Tag Archives: goals

Compete

For a long time I’ve personally struggled with motivation and reaching the goals I really wanted in life. I never had a hard time picking something up and getting started though. I could design the best strategy, come up with the best plan, and get a huge start on achieving my goal… for a day or two…

And then I would fail… I would fall off, make an excuse, or life would throw a challenge my way and it would be enough for me to allow myself to sit back down and take a break. Any real progress I was making in life was a result of these short bursts, these small sprints of effort. And while these sprints were getting me places, they weren’t getting me anywhere for long.

Sure I could give up soda for a day or two, but then I’d cave on a weekend. I could get my workout in once or twice a week, but I couldn’t do it every day. I could work on my side project, until I hit a difficult bug that I couldn’t figure out. I could accomplish things, it was just taking me a lifetime to make it happen.

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So I’ve been on this journey to figure out why I can’t reach my goals faster. I’ve been trying to figure out why I can get started, get all fired up, and then let my flame burnout. So I looked a lot of places, read a lot of books, and did a tonne of research, but I still couldn’t find the right answer. Until I started looking in the right places.

You see, the question I was asking was, “How do you achieve your goals?” and I was asking this question openly to the world (aka I was Googling shit). What I was finding was the next new productivity fad, the next “Top 10 Things Successful People Do” list and “3 Traits of High Achievers.” These quick fix articles and bullet list posts, that are quick to read and make it seem so easy if I just do these 10 things, weren’t getting the job done.

I realized that I needed to change the question I was asking, or better yet, who I was asking. I shifted my target so instead of asking others how to achieve my goals, I started looking for others who had already achieved great things and I started asking, “What did they do?

This profoundly changed my approach to my daily life. When I started looking into what highly successful people were really doing I found one dominant trait that was leading them to success. That one trait was Competitiveness.

The top achievers of the world are all living their lives as if the next person is coming along to take their next meal out from under them. And for some, this reality is actually true. Professional Athletes, CEO’s, and Community Leaders are all living this way because it is their reality. But it’s also what is giving them an incredible boost to their drive and motivation. When you wake up, knowing you have to Outwork your Competition if your going to keep living the life you have, you see things differently.

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So how can we take this level of competition and apply it to our own lives? Is there really someone out there trying to take our spot? Are we really sitting at 1st string and the 2nd stringer is coming up right behind us? Are we really in a race but hearing the footsteps of our competition right behind us? Fuck yes we are!

This is the reason we aren’t achieving at our highest potential. It’s the reason we’re so often unsatisfied and bored, with life. It’s the reason we’re living for the weekend and dreading the week. We’ve become satisfied and lazy and just because we don’t have someone right in our face challenging us, reminding us that they are coming for us, doesn’t mean we can’t work that way.

What we need to do is really see who our competition is. Whose out there that’s already better than us at something we want to accomplish? If you want to lose weight, who do you already know or see that’s getting it done? Is it a friend? Is it someone you see on Social Media? Is it Tony on P90X showing you what’s up? Who out there is kicking your ass right now?

Find this person, and compete with them! Let them be the one that’s showing you how to get it done and then go after them! Don’t think about if you can do it or how you’ll do it. Don’t make excuses that they had a head start or that they had a better starting position in the race. The point isn’t to finish the race, it’s to Compete in the race.

If you think, that once you reach your goal, once you lose the weight and get in shape that you’re going to be done. That you can then stop working out and not end right back up where you started. That the race is over and you’ve crossed the finish line, you’re wrong. If you’re only focused on the finish line and once you reach it you stop, your fat ass is going to relapse. It’s not about the finish line, it’s not about winning, it’s about Competing.

Go out and get you some!

Outwork your Competition.

The ‘I HAVE To’ List

I’ve experimented with a tonne of productivity tools and processes. I’ve taken deep dives with each of the following programs:

And what I’ve found is that there are some common concepts that are shared between them. Each of them implements their own unique strategy towards concepts like prioritization, organization, and execution. They each have their own twist or approach to tackling your to do lists, your dreams, your goals, and life all around.

But for some reason, none of these systems really made things better for me. I noticed that I was busier but I wasn’t really better. I started to notice each system had it’s own little flaw that always seemed to suck all the life out of the process and before long I’d had abandoned it. The Burnout was real…



I do think that they are each worth learning about and attempting. I see each of these systems as a small stepping stone in my pursuit of accomplishment and I don’t discredit them. However, they haven’t (or I haven’t) improved my life with any of these strategies.

So I invented my own… and I call it the “I HAVE To…” list.

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You see the problem I kept running into with each of these systems was that I would always end up getting them over-loaded. Some systems ask you to capture all your thoughts and organize them into quadrants or process each item and prioritize it. Backlog items that aren’t important and break down tasks that are bigger.

For me though, not only did I have all of the normal stuff to do like my goals, and tasks, but I had an enormous amount of day-to-day shit that I needed to get done. Dishes, dinner, cold lunches, homework, sports, diapers, practices, tests, doctor visits, home repairs, and the list goes on…

I would be forced to either try to keep up on all of these items in my head or write them all down into the system. Then I would have to organize them, prioritize them, backlog them, break the bigger ones down… and damn was it time consuming.

I decided that maybe these strategies just weren’t meant for me and I set out on researching how other, already successful people manage their lives. I’m not talking successful people that are just working a great job and appear successful on social media. No, I’m talking full blown, massively successful people like Arnold Schwarzenegger (5x Mr Universe, 7x Mr. Olympia, numerous Hollywood Blockbusters, and Governor of California), Dwayne Johnson (won the NCAA Championship, 20 year WWE career and became known as, “The Rock”, wrote a #1 Best Seller as voted by the New York Times, Hollywood movies, and the recent purchase of the XFL), and Elon Musk (founded PayPal, founded SpaceX, became CEO of Tesla, revolutionized electric vehicles, and launched rockets into space).

And I started researching how these guys go about their lives. How they operate on a daily bases to reach these audacious achievements. What I found was that they all had one major difference in the way they approached their lives on a regular basis. While the rest of us are sitting around saying, “I should workout, I should eat better, I should quit smoking, I should spend more time with my kids, I should, I should, I should…

But these guys, they don’t say anything like that. These guys are so driven, so motivated and focused, that when they talk about their days, they don’t say anything close to what we say. They say things like, “I HAVE to get my workout in, I HAVE to stick to this diet, I HAVE to design this product, I HAVE to build this vehicle, I HAVE to spend time with my family, I HAVE to, I HAVE to, I HAVE to.”

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And the reason they feel that way, the reason they say that they, “HAVE” to do something is because they have powerful “WHY’s” and they repeat them to themselves every single day, over-and-over. So I took this concept and I laid it out for my goals. I figured out what I really wanted and what my “Why” was. Then I took each of my Goals and Why’s and I wrote my “I HAVE To” list.

This “I HAVE To” list works just like a normal to do list except it represents what you absolutely HAVE to do on this day to achieve your goal. If you can’t get these items checked off then you need to rethink your goal or rethink your WHY. This list contains only items from your Goals and you HAVE to do each item. If anything gets completed today, it HAS GOT TO BE THESE ITEMS ON THIS LIST.

I sit down each night, just before bed, look at my Goals, read over my Why’s, and write my “I HAVE To…” list. If you’ve been struggling with productivity or found that some of the more popular programs haven’t worked for you. I challenge you to give the, “I HAVE To…” list a try and let me know how it works for you!

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