Success Is More Than Just Reading A Few Books

Goals only matter and help when supported by properly executed systems.

The quality of your life is determined by the consistency of your actions.

The trajectory is more important than the current position. Especially yours.

The best way to change who you are is to change what you do.

You ARE what you DO.

Your success is a result of your daily actions. You always get what you repeatedly do.

Nothing is more powerful than flexibility.

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” – Max McKeown

Flexibility and adaptability allow for multiple scenarios of happiness. The best processes drive continual progress and do not focus on one end result but rather systematic growth and improvement.

When you adapt, you can create your future state and are never tied down to one set of results.

If you believe you will be successful, you will be.

“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.” – Neil Gaiman

This is how success is built: Belief turns into actions which produce results.

If success was a pyramid it would look like this:

 

Nothing is more important than your identity.

“Who you want to be is already inside of you waiting for you to confront who you are and tag them in to help you win the battle of the mind.” – Sanjo Jendayi

Identity determines everything.

Your identity is who you believe you are.

How do you identify? It is not about what you have done in the past, but who you are today, what you currently do.

This is how I identify:

  • Husband.
  • Father.
  • Teacher.
  • Advisor.
  • Athlete.
  • Sales pro.
  • Writer.
  • Reader.
  • Son.
  • Follower.
  • Leader.

How do you identify?

Your self-identity is your greatest strength and your most complete obstacle.

Your actions reinforce your identity.  ALWAYS.

The simple way to change who you are is to make a choice, commit to that choice and then prove that choice every single day.

Decide who you are – then prove it. You prove your identity to yourself every day.

You are stronger than you think you are. You are more than realize. You are whoever you decide to be.

 

P.S. –

Want better relationships? Get this free guide now!

I’ve created a quick guide for mastering professional relationships, immediately. If you follow this one MAIN truth and actionable steps found inside, your whole life will improve, quickly.

Also, connect with me!

— If you want to know what books to read that will help you start to change your life?

Start here:  http://mareomccracken.com/27-books/ Read those, then decide who you are, then take action and the success will come.

Choice Thoughts

Your thoughts can control you or you can control your thoughts. Since your thoughts determine your life, this is one very important decision. Thoughts are real, they make us. We have the ability to choose what we think about. We have the ability to “create” our thoughts along with our thought processes.  What we focus on is what we see. Just like a camera lens, the focus determines the reality of the picture, our own personal focus is the thoughts we choose to think about. Those thoughts become our reality. When we choose faith over fear and belief over barriers we can control our thoughts, which control our actions, which in turns helps us to control our lives.

7 Ways to Upgrade Your Life

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  1. Follow a ROUTINE.  Do the things that make you better, consistently. Develop a morning routine. Develop an evening routine. Routines allow you to focus on your thoughts and helping others because you can run those portions of your life on autopilot. These routines create stability and help you prepare mentally for the day.
  2. Focus on the GOOD. We choose our thoughts. Our thoughts create our reality. Since we can choose our thoughts life’s better when we focus on the positive. Focus on the good and that is what you will find. The more good you look for, the more your will find it. Show gratitude. Grateful people are happier…fact. It is fun to be around grateful people…fact. Focus on what you have and the good you can do.
  3. Spend time ALONE. Noise and commotion can create energy, they also prevent us from thinking clearly. It is important to spend time alone each day to prioritize your thoughts and ideas.
  4. Develop your VISION. Find your “why”. Once you know why you exist, then do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality. Your vision is your purpose combined with the actions you are willing to take. Take massive action toward your dreams, let your vision guide you. Define what you want. Decide to act. Then ACT.
  5. Surround yourself with BUILDERS. Negative thinking hurts performance. Find people who will build you up and hang around them. You will become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely.
  6. Eat HEALTHYEat less sugar than you want. Eat more protein, vegetables, and fruits than you want. If you do that, you can live better, with more energy and focus. 
  7. Be ACTIVE. Move. Exercise. Do stuff. Increase your heart rate, make it intense. Make it a daily habit. Inertia is powerful. If we stay at rest, we will continue to stay at rest. Don’t stay at rest. We are people, not rocks…or potatoes. 

8 Super Quick Ways To Immediately Increase Your Confidence

CONFIDENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes we might need a quick boost of confidence. Here are some actionable ideas that work quickly when you need a shot of confidence:

  1. Create a Personal Mission Statement. Keep a copy with you and read it several times during the day. (What do you do? Why do you do it?)
  2. Make and replay your “true vision” (mental movie trailer that shows you achieving your goals) in your mind.
  3. List Your 5 Greatest Accomplishments. Read it. Remember how you felt when you did those things.
  4. Write down 5 “things” you are grateful for.
  5. Smile again. Keep smiling.
  6. Keep a “Success” notebook (app?) and write down what you accomplish(ed) during the day.
  7. Fix your posture. Stand up straight. Get in a power pose for 2 minutes.
  8. Write down your daily positive affirmations. Read them out loud. Check out this Inc.com article for mine: 9 Affirmations the Most Successful People Repeat Each and Every Day

And if none of these ideas work, read an uplifting story, or a powerful quote, or meditate. Actions create success. Positive actions create confidence as well as success.

Bonus: 8 of my favorite quotes on confidence.

  1. “Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.” Bruce Lee

  2. “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  3. “Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.” Brian Tracy

  4. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” Mark Victor Hansen

  5. “If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”  Harv Eker

  6. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”Dale Carnegie

  7. “It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” Oprah Winfrey

  8. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller

www.mareomccracken.com

8 Traits the Most Self-Assured People Share

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People-watching is fun — sometimes inspiring, always instructive — so whenever I’m around people I try to learn as much as I can.

In business meetings I pay attention to and notice who does what. At community events I focus on what leaders and influencers do. I learn what to do and just as important, what not to do.

And I definitely notice what poised, self-assured, confident people do consistently:

1. They take responsibility.

Confident people don’t blame others. No matter the circumstance, a confident person understands that truly owning one’s feelings, emotions, and results is the only true path to success.

2. They crave progress.

Confident people don’t aspire for perfection; they drive for improvement.

To a confident person, the “perfect person” is one who knows who they really are and fully embraces their own possibilities. Improvement is a choice as well as a journey.

3. They don’t gossip — they uplift.

Confident people don’t talk about other people. They talk about ideas, projects, goals, plans, and aspirations.

They recognize the importance of staying positive — or at least neutral.

4. They understand the power of saying “no.”

Confident people don’t over-promise. They understand the value of time and effort and are conscious to commit to things that are aligned with their ultimate goals, passions, and beliefs.

By doing this, confident people are able to give their best at all times.

5. They honor their minds and their bodies.

Confident people know they need to take care of themselves to do and be their best. They value balance, which includes exercise, relationships, eating well, education, hard work, and sleep.

6. They know and act on their “why.”

Confident people have a purpose. The reason behind an action drives the enthusiasm for that action.

As a result they are excited, dedicated, passionate, and fearless. And they share their passions with others.

7. They ask for help.

Confident people know that trying to accomplish everything alone is not possible. They ask for help often. Confident people don’t feel threatened by seeking help from others.

Confident people love helping others, but they also love being helped.

8. They view failure as a learning moment.

Confident people don’t see failure as an end but instead as a tool to grow. They recognize that on the road to success there will be trials, challenges, and obstacles — but they know perseverance always wins in the end.

Remember, learning from others doesn’t mean striving to become a mirror image. Instead, take the best and find ways to make it your own and always ensure your actions align with the results you seek.

Watching and learning from the actions of others will help you learn more about yourself — because that is one of the best ways to become the best you.

**This article was originally published at Inc.com 

Mentors & Millennials

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

 

 

 

 

 

When I first entered the business world – as a millennial (Barely? Labels are a bit hazy when you apply one that you didn’t create. It is better to just create your own labels.) – I learned a great deal from my Gen-X mentors. I learned that sales is about solutions. I learned that business is driven by numbers, which are created by people. I was reminded that showing up is 20% of the battle (maybe 50%, I know it’s important though). I learned a lot, I should have learned more.

As millennials, we often seek out social networks rather than one-on-one mentorships. Luckily, I have had some incredible mentors. (Soon I will publish a detailed article on how to find a good mentor) Mentorship is not about about someone doing the heavy-lifting for you, rather it is about showing you where to lift to get the best results. As millennials, we need good mentors. We also need to become better mentors for others.

Earlier in my career I was traveling for a work related trip overseas and I received a call from my mentor. (Awesome, he called me! That is one sign of a great mentor!)

Mentor: “You know Mareo, we all have stuff we think about that limits our ability to perform, what is limiting you?”

Me: “I want to make more money.”

Mentor: “What is stopping you?”

Me: “I don’t know how. How do I make more money?”

Mentor: “Become a better leader.”

Me: “How do I become a better leader?”

Mentor: “Help more people. Learn from the best leaders and follow what they do.”

Then he hung up the call as he was boarding a flight.

So after he gave me his great advice (partial advice?), I began to deeply ponder what he said. I started reading more. I thought about previous experiences and analyzed various situations. I worked hard to answer the question: What makes a good leader? After lots of study I found that it is really simple actually:

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

I learned that the best leaders have vision. The best leaders know how to influence others. But what do the best leaders actually do? How do they get there? Here it is, this is what they do:

They –

1. Tie Everything to Their WHY. (Driving Purpose)

When you have a defined purpose you do not let minor interruptions stop you from achieving your goal. While on the road to success the steps you take may change, your ultimate purpose never does.

“Discovering your purpose doesn’t have to be complicated. Look at what you do and why you do it. Is it to support your family? That’s your purpose. Is it to make a difference in your customer’s life? That’s your purpose.” –  Anne F. Beiler

2. Are Adaptable (Consistent Perseverance Leads to Innovation) 

Successful people never quit, they just keep pushing forward until they succeed. There is no failure until you give up. The path to overcoming all obstacles is the ability to adapt to whatever your current situation is.  In the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweck, the author says that people who persevere have a growth mindset. A fixed mindset values smarts and talent the most, a growth mindset focuses on progress and learning. By adopting a growth mindset, you can let go of preconceived notions regarding innate ability and allow yourself to keep learning until you outlast the obstacles.

“Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.” –Max McKeown

4. Know Their Craft is King (Skills Drive Confidence and Trust)

Do good stuff. Get better stuff done. Become a master craftsman at whatever you choose to do. Learn as much as possible, learn how to do what you do better than anyone you know. As you take pride in your work, your ability to influence others will grow.  Find a mentor, learn from the best then apply your personality to every situation. The more your can perform, the more your confidence will increase. The more confidence you have the more likely you are to try new things and keep trying when the setbacks come.

“Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.” – Cal Newport

4. Are Mindful (Aware & Focused)

Mindfulness is the art of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it. Mindfulness is a key component that leads to true happiness. When you are mindful you have a more satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to enjoy the simple aspects of life as they occur. Being mindful helps you become more engaged in all your social and personal pursuits. Being mindful helps you overcome adversity. When you overcome adversity you can help others do the same.

“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” – Robin S. Sharma

5. Show Empathy

Humans need connection. Humans need support. We need each other. Showing empathy is the root of human connection. Leaders know how to connect. This connection raises their ability to influence. Empathy is one driving aspect of emotional intelligence. The higher the EQ we possess and develop, the more success we will create.

“At the end of the day, humans are social animals and we are at our best when we get to do things with others who appreciate and enjoy what we enjoy. It’s what keeps us human.” – Simon Sinek

We millennials have a lot to learn. We also have a lot to teach and share. Everyone can learn management skills. More importantly we can also learn to be better leaders by learning from our mentors. We also learn through mentoring others. By thoughtful practice we can improve our influence. James Altucher teaches that we should work hard to get 1% better each day. If we do that for 100 days… Find little adjustments you can make right now, and then another adjustment tomorrow and soon and you’ll be building practices that create more learning more progress; and you will be happier.

We all have had different experiences with leadership and growing into our potential. The trick is to keep learning as we help others in the journey.

 

 

Increase Your Potential by Strengthening Others

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Sometimes we don’t live up to our potential…why?

Sometimes we underestimate the power we have to influence others…why?

Sometimes we let the actions of others determine our own…why?

Like a sticker in a coloring book, labels are easy to apply, hard to remove. We accept the labels others give us with out truly testing the validity. If we believe the story other people tell us about ourselves, we will never become who we are supposed to. We must be stronger. We tell ourselves our own story. We must only allow our minds to believe the labels that help push us toward our goals.

In order to strengthen yourself, strengthen others:
1. Show gratitude.
2. Compliment effort and achievement.
3. Find a problem, solve it.

My Bad Boss: Strategies to Overcome The Boss Who is The Worst

DONT LET A BAD BOSS

People have strengths. People have weaknesses. People are not perfect. We all have problems. Some problems are easy to deal with, others…not so much. We all have had to work with that one-person who really rubbed us the wrong way.

Remember that boss who knew everything, who didn’t like other people’s ideas, and belittled everyone? You know, that one who was the boss but there was no logical explanation for it? The trick to working with people who are egotistical, self-centered, and delusional is two-fold: make sure they think, you think, they are incredibly awesome (then find a way to believe it yourself); and develop a path for success in spite of them. Doing this takes extreme emotional intelligence. Something I learned the hard way.

Tim*(name changed, obviously) was awful. He was horrible to work with. He couldn’t sell anything, never could gain consensus and always made bad business decisions. He did have one thing going for him though; his last name was the same as the one on the company’s letterhead. Tim had zero emotional intelligence. Or maybe he did and just didn’t use it; either way – Tim was the worst.

Tim would assign me tasks/projects. I would do them. Then I would do more. He would assign me more tasks. I would do them. He would ignore me. I would ask for feedback, then he would ignore me. When it was time to formally review performance, his response was always “adequate”. No details. No discussion. It took a few months but I learned how to win him over, I learned what I needed to do to engage and succeed, not with him, but in spite of him.

Working with Tim was difficult but not impossible. What I learned from Tim I have been able to apply over and over again with all types of colleagues. Here are the strategies I use:

Write Down What Bothers You

Write down all the bad things. Then burn the paper that you wrote all those horrible things on. Really. Actually get a lighter and burn it. There is something cleansing about fire that allows you to move on. Burn the problems so there is no going back.

Write Down the Good Things They Do

Don’t burn this list. Keep it. Read daily if you have to. Remind yourself of the good in this person (even if it is just their last name). This will help you see them as a human rather than an object. Every time they do something good, right it down.

Stop Thinking About Yourself

It is almost impossible to feel sad/angry/worried if you are not thinking about yourself. I am not talking about self-care, self-respect, or self-confidence. Those are all very important. But, if you focus on other people, your worldview changes and you are able to help more, provide greater value, and become a bigger influencer.

Start Thinking About How You Can Help Them

Let go of your pride. People like it when others think about them. Think about your boss’s needs and find a way to meet them. Right down the needs in list format. Cross them off when you fill that specific need. Done.

Never Let Their Actions Determine Your Feelings & Actions

Emotions are temporary. Feelings are long-term decisions. Emotions come automatically; once they come, how you respond is up to you. Your long-term feelings and subsequent actions are 100% determined by you.

Make Sure They Feel Important

Self-explanatory, do what needs to be done. Compliment them. Praise them. Ask them for advice even if you don’t use it. Getting someone else’s opinion can help clarify your thoughts and no one is always wrong (hopefully). Respect their authority but don’t let it limit your influence either.

Work Smarter

No matter how hard you work, there is a way to work better. Work smarter to deliver better results. Focus on the needs of the business and your boss and then work harder by working smarter.

Don’t Gossip

Never talk bad about this person or about anyone. Gossip spreads fast. Gossip kills relationships. Gossip destroys trust. Never gossip. If you wouldn’t say it to this bad boss and it is not being asked of you by HR or their boss, don’t say it.

Show Appreciation

Gratitude is powerful. It will change you as a person and it will change the person receiving the appreciation (eventually). Tell them why you are thankful for them and be specific (except don’t say: “since you are so horrible I have now developed emotional intelligence”, find something else).

Just because they are not changing, growing or progressing doesn’t  mean that you can’t. Look for the good in others. Deliver results first then find even more ways to help. Focus on being aware of and then controlling your own emotions. Then you can focus on understanding the emotions of others so you can help them too. You might even forget how horrible that boss is, I know I did.

Don’t Be Foolish, Be WISE & Use Your Fears to Create Success

EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE

There is a Chinese proverb that says:

“When I was afraid, I was foolish. I am still afraid, but now I am wise.”

Well, not sure if it really is a Chinese proverb, I heard it Cantonese while in Hong Kong from a gray-haired, goat-teed, street-chess player as his opponent was pondering the next move. It sounds like it should be a proverb though, maybe it is…

Foolishness is acting immediately on impulses; acting on what we think is easiest. Foolishness comes by not learning from our mistakes. Fear can drive success or fear can encourage foolishness. Fear is evidenced in letting our actions be determined by outside influences.

I was afraid so many times in my life. I was afraid every time I tried out for sports teams from junior high through high school. I was afraid when I tried-out and made the BYU football team as a walk-on. I was afraid when I moved to Hong Kong, London, New York, Yuma, San Diego, and Houston. I was afraid when I wanted to ask my future wife to dance. I was afraid when I got fired. I was afraid when I became a father. I was afraid when I was promoted to lead a sales team. I am still afraid. I am afraid when I talk to customers. I am afraid when I teach classes. I am afraid I will not add value. I am afraid I will not serve enough.

Fear is the number 1 reason we do not achieve our potential. Fear kills success. Fear prevents action. Overcoming fear is a skill all of us can learn. Just like a muscle, the more we use it, the stronger it gets. Overcoming fear is not a race. It takes time.

Successful people understand that fear can be used as a tool to drive success. They have experience. They are have done it before. They are WISE:

W:       Welcome The Fear
I:          Interrogate The Fear
S:         Separate The Fear
E:         Employ The Fear

USING FEAR TO CREATE SUCCESS

Fear is often an obstacle. Overcoming obstacles increases our confidence. When we are W.I.S.E. with our fears we are in control. When we are W.I.S.E. we are becoming the masters of our own emotions and more importantly, the masters of our actions. Embrace your fears. Interrogate your fears then separate your fears from your own sense of self-worth, and finally employ your fears to help motivate you take the needed action that will drive you to success. I am proud of my fear. Now, I let my fear serve me. Success is always found on the other side of fear.

6 Secrets Successful People Know About Emotional Competence

EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE

Words spoken cannot be unsaid. A few years ago I was in a meeting with a cross-functional leadership team and my boss (who seemed successful); and I had just announced a new plan that would drastically change our customer approach. The idea was not only shot down, but I was belittled in front of the team. The boss even asked if I had “been living under a rock the past 6 months?”. Of course I handled it wrong, I felt the shame first and then the anger rise, and rise until I was going to put my boss in his place. At the last second, I remembered a book about emotional intelligence (Daniel Goleman’s) that I had just finished and realized I better not say what was about to be said. So I held my tongue and kept quiet.

The situation was handled wrong though. If I was more emotionally competent I would not have just kept quiet but I would have done a better job of reading the entire situation, understanding my emotions and the emotions of others, and knowing what words to speak and questions to ask in order to move the agenda forward. At that moment the situation was handled wrong because of a lack of emotional competence. Eventually with the effective use of one-on-one discussions the new approach was approved by my manager. Yet, I never trusted him again after the words he spoke, since once words are spoken, they can never be unsaid.

Success, Learning from Others, and Emotional Competence 

We all want success. How we define success might be different, but we all want it. (Jeff Haden has a great article about how we define success) It could be based on financial & professional goals, relationship goals, skill based goals, travel goals, or health goals. Whatever success you are searching for, there are actions that you can take to help you get there. Sometimes it is important to follow the lead of those who have been successful before us. Learning from others helps us shorten our time from where we are to the success we are pursuing. Finding joy in the journey is key to happiness. No matter what else is surrounding you, if you are happy you are successful. For me, success and true happiness is found from understanding who I am, pursuing my talents, building strong relationships and helping others.

One main skill that successful people have is the ability to understand and work well with their own emotions and the emotions of others. This is often called emotional intelligence. Last week I learned the difference between Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Competence (thanks LaRae Quy). Competence includes action; intelligence is theoretical.

These actions separate the emotionally competent from everyone else:

Emotionally Competent People Do These 6 Things: 

1. They Open Lines of Communication

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

2. They Thrive on Feedback

“I think a lot of times if you get feedback that is critical, your emotions might flare up and you might reject it. You need to be able to dial it back, calm down and listen to what they’re saying, because maybe they’re right.” – Laura Brown

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Ken Blanchard

3. They Are People Centered

“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” – Arianna Huffington

“If you make a person feel smart and insightful, that person will enjoy your company more.” – Gretchen Rubin

4. They Only Speak When Adding Value

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” – George Eliot 

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” – Benjamin Franklin

5. They Recognize and Respond to Emotions

“Our feelings are not there to be cast out or conquered. They’re there to be engaged and expressed with imagination and intelligence.” – T.K. Coleman

“An emotion does not cause pain. Resistance or suppression of emotion causes pain.” – Frederick Dodson

6. Use Smart &  Effective Body Language

“In short, our body language, which is often based on prejudices, shapes the body language of the people we’re interacting with.” – Amy Cuddy

“Sure, your personality and your emotional state will impact your confidence levels, but it’s obvious that assuming better body language, taking up space, and expanding your physical presence can play an important role as well.” – James Clear

In order to do those 6 things well you need 4 foundational skills:

Dr. Travis Bradberry teaches that emotional intelligence has 4 specific skills:

  1. Self-awareness (Personal Competence)
  2. Self-management (Personal Competence)
  3. Social-awareness (Social Competence)
  4. Relationship-management (Social Competence) 

These skills can be learned. As we focus on recognizing and labeling our own emotions we then can begin to focus on others. The more we focus our thoughts and actions on others, the more we are able to develop our own emotional competence. The purpose of success is to create and find (recognize) happiness along our journey. The more people we can help become successful, the more we will find our own personal success.

“Emotional self-control…delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness- underlies accomplishment of every sort.”- Daniel Goleman