Ever have a goal that motivates you to get up early and bust your butt before the sunrises to chase it down? Maybe it was running that marathon, or graduate school, or that licensing exam that made you get out of bed at o’dark thirty over and over and over again. Or maybe it was something so big that you couldn’t tell anyone, because they’d think that you were crazy.
I’ve been doing that for years, everyone knows some of what I’ve been working on but for once I’ve basically kept my mouth shut (no comments).
The Intro Machine was created initially as a tool to help Agents and Advisors (primarily the younger ones raised in a social media world) use technology to enhance their capabilities to get Introductions (referrals) on a regular basis. But we quickly realized that a tool without training is pretty useless, and that there were significant voids in the mindset and development of those we were trying to help. Specifically in two areas: Skill Set and Will Set.
I will come back to address Skill Set at a future point, but Will Set is fundamental and is an attitude that goes well beyond business and deserves primary attention, for where there is a will there shall be a way.
I recently ran an ultramarathon (100km in a day) and this was much easier than the Double Marathon (52.5 miles) I did six months previously. Partially because of a better understanding of the nutritional needs, maybe a little because of better physical preparation, but the main difference was between my ears. And in my guts, because Will is what it takes to go beyond the normally accepted limits.
Why was my Will so much better this time around? Partially from being almost completely destroyed the first time, where after 40 miles I was on pure fumes and my nearly empty emotional tank unexpectedly was drained to help another. This forced me to find strengths within myself I didn’t comprehend that I had, which I then knew were there for this much longer run only six months later.
Pushing yourself to your limits and beyond is the best way to discover who you really are and what you are capable of. It makes you understand that you are more than what you have previously accomplished, much more than you show the world (and yourself) on a regular basis. Going to extremes raises your norms and what you will accept from yourself, if you decide to operate at the level of the elite that you have reached.
Look, I’m not a fast runner by any measurement. But I do it and keep doing it. Maybe you’re not an elite performer at work, gifted with sheer raw talent. But you can work and improve your personal standards and maximize the potential you have. Everyone argues over what percent of our brain potential we use (10% 20%?) but it is still far from 100% so we can do more mentally and physically than we usually achieve. The difference between a Master and an Apprentice is not talent: it is effort applied over years and decades. Who cares what your full potential is as none of us will reach it, just focus on doing what it takes to be better this week than last and keep going and growing for as long as you can!
So push those limits and they expand a little. Doesn’t matter if you are stretching running a mile to running a mile and a quarter, then 1.5, then two miles. Or to do more pushups, or to do anything that you are currently incapable of. Do the work and push yourself to better over and over and over and you’ll eventually be good or even great. And that takes not Skill but Will, to suck at something and grind to improve, again and again and again.
To go do that workout.
To crack those books.
To sit down and write for an hour or more every morning, day after day, for six months.
And not just an hour in the morning but at lunch and after work and before bed.
Do the work. Your skills will improve but the effort to actually do what you know you should (be it in that relationship or for that degree or on that project) is what builds your will daily so that you can test it in a massive effort like a marathon or exam or life itself.
And that is why I am please to announce my next oeuvre to assist you: “Every Day Excellence: A Daily Guide to Growing”. This daily training book is designed to help grow your Will Set across multiple dimensions (fitness, discipline, relationships, spirituality, health, etc.) every single day so that you too can tap into your greatness. Every Day Excellence is the outcome of a thousand hours of work over a six month span, of getting up early and staying up late, of sacrifice and soul draining effort to help you look at what you are doing and becoming and make it better.
Stay tuned for more details, but remember: a marathon is a massive accomplishment, but it is composed of small steps put together in a way that tests and reveals your true power. This book is a more concrete example of mine, and it will help you unlock yours.