In 2012, the New York Giants’ future seemed destined to end without a post-season berth. They were 7-7 and drowning in penalties, sloppy play, and low morale. After a particularly awful game, the next night the players attended chapel. There high school teacher, Gian Paul Gonzalez, spoke to them about being all in. According to Gonzalez, when playing poker and you feel confident in your hand, you go all in. Being all in became their rallying cry to action, and a call for each member of the organization to re-evaluate their commitment to success. Gonzalez challenged them to be their best selves. The Giants’ team players successfully went on to win the Super Bowl. When you know you have a winning hand, you don’t hesitate to take the risk. That’s the feeling leaders should inspire in those around them and in themselves whether they can clearly see the winning hand or not.
Throughout the course of our lives, we lose focus. At those times, we don’t present our best. That loss comes for a variety of reasons. For example, during the last few weeks, many have been tested by the throes of Mother Nature. Hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes have left many in our communities feeling harried. In these challenging moments, we have two choices—to present our best or not.
When we shift our energies from a negative focus, we reconnect to our goals. We can do so via mediation, helping others, and utilizing the team around us. When we do, we find success. We are able to rediscover inspiration and reignited spark. We must avoid being swept away in the sea of emotion that forces us to lose sight of the shore. Having a solid team to hold you accountable can help us remain tethered to our being our best.
One of the other ways we can remain focused is to train our brain to be focused on a singular task. According to David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, we should train our brain like a muscle. The ideal of multitasking has trained our brain to be unfocused. To train our brains to focus, we should start by spending small chunks of time concentrating on completing a singular task. Practice daily. If your mind wanders, redirect it back to the task at hand. Increase the time as you would when implementing a new workout regimen.
Another way to remain focused, in addition to brain exercises and mediation, is to pay attention to where you do your best work. According to Rock, most people do their best thinking when not in an office. So, pay attention to the location in which you are most focused. These are your touchstones, your focal points. Revisit these areas when you feel unconnected and need to reconnect to your goals.
When you feel unfocused or drifting from your goals, be an advocate for yourself. Seek out your team to help you reconnect and recommit. Getting the help you need when you need it is part of the success. That success can in turn, lead you to being your best. And, keep in mind, your team is generally well defined when you consider work, but in personal matters, your team can be advocates from a wide range of family, friends and even acquaintances that share a mutual concern or interest. Remember to accept your advocates and support from those unlikely sources so you can maintain your Power of Yes.
Letting go is easier said than done. We know intuitively that it’s the best way to create and sustain peace in our lives, but a commitment to surrender can be challenging.
The rewards are great for those who take on that challenge, however. When you commit to surrendering to the givens of existence, you are essentially providing a space for the universe to work its magic.
If you step out of the way, God will take control. But the remarkable irony is that He would have done it anyway. There is literally no point in maintaining the illusion of control.
Our habitual control often takes the form of planning, plotting and scheming. We react in this way because we’re afraid that surrendering our control will lead to a total collapse of our Self. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our anxious reactions distract us from our deepest needs and desires. They cause us to expend enormous amounts of energy on fruitless, short-term gains, when we could be working toward sustainable success in all that we do. We could be providing a space for miracles – fortuitous opportunities – to occur in our lives.
So how do you surrender? How do you learn to trust the universe and all its synchronicity? Here are some practices to get you started.
- Discover or recover your sense of purpose. Find out what drives you, and what your most profound needs and desires are. The rest is excess.
- Act in accordance with your deepest-held values. Sometimes we maintain habitual control over parts of our lives that don’t even matter to us. Learn to be in mastery of your intentions first before clinging to those insignificant goals.
- Test your reality. We often repeat our negative reactions, because we’re committed to the illusion that we’re in control – that our attempts to manipulate the universe are working. Experiment with “letting go” and see what the results are. You’ll find that the most miraculous events happen when you surrender.
- Allow for more space in your life. Carving out time for yourself is an enormous part of surrendering. When we fill our schedules with things that aren’t in accordance with our deepest values, goals and desires, we are essentially putting our lives on hold.
Surrendering to the givens of existence provides a liberating space for you to take risks, have fun, and work toward your highest achievements in every aspect of your life.
Are you ready to let go of control, and allow yourself to arrive at the place you were meant to? If so, reach out to me, Amy D, so that together we can begin the process of achieving your highest growth potential!
Bridges are constructed to make connections. We make connections every day in our professional and private lives. As long as the beams and foundation of those bridges remain intact, we remain comfortable as we travel them daily. We grow to trust them. They’re familiar, thus we feel safe leaving them as they are.
When those proverbial bridges begin to break down or destabilize, they threaten our mental and emotional safety. We can clearly see the danger. We recognize it, and we know we must make a decision. Often times when making decisions, we become mired in the bog of indecision, unable to move forward. The larger the decision, the harder it is for us to put our car into drive. We’re parked on a bridge that’s failing us. Or we’re at the onset of a new road, and unable to select a path. Many of life’s natural situations can create this huge indecision: marriage, relocation, promotion.
Dan Caldwell, the co-founder and president of TapouT, said, “Burn the bridges behind you.” Once the bridge is burned, even if it is rebuilt, it’s never the same. While this may sound like a negative, it is in fact, an act of commitment. Think about how fully that speaks to your commitment once you’ve burned the bridge of the past interactions and entanglements.
Now you’re dedicated to the new path presented before you. That means you’re positioned to be the best. It means being the first on the field, the court, or in the cubicle, and the last to leave. By leaving those bridges behind, we build relationships, sometimes from existing ones and sometimes from new ones. We may need those new bridges to last a lifetime, like in marriage, or for the duration of a career. Regardless, we must possess the mental flexibility and the courage to pursue new goals and new paths fully. Practicing this art of burning bridges to create full commitment will manifest what we desire.
We discover new relationships and opportunities by being strategic. We must also be open to receiving them when they become available and patient when they are not. Mental flexibility begins when we make time. When we let go of our physical fears and frustrations, we can see the path, the one we’ve chosen, more clearly. Once we acknowledge that we are more than our material possessions, we expand into something greater. A practice of meditation and reflection can guide us to this place.
Dan Caldwell’s philosophy is what he calls, “No Plan B.” The idea is you attack your life without the idea of a safety net and burning the bridges behind you. By doing so, you are dedicated to the path or choice you’ve selected. Whether that be entrepreneurship or walking down the aisle, you are committed to seeing it through. In his words, “It doesn’t matter what your past was, your future is what you want to be.”
In reading this blog, does it make you think of your next journey? Find clarity and the ability to connect and commit by reaching out to me, AmyD, the Peak Performance Expert and Trainer.