Today is my birthday (9/23)!!! I LOVE my birthday. What other day gets to be just about you? And since I am a really good boss, I blocked off my calendar today to do whatever I want. So I'm starting my day with my weekly call to my Energy Leadership coach, which may sound like work, but a) I love what I do, and b) we talk about busting through fear - standing tall. And what a good way to start the day. Then, as I thought this week about how I wanted to spend my day - my initial thought was yoga and reading a book. And to get out my notebook and brainstorm some thoughts about the book I'm going to write. It's been bubbling up in me lately, the ideas. So I'm excited to see what shows up when I put pen to paper - and what I end up doing for my day. Then after dinner we plan to go to a movie as a family and afterward for some ice cream.
This birthday marks year 45. Which is getting close to mid-life I figure. I plan to be one of those awesomely healthy people at 100 who they wrote about in the Blue Zones book. And this year - is the year of Strong. This past year - year 44 (and 2016) has been the year of getting organized and focused - and now that I feel solidly in that zone - with a few laps (or boxes of junk) left before we turn the corner into 2017, this year now I plan to kick some ass. Who is with me? I was just talking to someone today about that energy. When I think about and really visualize how strength feels - and what I want to bring forward - I think about when my daughter plays volleyball. Reese is 10 years old and in the fifth grade. She has been playing volleyball for a couple of years on her school team. Since she was about four she has tried soccer, t-ball, basketball and volleyball. None of the others have clicked, which is perfectly fine, but this one recently has. We saw glimpses of it last year. She had fun and loved to practice and play. But this year it's more serious. My favorite part is not the serves or the volleys or the wins - but how she bounces the ball right before she is about to serve. She gets up to the line, and she does not just bounce the ball, she bounces the ball. She nails that ball with her palm, a couple of times. And the determination and look in her eyes - I wish I could bottle it. I could watch it a hundred times over. It is this "game on" energy. I love it. And so as I was the speaker at a lunch networking meeting yesterday - my goal was not about what I said, but the energy I brought - and so that is what I visualized - Reese bouncing the ball right before her serve. That is the energy, the strong that is going to fuel this next year. Because... do I even need to say it? I am DONE playing small!!
I read a book last weekend written by Matt Birk of all people - a former Vikings player. It is titled "All-Pro Wisdom" and in it he talks about seven choices that lead to greatness. There were lots of good nuggets - about character and how you want to show up and about the need for goals, mentors and a spiritual source - but the thing that stood out the most was this: "Winners focus on execution. Losers focus on results." I have been thinking about it a lot this week. And I have heard it make it's way in to more than one coaching call. We can't control the results, only our actions. And so we focus on and measure those. And if we want great results, we do the consistent work and hold ourselves accountable to that standard.
The other thing I did just today actually (I'm writing this on Thursday, the day before my birthday - because no, this next story is not something I chose for MY day) is I went through my big box of business cards - from eight years of networking - and filled my 96-slot business card holder with the people I would most refer to others. These ranged from mortgage lenders to massage therapists to bookkeepers to florists - and everything in between. You name it, I have a person. About halfway through my de-cluttering project I started to think about why the people I chose to put in my business card holder, made the cut. Because in most cases I know multiple people in each industry. So I wrote it down - professionalism, very good at what they do, clear about what they do, focused on relationships versus being aggressive about the next sale and - I sincerely and simply just like them. Everyone fit all five. Which got me thinking about myself - which also ties into the Matt Birk book - how do I choose to show up? If those are the qualities that attract me, that is also how I want to be known. So I got honest with myself about how I stacked up in each area, where I excel and what I can improve (all this from cleaning out business cards.) And so this is also how I want to grow myself, in a stronger way, this coming year.
So, I challenge you... to do two things today. Think about how it will FEEL when you are in the zone, doing the consistent action each day, to improve in whatever area(s) of your life you want to improve. Find a visual, like the bounce of the volleyball, to pull forward when you need some extra energy or inspiration. And second, think about the people you would put in a business card holder and what qualities they possess - how you want to show up. Then take a minute to get honest about how you compare - where you excel and how you can grow. Then combine those two things - how it will FEEL to kick ass, and the person you strive to be. Then go make it happen. Have a great day.
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