MAGNUS WALKER: DRIVEN TO GO FAST WHERE HIS DREAM FOR LIFE TAKES HIM.

As he sat down in his Porsche 911 and wrapped his hands around the wheel, Magnus Walker felt the thrill he feels every time he sits in one.

The memories of the first Porsche he ever laid eyes on in real life when he was ten come rushing back to him. As the motor revs, the familiar smell of gas and oil embrace his nose like a long-lost lover and he is in love all over again. 

One foot on the brake. One on the clutch, he puts it in first and slowly pulls out of his garage. That is the last time he goes slow for the remainder of the day.

It’s pedal to the medal from the Los Angeles arts district over 60 miles up into the California mountains at over one hundred miles an hour. His long hair and beard blowing in the wind. His arms using all of their strength to navigate the curves.

His classic car has no power steering. Driving is his workout. 

The cool air fills the vehicle and he is at peace. His head is clear. His thoughts are quiet. He starts to think about how far he’s come. 

Magnus Walker grew up in Sheffield, England with two siblings and both of his parents. His mother worked at a school. His father worked whatever job came along. Both Magnus and his father had a love for cars.

Most boys in the 70’s had a love for sports cars. Magnus was no different. His father fostered his affections by taking him to races and car shows regularly. The one show that stuck out to him was the Earl’s Court Motor Show in London in 1977.

Magnus was 10 years old. It was the first time he had ever seen a Porsche in real life.

It was a 911 model.

Magnus walked around the whole car. Admiring the red, white and blue paint. He looked at the sleek interior. He stood at the back and his eyes were stuck on the word “Turbo.”

He decided at that moment, he would own a Porsche 911 Turbo one day. 

When he got home from the car show, Magnus sat down and wrote a letter to Porsche. He told them he wanted to come work for them. And surprisingly enough, Porsche wrote him back.

They lovingly told him that he was too young at the moment, but he should get in touch with them after he finished school. 

Magnus put the letter away and forgot about it. He went back to running cross country track. That was his current happy place. He had been bullied and made fun of for his name since the day he started school.

Running cross country was his way of blowing off steam.

Spending some much needed time alone not being bothered by anybody. Over the next few years, his running became more than a way to avoid being picked on.

He became competitive. He won races. He racked up awards. He was a good runner. By the time he was 13, he had even joined a running club.

He looked up to the greats of the time like Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Brendan Foster and Steve Cram. He trained two times a day, six days a week. He aspired to be up there with the best. 

Until he turned fifteen. The golden age for getting into pubs.

Magnus started drinking more and running less. His energy was put into rock music and girls. His training diaries were replaced by albums like Motorhead, Rainbow, Def Leppard and other British heavy metal bands.

Along with a few US bands like Motley Crue and Poison. 

His attitude towards sports and running weren’t the only thing that changed in young Magnus’ life. His clothing style changed as well. He grew out his hair, much to his father’s dismay.

He started wearing skin-tight leather pants and Levi’s jeans. He wore jean jackets and leather jackets. He wore mascara. 

In the midst of finding himself and finding his own style, Magnus asked his mother if she would teach him how to sew. She was a talented seamstress and jumped at the opportunity to spend time with her son who was home less and less.

She showed him how to sew his old Levi’s to make them tight again and fit like new.

She showed him how to properly sew a patch on and how to embroider.

Before long, Magnus had his own personal style.

He created jackets that were full of band patches and band names embroidered on his jean jackets. Pants that were sewn to fit perfectly. 

Concerts and pubs became his daily routine. He worked to go out on the weekends.

When he finished school — and not successfully — Magnus got a job as a laborer. It wasn’t a job he loved, but he carried his competitive spirit with him everywhere he went so he was good at it.

He mixed mortar at record speed. Always trying to get it to the brick masons before they ran out of the batch before. He cleaned up swiftly always trying to clean up faster than he cleaned up the time before. His boss was impressed.

But he eventually tired of all the manual labor.

He didn’t want to do that for the rest of his life. 

Magnus didn’t have a plan at all. He mostly just went where the wind blew him.

When he was 18, it blew him to study sports management for a year at a local school. He only picked that subject because he already liked sports and figured he would excel.

While he was in school, his classmates talked about working abroad for the summer with a program called Camp America. You had to apply and be accepted. The application part was easy. The being accepted part was a far-flung dream. 

As it turned out, far flung dreams sometimes come true. 

Magnus had never thought about leaving England. He never wanted to go to the United States. He was content where he was. But when the winds blew again, he found himself with a small duffel bag packed.

Sitting on a free ride to Detroit, Michigan. 

He worked the summer program as expected with underprivileged youth. As the summer came to a close, Magnus decided that he wanted to see Los Angeles. The home of some of his favorite rock and roll bands.

So instead of boarding the plane home, Magnus boarded a bus for a long, four-day journey across the country. 

He ended up in LA, with a park bench for a bed. His first night there, he was awakened by the local police telling him he had to move on.

So he wandered the city. Nowhere to live. No job. Just the bag on his back, the money from his summer job, and the concrete and sand under his feet. 

Magnus slowly established himself in LA.

He found a place to live.

He went and bought a few clothes on Melrose. He fell in love with a pair of leopard print pants. He bought them and took them home. He used the lessons his mother had taught him to tailor them to fit him exactly how he wanted them to.

The next time he wore them out, a member of the Pussycat Dolls, a very popular band back then, asked him where he got the pants.

Instead of telling him that he got them around the corner, he said, “England.” The band member wanted to buy 8 pair. Magnus upped the price by $15 per pair and made more in a few hours than he had made all week. 

Again, clothing was never part of his plan. The plan picked him.

Magnus started going around to thrift stores and flea markets during the week and buying clothes.

He would take them home and personalize them.

When the weekend approached, he would set up a table on the main strips in LA and sell his product. 

Magnus met his other half and married her while selling his clothing. Together they took his street mercantile to the next level. They rented a warehouse where they made and distributed his fashions.

They named the company Serious Clothing. And for the next fifteen years, they were successful and dressed superstars such as Bruce Willis and Madonna. 

And then the day came. In 1992, Serious Clothing had brought Magnus serious money. So serious, that he was able to buy his first Porsche.

Not unlike getting a tattoo, Magnus soon had somewhat of an addiction to more. He started amassing Porsche 911’s of as many years as he could.

He would buy old Porsches and fix them up.

Just like he did with the clothing, he always added his own personal touch. Making a name for himself in Porsche car circles worldwide. 

Even the company took notice. Thirty years after they sent him that first letter, he received a second letter inviting him to Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart. Where he was able to visit the Porsche museum. He was able to talk about the car he loved with the people who made it. 

It was a trip that changed his life and fueled his passion for Porsche even more. 

Over the last 25 years, Magnus has collected over 40 Porsche 911’s. He has revamped even more than that. He doesn’t usually sell them, but he will do contract work for other Porsche owners.

He also sells accessories and has been dubbed the Urban Outlaw for his go against the grain lifestyle. 

He didn’t plan any of this.

He just followed his gut every single time it spoke to him. Life didn’t fall into his lap, but he let life happen to him.

And when life pointed him in a certain direction, he didn’t question it. He didn’t make excuses. He went with it and he made it work. And when it wasn’t working anymore, he changed directions- fearlessly.

It was pure momentum. The ebb and flow of life — going where it takes you without excuse or apology.

Unwilling to quit or go back. 

What are you scared to do? What direction is your gut pushing you in? Why are you still making excuses to no do it? 

Be fearless. Live your life. You never know when it will turn into the dream you never dared to dream. 

WHY YOUR MOST IMPORTANT SUPERPOWER IS MOMENTUM.

Momentum is the single greatest superpower that you can develop. Building it. Maintaining it. Safeguarding it.

It’s the fastest distance between where you are and where you want to be. And no matter how under-prepared you might feel or how few resources you have at your disposal, momentum is your ability to get there faster.

To do more with less. To win when the odds are stacked against you. There’s nothing more empowering than your ability to do one thing each day that matters. One thing that gets you closer to where you want to be. 

You don’t need to do five awesome things. Or three. Just one.

That’s the power of momentum.

When you do one thing that matters each day you maintain momentum.

“WHEN YOU PROTECT YOUR MOMENTUM YOU DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE LURCHING AND FLAILING AND HELPLESSNESS THAT COMES WITH STOPPING AND STARTING.”

That feeling in the pit of your stomach that you’re tired and busy, but aren’t really getting anything done.

There’s no real secret to getting one thing done each day besides getting one thing done each day.

The easiest way to make sure that happens is to get up in the morning with a plan. To safeguard your momentum with a process that ensures you spend your effort and creativity in ways that protect your momentum.

But if the beginning of the day is important, so is the middle and the end.

Those times when you actually have to get the work done. Not just talk about it or think about it, plan for it, prepare for it, or tell everybody else what you’re going to do.

You can start building momentum at any time. There’s no qualifier that limits when you can get started, or how much momentum you can create.

This is entirely up to you. Completely within your control.

So what’s that one thing you need to do today? If momentum starts at any time with any action, what will that be for you?

BEING VALUABLE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY FOR GREATNESS.

You are either valuable. Or you’re not. It’s as easy as that.

Value is visceral. Judged in real time. And you don’t get a say in that interpretation.

At least not now. Not in this moment. You got a chance to be valuable every moment up until this moment, but right now you’re being judged. It is being determined if you are valuable.

And the outcome could change the rest of your life.

That’s the thing with value. You have to be valuable long before others need that value from you.

Success hinges on your ability to deliver value to other people.

That’s the essence of creating wealth. You have to have something of value that they are willing to trade their money for.

“YOU WON’T HAVE A RICH LIFE — IN ANY INTERPRETATION OF THAT — WITHOUT BEING VALUABLE.”

You won’t survive without being valuable. And in between those two extremes lies a world of opportunity. A chance for you to carve out a unique space where you thrive. You specifically.

This is your place and time and opportunity to do that one thing that you do better than anyone else.

Maybe it’s music or dance, art, candor, technology, or business strategy.

It doesn’t really matter what it is.

It matters that you focus manically on molding that special talent into something that others see as wildly valuable.

You have to practice and prepare, be disciplined, invest in help from others, and allow yourself to be uncomfortable as you try and fail.

There is no easy, automatic formula to being valuable.

That’s measured real time. By the person who needs your value. Your charm. Your brand of magic.

So here’s the question that’s most important for you: What are you doing to make yourself so valuable others can’t help but make you massively successful?

3 AMAZING BOOKS THAT HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE THIS MONTH

There are stories told that have moved generations. Legends that have empowered unlikely heroes to achieve outrageous success. Books that have inspired massive breakthrough for an entire hemisphere.

I spend my two hours of exercise each day looking for those stories. Soaking in those books in search of those legends.

It’s my meditation. My inspiration. A way to learn and grow and expand my greatness.

So here are a few of those books that I have finished in the last few weeks and why.

The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life’s Perfection (by Michael A Singer)

Talk about perfect timing. Michael’s theory is that life has the perfect plan for you if you’re willing to surrender to it. Years ago I would have called that “weak thinking”. But I see it happening more and more in my own life.

Looking back, I can connect the dots between setbacks and the experience and timing I need to create massive change in the future.

Michael challenges you to give in to the setbacks and struggle that he would otherwise avoid. He tells his rich life story in a way that let you know he’s human. It’s raw and real and tremendously eye-opening.

Another big takeaway is how closely linked success is with belief in a higher being and a daily meditation practice. Your life isn’t just a product of what you want. You are part of something bigger than just you. And if you aren’t willing to stop throughout the day and think about the role you play in the universe, you’ll never be as effective and powerful as you want to be.

BUY THE BOOK FROM GOOGLE PLAY

Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success In A Distracted World (by Cal Newport)

I work. I work hard. Magnificently hard. But doing work isn’t good enough. It needs to be deep work. Meaningful work. Purposeful work. This is something that I have been agonizing about this for years now.

As a highly effective fixer, much of my business is putting out fires for other people — often leaving the things I care about most undone. Cal uses the words “deep” and “shallow” to differentiate between work that has only small, immediate transactional value versus word that has long-term, world-changing potential.

It’s practical advice. And I am already putting the ideas I have learned into practice. It’s making a difference already. I’m making time to do the things that inspire me and letting other things wait.

By the way, I don’t like Cal’s idea of not answering email. I have found as the author of a very successful book and the founder of a community with more than 1 million individuals, that people are usually bashful about reaching out via email. And they often get it wrong.

Choosing only to email people back who fit into your pre-determined view of how you want to answer email abandons large groups of people who could really benefit from access to you. Of course, Cal’s thesis is that your deep work is the most important thing anyways.

BUY THE BOOK FROM GOOGLE PLAY

How To Take Charge Of Your Life: The User’s Guide to NLP (by Richard Bandler and others)

What if I could be 1% better at everything that I do? Richard Bandler’s theories about stories and identity and life choices have framed my own thinking as well as other celebrity teachers like Tony Robbins — and many others.

What makes this book such an easy read is that it’s told as a parable. The story of an individual coming to an event by Richard Bandler who attempts to implement what he has learned in his daily existence. In his relationship with his girlfriend. At his job. And his day-to-day life.

It takes ideas that can seem controversial and complex and makes him approachable. It’s really easy to see how different thinking makes you a better person when you’re reading a story of someone who was accomplished that exact thing. It’s such a smooth read that you’re probably want to come back to it from time to time.

It might also be your stepping stone to more of this practice area that practitioners call NLP.

BUY THE BOOK FROM GOOGLE PLAY

What are you reading? How are you growing? 

What motivates you to be a better version of you?

SYLVESTER STALLONE: MAKING IT THROUGH THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER.

It doesn’t matter whether you are an entrepreneur, an actor, business leader, or just trying to get ahead — you’re going to have to make it through the dog days of disappointment and setback.

It’s easy to get an idea stuck in your head about the direction your future should be going. About how much money you should have by now. About how much fun and popularity and success you should have already achieved.

Especially when you believe in your heart that you are destined for more.

But in front of you, all you see is frustration. And a desperate need for a breakthrough. 

That’s how Sylvester Stallone felt. 

In his late teens, the lonely kid from Hell’s Kitchen decided acting was his calling. And maybe even screenwriting.

He had a vivid imagination that made him the laughing stock of a lot of his teachers.

But he kept imagining. He kept writing. Working. Pursuing his dream.

After leaving college to pursue his dream, it didn’t take long before he started feeling the heavy weight of the world on his shoulders. 

Living in a roach infested apartment in New York City, he tried to make it in the cutthroat world of acting–without success. Audition after audition. Rejection after rejection.

Stallone was not someone casting directors would call “good looking.” They called him gruff. Deformed. Ugly. Stupid, even.

But that part wasn’t his fault. 

Born in the charity ward of a New York hospital, he had to be pried out of his mother’s birth canal with forceps.

A procedure that damaged Sylvester’s facial nerves. Leaving him with a drooping eyelid, deformed lips, and speech impediment. 

What he lacked in good looks growing up, he made up for in muscle. Sylvester became obsessed with working out.

And when he realized the strength that came with the bulk, he started using his fists to defend his awkward speech and looks. 

Although his speech improved with therapy over the years, it crippled his barely-existant career. He was cast as a thug or a gangster in the small roles that he was able to get. 

And he did get a few roles.

Enough to pay the rent in his tiny apartment. Sometimes.

And he was good at playing the thug. He had plenty of real-life experience getting in fights. Fighting to make the teasing stop. Fighting to defend the way his face looked and the way his voice sounded.

Eventually, people stopped making fun of him and started to take note. He even became somewhat popular.  

It wasn’t too many years later that Sylvester and his wife, Sasha, decided to pack up their little car with Sylvester’s huge Bullmastiff, Butkus, in the back seat and head to Hollywood — where Sylvester was sure he would make it big. 

Instead, they left the slums of New York for the slums of Hollywood.

They moved into an apartment that was no better and no bigger than the one they had just left. And it had just as many roaches hanging out for dinner. 

He went out for audition after audition. Only getting picked for the parts of the dumb jock or the angry thug.

Again, he and his wife were hungry. Rent was due. The light bill was due. The dog needed food.  It seemed like the world was closing in around them. They had each other, but not much else. 

Success seemed impossibly far away.

They were so broke, Sylvester made one of the toughest decisions of his life.

He had to sell his beloved dog. He couldn’t afford to feed him.

He couldn’t afford to feed himself and his wife — much less an animal.

So he put a for sale sign on Butkus outside of a convenience store and sold him for $50 to a guy named Little Jimmy. And then he went home and cried over the loss of his best friend.

It was one of his lowest moments. 

A couple days later, Sylvester found himself watching a Muhammed Ali fight. Live.

He had managed to get tickets to the big match because Ali was fighting a no-name fighter and promoters had to practically give the tickets away to get an audience.

And Sylvester was there. Watching. Being inspired. 

When he left that fight, which Ali won as expected, Sylvester went home and began to think about why all of the other screenplays he had written had failed.

He realized all of his scripts were too close to home. They were all autobiographical.

And if he was being honest, they were boring. And depressing.

He needed something uplifting. Encouraging.

And so he started writing a new screenplay. He was in-the-moment. Obsessed. He wrote frantically. Nonstop. For three days. 

When he emerged from his writing mania, he had written a script called he called Rocky.

It had a lot of potential according to the producers he showed it to. So much potential that they were willing to buy the screenplay from him for $75,000.

That was more money than Stallone had ever seen in his life. 

But it came with a catch. 

They only wanted the script. They didn’t want Sylvester to act in the movie.

And he had his heart set on doing just that. So he refused the offer. 

They offered $125,000. He refused that offer.

They offered $175,000. He refused that one too. 

He wanted to act in his own movie. He knew he could do it. Plus, he had written that part for himself and he wasn’t going to let any other actor do it.

He’d let the script rot on a shelf and starve first. 

After weeks of negotiation, they agreed to let Sylvester play the part of Rocky. But they would only pay $30,000 for the script at that point.

He had been a real pain in the ass–so he wasn’t going to get paid for the acting. He would have to take a percentage of movie sales.

Stallone happily agreed. 

He got his check and went back to his shabby little apartment. He could have moved into something nicer, but he stayed there with his wife. He was too busy to think about moving.

He was 100% committed to becoming Rocky.

He bought a heavy bag and hung it up in the apartment. He cut out carbs and ate only protein for 3 months prior to filming to get in shape.

But he needed something more. To stay focused he needed his best friend back.

When he went tried to buy his dog back, Little Jimmy told him: “NO”. He said his kids liked the dog and would be heartbroken.

The $50 price he had paid soon rose to $100. Little Jimmy still said “NO”.

Sylvester offered $1000. Little Jimmy still said “NO” and pointed to his children who had grown to love the dog in the less than six months they had it.

He eventually offered Little Jimmy $3000. Ten percent of what he sold his script for.  An offer Jimmy couldn’t refuse. 

Stallone was reunited with his best bud–who appeared in Rocky with him.

Life was looking up. Maybe. 

The movie was filmed in less than 30 days. On a small production budget. It was a B-list movie at best according to the experts.

When the film was released, it shocked everyone by becoming an Academy Award and Golden Globe winner, making the poor kid with the deformed face a millionaire and a household name. 

The rest of that story is well-known history.

Six Rocky movies, Rambo, the Expendables and appearances in over 50 other full-length films over the last 50 years. And a net worth of about $400 million. 

According to Stallone, buying his dog back was the best investment he ever made.

He still uses a picture of Butkus for his desktop wallpaper on his home computer. And tells heartfelt stories of those dog days of life when the only person he had to talk to was his four-legged companion.  

You know who Sylvester Stallone is. But you probably didn’t know this story. That he was so broke he had to sell his dog to buy groceries. 

So when you find yourself frustrated by a lack of results, know that you are in good company. Know that doing whatever it takes is always what it takes.

“YOU HAVE TO GET BACK UP EVEN WHEN PEOPLE KNOCK YOU DOWN.”

You have to be the first person to believe in you. Because if you aren’t willing to take a chance on you, there is no reason anybody else should take a chance on you. 

You have to go after what you love. Even if it means paying for it ten times over in one way or another. 

It doesn’t matter what your dream is. What you see as success. What you want to achieve. That breakthrough you so desperately want is going to require you to go through the dog days of summer to get to where you want to be.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

YOU’RE NOT DISCERNING. YOU’RE JUST AFRAID.

Fear presents a huge challenge to any relationship.

While you might think that your fear protects you, it usually just limited to.

At a basic level, fear keeps you alive. It is your alarm system. Helping you survive in a world ofpotential problems and eventual mortality.

“FEAR KEEPS YOU ALIVE. BUT AT A COST. IT CRIPPLES YOU.”

Like a bird with its wings clipped, you stay safe. You stay grounded. You will never die because you never fall mightily to the ground.

That’s because you won’t ever have the chance to soar. To fly.

Fear is what does that.

Holding you back from your dreams. Holding you back from creating relationships that are vibrant and empowering.

When you’re struggling to build relationships that mean something, look first to your fear. What is holding you back isn’t safety or common sense. It is simply fear.

Something you had nothing to do with programming into your brain — but a parasite you choose to allow to remain. 

Fear is a choice. So is belief. And healthy relationships.

YOU CAN BE COMMITTED WHENEVER YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE.

Commitment is an instantaneous option.

There’s no historical requirement that you were already committed or boot camp you have to graduate from in order to be committed.

Being committed demands no extraordinary feat of human valor. Nothing for you to prove. No one to impress.

Commitment is something that you can flip the switch on right now. It’s an instantaneous option.

Something that you can make the choice to become whenever you choose.

  • There’s no requirement that you were committed before. You just need to be committed right now.
  • There’s no requirement that you be committed for a certain length of time. You being committed today is all that counts.

You should be excited knowing that you can be committed instantaneously.  

If you have screwed up in the past, you can change all of that right now.

“IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’VE BEEN FLAKY AND NONCOMMITTAL, WAVERING, AMBIVALENT, OR UNINSPIRED. YOU CAN SET A NEW COURSE INSTANTANEOUSLY—AND INTENTIONALLY.”

You just resolve to be committed. For this one thing, right now. For this moment, right now.

You don’t need to think about or solve the long-term effects of commitment or how unreliable you might have been in the past when you’ve tried to commit. 

All that matters is the decision you make for right now.

So take the opportunity to start fresh. Reboot. Drop the baggage from your past. And start anew.

Commit. Or recommit. Seize this moment to make progress on your dreams.

YOU DON’T GET TO PRETEND THAT YOUR DECISIONS DON’T MATTER.

Commitment comes at a cost. 

To be committed to one thing means that you’re uncommitted to everything else. 

You can’t be committed to everything at the same time.  

if you get the feeling from time to time that you are “spread to thin,” you are probably not committed. Not like you should be.

There is a cost to being committed. 

And perhaps the steepest investment you have to make is being focused. In telling yourself “NO.” In turning down good ideas. 

You only have so much bandwidth — emotionally and financially.

You can’t pursue your dream part-time and be successful.

Commitment forces you to hone your attention and skills towards a singular majestic purpose.

But that’s not free.

Destiny demands dedication. While your friends and peers and family can enjoy a life that is unfocused, you have to be militant with how you spend your time. With how you use your resources.

“YOU DON’T GET TO SHRUG OFF THE SMALL DECISIONS. YOU DON’T GET TO PRETEND LIKE YOUR DECISIONS DON’T MATTER.”

Being committed is that next level of discipline. It requires constant attention and unwavering focus. Which shouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

After all, you’re committed. Right?

110 BOXING ROUNDS. 2 BROKEN WRISTS. 1 LEGENDARY STORY.

It was April 6, 1893.

Andy Bowen stepped — rather, fell — out of the boxing ring. He had just fought in the longest boxing match in history. Against an opponent, every bit is equal, named Jack Burke.

The two fought for more than 7 hours. In a battle that would lead into the early morning hours of April 7th.

It is a feat that still stands today and is not likely to be beaten any time soon thanks to current boxing regulations. 

Andy Bowen grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jack Burke was from Texas.

When Bowen was 20 years old, he started fighting. It just came naturally to him. He was short and stocky — with a penchant for dishing out trouble wherever he went.

It only made sense that he should end up in a boxing ring one day. And he did. 

But Burke was different.

He seemingly came out of nowhere. He was a boxing trainer.

It was his boxer who was scheduled to fight Bowen. But at the last minute, he bailed. So Burke stepped in and rose to the challenge.

After all, he had trained his boxer — so he should have no problem executing the win he had envisioned for his boxer. 

Boxing in New Orleans had been vilified for years.

To make it a respectable sport, there were guidelines that had to be followed. Some of them included no fighting on Sundays, no alcohol for the crowd, and a portion of the proceeds would be donated to charity.

That seemed to make everyone happy. 

And so, the two met on the evening of April 6th, 1893.

The fight was planned to be held in the Olympic Club in New Orleans. The Club was a stadium that spanned an entire New Orleans city block.

It seated well over 9,000 people. Which was a good thing — because almost 9,000 people showed up to watch what would become the longest fight in boxing history. 

Andy Bowen was a local hometown hero. From the day he started boxing, he had gone undefeated. His special skill was marathon fighting. His endurance was a force to be reckoned with.

Andy Bowen always outlasted his opponent. And he always won. 

So when the day came for him to fight for the Lightweight Title of the South, he had no question in his mind that the title would be his. And neither did New Orleans. They packed into The Olympic Club and bet all their hard earned money on Bowen. 

The fight started out promising for Burke. He came out strong. Over the first several rounds Burke got the better of Bowen.

All the way up until round twenty-five.

But Bowen struck back every time Burke landed a blow. Burke hit and hit and hit. Andy Bowen just kept taking it. 

Not only did he not back away from the punches.

“HE DROVE HIMSELF INTO THEM CREATING AN IMPACT THAT WAS SO VICIOUS THAT BY THE 50TH ROUND, BOTH OF JACK BURKE’S WRISTS WERE BROKEN ALONG WITH EVERY BONE IN BOTH OF HIS HANDS.”

But neither man would give up. 

Andy Bowen would swing. Jack Burke would try to block him without using his broken hands. They danced like that for three minutes at a time. That’s how long each round was. And in 1893, there were no limits on how many rounds could be fought.

It was more like a dogfight.

You just fought until you were the last man standing. 

And so the two men continued to fight. Three minutes. Rest. Three minutes. Rest. Three minutes. Rest.

As midnight approached and the fight was going nowhere, hundreds of disappointed fans started to file out of the stadium. Those who stayed fell asleep in their seats. 

By midway through the bout, both fighters had lost their luster and were just trying to stay on their feet. And they did until they made it to round 108.

At that point, the referee, John Duffy made an executive decision. He decided that if both men were still standing in two more rounds, he was calling it. That’s exactly what happened. 

Neither Bowen or Burke could lift their arms to throw a punch.

They were just falling over each other relying on the other to keep him up.

They both decided they could not go on.

The two fought so hard and so long they lost ten pounds in the seven hours they were beating each other. 

John Duffy declared the fight a “no contest” and insisted the pair split the $2500 purse. Almost $70,000 in today’s dollars.

Even though neither man was declared the winner, they have been declared lifetime badasses by fans of boxing. They set a record that will never be beaten.

A century after the fight, they are both still legends. 

Jack Burke stayed in bed recovering for six weeks after his fight with Bowen. He went on to fight more fights. But his fight with Andy Bowen was the last of the vicious prize fights of the time.

He lived to tell the story of his 110 rounds for many, many years.

Andy Bowen was not so lucky. He continued to fight after his famous 110 rounds. Just a few months after, he fought victoriously in an 85 round fight. During the fight, he broke his left hand, but he continued to fight and beat his opponent one-handed. 

A year later, he fought George “Kid” Lavigne. He only made it to the 18th round. He was hit in the jaw and fell on the hard ring surface cracking his skull. The fight was over. He died the next day of a brain injury. He was 27. 

Both men died legends. 

What will it take for you to be a legend? What will it take for you to decide that you will continue to fight no matter what?

What is so important to you that you will stand 110 rounds with two broken wrists to prove that it was meant for you to do it? 

What is worth fighting for?

Maybe you aren’t standing in a literal boxing ring, but you are standing in the middle of your own fight every single day. And each day you are deciding whether you will keep fighting or you will throw in the towel.

What changes will you make today? What changes need to happen to make you feel like the champion of your own life? 

Life is too short to give up on your dreams.  Your opportunity for greatness isn’t determined by anyone else. It’s all you.

It’s what you want. What you need. What you are willing to go fight for. For 110 boxing rounds. With 2 broken wrists.

Until you create your own legendary story.

HOW YOU END UP BEING AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS.

You have the chance to be an overnight success story.

It might just take you 20 years to fight through that night.

“THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR SUCCESS IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH NOW ALLOWS YOU TO GROW TO THE POINT WHERE YOU CAN EXPERIENCE THE RESULTS YOU WANT LATER. ”

It’s all a matter of perspective.

When you don’t get the expected results you want, it’s easy to blame other people around you. It’s natural to point your finger at all the reasons why life is especially unfair to you.

Sometimes, you failing isn’t even your fault.

Someone else did something wrong and it hurt you. You got taken advantage of.

It was their bad choices and poor decisions that came back to impact you negatively.

It can all still work out in your favor.

Failure isn’t final. Bad times don’t stay that way forever.

The difference between failure and success is your ability to learn and adapt. And the best lessons to learn from are the ones that hurt you the deepest.

Good times don’t help you grow. They are a reward for sticking out the tough times.

When things are good, life is a celebration.

But it is in those moments when life comes crashing down around you that you look deep within yourself to find the answers that ultimately become the catalyst to your outrageous success.

It’s the tough times that make you stronger. It’s when you’re tired and sore, but still go put up a fight, that you realize how amazing you really are. You understand your capacity for greatness.

“THAT’S HOW YOU BECOME AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS. YOU SPEND A LOT OF SLEEPLESS NIGHTS LEARNING AND GROWING.”

You fight through the pain of getting it wrong. You break past your head trash.

And then one day you realize you now have everything you wanted.

Being awesome isn’t something that someone else should do, it’s the only option you’re willing to consider.

MAKE 2018 YOUR BEST YEAR YET AT AWESOMEPALOOZA.

A few weeks ago, I found myself on a plane to Laguna Beach, California to attend a conference. I wasn’t looking forward to traveling. I’ve been on the road for months straight it seemed. But at least my wife was happy she could go this time, even if we had to leave the kids at home. It turned out that even though I hated leaving my family–again–I’m really happy I didn’t miss the trip. 

Because while I was there, I was inspired. 

I’m usually the one trying to inspire. Sometimes on this blog. Sometimes on Facebook. Sometimes in person. So when I find inspiration, man, it hits me like a ton of feathers, and I just want to roll around in it and then share it with everyone around me. 

The inspiration was a 3-day mastermind event hosted by James Wedmore. 

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that you are one of thousands who stop in each week to see what’s going on in The EDGY Empire. 

Maybe you are here because you bought a copy of my book EDGY Conversations.

And if you did, thank you.

You helped push it to bestseller status with over half a million copies sold – and I am forever grateful. 

Maybe you are part of the Dan Waldschmidt “public profile” page on Facebook where I’ll go live to you and more than a million of our closest friends. 

Or maybe you are a part of the Facebook group we call The EDGY Empire of Awesomeness where we talk daily about our struggles and our progresses. 

It doesn’t matter how we know each other. It doesn’t matter how active you are in the community.

“I WANT TO DO MORE TO HELP YOU BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.”

Every person who has read my book or blog, listened to a podcast, or read one or more of the thousands of newsletters I’ve sent out inevitably asks me the same question. 

“What’s next?” 

What happens when the book is finished, the live broadcast ends, the podcast is over,  the newsletter is opened? 

“What’s Next?” 

Well, AWESOMEPALOOZA is next. 

I’ve put together an epic one-day event in Greenville, SC on December 13th. Yes… two weeks from now. I would love to have you

I’m working on a VIP dinner the night before the event where we can sit down, chit chat, and you can let me know what topics to cover the following day. I’ve got 3 days of notes crammed into this AWESOMEPALOOZA folder, and I know I can’t possibly cover it all in one day, so those of you in attendance will be telling me what is most important to you.

AWESOMEPALOOZA will be a YOU-led event.

I will be giving you the tips and strategies, but YOU will be letting me know which topics are the most important to you and where we will spend the majority of our time. 

So join me on December 13 for this first time ever event- AWESOMEPALOOZA

If you’re already a part of The EDGY Empire of Awesomeness on Facebook, you get a 50% discount. If you aren’t a member of the group, go join before signing up for AWESOMEPALOOZA and you can still get the coupon code.

BTW, that 50% discount code is “edgypalooza17” 

 RESERVE YOUR SEAT HERE

WHY THE EAGLE DOESN’T FLY.

Your thoughts aren’t magic. What you dream about at night is the result of who you are. Your thoughts are the realization of your subconscious. Whether that is good or bad.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that because you thought something, it must be right. The truth is that your thoughts aren’t real.

They are the combination of memories and intentional beliefs that you have cultivated over the years.

“YOUR THOUGHTS AREN’T SOMETHING THAT IS DONE FOR YOU OR TO YOU.”

You do the thinking.

And those thoughts are powerful. They control every aspect of your life.

Your destiny. Your future.  Your outcomes right now.

There is a powerful Native American legend that best illustrates the power of your thoughts.

A young eagle lived in a nest high above a barnyard. One day, while his mother was out looking for food, the baby eagle fell out of his nest onto the floor below.

But he was in luck. The young eagle fell amongst a nest of young chickens. The mother hen was especially kind, feeding the young eagle and making sure the other chickens treated the eagle like one of their fellow siblings.

Days turned into weeks, as the young eagle lived happily amongst the chickens. Weeks turned into months. And months turned into years. The young eagle was now fully grown. Bigger than the rest of the chickens, but still content to be one of them. Happy to have a family who cared for him.

The eagle had grey hair and was getting old when one day he noticed a bird that looked like him soaring high above the barnyard. The bird looked so majestic and free. And powerful.

“1 wish I could fly,” said the eagle.

“But you are just a chicken,” said the rest of the flock.

And so the eagle never tried to fly. And died a chicken.

He thought he couldn’t, so he didn’t. He was told he shouldn’t, so he didn’t.

Which is the sad summary to most of the possibility around us. 

We think we can’t. We think we shouldn’t. So we don’t.

We try and stop, flail, churn, and give up.

All because we have thoughts that we think are especially genius.

But they are really just fear. They lead to failure. And our dreams don’t soar majestically.  We stay trapped on the ground. Being perfectly reasonable and wonderfully logical.

And die chickens.

14 WAYS TO MANAGE FAILURE WHEN YOU FEEL ALL DONE WITH LIFE.

It’s a horrible feeling to know that you have failed. It’s debilitating. Deep in your soul. 

You want to keep pushing — keep trying — but you feel stuck. You feel lost. Sad. Miserable. And a bit hopeless.

The truth is that you’re never going to be entirely rid of failure. If you have big dreams and a bunch of ambition, then you are going to have to figure out how to keep your head straight in spite of the obstacles that get thrown in your way.

So when you are feeling crushed by your results, here are a few powerful ways to get back on your feet and headed back towards success:

  1. Ask for help — You are so close to the action that you are probably an unreliable (and overly emotional) resource for yourself.  Ask someone else for their opinion.  Advice is free.  Can’t hurt to ask.
  2. Admit that it’s a failure — Stop the mental paralysis around convincing yourself that you might not have “really” failed.  You did.  It stinks.  You’ll do better next time. Let the healing begin.
  3. Try to fail fast — Do a lot of rapid activity fast.  Plan to fail and bounce down the paths where you end up being successful.  As long as you’re flexible, you’ll find yourself winning. It’s all based on you trying though.
  4. Use a different angle — What you last did did not work.  Don’t give up your goal.  Just try a different process.  Look at the situation from a different angle, and then execute a different plan to get you there.
  5. Be brutally honest — You did this.  No one else.  If someone has to “suck”, it’s you.  The good news is that you are the best person around to get yourself out of this mess. Stop selling yourself short.  You’re actually kind of a bad-ass.
  6. Double-down on your effort — It’s either what you did or how hard you did it.  Most of the time, it’s the latter one.  Do everything you were doing before just put in 5 times as much effort — literally. Show some intensity.
  7. Learn from your mistakes — There is something wrong here.  Maybe it’s the timing, the goal, reality, or just the scope of your vision.  Why did you fail in the past?  There’s something you can learn from all of that right now.
  8. Throw a fit — Curse, swear, and get emotional about your success.  There is something cathartic about focusing your emotion on success.  It reminds you that you really “want it”. It takes the sting out of defeat. 
  9. Shrug it off — Get over it.  Seriously.  And fast.  The longer you obsess about defeat, the longer you waste not being successful.  We all lose.  It happens.  Stop focusing on your fears and be thankful you are smart enough to fail in the first place.
  10. Go fight a ninja with nunchucks — Blow off some steam.  Do something crazy.  Run. Hit the gym. Go for a walk. Let your mind clear.  Pursue another passion.  Be extreme.  It all reminds you why you want this success in the first place.
  11. Create a task list — Start small.  Write down what success looks like and then work backward from there.  Turn that list into chores that you put on a calendar and execute. This will be especially helpful when you look at what is working. 
  12. Find a better support group — You are, or soon will be, the average of the people that you spend the most time with. Find a better group of awesome people to hang around with. Seriously. Go get involved in places where winners hang out.
  13. Write it all down — Your thoughts.  Your passions.  Your fears.  Write it all down.  That process allows you to be in control.  It’s no longer in your head.  It’s on paper. And for some reason, when it’s alive on paper you can improve. You feel empowered.
  14. Decide to smile — You are alive. And you are a winner.  You care about success. And are working towards it. That’s something to smile about.  And if you follow the other 13 items on this list, you are about to be successful as well.  Why wouldn’t you be happy?

Success isn’t automatic or easy.

“PROGRESS DEMANDS RELENTLESS DETERMINATION AND OBSESSIVE FOCUS.”

When you are feeling stuck, the answer isn’t to back down and blame others, to quit on your dreams, or to let yourself fall into a dark place mentally. 

Take a few of these steps and put them into practice. Make changes. Dig deep into the areas in your life that you care most about. 

EVAN GATTIS: ACHIEVING YOUR CONFETTI MOMENT WHEN IT’S ONLY DARKNESS RIGHT NOW.

Imagine being just out of high school and waking up every single day wishing you hadn’t graduated. 

Imagine walking around every day thinking of ways to end your life. Will you walk out in front of a bus? Will you eat a handful of pills? Or will you just use a razorblade? 

Evan Gattis doesn’t have to imagine it. He lived it. 

“I WANTED TO DIE. I JUST WANTED TO DIE AND BE DONE. DEATH HAS GOT TO BE A LOT BETTER THAN THIS.”

Six-year-old Evan cried when he had to go to his first tee-ball practice. But he met other kids his age and he fell in love with baseball. It turned out he wasn’t one of those kids who had to be coaxed into practicing. He wanted to practice. He knew he was good. And he wanted to excel. 

By age 10, Evan was physically larger than most kids his age. And he had a good, fast arm. Too good, even, for his small local team. So he joined an elite baseball team where he played all through middle and high school. 

And then he found marijuana.

Evan started smoking pot at 17. And it became an all-the-time thing.

And even though he kept doing it, he was ashamed. He kept it a secret. He was scared of being found out and being labeled a druggie.

But he needed something to calm his mind. To make him stop thinking about the pressures of baseball. The pressures of what college he would go to. Which scholarships he would accept. The pressure of living up to the expectations of his parents who were no longer together. 

When he finally told his mom about his drug use, she insisted he go to rehab.

That was at the same time he was scheduled to start Texas A&M on a baseball scholarship.

He never showed up to Texas A&M. 

Rehab seemed like an easier task than having to worry about being a great student and a great ball player. Two things that caused him great anxiety. 

He participated in an inpatient rehab program where he sat and listened to stories of people who had drug problems a lot worse than his.

Life problems a lot worse than his. 

Then, he flew 1,000 miles away from home to live in a halfway house for three months. 

It was all a waste of time. He was using rehab as an escape from reality. Almost the same way he used the marijuana. 

After he got out of rehab, he decided to try junior college. It was a smaller platform for baseball. Not as much pressure he thought. But still, he couldn’t get out of his own head. He was silently fighting depression. And anxiety. He was quietly trying to find some sort of spirituality. The more he searched for answers, the more difficult the days became. 

Until finally, he just got up and walked out of class — and drove home. 

And something amazing happened. He was greeted with warm, open arms. Not with expectations of baseball.

Evan was expecting to walk into a room full of disappointed family members. But he got the opposite. He walked into a room full of people who were happy to see him. People who loved him with or without a baseball or bat in his hands.

He realized his identity did not have to be wrapped up in baseball.

He told his dad never to speak to him about baseball again. 

“I THOUGHT THIS WHOLE TIME  THAT EVERYBODY JUST WANTED ME TO PLAY BASEBALL AND TO BE GOOD AT BASEBALL.”

Once he realized that he was not the sum of a baseball and a bat, he decided to live his life the way he wanted to. He quit his job as a valet and moved to Colorado with his sister.  He got a job at a ski resort. And he loved it.  Every minute of it. 

He loved his new life. He loved the space. He loved the quiet time. 

And there was a lot of it. So much that it started to cause him anxiety. His depression kicked in, and he became manic and went days without sleeping. Evan was so calm and happy and at peace, it scared him. He felt like something was wrong. 

But he didn’t want to sleep because he didn’t want to wake up and feel the way he had been feeling for years.

He didn’t want to wake up and feel like dying. 

He was 20 years old.

He didn’t know what to do. And even though he was 20, he was still a kid. So he did what kids do when they need help. 

He called his mom. 

She told him to go to the hospital. To tell them what was going on. And she called his dad. Even though they weren’t together anymore, they both wanted what was best for their son. And so, his father Jo came to pick him up and drove him back home to Texas after Evan’s three-day stay in the psychiatric ward of a Colorado hospital. 

It felt like something had changed in him. Something had swept over him. Like the earlier moment in his life where he had walked away from college, Evan felt in control of his destiny. He hadn’t let the expectations of others define him. He didn’t let his own expectations define him.

But he was still missing a critical piece to his puzzle. So he buried himself in books about spirituality. He started listening to the voice inside himself.  

But even that wasn’t good enough. He wanted to know more. 

So he quit his job.

The very next day, he got in his truck and drove to Santa Cruz, California where he sought out the help of John Wheeler, a spiritual guru. He only had a five-minute conversation him — but that five-minute conversation changed Evan’s life forever. 

That night, he lay in the bed of his truck listening to the California leaves rustle above him. Looking up into the clear night sky, Evan decided to return to baseball. 

He called his brother, Drew, who was attending the University of Texas and told him he wanted to play ball again — and was going to enroll at the school his brother was attending. The school knew who Evan was and they gladly accepted him on the team.

Even though Evan was not a fan of institutions and the thought of going back to school triggered his anxiety, his heart wanted to play baseball more than his mind wanted to panic. So he pushed aside his fears and told himself that the worst thing that could happen to him would be that he would fail.

And that wasn’t so bad. 

His love of baseball returned like a wave in the midst of a storm. He looked forward to practice again. He looked forward to running miles. He looked forward to sprinting. He looked forward to feeling the dirt fly in his face as he slid into third base. He found his passion for the game again. And it showed with every swing. 

By the fall, the Atlanta Braves were scouting him. 

And on an ordinary day in 2010, as Evan was in the house with his girlfriend Kimberly getting ready to go watch a Texas Rangers game with his friends, Evan was drafted in the 23rd round to play minor league ball for the Atlanta Braves. A moment he says he will remember forever as one of the best and most surreal days of his life. 

Gattis played minor league baseball for the next couple of years. The Danville Braves. The Lynchburg Hillcats. The Mississippi Braves. And even a Venezuelan Winter League team. 

After three long years in the minors, Evan was invited to Spring training with the Braves as a non-roster player. 

When Spring Training was over, Evan was called to the team manager’s office in turn in his gear and sign his termination paperwork.

It was a sad day. Emotional for everyone.

His fear of failing had been such a huge part of his past, that he was extremely nervous as he walked in.

That’s when they told him he had made the team. He was in the big leagues.

All Evan could do was weep. And the tears just wouldn’t stop. 

His new teammates were looking at him as he cried and tried to process what had just happened. But he didn’t care. He had been through too much and had come too far to worry about a few tears. 

And on his first big league game, in what could only be described as a fairytale moment, Evan Gattis stepped up to the plate for his first pitch. 

And hit a homerun. And he’s been hitting home runs ever since. 

In 2015, Evan was traded by the Braves to the Houston Astros.

Where he was moved from the position of catcher to designated hitter. 

This year, 2017, Evan Gattis achieved something he would have never thought possible so many years earlier. He married his longtime girlfriend, Kimberly, and helped lead his team to their first-ever World Series victory. 

From depression and thoughts of suicide to love, fulfillment, and confetti.

He still has his demons. His depression. His dark moments. But he shares his story of depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Problems faced by people like you and me on a daily basis. 

The truth is it all of us go through darkness. There are times when all you can see around you is pain and fear and frustration. It doesn’t seem possible that you could ever be happy again. That you could actually be a winner. Have that confetti moment yourself.

Know that you’re not alone. It’s not just you who goes through these moments of frustration and chaos.

“IF THERE’S ONLY ONE THING YOU CAN REMEMBER WHEN YOU’RE GOING THROUGH THESE TOUGH TIMES, MAY IT BE THE SIMPLE TRUTH THAT THE MORNING ALWAYS FOLLOWS THE NIGHT. THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW.”

The light will shine. The darkness of the night will fade.

It’s true. But if you’re struggling to hold on to that truth by yourself, then grab the hand of someone who could help you.

Get some help. Seek out those qualified to come alongside you and strengthen your will. You don’t need to believe all by yourself.

Do it with a friend. A coach. A mentor. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep trying. Keep working. One more day. One more hour. One more time.

YOU’VE GOT HARD WORK ALL WRONG.

The idea of hard work is usually misunderstood.

You’ve been told before that you need to work harder. And you probably interpreted that as you needing to work longer. To put in more quantity of time.

But that’s just the beginning of understanding the concept of hard work. This isn’t really a discussion about hard work at all. It’s an allegory for the concept of mastery.

You work hard so that you can achieve mastery. Which might include more money, fame, or happiness.

More work equals more success.

At least that’s how it usually framed. And, make no mistake, you’re going to need to have to work incredibly hard to achieve any bit of mastery.

“BUT IT’S NOT THE WORK ITSELF THAT LEVELS YOU UP. IT’S THE INTENSITY WITH WHICH YOU DELIVER THAT WORK. IT’S THE FOCUS WITH WHICH YOU APPLY THAT WORK.”

Unless you’re a beginner, and just getting started in your pursuit of success, the quantity of hours that you work becomes less important then the brutal intensity with which you attack the work that needs to be done.

Hard work no longer becomes about working longer hours. It’s about protecting yourself vigilantly from distractions and dedicating yourself wholeheartedly to one thing for a focused period of time. 

That’s not easy to do.

Especially if you’re creative and have a lot of ideas running through your head each day.

You’re excited and passionate and eager to make your mark on the world. So it becomes hard work when you have to devote your emotional and creative powers to a singular purpose, in an environment you have meticulously cultivated to be void of anything that distracts you from your purpose of accomplishing one specific thing at the moment.

That is tasking. That is trying. That is hard work.

Which is why it’s easier to brag about how good of a multi-tasker you are. It’s easier to look for ways to work longer hours that it is to be disciplined with the time you already have. With the opportunities in front of you right now.

Wishing you had more hours in the day won’t solve your quest for mastery. It won’t help you drive valiantly towards that place in your life you’ve always wanted to be.

You need more focus. More intensity. An iron, empowered will.

If you’re not accomplishing the goals you want for yourself, consider the intensity with which you apply yourself. This isn’t about your personality or your genetic makeup.

You don’t need to be charismatic to be intense. You don’t need to be glib, likable, or funny. You just need to protect your time like your life depends upon it. Like your dreams depend upon it. Like your destiny hangs in the balance.

Because it does. And because you completely control your outcomes. Your results. Your decisions. Your choices.

That’s something to show a little intensity about.

11 WAYS TO DEVELOP THE DISCIPLINE YOU’VE ALWAYS NEEDED.

Being successful can look very different from one person to the next. But the way in which you get to that success is exactly the same. Discipline. 

Discipline means doing something even when you don’t feel like it. Things like getting out of bed without hitting snooze on Tuesday — after a glorious (and rare) four-day weekend.  Or dragging yourself to the gym every morning before work because that is the only time you have in your day to do it without interruptions. 

“THERE’S A REASON THEY SAY: THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. BECAUSE IT IS.”

The answer to improving and meeting goals in every area of your life is discipline. But you already know that. You already know why you should be disciplined. 

Disciplined people are healthier. Disciplined people are happier. Disciplined people are more active. Disciplined people have more self-control. Disciplined people have less stress. Disciplined people are better multi-taskers. Disciplined people reach their goals quicker. 

With all those perks, why wouldn’t you want to be disciplined?  

Here are 11 ways you can start to develop discipline today. You don’t have to dive into all of them at once.

Pace yourself so you can be proud of what you’ve accomplished instead of beating yourself up for not being able to do everything at once.

1. Be Clear About What You Want to Accomplish

What are your plans for the future? Do you have a clear idea of what you want and where you want to be? The first step in being disciplined requires you to figure that out. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know where to start to get there.

Make a list of your weekly goals, your monthly goals, your quarterly goals, your yearly goals. Even your three-year goals. Then you can look ahead and plan accordingly. Feel free to put your wildest dreams on the list, because disciplined people have a way of getting there. 

2. Be Clear About Why You’ve Set Those Goals

Once you’ve made your list of goals. Make a list right next to them of why they are important to you. You are more likely to follow through on a long-term plan if you have good, valid reasons why you want to achieve the goals you’ve set.

If you are trying to lose 10 lbs so you will be the skinny sister, that goal may not be enough to get you to pass up the chocolate cake. But if you are trying to lose 20 lbs so your wedding dress doesn’t have to be altered before the big day, it may be a little easier to walk past the sweets. 

3. Know Your Weaknesses and Distractions

You probably don’t have to look too deep inside yourself to know what your weaknesses are. That list is probably very similar to your distractions. They are the things you find yourself gravitating to when you are avoiding real life.

Weaknesses and distractions can range from food to television to social media to sex. What activities are you participating in when you are actively procrastinating or when you are trying to make yourself feel better?

People can also be distractions. You know that friend you always call to meet you for lunch when you have a hundred things to do? That friend is a distraction. Make a mental note of it. Once you figure out your distractions, you can move on to the next step. 

4. Eliminate Your Weaknesses and Distractions

This is definitely easier said than done. But when you want something bad enough, you are willing to make the sacrifice. If pasta is your weakness and you eat it everyday, cut back slowly. Give yourself a timeline. Three times a week this week. Twice a week next week. Once a week the following week. You can even stay there if you want to. After all, you went from pasta 7 days a week to once a week. That is an accomplishment.

The same goes for television and social media. If you don’t want to stop altogether, give yourself a time slot to do those things that fit into your busy schedule. Don’t spend so much time watching tv and social surfing that you have to work double time to finish important projects. 

5. Be Accountable 

In the long run, you are the only one you are affecting by not being as productive and disciplined as possible. The world doesn’t care if you watch Stranger Things instead of studying for an exam. The only person it is going to affect is you. If holding yourself accountable is hard for you, it is OK to recruit help.

Remember that friend who always says “YES” to lunch? I bet they would be more than happy to be your “accountabilibuddy.” Tell them, “If I call you for lunch, please don’t say yes unless I have done everything on my list for the day.”

“FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS GAIN DISCIPLINE.”

If working out is your brick wall, recruit an athletic friend to join you on your daily exercise routine. They will be working out anyway, why not let them harass you into doing what you know deep down you really want (and need to do)? 

6. Prioritize Your Lists

You’ve done the work. You’ve made the lists. You’ve thought of a plan of action. Now it’s time to prioritize your list. What’s the most important thing? Which will take the most time? Which is the easiest? Which takes the most effort? Put them in numerical order. And check them off.

These lists can also be split up into daily, monthly, yearly, etc. Each day, take a look at the whole picture before starting your day. Intend to check every item off your list and work earnestly to do it. Keep in mind, it is a process. If you don’t make it through the list, just add it to the next day. The world will not end because you didn’t complete everything today. 

7. Track Your Progress

Having a visual aid to show you exactly what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve missed is a great tool in staying the course. You can use actual pen and paper, but who does that anymore? You likely have a smartphone in your hand right now. Let’s be honest, you’re probably reading this on your smartphone.

There are hundreds of productivity and time tracking tools. Find one that’s right for you and download it. RescueTime is an EDGY favorite. We’ve mentioned it time and time again on various platforms (and they don’t even pay us to say that). If your goal is food related, there are apps for that too, such as MyFitnessPal and Fitbit. You are much more conscious of your choices when they are staring at you disapprovingly. 

8. Compete with Yourself

Friendly competition at the office is nice, even healthy. But keep in mind who the real competitor is. You are your own worst critic and you are your biggest competition. So set out to be better today than you were yesterday. You don’t have to win by a landslide. Just stay on track to do one more thing today than you did yesterday. Or to do one more thing differently.

Maybe you need to have a more positive attitude. Put that on your list of things to do and then do it. There’s a reason books have been written on the power of self-talk and positive thinking. Because it works. Change your mind, change your life. 

9. Focus Daily

You have to focus daily. Instead of getting out of your own head like people tell you to, get inside your own head.  What is it that you want today? Tomorrow? Next year? Think about it. Dwell on it. See yourself doing it. Meditate. Focus on your breathing. Focus on the good things in your life.

Stop giving power to negative thoughts and negative people. Set out to do something. Focus on what it will be like when you get finished with it. Then do it. Didn’t that feel good? 

10. Take Care of You

You know, above everyone else, what it is that you really need. You know where to find it. You know how to do it. You have to be your own best friend. You have to make sure you get enough rest. You have to make sure you are eating well and not skipping meals. Most importantly, you have to make time to laugh.

Life is going to go on whether you are happy or miserable. So why not choose to be happy and take care of yourself. When you are well and happy, you infect those around you with wellness and happiness. So, go ahead and say no to the after work drinks if you know you need rest. Put firm boundaries in place that nobody can cross, including yourself. 

11. Reward Yourself

You’ve got your lists. You’ve downloaded a new app or two. You have your goals posted on the refrigerator or at the front of your brain. You know what you are working toward and you are working hard. When you reach one of those goals, go ahead and reward yourself.

I wouldn’t recommend rewarding your diet with a huge piece of chocolate cake. But, how about a new, nice fitting sports shirt? One that shows off your accomplishments. Or better yet, reward yourself with that beach trip you’ve been putting off. Great effort deserves great rewards.

“THERE ARE NO MAGICAL SHORTCUTS TO BEING DISCIPLINED. YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP EVERY DAY WITH A MINDSET TO WORK ON YOURSELF.”

It’s easy to throw in the towel before you’ve really given yourself enough time to get in the groove of being disciplined and productive.

The experts used to say that it takes 21 days to break a habit or start a new one. The number has now changed to 66. So you have to give yourself a couple of months (and a few days) to really get your system of discipline in place. 

Pick one or two or all eleven of these ideas. And get to work acccomplishing awesome.

What Doing Your Best Means.

All you can do is your best. You can’t do someone else’s best. You can’t do better than your best. And there is no such thing as giving 110%.

Success requires that you give all that you have. That you hold nothing back.

When you’re tired, you still do work. When you’re offended, you still get up and grind. When other people tell you that what you’re doing doesn’t matter or won’t count, you ignore them and execute your plan.

You’re not superhuman. You feel pain. You get beaten down and discouraged by the daily struggle.

You just decide you’re not willing to give up.

You’re not willing to walk away from your dream until you’ve achieved it. That’s what doing your best–and being your best–is all about.

You’re willing to dig deeper into your own thoughts and motivations and inspire yourself to do what is uncomfortable. To do the things that other people excuse away as being “too much.”

When you think about it though, you have to question when was the last time you truly gave your best. Do you remember? Has there been a time recently where you knew you did everything you could do?

Without any hedging. Without any excuses. No finger pointing or passive aggression. Just you battling with every ounce of your effort towards where you want to be.

That’s the standard. Your best. You doing your best.

It is what allows Olympic champions to win a medal. It is what guides a business leader to multi-billion dollar success. It is what allows people to truly change the world around them.

“DOING YOUR BEST IS YOUR FORMULA FOR SUCCESS. ”

Your guide rails for achieving breakthrough.

This is a personal discussion though. It’s on you. No one can make you do your best or know when you’re not doing your best. Which is why you have to be your own champion. Your own coach.

Amazing things happen when you’re all in. But that’s a decision you have to make. No one can force you.

You have to decide that what you want it’s way too important to do anything less than your best.

YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE RESPONSIBLE.

You are responsible for your actions. Completely responsible.

“THERE’S NEVER A TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU DO, WHAT YOU THINK, AND THE RESULTS YOU EARN. ”

It doesn’t matter what other people are doing to you. It doesn’t matter what other people are getting away with. Your life, your priorities, and your perspective are all completely your responsibility.

It is easy to be distracted by what is going on around you. It’s natural to think that because someone else is getting away with something wrong you’ll be just as lucky.

The truth is that no one gets away with anything.

What you do earns you the results that you get. It may take you years or decades to experience the consequences of your actions. But there’s never a time when you earn a different result then the actions you execute.

It’s really that simple. What you do matters. What you do leads to clear and distinct results.

You’re not responsible for the timing of those results. Often, you can’t change when you get what’s coming to you. You are, however, completely responsible for you.

Think about the frustrations you face in your life right now. You need more resources or you need more time. If it’s not one of those, it’s something else you think you need. You’re frustrated because you feel like you could be more successful if life gave you your chance. More resources. Less of the bad stuff.

That’s a dangerous way to allow yourself to think.

“IF YOU WANT SOMETHING THAT YOU DON’T HAVE, GO GET IT. DON’T WAIT FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO REALIZE YOUR SITUATION AND HELP YOU. FIGHT FOR YOURSELF.”

It might require personal sacrifice. I might mean that you have less free time. Less money to spend on fun. But that’s the cost of being awesome. That’s the price of taking back ownership of your life. And destiny.

You will earn everything you deserve out of life. Now or later. You can’t predict the time. You can’t predict what other people will do to you.

You can however put your head down and grind.

You can put in the time. You can stay focused on your goal. You can make the choice to be positive instead of petty.

You got this. Just don’t fall into the trap of believing you are the result of what is done to you. Don’t let life trick you into feeling helpless and hopeless.

You’re stronger than that. Rise up. Take back control of your future. Be willing to do whatever it takes in pursuit of achieving awesome.

2 Powerful Questions Great Leaders Ask Themselves.

Most of what separates a good leader from a bad leader is one important quality.

It’s not brains. It’s not experience. It’s not wit, charm, courage, or authority.

It’s empathy. The ability to understand how other people feel. The awareness to connect with the pain and fear in someone else’s life.

It’s you realizing that the same illogical behavior you find completely inexcusable in others is exactly the way you are wired to behave by default.

Empathy allows you to understand how a high-performing person suddenly appears to be worthless.

Why your best customers become so upset when you take their loyalty for granted. How the personal stuff of life, like divorce or illness, can be completely overwhelming.

It’s usually not the logical things in life that trip us up. It has everything to do with emotions.

Experiencing loss. Going through unexpected tragedy. That sense of overwhelm and stress.

You can’t out-think your way to better leadership. You can’t out-warrior your way to better results. It takes empathy to help people change.

John Lennon said it best: 

“‘THERE ARE TWO BASIC MOTIVATING FORCES: FEAR AND LOVE. WHEN WE ARE AFRAID, WE PULL BACK FROM LIFE. WHEN WE ARE IN LOVE, WE OPEN TO ALL THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER WITH PASSION, EXCITEMENT, AND ACCEPTANCE.’ ”

Meeting them where they are. Not scolding them because they haven’t made it to where you are. Believing in the best of them even when that’s not how they’re acting right now. Giving them time to heal.

And sometimes, empathy means you have to get in someone’s face and challenge them to do what they already know they should be doing. 

But being empathetic isn’t easy all the time. In fact, it isn’t easy most days. The truth is that you’ve got your own emotions to deal with.

You are going to feel like you don’t have time or space to handle anyone else’s drama. You’ve got your own sense of overwhelm and fear to handle.

What’s unique about empathy is that it has a tremendous return on investment. By being empathetic to others you instantly feel better about yourself. You stop thinking about your own particular situation. In so doing, you begin to heal you.

They feel better. You feel better. Your empathy is what made the difference.

It doesn’t take too much practice to improve your own abilities at being empathetic.

In fact, when you find yourself feeling frustrated by others — when things don’t seem to make sense — there are two questions you should ask yourself.

  1. How would I feel if I were in this exact same situation?
  2. What else is going on behind the scenes for them that I don’t know about?

You see, that same behavior you can’t understand in someone else is how you yourself have reacted in the past. Maybe it’s been a while. And maybe not to the same degree of intensity. But you’ve been overwhelmed.

You’ve responded irrationally. You’ve been that person that has other people scratching their head in bewilderment.

In truth, when you were overwhelmed, others didn’t know everything that was going on in your life and in your mind.

You kept that to yourself. You determined to power through.

That was your plan of attack. Just put your head down and grind. That’s what they’re doing now too. You just can’t see it. You can’t feel it like they feel it.

Which is why empathy matters. That’s why it’s what separates the great leaders from everyone else. Until you can fully appreciate what that other person is going through, you will never be in a position to inspire them to follow.

You’ll never be equipped to bring out the best of them. You’ll be left feeling stuck and frustrated. Complaining that your team doesn’t care as much as you do.

So ask yourself: how would I feel? What else is going on?

The truth is you could probably use a bit more empathy.

BE NERVOUS IF YOU’RE NOT AFRAID.

If you’re not scared, you’re not dreaming big enough.

If you don’t have butterflies in your stomach because of your uncertainty for the battle ahead, you’re not aiming for your true potential. You aren’t maxing out the opportunity of you.

Those aren’t just words meant to hype you up today. It’s the truth.

Think about the moments in your life when you accomplished the things you’re most proud of. You were nervous. You were uncertain. You desperately wanted to win but didn’t see a guarantee in sight.

It was all on you. The moment was yours to win or lose.

All that pressure. All that potential failure. Riding on your shoulders.

That’s when you know you’re onto something big. That’s when you know that you’re playing in the big leagues.

Anyone can do the easy things on the days when others are cheering. A few people can even do the hard things when people are cheering.

It takes a superstar to stay up late and work hard for success that no one else ever cares about.

It’s a gut-check moment. When you take stock of your life.

Not what you tell other people. Not the words and actions you do in public.

This is about destiny — what you were put on this planet to do. Finding that, achieving that, working towards that — that’s hard work.

It’s scary work. It’s lonely, unpredictable work. But it’s the only thing that will fulfill you. It’s your purpose. Your reason for existing.

That uniquely amazing superpower only you can bring to the world.

It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be nervous. The truth is that you have leveled up your game. You’re doing something that truly matters in the world.

So take it seriously. Brush off your nerves. Focus on the task ahead. Make every moment matter.