I want you to read this book and walk away knowing who you want to be, and feel equipped to become that person. I want you to divide and conquer the ultimate battle between your ears and win the head game. I believe the easiest way to do that is through reflection, inspection, and direction, so I break down each battle into three parts: Return, Redefine, and Repeat
- RETURN: isolates the real issue. It requires you to admit where you are in the battle and how fighting it really affects you.
- REDEFINE: is exactly how it sounds. How can you think about the battle differently? If you redefine what it means, you can start to relinquish its power.
- REPEAT: is the choice you have to make every day to become the best you. You return to the issue, redefine its meaning, and then repeat the cycle over and over and over in order to keep winning.
The bottom line is this: these bodies, minds, and spirits of ours are extraordinary things, in and of themselves. They are the most important tools we’ve been given. They were made to dream big. They were made to do great things. If we’re paying attention, we can see it happening every day all around us.
BATTLE 1 YOU vs YOUR PERSONA
RETURN: Winning the battle between you and your persona takes, first and foremost, telling yourself the truth about you. If we go beyond narcissism and judgment as the underlying reason people enjoy posting highlight reels, I think we’d find insecurity. The dreaded root of so much evil, insecurity is also the cause of the deep-seated shame about something we feel we lack followed by the deep-seated shame about having the shame
REDEFINE: Make a shift in your allegiance. Learn to love you more than the edited persona you’ve created. Everything about us—the good, the bad, the ugly—makes us who we are. What would happen if we embraced it all and projected that into the world? What if we all decided to cast aside our edited persona and chose instead to own our shortcomings and insecurities?
REPEAT: Winning the battle takes a concerted effort to stop spending time trying to impress others and instead spend it doing the things you are meant to do, the things that move you. Let’s choose to own exactly who we are and put it out there with no apologies. Let’s get out of our own way and dispel the myth that we have a glorified montage of a life. Let’s prefer to be rejected for who we are rather than loved for who we pretend to be.
TAKE ACTION: For the next five days, take the time to share with your close friends and family something they may not know about you, something that is authentically you, something that lets them get to know the real you even more.
Write down three things that encourage you to become your best self and three things that show how you will take action in doing what moves you daily.
Write five people a handwritten note or a personal message on social media complimenting them and letting them know that they inspire you. This will enable you to practice moving the attention off of yourself and instead spotlight the gifts and strengths in others. Make this a weekly practice moving forward.
BATTLE 2 YOU vs YOUR SUCCESS
RETURN: Winning the battle between you and your success requires that you first figure out what success actually means to you. Once you know that within success there are always concessions—for everything you gain, you lose something—then the key to winning the battle is to pursue only the sort of success that requires trade-offs that don’t diminish the best you.
REDEFINE: Don’t think about it as failure. Think about it as time-released success. The second law of thermodynamics states that in an isolated system (one that is not taking in energy), entropy never decreases. Translation: living beings (us) are constantly taking in energy (movement, life), which means we’re in a constant state of deterioration (entropy). In order to offset the inevitable deterioration, as it pertains to failure and success, one must not stay still. Keep moving! Move along, move out, move over, move up, move on.
REPEAT: There is you and then there is your list of achievements. To ultimately win the battle, you can let what you’ve done refine you, but you cannot let it define you. The best version of yourself is an accumulation of where you’ve been and where you’re going. Some days you feel armed and ready to take on the world, and other days you feel like all you’ve got is a wish and a prayer. You’re a balancing act and you’re doing a damn good job.
TAKE ACTION: Write down your definition of what success means to you. Define it in detail in your own words.
Write down some of your biggest failures over the past five years and describe what you learned from them.
For the next three days, meditate the first thing in the morning for five minutes and then do it again at midday.
BATTLE 3 YOU vs YOUR DREAMS
TAKE ACTION: Write out your five-year vision statement. Write it as if you are already living it out, like it is already happening. (Note: Take the judge’s robe off when you do this. You need to be pulled by your vision statement, and it needs to really move you. I did this less than five years ago and one of my visions was to write a book. You are now reading my dream!)
- What do you want to be in five years?
- What do you want to do in five years?
- What do you want to have in five years?
Write down your current reality in the following areas of your life; be real with yourself. Then take 10 minutes to create a mental picture of where you are now and visualize where you want to be in each area:
BATTLE 4 YOU vs YOUR ROUTINE
RETURN: We’re creatures of habit by nature. Yet deep down, we have a wanderlust that never quits.
REDEFINE: To win the battle between you and your routine, you must introduce disruption. What do habits, rituals, and routines all have in common? Discipline. Highly successful people have it. That doesn’t mean you always have to add something to your routine in order to improve; maybe it’s what you remove that could make the biggest difference. Warren Buffett said, “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” The moral of the story is to tinker. Gain, lose, adjust, change, stop, start.
REPEAT: If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
TAKE ACTION: Out with the old—Isolate three habits in your life that are holding you back from your full potential and think about why. In with the new—Determine three great habits that you can implement for the next 30 days that will permanently divorce you from the habits that are holding you back. Write down a new daily routine that you can implement for the next seven days and stick to it.
BATTLE 5 YOU vs YOUR CALENDAR
REDEFINE: To win the battle between you and your calendar, you have to know how to balance what must be done with what might come up.
REPEAT: You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.
TAKE ACTION: Slow down so that you can speed up your progress. What are the three ways in which you can eliminate hurry from your life today? Prioritize your life to be productive, not busy. What are some areas in your life that keep you “busy” but aren’t actually helping you get to the next level? Make time now for the things that really matter. Build your daily, weekly, and monthly plan to first make time for what truly matters and then fill in the rest. I have learned that when you make time for what matters most, all the other pieces in life begin to fall into place.
BATTLE 6 YOU vs YOUR FINANCES
RETURN: The financial issues we face are ultimately not financial issues. They go deeper than that—they’re heart issues.
REDEFINE: To win the battle between you and your finances, you must figure out what you value and then look at how you go after those things.
REPEAT: When in doubt, remember: there are people so poor all they have is money.
TAKE ACTION: Define reality. What is your financial situation? Write it down. This is only way to create awareness. Awareness will lead to your choice to create lasting change in your life. Hope is not a strategy when it comes to your finances. Set a goal. Where do you want to be in the next 12 months? Money should never own you; you need to own it. List three things money does to better your life and the lives of those around you. What is your overall belief about money? Think about this question and answer it honestly. There is no right answer, only your real belief. How has your upbringing or past experience negatively affected the way you look at money? How will you change that?
BATTLE 7 YOU vs YOUR FREEDOM
RETURN: What consumes your mind, controls your life.
REDEFINE: Your ability to win the battle between you and your freedom hinges not only on how you view your freedom but also on how you choose to use it.
REPEAT: Instead of just using your freedom to develop into a better version of yourself, use it to develop others into better versions of themselves.
TAKE ACTION: Take inventory. What do you need freedom from? We are all trying to overcome something from our past. Grab a piece of paper and identify the negative thoughts and actions that have ruled your life up to this point. In order to move forward, you have to get gut-level real with what is holding you back. Get rebellious. What do you need to get freedom to? Write down the core values that drive you. Write down your strengths and gifts that need to be unleashed. You were created to thrive, not survive. Recklessly abandon yourself to who you were created to be, and spread your wings and soar. Get a bigger vision than yourself. What do you need freedom for? Write down who you want to impact. Write down what positive change you want to create in the world. Realize the impact you can have on those around you. Begin to live your life with a heart that bleeds to help improve the quality of life for others.
BATTLE 8 YOU vs YOUR PROMISES
REDEFINE: To win the battle between you and your promises, you have to be willing to do what you promise and only promise what you’re able to do.
REPEAT: Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.
TAKE ACTION: Talk is cheap. Don’t promise, just prove. Write down the qualities you want to emulate in the people you admire. Write down the areas in your life in which you talk a good game but don’t play a good game. As always, get honest and then make the changes you need in order to become a person of action, not a person of many words. Stop being “all things to all people.” You can’t make everyone happy. Take a moment to write down the people in and areas of your life that you are currently overcommitted to. Then, make a plan to right size those overcommitments. Put simply, do the right thing.
BATTLE 9 YOU vs YOUR HEALTH
REDEFINE: Winning the battle between you and your health means training your body to work for you instead of letting your body work against you.
REPEAT: Love the process and not just the end result.
TAKE ACTION: You get one body; it’s a miracle. Go look in the mirror and instead of thinking about what you want to change, meditate on the miracle that you are. Focus on how limitless you are, not on the limits you have. Just start moving. So many options, so many plans. Commit to moving every day. Walk a mile, run a mile, bike a mile, row a mile, etc. Do a mile every day for seven days, and you will see progress. Ultimate health is about daily progress, not perfection. Keep moving forward. Small changes over long periods of time produce the biggest results.
BATTLE 10 YOU vs YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
RETURN: Nothing will shape your life more than people.
REDEFINE: When it comes to you and your relationships, you must be willing to fight for the good ones and remove yourself from the toxic ones. The old adage says, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” King Solomon said it more directly some 4,000 years ago: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but the friend of fools suffers harm.” The company you keep can bring you up or bring you down, make you better or make you worse. If
REPEAT: Take initiative to invest in relationships that either build you up or build others up.
TAKE ACTION: Forgive. Unforgiveness and bitterness are toxic emotions. It’s like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. Forgive those that have hurt you, not for their sake but for yours. It’s not easy, but the weight of these toxic emotions will affect all your relationships if they’re not dealt with. Nourish. Each day, take time to share with at least five people how grateful you are for them and the value they add to your life. Build. Write down your inner circle of friends and next to their name, write down how you can serve and help them. To build solid relationships, you must first be willing to give your best before you can get the best in return.
BATTLE 11 YOU vs YOUR KNOWLEDGE
RETURN: You don’t need to know everything. You just need to know where to find it.
REDEFINE: In order to win the battle between you and your knowledge, you must first realize that uncharted is the best kind of territory.
REPEAT: You must always be the apprentice, even when you become the master.
TAKE ACTION: Always be hungry. Take a minute to write down the areas of your life you know you can learn more about and excel in. Under those areas, research a book you can read and a podcast or video series that will expand your knowledge. Always be humble. This is a cool option but will take effort to make happen. Find someone older than you who you respect and look up to and ask them to meet with you once a month so that you can learn from them. Also, find someone younger who you respect that you can learn from as well. Get out of your comfort zone. Learn something new.
BATTLE 12 YOU vs YOUR FUTURE
REDEFINE: The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. If you don’t, the battle between you and your future is already lost.
TAKE ACTION: Write down your life mission/purpose statement. Try to do 2-4 sentences so that when someone asks you what you’re all about, you will have a clear, focused answer. This will take some time but will give you clarity, which in turn will give you focus. Think about what you would do with your life right now if you knew you were going to die in a year. This might sound morbid but is a pretty fascinating exercise. How would you spend your time with the ones you love? What specifically would you do with your day-to-day? What do you want your Legacy to be?