Seven habits to learn FASTER and STUDY BETTER!

By Jernavis Draughn

Learning is the beginning to creating intrinsic value and wealth. They say the more you learn, the more you EARN. In the world today with everything changing at a rapid pace, the faster you learn, the faster you earn. All learning is state and self- dependent. Being emotionally present and focused is one of the keys to remembering what you learn. School does not teach us how to learn, which is another reason why I think people do not enjoy the process of learning. The VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic) learning system model, is a methodology that we have implemented into our year-round leadership development academy. Depending on your learning style, you will use one of these methods more often. The goal is to discover which style helps you to learn at a faster pace and more efficient. This process is called meta learning, which means learning how to learn.

In the book “Limitless, by Jim Kwik, he discusses the three-step limitless model: Mindset, “The What”, deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions we create about who we are, how the world works, what we deserve, etc. Motivation, “The Why”, the purpose someone has for taking action. Lastly, Method, “The How”, a specific process for accomplishing something especially an orderly, logical, or systematic way of instructions. One of the key takeaways from the book that provided me great value was, the seven habits to learn faster and study better.

  1. Employ Active Recall. Process which you review the material you read and then immediately check to see how much you remembered.
  2. Employ Spaced Repetition. Review in morning and night. Test yourself on what you remembered.
  3. Manage the state your in. All learning is state dependent.
  4. Use your sense of smell. Light rosemary, peppermint, or lemon while reading, studying or learning anything.
  5. Music for the mind. Try listening to Baroque music.
  6. Listen with your whole BRAIN. Be present and focus completely on the task at hand.
  7. Take note of taking notes. Be clear on the “why”, regarding the notes your taking.

Brian Herbert is coined for saying, “the capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice. We live in the information age, where the more you know in your field of work is tangible value.

Becoming a lifelong learner is the start of you taking control of your life’s destiny. We are  all prisoners to our choices. Try for one week to implement learning, reading, or watching something educational into your daily routine. Remember progress equals happiness and life is GROWTH.

Are you playing to WIN in LIFE, CAREER, or BUSINESS?

By Jernavis Draughn

If you are not taking score you are just PRACTICING. Life is a fight for territory. Playing the game of life to just play is meaningless, playing to win is intentional. It requires thinking, planning, preparing, and taking massive action. It starts with a strategy. Deciding what winning looks like for you in all facets of your life. What is winning? Is it earning a certain amount of income? Is it spending quality time with family and friends? Is it driving a certain type of car or living in a certain size house? Is it being able to travel the world? Is it having financial freedom? Reasons reap results. What is your “why’ behind everything you do? What will push you to take consistent and strategic action daily?

Being a retired athlete, you ultimately learn that winning is the only option. Your conditioned to compete and to leave it all on the table every time you show up. I have learned winning in anything in life starts with EFFORT, by doing the work. When you implement strategy behind effort and work ethic, more opportunity arises. Robin Sharma is coined for saying,“what you do daily is your life in miniature.” When you discover your why, you will find the WAY. Strategy is a choice. The purpose of systems is to ensure consistency. In the book, “Playing to win, how strategy works”, by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, explains how strategy is one of the major keys to consistently winning in business.

Lafely and Martin go over five questions to help you build a strategic business plan.

  1. What is your winning aspiration? What is the purpose of your company?
  2. Where will you play? Partnerships? Online? Brick and Mortar? Territories? Target audience?
  3. How will you win? How will you win on your chosen playing field?
  4. What capabilities must be in place? Who will you need? Who will you have to become? What will you need to learn?
  5. What management systems are required? What type of system do you need to create consistent results?

Here’s some key takeaways from the book, Playing to win, that can help grow your business:

-Do not try to capture all segments.

-Look for a place to play that will enable you to attack from unexpected directions.

-Winning means providing a better consumer and customer value equation than your competitors do and providing it on a sustainable basis.

-Differentiation. We offer products or services that are perceived to be distinctively more valuable to customers, with the same cost structure that competitors use.

-Measurement provides focus and feedback.

Strategy is a way to win. Having a competitive advantage helps you create consistent success. Playing to win in anything, means being more intentional, goal oriented, focus, strategic, mission and purpose driven. See strategy as a process rather than a result. Remember success has no FINISH LINE.

Quote of the Day: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” -Arie de Geus

What is your company BRAND type?

By Jernavis Draughn

Jeff Bezos once said your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re NOT in the room. Over the last year and a half, our company “Athletes Global” has become more focused on what we want our brand to stand for. We want to align our “what”, with our “why” and our “how”. So our teammates echo and behave consistently with our mission and culture. Your brand is your BUSINESS. The operations of a company will impact the culture, by shaping how people work. The culture also impacts operations by making it work effectively and efficiently. Your culture defines your leadership. It actually affects how you provide your services, even down to the packaging of your products. It also affects customer service, how you win, and how you respond to failure and conflict. All of this defines your BRAND.

In the book “Fusion”, by Denise Lee Yohn, it introduces how integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies. Here’s nine different brand types that companies are defined by.

  1. Disruptive Brands. Completely changes the entire industry. Examples: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Walmart
  2. Conscious Brands. Mission to make a positive impact on society. Examples:  American Red Cross, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, and LinkedIn
  3. Service Brands. Deliver high quality customer care and service. Examples: Chic-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and BMW
  4. Value Brands. Offer low prices for basic quality products or services. Examples: Walmart, Subway, Amazon
  5. Innovative Brands. Consistently introducing advanced and breakthrough products and services. Examples: Tesla, Disney, Apple
  6. Performance Brands. Produce and deliver superior performance and dependability. Examples: Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Cisco
  7. Luxury Brands. Higher quality at higher prices. Examples: Mercedes, Hermes, Louis Vutton
  8. Style Brands. Differentiated by the products or services look and feel. Examples: Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks
  9. Experience Brands. Differentiated by the experience they provide. Examples: Disney, AMC, Hilton, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks

What is your company brand type? What is your employee and customer experiences? How would they rate them? Your organizational culture is largely shaped by its purpose and values. Becoming clear on how you want you’re Brand to be defined, will help build a clear vision, mission and a company culture that is committed to success.

Quote of the Day: “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”-Walter Landor

Why PRACTICE = PROGRESS!

By Jernavis Draughn

Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit”. Practice is the foundation to growing in any facet of your life. If you are struggling with a subject in school, the only way to improve is to practice the subject more. If your business is failing to grow quarterly, then you need to implement new strategies and practices that will help you drive daily sales. If you are in a relationship that lacks communication, the only way to improve that area is to practice carving out time to communicate more on how you feel about each other and the relationship. It can be a sports, hobby or skill set, the only way for it to improve is by practicing. Practice makes permanent.

I’ve done research and found deliberate practice is one of the best methods for consistent growth. Coined by Anders Ericsson, deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance. Practicing with a purpose, while receiving feedback. We mistake movement with achievement. Our daily actions often do not lead to an outcome or result that we genuinely want. They say when you walk in purpose, you will collide with destiny.

In the book, “Practice Perfect”, by Doug Lemov, he explains forty-two rules for getting better at getting better. Here’s ten of the rules that stood out to me from the book that will help you grow in any area of your life.

  1. Encode success. Engineer practice activity so that the success rate is reliably high. Practice getting it right.
  2. Practice the 80/20 principle. Identify the 20 percent of things you could practice that will deliver 80 percent of the value.
  3. Unlock creativity with repetition. Automate skills to free others cognition to be more creative.
  4. Correct instead of critique. Feedback automatically helps people get better.
  5. Isolate the skill your trying to improve on. Focus on that one skill until you see improvement.
  6. Replace your purpose with an objective. Create measurable and manageable objectives and goals for your program daily.
  7. Make a plan. Plan with data driven objectives in mind and plan to adapt.
  8. Make each minute matter.
  9. Model and describe what to focus on.
  10. Let the mind follow the body. Learn skills to automaticity. Master your craft.

Practice equals progress. There’s a quote from the book by Dan Heath that exemplifies the value of practice. “The enemies of practice are pride, fear and self-satisfaction”. To practice requires humility. It forces us to admit that we don’t know everything. To practice isn’t to declare, ‘I’m bad.’ To practice is to declare, ‘I can be better.” When you fall in love with practicing, you have opened the door to discovering your passion, which can lead you to finding your life purpose.

Quote of the Day: “Deliberate practice equals progress.”

Seven Habits of a Successful LEADER

By Jernavis Draughn

Leadership is not a title; it is a choice. You make the decision to become a leader. I believe everyone has leadership qualities, even if they don’t hold the title of a leader. The best leaders have mastered the art of doing these two things, inspiring and impacting people lives. We live in a world with over 7 billion people and we are consistently meeting, listening, and conversating with people daily. The impact or how we inspire people with our words and actions leave a lasting impression on them. Maya Angelou once said, people don’t remember what you say, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them FEEL.” Leadership is influence. You must lead with your life. Your words must match your actions. The reason why Leadership is a lifestyle.

Athletes Global is a leadership development organization. Our mission is to develop future leaders through our services we provide. We consistently preach this to our teammates to help create a clear vision and the purpose of our organization. It takes a leader to build another leader. You must lead with purpose, be open minded, understanding, calm, positive, give praise, affirm, provide clarity, reinforce, and consistently repeat the purpose and vision of our organization. I’ve failed so many times as leader, that I’ve fell in love with learning everything I can to improve my leadership skills in all facets of my life. Learning is the foundation to self-improvement. Leaders are readers. New information can change your current situation. You first must commit to growing as leader and seeing the value of doing it.

In the book The Ultimate Competitive Advantage, by Shawn D. Moon and Sue Dathe-Douglass, they discuss the seven habits of a successful leader.

  1. Proactive. They take initiative and responsibility for results.
  2. Purpose. They begin with the end in mind. By having a sense of mission and vision that is clear, compelling and infectious.
  3. Put First Things First. Focus on getting the right things done. There’s a difference between important task vs. urgent task.
  4. Think Win/Win. Provide mutual benefit by respectfully seeking to benefit others as well as yourself. Givers Gain!
  5. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Empathize in order to understand people and their perspectives before sharing your own. “You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand.”
  6. Synergize. Leverage the gifts and resources of other people. Give autonomy and allow risk taking and creativity.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Keep getting better and more capable, never standing still. Commit to lifelong learning.

Winston Churchill, once said, “Leadership is the ability to go from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm.” It’s an infinite game that you commit to improving on for life. You lead by example, learn to speak last, listen more than you speak, be transparent, support and help people grow. They say there’s no success without a successor. What leaders have you created, helped, impacted or inspired? I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou that will help summarize the purpose of this blog, which says, your legacy is every life you touch.”

Quote of the Day: ” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”-John Quincy Adams

The ONLY TWO things you don’t have control of in your LIFE…?

We all are in a personal battle against TIME and CHANGE. How we value our time will produce the change we want in our lives. They both are symbiotic with each other, from the standpoint that we don’t have any control over the speed or impact on how they will affect us. Change is inevitable, but progress is not. We know time never stops for no one. You can plan how to use time effectively and manage change. Most people don’t plan to fail but fail to plan. Without a plan, time and change will ruining you. The only defense against change is planning what we want our lives to look like. Don’t wait for change to happen. Don’t be a victim of change. The key is to change before your force too. People often say, “I don’t have the time to do it”, or “There’s not enough hours in the day”. We all have victimized ourselves to believe we don’t have enough time to complete something. In the world we live in today, our time is freely being stolen from us. Time is the one of the most valuable assets we have. By the grace of God if you woke up today, your blessed with the opportunity to maximize your time to the best of your ability.

You can’t save time, but you can invest it wisely. What are you investing your time in daily? Do you have a plan for your life? Do you have daily, monthly or yearly goals? Are you afraid of change? What have you changed about yourself, habits or character lately? How do you define change? I believe real change is a change in behavior. Meaning your actions, mindsets, and decisions are different. When was last time someone has complimented you about a positive change you’ve made in your life? Your life is your karma. It’s a direct reflection on how you have used your time.

Here’s 3 easy ways to manage time and change:

  1. Monitor daily where your investing your time in the most. Where your focused goes, your energy flows. Keep track of your daily activities and accomplishments
  2. Plan your day the night before. What gets measured gets done. I’ve learned what gets written down gets accomplished.
  3. Change before your READY! This is something I’m working on DAILY. As a leader, in business, life, and relationships. Focus on improving daily in every facet of your life. Commit to “CANI”, constant and never-ending improvement.

Robin Sharma, once said, “what you do daily is your life in miniature.” We all are given the same 24 hours daily. What we do with our time will essentially determine our future. Make change your daily vitamin. Look at change in a positive light and yearn to make it habit. Les Brown once said, “the graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” Learn to maximize your time, while accepting change with an open mind to continually grow.

Quote of the Day: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” -Charles Darwin

The 6 PURPOSES that all companies fall underneath!

Your purpose will produce your profit. When you find your why, you will find your way. Michael Hyatt, says people loose there way, when they loose there why. The reason why you do anything will always determine the outcome. Your reasons will reap the results your trying to achieve. Tony Robbins discusses we all have six core human needs that drive us to do what we do in life; Love/connection, certainty, uncertainty/variety, growth, significance and contribution. When we learn what intrinsically motivates us, only then we can continue to ignite that fire to keep going. Learning what makes you feel fulfilled and happy eternally will help discover your purpose.

Here’s a few questions to help you discover your purpose. What service would you do for free? What does your dream job look like? What would you be doing? If you could design and create your life today for what you would be doing in the next 24 months, what would it be?

In the book The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni he examines the six purposes that every company will fall underneath.

  1. Customer. This purpose is directly related to serving the needs of an organization’s customer or primary constituent.
  2. Industry. This purpose is all about being immersed in a given industry.
  3. Greater Cause. This kind of purpose is not necessarily about what the organization does, but about something connected to it.
  4. Community. This purpose is about doing something that makes a specific geographical place better.
  5. Employees. This purpose is not about serving the customer in the industry, or the region, but rather about the employees.
  6. Wealth. This purpose is about wealth for owners.

As the leader of Athletes Global, I’ve learned that your purpose will drive the team forward. Over the last year, we’ve became maniacal focus on what our mission and intent is for delivering our services and products. Our purpose is to develop future leaders through educational, sports and fitness services. We fall underneath the greater cause and providing a great customer experience. Clarity is power, and purpose trumps strategy. When everyone is clear on the organizations mission, everyone grows in the right direction.

Quote of the Day: “Your purpose defines your priorities.”

What ZONE do you live in….?

By Jernavis Draughn

Being a retired athlete, I have always had methods to get into my personal zone in the game of basketball. I had pre game rituals that I believed helped me mentally reach peak levels of focus to perform at a high level. Now being in the game of business, I’ve learned there’s not much of a difference regarding the mindset approach to high performance.

I believe our competence creates our confidence. The success in anything you do is predicated on your experience of being in the situation before, personal belief system, and ability to face fear and still take action. When I was playing the game of basketball, I would strive to get in my “2-3” zone on a consistent basis. It’s a place where you’ve seen Michael Jordan win a championship when having the flu, Tom Brady bring the Patriots back in the fourth quarter to win a super bowl or Steve Jobs reinvent the entire mobile industry by creating the “iPhone”.

Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who has coined the term “Flow”, also known colloquially as being in the zone. The mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. That is, by learning how to enter the state of flow you can increase your productivity, be more creative, and be happier, all at the same time. Personally, speaking when I have reached a flow state, I’ve played my best games and produced my best work. Now moving into the public speaking and leadership training space, I often feel myself completely immersed in that moment with the ability to give more. I think reaching a flow state, starts with preparation. Repetition is the mother of MASTERY. Tony Robins says, people are rewarded in PUBIC for the years of practice they did in PRIVATE! Great performances are connected to your personal belief that you can accomplish something monumental, because of the practice, work, and effort you invested into your passion.

I read a great book by John Maxwell called, Leadership Shift, and he discusses the four different zones we live in.

  1. The Coasting Zone. I do as little as possible.
  2. The Comfort Zone. I do what I have always done.
  3. The Challenge Zone. I attempt to do what I haven’t done before.
  4. The Creative Zone. I attempt to think what I have never thought before.

You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself. We all have greatness within us. It’s our choice to tap into that place internally to discover it. The zone state can be connected to all facets of our life. Relationships, spiritually, career, business, sports, health, fitness, or financially. Take time to honestly answer these questions. Do you do as little as possible to reach your potential in these areas? Are you still doing what you always done or are you intentionally growing in these areas of life? Lastly, are you focus on reaching your full potential in all areas of your life? Remember the only walls that confine us are the walls we have BUILT.

Quote of the Day: “Chase your Potential”-Jernavis Draughn

The Root Causes of Negative Emotions

By Jernavis Draughn

All behaviors are belief driven. Where do our behaviors and emotions stem from? We are a direct reflection of our home foundation and the environment we were raised in. Our peer groups, mentors, teachers, instructors, and coaches have left an imprint on our intrinsic personal landscape. We become who we hang out with most of the time. We pick up behaviors, habits and mindsets of the people closet to us. Angela Oswalt, who is a licensed clinical social worker explains during early childhood, children start to develop a “self-concept,” the attributes, abilities, attitudes and values that they believe define them. By age 3, (between 18 and 30 months), children have developed their Categorical Self, which is concrete way of viewing themselves in “this or that” labels. For example, young children label themselves in terms of age “child or adult”, gender “boy or girl”, physical characteristics “short or tall”, and value, “good or bad.” The labels are used to explain children’s self-concept in very concrete, observable terms.

Our self-concept, the preview of our identity is formed by 3 years old. With that being the case, the root causes of where our negative emotions are birthed, start from the time we are born. Over the course of our life, we pick up more baggage and beliefs that don’t serve us. In the book Get Smart, by Brian Tracy, he breaks down the 4 root causes of negative emotions.

  1. Rationalization. Negative emotions are created when we attempt to explain away a situation or behavior in our lives that is unpleasant for us. We rationalize things with excuses.
  1.  Justification. We justify our negative behaviors by explaining them away in some fashion, we tell ourselves we are entitled to experience this negative emotion, because of something that someone else has done to us or to someone else.
  1. Judgementalism. Some of our negative emotions come from our tendency to judge other people. We tend to judge others instead of self-reflecting within ourselves.
  1. Hypersensitivity. We are hypersensitive to the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of others. We see criticisms and problems where they don’t exist.

I’ve learned the key to limiting negative emotions, while improving your self-esteem, confidence, reliance, respect is to take full responsibility for everything you are and all you will become in life. Remember, “Life is always happening for you, not to you.” Accountability is the foundation of all emotional, spiritual, mental, physical and financial success. Forgive yourself first and then forgive everyone else you feel has hurt you in anyway. Life begins with FORGIVENESS. Negative emotions will always be there to make your day eventful. How you respond and react to those emotions, will determine how happy your life will be. 

Quote of the Day: “Don’t ever stop believing in your own transformation. It is still happening even on days you may not realize it or feel like it.” -Lalah Delia

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