Winners Play Hurt

The following excerpt was taken directly from Chris Brady’s book, Rascal:

Health is a gift we often take for granted until it is compromised. When sick or ill, we hark back to the healthful days with longing; yearning to feel better again and regain our former vitality. None of us is going to be healthy forever. All will experience sickness and debilitation, to different degrees, to be sure. And to be clear, there are significant, debilitating illnesses which will quite literally take a Rascal out of his game for a period, and in extreme cases, permanently. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good attitude in the midst of the toil and realize that for a vast majority of afflictions, we will simply have to tough it out and press through it. Truth be told, many of the great achievements throughout the ages have been done by Rascals who simply had to tough it out through sickness, pain, discomfort, or whatever. When all else fails, toughness alone can be a powerful weapon to keep one in the field.

There is an interesting concept I’ve discovered by watching champions of all kinds: winners learn to play hurt. Everyone experiences sickness and pain, heartache and hurt feelings, brokenness and despair. Pestilence, hunger, disease, sickness, and injury have plagued humanity since the fall. These facts are true for rich and poor alike. The famous, lucky, beautiful and gifted all suffer as do the obscure, unlucky, ugly and average. In fact, in light of that truth, these superficial labels start to lose their power to classify people. In the end, we are all living under the same set of human conditions where pain, suffering, and setbacks are just a way of life.

Rascals understand these rules of the game and learn to press on regardless. In a literal illustration, top level professional athletes learn to continue the season with wrapped injuries and pain-killers. Sitting in chill tubs or massage rooms after the games, they work through the pain to ready their bodies to perform again. Most sports are played by athletes with injuries and damaged bodies.

quote pic 11

I will never forget a particular National Football League game in Texas years ago. The Dallas Cowboys were aiming to make it to Super Bowl XXVIII and playing a late season game at home against the New York Giants. Home field advantage for the playoffs was on the line and the Giants were giving the Cowboys a rough time of it. It looked bleak for the Cowboys when in the second quarter, star running back Emmitt Smith went down hard on the frozen surface and separated his left shoulder. The pain was evident in his face. Smith went off the field drooping his shoulder and wincing. Surprisingly, though, Smith came back into the game. He ran the ball again and got tackled hard. Slow to get up, Smith made his way back to the huddle for another play. Smith ran the ball or caught passes again, and again, and again. Each time it appeared it was all he could do just to get back up. Somehow, though, Emmitt Smith managed to carry the ball just one more time. Said Smith years afterward, “I’m in the huddle saying to myself, ‘No pain, no pain,’ I’m just talking to myself, ‘no pain,’ and tears are rolling out of my eyes, I’m trying to convince myself there’s no pain, but I was feeling all the pain!” Teammate Michael Irving said of Smith’s resilient play that day, “He stood up and played, I mean he just played and played and played. I’ve never seen a performance like that!” The statistics say it all. That afternoon, Emmitt Smith had the ball for 42 of the Cowboys’ 70 offensive plays, with 32 runs for 170 yards and 10 catches for 62 more. The Cowboys defeated the New York Giants that day, securing home field advantage for a playoff run that would indeed see them win the Super Bowl.

The converse of this type of performance might be called “loser’s limp.” We’ve probably all seen it before: a defensive football player gets beat on a play, gives chase to the offensive player carrying the ball toward the end-zone, then upon seeing that the chase is futile, pulls up with a feigned injury as an excuse.

In life, people can choose to either play hurt or adopt a loser’s limp. A loser’s limp involves finding some excuse, any excuse, to explain away the lack of success. It’s as if these people are searching for an explanation good enough to get them off the hook. And in fact, when it comes to choosing not to succeed, any excuse will do. It is one thing to make excuses for lack of performance to others, and that is bad enough. But the saddest excuse is the one a person sells to himself. Unfortunately, many will work very hard to convince others of the excuse they have chosen to adopt for themselves. The only problem is that any excuse they have for not accomplishing something has already been used by somebody else as the very reason for accomplishing it! The difference is whether or not someone is willing to play hurt!

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)

Three Steps for Leaders in the Fog of Battle

“When things get tough, when times get hard, when the way seems unclear, finding someone to help, love, and serve is the biggest pressure reliever known to man.” – Chris Brady 

Leaders must deal in reality, and often that reality is complicated and ever changing. Complexity, however, is no excuse for lack of results. Leaders, despite their circumstances, the pressures they face, the long odds they brave, and the machinations against them, are still, in the end, held accountable for their results. If there were a Leadership Hall of Fame (as I think there should be), there would certainly be no section dedicated to the “Yeah, buts.”

So what is a leader to do? How best to battle difficult circumstances and unfair pressures? The key is to keep things simple.

Three Steps:

  1. Remember your purpose
  2. Focus on priorities
  3. Find someone to serve

The easiest way to do this is to go all the way to the “thirty thousand foot view”, and remember your overall purpose. Just what got you into this position of responsibility in the first place? At one point, I would hope, you were convinced that what you were doing was worthwhile. What was the basis for that decision? Why did it matter so much to you? More succinctly, what was the vision you had of what could be? What part of the status quo did you absolutely deplore? You see, leaders are leaders because they find something they cannot stand to leave the way they found it. Some situation seemed wrong to them, or perhaps not as right as it could be. Somebody was hurting or suffering and needed a leader to step in. Someone was being wronged and needed defending. Some rule was unfair. Some government was unlawful. Some person was disrespectful. Some project was unfinished. These are the roots of leadership, because they speak firstly to a leader’s discontent. Automatically, when a person of character is confronted with such a situation, they become a leader because they cannot stand to leave the situation the way they found it. A vision forms in their mind of how things could be better, they cannot let go of it, nor it of them. The vision of what things could be like causes a hunger inside the leader for change. The tension that a leader feels when considering his or her vision, is priceless, because it is the driving force behind leadership. A leader confronted with unfair circumstances and overwhelming pressures must first go back to the vision and his or her overriding purpose in life. From there, everything will look a little clearer.

quote pic 3

The next thing to do is prioritize amid the fog. Find out the one or two BEST things to do, and get started on them right away. Remember, there are a lot of GOOD things to do, but usually only one or two BEST things to do. Focus upon those and temporarily disregard the rest. As the Bible says, Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.”

After remembering his or her purpose and focusing on priorities, the leader must next find someone to serve. When things get tough, when times get hard, when the way seems unclear, finding someone to help, love, and serve is the biggest pressure reliever known to man.

A leader who implements these three basics during the “fog of battle” will be surprised at his or her results. After all, results are what a leader is held accountable for.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

Life As a Layer Cake

How do you decide what to do with the time that’s been given to you? This is a question most people ponder their entire lives. In Chris Brady’s classic talk, Life as a Layer Cake, he attempts to answer this question by providing a thoughtful illustration you won’t soon forget.

To somewhat review…

There’s a dichotomy of advice on how to approach your life:

Viewpoint A – “Be successful but hate what you do.”

Viewpoint B – “Love what you do but never succeed.”

Because these are two very separate paths, how do you decide which one is right?

layer-cake-1

It may help to create your own layer cake and personalize it to your life.

  1. What preparatory and preliminary experiences do you have that have shaped who you are? (education, up-bringing, learning experiences)
  2. What is your pragmatic occupation? (pays the bills and provides for your needs)
  3. Do you have a passionate pursuit? (something that fulfills you)
  4. Are you chasing a purposeful calling? (significance, contribution)

There are multiple dimensions of what it takes to be complete in your life.

“We need ALL of these layers to maximize our potential and feel the most fulfilled and happy. The larger and more developed each layer is, the more complete, fulfilled and happy you will feel.” – Chris Brady

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)

What Greatness Requires

“Everyone wants to be great, until it’s time to do what greatness requires.” – Joshua Metcalf

According to Chris Brady, there is a process and a path to greatness. In this article, Brady uncovers the secrets to skillful living and how to achieve a great life.

What Greatness Requires – by Chris Brady

If you’re going to do what greatness requires, you’re going to have to become great in order to EARN what greatness delivers. For example: if you are going to do great financially, you probably have to be great as a man first. True greatness requires greatness.

The problem is that most people’s lives are a mess. There is something called skillful living and in Life, we teach about skillful living through our products. Think about it, how many people do you see that you can honestly say are living skillfully?

Skillful living requires consistent, productive, daily habits, and greatness requires skillful living. To break it down even further, daily habits require two components:

  1. The right inputs
  2. Time

By applying the right inputs over time, you will be able to manufacture an awesome life!

It all seems so obvious, yet so few people actually do it. Why? Because most people underestimate the power of positive habits multiplied by time, and conversely, most people also underestimate the destructive power of negative habits over time. 

The inputs:

  1. Read– What do you read on a daily basis that’s designed to make you better?
    • There’s positive stuff that you should be reading on a consistent daily basis to the point where you have to fall in love with it. Then there’s stuff you should stop reading that doesn’t help you at all.
    • Tune down the negative and tone up the positive.
  2. Listen – What do you listen to on a daily basis?
  3. Associate – Who do you hang around with?
    • It may take you hanging out with better crowds in order to put you in a better position in your life.
  4. Self-talk – what do you tell yourself?
    • You should have an affirmation statement that you can run through your mind all the time.
  5. What do you watch?
    • On TV, social media, or You Tube- It may not be negative, but it may not be positive either.
    • Just because technology can make something easy to watch, doesn’t mean you should watch it.
    • Do you actively block stuff out and refuse to let it come through your eyes?
  6. What do you visualize?
    • What kind of future do you run in front of your mind?
    • What is the vision that you see- the picture in your mind’s eye of what your life will be like one day?
    • What kind of person do you want to become?

quote pic 2

Once you’ve changed and identified your inputs, multiply them by time and you will achieve a great life. Remember, time is a currency. You should spend it carefully and intentionally.

“When you begin to take your life seriously, you will also start taking time seriously. Those who don’t take time seriously aren’t very serious about their lives.”

Skillful living depends on the wise deployment of time, and time can also be helpful in choosing the right inputs. Stop reading for a moment and grab a piece of paper and a pen and answer this question in 7 categories of your life:

20 years from now, what will you wish you had done today?

In your health…

In your family…

In your soul/spirit…

In your finances…

Personally…

Professionally…

For others…

Create a picture of the best you. The things 20 years from now you will wish you had done today will represent the best you. You can’t stop bad choices and habits; you can only replace them with productive choices and habits. So, replace destructive stuff with productive stuff.

“You will always be thankful for the gifts your present self sends forward through time to your future self. And you will always be sick with regret when you don’t.”

If you want the life that greatness brings, you have to be willing to do the things that greatness requires. Greatness requires skillful living; skillful living requires consistently, productive, daily habits; and consistently, productive, daily habits require the right inputs, consistently applied over time.

The way to do that is to have a longer view: Look backwards from 20 years at you today and picture that 20 year (plus) you cheering you on. What would that guy say if he could come back right now? Would he come back and smack you? Or come back and thank you?

Lastly, it ultimately comes down to hunger. Most of the habits are not hard to do; they’re just easier not to do. Greatness requires hunger; and if you’ve got hunger, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)

The Top 10 Mistakes People Make Building Life

Life’s purpose is to set people free across the full spectrum of the population:

• For the large percentage of people who struggle with debt and credit problems, Life offers debt freedom through its Financial Fitness products and services.

• For those who desire high achievement and lifestyle, Life offers a shot at financial freedom through its sales compensation plan.

• And for those who are underprivileged, disenfranchised, or victims of disaster, Life offers functional freedom through its Life on Life Initiative and charitable outreaches.

While all three segments of Life’s purpose are equally important, most people who are introduced to the company are attracted to the lucrative compensation plan offered through the Life business opportunity.

Life offers Members the opportunity to profit from the sale of Life’s materials through a competitive compensation plan. Life’s goal is to flow the money typically spent on marketing and advertising to the leaders who help build the customer base for Life materials. Further, the founders of Life are dedicated to serving in the field alongside Life Members—a unique situation that enables the compensation structure to maintain as its chief consideration the flowing of proceeds to the field instead of to corporate shareholders, investors, or other interested parties, as is true with most companies. What this means is the Life compensation plan can offer one of the highest margins in the industry, all while keeping prices competitively low.

dreaming quoteLife CEO, Chris Brady, has a unique position in the company in that he was once a Member who has achieved the highest level in Life’s compensation plan. Brady’s position and experience both as a former Life Member and current CEO has enabled him to transform the company from the inside out, knowing exactly what the Life Members need to grow and prosper.

Here is a list of what Brady believes to be the top 10 mistakes people make building their Life business. We hope that this list will help you avoid tripping points on your journey towards living the life you’ve always wanted!

The Top 10 Mistakes People Make Building Life – by Chris Brady

1) They don’t dream big enough, real enough, or long enough.

  • Don’t dream about some unrealistic fantasy; dream something real. Dream in a way that moves you towards action.
    • You have to visualize your dream. Picture what it’s like. Build it up in your mind.
    • You’ll never regret dreaming big, but you’ll always regret it if you don’t.
  • Make the you of tomorrow happy about the decisions that the you of today made.
  • You will have to get almost to the point of feeling silly about your dream in order to get wealthy. You have to hang yourself out there where the average people won’t go.

2) They don’t commit hard enough.

  • Don’t be “kind of on the fence” in your Life business. Be so committed that you’ll jump over the fence.

3) They don’t kill enough of their “95% thinking.”

  • You have to force yourself to have a positive attitude, even when you don’t feel positive.
  • Be careful not to fall back into old bad habits.
  • Be prepared to question everything you have learned up to this point. You have to almost think that large chunks of what you’ve learned growing up (about success, performance, excellence, the mindset of a champion, etc) is wrong.

4) They don’t hit the Life Training Marketing System hard enough.

  • “Hitting the system” hard enough would actually help with all three items listed in number 3.
  • Be consistent when listening to audios.
  • Don’t just hit the system hard with yourself, but hit it hard when dealing with your sales and support team.
  • Allow the system to work for you, instead of trying to do everything yourself.
  • The Marketing System breathes truth into people’s lives in order to change hearts and change lives.

5) They don’t share the idea with enough people.

  • If you show enough people consistently for long enough, the results in the business will blow your mind. But most people simply won’t do the work.

6) They don’t set clear, pressure inducing goals.

  • How do you know if it’s a good goal? Because it puts pressure on you to do more in the “here” and “now.”
  • You have to set goals that cause you to be a little uncomfortable.

7) They don’t drive enough “depth.”

  • Depth solves nearly every problem with building the Life business.

8) People don’t build their self- belief enough.

  • Put yourself in the picture for long enough so that your subconscious mind starts to believe it.

9) They don’t focus enough.

  • Too many people have too many distractions.
  • Don’t be so divided across so much territory that you lose all focus to become phenomenal at something.
  • Make short term sacrifices for long term results.

10) They don’t hang in there long enough.

  • You have to be like hair on a biscuit; you have to stick!
  • Have a long term outlook no matter what happens along the journey.

new Life logo

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)

Bring Your Story to Life

The message of this video is that you are the author of your story, you are the protagonist in the movie of your life, and you can still write yourself into a masterpiece! Switch to “narrator mode,” and make it magnificent!

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Chris Brady

The Journey of a Good Idea: How to Be More Creative

In Chris Brady’s classic leadership talk, The Journey of a Good Idea: How to Be More Creative, he explains how good ideas (and the creativity to devise them) can become life altering solutions for the world.

Creativity has two parts:

1) Coming up with the idea

2) Getting the idea to come to life

“Creativity impacts everything that you do. Learning to be more creative can really improve your life!” – Chris Brady

First- How to Be More Creative

  1. Be a prodigious noticer.
  2. Expose yourself to widely differing disciplines so that you can make new combinations.
  3. Slow down (so you can be more observant)
    • Creative “types” sometimes need to haul off and do nothing because that gives them the chance to think up something.
    • Sometimes you need to go slow in order to go fast.
  4. Think!
  5. Go dark.
    • Shut off the phone, get away from your laptop, turn off the TV, don’t turn on the car radio, etc.
  6. Become a subject matter expert.
  7. Reduce things down to their essential core. Keep the main thing the main thing.
  8. Don’t waste your life on dumb stuff. Be regular and orderly in your life so that you can be violent and original in your work.
  9. Hang around the right people.
  10. Regularly break routine and expose yourself to something new as often as you can.
  11. Steal ideas from everywhere. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes. Emulate, steal, and copy until you get your own vibe going from all of the input.
  12. Be adventurous.
    • At a roadblock, ask yourself this question, “what would make the best story?”
  13. Involve your heart.
    • Creativity comes as much from your heart as it does from your head.
  14. Travel.
    • There isn’t a more productive activity you can do to rearrange your paradigm than through traveling.
  15. Create for the sheer joy of it and ignore your critics.

creativity-jpg

Second- Getting the Idea to Come to Life

  1. Realization: You see the problem to be fixed, clearly, and perhaps for the first time.
    • Make sure you have invested the thought time to clearly identify and classify the problem, truly understanding it as thoroughly as possible. Be sure to work toward the root cause and avoid being misled by the symptoms.
  2. Mechanization: The method by which you “think it up.”
    • Take steps to actively generate possible solutions. This may involve gathering with others, making sketches, having a brainstorming session, benchmarking the competition, or just playing around with things.
  3. Assimilation: The combining of previous ideas into a new one.
    • Realize that most new ideas are just combinations of previous ones, and ask questions such as, “What could we combine that has never been combined before?” and “What do we already have available or have already done that could be synthesized into something new here?”
  4. Inspiration: The catalystic spark or insight that puts it together for the first time, and the desire to change the status quo that pushes the process along.
    • Provide motivation to yourself and your team by visualizing and vision-casting success and a new, desired reality that will be brought about by the solving of this problem or the creation of a breakthrough idea.
  5. Germination: Most ideas are not hatched fully formed, instead, they need to grow and blossom under more thought and consideration (and even discussion).
    1. Provide healthy nurturing and incubation for your ideas, allowing them to be considered openly without having to survive the negative attacks of “It’ll never work” and “Not my idea.” Keep egos and reality tests away from your new ideas when they are young and give them time to morph into something real.
  6. Elation: The passion that arises when pursuing a real improvement or breakthrough.
    1. Enjoy the process and refuse to become frustrated, which often shuts down creative channels. Instead, foster the enthusiasm of a treasure hunter nearing the red X on a map.
  7. Confirmation: When you first begin to realize you’ve got it, and evidence suggests that it really will work.
    1. Carefully test your new ideas to verify their validity, and have an open process for analyzing how effective they might actually be in the real world.
  8. Dissemination: The act of forcing your good idea down other people’s throats!
    1. Have a process for sharing your idea outward into your organization (or the world)  that allows it to first be received by those who stand the most to gain by it, thereby gaining momentum and strength before it attracts critics and detractors.

You don’t always need to create the good idea, you just need to know how to spot one and carry it across the finish line. By following some of these simple steps, you will be able to create your way to the life you’ve always wanted!

(Italicized text was transcribed directly from Brady’s audio – Posted by Kristen Seidl, on behalf of Chris Brady)