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  • Letting Go of the Uncontrollable

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Donald Miller says in his book Scary Close, “the root of sin is the desire for control”… and “the root of control is fear.” The fear of losing control is a powerful driving force that causes us to behave in a variety of crazy different ways. For some, this fear manifests itself by self-promotion and being self-righteous with the thirst for winning and being the best, while others might be controlling their image and presenting a perfect front to the world. For some, it’s the pursuit of being right or the relentless domination of others with an iron fist and exerting their will over the “inferior” people around them. The inverse is true when the craving for control rears its ugly head through self-destructive, shameful and guilt-ridden vehicles such as alcoholism, drug addictions, work obsession, food addictions, sex and pornography addictions, and many other self-control coping mechanisms create the illusion of having control in one’s life.

    In the “self-help” industry I often hear motivational speakers, authors, and “experts” promote prosperity and how to be in control of their results. Being in control of results usually involves manipulation. It hasn’t been until some recent events in my personal life that I’ve realized how destructive “being in control” can be. Upon reflection of my life, the more I’ve tried to control uncontrollable things, other people and results, the more I seem to screw up. Yet, everything noteworthy that I’ve ever done has come to me by letting go of the desire for control, focusing on the right activities and trusting God to deliver the outcome how He sees fit.

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    Don’t get me wrong. I feel that we are all called to take action and use the talents God has given us. However, we need to focus on the diligent activity, not the results. Ultimately, we only have a few things that we should put our focus on and let God take care of the rest.

    Here are 3 areas of daily focus:

    1. Your Attitude

    After the economy took a major dip in 2008, my father was in a board meeting for a Fortune 100 company. The CEO was going around the table reaming all the VPs for their numbers being off target. The gentleman sitting next to my dad was smiling ear to ear as the CEO berated his way down the line of senior executives. Once he set his fierce eyes upon the smiling man, he ripped into him, “I don’t know why you have that silly grin on your face. There is nothing to be smiling about with your numbers either!” Then the man stood up and calmly replied “Sir, no disrespect. But you can yell and scream at me all day long; however, there is nothing you can say or do that will take my positive attitude away from me.” Then the brave bold man confidently sat down. The CEO’s demeanor changed on a dime and he shouted with enthusiasm, “That’s right! We need more of you to have an attitude just like this guy!”

    You determine your attitude every day. Your attitude is a choice.

    2. Your Schedule

    We are called to be productive and serve other people. The best way to serve other people is to be organized, focused and proactive. At Southwestern Consulting, we work with hundreds of different companies all across the country and we find the #1 thing that people need help with is controlling their schedule and time. The best approach is to be diligent and plan how you are going to spend every minute of your most precious resource you’ve ever been given, your time. The key is to not get caught up in the trap of being busy to just be busy. Wasting time and wasting your talents is a waste of your life.

    Be proactive, not reactive. Understand your priorities. Set your schedule and stick to it!

    3. Your Activity

    There is a massive difference between people who “work hard” and people who “work smart”. Typically, people who “work hard” measure everything in how long they spend doing something. They think that a 3-hour meeting is a good thing because the person listened to them gab on for that long. Typically, people who think they “work hard” do end up focusing on results and measure everything they do based on the results they are or are not seeing. Therefore, they do not experience peace and joy when working because they are focused on results, that is something they cannot control.

    The rare individuals who “work smart” are the ones who focus on being efficient and effective. They work referrals/word-of-mouth marketing; they gather intel before engaging someone in a sales situation; they find ways to shorten the sales cycle and are excited about spending less time with people and serving them as fast as possible, and not wasting the prospect’s time, as well as their own time. They focus on productive activity and not wasteful, unproductive time.

    When my wife was a little girl, her father would make her re-vacuum the stairs if she missed a spot. He would tell her, “It doesn’t matter how hard you work up a sweat if you don’t get the job done right. You need to work smart and get the job done right the first time.”

    Letting go of the uncontrollable is a scary thing because in order to truly let go we, first must look long and hard into a mirror and admit what it is that we don’t want to let go of. Most of the time, the people, things or results someone is trying to control are stemming from a much deeper-rooted issue that manifests itself in the form of control. Living in truth and admitting our imperfections, wounds from others, personal sins and mistakes and asking for forgiveness is the beginning of letting go. Next, is putting a plan and accountability in place to change our behaviors to ensure that we don’t keep repeating the mistakes that are causing the need for control. Lastly, we have to fully submit to God all of our anxieties and worries and focus on being thankful and loving those around us. Once we let go all of the uncontrollable, life becomes more fun! The grass is greener, the sky is bluer, and everything tastes sweeter. Just let it go.

     

     

    Dustin Hillis is the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is an expert in understanding buying, selling and management behavior styles and how to identify them and adapt to people the way they want to be communicated with. He also specializes in writing efficient and effective Customized Sales Scripts/Word Tracks.  Mr. Hillis consults companies on creating Compensation Plans, Recruiting Systems and Sales Strategies. Dustin is the author of the book Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking and co-author of Speaking of Success along with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield


  • How Bad Do You Want It?

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Some want it badly, whatever “it” may be for them, success, a goal or a win. Some don’t. Others say they do but can’t seem to make things happen.

    Why is it that some people do and some people don’t? I do know, it just seems to work that way. A better question, however, might be what does it look like to want it more?

    Here’s some insight. My good friend, mentor and role model Rick Takahashi is constantly asking me and those he mentors “How Bad Do You Want It?” Rick and I first connected through our Surf Ministry called Water at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA. As the leader of our Men’s Group, I could go on and on about his character, heart for people and humility, but I will go with humility to introduce him. You see Rick has some credibility to lead a group of surfers because he is a USA Surf Team Rider. Yup, Rick’ is a humble guy, so I will brag on him a bit. In 2012, he had a perfect season, winning every contest in NSSA, including Westerns and Nationals. In 2016, he won 1st place in 10 National Finals! He is also sponsored by a slew of companies like Rusty Surf Board, Oakley and Dakine, just to name a few. All this to say, he is the best surfer I know and a Top Level Competitor!

    rusty_team_rick_takahashi

    Rick told me, “Jay, I just want it more than the next guy. I push for that extra mile in training and I do more! There are a lot of surfers that are more talented than me, but I know I just have to be better than the next guy for a few critical moments.”

    As a sales coach with Southwestern Consulting, I love to see the parallels one can draw from professional sports like Surfing to things like business success and sales.

    Three Keys I learned from Rick:

    Be Disciplined and Keep Good Focus! – Have specific goals and create a solid routine around that. Know that there will need to be a sacrifice! And if you can see the prize you will pay the price. Know what it takes to win! What are you going to give up to reach your goal? So many people want to do well, yet they are not willing to give up their free time. They still want to sleep in or just be comfortable. Many times you only have to sacrifice for a specific amount of time, like a season. Know when to push, because it pays to win.

    Hustle! – Train/study harder than the next guy! Have a healthy sense of competition because it’s real. In anything you do, if you’re not going to get after it, someone else is! Don’t compare yourself, but be a competitor. Note- it’s not just winning but how you win. Be Dominant!!

    The big one…

    USE YOUR BRAIN! – Hustle with your mind, not just your body. This is what it really means to be a student of the game. Don’t just study to study. Learn and study to have a competitive advantage. Have a winning strategy. Know how to play the game, know the rules and find out the best ways to win!

    Using your brain helps to take some of the emotion out of the equation. Don’t just react to the situation or event that is occurring. Slow down and think…what can I do better here? What can I control? What did I learn? What can I do differently?

    How many times do we go around in circles wanting to win or do better or overcome a challenge but never seem to gain any ground? Rick said so many surfers just do the same thing, they use the same board every time and they get the same results. He said, “I am constantly thinking… What is the best board to use? Why? Can I surf that spot ahead of time? What do I need to look for in the conditions? What tweaks do I need to make to have a competitive advantage? Etc.”

    Let me encourage all of you, use your most powerful advantage… Your Brain!!

     

    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.


  • Being Present In the Moment

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Recently a man was taking a picture with his smart phone and backed off the ledge of a cliff and died. Being present in the moment can be the difference between life and death. Being present in the moment can be the difference between staying married or getting a divorce. Being present in the moment can be the difference between your child growing up feeling loved or alone. Being present in the moment can be the difference between winning someone’s business or losing the deal.

    The greatest gift you can give someone is your attention.

    When was the last time when you were in a room and everyone was engrossed in their cell phones and not paying attention to their surroundings? Can you recall the last conversation when the person you were talking with was looking over your shoulder and not making eye contact with you and you could tell they were listening to less than half of the things you were saying? When was the last time you were barely engaged in a conversation? Of even worse, you only focused on looking good by trying to impress the other person by talking about yourself, and not caring to ask the other person questions about themselves, resulting in a balanced conversation. People who are more focused on being interesting versus being interested will always have a difficult time fostering authentic relationships.

    3 Levels of Not Paying Attention

    Level 1. Attention Deficit

    There are a large number of people in this world who are naturally wired to be on the go and cannot sit still long enough to ask questions and listen. While this might be a gift or a curse that God has given you, it’s still not an excuse not to be present in the moment. Some individuals with extreme cases end up taking medication for ADD. After being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I was prescribed medication which caused me to experience hyperfocus. It also caused me to also experience negative side effects that caused me to stop taking the drugs. I found that after years of practice I could control my ADD and hyperfocus when I put myself in the right environment with no medication.

    Level 2. Addicted to Technology

    Smart phones are making us stupid. The world is addicted to their phones. A large number of people are spending a majority of their time on their smart phones. Between Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blogs and email, everyone is living a virtual reality versus living in real time. The most interesting man in the world (in my favorite Dos Equis beer commercial) says “I live vicariously through myself.” Life is beautiful. All we need to do is put down the technology and pay attention and see the real time Instagram-worthy things all around us.

    Level 3. Consumed with Oneself

    When someone is so consumed with himself or herself that they don’t care about other people, they enter another level of not being present in the moment. Think of the last time you went to a dinner or had a meeting with someone and at the end of the time together you knew everything about them and they knew nothing about you? Do you have friends who don’t really know anything about you? Are they really your friend? If someone is so consumed with how awesome they are, it will be difficult for them to be present in the moment and have a genuine conversation with you.

    Now that we’ve identified the 3 levels of not paying attention, let’s discuss how to be present in the moment.

    The first step in being present in the moment is to slow down and take a deep breath. Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Who always wins in Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare? The tortoise wins every time! Pay attention to your breathing. By simply taking a few deep breaths, you will slow your heart rate down and you’ll be able to be more present. Just by simply slowing down, you will start noticing things that are beautiful all around you that you may have never noticed before. I love how my 4-year-old daughter, Haven, always notices any flowers and makes us stop and look at them and smell them. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

    After you’ve learned how to slow down, start working on being grateful. Every day either when you wake up or when you’re going to bed take out a piece of paper or a journal and write down 10 things that you are grateful for in your life that day. Throughout the day, pray or affirm your gratitude for all of the little things in life. When good things happen to you, don’t get over excited and when bad things happen to you, don’t get overly upset. Always stay even keeled in your emotions and grounded in thankfulness and gratitude. Just be thankful to be alive and healthy every single day. Everything else is just a bonus!

    Get a better routine. Wake up and go workout, read some affirmations, eat breakfast and then maybe check your email for 30 minutes and then put it away. Then have a scheduled time in the middle of the day to check email and technology, then one more time at the end of the day. Checking email 3 times per day and social media one time per day should be enough! We do not need to be consumed by our social media all day long. Our relationships are suffering if we are addicted to our devices.

    Finally, get over yourself. No one cares how awesome you are. Emotional midgets are the ones who care so much about what others think about them that they only want to talk about themselves. We need to honestly care about other people, ask questions and listen. We need to empathize with other people’s pains and struggles. Focus on maintaining eye contact, look for the non-verbal communication to make sure that what they are telling you is the whole story or, if you need to, keep asking more questions to get them to really open up and tell you what is really going on.

    At the end of the day, we are all called to love one another. There is no way we can show love if we are too busy being busy and consumed with our own selfish human nature. This has been and will continue to be a struggle of mine. Hopefully, you will join me in the pursuit of loving other people and being present in the moment.

     

    Dustin Hillis is the Co-founder of Southwestern Consulting. He is an expert in understanding buying, selling and management behavior styles and how to identify them and adapt to people the way they want to be communicated with. He also specializes in writing efficient and effective Customized Sales Scripts/Word Tracks. Mr Hillis consults companies on creating Compensation Plans, Recruiting Systems and Sales Strategies. Dustin is the author of the book Navigate: The Art of Not Thinking and co-author of Speaking of Success along with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield