The Ultimate Checklist to Make You Level Up (Part 2)
This is a continuation from part 1 released on April 8th.
I took a minor left turn on how I wanted to approach this second piece of the level-up checklist series. This installment digs into the major questions that can have a transformative impact on your life.
I am a firm believer that one question, one moment, one program, one book, one meeting, or even one blog, (Wink wink) can change the next 5 years of your life.
We are all playing the infinite game of You. vs. You. Consider this short article as a quick whiteboard session on how to make half-time adjustments if you are feeling a bit behind on the scoreboard.
The Ultimate Checklist that Forces You to Level Up (Part 2)
Read Part 1 HERE.
14) Do you practice a morning and evening ritual of excellence? The first two hours of the AM, and the last hour of the PM should be part of a system that leads to being the greatest you. Building the life you deserve.
Your morning and evening rituals are like bookends to your day. They set the introduction and closing of everything that happens during those precious 24 hours.
Essentially, a day in your life is like a single page to your memoir. Every series of pages will frame certain chapters in your life. Each chapter represents a different version of you in a different era. These eras may include a different mental state. A different focus. A different emotional state. A different vision of success. Ultimately, creating a memoir that can be left as a legacy piece to inspire your family, your circle, or even the next generation.
And it all starts with your morning and evening rituals. Those two anchors will influence everything that happens between the "hours of distraction." Once you open yourself to the world, you expose yourself to a cyclone of chaos. Be it your phone, email, kids, text messages, traffic, etc. You put yourself at the mercy of reacting to anything that tries to disturb your peace.
Personally, I believe those "ritual" hours should be spent in solitude. Mentally and physically preparing you for anything that the world can serve you. Building yourself into a specimen that nothing can destroy. Equipped to handle the unexpected and adapt at a moment's notice.
Create a ritual that starts with movement, mindset, and mindfulness. End the day with reflection and a reset. Seeing gaps on where you could have improved. Setting yourself to do better the following morning.
And no matter the type of day. Start and end with gratitude. Be grateful to open your eyes in the morning and equally grateful to close them at night. No matter the storm.
Such a simple philosophy. Yet, few people commit to these game-changing practices. If there is one thing that can change someone's life in a short period of time, it's committing to these rituals.
15) Have you ever asked yourself the transformative questions, "Would you hire you and Would you follow you?"
I once told an employee if you could hire anyone in the world to do your job, would you hire you?
They sat there perplexed and couldn't answer for 10 seconds. They finally responded "No." I asked them why not, and they quickly listed the areas that they lacked as a professional.
I replied, "Then why are you expecting me to give you more as an employer if you can't even honor your own expectations as a professional. You wouldn't even hire yourself to do your own job. But you aren't afraid to ask me for more. Whose expectations are you really meeting?"
In life, your main job is to give all you can with the gifts you have been given. To be useful. To be honorable. To be great. To be kind. To serve. To reinvest back into the world with the unique genius that was only bestowed upon you.
This is why the questions like, "Would you hire you and would you follow you?" are so transformative. It usually gives you a huge slab of humble pie. It kills your ego and gives you a global perspective on where you need to improve.
If your back was against the wall and your actions could influence the ones you love, would you follow you?
If you were trusted to lead your company, your community, or even strangers, would you follow the person you are right now?
If your family was lost and needed someone to lean on mentally and emotionally, would you follow you?
If you had to trust someone to execute a task that could change the course of your career and the people you loved, would you trust yourself to deliver the goods?
If you could hire anyone in the world to do your profession, would you hire you?
Once you can answer these questions with an undeniable "YES.", you have arrived. It's not arrogance. It is about having the confidence that you have the intangibles that separate you from the pack. The qualities that make you a leader in your community, your profession, or your industry.
You deliver on your word. You can be trusted in a pinch. You are dependable to the utmost degree. Not just for the people you love. But for yourself. Sadly, most people don't just let others down, they let themselves down. Which is what matters most in the grand scheme of things.
Live your life in such a way that "You would follow you."
16) Have you let your mood become your character?
Your mood is how you feel. Your character is who you are.
One thing passes in time. One thing stays with you forever.
There are moments in your life where we will feel fear. But feeling fear and living in fear are two different things. This is how mood and character separate themselves. And this is why it is dangerously important to not make your mood become your character.
Sadly some people let the "mood" of fear last far too long. Their fear is no longer temporary, they become a fearful person. It becomes their character, a part of who they are. Ultimately leading to a timid life with wasted potential.
The transition from mood to character is not only limited to fear.
The mood of laziness can lead you to become a lazy person.
The mood of sadness can lead you to become a depressed person.
The mood of hopelessness can lead you to become a hopeless person.
The mood of self-pity can lead you to become a person who drowns themselves in their own sorrow.
If you want to level up, never let your mood turn into your character.
Never let a temporary emotion become your identity.
Never let a string of mistakes become your reputation.
Never let a poor habit become your lifestyle.
17) Are the quality of your questions influencing your quality of life? Are you even asking yourself the right questions?
Here is a shortlist of questions to ask yourself before you make a decision:
- Is it essential? Do I really need X to feel fulfilled?
- Is this activity taking me closer or farther from who I want to become? The life I want to design?
- Is this choice serving my life or hindering my life?
- How will I grow if I do this?
- What can I lose if I don't do this?
- What can I control right now? What can't I control right now? How do I move based on this?
- Have I earned it? Or do I still need to pay my dues?
- Is this my fault? Am I hurting my own chances of success?
- Has anyone else achieved what I am trying to achieve? If so, how do I learn from that person's journey? What can I add to it? What can I take away from it?
18) Are time and impact the most important currencies in your life?
Most people see status and materialism as the main currencies that validate their worth. People hate to admit it, but it's an ugly truth that plagues the human condition.
We have all had issues with attaching our identity to wins and losses, public admiration, the size of their house, the number of commas in our account, or the number of followers on social media. "The outer scoreboard" as Warren Buffet likes to call it.
You need to flip the switch. Start valuing time and impact as the most important currency on earth. This mental paradigm shift will lead to a cascade of personal victories beyond comprehension. You will create a winning streak in both your professional and personal life.
You will suddenly start maximizing your time by producing a staggering amount of work. Leading to executed projects, high-quality output, enhanced self-confidence, and more professional success.
You will suddenly start focusing on impacting others by being more present and more attentive. With the intention of helping them. Leading to more intimate relationships that give back to you as much as you give to them.
You suddenly start creating moments with the people who matter most to you. Taking nothing for granted. Appreciating every second you have with the people who light up your soul. Knowing that it can all be stripped away in the blink of an eye. Don't lose out on making another memory. This alone will lead to a sense of fulfillment and happiness that we all crave as human beings.
All this can happen by putting time and impact as the main currencies you aim to take stock of.
As the Greek philosopher, Theophrastus once said, "Time is the most valuable thing we can spend."
So, spend it wisely.
As Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said and what you have done, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
So, make them feel your intention to serve.
Make those two things your northern star, and you will never feel unsuccessful.
Part 3 of this trilogy will round everything out as the "Ultimate level-up checklist" comes to a close. As Jay Z says, "Grand opening. Grand closing."