Looking forward and looking back, to know where to stand

2011 is getting closer and closer to it’s end and most of us start getting our pen and paper ready to write our goals for the next year. This is a great way to measure and live up to the expectations with SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound).

But to my point of view SMART goals will only improve us considering where we are at, and I believe that we must look back, forward, and only then look at where we are at. Being there, have our heart spell the answers for us instead of logic.

There are 3 questions I’d like to propose for this analysis and I hope they work for you as well as they did for me.

1. What have you done in the past that you loved? It is very important to identify what do you really like. If you really take the time to close your eyes and think of the things that you really love, that really make you happy, then you will identify an array of things that you like, but most likely 2 or 3 of those thoughts will be higher in your top of mind. This perspective aims to find things that make you happy.

2. What do you want to do for the next 5 – 10 years? Think of those things that made you happy and give each a fair chance. Now ask yourself if you see yourself dedicating your life to that for the next 5 – 10 years. Does it sound realistic? Do you really want that? Is you answer maybe? Or hell yeah!? How about 20 years? Is it still fair? Will happiness last that long? This perspective should filter off things that you are enthusiastic about from those that you are truly passionate about.

3. If today was the last day of your life, what would you want to be doing? The answer that comes out of your head here is in reality your final answer. With these 3 questions you should really know where you are going, because we all know that if you don’t know where you are going, chances are you are going to end up nowhere. With this in mind, start getting those 2012 goals ready. This is your mission in life, this is the vision you have of you, now get those 2012 goals ready and find out how to get here, 1 year at a time.

Wether you are a sports or businessperson, or anyone reading my blog, there is no excuse for you or for me to not keep on improving, to not follow our dreams, to not keep on fighting, to not do what we love.

And don’t forget to enjoy life while you’re at it.

All my best,

Arturo

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com

Burn Your Bridges

The term is widely known, but mostly in the opposite direction. “Don’t burn your bridges” is used often, but let me go back a little bit for those of us that are unfamiliar with the term.

In 1519, Hernan Cortes went into the battlefield, and motivated his men into winning. He was so convinced that they could accomplish the feat that he order the ships to be burned. That meant, that there was only two ways they were going to finish that battle: Victory or death. At the end, they conquered the Aztec Empire, a population of more than 5 million people, with no more than 1,000 soldiers. There is some controversy about the details, but the fact is that Cortes was so determined to win that battle that he knew that failure was not an option, going back was not an option.

Now, if it worked so well for him, why do we sell so much the idea of “don’t burn your bridges”?

I think it is because as humans we tend to play safe, because it is easier, because it doesn’t involve risk, because it doesn’t alter our state of mind, it allows us to sleep at night. I suppose that’s good, but most successful people I know don’t like playing safe, they like the adrenaline rush, that fire burning through their veins when risk is felt. I listen to successful people and they even enjoy not sleeping, having their head around things, and getting up from bed ready to take on the world. They know it’s not easy, but they also know that the rewards are unlimited. I heard Floyd Mayweather saying he gets up at times at 2 am in the morning just to squeeze another run in, because he doesn’t want to leave anything on the table, he doesn’t want to look back after a fight knowing that he could’ve done more. 50 Cent said that when he was not filming his movie he was doing the soundtrack, and when asked when did he sleep he answered “Sleep? I don’t sleep!”. So you tell me, what do you think is better? Playing safe? Or burning bridges?

I guess you never know until you do it. In business they have a different term, they call it “reaching the point of no return”, that is, when you are so compromised financially into something, that you can’t go back. Donald Trump had to go all in when he went broke. He reached the point of no return, and that’s the only way he got back in track. Robert Kiyosaki went all in in his business because he had no choice, and came up high. Javier Hernandez said himself he was ready to quit and decided to give it a last shot, burned his briges, now he plays for Manchester United, arguably the best football club in the world.

I don’t know if this works or not for everybody, but for me it has. When I choose to burn my bridges onto something, I know its game on, I know that now I’m in a position where I can’t go back, I can’t change to option B, I am all in and I must follow through. I must believe in my vision 100%, because when you burn your bridges that’s all you have. It is you and your vision, no one else will understand it, no one else will give a rats ass if you fail, but if you succeed, then you will have glory, then they’ll say, I knew you could do it and if you are committed, you will achieve it. So go find your battle, and burn your bridges, I am here to tell you today that even if you fail, you will feel good about yourself, you will find out who you really are. That feeling will get you up to fight another battle. And when you succeed, you will know that you gave everything you had, because you burned your bridges, you were willing to die in order to win, that’s how bad you wanted it, and you won.

All my best,

Arturo

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com

The heart of a Champion

Last week I had the opportunity to run a Marathon, and I must express my respect to the more than 32,000 souls in San Antonio.

It is truly unbelievable what all of these people do, I saw a parade of 32,000 winners, I smiled, my heart shrank, I felt confident, at times arrogant, then I felt pain, became humble, cried, and felt victory, glory, success.

This is not an “I rule” blog, but it is a blog to prove you that everyone of us has a heart of a champion, but to use it, we must find it.

If you never put your heart to test, you will never know what you are made of. I went in to that marathon being a person, and walked out being a champion. That’s what that day did for me. Today if you tell me something is too hard, something is too painful, or can’t be done, I will wrong you and if you persist I will wrong you again, because after the battle I fought last Sunday, I believe that there is nothing that can’t be done.

So what’s your challenge champion? What are your goals in life? Where is your heart? Have you seen it? Have you felt so much success that you cried your heart out? Have you prepared towards a goal so much that you wanted to succeed more than you wanted to breathe? Have you struggled and said to yourself “If I quit now I will always be a quitter, win today and be always a winner?” Have you acknowledged that pain is temporary, but glory is forever? If you have, and only if you have, then you can declare yourself a champion.

I believe that last week in my battle of San Antonio I ran 13.1 miles with my legs, and 13.1 with my heart. I have tried to explain the feelings that I had in that battle, but it is just too hard to explain. And I must say, like jar-heads do, this has marked my life forever. Like I said in my last week’s blog, I made a commitment with myself to win that day and every day of my life. I can’t say it was easy, I mentally took a knee just to think of how big the feat was, but I succeeded, and that’s all that matters now. That taste of success tops everything that went on that day, and I feel great to share this with you because I want to inspire you into finding your heart, pushing it, and accomplishing each and everyone of your dreams. Everything is possible, if you put the right amount of effort, and all of your heart into it.

It is in you, the heart of a champion. Find it, conquer it, it’s yours.

Best,

Arturo

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com

At the peak of my motivation

This is probably an unfamiliar post, as I always try to focus on others rather than me. But this time I’d like to share something from within.

I have been getting ready to run my first marathon for a couple of months now, and I think I have never felt this way before… I feel invincible.

How did I get to feel this way? Practice, dedication, motivation, vision, and most of all, mental strength. The rest is history.

I must say, it all started with a dream, which then became a goal and in 2 days it will become a reality. I am constantly motivated, but never before the way I am today. Was it easy? Hell no, is it worth it? Hell yes. There are way too many thoughts in my mind right now, but one is that I cannot seem to get out of, and that is winning. When you push yourself hard everyday, work hard, forget about everything else and focus on your end state, you might just fall in love. Today, I am in love with winning, and I am making a promise to myself to win every day for the rest of my life.

Thank you for all of you who follow this blog, who follow me in my personal and professional life. I can’t wait to share with you my experience. I will do this for you, for me, and my love for winning.

I invite you to work hard on something that you are passionate about, and declare to win every day of your lives, because winning is a lifestyle. Life will never be the same again, never give up.

All my best,

Arturo

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com

Inspiration: How Bad Do You Want It? (Success)

I ran across this video on the web, and I thought I’d share it with you. Two things I’d like to emphasize from this video are the following:

– “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”

He then goes on comparing this to an asthma attack. Having asthma myself made me think how I felt under those situations, the only thing you want to do is get a breathe of air, you are not thinking about what’s cooking for dinner, not thinking about your next basketball game, no. You are only thinking about how to get that wind back into you. Your mind is focused on that single action, and that’s what it should be when you want to be successful.

– “Don’t try to quit, you are already in pain, you are already hurt, get a reward from it! Don’t go to sleep until you succeed!”

This is true for business and sports, sometimes we are so close, and things get tough, and then some of us quit. I’ve been in those situations too, but I tell myself, “If you quit now, you will always be a quitter, do this now and you’ll be a winner”. Whatever happens, life will always find a way to try to sabotage your plans, and if you quit, then life will beat you, life will be the winner, you won’t.

Bottom line, if you can ignore everything else and focus on whatever it is that you want to do, and stay the curse until success, then you will find that person inside of your that you never met before. There is a beast inside of you waiting to be unleashed, waiting to find that challenge and tackle it, waiting hungry for success.

Enjoy this great video:

Best,

Arturo

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@me.com

Think Different, thank you Steve Jobs

If you know me personally, then you probably know already that I am not only a marketer by education and profession, but by conviction and passion. When it came to Steve Jobs, among all of the things that he amazed us of was one that I would like to particularly share with you, one that really ticks my mind every time I see it, one that goes beyond business, sports, Steve Jobs or Apple itself, the advertising campaign “Think Different”.

This video is self explanatory as you watch it, but as you are, and if you would roll with me on this one, think of each and everyone of the men and women seen in this advertising video, and try to picture what went through their minds when they did what they did. Now think of these 3 questions extracted from the original transcript for the ad campaign… “How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?”, and to answer these questions in your mind, try closing your eyes as the little girl does at the end of the ad…

Can you see something? If you do, share with us please in the comments section. What she is trying to say to all of us is that it all starts with a dream. Steve Jobs started with a dream, and he put a dent in the universe. He changed the world as we knew it, he defied the status quo, he was a rebel and a misfit, and he stayed foolish and hungry.

The people in that ad were the  crazy ones and misfits of the past, but you and I can be the ones of the present and future that change the world. If we can just dare to think different.

All my best,

Arturo

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com

Are you PASSIONATE about what you do? (by Thomas Michael Hogg)

Passion is defined as a powerful emotion being enthusiastic for something. Career coach Curt Rosengren describes passion as “the energy that comes from bringing more of you into what you do”. This emotion and energy is a key element to be successful in business.

Examine if you really are passionate and bring more each day on your job, responsibilities, and projects. Your employees will notice and your results will show, if you are so. I truly believe that passion depends on you. It is about your attitude to find this passionate energy and you should first focus to find it on what you currently do. Then, amplify your vision and thoughts listening to your inner voice what to do next. But it is crucial to be passionate and always do more because THE MORE YOU DO, THE MORE YOU CAN DO.

Thinking about sports, the man who definitely has had this energy and passion was Muhammad, even until today.

“Parkinson’s is my toughest fight. No, it doesn’t hurt. It’s hard to explain. I’m being tested to see if I’ll keep praying, to see if I’ll keep my faith.”

Four facts on what Ali reached due to his exceptional passion:

1960 – Ali won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Rome.

1965 – He was the youngest boxer (age 22) ever to take the title from a reigning heavyweight champion.

1981 – Before retiring Ali compiled a 56–5 record and became the only man to ever win the heavyweight crown three times. His fights with Joe Frazier and George Foreman were among boxing’s biggest events.

2005 – Muhammad Ali receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. In the same month, the $60 million non-profit Muhammad Ali Center opened in downtown Louisville. In addition to displaying his boxing memorabilia, the center focuses on core themes of peace, social responsibility, respect, and personal growth.

So, what may we learn from champions like Ali?

To be really passionate and successful we have to CHALLENGE THE NEW AND THE IMPOSSIBLE.

This passionate attitude represents Ali until today. As in sports, besides preparation, one has to go through plenty of positive and inspirational mental training to push one to excel in business. Therefore, think about your passion because it will help you to overcome obstacles and succeed in the long run.

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them.” Muhammad Ali

Watch this video and remember to bring more every day.

To read more about the other key elements to be successful in business click on the following link. 4Ps for business success: Passion, Performance, Profit, and Purpose.

About the author:

Thomas Michael Hogg (Click to see LinkedIn profile)

Skype / thommy_c