The Official Nametagscott Guide to Stick-to-itiveness, Part 4

Stick-to-itiveness can be learned.

Aka, “Stick to it.”
Aka, “Stick with it.”
Aka, “Stick in there.”

All you have to do is shift your attitude completely – work hard, smart and long while nobody notices – and design a daily practice of self-determination and commitment.

Hey. I said it could be learned – not that it would be easy.

Up to the challenge?

Cool. Fortunately, I’ve already published part one, part two and part three in this series.

Today we’re going to explore part three with additional strategies for sticking with it – whatever “it” is:1. Shut yourself up. In 1933, newspapers around the world announced the death of a Chinese man named Li Chung Yun. Now, the rumor was that he lived to be over two hundred years old. Whether or not that’s true, nobody knows.

But Yun did deliver a series of twenty-eight three-hour lectures at a Chinese university. The topic: Longevity. And when asked for advice on lengthening one’s life, his greatest counsel for stick-to-itiveness was always two words: Inner quiet.

When was the last time those two words described your mindspace? For most people, that’s a tough question. For some people, that’s an impossible question. But that’s why Yun’s philosophy of inner quiet is more relevant than ever before.

The reality is: Our society doesn’t reward idleness. Money likes speed, not stillness. And when you factor in the information overload, the acceleration of technology and the (almost) non-existent attention span – it’s no wonder people can’t shut themselves up.

Have you ever actually tried just doing nothing? It’s like a workout. Apparently non-action is the hardest action of all. But in my experience, practicing regular intervals of inner quiet – every day – is the backbone of stick-to-itiveness. Tomorrow’s strength comes from yesterday’s stillness. At what point did you shut your brain down yesterday?

2. Find a place to put the fear. Are you scared? Perrrrrfect. Fear is a great compass for finding what matters. You just have to be bold enough to put your arm around fear’s shoulder and listen to what it’s trying to tell you. The world isn’t trying to knock you down – it’s trying to educate you.

The question is: Are you willing take notes? That’s when stick-to-itiveness develops. When you’re willing to view your shitstorm as a tempering experience. And when you’re faithful that there are many answers waiting for you to find them.

Here’s one of the mantras that keeps me going: “I look forward to looking back on this.” With that attitude, you approach your fear – which, by the way is completely human and natural and expected – as a teaching mechanism. You stop trying to change what you are only able to understand. What scared you this week?

3. Unholster the humor. In the documentary Why We Laugh, author, comedian and activist Cornell West explained:

“Humor is a diversion from despair. We laugh to keep from crying. And comedy is the tool of the spirit to pass through the wilderness of misery.”

It’s easy to get over things once you figure out what’s funny about them. And if you think you’re not funny, look again. If you’re a human, you’re funny. The challenge is excavating the constant and inherent hilariousness of your daily experiences.

Here are a few questions you might ask throughout your day: What’s funny about this? How can this mistake morph into something positive and humorous? What is the funny message the universe is trying to give me through this?

Ultimately, your answers will build a foundation of funny to help you melt on through the tough times. Humor doesn’t have to trivialize your tribulations. Every step is a spark that defies the darkness. How will you laugh your way through the struggle?

4. Develop strategies for responding to resistance. I’ve been playing guitar for almost twenty years. And I’ll never forget what my teacher taught me on our very first lesson: “If you break a string, don’t freak out. Everybody does it. What matters is how quickly you return to the music.”

That same principle of stick-to-itiveness applies to the song of life. My suggestion is to practice noticing things before letting them nag you. Don’t allow the world to choose for you. The most expedient way to overcome opposition is to respond, not react. The difference is that reacting is a reflex – responding is a choice.

In Grounded Optimism, my friend Kristi Govertson summarized this idea beautifully, “Sticks and stone will break my bones but the words I tell myself and choose to agree with either hinder or hurt me.”

The point is: You always have a choice. Always. Strength comes from facing storms. But not from inside your cozy house with your nose pressed against the glass. Instead, from bolting out the door and dancing in the rain. What fuels your strength to remain steadfast in your aims?

REMEMBER: It takes guts to stick yourself out there – but it takes gusto to keep yourself out there.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your secret for sticking with it?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Ways to Out Develop Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

The Official Nametagscott Guide to Stick-to-itiveness, Part 3

Stick-to-itiveness can be learned.

Aka, “Stick to it.”
Aka, “Stick with it.”
Aka, “Stick in there.”

All you have to do is shift your attitude completely – work hard, smart and long while nobody notices – and design a daily practice of self-determination and commitment.

Hey. I said it could be learned – not that it would be easy.

Up to the challenge?

Cool. Fortunately, I’ve already published part one and part two in this series.

Today we’re going to explore part three with additional strategies for sticking with it – whatever “it” is:1. Call upon the full range of your faculties. At my yoga studio, our instructors remind us to use every part of our body to achieve the total expression of the posture. Even the parts that are relaxed.

Erin says, “Just because something is disengaged doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.” After three years of practicing, I’ve seen this principle play out during every class.

It’s the stillness of one leg that fuels the exertion of the other.
It’s the rock-solid locked knee that frees up the motion of your lumbar spine.
It’s the relaxed, drama-free facial expression that counteracts the inevitable mental exhaustion.

The cool part is, this is a principle non-yogis can apply to their lives. To call upon the full range of your faculties, all you have to do is ask the right questions. Try these:

*What unique aspects of my personality can I enlist to slog through what matters?
*What personal skills have I not tapped into yet to sustain stick-to-itiveness?

You don’t need yoga to stick it out – you just need you. Who, according to Walt Whitman, contains multitudes. Maybe it’s time to start using them. Are you making use of everything you are?

2. Increase the probability. My favorite scene in The Bucket List is when Jack Nicholson makes a crucial decision: He’s going to kiss the most beautiful girl in the world.

Confused, Morgan Freeman asks him how specifically he plans to accomplish that. And in one word, Jack says it all:

“Volume.”

Now, a lot of the time, that’s what stick-to-itiveness means: Playing the odds. Trusting the numbers. And you have to believe that even the weakest step toward the top of the hill still helps you through the strongest storm.

And you have to trust that if you stay determined – not deterred – eventually, you’ll engineer your way through the landscape of your life current craziness.

Remember: Going until you cannot beats stopping when you still can. Are you a pioneer of carrying on, or a purveyor of calling it quits?

3. Practice pressing the off button. Stress is a funny thing. It’s related to ninety-nine percent of all illnesses; yet it’s one of the healthiest tools for jumpstarting a new realm of human ability.

Truth is, stress can’t hurt you if you learn how to displace the impact. That’s how you press the off button: By finding a counterweight. Something that creates an inner sanctuary. Something that provides rest, recovery and renewal to balance out your tension. And something that allows space for quiet within yourself.

Yoga, meditation, singing, dancing, writing, massages, turning your cell phone off for twenty-four hours, watching low-budget horror movies by yourself in the middle of the afternoon, whatever works.

The whole point is to gather the quiet so you’re able to stand up in the storm. Otherwise, if you never take the time to press the off button, you become so action-oriented that you forget to stop and reflect on what’s happening.

And that’s when you painfully discover that persistence without reflection is blind ambition. Have you pressed the off button lately?

4. Maintain a strong focus when surrounded by chaos. Good news: You don’t have to be overwhelmed by circumstances. You just need to ask: Which part of this chaos can I tame? That’s how you avoid the ocean of overwhelm.

By taking charge of your emotional climate and, with a steady gaze in your eyes, tapping into your indispensable stabilizing element. That’s my new favorite phrase: Indispensable stabilizing element. Damn that’s good.

And the best part is, everybody has one. For me, it’s my breath. Not just because I’m a yogi, not just because I meditate – but also because I once had a collapsed lung. And I certainly know how essential it is to have a healthy relationship with your breath to sustain stick-to-itiveness.

Your challenge is to indentify your indispensible stabilizing element. And to create a system that enables you to access it instantly. Then, to practice using it every day. Do so, and you will rise again, more balanced and more steeled each time. What’s your inner bolster?

REMEMBER: It takes guts to stick yourself out there – but it takes gusto to keep yourself out there.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your secret for sticking with it?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Ways to Out Develop Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

The Official Nametagscott Guide to Stick-to-itiveness, Part 1

Aka, “Stick to it”
Aka, “Stick with it
Aka, “Stick in there.”

As a Gen-Xer, I come from a commitment-averse generation.

Four examples:

1. Because of our instant gratification culture, we’re impatient.
2. Because of our privileged upbringing, we developed a mediocre work ethic.
3. Because of our self-reliant, entrepreneurial bent, we don’t offer loyalty easily.
4. Because of our abundance of choices, we’re quick to quit and pursue something better.

No wonder we can’t stick with anything for very long.

From college majors to new jobs to romantic relationships, stick-to-itiveness isn’t exactly our forte.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: Stick-to-itiveness can be learned.

All you have to do is shift your attitude completely – work hard, smart and long while nobody notices – and design a daily practice of self-determination and commitment.

Hey. I said it could be learned – not that it was easy.

Up to the challenge?

Cool. Consider these ideas as stick-to-itiveness training from someone who, literally, makes a living “sticking to it” every day:

1. Engage your why. Then work like hell to keep it alive. Otherwise you’ll collapse in existential agony. Good luck executing from that position. Truth is: Failure to communicate why is a diamond-studded path to self-doubt.

On the other hand, people tend to cultivate their capabilities in activities that give them a sense of self-worth, according to Bandura’s book, Self-Efficacy. Remember: The thrust of your ultimate endeavors predicts the threshold of your eventual success. When will mattering trump money?

2. The road to mastery is marked by periods of minimal progress. The world is not arranging itself for your convenience. Nor is the world is waiting breathlessly to hear what you have to say. So, enjoy your plateaus. Celebrate small gains.

Run in place today to cross the finish line tomorrow. That’s the level of patience required to make a name for yourself. How long are you willing to do it before the right people notice?

3. Zero out your board. Have recovery strategies ready. This suggestion comes from The Power of Full Engagement, in which author Jim Loehr suggested:

“The rhythmic movement between energy expenditure and energy recovery is called oscillation. This is the optimal cycle for sustaining high performance consistently.”

How are you making recovery part of your regiment?

4. Resistance either creates or compresses stamina. Against the backdrop of seeming hopelessness, stamina is hard. Especially the stamina to recover rapidly from disappointment. A helpful question I ask myself is, “Is this being done to me or for me?”

With an attitude of leverage, positivity and growth, the answer is always “for me.” Just learn the lesson, let go of the emotion and get your ass out of there. See this as a workout for becoming wiser. What could make this experience easier?

5. Commit to a long-term process of education. My friend @ChadMoves is a movement educator. He once told me, “You only age if you choose not to use your body.” In the same vein, you only fade away if you choose not to use, develop and preserve your brain.

Here’s a simple exercise: Each day, do and document one concrete activity that made you a better thinker. Every month, review your log with a friend who’s doing the same. You’ll become a smokin’ hot piece of brain candy in no time. How are you creating an environment where lifelong learning stressed?

6. Curb your craving for certainty. Sure, it would be nice to have firm footing. But the sooner you learn to live without (always) knowing how, the longer you ultimately last. As I learned in The Having of Wonderful Ideas:

“We all need adequate time for our confusion if we are to build the breadth and depth that give significance to our knowledge.”

Are much money is your intolerance of ambiguity costing you?

7. Create a sustainable circle of support. It’s called the long haul for a reason. Whether it’s a long-distance relationship, a new career, or an outside-of-work creative pursuit, sticking with anything is never a one-man show. More like a chorus line.

Here are the people you need to keep: Family (because they aren’t going away), Friends (the ones you can call at 2am), Mentors (who will gladly slap you on the back of the head) and Spouses/Partners (since they’re riding shotgun). Who (aren’t) you currently surrounding yourself with that can help sustain you?

8. It’s not about avoiding ruts. Instead, it’s about developing the self-awareness to know when you’re in a rut, understanding the thinking patterns that got you into it, and then strategizing how to get yourself out of that rut quickly.

It all depends on how you explain the rut to yourself. And while this process requires a tremendous amount of emotional effort, your willingness to expend it will help you bounce back impressively. How are you sharpening your rut-fighting skills?

9. Persevere through the low. Yes, peaks follow valleys. But recessions renew resourcefulness. As Nicholas Cage taught me in Bangkok Dangerous, “The best way to defend yourself is to know when something is about to happen.” If you spot a valley on the horizon, write an action plan for how to leverage it.

That’s exactly how I thrived (and how my company thrived) during the Great Recession. If you want to do the same, remember these ideas: Accept what is. Leverage your downtime. Keep support flowing. Stir the pot. Befriend the current. Use every crisis. Foster a pervasive tone of gratitude. Double your dosage of daily inspiration. And keep pulling your triggers for joy.

Even when thee economy sucks, your economy can still rock. How will you traverse the tough times?

REMEMBER: It takes guts to stick yourself out there – but it takes gusto to keep yourself out there.

Read part two of this piece here!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your secret for sticking with it?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Ways to Out Develop Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

How to be More Efficacious

Pharmaceutical companies are well known for having an abundance of three things:

1. Drugs.
2. Money.
3. Chotchkies.

I learned this in 2006 when I delivered the keynote speech at a leadership conference for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

Not that I know anything about healthcare. My presentation was on how to make a name for yourself.

Still, I couldn’t help but notice the heavy usage of a word I’d never heard before: Efficacious.

As it pertains to drugs, the term indicates the capacity for beneficial change or therapeutic effect of a given intervention.

Cool.

MY QUESTION IS: What about people? Can an individual become more efficacious?

Albert Bandura believes so. He wrote a book in 1997 called Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. It’s a monster: Six hundred pages of psycho-speak on everything from cognition to creativity to gender roles in athletics.

Interesting stuff.

He defines self-efficacy as: “Beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action require to produced given attainments.”

IN SHORT: You’re richly supported. You trust your resources. You’re equal to this challenge and ready to act.

Right – but how? How can you become more efficacious?

The good news is: You don’t need drugs.

Instead, try popping a few of these personal and professional development pills:

1. Carry your own standards for judging your artistic talents. Creativity is the highest form of human expression. As such, don’t let the validity of your talent hang in the balance of some critic’s opinion. Or some jealous hater that couldn’t create art if he was dropping acid at a finger-painting convention.

Keep in mind that the more innovative your brain, the more you invite rejection. Your challenge is to override the disbelievers. To start with the why. And to figure out what your currency is. Then, enlist your motivation and go from there. You’ll find that while self-belief doesn’t guarantee success –lack of self-believe does guarantee failure.

Remember: The creations of innovative persisters will always dwarf the accomplishments of the surrendering masses. Which one describes you?

2. Prolonged laborious effort. Endeavors that matter demand the persistent investment of time & toil. That’s the 90%. The hard, long and smart work that most of your customers will never see. And if you want to make the remaining 10% as beautiful as possible, better bust your ass. Because perserverance means greater efficacy, and greater efficacy means higher probability of success.

Ultimately, the road to mastery is marked by periods of minimal progress. You need to learn to be okay with that. Even when progress is discouragingly slow. Just remind yourself that the ongoing process of mastery is your reward. That commanding personal efficacy comes from a resilient sense of self and an amazing reserve of stamina. And that money isn’t target – money is what you get for hitting the target it. What time did you start work today?

3. People who leverage, last. The possession of knowledge rarely guarantees the proficiency of action. Sure, you had a great opportunity – but did you convert? If not, you lose. Because an idea generation without idea execution is idea annihilation.

My suggestion is to constantly ask yourself leverage questions like, “Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?” and “How can I make this last forever?” and “How can I reuse, resurrect or reposition something people threw away or quit on?

Remember: Your ability is only as good as its execution – and the leverage thereof. How will you kill two stones with one bird today?

4. Believe that outcomes are determined by your behavior. As Pablo Neruda once said, “You are the result of yourself.” And as Scott Ginsberg once said, “Most wounds are self-inflicted.” Either way, the secret is developing an efficacious frame of mind through a fundamentally affirmative attitude. Taking ownership of your experience.

Deleting the phrase, “It is what it is,” from your defeatist vocabulary and instead wondering, “What have I done to invite this into my life? Ultimately, you can either be the architect or the victim of your life’s course. As you water-ski in the wake of the choices you’ve already made, ask yourself: How choppy is the lake?

5. Seek meaningful life pursuits. Even when the competing attractions look so good you could taste them. Stay focused on what counts. Don’t get lost in what doesn’t matter. Instead, partake in what Bandura’s textbook referred to as, “Developmentally enriching experiences.” Do things simply because they’re essential to your economic vitality.

Then, intelligently reflecting on those experiences. Extract and document the lessons from those experiences. And mobilizing your knowledge by teaching those lessons to others. If you can do so so with an attitude of nonprescriptiveness, nothing will be more meaningful. How minutes of your last hour were aggressively invested in irrelevant action?

ULTIMATELY: Self-efficacy is a function of self-belief.

Like I remind myself every morning:

I trust my resources…
I am richly supported…
I believe in my capabilities…
I am equal to this challenge…

You don’t have to be a pharmaceutical drug to be more efficacious.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you dare to care?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Ways to Out Develop Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

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