In a Tim Ferriss podcast, Arianna Huffington is being interviewed, and she describes an amazing exercise her mother did to help prepare her for college. Since she was a young girl, Arianna had a fascination and wanted to attend Cambridge University in the UK. It was out of the country, expensive, and a type of college that wasn’t necessarily seen as “possible” for Arianna’s upbringing. But for her mother, anything was possible, and she taught this in the most amazing ways.
While the majority of her family were brushing this dream to attend Cambridge aside, Arianna’s mother was telling her that it can happen. One day, her mom said she got some cheap tickets, and she took Arianna to Cambrige. One plane and train ride later, she was on campus—not to meet anyone there, but just to simply walk around. Arianna was 14 years old at the time. Her and her mom walked around the campus for hours exploring the colleges, eating at the cafe, and walking the paths to make it feel real. It was an early form of visualization, and Arianna could picture herself there, already there.
Fast forward in time, Arianna learned english, took the exams, and received a scholarship to attend Cambridge. She talks about how this visualization so early on helped her feel confident that it could happen.
I recently went to a business seminar and had a conversation with two women who looked to be doing amazing work with their growing business ventures. I asked them how they did it. How did they gain the courage to leap into their business full-time? They told me to start visualizing that I already have it. Start talking like I already have a team, an office, a huge following of customers. The behavior to make successful steps will stem from these affirmations being pushed out into the world.
These two women were doing what Arianna did when she was 14 years old. They were visualizing their goals and growing curiosity. They weren’t asking “can this goal happen?”. They were asking “how can we make this goal happen?” and setting an expectation that it was going to happen.
Visualization to reality.
Check Out What I’m Studying
I started this blog last year and wrote quite a bit, but more importantly I learned a lot. There is nothing more joyful to me than learning something new that will apply value and enrichment to living a more fulfilled life. There are endless subject areas to learn about, and I love them all. From productivity and business to habits and self-improvement—someone who stops learning stops growing; and I make effort to be an ongoing learner.
Listed below are my personal top-five favorite posts from 2017 because of the valuable learnings I gained while studying and writing them. I do this blog for myself, my own learning, my own gaining of wisdom. For those of you that do follow along with me and read my posts, I am grateful, thank you. May we continue learning and growing in 2018. Happy New Year.
Give Thinking it’s Space
Effective decision-making comes with self-awareness and making time to reflect and think.
Win Goals with Heart
Win with curiosity, self-awareness, and heart.
Slow it Down
Have patience, and recognize that many small actions add up to larger successes.
What is the Most Valuable Land?
You only live once. Make it count.
Get Things Done
Have a clear system to be productive.
I’ve been hooked on reading an autobiography of my favorite soccer player Michelle Akers called The Game and the Glory. I can’t put it down. I wrote more about it in a previous post that you can read here. I can resonate so much with her willpower and determination, and this keep-going attitude. Nothing stops her, not even the Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS) she was battling.
There is one story that really stuck out to me indirectly as I struggle with it all the time—and that’s the need to pace yourself, to care for yourself and rest. In the book, Akers describes how her trainer had a very specific program to follow in order to help prep her for the World Cup tournament. This training was specific and took into consideration the effect that CFIDS had on her body. Week after week, Akers’ performance numbers were going down. Thinking that Akers was perhaps slacking, the trainer was puzzled and frustrated and confronted her about it.
As it turns out Akers was training the 2 hours per session as instructed, but slacking was far from the truth. The trainer didn’t know that after training with him, Akers was putting in another 2 hours of practice. There was a thinking that if she put in double the time, she would output faster results. It didn’t work that way. Her extra training beyond scope actually hurt her body double time, and it took longer to recover from that extra strain.
This story sticks out because I do this all the time. I’ll cram in a 48 hour day into the 24 hour template and then pay the consequences of tiredness for days after. Or I’ll push through anyway and weeks later it all catches up to me. Push more, work harder, work faster…it doesn’t always output the results you intend. Often times, I deeply burn out. For whatever reason, I keep relearning this lesson again and again and again—and again. It’s a habit that is so hard to kick.
As Shauna Niequist writes in her awesome book, Present Over Perfect:
“I want less of everything. Less stuff. Less rushing. Less proving and pushing. Less hustle. Less consumption. […] I’ll come back around this block a thousand times in my lifetime, probably. I hope I’m getting better at it.”
And I want to get better at this too.
Check Out What I’m Studying