The power of thought is immense.
We have the ability to shape our lives, to mold our characters, and to forge our destiny.
It starts with thinking and our ability to control and manage our thoughts. Left unchecked, our thoughts will shape our lives based on external stimulus. With disciplined thought, we become the shaper and the maker.
As Buddha stated, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts.”
The power of thought is immense.
All that we are.
♦ The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. I consider success to be a moral obligation. Cardone’s 10X Rule reframes the idea of success. It gives you the justification you need to aspire to conquer. To dominate and to rule. People are afraid of declaring their true goals. They aim to have just a little bit. They want some success but they don’t aspire for more. 10X thinking is about aspiring for 10X of what you currently have. Cardone makes it an ethical issue, he feels that he must have success. It is his duty to be as successful as possible. This mentality makes sense. The more successful we are, the more we can contribute to the world. The more we have, the less dissatisfied we will be sidestepping that all too common life of mediocrity. It also keeps you hungry, striving for more, which is the hidden key to lifelong happiness. The American dream produces mediocre and unsatisfied citizens that choose to block out reality (Netflix, Hulu, Prime, repeat), or to live a shadow life where reality is replaced with stimulating outlets (drugs, alcohol, infidelity). Choose to think bigger and bigger until you reach 10x thinking. Only then will you obtain a pure domination mentality.
♦ Play Big by Jen Welter. Lessons in being limitless from the first coach in the NFL. Also, the first female to play in professional football outside of the kicker position at a whopping 5’0. Play Big is her story of how she made it in a predominantly male sport. Her recount of her time playing women’s professional football is a testament to determination and grit. There is almost no respect for women’s professional football and it would have been easy to give up and continue with a successful business career. It is especially tough to keep going when there isn’t any real possibility of continuing to make it to the next level. There was no guarantee that Welter would have made it to the NFL as a coach because she was the first one to break that barrier. She has a degree in sports psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology which is one of the reasons why I chose to read this book. I wanted insight into an active application of sports psychology, which shows with her thoughts on greatness: Greatness is not an accident. Greatness is a choice you make over and over and over. And when you choose personal greatness, it becomes a part of who you are.
♦ Calico Joe by John Grisham. Grisham is one of my favorite novelists because he is a master at crafting a character. His legal thrillers have sold millions of copies all over the world because of this fact. His characters have complicated histories interwoven with deep flaws which brings flavor to the plot. I breezed through his first three megahits: A Time to Kill, The Firm, and The Pelican Brief, fascinated by the interplay between each character. Calico Joe is Grisham’s first try at America’s pastime and it is another great read. Many of his other non-legal thrillers built insightful backstories around the game (Playing for Pizza) but Calico is about baseball and those roots run deep. Again, he builds characters that are so relatable its as if he lived these lives over and over again. How does he gain these insights? His ability to mine characters in this sense is what makes him a great storyteller and is what makes each of his novels worth reading.
♦ Genghis: Bones of the Hills by Conn Iggulden. I read the first two books in this series last summer and was happy to finish this saga on the world’s greatest conqueror. Genghis is someone I look up to, not necessarily as a conqueror, but as an innovator, warrior, and learner. He didn’t set out to conquer the world, it was the result of a process. Bones introduces some new challenges for Genghis, as he faces formidable fighters that he must completely destroy and not integrate into his own Army. He also faces the challenge of ruling over a city, something he is ill-equipped to do since it goes against his beliefs that have made him powerful thus far.
Cities make people weak, he recognized, so why would he want to rule over a weak nation? He is older and must deal with his legacy and the legacy of the Mongol Nation. Iggulden delves into complex relationships, which brings a sense of humanity to the Mongols and showcases some of the flaws in their system of ruling. Making the transition from battle leadership to governing is perhaps the toughest leadership task in all of history. How many others have failed and who else will fail in the future? After reading Bones I was inspired to revisit one of my all-time favorites: Extreme Ownership.
♦ As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. Among the classics for self-development and positive thinking, As a Man Thinketh trumpets the power of thought. The book of Proverbs (23:7) proclaims, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
We are literally what we think and our character is the complete sum of all of our thoughts. Positive action is the stem of positive thought. Suffering and inner struggle is the stem of negative thought. Our life, who we are, starts within us and then it becomes us. As Allen states, we are made and unmade by ourselves, that we are in fact the masters of our own thought, the molders of our character, and the shapers of our condition, environment, and destiny. To gain complete control of our life, we must learn to gain control of our thoughts. Knowledge of ourselves is the key to unlocking cause and effect: patient practice, investigation, and utilizing every experience as an opportunity to learn leads to understanding, wisdom, and power. Awareness leads to power.
♦ How to Win at the Sport of Business by Mark Cuban. Cuban is a brash executive, rising to stardom as a tough commentator on the TV show Shark Tank. However, just like every other self-made man, he spent his early days building a knowledge advantage. Cuban’s personal brand is built around professional sports; however, he was an early adapter in the technology field. He would often outperform other businesses simply because he took the time to read the manual and understand his products. When he was starting off, he had almost no computer background and wasn’t particularly smart (cognitive intelligence, for this reference). I can get an advantage in any technology business. Of course, my wife hates that I read more than three hours almost every day, but it gives me a level of comfort and confidence in my businesses. At MicroSolutions it gave me a huge advantage. Check out my post The Edge, Two Lessons, and 12 Rules from the man himself.
♦ CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide. I am re-reading this as part of my preparation to take the CrossFit Level 2 Trainer course. The articles in this guide consist of the meat and potatoes of the CrossFit philosophy, with some of the articles dating back to the roots of the movement. I actually remember reading some of the foundational ideas back in 2008 when I was just starting my journey into functional athletics and worldwide sport of fitness. It has been an amazing ride, seeing firsthand the transformation of a small idea online to what it has become today. The CrossFit Games is now a national spectacle and athletes from around the world are training for hours on end in hopes of one day being crowned the Fittest on Earth.
In Pursuit of Excellence