Be Phenomenal – Five Lessons Learned From Eric Thomas
On Saturday, my sister and I went down to London to see ET (Eric Thomas) speak for the first time in the UK. For those who don’t know who he is, check out one of my earlier posts “How Bad Do You Want It”. There was so much content packed into his speech I’ll just tell you the important bits I took from it (There will most probably be a recording of it at some point in the future).
1. Be proactive, not reactive, to take advantage of opportunities.
Everyday we are presented with an average of 10 opportunities. Some people may take advantage of one or two a day, while others take advantage of ALL opportunities as they don’t know how long it will be around for.
“You have to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity….”
This quote puts each presented opportunity into perspective. Opportunities come and go, they aren’t around forever waiting for someone to grasp them, you have to take advantage of them in the window of time that they are around. Also sometimes the opportunities that you take advantage of may be preparing you for that opportunity of a lifetime, so don’t waste time.
2. Once you have “The Blueprint” an idea can never be destroyed
Imagine your dream house, it’s just an idea to begin with, but when that dream becomes a reality it then has it’s own “how to” (blueprint) to duplicate the process. This means it doesn’t matter if someone burned your house to the ground because you would still have the blueprint and experience to rebuild it and probably do it EVEN BETTER! This applies to anything in life, once you have a blueprint it doesn’t matter everything got taken away from you, you would have the experience to recreate what you once had (This explains why people who made millions and go bankrupt come back even stronger and better than ever – for example, Donald Trump).
3. Fail Forward
It took ET 12 years to get a 4 year degree because each time he failed he got back up. He failed his English literature exam the first time with an F, then he failed the next time with a D. Now most people would see the fail as being a failure and quit on the spot, but he saw it as improvement and it was another step closer to a pass. Another view is that being successful and winning all the time can make people soft, so when they feel pain or defeat for the first time it could be like being punched for the first time in their life…..as they taste blood on their lip they say to themselves “I quit!”. Below is a clip from the talk in London that explains it better – I loved the Batman analogy….makes me want to watch “Dark Knight Rises” again.
4. Your WHY has to be more powerful than a punch
The story of Mike Tyson vs Buster Douglas. Up to this time no one ever knocked Mike Tyson out in a fight and everyone was afraid of him, until Buster Douglas did it, then everyone could knock Mike out. But why was Buster Douglas able to do what all other boxers believed was impossible? Because he had a BIG reason why! His mother believed that he would knock Mike Tyson out and would go around cheering for her son saying “My boy is going to knock Mike Tyson OUT!”. At the time Buster Douglas may not have believed in himself or that it was possible, but when his mother died he dedicated that fight to her so when he got knocked down he had a reason to get back up!
5. Time is sensitive
When we think of time we usually think of a clock but that is an illusion and we need to replace that image with something else. You see, when you think of a clock, you think of a circular object that has no end – it is eternal. However, your time on this earth is not eternal so really we should visualize an hourglass instead. Each time we wake up to start a new day we should imagine turning over that hourglass as it counts down another day of our lives. By procrastinating in our day we are showing no respect for time or for our own lives, everyday we have a chance to help inspire/change someone’s life.
From the whole event, the last lesson stood out the most. By just transforming the way we see the seconds in a day really puts our time on this earth into perspective……we must make the most of the 24 hours given to us each day.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
— Steve Jobs
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