Who Can Help You – And Who Can You Help Win?

partners

It’s a lot easier to pursue your Passionate Purpose when you have someone on your side, encouragins you, helping you, and holding you accountable.

Greg, is this going to be a post about having an accountability partner? That’s an old, boring idea. Come on, man.

Hang on a second. You’re right that it’s an old idea, but here’s a question for you: Do you have an accountability partner who’s helping you achieve your most important goal right now?

Don’t feel bad, most of us don’t. We all know it’s a good idea, but most of us never follow through with it. Some of us start off with an accountability partner and then over a few weeks or months, we drift until the idea fades.

 

The times I have stuck with an accountability partner have paid huge dividends for me. I used one to get serious about working out and I used one to write my first book. Anytime I felt like skipping a workout, or not working on my book, I knew I would have to answer to my partner. I also knew I’d be letting him down.

That pushed me and kept me going. Better yet, the encouragement I got from my partner for all my hard work really inspired me.

I even discovered something super cool about having an accountability partner. When you help someone else achieve their goals, that helps you, too. It makes you feel great, and it gives you extra energy and incentive to keep going after what you really want.

Ok, Greg, you’ve sold me. So, how do I get – and keep – a partner? And how do we hold each other accountable in an encouraging way?

First, you need to get 100% clear on exactly what you want and why you want it.

Write that down.

When will you do “x” by?

How will you know you’ve done it?

Write that down.

Who will you choose as your accountability partner? It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.

Be careful not to get someone who really doesn’t think you’re going to achieve your goal. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’ve seen people set themselves up for failure that way.

Search for someone you look up to, who has a reputation for doing what he says, and for following through.

I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other and hold each other accountable, great things happen.

If you can find someone who has a goal very similar to yours, that’s even better. I have found that it’s often better to find someone who isn’t a family member or a super close friend. Sometimes, when we’re that close, we don’t feel comfortable pushing each other.

Is there someone in your circle of friends at church, work, or in the neighborhood you would feel comfortable working with?

Action Steps:

  • Get an accountability partner today or tomorrow. Don’t wait.
  • Schedule a time once a week for an accountability phone call and half way through the week exchange an accountability email.

The content of the call and the email is simple. Ask each other:

  • What did you say you would do this week?
  • What work have you done on that?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?
  • What can I do to help you?

Remember:

  • Encourage each other
  • Celebrate mini successes
  • Remind each other how far you’ve come
  • Support each other on the “why” behind your goals.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program. Click here for more details.

How to Supercharge Your Success

steve

You figured out your Passionate Purpose. You have a powerful “what,” that you really want. You have a compelling “why” that drives you. You have goals and action plans that support all of that.

Now, what can really supercharge your success?

I love what Steve Martin has to say about it. He was on the Charlie Rose show and was asked his advice for aspiring actors and comedians. Martin’s answer was not what Rose expected.

“Nobody ever takes note of (my advice), because it’s not the answer they wanted to hear. What they want to hear is ‘Here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script,’ . . . but I always say, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ If somebody’s thinking, ‘How can I be really good?’ people are going to come to you.”

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
–Steve Martin

That’s fantastic advice. Yes, a business plan is important. A marketing plan is important. A million things are important. But the best thing you can do to reach a level of success you’ve only dreamed of is to become so good they can’t ignore you.

What are you doing to become world class at your Passionate Purpose? If that’s not one of your goals, it needs to be.

We should be constantly learning and growing. Now, that doesn’t mean we read a book every night, listen to a podcast everyday and watch a Ted talk every afternoon at lunch. (Remember the problem with information overload we discussed earlier on day 14 Learn Less, More – Know Can Do. )

It means that every day you should be working on your craft, idea, book, business, etc. You should be learning and studying the best ways to be so good they can’t ignore you.

Part of that learning is repetition, repetition, repetition.

Learn the most important things about your Passionate Purpose so well that you don’t even have to think about them anymore. Make them automatic for you.

That allows you to add even more to what you know and do. That allows you to be creative and innovative. It allows you to come up with ideas in your field that no one else has ever done before. Or, it allows you to do them at such a high level that most people can’t keep up with you.

I played basketball in high school. The first year I made the team, I didn’t play my best. I was learning the playbook and there was a lot to learn. I was the point guard, so I needed to know where everyone was supposed to go for each play we ran.

We had a 40 series, a 20 series, plays for zone coverage, plays for man to man coverage, plays for full court press, etc. I was so worried about running the plays correctly, that I couldn’t really “play basketball.”

But, after a year and a summer in the system, I had the plays down cold for my second season. I no longer had to think about the plays. They were automatic. So, I was able to focus on the game. The plays were just the background to the opportunities I saw to pass, set picks, and shoot.

That’s when I became a creative basketball player again. That’s when I became so good coach couldn’t ignore me. That’s when I got some playing time.

How can you do that with your Passionate Purpose?

Action steps:

1) Research through Google, books, podcasts, blogs, videos, and seminars that can help you get the knowledge to improve your skills.

2) Use the Know Can Do method to really master the best techniques, instead of superficially learn a bunch of ideas. Learn Less, More. (See previous post for more.)

3) Use spaced repetition, repetition, repetition to learn it so well it becomes automatic.

4) Use the new techniques in your daily work. Integrate them into your life.

5) Repeat steps 1-4.

6) Bonus step: Teach someone else how to do it.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program. Click here for more details.

You Are Powerless…Unless

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Greg, I don’t have any power. No one listens to me. My work doesn’t matter. My vote doesn’t matter. Nothing I do really matters. I’m powerless.

Do you ever think thoughts like that? I know I do.

You’re right…unless.

I saw a great speaker at church last Sunday night. He was talking to us about parenting and he said any influence you have with your children is dependent on the relationship you have with them.

That struck a chord with me. When my dad and I were getting along well and had a good father/son relationship, I hung on his every word. I wanted to be like him. When our relationship was strained, I turned to my friends for guidance on how to live and what to do.

The speaker told us how he had a very tough time in school. At 13, he was tall and sickly thin – so thin he couldn’t even play sports. He also had horrible acne with pimples as big as nickels.

Kids can be mean and every day at school was misery. But more mornings than not, his mother would stop him at the door, as he was about to leave, look him in the eye and say, “I know it’s hard for you right now. But I want you to know that I believe in you. I love you. God loves you, and he has big things planned for you.”

Because he had a great relationship with his mother, her words had great influence on him. They carried him through the tough days. Later in life those words rang in his ears as he started to write the first of 24 books. They encouraged him as he preached to 8,000 people on the steps of our nation’s capital.

Her relationship with her son gave her great power and influence with him.

I think it’s the same for every part of our lives. Our power is derived from the relationships we have with people, not from our title or perceived power.

We’ve all seen the boss who has very little influence with his employees because he has a horrible relationship with them. He can fire them, but he can’t get them to do their best for him.

How about the politician who becomes known for corruption and lying? Who wants to continue to volunteer to help her win re-election?

But, when your family, friends, coworkers, and followers know you care about them – when you have invested in deep relationships with them – they are willing to run through brick walls for you.

You matter to them. And they matter to you.

True, caring, deep relationships give you great power and influence.

How can you grow your most important relationships to have more power for good than you’ve ever imagined?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Can Following Your Passion Backfire and Make Your Life Worse?

Follow-Your-Passions-Lucky-Rich-Life

Greg, this “Passionate Purpose” stuff sounds a little new-agey, touchy-feely to me. I’ve read some articles and books that are saying the idea of following your passion doesn’t work. I’ve even read stuff that says setting goals means you just end up failing and feeling bad about yourself. Is that true?

No, and yes, or yes and no. I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, but that’s really the answer. (Those are the answers?) Another great quote from Henry Ford explains it: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Yes, figuring out why you’re here, discovering your Passionate Purpose, setting goals and not reaching them can be frustrating, and sometimes depressing. But, you know what can be even more depressing? Never figuring out your purpose, never setting any goals, and never achieving any goals.

You know what’s a lot better than not setting goals so you won’t feel bad if you don’t succeed? Setting goals and actually achieving them. You are not going for a passionless existence. You are living an impassioned life!

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.
–Seneca, Roman philosopher

It’s all about your mindset, how you set your goals, the plan you create to achieve them, and the execution of your plan.

But ask yourself this: What gives you a better chance of living out your dreams, figuring out what they are and pursuing them or just floating through life whichever way the wind blows?

But, Greg, doesn’t success at your job create passion? That works for some people, for a while. But how many people earning a good income do you know who hate their jobs?

Doctors, dentists, and lawyers all make it into the top 20 of highest suicide rates by profession and those are some of our higher-paying jobs. It’s not all about the cheddar, is it? Golden handcuffs still chafe and hurt just as much as the cheap ones do.

You have to decide these answers for yourself. For me, I want to live out the “why” of my existence. I want to pursue what I’m passionate about and use that to make me rich in every sense of the word.

You might be surprised to find that you will eventually make more money following your passion than you do right now trying to slog through the day. Then again, you might not. But at a certain point, money isn’t the number one priority, is it?

My goals definitely include creating a good income for my family and me, but a goal like earning $1 million per year is not my primary motivator. It’s not my top “why” for my Passionate Purpose.

My “whys” include inspiring people, creating more freedom for myself, helping people live their dreams, a flexible schedule, doing what I love, and taking more vacations with my family. If you took all those away and simply paid me more for doing a soul-sucking job 50 hours a week, I’d say no thanks.
What about you?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Actually Use What You’ve Learned

less-is-more

I gave a presentation today and at the end of it I got a great question from a new friend in the audience: How do you maintain your motivation and actually use the new information you learned to create your best life?

We had a good conversation about that, and as I drove home I started listening to an audiobook that addressed the exact same question. I don’t believe in coincidences, so my ears really perked up.

Here’s what I got out of my drive home:

Have you ever read a great personal development book, or listened to an audiobook, or attended a seminar, gotten fired up about changing your life and reaching new goals, only to have the feeling fizzle?

Then, you’re off to read the next book and the cycle repeats itself? This happens to me sometimes, how about you?

When we get great information, why don’t we use it to change our behavior and our lives?

I think it’s because that can be a hard thing to do. It’s easier for us to read a book, or listen to a podcast, or attend some training, than it is to implement what we’ve learned.

I love what Ken Blanchard and Paul Meyer say in their book, Know Can Do! Put Your Know-How Into Action. Once you’ve got some good knowledge, you need to integrate it into your behavior and life before you move on to the next thing. Otherwise, you end up in information overload territory.

Imagine getting a golf lesson and the pro explains how to fix ten problems with your swing. How do you think your next round of golf is going to go? There is no way you are going to be able to remember and implement all the suggestions. You are probably going to end up getting frustrated, playing worse, and then giving up changing your swing at all.

Instead, how about learning less, but really learning it. The idea is to take a couple pieces of great information, or ONE book, learn it through spaced repetition and use it in your life. Once you’ve integrated it into your daily routine, then you’re ready to learn something new.

Learn less, more.

To continue with the golf analogy: Work on one or two fixes to your swing. Get those down really well, and then move on to the next fix.

Or, say you just picked up a new book and the information in it resonated with you. Here’s how you really learn it over spaced repetition: Read the book through once. Read it through a second time, underlining the compelling points. Read it a third time and take notes on the “aha moments” that leap out at you. Read it a fourth time with an accountability partner who keeps you on track to actually implement the ideas from the book into your life. Finally, teach the ideas to someone else.

If you do all that, you really know the material, in theory and in practice. That makes a lot more sense to me than getting a superficial knowledge and then moving on to the next shiny thing.

What do you think?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Help Each Other Succeed

partners

Motivation is a tricky thing. It waxes and wanes like the moon. Some people claim motivation doesn’t work because it wears off.

Hold on, I eat three (or five) times a day. I guess I should just stop eating. It wears off.
I work out three times a week. I guess I should just stop exercising. It wears off.
I shower every day. I guess I should just stop showering. It wears off.

Sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it? EVERYTHING wears off.

The question is, how do you stay motivated to pursue your Passionate Purpose? A big helper in that is finding an accountability partner. The word “partner,” is important here. This is going to be a mutually beneficial relationship. You are going to motivate each other.

So, find someone you like and trust who is also looking for an accountability partner. It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.

I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other AND hold each other accountable, great things happen. Once you find one:

  • Tell each other exactly what you want and why you want it
  • Set a date for when will complete “x”
  • Determine how will you know you’ve done it
  • Schedule a weekly phone call to review the past week’s activities towards your goals
  • If necessary, exchange an accountability email half way through the week
  • Encourage and challenge each other to keep going

To be clear, the content of the call and the email is simple:

1) What did you say you would do this week?

2) What work have you done on that?

3) What went right?

4) What didn’t go so well?

5) What’s holding you back?

6) What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?

7) What can you do to help your partner?

Warning:

As you work on your Passionate Purpose, you will hit plateaus. Expect it and be ready to do the work necessary to break through them.

Fear and doubt will creep in from time to time.

Some of your friends and family may feed your fear and doubt by telling you your wasting your time, or that living an extraordinary life is for the lucky few, not you.

Some will do this because they think they’re protecting you from disappointment. Sadly, some will do this because they’re jealous of your aspirations and achievements.

You will overcome that by leaning on why you want this new life, on your passionate purpose, on your skills, abilities and experience.

You can do it. And there are plenty of people who WANT you to succeed. Lean on them, too.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

You Need This Drug

drug

Pssst. Come here. I know of a drug that can:

 

  • Add years to your life
  • Reduce risk of heart disease – by 27 percent or more
  • Reduce risk of high blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of stroke – by 22 percent or more
  • Reduce risk of dementia
  • Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s – by more than half
  • Make you happier
  • Decrease your stress
  • Double your chances of staying substance free after treatment
  • Increase your good cholesterol
  • Repair your damaged DNA
  • Help you sleep better
  • Make you happier

You want it?

Oh, and by the way, it also gives you better sex…

It has no side effects…

It doesn’t cost any money…

What is it? It’s called, Purpose – a strong sense of purpose in your life, to be precise.

I’m not making this up. It’s proven in some great research outlined in Victor Stretcher’s book, Life on Purpose. Here are some of the specifics.

On average, people with a strong sense of purpose live longer than those without one. In fact, with just a little stronger sense of purpose, there was a 12 percent reduction in the risk of dying during a 14-year study.

Much of the research uses self-reports on a scale of 1 to 6 to determine the amount of purpose one has in life.

Another two-year study of adults with heart disease found that for every one point increase on the purpose scale there was a 27 percent lower risk in having a heart attack. A four-year study showed every one-point increase in purpose reduced stroke risk by 22 percent.

A seven-year study found that seniors with a low sense of purpose in life were 2.4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than seniors with a strong sense of purpose.

Other analyses found that a lack of purpose is at least as responsible for disease and early death as tobacco, poor diet, inactivity, and stress.

This is clearly the best drug out there, and even though it won’t cost you any money, it does come at a price. You pay for this drug by taking the time and making the effort to find and pursue your Passionate Purpose.

If you find what matters most to you, what you were created to do, what will lead you to a life of meaning and significance, what will lead you to serving others – then you will have earned the best drug ever made.

Are you willing to pay that price?

Let’s GO!

Find One Good Thing

At-least-4-dead-in-Louisiana-Texas-Mississippi-flooding

Greg, I know I should be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. I know that gratitude is good for my mental and physical health. I know that it helps me be a better person. But sometimes, I don’t want to be grateful. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to be grateful for.

I hear you. I think we all feel like that sometimes. You have one of those days where nothing goes right. You oversleep, your hair won’t behave, you spill coffee on your freshly dry cleaned shirt, (or “top” for the ladies. BTW, why is it “top” for a ladies shirt and just shirt for us dudes. Things that make me say, hmmm…) you hit traffic on the way to work and it just goes downhill from there.

I’m not grateful right then. I’m ticked off.

Here’s an important question for those times: Does staying in that angry/depressed/miserable state help us or hurt us?

I’m not saying it’s easy to step back and think about that when you’re angry, but it’s critical that we do. If we can shift our focus from what’s going wrong to all the things that are going right, we can turn our day around. Do that often enough and you can turn your life around.

I thought of this today while I was watching the news. A woman from Louisiana who lost everything in the flooding was explaining how she may be down, but she is not out.

The floodwaters had gone three feet deep in her home. It destroyed everything she had. But, right in the middle of the living room, she found her glass angel – with no damage to it at all.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 2.10.35 PM

“Try and find one good thing everyday,” she said. “No matter what happens, if you see one good thing, that’s enough to get you through.”

If a woman who has lost her home, and everything in it, can find something to be grateful for, why can’t we?

Don’t blow this off. Take a second and really think about 3 things that give you the warm fuzzies inside. It made a difference, didn’t it?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

The Danger of Overreacting

elite-daily-titanic

Those who fail to respond to a changing marketplace – fail. In fact, things happen so fast now, that you need to predict the changes in the market place and act before the changes actually occur or it might be too late.

I think that’s true, to a point. We can also overreact with unintended consequences. We can change so quickly and so often that we lose our core audience, customers, clients, or purpose.

You’ve heard of the Titanic, but have you heard of the Eastland? Their connection is a tragic story of overreaction and unintended consequences.

After the Titanic sank, taking 829 passengers and 694 crew members with her, our government sprang into action. Congress passed new laws to make sure the Titanic disaster would never happen again.

The Eastland was mandated to add more lifeboats, rafts (and cranes to lower them into the water) then the boatmakers had planned.

The additional weight made the boat top heavy. As the passengers began embarking for the journey across Lake Michigan, the boat began listing to one side. The sailors compensated by adding water to the ballast tanks on the other side. Once the boat was packed with passengers it began to list to the other side. The sailors couldn’t fix the problem fast enough. The Eastland capsized while still tied up to the dock in the Chicago river.

Overreaction helped cause the death of 841 passengers and 3 crew members. Wow. More passengers died from the overreaction to the Titanic than actually died on the Titanic.

Yes, it was a good reaction to make sure every ship had enough lifeboats for everyone. But, it was an overreaction to force lifeboats that were too heavy on to the Eastland.

Keeping your eyes on trends and changes in your field is very important. But, be careful of the danger of overreaction as well. That can be just as, or more, dangerous than not changing at all.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Get and Stay Motivated – Podcast

motivated

I was a guest on the Hello Techpros podcast this week. The topic was “How to get and stay motivated.” Please share it with anyone you think it will help. We’ve all had times when we feel motivated, but then get depressed when it doesn’t last. I hope this helps.

(Here’s the link to the podcast if you’re viewing this via email: http://hellotechpros.com/greg-knapp-motivation/)

Your motivation will go up and down. No one stays super motivated all the time. You’re not happy all the time, or sad all the time.

People who say getting motivated and working on improving yourself are a waste of time because it wears off need to really think that through. Doesn’t everything wear off if you don’t keep up with it?

I play the guitar and I used to play the trumpet. When I play in a band I make sure I tune my instrument before we begin. Guess what? The instruments don’t stay in tune. I re-tune them every other song or so.

I take a shower every day. I eat three times a day. I lift weights three times a week. I practice my guitar every day.

Why do I have to do these things every day? If I do them once, shouldn’t that be enough?

That sounds crazy doesn’t it?

Everything wears off if we don’t work to improve our skills. What we need to do is build in ways to boost our motivation when it starts to lag.

Here are some ideas on how to get re-motivated when you’re starting to feel down:

  • Call your accountability partner.
  • Go on YouTube and listen to a motivational message.
  • Attend a motivational seminar.
  • Refresh your memory on why you’re working on these goals.
  • Reward yourself for the progress you’ve made so far.

I always come back to the “why.” Why are you working this hard? Why are you doing what other people aren’t willing to do? Because then you will get to do what other people aren’t able to do.

Let’s GO!
If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!