Tag Archives: take charge

Are You a Top-Down Thinker?

Are you a top-down thinker?
Are you a bottom-up thinker?

In other words, do you think about the target, goal, or objective before you even start? Training yourself to work from the top-down will help you mitigate the pressure of stress and adversity.

Hint: There WILL be stress and adversity, regardless of what you’re doing.

You need them to:
1) Grow
2) Identify what’s working
3) Identify what requires modifications

Would you build your house first and then create the blueprint? Or, would it make sense to create the blueprint (the outcome) and then reverse engineer the steps? If you would use a blueprint to build a house, aka start from the top-down, why not use this method in every aspect of your life?

This is also the most effective way to problem solve. Too many people catastrophize when they face any type of problem. Instead of focusing on solutions, they spend more time focusing on the problem itself and the worst possible outcomes.

“If I don’t fix this mistake, my boss will fire me and I’ll never work in this industry, again.”

Instead of focusing on the problem, spend at least 90% of your time focusing on the solution. The top-down method can help lower your anxiety because your mind will shift toward the solution and the steps required to get it. Forget about why the mistake happened or who caused it; you can do that later.

In the example I demonstrated how you can learn to compartmentalize things so that you operate more efficiently. If you don’t compartmentalize the steps, the odds of you quitting along your journey will steadily increase. Bottom-up thinking doesn’t allow this because you’re working without a plan. Meaning, you don’t know what’s coming or how to prepare for it.

“I’ll figure out how to fix it, once it happens.” (Reactive)

Here are some examples of things you’ll be up against, along your journey:

  • People will laugh or misunderstand what you’re doing
  • Self-doubt
  • Spending your hard earned money or not having enough money
  • Multi-tasking: your personal and professional responsibilities do not slow down just because you’re focused on something
  • Difficulties in balancing your personal and professional schedules
  • Losing motivation: it has a short life span
  • Two steps forward, one step back: obstacles on your path
  • The fear of being successful: What if I can’t handle it, once I make it?

Remember, your focus is on the outcome, not the steps that scare you or require a ton of work.

Bottom line: Top-down thinking will set you up to win. Does it take practice? Absolutely. But just like everything else, it requires consistency and discipline.

For more tips about how you think, reference my latest book:

Master Yourself

When your mind thinks about the past, it will always associate those memories with the emotion(s) associated with the event. So what happens is, you condition yourself to think about memories that do not serve you because they are negative. Negative thoughts (memories) create a negative environment.

Your mind will focus on what’s familiar to it.

Therefore, you are essentially reliving the same negative event over and over.

You think about a difficult event in a previous relationship >> you get upset because the situation made you angry and sad >> you spend the next couple of hours relieving those same emotions, even though it already happened >> the cycle continues

Some people do this for days, weeks, months, years, and even their entire lifetime.

A visual representation of what happens when you allow your mind to take control of you.

You must learn to break the cycle and master yourself. Learn to control what you’re thinking about, aka “observe” what you’re thinking about. If these memories do not serve you, let them go. You can’t change the past but if you’re not careful, you can take your emotional response with you. Is that how you want to move forward? My guess is: no, it does not serve you or anyone within the circle of your influence.

Focus on thoughts (memories) that will set you up to win. If you want to win the day, master yourself. You are worth it.

You are not a Robot | Train Yourself to Think Outside of the Box

Have you ever stopped and wondered, “Why do some people go through their entire life, working aimlessly like robots?” Is this their personal choice or are they conditioned to be this way? Well, you could make a pretty good argument that both of these reasons are a contributing factor. Obviously, no one wants to be considered a robot. However, people do not realize that our society is slowly training you to be one, at a very early age.

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When you were a child, you were conditioned to wait for a sound or a voice to tell you when to move, start, and finish.

“Don’t touch that.”

“Wait until I tell you to start.”

“Don’t express your opinion, even if you believe you’re right.”

When you were in school, the sound of a bell controlled your actions. The first bell was designed to tell you when to start. As soon as you heard the bell, you were conditioned to get serious and focus on your work. [“Pay attention.”]

The bells after that, indicated it was time to transition to the next class. Once you arrived there, once again–you were required to get serious and focus on the next subject. Your school day would end at the sound of the final bell. [“You can leave, now.”] This was always an indication you could finally relax. That is, until you arrived home or at practice (sport, etc.) We have been using the bell system since the 19th century. For more detailed information about it, visit: http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/-school-bells

Make no mistake, I’m not saying anything negative about the education system. I am simply pointing out the fact that from a very early age, our lives are structured. We are told when to do things, how to do them, how long we can do them, and when to stop doing them.

Your Adult Life

The same concepts apply in the workplace. You rely on a time clock to dertimine when you get serious and when you’re allowed to relax. Even if you dont use a time clock, things called “deadlines” or “suspenses” have the same impact on you.

Don’t clock in 1 minute early and don’t clock out, 1 minute late.

Although you can’t necessarily change or influence the way your employer or organization operates, you can change the way you operate. At some point, you must understand that change starts with you. Going through life like a robot does not serve you or anyone in your circle of influence.

My recommendation: make a schedule or write down your daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals. By taking the initiative to write these things down, you will place yourself back in the driver seat of your life. You establish what your day will look like so you can have the day you want, instead of settling for what the day gives you. When you operate like a robot, you’re in the passenger seat or sometimes in the back seat. Meaning, you’re not in change of where you’re going in your life.

Making a schedule is not where it stops, though. You must learn to rediscover your voice. Remember, you were conditioned at a very early age not to speak your mind.

“Don’t say that. Just keep quiet.”

Instead of sitting back in the meeting listening to the wrong information being discussed, you have the courage and professionalism to say, “Mike, the packet actually consists of five documents and not three.” The robot mentality would have kept you quiet and allowed the major mistake to occur. “I’m not speaking up.”

This is called thinking outside of the box. The box is your comfort zone, aka where you were conditioned to stay so you can function like a robot. Thinking outside of the box is how you grow in both your personal and professional life. Therefore, it is incredibly important for you to take control of your life sooner than later. The older you get, the more habits you build. When you’re functioning like a robot, your habits are based on robot principles.

Thinking outside of the box will make you unique.

Something to consider: once you step out of your comfort zone, several things will change. Some people will misunderstand you, roll their eyes at you (negative body language), some may even avoid you, and overall dislike you. Why? Because you no longer function as a robot. Therefore, you’re a threat or an outsider because you’re not part of the norm.

When this happens, you must stay the course. The obstacle is the path. You’re are not a robot. You are a unique person that has value.

For more tips on breaking away from the norm:

Plan | Prepare | Execute | Repeat

Here a quick tip (video) on how to win in the gym and every aspect of your life.

Plan: Identify your goals and a desired outcome.

Prepare: Gather what you’ll need in order to help facilitate your goals or objectives.

Execute: Do what you said you were going to do during the planning and preparation steps. Planning and preparation are a waste of time without execution.

Repeat: Do exactly what you did during the plan, prepare, and execute steps. This will create winning streaks.

https://recognize-your-value.com

https://www.tbvoybook.com

Luck is Not Real

How many times have you heard someone say, “Man, that team got lucky?” I’m willing to bet, you hear it at least once a weekend. For some reason, people associate things they were not expecting with good or bad luck.

What people don’t realize–luck, just like fear, is not a real. It does not have any physical properties. Luck is usually attached to 2 things:

  1. Excuses
  2. Bitterness

When people say, “She got that promotion because she’s lucky,” is it actually true? Is there evidence supporting how the stars were aligned and her employer was forced to give her the promotion? Of course not. Could it be, she got the promotion because she deserved it by putting herself in a position to win? It’s not luck, it’s preparation meeting opportunity.

When people fall short of a goal, their mind wants answers because it is their biggest critic. Therefore, to compensate, they’ll say almost anything to make themselves feel like they didn’t win because of external circumstances. “You got lucky.” This excuse and demonstration of bitterness doesn’t require any ownership.

You win by doing what’s required.

Whenever I discuss this with other people, they always bring up the lottery. “You have to be extremely lucky to win the lottery.”

Well, that’s necessarily true. To win the lottery, you have to play the numbers. Meaning, you have to participate. So when you participate, and pick the right numbers, you get rewarded for doing what is required. That is not luck.

Successful people are not lucky; they just work harder than the average person.

Regardless of the defensive coverage, do your job.

When a Quarter Back (QB) throws a Hail Mary on the final play of the game and the Wide Receiver (WR) comes down with the ball in the endzone, does it get listed in the luck stats? Obviously not. The QB gets a passing TD stat and the WR gets a TD reception stat. Why? Because it is not luck when you perform what is required. They did their job. [One guy throws the ball, the other guy catches it.]

At the end of the day, blaming things on (bad or good) luck does not serve you. It undermines people and circumstances. If someone gets a promotion instead of you, next time–put yourself in position to perform better. Blaming your shortfalls on luck is not competing.

https://www.tbvoybook.com

The Best Version of You | My new book is available

I am very excited about finally having this book in my hands. Hard work is always worth it, regardless of how long it takes.

The Best Version of You is a self-help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re facing adversity, feeling lost and out of focus, wanting to make changes in their lives, or simply wanting to update themselves.

We update our phones, our computers, and our software, but honestly, when was the last time we updated ourselves?

The book is available on Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle:

Xlibris Publishing:

Are you in the driver or passenger seat of your RAS?

What you think about the most, will consume you. It will activate your Reticular Activating System (RAS).

The reticular activating system is a short, pencil-sized piece of the brain located just above where the spinal cord is attached to the brain. It acts as the gatekeeper of information between most sensory systems and the conscious mind.

Examples:

  1. You purchase new shoes for the gym. You honestly believe they are unique but over the next couple of days, you start noticing other people have the same shoes. Did they buy them because you did? No, obviously not. They’ve always had them but now these shoes are in your awareness. Therefore, you notice them. It turns out, these must be great shoes because other people are buying them, too.
  2. You start believing that people always get hurt in the gym, regardless of their skill set. Therefore, you take notice every time someone gets dinged up or seriously injured. It is all you can focus on. Do people get injured in the gym? Of course, that’s part of Murphy’s Law. However, because injuries are in your awareness, you notice them more than usual. Because of this mindset, you hold back in the gym because you don’t want to be the next person to get hurt. This is also your confirmation bias working against you.

These examples demonstrate how you need to be careful about what you’re thinking. If it upsets you, disappoints you, or goes against your values–why are you wasting your time with it? What is the:

  • Purpose
  • Goal
  • Objective
  • Benefit
  • Value

If it doesn’t support any of these things, eliminate it from your life.

“Where focus goes, energy flows.” -Tony Robbins

My dislike for video games does not consume me.

I don’t care for video games. But I won’t make the mistake of constantly thinking (or talking) about why I don’t like them. It serves no purpose and takes valuable time away from things that I value. I would rather reallocate my time to focus on things that help me win at life.

I love people that are focused on maximizing their potential. They don’t spend their day focusing on what they don’t like. Instead, they focus on what they do like and how they can multiply it. Because my filter is calibrated on this mindset, I notice people that are like this. If I didn’t like these kind of people, I would never notice them even if they were all around me.

Driver seat: You focus on positivity, it is in your awareness, and you set yourself up to win.

Passenger seat: You focus on things you don’t like, you hunt them down because they’re in your awareness, and you fuel disappointment.

Recognize What You Love | An Attitude For Gratitude

The world would be a better place if we focused on things that we love, instead of what hate or dislike. That is why I highly recommend you develop an attitude for gratitude. Here are just a few things to consider:

  • I love people regardless of their gender.
  • I love people regardless of their age.
  • I love people regardless of the color of their skin.
  • I love people regardless of their sexual orientation.
  • I love people regardless of their political affiliation.
  • I love people regardless of their abilities and disabilities.
  • I love people regardless of their looks.
  • I love people that have a different opinion as me.
  • I love people for their uniqueness.
  • I love people for their originality.
  • I love people that challenge me and other people.
  • I love people that are obsessed with success.
  • I love people that are comfortable in their own skin.
  • I love people that value doing what’s right.
  • I love people that understand and practice selfless service.
  • I love people that choose not to conform to society.
  • I love people that support equality.
  • I love people that take ownership of the failures and success.
  • I love people that don’t settle for their comfort zones.
  • I love people that crave self-development and self-improvement.
  • I love people that understand when love is not always the answer.
  • I love people that recognize when something is not for them.
  • I love people that welcome the next chapter in their life.
  • I love people that are not afraid to take a stand.
  • I love people that challenge themselves.
  • I love people that can control their confirmation bias.
  • I love people that can identify their thinking traps.
  • I love people that own their happiness.
  • I love people that can fight off the comparison trap.
  • I love people.
Love, happiness, and positivity create winning streaks.

This list could go on and on because once you recognize what you love or what you’re grateful for, you will begin to notice more and more things. Love, happiness, and positivity create winning streaks. Set yourself up to win.

The Best Version of You (Update) | My 3rd Book

I have officially signed with Xlibris Publishing (The same Publisher I used for my 1st book, Crematory.) My new book is called:

The Best Version of You

Although the book is in the (publishing) production phase, it still could be 1-3 months before it is available. This process usually takes some time, due to the attention to detail aspect.

Note: The official cover will be released at a later date.

The Best Version of You is a Self-Help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re: facing adversity, feeling lost, out of focus, wanting to make changes in their life, or simply wanting to update themselves. We update our phones, our computers, and software but honestly—when is the last time we updated ourselves?

Own your happiness.

Books, currently available:

Don’t Apologize for Your Originality

Regardless if people disagree with your lifestyle, your hobbies, your likes, your dislikes, your character, and even if your personality — don’t you dare apologize for your originality. It doesn’t matter if you’re: a man, a woman, weird, popular, religious, an atheist, white, black, straight, LGBTQ, a hard worker, a lazy individual, short, or tall — you are unique.

Not a single human on this planet has the exact same thumbprint as you. They might be close but they’ll never be exactly like you.

That means you’re incredibly special. Yes, there will be days where you might question yourself and your purpose. You might have to make necessary changes and updates, depending on where you’re at in your life. However, those are usually just external things.

Stop letting the world stick a finger in your face and determine your value. You are a brilliant creation. This is your story and you need to be the only one that continues to write it.