Friday, April 10, 2009

How to Build a Great Day - Robin Sharma

As I teach in my corporate leadership seminars: “a great life is nothing more than a series of days well lived strung together like a string of pearls. 

Focus on building great days and a great life is sure to follow.” 

Here are six ways to ensure that every day is a brilliant one:

  1. Begin your day by writing down 10 things you have to be grateful for in your life 

  2. Take 30 minutes and read from the wisdom literature to restore your perspective and inspire your self 

  3. Take 5 minutes and plan your day, thereby creating a template that you can live the remaining hours out of. Also set 3 small goals that you will achieve this day “no matter what.” 

  4. Eat the kind of breakfast that an athlete training for the event of her life would eat and drink plenty of water to stay in your peak state 

  5. At the end of your day, reflect on how you have spent your day by writing in your journal. Evaluate your actions and detect areas where you need to improve. 

  6. End your day on a high note by thinking about the “small wins” of your day (i.e., promises you kept, the workout you enjoyed, the relationship you built, the lesson you learned or the insight you had). 

What Makes an Elite Performer? - Robin Sharma

Last week I spent two beautifully inspiring days with a group of senior executives representing Fortune 500 organizations, government agencies and entrepreneurial ventures. They had come together in a conference room at a Toronto hotel to participate in the The Elite Performers Series (EPS) which is a program I created about a year ago to help businesspeople lift their professional as well as their personal lives to all-new levels of success and significance. The breakthroughs I saw over the two days within that seminar room moved me deeply. It validated my belief that every single one of us has greatness within us – sometimes we just need a safe environment within which to access it and then let it shine. 

As I got to know the participants in the program, it became more clear to me that each of us faces many of the same struggles. Each of us wants to find greater meaning in our lives. Each of us has dreams that we desire to fulfill. Each of us has fears that limit us. It also became clear to me that when we do not play our highest game at work and in our personal lives, we not only betray ourselves – we deny the people that we work with as well as the people that we serve the opportunity to have a piece of our magnificence. Indeed, the world will be a lesser place if each of us do not raise our standards and become the people we know in our hearts we are meant to become. 

For your benefit, I have distilled a few of my thoughts on what makes an elite performer and offer them to you for your reflection: 

1. Elite performers play victor versus victim. As I travel around the world working with many diverse organizations as an executive coach, speaker and management consultant, I see many corporate cultures where there is a complete denial of personal responsibility. People blame others for what is not working within the organization. People point the finger at those around them for things gone wrong. But as I say in my book “Leadership Wisdom From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”: “blaming others is nothing more than excusing yourself.” Each of us has the power to create results. One person can change a corporate culture by making changes within her realm of influence. One person can begin behaving in new ways which leads those around him to do the same. In this way, a team can change, which influences a culture to change which transforms an organization. If something is not working within your enterprise, use your power to effect the changes that you wish to see. 

2. Elite performers focus on the worthy. Most people try to be all things to all people and, in so doing, achieve nothing. Elite performers have a laser-like focus on their highest priorities and an acute awareness of the best uses of their time. In fact, they build their whole lives around the activities that offer them the highest return on investment. They are good at saying no. They spend time each morning, during their Holy Hour planning and thinking strategically about what needs to be done during the day for them to play their highest games and be of most service. 

3. Elite performers live their truth. Right now, this very moment, as you read this manual, you know deep in your heart what your professional as well as your personal life needs to look like in order for you to be living authentically. In this very moment, your heart knows what’s right. Elite performers have articulated their personal philosophy along with their organizing principles and have the courage to live out that ideology each and every day of their lives. This gives them great power and promotes extraordinary levels of confidence because they are aware that they are being true to themselves. 

4. Elite performers build human connections. Business is about relationships. Nothing is more important than building emotional engagement with your teammates, with your suppliers and with your customers. Competition in today’s marketplace is not for “share of wallet”, as many organizations falsely believe. Rather, the competition in today’s marketplaces is for people’s emotions. Show up fully in your relationships. Take the time to remember birthdays and write handwritten thank-you notes each week. Show people that you care. Open your heart to them and they will reward you with their loyalty as well as with their love. 

5. Elite performers add outrageous value. I truly believe that we are rewarded in today’s marketplace according to the value that we add. If you want to receive greater returns, add greater value. Give your customers and clients more value than they have any right to expect. Always underpromise and overdeliver. Stay up late into the night reflecting on how you can serve the people that you have the privilege to do business with and help them fulfill their dreams. Your career will begin to explode. 

6. Elite performers are devoted to excellence. One of the things I focus on in a significant way during the 2 day Elite Performers Series program is a process that has been proven to help any employee become truly excellent in all that they do. To me, “excellence” is a beautiful word. Elite performers are constantly asking themselves the following question: “is the way that I’m showing up truly excellent and reflective of someone who is operating at a world-class standard?” We live in a world where mediocrity is the norm. When you truly dedicate yourself –no, devote yourself – to becoming excellent in the way that you think, and behave you stand out in a crowded marketplace. You show genuine leadership. 

7. Elite performers deepen themselves. Nothing changes until you change. We live in an externally focused world where we buy into the notion that our lives will change when we make more money or get a better car or achieve more status. And yet, when we receive these things, we are left empty and unfulfilled. True success comes from inner success. Dedicate yourself to getting to know who you truly are. Reconnect with your brilliance. Walk towards your fears. Evaluate the quality of your life and what you want it to stand for. Reflect on the beliefs that are limiting you and ponder where you’ve picked them up from. The best investment you will ever make is investing in your best self. 

Seven Ways to Think, Feel and Act Like an Elite Performer

  1. Keep your promises and make your word your bond. 

  2. Make time for weekly silence, stillness and reflection. 

  3. Connect with a cause that engages you emotionally. 

  4. Build a network of mentors, models and advocates. 

  5. Balance a sharp mind with a wide open heart. 

  6. Give what you most want to receive in your life. 

  7. Rise with the sun and envision the day made up of your highest choices and your best moves. 

Live Fully Now - Robin Sharma

Too many human beings postpone living. We say that we will live our best lives when we have more time or when we finish the pressing projects that are consuming us. We tell those around us that we will be more loving and passionate when things slow down. We promise ourselves that we will get into world-class physical condition and eat healthier food when we have a little bit more time. Yet, deep within us, each one of us knows that there will never be a better time to live our biggest life than now. And if not today, then when? 

Most of us live as if we have all the time in the world. We put off living and reaching for our highest and best. And yet, the days slip into weeks, the weeks slip into months and the months slip into years. Before you know it, your life will be over. And most people, when they are on their deathbeds, have the same regrets: that they did not take enough risks, that they did not realize their highest personal potential. And they did not give more love.

There are no extra days. There are no meaningless days. This very day is the day that you can make a choice to stand for something higher and be the person you know in your heart you have always wanted to be. Today is the day you can make the decision to get into outstanding physical health or to be a genuine leader at work or to be more authentic as a human being or to take more risks and run towards your fears. To me, that’s what leadership is all about. Seizing the moment and living your life as an example to others of what’s possible for a human being to create. Keep thinking about what your best life will look like. As I share in my speeches and workshops: “with better awareness you can make better choices and when you make better choices, you will see better results.” 

Six Ways to Achieve Personal Greatness

  1. Write out a 20 year plan for your professional as well as your personal life.Great companies ensure that they are governed by a well thought out mission, vision and value statement. A clear plan along with a statement of your most important values will allow you to make wiser choices which will lead to less failures. 

  2. Spend more time thinking. One of my clients is Satyam Computers, one of India’s most successful IT companies. One of their guiding philosophies is to encourage teammates to spend 1/3 of their time in contemplation. Most effective human beings think more than others. Think about what you want your life to represent. Think about how you can create more value. Think about what is not working in your life so you can make changes. 

  3. Get into balance. Striking a balance between your work and your personal life is not easy. It’s a daily challenge. But by working at it, your life will work much better. Schedule the time for exercise. Ensure that your family and friendships get the priority they deserve. Take some time for yourself because when you feel better, you will be a source of positive energy to all those around you. 

  4. Take calculated risks. Every seven days, do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. The very thing that you are afraid to do is the thing that you should do first. Remember, on the other side of your fears lives your growth. 

  5. Be more loving. Great teams are built by authentic leaders who are not afraid to speak truthfully and show kindness. This is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. Be loving, polite and compassionate to all those around you. This does not mean that you don’t make the tough calls when you need to. What it really means is that you bring more of your humanity into your life. 

  6. Be different. Leaders, by definition, don’t follow the crowd. Live life on your own terms. Listen to the values that are most true to you. Be creative. Remain an idealist. 

A Balanced Model for Success - Robin Sharma

I have struggled to find a balanced model for true success in my life. At some times I have chased my goals and heart’s desires with all the force of a heat-seeking missile. At other times, I have thought that the wisest way to act was in a more gentle fashion and, after setting my intentions, letting life unfold in a more organic way. I now think that the key is to have a balanced approach for success. Too much striving is nothing more than trying to control your destiny and force outcomes. And simply stating your intentions (perhaps by telling them to your friends or by listing them on a blank piece of paper) and not moving them forward by dedicated action is nothing more than spiritual apathy (which is based on fear). 

I believe that achieving real success in our lives requires us to be both practical and spiritual. On the practical side it is essential that we declare our intentions, clarify our vision and then take action to bring our dreams to life. Once we have operated from this position, it is also essential that we hold our goals with a “loose grip” and move to a place of acceptance such that you know that even if what you wanted does not happen exactly the way you wanted it to, all is for the best. I truly feel that there is an incredible coherence to our lives that we often miss and we try to control outcomes. But if we do our best, and things do not unfold according to our plans, trust that everything has happened for your highest good. 

Six Ways to Fill Your Life with Prosperity


  1. Make a personal commitment to add more value than you are paid for in your business relationships.

  2. Live out of your imagination rather than out of your memory by constantly envisioning yourself having all you want. 

  3. Get in the habit of blessing your money and silently hoping that it helps the person you give it to. 

  4. Spend one hour this week journaling about your beliefs around money so that you heighten your awareness as to any blocks and resistance to having more. 

  5. In your journal make a collage of images showing others living the life you want.

  6. Become the most giving person you know.

Questions to Journal On

  1. What would (insert your name) look like if you were operating in your most authentic form and living the highest version of your highest vision? 

  2. What has been the value of your most painful experiences and how would your life be less if you had not had the benefit of them? 

  3. What would you be willing to die for? 

  4. What lessons are you most resisting in your life right now?

  5. Who on the planet is living the life you dream of living and what is it about their life that speaks to you so deeply? 

  6. If there was one word I would want my life to stand for, what would that one word be? 

  7. What will I no longer tolerate in my life? 

  8. If there was one thing I could change in my life to lift it to its highest level, what would that one thing be? 

  9. What has been the biggest turning point of my life and how has it served me by helping me become the person that I currently am? 

  10. If I had 30 days left to live, what would I do? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


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