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Early to Rise

Please Do This Now

One thing we don't want to become is someone that talks a big game but doesn't take much action. If that describes you, in any area of life, then it's time to take a long look at why you are holding yourself back. Why do you keep saying this is the year you're going to change - only to end up in the same spot on December 31st? What is it that is holding you back from improving your life? Why can't you step off the brake? Today's essay, and a tough question for your ego, will open your eyes to the real reason. And it will be enough to help you let it go. Craig Ballantyne

"Act with integrity. Live up to your idea of who you are." - Frank McKinney

The Toughest Question You Have to Answer

By Craig Ballantyne Inside of all of us there is a battle being waged. On one side, there are the defenders of our comfort zone. For each of us the definition of the comfort zone will be quite different. For you, it might be a $75,000 a year job at a major corporation that has traversed the rough waters of the economic crises. You don't dare risk losing that job, your mind says to itself. Let's just sit tight until things return to normal, and then we can think about going out on your own. On the attacking front, however, is your Big Self (a fantastic phrase I first heard from my friend and mentor, Matt Furey). Despite the fact that your Big Self is trying to break down the doors of your Comfort Zone fortress and smash its walls, the Big Self is actually the good guy in this battle. Your Big Self represents what you could truly accomplish in life. So it goes. Day in and day out, the Big Self wakes up strong and mighty, and might make a little progress, particularly if you participate in an early morning Big Thinking session that I taught you about here.

But then the real world gets in the way, delivering reinforcements to the frontlines of the Comfort Zone defenders. These reinforcements come in the way of excuses, negative naysayers, fear, lack of self-confidence or selfcontrol, and the bad habits we've built up over our four to five decades of life. At the end of the day, the battle is much like those waged on the fields of France in World War I. A lot of carnage on both sides for inches gained and subsequently lost. And that is why you are in the same spot today as you were twelve months ago, only just a year older. Today I'll show you how to break through the stalemate. But it will only work if you are willing to set down your weapons and stop protecting yourself for a while. Call a truce on the battlefield. Have each side bring out its best thinkers and have them work together as one on this big thinking exercise. Recently I made this same challenge to over 150 personal trainers on the final day of my Turbulence Training Summit. Over the course of two days, my guest experts and I had stood and delivered complete blueprints to becoming better trainers and for getting more clients. But this being the 3rd year for the annual event, I knew that many people in the audience would go home, let life get in the way, and return for the 4th TT Summit next year without having made any significant changes. I wasn't going to let that happen again, and I won't let that happen to you. That meant I had to challenge the attendees. I had to show them exactly how to make the mental changes that would allow their Big Self to win the battle. After I summarized the best moments of the weekend, I paused for dramatic effect, made eye contact with as many people in the room that dared to look at me, and asked, "Are you really living as your Big Self? Are you being the Limitless Leaders that I know you can be? Or are you letting Little Limitations hold you back from greatness?" These were tough questions. They are tough on the ego. No one, particularly relatively successful people, wants to feel like a disappointment. But we need to be honest. Are we doing all we can with what we have been blessed with in life? And we have one of my mentors, Dan Kennedy, to thank for this. You see, several years ago I attended one of Kennedy's seminars just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. He covered the topic of internal resistance - something I

know is holding back many ETR readers. Dan said, "The failure to act is much more often the product of inner, emotional resistance than external resistance. To move forward you must give up your story, whether it is excuses about your childhood, lack of education, your 'bad luck', your unsupportive family, your low metabolism, where you live, etc., etc." It's time to give up your excuses. It's time to overcome your natural inclinations of holding back and staying in your comfort zone. It's time to Man-Up. It's harsh, but true. As Kennedy explained, what separates the leaders from the strugglers is often confidence and follow-through, both of which can be derailed by internal resistance. That's when he taught me "The Exercise". Answering these questions is tough on the Ego, but the answers could change your life (if you take action on them). Take the following mental challenge:

1) Ask yourself "The Question":

"Where you would like to be and have known you would like to be but aren't?"

2) Be brutally specific and honest.

3) Now list why you are NOT there.

4) Next, identify the changes you need to make.

5) Then take massive action!

Don't let another year go by stuck in the same place! You must identify the causes of your internal resistance. Ask yourself "Why?"

you want something but refuse to act in congruence with achieving it. Either say "no" to achievement OR dig in and get to the bottom of the persistent incongruence between what you say and what you do. It is OK to admit you are not willing to pay the price - and by doing so, that will stop selfsabotage. Once you know the enemy, then you can work on overcoming it. Listen, I know Kennedy can be a little gruff and grumpy, but he speaks the truth and has your best interests at heart. In fact, it's almost like he's channeling the wise philosophers of Ancient Greece. I'm currently re-reading a book called, "The Art of Living", which is a translation of teachings from the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus. In it, I discovered this wisdom: "Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. Once you have determined the spiritual principles you wish to exemplify, abide by these rules as if they were laws, as if it were indeed sinful to compromise them. Don't mind if others don't share your convictions. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice - now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren't a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you'll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better. From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do - now." Take the challenges set forth by Kennedy and Epictetus. Identify what is holding you back. Release the brakes. Become the Big Self and Limitless Leader that I know you can be. Overcome your obstacles. Defeat your internal resistance. Never give up on what is important to you. So much can be accomplished with a long-term vision and resilience to short term setbacks. If you persist and never give in, you WILL succeed. You can have the life of your dreams while helping and transforming the lives of millions. Get out there and take action today. Throw the rock of helping into the pond of transformation and watch as the ripples take shape. Change a life today - starting with yours.