Winning is a Necessity

Winning is extremely important to the human psyche and biology.  The people who get what they want in life know how to win.  This can not be overlooked or overstated.

I believe the people who know how to win are likely happier in pursuit of their life goals.  I think most would agree with this statement.  So then, why is it most people don’t know how to win?  Or better yet, why isn’t the art of winning taught more in schools and post graduate education?  Maybe it is, we’re just not paying attention?


I’m not sure, maybe we should ask Charlie Sheen.  Sadly, I don’t think answers like Tiger Blood, or Adonis DNA are what we’re looking for so we’ll have to dig a little deeper.  Thanks for the inspiration Chuck.

Lets first take a look at what a “WIN” does for us mentally

  • Confidence – think about the last time you won anything and try to get back into those feelings for a moment.  How did you feel?  Awesome is a pretty popular response.  Who doesn’t want to feel more awesome?  Winning is foundational to a higher level of confidence.  More confidence typically yields more victory.
  • Winning Effect – Author John Coats in his book The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind tells us animals involved in a fight who were victorious, were more likely to win their next fight.  Which brings me to my next and extremely important point.
  • Momentum – I always say, “Momentum is much easier to steer than to start.”  Life can be hard.  Some know this more than others.  This is exactly why winning, and winning often is so important to each of us.  Winning consistently creates what I call “life momentum.”
  • Limitless – Have you ever won enough? I know I haven’t.  Author Grant Cardone describes this in his book The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by stating, “There is no shortage of success, nor are there limits to the amount of success one can achieve!”  Read this again if you’re looking to get amp’d up.  He’s right.  I frequently listen to the 10X Audiobook when I need to get it going or feel like I’ve achieved “enough” for a while.
  • Attitude – People like to associate with a winner.  It’s more fun, it’s positive, and it’s likely uplifting.  Legendary coach Bear Bryan said, “Winning isn’t everything, but it sure beats anything that comes in second!”  I LOVE THAT ATTITUDE.

I won’t go there in this post, but if you do a little more research you’ll easily see that winning doesn’t only affect our mental game but our biological makeup as well.  Dr. Coats offers a unique perspective into the testosterone levels of successful, young, male stock traders during times of financial boom.

The million dollar question remains, “How do I win more often?”

  1. Stay Hungry – Winners come from all walks of life.  What they all have in common is an unquenchable thirst for victory and nothing will stop them in their pursuit.
  2. Stay Focused – Elite athletes have a state of mind referred to as “the zone” and when they’re in it nothing can stop them.  The zone is a state of complete focus and freedom.  Mastery is at work with the athlete because they’re not spending time thinking, they’re only reacting to what’s in front of them.
  3. Attention to Detail – The US Navy SEALs are famous for their mindset and training regimen.  Their world class team members preach attention to detail every day, in every drill, and every exercise they compete.
  4. Drill – In order to learn how to win an individual must be willing to practice at a high level for a great deal of time.  Mediocre practice will yield mediocre results.  Winners sweat the small stuff and sweat if often.  Earlier I used the word “mastery” when referring to focus in point two.  In Malcolm Gladwells book Outliers he states it takes 10,000 hours to be an “expert” in a topic or field.  10,000 hours.  Most people work around 40 hours per week.  That equates to nearly 5 years of drills.  Are you spending 8 hours a day getting better?  I know I’m not, so for most it’s going to take 10+ years to mastery.
  5. Speed Bumps – Failure will happen and it should if you’re taking chances.  Accept failure as a speed bump and not a impassable chasm.  Life will go on.  Learn from it and learn quickly so you can get back to winning again.  Just don’t fail making the same mistake over and over.


 ACTION ITEM: Get out and get winning.  You need to be winning often.  Life is a contact sport and no records were set from the sidelines.




Closing the Say-Do Gap Will Change Your Life

The Say-Do Gap

The Say-Do Gap

I’d like to start this post off with a heavy helping of humble pie.  Here is a small list of things I said I was going to do, but haven’t yet accomplished or followed through on in 2014.

  1. Completing 36,000 push-ups (100 per day).  Truth be told I’m at about 2,000 (20 per day).
  2. Volunteering more to a charity (count = 0).
  3. Launching a supplemental income strategy.

Ouch!  I learned one thing from this exercise.  Writing these things down brings a world of reality to the things I “said” I was going to do in 2014.  Good news is the year isn’t over yet.  Plenty of time for more “doing” in the upcoming months.  That’s not to say I haven’t accomplished anything this year either.  I have, but I don’t think listing them is going to provide you any value.

If you’re like me, you’ve got to be wondering, how do I “do” more and close the gap?  To get to the root of the issue in closing the say-do gap, I’ve included a list of items that help me personally. The great news is I really believe the more you do, the more doing momentum you create.

  1. Write it down.  The power of the written word is well documented.
  2. 20 mile march.  In Jim Collins book, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, he references the 20 mile march.  Effectively this related to companies willing to make the march every day.  20 miles.  Not 10, then 100, but 20 miles every single day.  This screams DISCIPLINE.
  3. Honesty mirror.  Do what I’ve done and conduct a fair self-evaluation.  Don’t beat yourself up, but be honest.
  4. Share accountability.  In today’s society, this is easier than ever.  Make your do-list or goal public.  I’ve seen people use social media to lose a great deal of weight and keep it off.  Why?  Basic human behavior.  We’re terrified of not reaching our goals once made public.  On the other side of it, we LOVE the positive feedback we receive when others believe in our struggles.
  5. Help someone else.  This is also in our DNA.  Helping others makes us feel good.  It also gives us the motivation we need to make the next move on our path
  6. Take the next step.  Not a leap, or jump, or risk, just the next step.  An object in motion tends to stay in motion. ~ Sir Isaac Newton

This blog is the result of me closing the say-do gap.  Plans were written down, ideas were scribbled, and I studied many blogs before I launched A Keen Mind.  What go me started?  Me.  I wrote the first post.  Starting this and seeing massive progress in other areas of my career changed my personal and professional life.  I know it can do the same for you.

ACTION ITEM: One thing that fails me is having a too many items on my DO LIST.  It plagues me with a lack of focused energy.  Use the six tips above to start closing the say-do gap for your list.  Keep the list short and start achieving.  Momentum will soon take over and then…WATCH OUT!


Know Thyself


This post was the most challenging and most liberating posts I’ve written to date.  I needed to put into writing what I’d been thinking.  To be immensely successful personally, professionally, and spiritually in 2014 I needed to do an intense self analysis.  I needed to spend some time knowing what I am, and more specifically what I am not.

The purpose of this community is to sharpen our mental tools, be more positive, and to get better on a daily basis.   Negativity on the other hand makes the news and is around us at every turn.  This is NOT a negative post.  It’s an honest one.  There is a difference.  Below is a list of my challenges and how I choose to think about them in 2014.

Embrace Fear – I’m just as afraid if not more afraid as everyone else reading this post.  I’m most afraid of not being successful so I push on.  This is one of my biggest challenges and it prevents me from slowing down on a daily basis.  New ideas are needed.  New clients are needed.  New products are needed.  The more I embrace fears and take them head on, the stronger I become.  I will continue to be afraid, but I’ll embrace it and channel it as aggression with a focused direction.  I will not be consumed by fears I create.  The body and mind know the difference between real and created fears.

Be Myself – I’m guilty of always looking for more information and looking for a new angle.  It’s in my DNA.  A new book, podcast, or blog rich with information is always at my fingertips.  What I must remember is who I am, what do I believe, and what do I stand for.  How can I help others?  My friends and close relationships chose me for who I am, not who I’m trying to be.  What others think of me is their business.

Confidence Coefficient – I’m guilty of being cocky.  It’s in my DNA and a personality flaw I’m challenged with frequently.  I believe so much in achievement and confidence in my efforts it can quickly cross the invisible line into cockiness.  It’s really a double edged sword.  The more I win, the better and more invincible I feel (hence the confidence coefficient).  Without confidence however, winning doesn’t happen and I HATE losing.  I’m challenged weekly to remain confident without getting overly confident.  The key to maintaining a confident persona without getting cocky is to reflect frequently and to remember this.  The second I think I’ve arrived, I’ve already lost.

Be More Thankful – I’m an achiever addicted to winning.  I’m addicted to making the next move or knocking down the next big obstacle.  I don’t stop often enough to appreciate things.   Appreciate family, friends, relationships and a wonderful lifestyle.  I have so much to be thankful for, I need to stop and smell the roses more often.

Be There – I made a promise to myself in 2013 to “be there” more often no matter what for others.  Friends will need me.  Family will need me.  Peers will need advice.  Be there.  Nothing is as important as these pieces in my life so get moving and be there.  I found some of the most joy in 2013 by making this a focus.  It’s payed wonderful dividends.

Own My Talents – There can be much time invested and little return expected in focusing on what I’m not.  The same time however, will yield 10X returns if invested in what I am and where I can be most successful.   As previously stated, it’s extremely easy to find what we don’t have or what we lack.  To take a quote from Top Gun, “The list is long and distinguished.”  I’m going to invest (expecting a return) my time into what I’m really great at and watch the massive results happen!

Live Passionately – Compliments of the late Jim Valvano, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”  Few things move me like his 1993 ESPY speech.  I often admire the vibrancy and passion Jimmy had for life and how he shared it.  He wasn’t afraid of his emotions and embraced every day with those he shared it with.  The reason I bring this up is I struggle to share my emotions.  I believed it to be sign of weakness.  If you ask my wife privately she’ll tell you I’m not the most open person with my feelings.   I don’t know if I’ll ever be great sharing my feelings, but I can get better.

Give – I’ve always been a bit selfish with my time.  I struggle to know why this is, but fall short on answers.  This is getting better and will be my best year ever in 2014.  I’ll give more time to others and not just give with monetary means.  I have a goal set to volunteer a specific number of times in 2014 and I plan on crushing it.  I friend of mine Juan Teran (who I asked if I could mention in this post) challenges me every time we speak to share more of ourselves with others.  I’m thankful for his challenge and I will answer the bell!

ACTION ITEMS:  I challenge you to do a similar self analysis.  Be realistic and honest, but not hard on yourself.  The goal is not to leave yourself battered and bruised.  I’d really love it if you could share one of your challenges with our community so we can all get better.  Lastly, if you know someone who will benefit from reading this please share.