The Seven R’s of Superior Thinking!

By Jernavis Draughn

Pat Riley, once said, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.” The quality of our thinking determines the quality of our life. Thinking is the number one skill set for all humans. Our decisions dictate our destiny. I’ve explored this topic previously in personal vlogs and blogs I’ve written in the past. There are four major keys to success in anything that you are trying to accomplish and improve. Mindset, clarity, focus and concentration. Your ability to control your emotions, understand where your thoughts are stemming from, why you are having these thoughts, how you can change and manage them. This requires you to live as a “lifelong student”, where you embody a “growth mindset”. Dr. Carol Dwyeck created the term and believes, “becoming is better than being.” Therefore, lasting fulfillment and happiness lives in consistent growth.

Nothing changes until we change our thinking. You can’t change what you can’t see. We live in an age of unlimited information that can help or hurt our thinking process. The beauty of the time we live in, is we have a plethora of books, psychologist, mentors, and people that have more wisdom than we do, in the area were having struggles in. Brian Tracy, one of the leading influencers for high performance has been a virtual mentor to me for almost 3 years. In his book “Get Smart, he explains the seven R’s of superior thinking.

  1. Rethinking: Requires you to take timeout and stand back to look at your situation objectively.
  2. Reevaluating: Practice zero based thinking, “knowing what I now know, would I conduct these same actions or behaviors again.”
  3. Reorganizing: Look for ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your operations by moving people around or changing your decision-making process.
  4. Restructuring: Moving your people and resources around into the 20 percent of activities that can account for 80 percent of your results. “Revenue Generation”
  5. Reengineering: Continuously seeking ways to simplify your work and life by delegating, outsourcing and downsizing.
  6. Reinventing: Commit to CANI, “Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.”
  7. Regaining Control: Taking massive action towards the area we want to improve in or accomplish.

If you look back at any of your failures, they all derive from the decisions we’ve made. You may have reacted before thinking about the outcome of the decision or over thought something, which led you to not taking action. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. I’m constantly focused on making better decisions in all aspects of my life. Our thoughts become our reality. We are in a daily battle with our mind. To win this game of life, you have to master your mind. “Winston Churchill once said, “behavior is the only truth.” Be mindful that your mind is the control system to every decision and action you take. You have to work on it like a muscle daily to strengthen it for any battle that you may face.

Quote of the day: “As a man thinketh, so is he.”-James Allen

Is social media hijacking our BRAIN?

By Jernavis Draughn

The average user touches their cell phone 2,617 times per day. The extreme users touch their phone 5,400 times per day. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online (paywall), compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight. American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago. These statistics state we are not only addicted to our phones, but all platforms of social media. Dr. Nicholas Kardares once said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

The average user touches their cell phone 2,617 times per day. The extreme users touch their phone 5,400 times per day. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online (paywall), compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight. American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago. These statistics state we are not only addicted to our phones, but all platforms of social media. Dr. Nicholas Kardares once said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

The growth of technology has helped us reconnect, build, network, sale, influence and inspire people worldwide. The benefits of how social media platforms push our lives forward have been remarkable. We now are able to directly email or call job opportunities. We can connect with lost family members and friends that we haven’t communicated in years with. We have access to a plethora of information from, how to fix, learn, lose weight, and so much more. Is social media hurting us more than helping us? These statics show that our phones, ipad, and technology in general has become a digital drug.

We live in an insecure selfie taking by the second world. Why do we need to post thousands of pictures of ourselves online? Are we yearning for approval? Are we hurting inside? Are we scared to face the truth of who we truly are? Are we not happy with ourselves and we need others to affirm us? Eric Ries, says people are addicted to vanity metrics. “It’s an endless pursuit of vanity metrics that stroke the ego.” I totally agree with him, by how we strive to receive likes, repost, shares, messages, etc. These notifications provide dopamine shots that give us instant gratification and self-confidence. The interesting notion is, self-confidence cannot be loaned to you, it has to be discovered and worked on. Self-love equals self-confidence. Our society’s personal identity and attention is being created and consumed by this digital drug, called social media.

In the book Attention Pays, by Neen James, she discusses how social media and technology is affecting our society in some negative ways. Our time and attention has been stolen by social media platforms. We only have 24 hours in a day and if most people are on social media sites for 11 hours or more, how can we reach our full potential in life? How can we create strong relationships with people, if our attention is elsewhere? How can we thrive in our career field, if were not focus and making time to grow? Social media and most online platforms are created to steal your time. That’s how they create revenue by clicks, adds, gossip news, interviews, and games. How can you steal your time back? Value yourself more? Here’s five ways that I’ve implemented in my daily schedule to intentionally secure my time and reaching my full potential.

1. Turn off ALL notifications on ALL social media apps you have on your PHONE. You can’t buy more time, but you can spend it differently.

2. Create a morning routine, that doesn’t include using or looking at your PHONE for the first 60 minutes. Use your attention in a more productive way to start your day. This productivity habit will govern how your entire day will go. Ex: Read, listen to something educational, pray, workout, etc.)

3. Learn to check your email only 3-5 times a day. As an entrepreneur, I’m learning how to delegate any task that I feel someone else can do on the same level or better than myself.  Don’t live in reaction mode, where people are dictating where your attention is going.

4. Give yourself a daily time limit on how long you can use social media. What are you using social media for? That’s the question you need to answer? Is social media using you or are you using social media? Is social media helping rebuild, connect to a friend or family member? Is social media helping you grow at your job? Is social media helping you build your business or brand? Are you receiving new clients from your social media platforms? If you answered no to any of these questions, you should really think about why you’re using social media platforms.

5. Learn to LOVE yourself. Identity drives behavior. If you don’t know who you are or who you want to be, then your fall victim to looking and doing what every other social media model or star is doing to receive ATTENTION.

Quote of Day: “We don’t have choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.”-Erik Qualman

The 4 Keys to Self Confidence

By Jernavis Draughn

Confidence is the foundation to success in all facets of our life. How you do anything is how you do everything. We tend to believe that confidence comes and goes by choice. We live who we BELIEVE we are. So your self-confidence is connected to your personal identity. Therefore, our identity drives our behavior. Every action we take or doesn’t take is connected to the confidence that we innately have about ourselves. Our CONFIDENCE is shaped by the impact that we have on the world through the size of our goals, and the success of our personal vision for our life.

Where does our self-confidence originate? The answer is from our upbringing, family members, coaches, friends, teachers, music, movies and television. We are seriously affected by what we see. If were raised in a household that labels us as shy or an introvert, we tend to carry that identity with us as we grow older. If we are labeled by coaches as the best athlete on the team, we tend to display and hold that belief. This belief is increased as the coach gives more positive praises, and allows us to take more risk in the game than other players. In school if were labeled as the smart kid in class, we accept that label as a reflection of who we are, based off the belief of our teacher. The human race has been labeled since the beginning of mankind. As I always say, hopefully, it is the label that truly defines you.

Confidence is the corner stone to leadership. In order to keep bad influences from affecting us, we need to create a positive identity about ourselves that doesn’t connect to those negative vices that people or environments invite upon us. I finished a good read by Dean Graziosi, called “Millionaire Success Habits”. Dean discusses how success is connected to our self-confidence. Below are four keys to how I grew my self-confidence over the years. Check them out below:

  1. Courage. It’s not the absence of fear, but the ability to take action in the face of fear. Fear stunts our growth. The courage to take action is true freedom, which builds our self-confidence.

2. Commitment. There’s no lasting success without commitment. Foundations of success starts with our daily habits and rituals. You have to be committed to make success a routine. Commitment makes others believers which increases your confidence to keep going.

3. Belief/Faith (JD). Without belief or faith you won’t START. Faith starts with believing in the impossible. Success in anything is always belief driven. When you truly believe, no one can deter you from your journey.

4. Purpose (JD). I believe our purpose produces our profits. Purpose pushes you through the pain of failure and helps you become a better version of yourself. True confidence is built through enduring adversity.

 Self-Confidence inspires you to start when no one else believes. It keeps you focus, grounded, faithful, hopeful, visualizing, praying, understanding, learning and growing when times get rough. I believe these four keys to growing your self-confidence will help you reach your full potential in every aspect of life; relationships, career, business, spiritually, mentally, financially, physically and emotionally. Without confidence the journey of life will never start.

Quote of the Day: “The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you DO.”-Bill Phillips

 

 

4 methods to better DECISION MAKING!!!

By Jernavis Draughn

Our decisions dictate our destiny. The value of making the RIGHT decisions will determine the direction our life will take. We are influenced by our environment and our friends. Mathew Kelly states, “the people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards”. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves.” What was the last decision you made that turned out to be either a bad decision or a good decision? Take time to ponder or write down the decision you made and why that outcome came to life. Most of our decisions are made on autopilot. Our brain produces habitual behaviors that have been created over the course of our lives that drive our behavior. These programmed decisions create a sense of safety and comfortability that keep us from growing in most areas of life.

Looking at the “why” factor behind the DECISIONS we make, helps us discern the meaning behind them. I often ask, how will this decision I’m making affect my life in a positive or negative way. Then I weigh the pros and cons of me not making the decision to see if I’ll regret not doing it in the future. It is believed that good questions inform, and great questions transform. Consistent success is birthed in being able to make the right decisions. As you grow in your area of gifting, relationships, career, business and life, decision making should become easier to make. We should be students of life, where we are learning from the wrong decisions we made in our past.

In the book Crucial Conversations by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Patterson, Grenny, they discuss four of the best methods to making a decision in business, life and relationships.  

  1. Command Decisions. It’s not our job to decide what to do. It’s our job to decide how to make it work.
  2. Consulting Decision. A process whereby decision makers invite others to influence before they make a choice.
  3. Vote Decision. An agreed upon percentage swings to making the decision. 
  4. Consensus. Means you talk until everyone honestly agrees to one decision.

Our beliefs direct our direction in life, which plays an important role on why we make the decisions we do. If we can’t see a better future for ourselves, then we will be doomed to repeating the past. Self-confidence is directly connected to what we believe is possible in our life. Learn how to implement these styles of decision making into all aspects of your life. Remember, success is the result of decisions!

Quote of Day: “You can only have two things in life, reasons or results.”

5 things I wish I’ve learned before becoming an ENTREPRENEUR!!

By: Jernavis Draughn

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 12 years now and I feel I’m finally starting to figure this thing all out. The best teacher is EXPERIENCE. Today most people are attracted to the title of being an “ENTREPRENEUR”, because it’s the cool thing to do. This topic is being echoed across the masses on whether anyone can become a business owner? Do you have the mindset or even mentally fit to endure the consistent adversities that come along with being an entrepreneur. I’ve seen many try, stop, take a break, and fail throughout the journey. Some experts say, entrepreneurs are born with the DNA. Some psychologist believe it takes will power, ambition and drive to survive the storms. Some successful entrepreneurs believe it takes maniacal focus on a problem or mission that compels you to solving. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s simple, if your built to be an ENTREPRENEUR, you will be.

Here’s 5 things I wish I’ve learned before becoming an entrepreneur:

  1. Master LEADERSHIP. Everything in your business rises and falls on leadership. You can’t build or sustain a great company without committing to becoming a great leader.
  2. Communication is key. Learn how to lead with great questions. That’s where growth is birthed. When you take time to hear your clients and employee’s needs. We live in a world our questions create!
  3. Commit to lifelong LEARNING and Personal Growth. The moment I committed to learning everything I could in business, my life changed as an entrepreneur. Make growth your number one goal. Remember we will GROW into our next position, opportunity and destiny. It’s too late to prepare when the opportunity is HERE.
  4. Master SALES. I never knew the value of sales and how the best entrepreneurs make it an art. Meaning, I believe in my product or service so much that I will create a specific picture for you in the sales process that will solve your PROBLEM. I learned this from reading books and late in my entrepreneurship journey. Remember, everyone is sailing something. Hopefully, it’s positive, helping to move the world, yourself and family forward.
  5. Building SELF-CONFIDENCE. Our beliefs drive our direction in life. You don’t become an entrepreneur without self-confidence. Identity drives behavior. “Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership.”-John Maxwell

In conclusion, I hope this provides context to what you need to think about before making the decision to become an entrepreneur. Information is useless if you can’t use it. Whatever endeavor you decide to pursue, commit to it fully, and make sure it moves you on all levels intrinsically. The life of an entrepreneur is lonely and selfishly steals your time to ensure progress is intentional. People tend to think when you become an entrepreneur, you gain more freedom, but it’s totally opposite. You have to become strategic on where your time, energy and effort is going. Make sure whatever road you decide to take, the destination pulls you to reaching it no matter the road blocks you will face on your journey.

Quote of the Day: “It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the VISION does.”

Five Factors shown to IMPROVE your well-being

By Jernavis Draughn

What does well being mean? The dictionary defines it this way, “it’s the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous”. When do you feel the happiest or healthiest or prosperous in your life? What actions are you doing daily that creates a positive feeling in any of these areas? What we do daily determines our worth. When we live our core values we attract more things that gives our lives meaning. In the book “Think Small”, by Owain Service and Rory Gallager, they discuss 5 actions that will help improve your life’s well-being.

  1. Strengthening your social relationships. We become the people and things that we associate with most. We are the sum total of the 5 closet people we spend our time with. When we choose wisely the company we keep, our personal growth is expedited. Listen to only voices of value!

2. Getting healthier and active. Our body is our temple. We must feed our mind and body healthy fuel in order for it to perform at a high level.To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”-Buddha

3. Learning something new. Commit to lifelong learning. Becoming a person of value requires you to never stop growing. “Try Not To Become a Man of Success But Rather Try To Become a Man of Value.”-Albert Einstein

4. Being more curious. What types of things sparks your interest? What inspires and motivates you? What is another stream of revenue that you could focus on building? What can you do today that will help you reach that goal faster? The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life.

5. Giving to others. The secret to living is giving. We reap what we sow. In order to move forward we have to give back. The law of reciprocity means, when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. “We rise by lifting others.”-Robert Ingersoll

What we do today will either empower or restrict us tomorrow. We are creatures of habit and our well-being is connected to what we do daily. What we eat, the amount of work we accomplish, how often we exercise, and the people we connect with socially, emotional and spiritually. All of us have the same amount of time daily to produce the results we want in our lives. Take time out today to look at these five areas of your life to ensure they are meeting your standards on all levels. Remember, our time is our most precious gift, and all of us MUST be selfish with it.

Quote of the day: “Act as a master of your life by putting your health, well-being, and happiness FIRST.”-Marianna Olszewski

Why your Brand is your CULTURE…?

Today we are consumed with numerous social media platforms that sell us there brand and we buy in on their culture of services they provide. Facebook is a brand that creates a culture of CONNECTING us with our friends and family. Snap chat is a brand that allows us to post and send personal visual messages to our friends connected to our culture. Instagram is a brand that allows us to create a visual story using pictures to display our current moments and memories for people that connect with our culture. Linked-in is a brand that provides a platform to advertise and market our skill-sets to people we want to connect within our culture. Everyone today has a personal brand that defines who they believe they are or wants to become. Look at peoples Facebook, Snap chat, and Instagram pages. You will see their personal dreams, aspirations, values, perception, beliefs and purpose. We yearn for instant gratification, from likes, shares and comments from people we know and don’t.

Everyone today is a business. Employers will review your social media platform to gain clarity on how you represent yourself. Our personal brand is bigger and helps our business thrive in many ways. CEO’s that have a strong following and presence in the social media world have some of the most successful companies. The reason why your social media brand is so powerful with building your business is directly connected to the culture you’re creating. People buy stories. People want to know how you started the company, but more importantly “WHY”. It’s easier for a consumer or a fan to connect with you, when selling your story instead of a product or service. People want to experience your BRAND.

Why is Chick-Fil-A, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Amazon and Lexus all in the top ten companies list for best customer service ranked by (ACSI) American Customer Satisfaction Index. The reason is directly connected to the culture they’ve created within their company. The consistent employee training, hiring processes, benefits and leadership. People don’t leave companies, they leave PEOPLE. Leadership starts from the top. These companies have employees that buy in on the culture, mission, connect emotionally to the purpose and find enjoyment in their position. “PEC”, they have personal emotional connection, which has transformed them into passionate disciples that live the company’s core values.

Loyalty with your employees creates loyalty with your consumers. Tony Hsieh, one of the founders of Zappos once said, “Where culture thrives, passion follows.” Your company culture should drive your brand. No brand stands still, your either moving up or down. This goes for personal or company brands. Think before you post that next selfie, blog post, meme or message on any social media platform. That post will either empower you today or restrict you TOMORROW.

Quote of the Day: “What you build today will either empower or restrict you tomorrow.”

Confidence vs. Competence..?

Competence opens the door to confidence. The feeling of confidence comes after you’ve reached a certain level of clarity, mastery and competence in a particular area. That takes intentional purposeful practice. Let’s look at the dictionary definition of both words to gain more understanding. “Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.” Competence is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” We tend to skip steps on the road to mastery or simply improving. Some research say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Some say you can master or improve any area of your life if you commit to doing it daily.

Confidence is birth from the belief of your competence. Think about when you discover a new passion or hobby and the frustration you feel from the beginning learning phases. That thought is stemming from not feeling competent and confidence in doing it. Most people can’t overcome failure, which leads them to giving up to soon. The reason why practice makes better and repetition is the mother of LEARNING. We must invest time into building trust and belief within ourselves that we have the ability to produce better results. I’ve learned confidence and competence are both needed to reach your full potential in playing a sport, moving up in your career, public speaking, growing a business, learning an instrument or new language.

Here’s 5 ways to increase your confidence and competence:

1. Commit to learning, doing and improving that particular area of your life daily. What you do daily determines your WORTH.

2. Ask for feedback. Whatever you’re working on gaining more confidence or competence in, you will need to receive feedback on your progress and growth in that area. That’s the only way you can discern if you’re improving.

3. Mirror someone who’s better than you. To become great in anything, you have to see and know what it takes to become great. You might not have Steve Jobs, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Al Pacino personally mentoring you. We do have their biographies, interviews and books which they have given the blueprint to their successes.

4. Speak LIFE to yourself and others. We become what we think and say to ourselves. The game of life is: You vs You. Make sure you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to WIN.

5. Study, Do, Study and DO. It’s very simple, the best people in sports, entertainment, politics or business are studying and doing their craft on a consistent basis. They immerse themselves into that field where their unconsciously growing from the amount of time they are investing in it.

WE can never improve anything in life if we don’t make the decision to doing it daily. Growth comes from consistency. Consistency builds confidence and failure teaches competence. Failure is only feedback. We only grow from failure, which is the reason why “doing” is the only way to create confidence and gain competence in anything we want to improve in.

Quote of the Day: “Self-confidence is the memory of success.” – David Storey

 

4 Keys to CONSISTENT Success in ANYTHING!!

Is there a proven formula to achieving lasting success in any area of your life? I’ve read a great book by, Jim Collins called “Good to Great”. He states, “only a few people attain great lives”, because it’s so easy to settle for a good life. Some people believe that being successful is a choice. The decision to be successful is made when we raise our personal standards. What we do daily determines our worth. We need to have targets and goals that we are striving to reach, which intrinsically inspire us to grow. Money won’t make you or keep you fulfilled, and happiness leads to success. The feeling of purpose will be your fuel to keep your fire consistently burning. How can we ensure that we are intentionally reaching our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly potential? Listed below are four ways that I’ve learned from reading and researching what the most successful people do to achieve consistent success.

1. Out-Work. Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work HARD. Simply put, just out work everyone else. If people are not complimenting your work ethic, then you’re not fully committed to reaching your full potential.

2. Out-Last. The titan warriors live by this mantra, “Sweat more in training so you bleed less in WAR.” People only quit jobs, sports, positions, people, and things that they are not committed too. Pain is temporary, but if you quit, it will last forever. You have to endure the process in order to progress in any area of your life.

3. Out-Improve. Growth has to be your number one GOAL. Constant and never ending improvement is the only way your marriage, relationships, career, your company, your spirituality, financially, physically, and emotionally you will be able to reach your full potential. 

4. Out-Strategize. What you tolerate, your never change. We live in the world that our questions create. So the key is to continually think about how you can make your service, product, career, marriage, and relationships better. Make your better its best by taking time to strategize how you can intentionally create more value in those areas. “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”-Michael Porter

If you intentionally focus on growing in these four areas, 2018-2019 will be an amazing year!

Quote of the Day: “GOALS are not promises, they are COMMITMENTS!”

GREATNESS is a CHOICE…?

Jernavis Draughn

Everyone yearns to be known for something great. From an athlete, to your position at work, artist, performers, actors, academics, innovators, musicians, painters, and entrepreneurs. Anything that we invest our passion and time into, we desire to leave our imprint upon it. There is the belief that every job bares the signature of the last person who performed it. Muhammad Ali, claimed he was the greatest of all time even before he was crowned the title. Becoming great in anything starts with a DECISION! It’s a conscious choice to aim for that level of success. I believe YOU have to be affirmed by others before receiving that title, which is determined by your work, your resume and the results you created for yourself.

In the book, “Great By Choice”, Jim Collins, explains how the best companies sustain greatness for long periods of time. “Greatness is not just a business quest; it’s a human quest.” I found that intriguing, because we tend to stray away from using the term greatness. When was the last time you had a great meal, customer service, sports game, movie, or an experience that wowed you? Jim Collins discusses 3 key 10xer behaviors that organizations and individuals attain before becoming great: Fanatic Discipline, Empirical creativity and Productive Paranoia.

  1. Empirical Creativity, keeps your soul alive. You’re a creator. A visionary. Meaning you find happiness in conducting practical experiments.
  2. Productive Paranoia, keeps you alive, on your toes, consistently sharping your sword. You’re committed to lifelong learning and constant improvement.
  3. Fanatic Discipline, keeps you focused on goals, accountable for your actions and intentionally moving forward.

When you’re committed to becoming great in an area of your life, the goals you’re chasing become purposeful and meaningful. Your mission is bigger than you! 10xers remain productively paranoid in good times, recognizing that it is what you do before the storm comes that matters most. Andrew Grove, once said, “Success breeds complacency”, and “Complacency breeds failure”. “Only the paranoid survives”, they are completely aware that the ship could sink anytime. When you have “Productive FAITH”, a slogan I use for anyone that is going through hard times or striving to reach life goals. Productive Faith becomes your compass through the storm. The term means you’re walking with blinded faith, while productively working hard to get out of the rut you’re in. You have committed to “CANI”, Constant and Never Ending Improvement. Lastly, you must embrace consistency and change, both at the same time. The road to GREATNESS takes hard work, strategic decision making, having a great team, constant innovation, and purposeful goals. What road are YOU driving on?

Quote of the Day: “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”-Michael Jordan