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Alex Chester

Alex Chester Founder Bare Knuckle

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Why do we fail to excel and constantly improve?

Maybe you think you do? With all due respect . . . I'm not so sure!!! Allow me to elaborate;

 

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Instinct - Do you remember the day you were born? No, of course you don’t.

None of us were capable of a conscious thought at birth. However within the first split second of our life here on earth we learned our most vital skill; breathing. Soon we learn to focus with our eyes and (unfortunately for those around us) we learn to use our vocal cords and get attention – or better, food…. We do this by Instinct.

Courage - The younger we are, the more courageous we tend to be.

I remember when Teddy (2) and his older brother, Fletcher (7) were playing a game on the stairs. Piling up pillows and blankets at the bottom they would jump from each step climbing higher each jump. The distance was a lot further for Teddy to cover and inevitably landed outside of the “safe” zone broking his leg from 5 steps up.

His courage was ridiculous; fearlessly he would try everything and often break limbs.

One day I was working in my office when approx. 2 feet off the ground my son Fletcher, at the time 9, flew past my office window. We lived on the corner of a busy street. Fletch had just enjoyed a 500 yard down hill blast on his friends small motorcycle and had no idea how to stop. Thankfully he survived navigating through the traffic and down the opposite street finally coming to a stop.

Now years on at ages 17 and 12 I watch them shy away from a strong challenge in a soccer game or cringe at the thought of jumping in to a cold lake Tahoe.

Faith - How did you learn to swim?

Did you jump in a ragging river without a life jacket or were you gently introduced cradled in your mothers arms? Either way, as children we believe that we will be fine. We have faith in our parents, we have belief that everything will be ok because Mom or God or it says so. Over time our trust is occasionally challenged and tried. We store these instances and act more cautiously going forward. This is of course a good thing in some circumstances but dangerous when this is the rule and not the exception.

Who am I - I believe I am born with the knowledge and ability in me to be everything I want to be.

I believe it is all there for me and that the things I learn are actually reminders and not something I have heard for the first time. My ability to learn and grow consistently is dependent on my ability to know how to learn. There is nothing I can’t do if one day I will literally have the ability to create life and populate new planets. (don’t believe me?) Think I’m mad; we are already doing it. What are the limits to my understanding? What are the limits to my ability?

Why do I do the things I do? - Another reason learning is lighting fast from birth and then gradually slowing down is because our WHY we do things changes in priority and focus.

As a baby, my WHY in learning how to breath is pretty critical. As big a WHY as it gets. What is my WHY to be a starter on the football team, increase my income, make the inc 500 or simply support my family. Not as critical? Then you need to find a bigger why!!!!

SO - Why does our ability to learn and grow slow down from birth until we become old dogs learning no new tricks?

Each year;

Our INSTINCT turns to EXPERIENCE

Our COURAGE turns to FEAR

Our Faith turns to DOUBT.

 

How do we fix this?

We must reset and remap our sub-conscious through conscious thought process in goal setting, strategy and action. Identify and eliminate self deception.

This is a mindset process and it is an action process. Practicing mental and physical exercises until Instinct, Courage and Faith become the norm and not the exception.

It can be hard to hold on to why we do the things we do. Evaluate yourself. Swallow pride. Decide who you want to be or where you want to go. Set achievable but lofty goals. Have the courage to stick to your guns while recognizing changes in the landscape around you and being willing to pivot and adjust.

Bottom line - be willing to demand constant and never-ending improvement from yourself. This is the only way to perfection and achievement. 

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