Is there a single key to success? Those who achieve great things in their lives are not super beings. They are not genetically superior and their backgrounds do not predict what they might accomplish. They do however, share a similar mindset and follow similar disciplines. Success leaves clues and Personal Best is focused on showing those traits and provides a blueprint that allows anyone to use these tools to make improvements in any area of their life. That is the principle and intention of this book. Regardless of where you are in your life, no matter what you might want to achieve, by committing to be your best and following the guidance provided by literally hundreds of successful people, you have a bullet proof methodology to bring massive and lasting change. People, who achieve things consistently, just have a different strategy.
Success means different things to different people; it also means something different to each of us as we move through life. Goals, values and aspirations can change, but whatever success means to you – be it personal, financial, spiritual, related to your career, improving your relationships, enhancing your health or all of these things, the book Personal Best has been written as a guide to what works. It shows what achievers from a wide range of backgrounds do consistently to realise their aims and provides tools that allow you to duplicate their habits to progress in your own life.
The Personal Best ethos, in fact the key to success generally, is based around doing what an athlete would do to achieve a personal best time on the track. Rarely does anyone from the world of athletics improve by twenty per cent overnight. An athlete commits to working to a set training plan, so that over a period of time ongoing improvements will be made. The way that athletes improve is by doing a little bit more every day, by stretching themselves in each session. The most incredible thing is that when you work to a focused goal orientated plan, even though the changes you make seem relatively minor on a daily basis, the overall gains are incredible. They can happen quickly, providing the ignition to more gains as momentum is built. Anyone who has children can relate to the massive steps they take without us really noticing. When we meet someone who has not seen our family for a while, they tend to comment on how much the children have grown or matured and we have not noticed because we see our kids every day. Their progress is gradual, so we are less aware of their development.
When I began the journey of writing Personal Best I decided to interview some of the most successful people in the world, I was keen to bring together the common threads of knowledge and habits that they shared. The main theme that I found in their stories (and something that anyone can immediately duplicate), is that they ask a little more of themselves consistently. They push a little more, stretching beyond what they had done previously. I found this to be true in business, politics, spiritual leadership and financial achievement. They simply took responsibility not only of themselves and their own actions, but also when handling challenges and situations out with their direct control.
You may at some point have read a book or gone to a seminar that promoted positive thinking as a cure all to bring happiness, joy and fulfilment into your life. These seminars have merit and I believe anyone can commit to building positive expectation as a habitual way of thinking; however this is only half the story. Positive thinking, without concerted intelligent action can lead to frustration and disillusionment. Positive thoughts are powerful but can undermine the best laid plans. I live in the west coast of Scotland. It is truly a beautiful part of the world and somewhere I am glad to call home. However, in Scotland it rains, frequently and in different ways. Heavy rain, light rain, drizzle, sweeping in from the side rain, spitting rain and so on. I could repeat incantations that focus on the fact that it will not rain, I can repeatedly visualise every day that I will enjoy warm and sunny days and experience nothing but pleasant weather. This will not change the meteorological fact that it rains around one hundred and sixty days a year here. I had better wear a jacket, carry an umbrella and enjoy my day.
In life, it is the same; we do not have to throw our intelligence out of the window. We can retain a positive expectation and handle the showers if they come. Our thinking will dictate what and who we become, so I am all for keeping that positive mindset, without losing sight of the fact that I share the world with billions of others, who may be thinking or desiring something else. Blinkered thinking which says things will always turn out exactly as we want them to or that we will the prize and everyone else will lose is not only limiting but self-defeating. This attitude can still be found in individuals, organisations and companies. I admire the sheer force of desire to make something happen, but if two people or companies are chasing the same thing who wins? Can there be one number one, whose positive thinking is more powerful?
Personal Best gives you an intelligent way of enjoying fast progress, by utilising the tools used by anyone who has achieved notable success. Without pushing aside your native intelligence, it allows you to keep running towards all the things you want in life and to do so with balance, integrity and intelligence.
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