How to Stay Ready
Yesterday I attended the Stay Ready Conference hosted by Eric Thomas & Associates. Attending personal growth conferences is one of my favorite things to do. And so many come through Houston which is a blessing! Similar to other conferences I’ve attended here are some of my key takeaways:
Be Who You Are
Willie Moore, Jr. graced the stage to tell us to be who we are which is a message I often spread as well. Willie says that you can’t be blessed while you’re pretending. If you pretend like you have it all together no one is going to reach out to help you. They think you don’t need any help. There’s opportunity that comes with being vulnerable so be who you are.
“I declare right now that you will win on purpose.” – Willie Moore, Jr.
Your Lineage is Counting on You
“If I don’t do what I’m supposed to do my lineage won’t be able to do what they’re destined to do.” – Inky Johnson
Inky Johnson said that our lineage is counting on us. This thing is bigger than us. Other people down the line will build upon what we’ve done. Our lives will open or close doors for them.
In order to stay ready so that your lineage can be ready you have to keep the right perspective. Inky has experienced a lot in his life. He lived in a house where his uncles sold drugs. His mother worked at Wendy’s. He could have ended up in jail like his relatives. He could have worked a menial job. He could have lost it. He could have gave up, but his perspective has allowed him to persevere through even the biggest challenges.
He went to college when people told him that he wouldn’t. He made it to the NFL. Early in his career his arm was injured and paralyzed. Once again he could have thrown in the towel and lost all hope. But he persevered and now he has built a career inspiring people to be their best.
“If I can get the right perspective about the situation nine out of ten times I can beat the situation.” – Inky Johnson
Inky says that we have too many options. He tells the story of how he went to pick strawberries with his family. Some of his family members were like, “I’m not feeling this” and went back to the car. They gave up because they could. But our ancestors picking cotton couldn’t just walk away whenever they got ready. That option wasn’t available to them. But we have a plethora of options and we can exercise our right to give up whenever we get ready.
“Until it’s do or die you not really in it.” – Inky Johnson
Our ancestors only had two options – do or die. We’re not really in it – our goals, our future, our business, our marriages, etc. – until it is do or die. Inky says we have to approach it with everything we’ve got. That’s how you stay ready. “It’s the spirit of no option and no choice.” It’s simply do or die. There’s no retreating and no running.
“There’s no special talent. It’s grit.” – Inky Johnson
Not only is our lineage counting on us, but our ancestors are counting on us. “At what point do we honor the sacrifices of those who came before us?” Inky questioned. So many people have made sacrifices that we might be here. So many people didn’t give up on picking cotton that we might be here. They persevered. They prayed. And that perseverance and prayer made it possible for some of us to even be alive. So when do we honor them? When do our actions and decisions line up with the opportunity we’ve been given? It’s time that we take the platoon and run the next phase of the race before passing it on to our lineage.
“People burnout because they forget what they represent. The lineage.” – Inky Johnson
There’s so much more than I could say from Inky’s talk, but there were three other speakers. But I do want to end with a few notable quotes:
“If you’re foolish enough to have that type of faith God will put you right in front of it.”
“As long as you make sure someone else’s life is okay God will always make sure your life is okay.”
“Adversity makes some people break and some people break records.”
“Make the decision that you won’t be denied and you become dangerous.”
Know Where You Are
Jeremy Anderson took the stage next. He said that he didn’t ask for the opportunity to tour with Eric Thomas and Associates. Yet, at the same time he did. As he began to put the work in and do a little self reflection the call came to him. He asked for the opportunity with work and consistency.
“In order to get to the next level you have to know where you are.” – Jeremy Anderson
Jeremy says that sometimes the way we view ourselves is not the truth. He tells a story of how he thought someone had photoshopped a picture of him. In the picture his hairline was so far receded someone must have doctored it. His wife lovingly let him know the photo was legit. He decided it was time to go bald. Lol.
Our image of ourselves is sometimes not the reality. This can actually work both ways. Jeremy focused on how we are blinded to our shortcomings. There’s also a such thing as being blinded to our gifts as well. We must recognize who we really are and where we really are so that we can figure out where to go next and how to get there.
“Always grateful, but never settling.” – Jeremy Anderson
In order to grow we have to pull up all the negative stuff. Similar to gardening. We have to get rid of the weeds. But if you can’t even acknowledge the weeds in your own life and being you’re not going to be able to pull them up.
Jeremy says not to ask why the grass is greener on the other side. Ask what they are doing to make it greener. Are they fertilizing it? Watering it? Perhaps it’s even fake. You don’t need to know that the grass is greener. You need to know how to get your grass greener. You need to know what they’re doing.
At the same time focus on yourself. Be the best that you can be. Do what it takes to have greener grass. And be willing to look crazy for a while. Sometimes when you start pulling up the negative stuff you look and feel a mess. But that is only temporary. Being willing to temporarily look crazy will set you up for success.
“Be desperate to win and desperate to grow.” – Jeremy Anderson
How do you let go of the dead stuff? Tell yourself “I don’t do that no more.” Stop saying “I’m trying to quit.” Say you don’t do it anymore even if you’re still struggling with it. Jeremy used to do drugs and drink a lot. When he was quitting and people would ask him if he wanted to smoke a blunt he would reply, “I don’t do that no more.” Even though he really want to go smoke a blunt! And it worked for him. I forget the exact number but he’s been clean for years.
Some additional quotes from Jeremy:
“I told my wife I know how our story ends. It ends with us being rich…It ends with us being lenders and not borrowers.”
“Shaq’s feet look like they’re possessed by concrete. Are you willing to break your feet?”
“One day at a time. Today I choose to win.”
“People don’t buy dreams. They buy reality.”
“Don’t put too much power in your DNA. (As in my mom this or my dad this). Your DNA doesn’t determine your destiny. Your decisions do.”
Fear is a handicap
David Shands, CEO of Sleep Is 4 Suckers graced the stage next. I won’t spend a lot of time here because his talk was mostly business related and I don’t cover business training on my blog. The biggest takeaway for me even for non business owners was that fear is a handicap. He said it is a sickness. David brought up a website of phobias. I’m pretty sure that it was The Phobia List. There are hundreds of phobias on this website. There’s a fear of dancing (Chorophobia), a fear of responsibility, which explains some things, (Hypengyophobia) and a fear of telephones (Telephonophobia), to name a few.
When you look at it like that fear does really seem like a disability. If you have a phobia of responsibility can you see how that would disable you from living a life you love? So we have to be willing to get over our fears. He didn’t really go into details of the how, but identifying the problem is half the battle. According to David you have a disability. What is it? What fears are preventing you from staying ready?
Make it Happen
And finally the man of the hour, Eric Thomas himself hit the stage. His main message was we have to MAKE things happen. “Get ready to prepare to make oneself ready.” This means being proactive and not reactive. Eric says to measure how reactive you are in life vs. how proactive you are. He also says if you want to be a millionaire write down everything that millionaires do and do those things. That was an example, but essentially he’s saying that to be proactive and not reactive you find out what you need to do to be who you want to be and you do those things.
“Stop sitting by the phone.” – Eric Thomas
Make means to cause something to exist or come about that didn’t exist before. I am so of the philosophy of making things happen (as opposed to “manifesting” things). ET advises that we don’t need anything else than what we currently have to make it happen. You (and I) have enough right not.
“As soon as your brain can think it you are equipped to bring it about.” – Eric Thomas
Make the list of what you need to do and study that list. To get ready to stay ready for an opportunity starts with you. “Make sure every time you get the rock (ball) you score.” Operate at your highest level. Judge yourself before you judge (assess the people you’re around).
One thing ET said was that we have to take advantage of our present opportunities. We have to “knock them out right now”. Not just capitalizing on the opportunity, but being the person who can handle the opportunity. He tells how he almost got divorced. Not because he was cheating but because he didn’t know how to be a husband and his wife was ready to walk out. So many people want to change their decisions when things aren’t going right but you need to learn how to embrace your current opportunities. Not just trade them out for another. He said that some people are praying for a spouse (ME!) and a career while others have those opportunities but don’t fully embrace them.
If the current situation you’re in doesn’t work out it doesn’t relieve you of your need to grow. “If you break up with her you still have to be a husband.” So you might as well knock it out now. You might as well learn how to be a husband right now in this current marriage. No matter what you will still have to grow into a husband or a wife or a parent or a business owner or a more joyful person or a more disciplined person, etc. Running away doesn’t change it. Change changes it.
Some closing quotes from ET:
“You are no deeper than the people you run with.”
“Most of you can’t stay ready because you’re focused on the past. Let that go.”