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CHPATER 11

Define Your Grind

“How do you know if your mission in life is finished?
If you’re still alive, it isn’t.”
~ Richard Bach, American Author

What is your grind going to be? Where are you going to spend your hustle? This is something each person must define for themselves. Mine was clear. I wanted to transition from a successful military career to a successful corporate career. And while this wasn’t the biggest leap in the world, what I wanted to accomplish was a significant position in one of the world’s largest and most prestigious

companies.

Where are you today, and where do you want to be tomorrow? It’s a powerful question to ask and answer. Once you do, you will have put energy into the atmosphere that will demand more of you than you ever thought possible. Your vision flows from the core of your being. I believe it touches your ultimate destiny. If you believe, as I do, that you are meant to make an impact in the world, you might investigate whether you are on the right track or not.

One marker of your alignment with your vision can be found in your conversation. When did you last tell your vision to a trusted friend, mentor, or colleague? It is true that everyone cannot handle hearing the scope of your vision. Far too many people are living beneath their own life’s purpose. Upon hearing your vision, they will subconsciously reject it. Yes, I do mean subconsciously. For people lacking ambition and vision, hearing someone aspire to greatness triggers instant rejection in their hearts and minds. They don’t even realize that they have defaulted to a negative paradigm.

The next marker is to ask yourself when you last wrote your vision down. If your vision is not on paper, it doesn’t exist. It’s like being engaged without a ring and a wedding date. Putting your vision on paper does several things for you:

  • It commits you to action both consciously and subconsciously, so that you are urged to take action.

  • It helps you clarify what you want because you read it differently than you think about it.

  • It moves the vision from abstract fantasy to concrete reality.

The mind is a powerful tool, but you have to know how to hack it. For example, the brain has trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. That can be good news or bad news. For example, if you think about your greatest fear, your pupils will dilate, your heart rate will increase, and your blood pressure will rise slightly despite no immediate threat. Use that knowledge to your advantage and imagine your goals as if they have already been achieved. You will experience similar excitement, pride, and exhilaration as you would if the goal was already realized in the present.

You may have heard the old cliché “dare to dream” and dismissed it as fodder for T-shirts and coffee mugs. But clichés are so powerful and durable because they ring with truths that resonate with us at the core. Daring to dream is a big challenge that you must have the courage to accept. Why? When you dare to dream, you risk failure, disappointment, change, and rejection. On the flip side, daring to dream means flirting with massive success.

It is the “daring” part of the equation that often deadlocks us. We have to find the courage to write the vision, speak the vision, and meditate on the vision. This is a daily process. But make no mistake. It is not as easy as it sounds. First, you must commit to taking the time each day to put your goals to paper again, even though you have done it in the past. Each day you write your dream again, you reaffirm it and solidify it in your mind. And courage will be required to speak your vision aloud to someone who is mature enough to handle it. They will encourage you, but they will also hold you accountable. They will not be inclined to excuse your reasons for procrastinating or backing away from your dreams.

What it really takes to be successful is something few people talk about. Sure, they often talk about the tough times they went through in ways that read well in their memoirs and post well on their Twitter feeds. But they rarely show you the ugly side of success.

When a group of military men and women stand in formation after basic training in their dress blues, nothing is more picturesque. They are clean, their hair cut to perfection, and they stand straight and tall. But just a few weeks and days earlier, the picture was far different. They were covered in mud and sweat. Bruises marked the places where they crawled over logs and under barbed wire. Though they stand straight and dress right, their bones and joints ache. They have been through the grind and come out on the other side of the crucible better for it.

Your grind may not leave visible scars, but it will still be tough. And you will become tougher and more savvy for having gone through it.

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