Tag Archives: 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?

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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)

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

Life Leadership’s “You, Inc.” Financial Hierarchy or Pyramid

Proper Financial Fitness begins with mastering the Defense, Offense, and Playing Field of money.  For the many satisfied customers (click here and scroll down for textual, audio, and video testimonials) of Life’s Financial Fitness suite of products and services, this is exactly what they have discovered and put to good use.

But there IS more.

Just what do you do with the money once you stop being scammed as a victim of debt and start to instead enjoy the thrill ride of having extra money at the end of the month?  Where do you put it? How do you go about determining which investments might be right for you?

In this quick video shot several months ago in the hot Florida sun, I try to give a quick fly-by of how we present the answers to these questions in our new addition to the series: the Beyond Financial Fitness program.  It covers the concept of the “You, Inc. Hierarchy” or Pyramid of priority for your money.

I hope you enjoy the video, and more importantly, that you find the information useful!

God bless!

Chris Brady

The information presented on this blog and in any of its videos is for general educational purposes only, and provides information the authors believe to be accurate on the subject matter covered.  It is presented here with the understanding that neither the authors nor the publisher are providing advice for any particular portfolio or for any individual’s particular situation, or rendering investment advice or other professional services such as legal or accounting advice.  If expert advice in areas that include investment, legal, and accounting are needed, please seek a competent professional’s services.

This publication may make reference to performance data collected over various periods of time.  Remember that past results do not guarantee future performance.  Performance data, as well as laws and regulations, change over time, which could affect the applicability of the information presented on this blog and its videos.  Any data presented herein is used merely to illustrate the underlying principles.

This blog and its videos are not to serve as the basis for any financial decision or as a recommendation of any specific investment.

No warranty is made with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, and both the authors and the publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this blog and its videos.

How to Master the Skill of Not Quitting

chris-brady-quoteChris Brady gave a talk recently that laid the foundation for a basic skill that all leaders must learn if they wish to succeed at anything; it’s the skill of Not Quitting.

Brady states, “If a person can master the skill of not quitting, they will ‘make it’ in any endeavor they pursue in life.”

Orrin Woodward has a similar mantra to define this concept: Start Starting and Quit Quitting! Woodward states: “The biggest breakthroughs occur when a person refuses to quit notwithstanding the present dismal results. Persistence in a just cause through numerous failures builds character and determines whether a person joins the ranks of perpetual winners or perpetual quitters in life.”

To further this discussion, I am going to borrow a parable taken directly from Chris Brady’s leadership blog, which is a perfect parallel to introduce the subject: How to Master the Skill of Not Quitting.

There is an old story about a fisherman who believes he has died and gone to Heaven as he catches one perfect 2 lb trout after another.  As he sets his fly and hooks into yet one more, he can’t fathom his good fortune.  The sky is blue, the weather ideal, the fish biting like he’s never before experienced, and everything is absolutely perfect.  It is not long, however, before the realization dawns on him that he is not in Heaven at all.  Instead, as the boredom and the pointlessness settle in on him, he realizes he’s actually in Hell.

It’s hard to describe just how hard this little parable hit me the first time I heard it.  In one moment it erased all my whiny complaints about how difficult and elusive success seems to be.  The trout fisherman in Hell story is so extreme, so seemingly ridiculous, that we are confronted with a strange and brutal fact: we may hate opposition and struggle, but it is critical for our mental health.  Without the struggle, we would feel no joy in victory.

To transcribe and somewhat summarize Brady’s words, here is the basic premise, taken directly from his talk:

The truth is, we think we want everything to be roses and sunshine all of the time; we think that we want to cast our line and catch a trophy trout every single time; we think we want our life to be smooth and easy. And we try to do all of these things to eliminate obstacles and pain from our lives. We recoil from stress and calamity, thinking that somehow we should avoid it. However, what we think we want and what we actually need are two very different things. What we actually need is resistance, obstacles, and challenges, in order to appreciate the triumph.

“Adversity is the canvas upon which you paint your greatness.” – Chris Brady

Not quitting in the face of adversity is actually a skill; the ability to persevere against all odds is a skill; and quitting is a natural temptation for any worthwhile endeavor you’ll ever pursue. You’ll be tempted to quit any business you ever start and any relationship you ever find yourself in. So how do we protect ourselves from the temptation to quit? First, it’s important to define the different types of quits in order to develop awareness for ourselves.

Here are the 3 different types of quits to be mindful of:i-quit

  • The temper tantrum quit
    • The dramatic: “That’s it; I’ve had it; I’m done!!”
  • The slow fade quit
    • You slowly let your light go down to a dim and you just back off slowly.
    • You don’t admit to yourself that you’re quitting, but you’re backing off.
    • You start to make little compromises that start to stack up.
  • The just for now quit
    • Just until the kids get done with hockey season…
    • Just until after the holidays…

So now that we’ve identified the different types of quits, on a deeper level it’s even more important to be cognizant of the reasons that make you feel like quitting. Here are just a few:

  • You get to a point where you feel like you can’t do it anymore.
  • Someone else quit and it influences your decision.
    • Don’t let their decision undo your decision when your decision to start didn’t even involve them.
  • Justification (I gave it my best shot)
  • I’m not as successful as I thought I’d be by now.
    • You may have started with an unrealistic expectation of what you could do and/or an over-confident expectation of what you were capable of in the beginning.
  • I’ve invested so much already.
  • It’s harder than I thought.
    • It may be because you don’t come from a language of excellence. Excellence is always harder than you thought!
  • Criticism (Someone made fun of me)
  • Someone hurt my feelings OR I’ve been wronged.
    • These are usually little tiny rubs that start to stack up in your head about people. Somehow your rights are being violated and you get offended and your feelings get hurt (different than criticism).
  • I came across some negative and now I have doubts.

Have you ever succumbed to one of these reasons for quitting? I know I have. So we dig deeper…

Brady identifies three phases of mastery: ignorance, immersion, and intelligence. To paraphrase, he says that in order to protect yourself from the temptation to quit in the face of adversity, you have to learn how to personally manage yourself in the immersion phase.

Think about it, once you get immersed in something, that’s when you start to get hit with reality. He shares the example of marriage; in the ignorance phase you are excited and everything is bliss. You don’t see all of the potential calamities that are about to arise. But, immersion is different. It can be overwhelming; it can become unsettling and complex. And it’s how you manage yourself in the complexity and pressure that will determine how far you make it. Further, he says that the secret to maximizing your success in the immersion stage is to stay in touch with the wonder of your discovery.

Unfortunately, the direct result of what happens when you don’t have proper personal management is……….quitting. And it’s a travesty.

The travesty of quitting:

  • You pull yourself out of the immersion stage and you put yourself back into some new ignorant stage, thereby surrendering any of the value, progress, and distance you made through the previous immersion stage. Essentially, you have to start over new somewhere else.
  • Quitting is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
  • Quitting starts a pattern in your life that gets hard to stop. Naturally, people follow down the same path with the same patterns in everything they start to do. The loss of time after quitting in the immersion step is never redeemable. You can’t get that time back. When you quit something, you’ve lost your investment.

“The key to long term success is to cultivate and keep alive that sense of wonder at the immersion step. If you can master that, you can master your craft.” – Chris Brady

Here are 9 practical steps Brady gives that you can do to prevent yourself from quitting (or to quit quitting, as Orrin Woodward describes):

  1. When you’re feeling down, when your tank is low, take positive action immediately!
  2. Listen to informational reinforcements (audios)
  3. Refresh the “deep” dreams (cause, purpose, and legacy)
  4. Envision your future – you only get what you picture.
  5. Don’t fall for the false illusion of unknown alternatives.
  6. Get around other leaders.
    • You don’t just need informational reinforcements, you need relational reinforcements!
  7. Focus only upon what you can control and disregard all the rest.
  8. Know how to repair yourself.
    • In times of being down, sometimes you need to get around people because people charge you up, others of you may need to get away from people because people drain you. You need to know which one you are.
  9. When you need to repair yourself, postpone all decisions. Allow yourself to not make decisions when you’re tired, sick, hungry, or frustrated, no matter how impending the decision is or what the deadline is. Don’t make any decisions until you’ve resurfaced as yourself once again.

There you have it. Learn to develop the skill of Not Quitting by applying some of Brady’s advice and you will be on your way to achieving success in every venture that you ever pursue.

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

A Rascal’s Battle Plan: The Productive Loop

In Chris Brady’s book, Rascal, he lays out the foundation of a leader’s journey toward success and some of the roadblocks that can happen along the way. Brady calls this process: The Productive Loop, and it can be found in greater detail in Chapter 4 of his book. Here is an overview of the Rascal’s Battle Plan, as explained by Chris Brady. May it bring clarity and encouragement to your leadership journey!


There is a pattern of success for any Rascal choosing to be a force for good and seeking to achieve excellence and significance. It is called the Productive Loop.

the-productive-loopRascals start out ignorant like everyone else. They simply don’t know what they don’t know about a certain subject, and they may not even realize they are Rascals. But then new information finds its way into their consciousness, either through a good book, a friend, a life experience, or whatever. This new information suggests a path toward accomplishment, a route of opportunity, an idea to be tried. Immediately, though, upon receiving this new information, most Rascals, being Rascals, are skeptical. They take a mental step back to consider what they are learning with a critical eye. Eventually, however, that new information starts to make sense. This leads to curiosity. The Rascal begins asking ‘What if?’ questions, considering possibilities. From there the Rascal digs into the learning process. The learning curve is steep because the Rascal is learning quickly, happily gaining knowledge in the direction of this new possibility. Learning becomes extremely fun, because it is so relevant. This leads to excitement. The Rascal can feel the enthusiasm rushing into everything he does. This excitement, in turn, leads to the overcoming of fears. Things that in the past, without this purposeful direction would have held the Rascal back are now no match at all. Small trees are smashed down in front of him, hills are scaled, rivers forded, and mountains climbed as the Rascal is now in hot pursuit of a brighter tomorrow.

This spirited action leads to progress. Progress is one of the best encouragers known to man. Progress builds belief, confidence, and momentum. Progress lets the Rascal know he is on track; his efforts are making an impact, and his learning has merit. Therefore, he learns even more. He applies what he learns, analyzes how it affects his actions, makes adjustments, does more, learns more, and accomplishes more. He is in the Productive Loop. He is in “The Zone”.

Life in the “The Zone”

“The Zone” is a concept that describes a peak performer in a moment all their own, where they are doing exactly what God built them to do, to the best of their ability, with all of their faculties aligned and intensely focused. It is Michael Jordan in the closing seconds calmly hitting the outside shot to win the game. It is those moments when a champion gets to call on all the hours of preparation, planning, and practice and put it all together. It is a rare, true moment in life.

“Being in ‘The Zone’ is when one’s actions are perfectly in line with one’s purpose.” – Chris Brady

bradyThose in my audiences who don’t understand what I am talking about can barely even relate to a Rascal. They don’t speak the same language, feel the same impulses, or have the same magnitude of dreams and aspirations. They don’t live in The Zone. Instead, they live zoned out, and it’s a shame. The great news, though, is that nobody gets to choose for you. It’s all up to you. Anyone can choose to do what it takes to be a Rascal and perform to such a peak as to find himself in The Zone.  Don’t think that Obstaclès isn’t actively at work trying to stop Rascals everywhere from succeeding as a force for good. He is poised and ready at every step of their journey to throw up barriers and dig potholes. Obstaclès particularly hates it when Rascals are in The Zone, because he knows that in those moments his weapons have the least effect. As the old saying goes, “A dog in the hunt doesn’t know it has fleas.” Rascals are not bothered by Obstaclès’ tactics when they are in The Zone, focused and entirely committed to their task.

The Wimpification Process

Obstaclès succeeds in coaxing a Rascal out of the zone. It could be any of his weapons to do the trick, from fear of distraction to low self-confidence, to a failure in character, relationship challenges, or any of the others. Where once the Rascal was overcoming fears and learning and doing with excitement and enthusiasm, now the Rascal caves in to fears and falls into inaction.

The less action he puts forth the more his mind intellectualizes, becoming some elite thinker and never accomplishes anything. This leads to paralysis as fear sets in even further. Paralysis then leads to frustration. The Rascal starts looking at his or her lack of results.

Frustration is the moment of truth, of peak danger, a fork in the road. It is at moments of peak frustration where many Rascals leave the path of excellence never to return. This is where Rascal “wanna-be’s” turn into Rascal “has-beens.” They slip back into old ways, embracing the old vices and convincing themselves that it really isn’t so bad.

The final steps are justification and blame. Losers must always provide an excuse for their lack of winning. This begins with justification. It is a search for an excuse plausible enough to hide behind, first for the quitter, then for everyone he’ll tell. This justification rarely involves any responsibility on the part of the has-been Rascal. It is always someone else’s fault, or at the very least, it’s a situation that’s to blame.

“People will justify almost anything to themselves, when it serves their cowardice and covers their failures. Justification is the door through which character departs.” – Chris Brady

There is a name for people who were once on the path to becoming an official Rascal, but instead succumb to the slippery slope of the wimpification process and scorn Rascals and the principles for which they stand: Jackals.

jackal-for-productive-loop-article

Jackals become the natural enemy of Rascals everywhere because a Rascal’s example eliminates a Jackal’s excuses; the bigger the Rascal’s accomplishment, the more obvious the Jackal’s failure.

Revisiting the Fork in the Road

Let’s go back to the fork in the road where it all went wrong to see that even when things appear their darkest, a true Rascal still has a choice. Remember that the Wimpification process was caused by inaction, over-intellectualizing, analysis paralysis, and peak frustration. That is what brought the Rascal to the fork in the road. But by definition a fork has two options. It’s the other option chosen by the Rascal that makes all the difference. Understand: there is no shame in getting frustrated, falling into inaction, or having doubts and discouragements. It happens to everybody. Champions, however, keep these moments to a minimum and always find a way to pull out of them. How do they do this? By taking the other side of that fork in the road. At this moment we see the courage of the Rascal tested to the limit. They remember why they started out in the first place and refresh those dreams and causes in their minds until they reconnect with them emotionally. Having made the choice not to Wimpify, a Rascal seeks the association of other Rascals within whose company he can be strengthened and rebuilt.

Rascals encourage themselves by remembering that the worse the odds and the bigger the opposition, the better the drama and the more fascinating the story.  He goes back to the basic reasons he began this journey in the first place. He plugs back in to the learning cycle and starts to gain new information about the fundamentals of what he does while learning new techniques and methods that can improve his performance over what he did before. This new information leads to renewed excitement and the overcoming of fears. Then, action steps invigorate him and he feels his old strength returning. The more action he takes the more progress he sees as evidence that he’s made a wise and courageous choice. This progress fuels further learning and the Rascal has chosen himself back into the Productive Loop. Taken far enough with enough commitment, his renewed vigor might even lead him back into the highest level of the Productive Loop, that wonderful place called The Zone.

At this point, the Rascal is back! Obstaclès is forced back to the drawing board in frustration, planning his next attack with renewed hatred. And so the cycle goes throughout the life of a Rascal. Always tempted, always maligned, a Rascal knows his path is fraught with danger. He is a Rascal, though, because he presses forward boldly.

Rascals wage their individual battles against Obstaclès gallantly, knowing that their fight in the trenches has a tremendous impact on the overall battle raging in society.

“Rascals know that one person can and does make a difference, and strive mightily to do their part.” – Chris Brady

This will involve criticism and resistance, and may even result in the opposition throwing fruit! Undeterred, Rascals become a force for good and attack the status quo, striving to leave things better than they found them.

(Posted by Kristen Seidl, written by Chris Brady)

Focus on Abilities, Not Obstacles – Trystan Willems

My friend recently shared the story of a professor who handed out an exam to all of his students – one plain piece of paper with a black dot on it. There were no questions – nothing but a black dot. He then told them to write about what they saw. At the end of the exam he collected all of the papers and started reading each one out loud. Without exception, every student was focused on the black dot, what it meant, how it was positioned on the paper, etc.

After all of the reading was done, he said: “I’m not going to grade you on this; I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives.”

We all have this tendency to focus on what is wrong, what is different, and all of the obstacles in our lives, rather than focusing on the enormous white space – our blessings, our potential, and our abilities.

tystan-and-cb

At a Life Convention earlier this year, a young man named Trystan Willems provided a true picture of what it looks like to focus on the “white space” of life. Trystan overcame an enormous obstacle when he spoke to an audience of thousands of people… without even having the ability to move his lips.

Trystan was born with Cerebral Palsy which is a neurological disorder that affects body movement, muscle coordination, and impairs motor function. It affects all people differently. For Trystan, it affects his speech, his legs, his muscle tone, and his trunk. For years, he has been trapped in his own body.

Trystan would have every reason to focus on his obstacles, but he chooses not to. Instead, with the help of an advanced communication device that detects eye movement using pictures and words, Trystan is now able to speak and inspire the world with his positive attitude and outlook on life.

“Once in a great while someone comes along who deeply inspires us; smiling in the face of adversity, overcoming obstacles, and choosing to live a life of contribution despite the circumstances. Trystan is one of finest in that class of people who make us better just by being around them.” – Chris Brady

At almost every junction on the road of your life, both personal and professional, you have a decision to make. Will you let your obstacles stop you and dictate your life? Or will you charge forward focusing on your abilities?

Trystan Willems is a true living example of a person who is charging forward and changing the world because he has decided to focus on his abilities. Here’s his story (in his own words).

(Written by Kristen Seidl on behalf of Chris Brady)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Leadership Reviews

The Top 10 Reasons Not to Join Life Leadership

One thing I learned a long time ago was that we should never take ourselves too seriously.  I love the Life Leadership business, and I love building it.  I also enjoy working with the many fine people who make up Life Leadership around the world.  In a busy season, with lots going on, it’s good to remember to enjoy the journey, too.

As usual, when Orrin Woodward and I get together, no matter how busy we are or how many issues are pressing, we always seem to have some good old fashioned fun.  At a recent Policy Council meeting in Florida, we took a little time to shoot a fairly spontaneous video.  This was (obviously) a one take wonder.  It was inspired by some research I had read in a book by Adam Grant discussing the idea of “front running one’s weaknesses.”  I won’t play spoiler here, and will instead let the video speak for itself, but these really are legitimate reasons someone should consider before getting involved selling our products.  We think what we do is great, but of course, it’s not for everyone!

I hope you enjoy it.  I think it embodies our slogan of Have Fun, Make Money, and Make a Difference!  Thanks for watching.

Sincerely,

Chris Brady