The Desire To Work

The Desire To Work

The beginning of a new year is a recognized as a time to make changes and recommit to goals.  One area I reevaluate is my productivity – my work, time management, and return on investment – to see where I can improve. Work is a major part (probably the biggest) of our lives.  Going back in time more than 200 years ago to the 1700s, Charles Wesley, a Methodist hymnal machine of a man, wrote of work that we are ordained to do, in his song “Come, Let Us Anew“:

“… each in the day of His coming  may say, ‘I have fought my way through; I have finished the work Thou didst give me to do.'”

That’s kind of recent, though – about 2000 years ago, the Apostle James relayed the message to us that:

“… faith, if it hath not works, is dead … Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18).

Societies built on a foundation of work and service are always more prosperous, healthy, safer, and enduring than those lacking work and service.  Proof of that is found in the amazing charts in the “Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes” video.

Whether it’s the endless work of a mother caring for a child, the humongous hours of intense study by a doctor to correctly perform a surgery, or even a football player’s hours of film study and physical workout to maximize his preparation for the next game, I’ve always been impressed by the massive amount of work people do to excel.  I touched on this in my Nov. 24 post, “Hard Work.”  Wherever you find success and uncommon accomplishment, you almost always find someone doing a tremendous amount of hard work, probably with a smile on the face and passion in the mind for a job well done.

Over the New Year’s weekend, I had several examples of work right in front of my face that made me ponder my own productivity and work ethic.  I regularly question if I do enough to excel, but over the last couple of days I saw so many examples of extra work others do, that I was moved to write about it.  I saw people who obviously spent hours:

  • Designing and then creating a beautiful meeting room (lots of hours spent just in setting it up);
  • Learning to dance gracefully and effortlessly (studying dance for years in college, then hours spent practicing);
  • Mastering the violin to play 30 minutes straight without one mistake;
  • Reciting scriptures from memory.

My first (default) reaction was to envy those who make things “look easy,” but as I thought about the mammoth amount of time invested, I reconsidered:  “Would I have invested the necessary time to become as good as they are at their craft?”  Then I answered myself, “No, probably not.”  (It’s OK to talk to yourself; it’s even OK to answer yourself; but it’s not OK to say, “Huh?” to yourself.)

So it’s not luck, it’s not being born with the gene; instead, those who accomplish a tuff task have earned, via hard work, a special feeling of satisfaction that cannot be replaced by anything else.  To get to the reward though, at some point they have to generate the desire and then enthusiasm to not only do the job, but do it well, to make the necessary investment of effort that others may not be willing to do.  That attitude usually requires leaving your “comfort zone”:

“If you have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone, you will not only be amazed by the marvel and sights of the world, but also with the wonders that lay deep within yourself.” (Rosanna Ienco)

(That quote comes via my good friend Victoria Campbell, who is an incredible example of hard work and a great attitude for others.)

I don’t think anyone will dispute my assertions above, but one aspect of work that is probably news to a large number of people is that we can desire to do work and choose to be happy while doing it.

Bruce Carlson, a retired Air Force Four-Star General, current Director of the Nat’l Recon. Office, and a General Authority in my church, spoke at a New Year’s Day Conference about not wanting to do things, and how our lives change when we decide to want to do things.  He told a story from his childhood of a request his father made for him to do a household chore.  When the future-Gen. Carlson responded with a typical youthful protest, his father responded that his life would change when he wanted to do the work.

These days, Gen. Carlson stated without hesitation, he is very eager to do work and service for his father.  What changed?  Did the work get easier? (Definitely not.)  Did his ability to do the work improve? Possibly.  But what really changed was his mindset.

One of the most important lessons we’ve received from the Master Key Mastermind Alliance is the knowledge that we can choose to desire to do work.  Not only did we learn that, but also learned how to choose to alter our desires.

Having said all that, work doesn’t have to be awful or even distasteful.  You can work smarter instead of harder. Price Pritchett’s classic book, “You Squared,” describes the process of transforming work into intense desire, then into a “Quantum Leap,” success beyond anything you expected:

“Quantum leaps cannot be achieved through incremental steps or through ‘more of the same.’ You’ve got to shift gears. You have to follow new patterns of thought and action. Sooner or later, you’re going to reach the point where you can’t try any harder. If you want to make a quantum leap, quit thinking about trying harder. More effort isn’t the answer. Get ruthless about trying something different. Quantum leaps come when you seek the elegant solution. So look for an approach characterized by simplicity, precision, efficiency, neatness.”

“Most of us can be found flying too close to the ground. Too often we don’t give ourselves permission to soar. It’s time to start focusing on possibilities, rather than on limits or obstacles. Making a quantum leap means moving outside your mental boundaries. Seeking the quantum leap means violating the boundary of the probable. It means achieving well beyond the obvious. So don’t limit your desires to what you think you ‘can have.’ Start going after what you ‘want.’ This means you give yourself permission to dream, to risk. You must set yourself free. Act as if your success is for certain. Just act like you have complete faith. Merely do what you would do if you knew you were going to succeed. Doubt is what does the most damage. So don’t give it any mental space. If you must doubt something, doubt your limits.”

The book is one of the most powerful ideas conveyed that I’ve ever seen in 20 short pages of reading.  Mr. Pritchett elaborates on the importance of faith and confidence in the process:

“Forget the idea that you should be able to see, tangibly and in full view, all the resources necessary to leverage your performance so dramatically. There are resources you can access that can’t be seen, and they are far greater and more powerful than the resources you might readily observe. Absence of evidence is not evidence of their absence. Think of an iceberg, where you see only the tip of what’s really there.”

“Quantum leaps are merely the process of using yourself and your world differently, thus allowing other possibilities that exist to actually materialize. Your willingness to make a quantum leap is the enabler. Quantum leaps jerk you out of your comfort zone. Prepare yourself for a wild ride. At times you may wonder if the situation is about to spin out of control. But you are going to have to learn to let go.”

Get excited about your work and watch what happens.  I hope you experience an incredible transformation in your life in 2011 …

As Anthony Robbins always says, “Live with passion!”

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Cool Persistence Quote

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Calvin Coolidge

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The Importance of Consistency

Inside the heart of a champion is … consistency.  My quads are killing me today – Thanksgiving morning I played football and ran up and down the field for 2 hours.  The pain is from not playing consistently, of course.

The human body and mind can strengthen ANYTHING if repeated over and over.  It’s a process, and it’s difficult, but it’s simple:  it’s not easy, but it’s not complicated.  IOW (in other words), we usually can figure out what to do, but disciplining ourselves to actually do the right thing is a process that takes time, concentration, strict focus, and effort.  This is the continuation and elaboration of the first thing I wrote about nearly two months ago, back on Oct. 4th, that I was “changing daily, habitual behavior in how I think about myself, taking control of my physical body, and then taking control of my mental body.”

Albert Einstein is credited with the definition of insanity:  “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Clearly, the mind is powerful enough to strengthen BAD behavior as well as good.  Charles Haanel says in Chapter 9 of The Master Key, “To think correctly, accurately, we must know the ‘Truth.’  The truth then is the underlying principle in every business or social relation.  It is a condition precedent to every right action.”  So before we dive into a consistent routine, we should probably make sure it’s truth, that it’s going to take us where we want to go, instead of going insane, chasing our tail around in circles.  The good news is that we can learn from OPE, other people’s experience, if our actions will gain our desired result.

Once we confirm the truth, that the road we choose will get us to our desired destination, what’s the next step?  Consistent travel (progress, daily action) in the right direction.  Throughout the entire book, Haanel consistently emphasizes the importance of consistency, of taking daily action to strengthen the mind:

“Whatever you desire for yourself, affirm it for others, and it will help you both.  We reap what we sow.  If we send out thoughts of love and health, they return to us like bread cast upon the waters; but if we send out thoughts of fear, worry, jealousy, anger, hate, etc., we will reap the results in our own lives.”

“It used to be said that man is completely built over every seven years, but some scientists now declare that we build ourselves over entirely every eleven months; so we are really only eleven months old.  If we build the defects back into our bodies year after year, we have no one to blame but ourselves.”

Man is the sum total of his own thoughts; so the question is, how are we going to entertain only the good thoughts and reject the evil ones?  At first we can’t keep the evil thoughts from coming, but we can keep from entertaining them.  The only way to do this is to forget them — which means, get something for them.  This is where the ready-made affirmation comes into play.”

Therefore, Haanel’s message is to consistently focus on what you want in order to have it:

“If our predominant mental attitude is one of power, courage, kindliness and sympathy, we shall find that our environment will reflect conditions in correspondence with these thoughts; if it is weak, critical, envious and destructive, we shall find our environment reflecting conditions corresponding to these thoughts.”

“When you are enabled to make your vision clear and complete you will be enabled to enter into the spirit of a thing; it will become very real to you; you will be learning to concentrate and the process is the same, whether you are concentrating on health, a favorite flower, an ideal, a complicated business proposition or any other problem of life. …  Every success has been accomplished by persistent concentration upon the object in view.”

Haanel proves his premise with many different examples, whether it’s:

  • a child overcoming a debilitating disease with healthy affirmations and altered focus;
  • a seed growing into a plant from consistent doses of water and sunlight;
  • an adult’s negative thoughts being replaced by positive ones.

Once we realize consistent action is the key, we only need to confirm the proper course of action to take, and then do it over and over.  What a great and simple world. 🙂

That a man can change himself, improve himself, re-create himself, control his environment, and master his own destiny is the conclusion of every mind who is wide-awake to the power of right thought in constructive action.” (Larsen)

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This article says it all about style vs. substance.  Most people want to be the superstar but aren’t willing to pay the price.  Heck, even the “superstars” exposed below aren’t willing to pay the price!

Greg Easterbrook’s always-intriguing “TMQ” column at regularly slams prima donnas and slugs.  The pertinent analogy comparing the point below to our MKMMA experience is that rising to the top takes a lot more than desire or good intentions – it really comes down to doing the work!  We got another dose of that reminder in the Kevin Spacey clip.

Red highlights and [bracketed comments] are mine.

Undrafted wide receiver Blair White, a walk-on in college, caught two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s tense Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots game, both times beating high-drafted safety Pat Chung. Also on Sunday, wide receiver Stevie Johnson, a seventh-round pick, caught three touchdown passes in the Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals game, twice beating corner Leon Hall, a former first-rounder. Earlier in the season, Pierre Garcon of the Colts, a sixth-round choice from Division III Mount Union, sprinted through the Washington Redskins secondary for a 57-yard touchdown reception, past defensive backs DeAngelo Hall and LaRon Landry, both high first-round choices from football-factory colleges.

These plays, in a nutshell, summarize a core fact of NFL life: Receivers who were unknowns early in their NFL careers often outperform megabucks glory-boy high-drafted types.

Among NFL receivers having fine seasons are Danny Amendola, Anthony Armstrong, Miles Austin, Davone Bess, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates, Lance Moore and Wes Welker, all undrafted. Other top receivers include Marques Colston, Donald Driver, Garcon, Johnny Knox and Kevin Walter, all late-round draft choices from below-the-radar colleges. And the league’s No. 1 receiver is Brandon Lloyd, who has been waived twice in the NFL and barely played in 2008 and 2009.

Some kind of fluke of the moment? Three of the NFL’s top eight all-time receivers — Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens and Andre Reed — were small-college players.

By contrast, you’d quickly run out of fingers counting recent first-round football-factory receivers who either were busts or failed to live up to their billing. Charles Rogers, Troy Williamson, Matt Jones, David Terrell, Ted Ginn Jr., Michael Clayton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Ashley Lelie, Reggie Williams, Koren Robinson — not even TMQ has room for a full accounting.

Why do small-school and low-drafted NFL receivers excel where glory boys falter? In most cases, the answer is ego and work ethic.

College “passing trees” tend to be fairly basic: Often big-deal college receivers aren’t asked to do much more than outrun defenders. Many acquire the belief that they cannot be stopped, that all they need to do is show up and blow past people. Add this to the ego temptation awaiting all receivers — fans and announcers notice you only when you’re open, allowing you to maintain a fantasy that you’re always open. The result is that big-deal, high-drafted receivers may arrive in the NFL thinking merely stepping onto the field will make them stars. That’s how it was in college!  [Do you know anyone like that in business? :(]

The NFL reality is very different. NFL passing trees are complex; receivers must know them cold, plus know every sight adjustment, plus spend hours weekly with film. NFL defenders are fast. The slowest defensive back an NFL receiver will face is faster than 95 percent of the defensive backs in college. In college, top receivers often have a big lead on defenders. In the NFL, the objective is a one-stride lead.

And in the NFL, if a receiver doesn’t block, he doesn’t play. In college, glory-boy receivers often take running downs off. In the NFL, only Randy Moss gets away with this. And Moss, a high-drafted megabucks type, hasn’t exactly had a positive effect at New England, Minnesota or Tennessee this season.

Undrafted or small-school receivers know their sole chance is to work, work, work. At Washington, Anthony Armstrong beat out high-drafted wide receiver Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, both from football-factory colleges: Thomas was waived and Kelly has played little. At Buffalo, Johnson beat out high-drafted football-factory wide receiver James Hardy, who was waived. Thomas, Kelly and Hardy all strutted around practice complaining that they weren’t being showcased: Armstrong and Johnson worked, worked, worked. Last season, while high-drafted, glam-boy wide receiver Roy Williams of Dallas was struggling, Miles Austin worked, worked, worked. Welker works, works, works and then works some more.

If you were an NFL coach and saw two receivers on your sideline — one a high-drafted complainer who expects a limo waiting for him, the other an undrafted guy who works, works, works — who would you send in?

Note I haven’t mentioned Mike Williams, the 10th selection of the 2005 draft, from football factory USC, widely viewed as a mega-bust after being let go by the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans. Williams arrived in the NFL thinking all he had to do was step on the field. He was in poor shape, didn’t know the offense on three straight teams and whined nonstop. In 2008 and 2009, he was OOF — out of football.

If you are yet to see the Seattle Seahawks play this season, and few east of the Rocky Mountains have, Williams is having a solid season. He’s already snagged more receptions in 2010 than in his entire previous NFL career, and is blocking well. Williams is in shape, working hard and saying “Yes sir, no sir” to coaches. He’s becoming the player he might always have been — if he’d attended Mount Union and been drafted late. Williams provides further evidence that how hard a player works — not how much hype he receives — is the secret to success as an NFL receiver.  [How about, it’s the secret to success in EVERYTHING?!?!]

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Enjoying The Process

To me, the essence of the Master Key program is harnessing the mindset required to “enjoy the process” of growing throughout life and becoming successful.

The reason I feel this way is because I don’t think a person can say they’ve achieved success if they’re unhappy, and I don’t think you can endure the difficult challenges to become successful if, in your mind, it’s equivalent to a daily root canal.  Plus, how happy can you truly be if you complain all the way to the top, or you’re negative and cynical after you get there?  More simply stated, what successful person has a bad attitude?

Those thoughts seem like they should be obvious, but there was a time when I didn’t comprehend them.  I had a multi-millionaire boss tell me at age 22 that I was “a ‘things person,’ not a ‘people person’.”  I bought into that, especially since I was more comfortable with a computer than with the sales process.  What’s interesting is that I had computer training in high school, in college, and on the job in two different occupations, but I had little if any sales training.  So when I started my own business at age 23, it’s no mystery why I had the strange belief that I could make a million dollars without having to interact with people, since I didn’t feel confident in dealing with people and didn’t think I’d enjoy becoming a “people person.”

Luckily, I also had on my “belief window” the thought that anyone can learn how to do anything, if the desire is there.  About six months into the struggle of building my business, there was a point when I realized I had to enjoy dealing with people to become truly successful.  I learned this from observing the leaders not only in my business, but in others, too.  On top of that, I finally figured out that I could learn how to interact with others and actually enjoy it, and that’s when things began to change for me.

A friend recommended the classic book, “How To Win Friends And Influence People,” and my conversion from “things person” to “people person” was underway.  The “Master Key” for me is the knowledge (the confidence, the belief) that I control my thoughts, which means I’m in charge of my actions, so I therefore have the ability to decide what I think and how I act.  That’s the game-changer in the lives of successful people, when they decide to be successful, and do so because they know they can do whatever they decide to.

That’s not necessarily an easy mental state to reach, which reminds me of a classic quote attributed to the Savior:  “I didn’t say it was going to be easy, but I said it would be worth it.”  A friend of mine has on her Facebook page, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  It’s so true, and that goes perfectly with the mantra I love to say, “Instead of ‘making a living,’ design a life.”  Enjoying the process, the “journey,” of getting where you want to be, is really the only choice we have if we want to be successful and happy.  For some, including me, it’s a process to learn how to enjoy the process, but it’s still possible. 🙂  I also learned that the sooner you decide to enjoy the process, the more fun you’ll have, and more than likely, the faster you’ll reach your goals.

Enjoy the process!

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Family First

Some of my all-time favorite quotes:

“There must be purpose in our lives.  We are here to accomplish something, to bless society with our talents and our learning.  There can be fun, yes.  But there must be recognition of the fact that life is serious, that the risks are great, but that we can overcome them if we will discipline ourselves and seek the unfailing strength of the Lord.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

“By profession I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact, but I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father.  A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys.  The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creations and life.  And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still.” – General Douglas MacArthur

“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” – David O. McKay

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Designing A Life, Instead Of Making A Living

You may have heard the saying, “Create your future:  instead of making a living, design your life.”  To me, that’s what this mastermind course is all about.  There’s no question that a small percentage of people in this world are willing to make the sacrifice, to cultivate/develop the discipline, to do extraordinary things, while MOST people watch tv or somehow just observe life as it goes by.

In talking with Mark J., I am regularly reminded of his complete confidence in what his results will be, that he is rarely distracted by the ups and downs of the day-to-day happenings; IOW (in other words), his future is a foregone conclusion.  I’ve noticed that in many (most) other leaders:  they act as if their future success was never in doubt, that it was just a matter of WHEN it would happen, not if.

When I adopt that same confidence, that same definiteness of purpose and conviction that I determine my outcome and my future, that’s when I accomplish what I want.  Reaching the top requires this mindset, which is winning the battle between my two ears, and that’s what this program is doing for me.

As Anthony Robbins always says, “Live with passion!


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