Success

What is the best way to improve life?

What is the best way to improve life?

I can attest from first-hand experience that striking out sucks.

It doesn't matter how you do it.

Swinging under a ball for that third strike feels like opening a drain to let all the potential flow out of your body. No base hit. No home run. No chance to be the hero in front of an audience of cheering fans.

You Can’t Always Be Productive

You can’t always be productive.⠀

Some days you crush it. Other days you feel like moving to Australia.

I’ve seen a lot of Instagrammers make it look and sound like every day can be your best day.

It’s a lie.

Some days you wake up with a headache. Some days you miss your workout. Some days travel throws you off your routine, forcing you to eat crap food and providing no time to settle into deep, focused work.

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Don’t let it get you down. Don’t let it kill your motivation.

Productivity ebbs and flows. From day to day. From month to month.

Flow with it.

  • Meditate.

  • Play some upbeat music.

  • Call a friend or family member.

  • Write down what you’re grateful for.

  • Get your blood moving with some light exercise.

  • Do something nice for someone else, no strings attached.

  • Write down what’s bothering or stalling you, and what you can do to fix it.

  • Relax, read a book, play a video game. Set a timer so you don’t feel guilty.

  • Strike out everything on your todo list except one thing you know you can knock out under the circumstances.

Any one of these ideas is better than stewing in guilt, and just might kick you back into gear.

If all else fails, don’t worry, and don’t beat yourself up. If you’ve built a plan for tomorrow and a system for your week, your month, and your year, you can sit the bench today. You’re already set for balanced, productive success for the long haul.

While you’re at it, keep in mind the words of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst:

It’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, day. My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia.
— Judith Viorst

About the Author

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Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

The Real Measure of Success

The Real Measure of Success

I don’t often get excited by bronze statues.

To be honest, bronze statues of basketball players are even less interesting. Despite being 6’4” tall, I’m more of a baseball guy.

But this statue of John Wooden, sitting just outside of Mackey Arena at Purdue University, had me reaching for camera. Not because he played basketball for my Alma Mater (though that is awesome), but because of the Success Pyramid that he developed before being named the “greatest coach of all time” by The Sporting News in 2009.

If you don’t know who John Wooden is, I’m not going to tell you. Look him up. You need to know about him, his legacy, and the principles he stands for.

Success Doesn't Make Sacrifices, It Make Choices

Success Doesn't Make Sacrifices, It Make Choices

Your mind is an incredible transportation tool. 

In it, you can travel the world. You can put yourself in others' shoes. You can envision a future, more successful version of yourself. 

Your mind can also flip a bad situation on its head. You can see the good side of things, figuring out how to benefit from a regretful experience. 

Choosing how we view the world is a superpower. One that every human-being shares. 

This power is what incredible athletes, winning entrepreneurs, and high performers use to outperform their competition. They transport themselves into a world where there is only one path: Their path to achieving their goals. 

On this path, they don't make sacrifices. They make choices

Need a Breakthrough? Try Working the Impossible...

For the longest time, I couldn’t squat more than 200 pounds. Though training 5 days a week had quickly pushed me from squatting zero to 195 pounds, adding five extra pounds to the bar felt like adding 1000.

I knew this limit was artificial, manufactured in my brain that tried as best as it could to preserve itself by not taking risks. Regardless, I couldn’t break through. So I looked to a friend and fitness coach for some expert advice:

“Throw 300 pounds on the bar,” he said. “Don’t try to squat it, just put it on your shoulders. Feel the weight, hold it, then re-rack it. Do this a few times, then drop back to 200 lbs and try squatting again.”

It worked.

In theory, nothing had changed. I hadn’t gotten any stronger. I hadn’t learned a new technique or used some new device to artificial increase my lift. I had simply forced my mind to believe that it was possible to hold more weight. And after holding 300 lbs, squatting 200 felt much, much lighter.

What seemingly impossible task are you dealing with right now? What is holding you back from taking that next step towards your goals?

Acknowledge it, but move quickly to build tasks that challenge you. If someone has achieved what you are trying to achieve before, study them. Open your mind to the possibility that, if they can do it, so can you. Push yourself to operate at a new level, even if only briefly. When you come back to your work, what seemed impossible before may be that much easier.

Sometimes, when you get stuck and can’t seem to break through to the next level—when you hit a plateau that prevents you from furthering your goals—showing yourself the impossible is possible can be the breakthrough you need.


About the Author

Mike Mehlberg

In Search of Breakthroughs

Mike is constantly searching for breakthroughs for high-achieving entrepreneurs. Contact him to find out how you can get more productive, align your passion with your vision and purpose, and crush your goals with a balanced, achievable plan for success. 

The Missing Element to Achieving Your Goals and Expanding Your Potential

The Missing Element to Achieving Your Goals and Expanding Your Potential

I chuckled in the smallish veterinary clinic in Leesburg, Virginia, just loud enough to draw a glance from the doctor standing nearby.

"My wife just responded to my text," I said. "I told her Dottie gained 10 pounds. She told me 'that's because you feed her salami every night.'"

Dottie is our Bulloxer rescue; a bulldog head stuck on a boxer's body. She's four years old, has white fur, and (now) weighs 85.2 pounds. Where she was once ripped with genetically-gifted shoulder muscle striation, she now looks a little soft and full. 

Maybe full of salami...

The Cure for Uncertainty, Lost Focus, and Lack of Motivation in Your Business

The Cure for Uncertainty, Lost Focus, and Lack of Motivation in Your Business

It's debilitating, isn't it?

Not knowing if you are on the right path. The uncertainty of whether what you are working on will bring you success.

You work and work. You push from every angle to make an inch of progress Only to look up one day and find yourself lost; unsure if what you are doing is getting you anywhere, worried that you are missing something.

It's a hard feeling to shake.

When this uncertainty hits, it saps your motivation. Your focus and clarity transform into a gloomy cloud of doubt hanging overhead, raining worry and dissatisfaction upon you.

Every business owner knows this feeling.

How to Succeed at Business When Things Are Looking Bleak

How to Succeed at Business When Things Are Looking Bleak

In this podcast, Modern da Vinci expert and business owner Seth Sinclair talks about how difficult it is for small businesses to succeed, how anxiety and stress build when business plans don’t pan out as expected, and how financial and other pressures can lead business owners to give up.  He shares a personal and recent story about persisting through these challenges over a two-year period to finally achieve a foundation of success. 

How to Uncover the Greatest Threats to Your Small Business

How to Uncover the Greatest Threats to Your Small Business

You need your business to be successful.

If your business fails, you won’t be able to earn a living and provide for yourself, your family, or your employees. If you don’t have money, you can’t buy food and shelter. And if you don’t have food and shelter, you die!

Sound a little extreme?

Maybe, but to a large extent, it’s true. Your business is your livelihood. You can always try to find another job if things go wrong, but that would mean your business failed.

This is the pressure that many small business owners feel each day, and we’re here to help you change that feeling.

Instead of worrying about what the future holds, we want to build your confidence in your business. We want to give you a clear path to achieving your goals. And what we’re about to cover in this post will give you exactly what you need to focus on to make that happen.

How to Win More Negotiations by Changing Your Conflict Style

How to Win More Negotiations by Changing Your Conflict Style

When a conflict arises, most people have a default approach for how they handle the situation. Many of us are not conscious of our conflict style; we respond automatically without giving thought to the circumstances.

This is significant in the context of negotiations. A negotiation is a type of conflict – a situation where your concerns and interests are not aligning with those of another person, and you are actively seeking a solution.

Understanding your tendencies in responding to conflict, and how you may need to adjust them, will give you an advantage as you work through a negotiation. If you can assess each conflict and negotiation situationally, you can intentionally utilize the style that will be most beneficial to you.

Business Focus and Clarity: How to Crush it with a Mentor

Business Focus and Clarity: How to Crush it with a Mentor

The most successful business leaders of this world, the ones who achieve incredible success, did so with the help of others. Before they earned their success, they learned from the masters of their time. They were mentored until they had turned the best lessons from someone more skilled than themselves into their own.

Plenty of posts out there tell you how to find a mentor, what questions to ask a mentor, etc. But none of them really share how mentors can provide us with a decisive advantage. None of them help small business owners realize that some of the problems they face (like focus, uncertainty), can be addressed by a mentor in minutes. None of them tell a story of how a mentor made a difference or changed the author’s thinking.

In this post, I want to share with you one such story of how a mentor changed my thinking (it sucked in the moment), and why having a mentor is so critical to your success as a small business owner.  

25 Eye-Opening Lessons with Proven Project Management Results

25 Eye-Opening Lessons with Proven Project Management Results

If there’s one thing I learned from projects, it’s this…

They’re on track until they’re not.

And once they get off track, there’s no going back. They either spiral out of control or get stuck, the last 10% effort taking longer than the first 90% combined. 

You see, project management is theoretically easy. Start your project, define your project, launch your project, control your project, and close your project. Five easy steps with volumes of books written about each, explored and experienced by hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of project leads and project managers worldwide.

In practice, however, it’s one of the most challenging aspects of business. 

Why?

Learn How to Learn. Yes, There's a Best Way

Learn How to Learn. Yes, There's a Best Way

"Take the controls," she said. She didn't blink, didn't smirk, and didn't waiver. I glanced at her quickly, then again as her words sunk in. Two thoughts flew through my mind:

  1. Was she joking?
  2. Was she serious?!

Our Cessna 172 engine drowned what once was an otherwise quiet airfield. After cranking the engine, the propeller came to life with such force it felt as if the entire aircraft would shake itself apart. The plane rattled uncomfortably on the runway, wanting desperately to fly.

My instructor chattered instructions through the headset for the next 45 minutes, all of which she left me in control of the airplane. From taxi to takeoff, flying to the landing approach, I was in full control (she didn't let me land, it was my first flight after all). 

And through the sweat of this first-time, hands-on experience, I learned more practical information about flying than all the previous books I'd read on the subject combined