Work Harder on Yourself Than You Work On Your Job


The U. S. Navy Seals have a motto: The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.

Muhammad Ali put it this way: “I run on the road long before I dance under the lights.”

In the Bible, God spoke to Jeremiah, a boy destined to be a prophet, about using the days of peace to fortify his mind against future battles. Jeremiah 12:5: “If you have raced with people on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble and fall down in a land of peace, how will you manage in the thick thorn-bushes along the Jordan?”

Louis Pasteur observed, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

And, if you will allow me one more, Colin Powell nailed it. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”

You’ve probably conquered the “working hard” and “learning from your mistakes” portions. How are you doing on preparation?

If you haven’t already picked up on it, preparation is a key component of a successful business. All the work is performed ahead of time, not during the actual transactions of the day. Consequently, the person who is best prepared achieves the most favorable outcome and keeps the business on track

Make a plan. Then make it work.

I wonder how people go through life without having goals, or setting goals without establishing a plan for achieving them.

When I hear someone say, “I plan to…” I ask them, “So, when do you plan to do that?”

Quite often, the answer is “someday” or “one of these days”—or something equally vague, like “after the kids are grown” or “once my investments improve”.

A goal without a deadline is merely a wish.

A deadline without a plan is useless.

You can make all the wishes you want, but you will never progress toward achieving them if you don’t create a step-by-step plan with a timeline. That’s how you hold yourself accountable. Sales professionals set goals. They either achieve them or they don’t. When they don’t, they adjust their plan and their actions in order to do better.

It takes energy to make a plan, and commitment to work the plan. It takes just as much energy to wish for better circumstances. But which one will improve your situation and your life?

A wish is like a long sigh. It’s just expelling air in a “woe is me” sort of way.

A goal is a deep breath. You inhale the good air—like your desire and the reason behind it—and exhale a cleansing breath. You energize your body with deep breathing. In the same way, you energize your life by creating goals and following through with a plan to reach them.

Movement creates motivation. Stillness causes stagnation.

Stop sighing. If you want to change your life, change your life plan.


Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit

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