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How to Defeat Your Own Mind

We all want to succeed. But our actions are not always in alignment with what we really want in our hearts. In a world screaming for your attention, you find yourself getting sucked into work that is not helping you progress. You feel yourself sliding back when you should be moving forward.

When this happens, desperation sets in. You become like a swimmer stuck in the strong current being dragged out to sea. The harder you fight, the more tired you get until you can't do it anymore. Trying to do too much, investing in the wrong set of actions, or engaging in battles that don't concern you can cost valuable time, and energy, and destroy your mental state of mind.

You are desperate to make lasting change that sticks instead of bouncing back and forth between semi-content and miserable. Looking for a new way to rediscover yourself, you are standing on the precipice of an emotional abyss, afraid to jump for fear of what waits down there.

This is the point where desperation meets determination.

Desperate is being stuck in a situation that you feel completely trapped, and that you must break away from.

Determination is the course of action you take to achieve this.

This is why you should focus on these four areas right now to improve the quality of your lifestyle.

1. Set ONE GOAL and drive all efforts towards achieving it.

The only thing worse than having no goals is having too many and trying to do it all. You don't need 10 major goals to focus on to feel more productive or worthy. One is enough. Drive your mental and physical energy into this one goal.

Focus on the process of showing up every day to work on your goal. If you want to run a full marathon but can barely make it to the 5km mark, break this down into smaller goals. Try to run an extra kilometer per week. Give yourself enough time to improve. Scale up gradually.

Progress is what happens when we take small actions over a longer period of time. You show up at the same time every day, stick to a routine, and don't break the habit.

Focusing on multiple goals leads to big stress and your energy depletes faster throughout the day. It takes energy and consistent effort to drive consistent action towards finishing your goals. This is why I recommend you stick with one until done.

2. Get a Mentor

This is a harder challenge, but the benefits are worth it.

You need to find a mentor.

Make a list of everyone you know who has a lot of experience in your line of business. If you don’t know anyone who meets this criterion, broaden the search to people you know who were very successful in another field or with whom you particularly resonate.

Then, rank order your list of potential mentors by preference and start contacting them! Try to set up a regular meeting time and overarching goals for the relationship when you first get together. I’d also recommend establishing a task to work on in between each of your meetings, so you can get feedback and support from your mentor.

Mentoring relationships are a powerful source of knowledge, inspiration, and connections.

In my book The Discipline of Masters, I cover mentoring and how it can work to your advantage to model a mentor's success.

3. Read for 30 Minutes a Day

Reading is a great way to stimulate your mind. Reading personal development material keeps you motivated while leveling up your skills in new techniques and strategies. If you are not working on self- improvement a little bit every day, you risk falling into the habit of doing the same things repeatedly and probably getting the same results.

Reading the kind of books that make you better today than you were yesterday increases mindfulness and sharpens your overall mental health. This is a solid investment in personal growth.

4. Twenty-Minute Exercise Routine

When life gets busy, exercise is one of those activities that we neglect to do. Over time your muscles start to wither away, you move less, and you place blame on yourself for being lazy. What you really need is a short, intensive exercise routine that does not take up a lot of time.

I highly recommend that you do twenty minutes of exercise each day either at home, in the office, or even when driving. This does not have to involve going to the gym; many people do not have the time [or money] for that anyways. You can do great exercises right at

home in a short time without the extra cost or time. This could include stretching, yoga, pushups, or intensity training.

Here is a short, 20-minute exercise routine I do three times a week:

Push Ups: [2x sets of 10]. You can just use your “palms flat on the floor” version or, purchase a Push-Up Bar that elevates your body while offering stability and hitting your muscles harder. Try two sets of these and build up as you go.

Jump rope: It’s free and can be done anywhere. I carry a rope with me for those days I am away for the day. Jumping rope increases your blood circulation and is much better than running with less impact on your joints. You can try 1 set of 50 and then work your way up. If you can do 4 sets x 100 every morning you are giving yourself a tremendous start to the day.

Side Planks: Check out the proper way to do side planks here.

Start on your side with both feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.

Hold the position. Don’t let your hips drop for the allotted time for each set. Repeat on the other side.Time: You can start slow 10-second sets and work your way up.

Lunges: 1 set x 20. Check out the proper way to do lunges here.

Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and chin up. Don’t look down. Pick a point directly before you to stare at so you don't look down. Always engage your core.Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.

Repeat until your set is complete.

What Action Are You Taking Today?

You can take one of these action steps above and apply it immediately. Get clear on your goals. In my book The Master of Achievement, I cover goal planning and how to create a system of goals that work for you.

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