The word for today boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen is a word that will help you realize your dreams – habit. Have I already lost you? Do you have no clue what I am I’m talking about? For goodness sake, read the previous post already.
At the end of the last post, I promised to tell you some of the things that I have recommended to Alex to help him make the Law of Attraction work for him. I also promised to share with you the importance of one word and to share with you some tools that will give you the opportunity to realize your dreams.
Now Back to Our Previously Scheduled Program
Habit is the word that will allow Alex, you and I to go from a negative and stagnate mindset to a positive and progressive mindset. When I say the word habit can change negative to positive and stagnate to progressive, I’m not suggesting your garden variety hocus pocus. We can’t simply wave a wand and say some mystical incantation and all our dreams will instantaneously become reality. Sorry folks that ain’t (poor grammar intended for dramatic effect) the way habit works.
There is absolutely no magic in the word habit. There is power however in the application of the word habit. In order for the word habit to manifest itself in your ability and potentially change your dreams into reality, you will have to put habit to work.
No Half Steppin’ If You Are Going To Realize Your Dreams
In the psychedelic words of the 1970s international funk/disco band, Heatwave, when it comes to forming and applying habits – “ain’t no half steppin’, you gotta do it good, ain’t no half steppin’ like you know you should”. For those of you who are not old enough to appreciate the melodiously intoxicating old school lyrics and for those of you who find yourself challenged by the funk/disco Ebonics vernacular, let me break it down for you (another 70s reference).
What Heatwave was crooning about was a plan for success which included developing and executing a strategy to cultivate beneficial and effective habits. We all have habits but not all of our habits are beneficial or effective. Not all of our habits allow us to “do it good, like we know they should”.
Many of our habits do just what Alex’s habits do to him, they rob him of previous gains and they sabotage his long-term success. For example, the other afternoon when we were training, I noticed that Alex was having a particularly difficult time doing some of the juggling drills. His struggles seemed odd given the progress that he had shown during our last practice together.
When I asked Alex during our Tuesday session when was the last time that he touched the ball, he responded “three days ago”. Not wanting to make him anymore self-conscious about his juggling inefficiencies, I waited until we had finished practicing to ask him this question: “how successful would you be at walking if as a toddler after trying to walk a couple of hours during a four-day span, you did not attempt to walk again for three consecutive days?” Alex did not answer the question directly but the expression on his face convinced me that he understood the message.
Successful people do not become successful by resting before they have at least completed the task and/or accomplished their goal. Successful people realize that there are enough people attempting to sabotage their success that they don’t need to add themselves to that dream disruptive group. Successful people “don’t half step, they do it good, like they know they should.”
How to Realize Your Dreams
So how do you realize your dreams, create beneficial and effective habits? Here are a few of the suggestions that will work for Alex, you and I:
What it is that you want? Alex wants to play for his high school varsity soccer team. Don’t be afraid to say it out loud to any and all you meet what you expect to accomplish. Say it when you practice especially when you are feeling ineffective. Define what you want and be as specific as possible. Words have power when we breathe them into existence. Write the words down and let your actions make them come to life. Define for yourself that thing which you want to achieve?
What it will look like when your dream becomes a reality? Give your dream color and texture. Make that dream appear in 3-D and HD. Imagine what you want so often that it seems as real as anything else in your life. I’m assuming Alex is visualizing being in the starting lineup taking the field and hearing his name called by the Press Box Announcer. What do you envision the realization of your dream looking like?
You must commit unequivocally to the realization of your dream. I am prescribing that Alex create a Commitment Board. A Commitment Board is a collage illustrating not simply what you envision your life looking like after you achieve your goal. More importantly a Commitment Board includes the distance you are willing to travel, the sacrifices you are willing to make, the extent you are willing to suffer and action steps you are willing employ to accomplish your dream.
Envisioning himself in the starting lineup wearing his high school’s varsity uniform is not enough. Alex will have to include on his Commitment Board things like practicing until his legs ache, never missing a day without touching the ball, eating and sleeping appropriately, etc. How badly do you want to achieve your goal?
4. No Excuses
“No excuses” should be adopted as a governing attitude. In Alex’s case, he must approach his training the same way the U.S. Postal Service approaches the delivery of the mail…”neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds”.
Although, no one will be counting on Alex to deliver their mail, Alex should count on himself to show up to prepare regardless of the weather or any other outside distractions. Soccer games are played in extreme temperatures and torrential downpours, Alex might as well practice in those same conditions. What excuses do you use that are keeping you from arriving at your desired destination?
Model your game and preparation after an All-Time great. If Alex wants to be great then he can start by examining the (mental, emotional and physical) preparation of those who are great in soccer. Case in point, if Lionel Messi, who is almost universally considered the greatest soccer player today, trains every day without exception, Alex needs to be doing the very same things Messi does.
No more three-day respites for Alex. Alex should place a calendar in a location others in his house can see. On the calendar, he should write “H” each day that he trains. The goal is that at the end of the month there will be no days without an “H”. Are you showing up every day or are you on respite? Who is a great in your field or discipline that you can model your dreams after?
6. Be Unreasonable
Be unreasonable as much and as often as possible. It is imperative that Alex understand that most of the people he interacts with have never been good much less great at anything. Moreover, most of the people he interacts with are living a life of unfulfilled potential and are unwilling to attempt to be great.
Given this knowledge, Alex must be very careful in the presence of these people as they will do everything in their power knowingly and unknowingly to dissuade him from following and potentially achieving his dream. If Alex, you and/or I are going to succeed we must embrace if only euphemistically the philosophy “get rich or die tryin’”. Are you willing to die to accomplish your goal?
7. Do More
Do more than your teammates. Alex must realize that he is going to have to do more than his team does especially given his own admission that he has some shortcomings in his game. Being great is much like cross-country racing. If you start out ten minutes after everyone else and everyone drives the same speed, you will always arrive ten minutes later than everyone else.
In order for Alex to catch up with those whom he feels are ahead of him in his soccer development, he is going to need to proceed at a speed faster than the others are going – he’s going to need to train when they are sleeping, playing video games, dating, etc. Simply going to practice and doing what everyone else is doing is only going to get Alex more of what he has already gotten.
Are you insane: doing the same thing everyone else is doing over and over expecting a different outcome?