Many years ago, I started the first softball team at my school, and those early years were rough. My players just didn't know the fundamentals of the game, and I remember losing 38-0. This went on for a few seasons, but at some point, you've got to decide it's time to win. Here are three fundamentals you've got to win in order to win the most important game.
WIN THE INNER GAME.
How do you win the inner game? When you understand that you have the most powerful tool inside you: your mind. Your mind is your internal GPS, and the direction of your life will be determined by the quality of your thoughts.
Thoughts are active; they grow and change. You create between 50,000-70,000 thoughts every day, most in the subconscious, and running on autopilot. That's why you don't have to think about brushing your teeth, but don't be fooled, your life is a reflection of your thoughts.
According to Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, "Thoughts influence every decision, word, action, and physical reaction we make."
Over time, thoughts become beliefs, ideas we hold to be true, and these beliefs shape our IDENTITY: our internal picture. From this inner image we make our choices, because we act like the person we believe ourselves to be, and what we achieve is largely a matter of what we believe.
Now, just because you believe something doesn't mean it's true. People once believed the earth was flat. So to get rid of "flat earth" beliefs we need to reset our internal GPS. When you change your thinking, you change your choices, and you change your life.
Decide today that you are the leader of your life. According to leadership expert John Maxwell, "Your life is a result of your thinking yesterday. Your life tomorrow will be determined by what you're thinking today."
So, what are you thinking about?
Awareness is the first step. Start thinking about what you're thinking about. Any thought that is negatively affecting your life is a "limiting belief." Limiting beliefs are rooted in fear. Fear of looking bad, being judged, or rejected, but everything you want is on the other side of that fear. My mom's mantra was "do it afraid." Any time we step out to challenge these deeply held beliefs it's going to feel uncomfortable, but it's a sure sign you're on the right track.
Reset your internal GPS and win the inner game!
2. WIN THE MORNING.
The second fundamental to winning at life is winning the morning.
According to Tim Ferris, "Win the morning, and you win your day."
Are you winning your day or are you a snooze button glutton? Are you a grumpy girl or a gloomy guy? Are you always running late and feeling frazzled? It doesn't have to be that way. Wouldn't you like to be more productive, creative, and energized? How about make more money, get better grades, and be in better shape?
Get up early. Most successful people wake up early. In fact, 90% of CEOs wake up before 6:00. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wakes up at 3:45. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, wakes up at 4:30. Also, 50% of self-made millionaires wake up three hours before their workday begins.
Not convinced? A University of Texas study found that students who woke up early had a GPA a full point higher than their sleepy counterparts. Finally, morning people are more confident, motivated, better problem solvers, and procrastinate less.
When I implemented my morning routine that I call Pray, Prep, and Rep, it was a gamechanger. Reset your internal GPS and win the morning.
3. WIN WITH PEOPLE.
You've heard it been said, "nothing significant is ever achieved alone." It's so true. Relationships are the key to winning with people. How do you cultivate strong relationships?
First, you begin with you, because you can't give away something you don't have. Decide to develop a growth mindset and constantly pursue a higher level of personal development.
Second, use your gifts in service to others. I hear people all the time anxiously opine about what their purpose is. Let me suggest that you use your gifts, talents, skills, and strengths to help other people's dreams come true, and I guarantee you your dream will come true. It is the law of sowing and reaping.
Finally, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Look at your inner circle. Are you the smartest and most talented person in your circle? If so, it's time for a new one. You always need to be growing. Find someone who is out in front of you, someone you admire, and get that person's influence in your life.
Is your circle toxic? Do you have people in your circle who aren't happy to see you, talk about you, or sabotage you? If you can cut those toxic ties do it. Get those soul-sucking vampires out of your life. It's time to find people who are happy to see you, who will champion you, and will celebrate your success. Reset your internal GPS and win with people.
It's hard to play softball or any other game without the fundamentals. It's true of the game of life. Implement these three game-winning strategies and win the most important game. Life!
Crystal Van Kempen-McClanahan, is one- half of the podcast Soul Gym Sisters, and co-author of Mind Moxie: How to Help You Master What's Mastering You. She spent years as an educator, a softball/volleyball coach, and school leader. She has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and received the John Maxwell Leadership Award in Education. Because leadership is "influence," Crystal is passionate about helping people increase their "influential capacity" by leading their life, loving their life, and lavishing it on others. Check out her YouTube channel and online course "5 Steps to Go From Flabby to Fit Without Stepping Foot in the Gym."