The Mindset You Need to Make 2017 a Success

The Mindset You Need to Make 2017 a Success

Legs shaking, body tense and fighting through the pain; it’s an incredibly satisfying feeling to push yourself to your limit. In fact, it’s rare that people explore the edges of their capabilities. When was the last time you found your breaking point and celebrated it?

Each week at school, my daughter’s 7th-grade fitness class had a different challenge to test their endurance. One week, the twenty boys and girls in her class had to stand against a wall and hold a squat for as long as possible.

60 seconds – 5 kids dropped.

2 minutes – 7 more, done.

3 minutes – 4 gave up.

5 minutes – 2 bit the dust

7 minutes – One boy, one girl. Everyone gathered around.

7 minutes and 15 seconds – One remained, my daughter.

8 minutes and 38 seconds – My daughter sat down and celebrated her effort.

When she told me about her result, I asked her why she kept going when everyone else was done?

She said that at first, she wanted to be the winner and get the highest score.

Then when she was the best, why did she keep on going?

It was a no-brainer for her. She wanted to do her personal best and see how far she could push herself.

Mindset matters. Set a low bar or a high one – up to you.

As leaders, parents and small business owners we’re often obsessed with one-upping the competition and ignore the inner game completely.

What if…
 

  • You consistently found your edges and pushed yourself to expand.
  • You made a commitment to your personal best instead of just enough to beat anyone else.
  • You competed against yourself and with each challenge you improved.
     

I’m not saying that you should ignore the competition or pretend that they don’t exist, but you should think twice about where you’re putting your focus and your energy.

Essentially, here’s the choice:

You can beat the competition or you can rock your world, create, challenge, imagine, hustle, and push yourself to swim in the uncharted waters and leave the competition behind. (By the way, if you’re interested in making the competition irrelevant, make sure that Blue Ocean Strategy is on your reading list.)

You can beat the competition by inches or miles – your choice.

The Mindset You Need to Make 2017 a Success


It’s your personal best that matters more than keeping an eye on the competition. Feel your heart beating, your legs shaking, your brain telling you that it’s okay to stop and keep going anyway.

The comfort zone is important for rest and recovery, but the only person who can explore the edges of what’s possible and blow them away is you.

Make 2017 the year you be and do your personal best no matter the competition is doing. Leave behind the days of doing just enough and see how far you can go.

Nobody ever changed the world by doing the minimum. 

If you don’t know what your personal best looks like or it’s been a long time since you’ve flexed those muscles, now is the time. Put your back against the wall and discover what you can do.

If you want a loving push, let’s talk.

What mindset do you have now and what are you committed to in 2017?

Alli Polin
Personal Development
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Alli Polin, CPCC, ACC, is a former senior executive with deep experience in leadership, change management, and organization development. Now a writer, coach, and speaker, she ... Click for full bio

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

Written by: Jon Sabes

When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward. 


However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:

  • He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
  • He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
  • When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
  • While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
  • In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.
     

Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (www.jonsabes.com), is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.

Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.

Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.

His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”

When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”

On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.

“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”


That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing.  Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.

Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”

When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it.  He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.

I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.

GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
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GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio