10,000 Hours to Success

We are reading Malcom Gladwells new book, Outliers, which is a great take on success and some different philosophies about attaining it.   There are a lot of different philosophies around about how to achieve your success (including our program).  One thing he talks about is the 10,000 hours it takes to become an expert and succeed at whatever you may choose.  He gives hard examples with The Beatles, Bill Gates, etc which makes a lot of sense (by the time the public saw their “success” they had put in their 10,000 hours).

The reason we bring this up is because when people hear about this commitment they may think “I can never reach that many hours to become an expert”.  Or, if we are able to accomplish it, we may be 40 or 50 before that time.  We whole-heartedly tell you that you are wrong.  A typical work week is 40-hours which is 2000 hours per year.  This means that if you find your passion early, start your path now, you will achieve this level of expertise quicker than you may think when just looking at “10,000 hours” of commitment.  This practice will work whether you are gaining those hours during a work day or after hours.

Some people have said to us, “if I start now I will be 25 (or 30, 35, 40, etc) before reaching my success.”  The real question to ask yourself is how close will you be to your success in 5, 10 or 20 years if you do not start now?  Take that first step, create that vision and start working toward your definition of success today.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Begin Your Week Right

A couple weeks back, we gave you a weekend challenge to develop a Vision for your life.  We wanted you to create a mental image of every aspect of that moment when you Vision would be realized–the smells, the sounds, the feelings.  And we asked you to write it down.

This week it’s time to do something with that.

Put on your weekly schedule two concrete actions that you will take this week to move towards that Vision.  No, we’re not telling you to quit your job, or drop out of school, or anything drastic.  Keep it simple.  The first step may be simply having a conversation over lunch with an old colleague, or looking in on a class at night, or researching a training schedule that long-distance runners follow.  Something small that helps you picture the first step towards your Vision.

But let us suggest what the second action could be:  tell somebody about your Vision.  A spouse, a boy/girlfriend, a mentor, your best friend . . . but not just anybody.  This person should be somebody you trust, somebody you admire, and somebody you have reason to believe will be supportive of you idea.  Because this person shouldn’t just be a sounding board for your ideas:  this should be a person who will hold you accountable to your Dreams.  Not because they’ll yell at you or anything, but because you would be disappointed in yourself to have to tell this person that you weren’t going to follow through on what you told them.

Hey, we didn’t say it would be easy.  But you have to start the proverbial thousand mile journey with a couple steps, and why not do it this week?

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Wisdom From Cervantes . . .

Miguel de Cervantes, that is.

Yes, that Miguel de Cervantes, author of Man of La Mancha and Don Quixote.

The first question of the Get It! program is “Who Are You?”  And one of the more difficult ways we encourage you to get to know yourself is to look at the people you choose to spend your time with.  Here’s where Cervantes comes in:

“Tell me what company you keep, and I’ll tell you what you are.”

Take some time to look very seriously at the people you consider to be in your “inner circle”–not just the people you say “hi” to in the halls, but the people you really include in your life.  And ask yourself “what kind of people are these?”

The hard part of this is that we all have friends that we’re not sure we’d invite to dinner at our parents’ house.  But if we are to truly begin to build our Perfect Lives, we need to look at the people close to us and understand the role they play.  If you go over to a friend’s house after school, and all they want to do is spend three hours playing Nintendo before going off to flip burgers, then odds are that that’s exactly what you’re going to be doing, too.  And if your Vision for your life is to become, say, a doctor, then Nintendo does not have a role in your life.  On the other hand, if the people close to you are ambitious, courageous, hard-working, and focused, then these are the type of people who will also help you to become your Best Self and build your Perfect Life.

This doesn’t mean kick out of your life all the people who are just plain fun to be around.  But maybe if that’s all the people around you are, it’s time to cultivate some relationships with people who exemplify qualities you admire.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reflections and Perspective

We write that one of the easiest ways to keep a mistake from turning into the next mistake which then becomes a catastrophe is to take a moment to reflect, to regain some perspective on what you’re doing, and to proceed from a place of balance.  But this habit does not have to be ONLY in the context of a mistake–it can become an everyday habit. 

Taking a moment for yourself is a strangely difficult thing to do these days–nobody has the time to spare.  But it is precisely because we are all so busy all the time that we really need to take that moment.  Even if it’s just a few minutes before bed looking up at a starry sky, or a short walk on the beach at sunset, a moment looking out over the mountains,  a second or two watching the sun come up over the great plains, or that quiet moment of prayer every day, that time is precious.

And notice the examples we chose: when taking a moment to reflect, sometimes its helpful to contemplate something much bigger than yourself.  That way, you can get in touch with a sense of perspective at the same time you’re re-centering yourself.  Funny, the way Reflection and Perspective work together that way.

Try it this week:  set aside a few moments in every day to slow down and put it all in its proper place.  You might just find those few “non-productive” moments the best ones of your whole day.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 1:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Trying To Reach Out

We, your Gurus, have spent many hours on the road in the last couple of months.  We’ve been visiting schools all up and down the front range, making contact with counselors and anybody else who will listen.

Why?  Because we’re on a mission!  Our mission is to get in front of every single young man and woman in the Denver area, in Colorado, and in America, and convince them that their Perfect Life is waiting for them to Wake Up(!) and go get it.  We’re not talking about being a good teen, a more effective adolescent, or a better whatever–we’re talking about taking this unique time in their life, where choices are plentiful and responsibilities are few, to figure out who they really are, what drives them, and what choices they can make that will lead them to a life of happiness and fulfillment.

Because nothing is quite as sad as a 40 year old waking up, looking around, and asking “how did I get here?  This isn’t what I imagined my life would be–what went wrong?”  That doesn’t have to happen–but history tells us that people who don’t start making smart choices early in life more often than not stumble into a life of quiet desperation.

Nobody is too young–or too old–to start designing their Perfect Life, and to make it happen!  If you would like to help us get in front of your school group, church group, Scouts group, or anybody else, please follow the link to our website and contact information. 

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on September 13, 2009 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Get It! Profile

(Special September 11th Edition)

“Getting It!” is not about wealth, or fame, or power.  We constantly reiterate that “Getting It!” is about living YOUR Perfect Life, not the image of a perfect life that you see on television or at the movies.

One of our favorite Get Its of all time is a young man by the name of Andrew Olmsted.  Major Olmsted, United States Army, was a soldier stationed in Iraq.  He maintained a blog for the Rocky Mountain News, writing bout his experiences, and, as many soldiers do, he wrote a “Final Entry.”  To be published in the event of his death.  Unfortunately, that happened.  Here is part of that Final Entry:

While you’re free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I’ll tell you you’re wrong.  We’re all going to die of something.  I died doing a job I loved.  When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was.

Being a soldier may not be YOUR idea of a perfect life, but it was his.  And he was able to live his Perfect Life, and we think of him now as a hero. 

What does your Vision show you about your Perfect Life?

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge

The Labor Day weekend being the traditional beginning of the school year, let’s play a little experiment on that school calendar.

Take a good look at your life as it is right now.  Think of everything that you’re involved in, everything you’d like to be involved in but can’t find the time for, and everything that gives meaning and purpose to your life. 

Still with us?  Good.’

Now, take one of those aspects of your life that is, shall we say, less than perfect.  Something you would very much like to change.  Doesn’t have to be one of “the biggies,” it could be a hobby or a volunteer thing or really anything. 

Now close your eyes.  Picture in your mind a moment–roughly nine months from now–where that aspect of your life is something special.  Maybe it’s the moment you recieve your black belt; or the moment you cross the finish line of a 10k race; or the day you move in to your new office; or . . . well, you get the point.  Develop as thorough a picture of that moment as you can–smells, sounds, how it feels.

That, my friends, is vision.

That’s not enough, though.  Write it down.  Draw a picture of it.  Hang it on your wall.  And put a date on it–Memorial Day, 2010, for instance.

You can’t create Your Perfect Life if you don’t know what that is going to look like.  So on the long weekend ahead, take a few relaxed moments to define for yourself what that’s going to be.  And hang on to that Vision until you can taste it, until it becomes your battle cry. 

That would be a good weekend’s “work”.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on September 5, 2009 at 1:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Persistence, Persistence, Persistence

We often use this blog to share an important message, usually using an example of someone we know or one that we have read about.  Today is another great message, but the examples we are going to draw from are your very own Guru’s.

We write about the importance of being persistent.  We even tell the inspiring story of a great Get It! from history Abraham Lincoln.  We use this story to illustrate that the journey to your perfect life may not always be perfect and it may have some challenges, but if you are persistent in your passions, you will enjoy a great life.  These were important lessons to write about and even better ones for us to follow ourselves.

We chose to target youth and young adults because we felt they had been neglected in providing guidance past how to be a great teen or getting into college.  Believe us that along the way we have been inundated with the naysayers telling us that “they are too young to get it”, “they will not read or embrace a program like this” and, our favorite, ” if you really want to effect change with them, put it in a video game.”  Well, we are making a commitment to this next generation that we will not give up, we will not fall prey to the vultures who are waiting for us to fall flat and we will continue to explore every possible avenue to get this important tool in front of our audience.  We will do this because we believe in our work and in the importance it has to helping everyone, regardless of their age, to find their perfect life.

Stay tuned as we continue to share great stories and messages while taking this program out into the world.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on September 3, 2009 at 3:28 pm  Leave a Comment