There is really only one barrier that can stop you from accomplishing every wildly ambitious and outrageous goal you have for 2012.
Do you know where that barrier is?
Let me give you a hint—it's above your neck and between your ears. Yes, it's your own mind.
If you want to achieve more this year than you have ever been able to achieve in previous years, then we need to first get your head straight.
I want to help you cultivate what I call an Achievers Mindset.
If you were to guess what I am going to teach you on how to cultivate an achievers mindset, what would you guess?
You are probably thinking things like: doing affirmations, or creative visualizations or guided meditations, or putting your goals on a post-it note and sticking them to your mirror or a vision board or listening to a recorded version of yourself saying, "I am happy, I am healthy, I am terrific!"
Ah, no. While all those things are fine and well (but weird), in my opinion they have nothing to do with achievement.
Note that I am talking about an Achievers Mindset. Not the 'Happy Mindset' or the 'Make-Yourself-Feel-Good-Mindset'. We are after the mindset that produces results.
To have an Achievers Mindset is to have the mental discipline to push yourself through the long, sometimes grueling and sometimes painfully, hard work it takes to achieve. And really the only thing keeping you from doing it, and the only thing that will ultimately power you through it is your mind.
As my Spin instructor says repeatedly, "Your legs can go harder, faster and longer than you think… all that is keeping them from doing so is your mind. Push it!!"
Thus you need an achievers mindset to push yourself to do the things necessary to achieve the big goals you have set for 2012 (you do have big goals for 2012, don't you?)
Let me give you a brilliant example of what I am talking about. On the cover of our November 2010 issue of SUCCESS we had the Manning Family and the feature was titled: Raising Champions. What Archie and Olivia passed on to their three sons was not genetics, talent or innate ability that propelled each of them into stratospheric success. What they passed on that created their collective great success was a mindset… an Achievers Mindset.
Let's take Peyton Manning for instance. Peyton holds the record for the most NFL MVP awards and in 2009 was deemed player of the decade. In 2010 he was named the 8th best player in NFL history, the only one still active in the league. Point is the guy has done it, big time. But, how has he done it? Talent, giftedness or luck? Nah, those things are a product of what I will give you as the real answer.
Like Michael Jordon famously said, "Everyone has talent, but ability takes hard work."
And that is how Peyton has racked up his achievements—hard work.
I read an article by Tom James of the Tribune-Star that reported on the "magic" behind Peyton's success. Tom wrote, "Manning has forged his success in the things we don't see, including tireless preparation for every imaginable detail before ever taking the field."
The Colts head coach Jim Caldwell says, "He has an extraordinary ability to concentrate and focus on getting better. Not just in the overall work that we do from day-to-day in practice but I'm talking about the little details. In drill work — he acts as if it's the last play of a big game and he's got to do it right. Even when we're warming up, at the beginning (of practice), he's working on his accuracy. He's got an extraordinary ability to focus on getting better."
The former offensive coordinator of the Colts, Tom Moore says this of Peyton, "He's constantly looking to try to improve. Working on the little things. He keeps developing. One thing about him, he's never satisfied. And he wants to keep getting better. He works at it. And that's to his credit."
That's our first tip on developing an achievers mindset—we have to be willing to work harder, be more focused, have deeper concentration, longer, more regularly, with more discipline and vigor than anyone else.
Next is no matter how successful Peyton has been he is relentless in his pursuit to be better, and he does this by reviewing results. After Peyton broke a number of performance records while taking his team to the NFL Championship in 2007, Peyton was certain his final touchdown tally could have been higher. The following year he met with the quarterback coach and the offensive coordinator every morning at 7:15am to review the game tapes—the sack tapes, interceptions, touchdowns and missed touchdown opportunities. He was and is unrelenting in reviewing his performance in the pursuit of improving.
How about you? How often are you sitting down with yourself and doing a proper Plan, Do, Review… reviewing your performance and masterminding on how you can iterate or improve next time?
How often are you sitting down with your key advisors or even your team and asking for input, feedback and ideas to improve your prior performance? Champions do it, why not you?
Let me sum up the achievers mindset as Tom Moore sums up Peyton Manning, he says,"Peyton, he studies. He's looking at film. He's always trying to get better. He's a true professional. A lot of guys talk about wanting to be great. But Peyton, he does what you have to do to be great, with his work ethic, his offseason work habits, his preparation and his just hard work."
Interesting isn't it? The word "work" was in that single summing sentence three times. That's gotta be a clue don't ya think?
If you thought you were going to stand on the platform at the end of 2012 victorious without driving yourself through long, hard, painful and sometimes punishing work, think again. Just remember, your body and spirit are FAR stronger than your mind will try to let you believe. Repeatedly push past that barrier, your greater potential and the achievement of your greatest goals await on the other side.