Achieve more by reducing your priorities rather than adding to your pressures.
Whether it’s the beginning of the year or any date thereafter, the demands of life weigh heavy on those who maintain a hunger for personal and professional growth. Life often feels like a mountain we are ill equipped to summit. The path of the status quo leads to lofty goals set at the dawn of the new year, most of which quickly fade into the necropolis of to-do lists gone un-done. Though it seems counter intuitive, if you want to carry your goals over the peak, you should start by reducing the weight of your load.
Prioritization helps you to embrace your identity and live your purpose. Reducing your load starts with weeding through the internal and external pressures to focus on what is important to you. When you harness this simple truth you realize it is better to have a few things that are completely done rather than several items that are only partially done. Going over the mountain starts with preparation and then taking those first steps up the mountain. Reduce in order to produce.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease.
Reduce your Pressures.
You should be intentional about giving yourself some credit from time to time. Remember, you have a purpose, a job, family, commitments, side hustles, hobbies and you need time to sleep. Take a moment to appreciate what you have accomplished and where you have traveled in your journey. It’s ok to give yourself a compliment.
As you climb towards your goals, build into your development process time for reflection and gratitude. Bill Carmody, founder and CEO of Trepoint, encourages growth minded professionals, “So much of what we do in our business is driven (or limited) by our psychology. Celebrating your wins not only feels great physically, but it reinforces the behavior you want to show up when you face a new challenge or opportunity.”
"Consider what you might accomplish if you stopped
Reinforce positive behavior as you face challenges. This is enhanced by surrounding yourself with positive influences. This should not be confused for surrounding yourself with people who will tell you what you want to hear and will allow you to underperform on your potential. There is a fine line between those who will, “Tell you like it is,” but have no functional input to help you evolve and those who will encourage, as well as correct, as they walk alongside you.
Resources such as social media can both be distracting from your efforts to reach your goals as well as create a false sense of achievement. Don’t fall prey to the allure of attention (external adulation) and achievement (internal satisfaction). Srinivas Rao challenges us to consider, “What you might accomplish if you stopped confusing attention with accomplishment.” Rather than sharing about what you plan to do in order to receive some fleeting praise, celebrate your victories (large and small) with those who are directly involved in your ascent.
Build sustainable habits that will aid you in achieving your goals:
Reduce your Priorities.
Climbing a mountain requires preparation, dedication and endurance. You have limited time and you have to be realistic with what you can pursue and invest in. Whittle down your priorities to the core things that matter to you. Your priorities will change as you unfold your personal and professional development. If everything is important then nothing is. Be intentional by reducing your list of priorities to items that you can gain momentum and achieve.
Focus is the key to harnessing your ability to achieve. If you want to achieve your goals you must transfer your ideas (what is in your head) into habits (action) as this is the most effective way to develop sustained positive changes. Your neural messengers that facilitate goals being transformed into habit are called endocannabinoids. Dr. Ralph Ryback, writing for Psychology Today, states, “The best way to get your endocannabinoids to help you form a habit is by being consistent. Work toward your goal every day, even if you don’t feel like it. You can set aside a specific time each day, or a specific context.”
"The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important
Simple steps for crushing your growth goals:
Reduce your Excuses.
In a letter to his friends in Rome, Paul writes, “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment.” Often, our minds receive this as though we need to bring ourselves down a notch with an improper understanding of humility. I find it interesting that the author says, “With sober judgement,” which also means an honest evaluation. We shouldn’t think of ourselves more highly than we ought but also we should not think of ourselves more lowly than we ought. Sober judgement means that we have an understanding of our identity and our purpose.
You are capable. You can achieve what you want. Do you want to have a better body, you can do it - you will have to be realistic with what that commitment will require. You know the process includes eating better, getting sleep and a commitment to working out. Personal and professional development is not so much about learning new information but applying what we know to be true. Achieving a better body is often tied to looking like some prototype. When you compare yourself to others it isn’t helpful. Your goals should be specific to you and reaching your potential.
Development is a process of embracing your identity and living your purpose. If you are in a rut, start yourself with some low hanging fruit that will help you get the wheels turning again. Your success will inspire you to reach further. It’s amazing how when you start saving a little money, the momentum of those feelings of small achievements propel you to save more and grow your vision for what is possible. The same is true in any endeavor of change.
Development is a process of embracing your identity and living your purpose.
Reduce your excuses to produce better results:
The Year of Reduction.
What would happen if you and I declare this The Year of Reduction - Reduce to Produce?
So much of what screams at you and me for attention challenges us to do this or that and only adds to the weight we carry. By shedding some of the unnecessary weight you can focus on what matters to you and make progress in your process. Embrace your identity, be who you are.
Live your purpose, be all that you were designed to be. What will you do today to reduce your pressures, reduce your priorities and reduce your excuses so that you can climb your mountain with less resistance?
Resolve within yourself to Reduce so that you can Produce.
What is The DYOJO?
The DYOJO is The Do Your Job Dojo. A dojo is a space dedicated to learning and practicing martial arts.
In business teamwork is essential to an organization’s ability to perform at the peak of its capacity. Teamwork must be grounded in trust. the foundation for trust to be built among multiple employees who will be empowered to work with each other, is laid by team members who consistently do their job.
In this equation, those in leadership can help this process evolve by clarifying roles and responsibilities for all employees.
Personal and Professional Development
In the original Karate Kid movie, Sensi (teacher/master) John Kreese states the distinctives of the Cobra Kai Dojo:
From the example of Karate Kid, we see the difference in the people, process and production of those trained by Sensi Kreese and karate master Mr. Miyagi.
By all appearances, the process Mr. Miyagi utilizes for skills training would not produce a championship level fighter and his young apprentice Danny frequently questions his progress.
The climax of the movie reveals that the skills and heart of young Danny has been mentored and developed to persevere through rise to the challenge in the face of an opponent is superior by most metrics.
Mentorship and Coaching for Achieving Goals.
When you commit to studying a martial art, you must find a mentor who you believe will help train you to master the craft you have chose and you must remain engaged in your skills development. The same is true in business. It is your job to pursue personal and professional development so that you can reach your potential. As you grow as a leader, you have a responsibility to repeat the process and help others to achieve their goals.
The DYOJO will help you to develop the will, the skill and the chill to succeed.
Customized Business Coaching Strategies.
We take the time to listen to your vision, values and goals so that we can assist you to build a strategy for achieving success. You are the hero of your story and our value proposition is to come alongside you to optimize your efforts. The DYOJO provides business coaching services and leadership development in person, online and via remote group training.
In the DYOJO we are committed to these core concepts and resources for development:
What services do The DYOJO provide?
For growth minded employees in need of direction for continuing their career development:
For new managers who need to elevate their education and training for leadership:
For existing managers looking for tools to help them engage the modern workforce:
For organizations desiring to provide leadership development resources:
Why was The DYOJO Started?
The DYOJO helps leaders to intentionally develop their vision and values so that they can build teams that are clear, consistent as well as accountable. We work to help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be as an organization. Through business coaching and leadership development, The DYOJO helps teams to increase their performance in the four key areas of sustainable success - people, process, production and progress.
How can The DYOJO help?
If you want to achieve greater results, you need to challenge your perspective.
When was the last time you heard, “Common sense isn’t so common anymore”? It probably wasn’t long ago. Was it you that said it? It’s a favorite quip of those in management. Oddly enough, when you are in a position of leadership the most common temptation is to follow the status quo by maintaining practices and platitudes regardless of their effectiveness.
Asking the right questions as a leader
While leadership may question what their employees are doing at times, the same is true in the reverse. Those further down the ladder may fall prey to following poor examples of work ethic and quality. Conversely, those in leadership are sheep of a higher standing, doing things as they have always been done. The question we should be asking at any level is, “It may be common, but is it successful?”
Challenging your perspective as a leader
In a recent interview with Joe Rogan, Firas Zahabi (see video link below) shares his insights on fighting the standard perspective of working out. Zahabi believes that by focusing on consistency rather than intensity, athletes and health conscious individuals can produce better long term. Firas asks the question, what if your work out could energize you rather than exhaust you? It seems like a wild idea but he reviews several examples of positive results including his own journey as an athlete and trainer.
Firas Zahabi interview with Joe Rogan
Firas Zahabi's accomplishments as a leader
As a mixed martial arts (MMA) grappling coach, Firas Zahabi is know for his work as the leader of the TriStar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Perhaps his most well known student is also one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, George Saint Pierre also know as GSP. According to MMA Fighting GSP’s accomplishments as a fighter place him firmly in the discussion as one of the greatest fighters of all time (GOAT),
“St-Pierre is currently the consensus best welterweight in history, sporting a 25-2 record in the division and having avenged both of his career losses. He currently holds the record for most title bouts (15) and is tied for the record of most wins in UFC history (20). He is also one of only four men to win belts in two separate weight classes.”
Refusing to follow along with the status quo
Zahabi found professionals who were achieving high results by approaching their profession more strategically then their competition. He talks about the importance of having fun while training and redefining what it means to go hard. Firas continues to enjoy what he does and has worked with some of the most successful practitioners in his field. If you invest the twenty minutes in listening to what this coach has to say you may find some inspiration for your personal workouts as well as some nuggets that will help you professionally as well.
Having fun while grinding is key to success
If you are having fun while you train than you will want to train more. By creating an atmosphere that is structured but loose, a mundane and grueling part of training can become something that adds energy rather than drains it. Author and CEO coach Lex Sisney reminds us to understand from the basic laws of physics that we have a finite amount of energy both as individuals and organizations. It is to our advantage to find ways to maximize this energy rather than deplete it. Those in positions of leadership should seek means to develop an atmosphere that brings energy to the team.
Working your grind rather than being ground out
In the MMA world it is seen as a badge of honor to train hard, Firas challenges the thought process and definition of training hard. Emphasizing that intensity is not the key but consistency. We know it is wise to work smarter not harder and yet we often chose to apply this principle in reverse. Zahabi advocates for maintaining 100% effort while thinking through the approach to the distribution of the work load consistently and strategically over time. If an athlete can get more out of their training using these methods in high intensity sports, perhaps organizations can learn from this approach to maximize their output in highly competitive industries.
Playing it safe is not a recipe for success
Firas Zahabi’s approach is definitely different than most in his sport and he discusses that. It would be much safer for him to take the same approach and yet had he done so we may not have witnessed the greatness of a fighter like George Saint Pierre. We think that the safest thing to do is not to take risks. In competitive markets from pro sports to the industry that you are in, playing it safe feels much safer than rocking the boat. You may not be a huge success but you also won’t be the nail that sticks out the furthest when the hammer comes down from higher up. When we fail to ask the why, we live without purpose. When we fail to take measured risks, we lead without conviction.
Mistakes do not have to be a curse nor failure the last nail in the coffin, good teams and strong leaders learn from everything.
Organizations want to reduce mistakes, eliminate failures and insulate themselves from negative consequences. Focusing on failure would be an error. Persons in a position of leadership (PIAPOL) need to approach issues with the skill and precision of an epidemiologist dispatched to discover the root cause of an outbreak. There is a difference between a mistake and a repeated mistake as well as those made in the course of learning new skills and those made for lack of care. We will explore three simple principles that will assist your team to gaining from failures rather than allowing them to cause you to fall behind.
Three keys 🔑 to making a mistake count:
Ignorance is not bliss, it’s a death sentence.
What does the second most quoted English poet, Alexander Pope have to say about failure? “A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. For an organization the biggest mistake is to not allow room for employees to make mistakes. If the culture of the company is to be heavy handed with mistakes then they will miss opportunities to hear about near misses that could expedite the process of adaptation. Experimentation is a scientific process that inherently relies on failure. We theorize, we test our theories in real world applications and we learn whether our theory is true or untrue. In that process there are several steps where our perspectives were wrong and we adjust course to move closer to our goals.
Pain of failure is a lifelong professor, fear of failure will cut you off at the knees.
Writing in Psychology Today, Dr. Jeremey E Sherman makes a few philosophical observations about the natures of mistakes, “ We learn by trial and error, but learn much faster when trials are similar and errors are clearer.” Touching on the reality in life that most of us are stubborn and chose the hard road when learning something. But he elaborates on a principle that will help unlock the formula to reducing the frequency and impact of those mistakes, simplification, “The cobbler’s trials are largely the same from shoe to shoe—same materials, tools and workspace, and his errors are easy to identify—this shoe fell apart; that one didn’t fit.” This means we can either engage in simplified tasks to minimize our exposure to the potential for failure or we can work to build processes that simplify what we do. Many people in leadership will mention making their systems like McDonald’s to achieve a consistent product output. Efficiency is essential in any business, reducing waste and optimizing operational flow, as long as that process does not completely choke out any room for organizational creativity which is essential in our rapidly evolving market.
Moving forward isn’t the only measure of success as it is possible to be moving forward in an endless circle that goes nowhere. Move onward and upward.
If we know and own our mistakes we aren’t afraid to share them which allows our teams to learn openly and rapidly from them. As the market evolves we have to be willing to admit that what worked yesterday will not work today, so we are constantly evolving and thereby operating in trial and error. Trial and error is a scientific process if we structure our thoughts and experiments towards being productive in a learning culture. Failure in the scientific process is not the end of the road but a step towards truth. When the great inventors Thomas Edison was asked about the apparent fruitlessness of his labors while developing battery technology, he replied, "Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work." By admitting what hasn’t worked we can move towards what will. By creating an environment where mistakes can be shared, the lessons can be spread more expediently to assist others in not repeating them.
When failures happen we must lean into them rather than avoiding them because they often hold the keys to unlocking the next level of lessons. We often view or desire to take broad steps in our growth but it is important to remember that consistent progress can come in the form of crawling, taking small steps or wading through thick muck. We cannot ignore our mistakes, this is a recipe for repeating the same issues. We created a video that demonstrates and exposes the errors in several common management approaches to employee mistakes, you will laugh and learn.
Onward and upward.
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Let us help you build and execute a plan for achieving success in your personal and professional development.
Jon Isaacson has a monthly feature column with Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine titled The Intentional Restorer