Three Principles That Will Change Your Life
- Everything is here to teach me and help me, it’s all working for my good.
- Everyone does the best they can with what they have in their heart.
- The problem is not the problem, the problem is the state you enter when you think about the problem.
“The things we’re running from, we’re running from the truth. The way I became successful is to run towards the Truth.” [emphasis added] – David Goggins, Navy Seal, Author, Can’t Hurt Me
Inner Excellence (IX) Principle #1
Everything is here to teach me and help me, it’s all working for my good.
The reason most professional athletes (and the rest of us) fail to reach their potential is that they get too caught up in negative thoughts and emotions. When we don’t live up to expectations, we get frustrated. When things don’t go our way, we start to doubt ourselves, especially if it happens over and over. Those doubts become beliefs that turn into mental blocks and eventually, for many, career-ending limiting beliefs.
The most extraordinary performers throughout history have had extreme devotion to improvement, to mastery. In order to maintain this type of devotion, there must be an underlying positive energy; there needs to be passion to withstand any adversity.
Here’s how former Seahawk’s quarterback Russell Wilson describes his mindset:
“They ask me, ‘How many days off do you have?’ I just kind of laugh,” Wilson said after a mid-August practice. “How many days off do I get? I don’t take days off. Every day, 365 days, this is what I do, this is my lifestyle. Every day. For me, I get to play 20-plus years, that’s the vision, that’s the goal.” He added, “If you always worry about what’s ahead, you always pass up today. So you know what I stick to? I stick to joy. Just joy.” [emphasis added]
The Truth is, you don’t know what’s best for you results-wise and circumstance-wise. You think what’s best for you is to get what you want, but how often has that been true in your life? The best thing for you in this season of your life, might be to have more adversity and more struggle. Because it’s in the suffering and defeats that we gain strength.
So where does that leave us? We know that beliefs are the x-factor in extraordinary performance and reaching your potential.
We need something beyond results and circumstances to get us through the tough times, so our beliefs don’t take a hit. As Russell says, it’s joy.
Joy (as defined in Inner Excellence terms) is a deep sense of well-being, freedom, and gratitude, independent of circumstances.
Perhaps the biggest thing that derails us from passion and perseverance (and limits our beliefs) is judgment. That is, laying down a negative verdict about a circumstance or situation, when we don’t have all the information (and it may be the best thing for us). Most people spend their lives reacting to circumstances in their lives and judging them–emotionally sabotaging themselves.
Principle #1 keeps us in joy, and joy is the foundation for self-control and self-mastery, as well as keeping your beliefs in line with your goals and dreams.
Inner Excellence Principle #2
Everyone does the best they can with what they have in their hearts.
This is a very hard one for many people to accept. What about that co-worker or relative who knows better, who is just mean or rude or worse?
I was in Home Depot a few years ago and saw someone who had really negative energy. I saw him down the aisle and thought, “Wow, don’t get too close to that guy.” I also kind of thought, “What a jerk,” etc. I started to judge him. Then the thought hit me (that I’ve always remembered): “Do you think he likes being that way? Having that negative energy?” No, I don’t think he does. Nobody does. Does the drug addict like being a drug addict? Of course not. Addiction (in general) comes from a series of choices that were once (perhaps poorly managed) thoughts and feelings.
Let’s consider this in your life. Think of the first person that comes to mind that you think is not doing the best they can with what they have. Got that person in mind? Now consider this:
You would do and say the exact same thing if you had their beliefs, their experiences, and their set of glasses for seeing the world.
If you had their heart, you would act exactly like them. If you’re able to be more helpful and positive in this moment than they are, your only wise move is gratitude because you were given a different life with perhaps a more acute set of glasses.
When we remember that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have in their hearts (including yourself), we can live in freedom, which is a fundamental key to the best possible life.
The best possible life is based on the quality of your relationships (with God, self, others, and the world around you). The more you train yourself to develop non-judgmental awareness (awareness of the moment without judging it), the more opportunities you’ll see to learn and grow and live your dreams.
Inner Excellence Principle #3
The problem is not the problem, the problem is the state you enter when you think about the problem.
“The correct emotional response to a problem is 75% of the solution.” – James Loehr, PhD, Mental Toughness Training for Sports
When you judge anything or anyone, you’re really judging yourself. Every time you lay down a negative verdict about self, circumstances, or others, your subconscious mind picks up on the negative energy, some stays with you, some goes toward the object of judgment. This creates self-consciousness (self-doubt and self-protection) within you, as well as instability.
The key is to use discernment instead, which is to use wisdom to decide the best course of action in a particular situation or with a certain person or group of people. (If you want the IX definition of wisdom, you’ll have to email me or look in the back of this book 🙂
Judgment reduces each of the big 3 areas of extraordinary performance: belief, freedom, and focus (BFF).
So next time you encounter a problem, remember IX principle #3. Prioritize your energy/state over being right or having an easy life, and remember, this situation or person is here to teach you and help you, it’s all working for your good.
To those of you who’ve prayed for Naomi, thank you so much. She has taught me so much about inner strength and inspired me greatly with her mental toughness. She’s had an extremely tough time the last month. Please continue to pray.
Today (Friday) I’m headed to Crooked Rooster Farm in Snohomish, Wa (just down the road) to take a border collie puppy home for my sister Naomi as a therapy dog (it’s a trial run). Naomi’s not awake/conscious much during the day, but hopefully this dog will be able to lay down with her and provide some comfort. Thank you Holly and Charlotte!
Thank you as well to my early listeners of the Inner Excellence audiobook! It’s been so helpful. I’m super excited to share it with you all.
Next weekend I’ll be in Louisville, Kentucky and then Cleveland, Ohio. Hope to see you in my travels!