My friend and coach, Rhonda Zwelling, gave me a great golden nugget today that I just had to share. She told me it is vital for us to clear the negative thoughts and beliefs from our lives to “create a space for positivity”. The imagery of this statement is striking to me. I have always understood the importance of positive thougt, and the detrimental effects of negativity, but I never had a reference that I could tangibly equate to changing some bad habits I have acquired through countless years of condtioning. To understand the process that we must undertake to achieve positivity, I have to go back to one of my favorite quote sources, Aristotle:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
I’ve heard this quote reworded many different ways, and another that comes to mind is from Jimmy Jacobs, who was one of the greatest handball champions of all-time, and later Mike Tyson’s co-manager in the early days of Mike’s fighting career. Jacobs was asked about whether Tyson’s fight schedule, which had him in the ring every two weeks, was prudent. I’ll paraphrase his response as best as I can here:
The more you do something, the better you get at it. Even if it’s throwing rocks at a telephone pole, the guy who does it every two weeks is going to be better at it than the guy who does it once every two months.
So, the question becomes, “What do you do repeatedly?”. You can reprogram your mind and acheive excellence in any area of your life that you choose, if you do the work. And the work does not need to be (and cannot be) completed in a day. When you are ready to take the journey, step out, find a guide or a mentor (not a guru), and start being the change you want to see in yourself.