We all have the same hours in each day. The question is, “What do we do with those hours?” Research has discovered that the most successful people in life do things differently with their time. Now, what I mean by ‘successful’ isn’t limited to how much money you make or the position you have. You can have success in many different areas besides work: parenting, friendship, spirituality, caring for others, being a loving spouse – and other like-minded things. How can we focus our lives so that everyone and everything around is becoming better?
What’s interesting is that successful people spend their time in different ways the most people. They are always challenging themselves and growing. They take life more seriously than most people and they end up getting better results.
Most of us are people of habit. We get up, do the same things, go to work, talk to the same people, and keep the same routines. Rarely do things change. Of course, we shake it up every now and then with some kind of trip or vacation, but other than that, not much changes. This is called, “The cult of average,” and many believe this is true for 95% of people. These kinds of people live in stagnation or what Robert Quinn calls, the process of slow death. “If we are not learning, we are dying and when our comfort zone solidifies into habits, we get trapped in slow death, which eventually turns into negative emotions such as depression.” That is what average will do to people.
What do you do with your time? Statistics show that countless hours are wasted by people each day playing video games. According to the Wall Street Journal, millennials can rack up to a staggering 18 hours a day on the internet, video games, and social media. What’s happening to people who spend that much time online? Take another example of how much time people spend watching TV every day. For many Americans, it’s between 4 and 9 hours a day. Are we going to spend the best hours of our lives stuck to a smart phone or a television?! This is what the cult of average looks like.
Most people think, perform, and live at average levels. But who wants to be average?! I want to be the best I can in the areas that matter most to me. As a husband and father, as a friend, in the areas of my health, my writing and in what I’ve chosen to do for a living – which is training leaders and helping to improve the lives of others.
Only 5% of the population are living their lives with excellence. They are getting results the vast majority of the population will never get. They are spending their times on the things that matter (1) Themselves (2) Their loved ones (3) Their craft, job, or business.
Let’s talk about repurposing some of those hours. I want to challenge you to not live your life like everyone else – refuse to be average! Shift a minimum of 1 hour a day to the things that matter to you. Focus on that hour to get the most out of your vision and spending time on what is most important. I guarantee you will feel better mentally and physically, and your life will begin to shift from average to extraordinary.
We can only change the world by changing ourselves. Personal change is a reflection to the world of our personal values, inner growth and empowerment. These 3 practices will help you begin to shift in the direction of your values and passions.
(1) What you do everyday matters more than what you do once a year.
Most people live with a, ‘win the lottery’ mentality. If only we had that big break. If only I could get lucky with my investments. If only, if only, if only. Successful people do not sit around and wait on a windfall. They know that the time they put in to the things that matter to them – every single day – is what is most important. Consistently is the mother of mastery. The reason most people fail is because they quit too soon, or because they don’t even have a plan to follow. More on this in the next post, but for now, get Michael Hyatt’s new book, Living Forward. Do it now by clicking here. It will help you create a Life Plan that can help you change everything about who you want to be and the direction you want to go.
Victims love excuses. The average person will tell you all the reasons they don’t have a Life Plan, they’re out of shape, why they aren’t happy, why they aren’t financially successful – the list is endless. The problem with this kind of thinking is that you are actually rewiring your brain to act on all of the things you can’t do not the things you can do! You can click here to find out how to start and end your day so you can focus on what matters to you.
I spend the first hour of my day focusing on what matters to me. Focusing on my vision statement, motivating myself and exercise. As I often as I can I exercise right out of the gate because studies show that exercise causes an increase of serotonin precursors, as well as dopamine, in the brainstem and the hypothalamus. These researchers stated these changes could affect both physical and mental fatigue as well as mood.
(2) Change the words you say and think
Make a commitment to yourself right now: You will do your best to completely eliminate negative, destructive words from your mind and your vocabulary. Our words have tremendous power over how we think and how we feel. When we gossip about others, constantly complain and moan and groan about what we don’t have, it destroys us. It even destroys the neural pathways in our brain. A plague that has infected most people is the plague of “victim language.” I can’t, I’m tired of this, I’m sick of that, this sucks, nothing ever goes right for me. Words can uplift or words can destroy.
Get your words right! Speak life to yourself and those around you. It impacts your view of life, your emotions, and your energy. Focus on what you can do. Fill your vocabulary with positive and inspiring words. Don’t tell your kids, “Stop doing that! What is wrong with you?” You’ve just reinforced all kinds of negativity in their life. Instead say, “Sweetheart I know you can do better. Let’s focus on speaking positively about your sister from now on.” It’s a subtle shift, but one that has a profound impact.
(3) Be a person of vision – Vision is about making today better than yesterday. It’s looking out on the horizon and seeing things others don’t see. It’s about asking questions like, how can I leverage my failures and difficulties to propel me forward? How can I use them to shape me into the person I want to be? A great humanitarian, someone who is more spiritual, more connected, more filled with love. Most people only think through how they are going to make it to the weekend. That’s as far as their vision goes. The top 5% focus on the right thoughts, they have an inspiring vision, they speak life, and they inspire the next generation. Start speaking about what could be, what will be. Talk about the things you want to see happen in life and slowly, those visions will start becoming reality.