2013: A year of action or excuses?

This morning at breakfast I happened to come across a panel discussion consisting of a handful of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders on one of my favorite morning shows.  I always find it inspiring to listen to people’s life stories, but what particularly struck me today was the one common denominator they possessed; they all lead by example, showing the world by action how they came to be a success. Why are they admired by hundreds of thousands, if not millions? Because they have applied action to theory, they stuck with their idea and belief in that their model would work.  One person, now the owner of  a multimillion dollar business, described how he used to live in the back of his car for months, while another recalled how his family and friends thought he was crazy to give up a well paying, steady job to pursue his dream. These people had the guts to be honest with themselves, to go for their big goals, despite criticism from others.  Holding on to the belief in a positive outcome may be the toughest for most people, especially since they may see next to next to no progress some days.  It is easy to stay motivated and inspired when things go smoothly, but very few people have the patience and guts to keep going when times are hard.  I see that many times in the clients I coach, if they don’t see immediate results, they start regressing, getting lazy or stop paying attention to details of their programs which, while not seeming very important at that moment, are vital to long term success.

The question raised by the moderator of the panel discussion was ‘is the pursuit of success in your DNA?’ and while many times this may be true, hard work seemed to be more important than anything.  When we look at people who have arrived at fortune, we tend to think ‘oh, he must live the perfect life’, or “must be nice”, etc.  What we don’t see is the struggles, the bad days and all the troubles they’ve had to overcome or are even experiencing today, in order to arrive at this state. The host of the morning show may rake in millions of dollars, but he /she has to get up at 3 am every morning and will have to give up time with their families at night in order to get sleep, they are scrutinized by media and the public every day and have next to no privacy, while the CEO of a million dollar business is living under constant pressure from shareholders.  Life is not perfect, and we all have to do things we don’t always love to do, in order to achieve what we put our minds to. This is the price of success. Anthony Robbins, a successful motivational coach, offered a very good suggestion to those who wish to pursue their goals and that is to surround yourself with successful people. You will soon start to think like them and act like them, which in turn will materialize into the results you have envisioned for yourself. This goes hand in hand with choosing to stay in positive company; people who bring you up, not down. Life is too short to spend time with anyone who doesn’t make you feel that you too, can become great.

How similar isn’t the business world to the fitness world?  We see which athletes have achieved greatness; the ones who apply methods of training and staying on their diet, while remaining vigilant and positive even in their darkest, most difficult times. They continued to push through by staying persistent, consistent and hard working.  Did they have some sort of magic formula that the rest of us have yet to discover? Of course not. Because they decided to take action, and stop philosophizing.  They chose to see the possibilities, not the problems, they refused to make any excuses.

Avoiding complacency is another one; what happens then? If you get cocky and think ‘now I’ve got it, I’ve got the secret’, your shape starts deteriorating, or as business leader, if you don’t stay abreast of the current trends or constantly come up with new inventions to stay current, your company will lose market share and eventually fail.  Staying successful is probably even more difficult than becoming successful, much as maintaining your fabulous new shape is harder than losing the actual weight. This requires constant work, continuing dedication and most of all; patience. You think you have all the answers now? Sorry, life isn’t that easy. But how boring would it be, if there were no more challenges ahead?  Humans were given a brain to keep using it, meeting new situations that require solving, and a body miraculously created to do amazing things.

Equally important as taking action, is changing your mindset. If you constantly keep telling yourself “I will never make it”, “I’m so fat”, “everyone else seems to have such a wonderful life” you will invite those thoughts into your life, and they will become reality.  We have seen that people whose success stories have materialized, have this unwavering belief in themselves, which not only is impressive but should be mandatory for us all. Believe in yourself. Make your mind up this year to be positive – as I have mentioned before, it takes just as much energy to be negative as it does to keep positive, so why would you choose to continue wallowing in thoughts that won’t help?

I spent most of 2012 focusing on my problems (injuries, financial trouble, etc.) and therefore came up with a number of excuses. Did that improve my situation? Not one bit. I’ve decided that in 2013 I need to apply the theory of the saying ‘if you want what you don’t have, you have to do something you haven’t done’.  Another good one is “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  By taking action my life will change for the better. I will stay true to myself, believe that I have everything in my power to become successful both  in my professional life and as I continue to improve my physique. No more excuses. What will YOU choose??