Are you awesome at what you do?
Do you give every ounce of energy?
I’ve been working on what I consider the Ultimate Success Course…ever.
I’ve forced myself to not put it out in Week A, B, C.
Each of those weeks, I ask myself, “OK, is there a way for this to go wrong and if it does what do you do next?”
That became overwhelming because ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that can go wrong in life, does, and then life surprises us.
I’ve put out a lot of courses that just blow the socks out of everything else I’ve ever seen. But this is the culmination of YEARS of work and it’s got to be EXCELLENT FOR YOU.
This article is a simple,valuabe and brief introduction to The Success Capsule.
Excellence is a Prerequisite
I’ve been flying a lot lately. My passport is tired of being stamped. It’s started to take it personally.
Today I accepted my 10th event in my life in the country of Poland. I’ll be there October 6, 2017. I’m really looking forward to it. 10 trips in 18 years to one nation. Whew!
You get on the Delta flight in Minneapolis, knowing that two flights, and a car later, you’ll be at the event hotel in Warsaw Poland, on the other side of the world. Well, I used to think it was the other side of the world. Now I know that Bulgaria is the other side of the world! More on Bulgaria later.
Traveling these 7,000 mile trips is tedious and incredibly challenging to my patience. It’s been good therapy for defeating the “now” compulsion.
Your body will get only a couple of opportunities to move in that 17 hour trek and in a strange way it saps you of most of your energy. In fact, breathing in other people’s air for 14 of those 17 hours doesn’t do many people a favor.
9 hours after arrival you’ll shower. You’ll drink a Coca Cola Light or two (I always get two at the airport and carry them to the hotel. If they don’t have them…well…I’m not going to be on my mark in the morning…)
Your eyes are red. Your headache is impressive, your back still aches from lack of movement.
And in 60 minutes you will be in front of an audience who doesn’t speak your language.
Today in 2017 I realize a lot of American speaking people don’t speak my language! So this is even more fascinating. You will make them smile.
You will show them new things they’ve never seen before.
You’ll give them new insights they’ve never thought of.
You’ll make them laugh over and over again.
There is a knock on the door. It’s Aleksandra (my personal interpetor) You smile and say “Dzien Dobry.”
She has a smile that is real and energy that is right at the 99.7% level.
Meanwhile, as you have the typical checklist interaction it’s obvious that your energy level as you slog out of the suite 15 minutes later is about 11.7%.
She says, “Don’t worry Kevin Hogan, you will be amazing.”
Part of you wants to say, “Well yeah, but it’s not as easy as it looks.” (Understatement of the year.) But you can’t say that.
You smile. Nod. “Today they will have a great time.”
She knows it’s a fact. She has seen you work before.
You take a deep breath and the two of you walk out of the room. You have back up notes, the power point presentation back up on flash drive, redundancy for everything including the reminder to bring new towels and food for lunch.
You walk in the event room. You walk fast. EVERYONE wants 1 minute of your time. If you could do that, you’d have no time to present that day and you have a FULL DAY to present.
It’s on the walk that you somehow crank up the internal volume and that 11.7% turns into 117%. You suck the reserves from the next day and bring it all into today into this moment and then you shake hands with a few people that simply insist, then stand in the back waiting to announced.
A hundred things have to go right and none can go wrong. That’s why the checklist is your life. You have two of everything. A back up microphone, A back up video projection screen. A back up EVERYTHING. The only thing there is no back up for is you.
You may be awesome today. You look around and see the expectation in the eyes of the audience. You damn well better be awesome.
You may be good today. You don’t want to be good. You want to be the best they’ve ever experienced. That pressure ramps up the energy even more.
One thing is certain: You will have energy and you will cause stimulation, fascination, curiosity, excitement and intensity.
You give 117% because that’s all of it.
Then 8 hours later, you are finished and you will smile and be excited to meet and talk to every single person that wants to say hello…that wants an autograph. You will make each person as happy as you can…giving each person a “piece” of you to take home.
Then you will say good bye to the sponsors and head to the elevators. You are electric until you walk into your hotel room and close the door.
THEN you are officially done for the day.
Excellence means you give everything you have to give all day to the people who are your customer, your client, your fan, your friend.
You hit the hotel suite door and Aleksandra turns to go to the restaurant to get food.
Then you turn the shower on as quickly as you can knowing that you will now debate between shower and sleep from exhaustion. Sleep is always the most important thing because you have to be amazing tomorrow. Unlike any other kind of job, when you entertain, create happiness, cause fascination, develop ideas, generate new thoughts and feelings, give love, you enter a realm that requires excellence. It is a prerequisite to your working.
You can’t go in front of 500 people with normal human energy. All that will do is be boring. Guarantee: 100% boring. You need to have energy for all and for the day.
And you have to deliver within that energy.
Not being excellent doesn’t cross your mind because you would let down every single person.
When you are at the front of the room, you are everyone’s battery charger.
Intellectually, with energy and with emotion.
Excellence often begins with exhaustion and demands reaching deep inside for everything you have.
Excellence is a prerequisite to success.
Can I tell you a secret?
I don’t think I’m the best professional speaker on the planet. It’s not exactly something one can evaluate with certainty of results…there is a bit of bias involved!
That means I have a problem. The problem comes up every time I go on stage. I don’t think about being the best. I create what I think will be the best experience for the most people in the audience and then make sure that everything goes as planned.
There is a lot that has to happen from opening moments to hitting the elevator at the end of the day.
Hundreds of things.
Excellence means knowing the sound system works because it was checked the night before…by you. You know the Power Point works because YOU checked it the night before. You know the bathrooms are clean because you checked them. You know that every sight line in the room is good, or you pull a chair and leave a blank space. You test the stage the night before.
But being the best for business is different than being the best for entrepreneurs is different than being the best for schools, is different than being the best for diversity training….
So, when I go to work for a company, conference or convention, I confess I do have an ego goal. I want to give people the best edu-tainment I possibly can.
I will succeed.
It’s possible to fail because preparation could fail in some aspect that is not checked by you. However, I check ALL those aspects the night before.
….thus… I WILL SUCCEED.
I have to…(otherwise what is the point of making the trip?)
You MUST have some “ego involvement,” or you will not be effective at what you do.
You have to have a sense of pride in your work.
When I go to an event, I have a specific strategy to give the highest number of people a great experience and share as much information both consciously and unconsciously….as possible.
What about as an author? I’ve written 24 or so books.
I think I’m an average writer from a technical standpoint.
At University I got a “B” in journalism over the course of a few semesters. But I didn’t enjoy the journalistic writing style. When I moved away from journalism to psychology, I realized how lucky I had it in journalism! To say I didn’t like the REQUIRED APA writing style is a grand understatement. And when you don’t like something that much…you probably won’t do it well…and I didn’t.
So from a technical standpoint, Strunk and White would have to hang me like a dangling participle. BUT from the standpoint of being able to help people understand extremely complicated concepts and ideas using simple language,…well…I got pretty good at that.
I learned the power of three dots…
It meant that I was no longer required to use a .,:; if I didn’t want to and that freedom of creativity allowed me to develop a writing style that is instantly recognizable.
For better or worse, people can tell if Kevin Hogan wrote “it.”
And usually it’s better.
But it’s not the style. It’s what is being communicated.
Your Personal Excellence Emerges
No matter what you do that is good in life, doing it well reaps great rewards. Whether this concept is applied to your work or your health, your relationships or your personal goals, making a commitment to personal excellence in whatever you do virtually guarantees a life of fulfillment, success and passion.
What does “excellence” have to do with anything?
As with most things in life, the results we experience tend to be in proportion with the quality of effort we put forth. If we don’t go for it, we experience minimal results. If we give our absolute best, we always get excellent results (even if they aren’t what we initially intended). Sometimes the results are BETTER than we expected.
PAUSE: You may wonder whether excellence really matters. For a long time I’ve talked about the Law of Diminishing Returns.
Let’s review the concept of excellence and the Law of Diminishing Returns…
You can cut your 1/2 acre lawn in about 90 minutes and do a A- job, getting 99% of the grass cut and miss a little under the steps of the deck or whatever.
Or you can cut your 1/2 acre lawn in 3 hours and do an A+ job, getting 100% of the grass cut and miss nothing.
Me, I’ll take the 99% in most things in life.
Some things REQUIRE perfection.
But MOST THINGS require being awesome and awesome is not perfection.
People who require perfection are very likely to not succeed in most of their ventures. Perfection becomes procrastination in many cases. It becomes an excuse for accompishment. It becomes a factor in delay.
DO NOT CONFUSE PERFECTION WITH EXCELLENCE.
(I don’t need my pilot to land PERFECTLY, just PERFECTLY SAFE!!!)
When you are a professional Speaker, you can’t be perfect because there is no rule book that tells you what “perfect” is. Does perfect mean you made EVERYONE laugh? (That’s not going to happen) Does perfect mean that EVERYONE liked you (that’s not going to happen.)
No, you have to be awesome. You have to be filled with energy so that you light up the bulbs in everyone’s minds. So you turn ON everyone’s thinking apparatus. You want to stimulate your audience for emotional impact and give them take aways that they can use in real life. And balance it as well as is possible.
And there is ONLY EXCELLENCE. There is no perfection in speaking or writing…thank goodness….
If there was, there would be no creativity, no desire, no excitement, no love, no lust, no happiness…just perfection.
Believing You Are Capable of More
You will level up when and only when you believe it is possible.
One common reason people don’t give their best effort is because they don’t believe they are capable of more. Does this describe you?
Recognizing this element is critical. There is nothing wrong with knowing that until this point you felt you couldn’t do something else, better, different or new.
- Do you think that if a task requires too much effort it won’t be worth the expenditure?
- Do you consistently avoid working any harder than you have to?
- Do you believe that real success is only for the truly talented and lucky, so there’s no point in giving your best?
Just be honest because you are the person who lives with you!
If you’re like the average or normal person, you are probably capable of far more than you have achieved to date.
Do you have trouble believing that? Until, I suggest otherwise, trust me, taking one step up is not difficult. You’ve only begun.
If you are willing to just CONSIDER that you’re capable of more, you are in the right mind-set to shift.
First, take a moment to think about your accomplishments thus far, and be honest with yourself about the things you could have done better. Perhaps you shied away from increased responsibility at your job and got passed over for a promotion, or you gave up on making your dream a reality because it seemed too difficult.
In order to bring out your best, you need to first acknowledge that your present circumstances are due to the actions you’ve taken so far, and more importantly the QUALITY of effort you’ve put forth.
This can be an uncomfortable exercise because in a sense it means acknowledging that you are the cause of your own slowed or plateaued progress. If that is the case, it’s fine. Really! The fact is, only by knowing with certainty where you ARE can you move on to somewhere BETTER.
Imagine you’re in a shopping mall, standing before one of those maps that state, “You are here.” If you know where you are you can easily map out a route to get somewhere else.
It’s important not to JUDGE yourself for your progress (or lack of) up to this point. Feeling badly about yourself accomplishes nothing. If that feeling is truly there, simply allow it to be rocket fuel to move forward.
The point is to gain a clear understanding of where you are, and figure out where you want to go. Acknowledge that you did the best you could with the resources you had, but now you are ready to do better, to level up…to take a first new step up.
Finding Something to Believe In
Excellence is not so much about WHAT you do, but how you do it. However, the more time you spend doing things that really matter to you, the more naturally you will bring out your best.
What is important to you? What do you live for? What have you always wanted to do? Answering these questions will start you on an amazing journey of self-discovery and growth.
Once you know the activities that make your heart sing, the point is then to do them often, and do them WELL. Master them like you’ve never mastered anything before. Throw yourself into them and become consumed by them.
When we do something we feel extremely passionate about, we automatically give the best of ourselves to the task. We’re not focusing on anything but the present moment which means we are able to devote our full energy and attention to NOW.
Not only do we end up enjoying ourselves to the fullest possible extent, we also lend that much more power to the end result. Half hearted effort leads to lukewarm results, but focused, passionate action brings forth powerful results.
When It Just Has to Be Done
As important as it is to follow your passions, we all have things that simply must be done. We’ve got jobs, family responsibilities, mundane chores, and all types of obligations.
It’s easy to slip into a mind-set of drudgery and do these things with half hearted effort, and much of the time we do just that. But what would happen if we began giving them our full effort and attention?
First, we’d find ourselves feeling more upbeat about these unpleasant tasks. Rather than feeling annoyed or weary about them, we’d feel good about them. We’d start focusing more on the BENEFITS created by the work we do, rather than the work itself.
We would also gain a sense of personal mastery over everything we do. From errands to interpersonal relationships, each activity would feel like its own reward. The results gained from these activities would simply be a nice bonus – better organization, greater fulfillment, deeper relationships, and more powerful results from projects.
In general, personal excellence creates a sense of inner pride about who we are and what we do. It makes us feel more confident, happier, and focused.
Committing to Excellence
The important thing is to COMMIT to excellence with whatever you do. Don’t clean out the garage because you “have to”. Clean out the garage as if it were the most important thing you were doing that day. Clean it out as if a neat garage was of utmost importance in the grand scheme of things. Clean it out as if you would rather be doing nothing else in the world.
Why? What does your attitude matter when cleaning out the garage? If you approach any task with a sense of boredom or grudging obligation, a few things will happen.
- First, you won’t enjoy the process at all. Your mind will be focusing only on “getting it done” and you won’t be giving your full attention to what you’re doing. Consequently, you end up missing out on the enjoyment of the process.
- Secondly, since you didn’t pay full attention to what you were doing, your results will be less than stellar. The garage might look “okay” and you might be fine with that. But wouldn’t “good” be better than “okay”? And wouldn’t “great” be better than “good”?
- Finally, with a ho-hum attitude, you will also miss out on that great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from a job well done.
Perhaps you think it doesn’t matter, that doing a job for its own sake is fine and dandy. Sometimes that might be true. However, if you want to experience greater joy and fulfillment in your life, it makes sense that you’d want to enjoy the things you do, AND experience better results from them.
The only way to do that is to COMMIT fully to whatever you do. Focus your full attention to it and allow yourself to be immersed in the process. Give it your absolute best effort and watch how it dramatically enhances the result!
Investing in Every Move You Make
One great way to achieve personal excellence is by choosing to see your effort as an INVESTMENT in the end result.
What is an investment? In a financial context, it is money we allocate (to a fund or program) with the intention to expand and grow it (with interest or other gains) so you get more money back.
How does this apply to actions and excellence? If you see your every action as an investment, it means that you stand to gain MORE than you give.
- If you invest in your relationships by strengthening communication and spending quality time with loved ones, your relationships grow and expand into meaningful connections that enrich our lives.
- If you invest in your career by giving your best effort, continuing your education and striving for long-term advancement, you gain more money, greater job satisfaction and more opportunities for success.
- If you invest in your personal growth and development, you gain a greater understanding of your Self, your aspirations, and your potential.
It’s exactly the same for everything you do, whether you’re working on your passions or your obligations.
- Would you want to have an operation done by a surgeon that was only half paying attention to what he or she was doing?
- Would you want to be driven by a taxi driver that was only half watching the road?
- Would you want to eat a meal that was only half cooked by a chef?
Granted, most of the things you do may not be as life altering as these examples. But why should your results be any less important?