If you’re like many in my social media feeds, you’ve picked your word for the year or even three words. A well-chosen word acts like a guide.
Why not take it further and try a picture?
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. It crystalizes everything. A picture can represent an accomplishment and embody a feeling. It can transport you to another time. When I look at a picture, my mind adds sound and makes it come alive.
If a word exercise is powerful, try an image. Make your chosen words its caption.
“I believe that visualization is one of the most powerful means of achieving personal goals.” -Harvey Mackay
I know someone who swears that goals are more achievable if they are visualized.
Put up a picture on your refrigerator of your dream home. Years ago, when I was a child, I had a vision of my future home and sketched it out on paper. Once, when my parents came to visit us, my mom stepped back and couldn’t believe it. “I’ve seen this house!” she said, “You drew this as a kid!”
Where am I frustrated and stuck? Where am I effective and seemingly unstoppable?
It’s a process I’ve gone through most of my life.
This year it seemed I need a boost, a grounding, something to spur on my thinking.
That’s when the delivery arrived. I knew immediately what it was from the packaging. Michael is a close friend, and he sent the book ahead of its release as an early gift. Of course, I already pre-ordered the book, so now I will have two copies, which is perfect. It’s a book I will be buying for others to spread its message.
It’s hard to describe the book. Knowing Michael, I expected a goal-setting system, but it’s far more than that. It is filled with research and stories that I found extraordinarily motivational.
The five steps are deceptively simple:
Believe the possibility.
Complete the past.
Design your future.
Find your why.
Make it happen.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Goals poorly formulated are goals easily forgotten.” -@MichaelHyatt
Around Thanksgiving, we often ask each other, “What are you most thankful for this year?”
Over the years, I’ve heard many answers to that question. I remember one man, years ago, who was sitting at a lunch counter next to me. I was waiting for a to-go order. Now, I won’t call him old, but at the time, I was maybe 20, and he was many years my senior. His face was lined, his hair as white as it could possibly be, and his eyes had a look of mischief mixed with wisdom. It was a few days before Thanksgiving.
I asked him the question as a conversation-starter, and he nodded, a demonstration he was processing.
“I’m most thankful for my business success next year. Growing faster than ever. Having to hire more people to help with the growth. And the expansion to another location. That was more than I expected.”
The place was getting louder. Clearly I heard him wrong, so I clarified.
“You mean this year.”
“No, next year.”
“You’re thankful for opening another location for your business next year?”
“Yes, definitely. It’s even more successful than our first location.”
I didn’t even know what business he was in, but I was beginning to think he was losing some of his mental faculties.
Until he continued….
“See, I’m thankful for what’s happening next year. I am so thankful. I think about the people who made it happen, and I think about the results. I spend a lot of time thinking about them.”
My sandwich was now ready, so I paid for it and took the change. I thanked the man for sharing.
As I was gathering up my things, he asked me the return question. “What about you, son? What are you most grateful for?”
I remember responding quickly. “You. I’m thankful for you.”
And I was gone.
I don’t recall the sandwich I ate from the restaurant. But I sure do remember that conversation. I didn’t realize the power of it then. This gentleman had unlocked a secret. It was visualization with a powerful twist. He not only saw himself achieving his dreams, but he was already thanking people – in advance – for the success.
“Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.” –Bo Bennett
Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson are two of my very favorite authors. Years ago, they teamed up to write the #1 bestseller The One Minute Manager. It has sold millions and millions of copies. They have just released The New One Minute Manager. Like the first version, it is a powerful, easily read story with easily digestible lessons for managers. Recently, I spoke with Ken about the new book.
“The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.” -Blanchard/Johnson
The original book was such a ridiculous success—it spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list—that I knew I couldn’t take full credit for it. I think it was the right book at the right time. Before The One Minute Manager, business books tended to be rather long and dry. My coauthor, Spencer Johnson, was a children’s book writer; I’d been a college professor but had never been a fan of overly complicated writing. Our goal was to take a complex subject—management—and present some simple solutions that worked. People all over the world responded to the way we did that.
Leadership Tip: Catch people doing something right.
A couple of years ago our publisher came to us wanting to release an e-book of the original edition. When Spencer and I started to read the original edition, we realized how much the world had changed since 1982, the year it was published. For example, in the old book, the One Minute Manager was still using an intercom!
Here in the 21st century, not only has technology progressed, so have a lot of things. People are different today. They want to find meaning in their work and be appreciated for their efforts. This has changed the way effective leaders interact with the people who report to them. In the 1980s, command-and-control, top-down leadership was still a way of life. Today’s leadership is more of a side-by-side, partnership relationship.
Leadership Tip: Praise people as soon as possible.
Jesse Itzler doesn’t do conventional. He doesn’t follow the social norms most of us do. He is a bold, risk taking entrepreneur who seemingly tries anything. He once pretended to be a major hip-hop artist to get a meeting with a studio executive and ended up with a recording deal.
But hire one of the toughest men on the planet to get you into the best shape of your life? Jesse did just that. I recently asked the wildly successful and completely unorthodox Jesse Itzler to share some of his experiences. His new book Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet, is a hilarious account of his physical fitness journey. (Warning: the book contains language that may be offensive to some readers.)
“It doesn’t have to be fun It has to be effective.” -SEAL
I’m not quite sure how to describe you, but you’ve had crazy success from music to business. You cofounded Marquis Jet, invested in ZICO, and your wife invented SPANX. That seems like you would be someone who would make wise decisions. And then I read this hilarious book and wonder about that assumption. For those who want to emulate your success, how do you describe your decision-making process?
We are totally on the same page because I really don’t know how to describe myself either. I have always lived my life out of the box, and it has brought me great rewards. For the most part, my decision making has been based on my gut mixed with a philosophy of let me get my foot in the door first . . . and then figure the rest out later.
“If you want to be pushed to your limits, you have to train to your limits.” -SEAL
Jesse, you see a crazy in-shape SEAL and decide he should move in with you and your family. You don’t know him; you didn’t do a background check; you agree to do whatever he says. ARE YOU INSANE? Why did you do this?
I met SEAL at a 24 hour ultra marathon. I ran the race as part of a relay team, and SEAL ran the entire 24 hour race . . . alone. He was his own team. He had a determination and focus that I had never witnessed before in my life. I decided on the spot that I could learn a lot from that man.