. So Chelsea said to herself, “Yes, I could do this!” She answered all three words powerfully. Well, she answered back with that emphatic yes and the medals account for themselves.

Don’t limit yourself to what you’re simply doing today. This is not the height of your life. If you’re a younger person in your thirties and you’re working tremendous numbers of hours and you’re not seeing your career move as quickly as you would like in that upward mobility, then don’t quit. Don’t think this is your end of the road. You may have a passion you have yet to develop that once you do so could change your life in a big way. The self-limiting belief of being unable to climb the mountain was conquered many times before you, but you may need to scale an even taller mountain for the next objective. You simply must believe in yourself.

Would you be able to conquer the mountain? Should you go conquer the mountain? Could you go conquer that mountain? Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish the impossible when you want something bad enough. There’s a saying I love to quote, and I can’t recall who actually said it, but it’s the phrase, “Everyone says it’s impossible until someone comes along that didn’t know and accomplishes the task.” It’s as if we almost train ourselves for failure. And today I’m asking you to train your mind, train your body, train your spirit to be the success I know is within you. There’s a saying that too many of us die with our song within us. In other words, the great philosopher is telling us that we did not take part of life that within us was the greatness to come out. We can do better. Go ahead and answer the question of could I do this with a shout of, “Yes, I can!”

Your challenge this week is when challenged was something that takes you out of your comfort zone, ask yourself the would, should, could questions. After you have overcome the challenge, look back at the naysayers, extend your hand and help them scale the height in their life. See, that’s what we as people should do for our fellow man. I believe that there are millions of us on this planet that only wish to help others achieve greatness within themselves. And by doing so, we ourselves will choose and see our greatness. There’s too often a competition that with one of us winning the others must lose. I don’t see life is that way. Would I, if you’ll allow me to say that, would I believe in helping someone that could even be greater than me in life? Absolutely. To be a part of someone else’s greatness and success only helps you become more successful. Well, should I help someone become more successful in life? Absolutely. That’s what mentors do.

As a matter of fact, I’ll never forget some of the greatest athletes, coaches, were not that good of athletes, but they knew the fundamentals of their game. They knew what to do to reach the top of perfection of their game. Do you think anyone’s ever heard of the junior high coach that really pushed Michael Jordan to become a great basketball player? I’m sure his name’s in books and memoirs of Michael Jordan, but no one’s erecting statues of the coach. But if you asked me, I would have loved to have shaken the hand of that man and said, “You don’t know how great you are by instilling greatness in Michael Jordan.” See, it was always there, that seed of greatness, that endowment to succeed was there in Michael Jordan, he just needed someone to come along and help water it and grow it.

Again, go out today, find someone that needs a helping hand and give them a hand up and not a handout. And go ahead, live your life by your design.

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