Ready for part 2 of our 5-part series on peak performance? Let’s sculpt a vision that’s as vivid as your dreams and as powerful as your potential!
In the previous solo episode, we set the stage by uncovering the four key steps for success using the transformative Reveal Your Path framework. Now, it’s time to dive deep into the framework, starting with a critical step: crafting a crystal-clear vision for your life.
Drawing from my experiences as a Division I All American athlete and an Olympic hopeful, I’ll guide you through the process of crafting a vision that resonates, motivates, and inspires, just like the goals that fueled us as athletes.
From understanding the importance of having a defined vision that’s aligned with your values to asking the right questions in order to get there, I will discuss step-by-step how to approach success like an elite athlete.
By the end of this episode, you’ll know how to maximize your potential to level up all areas of your life— be it relationships, self, health, and wealth. Your newfound clarity will be the compass guiding you through a journey of motivation, focus, and discipline.
Get ready to be intentional and hone in on a clear vision and values that get you that much closer to living a life of peak performance.
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Jim Harshaw Jr.: What does the next level of success look like for you? I don't care where you're starting from. Whether you're broke right now, or you're rich, or you're jacked and you got the six-pack abs, or you're 40 pounds overweight. If you know there's more in you — if you don't have that clarity, then there's more in you. There's more in the tank.
[00:21] Welcome to another episode of Success for the Athletic-Minded Man. Real talk on harnessing your athletic drive for clarity, consistency, and focus in business and life. This is your host Jim Harshaw, Jr., and today I'm bringing you part two of a five-part series on peak performance in the real world, peak performance in business and life. This is how you approach success in business in life, like an elite athlete, okay?
[00:49] In Part One, Episode 439, I gave you the overview. I told you about the four different steps. Now in each of the next four solo episodes, I'm going to go deep on each one of these different steps. Okay, so episode 441, which is today, 443, 445, 447, all of those episodes. I just did that in my head, by the way, those numbers. I didn't even have that written down, but I'm going deep into each one of these different four steps.
[01:14] Okay, so the first step, which we're going to cover today, is creating a clear vision for your life. One that you're actually confident in, one that is motivating, one that is inspiring for you. Just like when you were an athlete, you're inspired by whatever that goal is for you. Maybe it's making the starting lineup or winning the conference championship or the state championship or the national championship or whatever it is. Maybe you're a weekend warrior right now. It's finishing the Ironman, or running your first marathon, or whatever those are. Those are inspiring visions. How do you create that for your life?
[01:46] All right. That's the first one — and that's one we're going to go deep on today, is the vision. And then also discovering the core values that underlie that. And then the second part of this framework, which we're going to cover in the next episode, the next solo episode — I do these every other week, I publish a solo episode. I alternate them with the interview episodes. But Episode 443, we're going to talk about creating goals that align with that vision and those values, which is what you have — at least I had when I was an athlete performing at the highest level, as an All-American Olympic hopeful. Successful athletes have those things. Now, if your experience in sports wasn't like that, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Not because you've experienced this. It's some level, having goals that align with that vision and those values. That's the second part.
[02:33] The third part is the environment of excellence. How do you create that in the real world, just like you had when you were an athlete? The environment with the right people around you, pushing you, pulling you, holding you to a high standard. And then fourth and finally, how do you follow through on all of this?
[02:47] Okay. So back to step one, the vision and the values. That's what we're talking about today. All right. So today's episode, there's two parts, okay? The first part of today's episode is around why. Like, why is this even important? You've heard that it is, you've heard people talk about it, about core values and having a clear vision. Like, why is this actually important? Like, why should you listen to a podcast episode? Why should you spend your time actually working on this stuff when you could be — who knows what you could be doing? You could be returning emails or going to meetings or any — the other mundane minutiae that bogs you down and slows you down from actually achieving the vision that you want for your life. So why should you spend your time? That's the first part of today's episode.
[03:33] The second part is how. What are the actual steps, like step-by-step blueprint? What is the framework? What is the model? What are the questions I need to ask myself in order to get that clear vision, in order to have those clearly defined core values?
[03:51] Quick interruption, if you like what you're hearing here and you want to learn how you can implement this into your life, just go to jimharshawjr.com/apply to see how you can get a free one-on-one coaching session with me. That's jimharshawjr.com/apply. Now back to the show.
[04:10] So the first part of the episode I said today is the why. Like, why is this important? Why should you spend your time doing this? Most people generally know that they want more, right? If you're a listener of this podcast, Athletic-Minded Man, most likely, you know there's more in the tank. You're listening because you want to maximize your potential. Despite your success, there's more in the tank. You feel like you're leaving too much on the table. Maybe you feel like the clock is ticking on your life and you need to get stuff going. You need to make things happen. But what does it look like? What's next for you? What's the right next step for you? What are the right goals? Without that clarity, then you're going to lack consistency. You're going to lack focus. You're going to lack discipline. You're going to lack resilience. Like, you look at high-performing athletes, they're absolutely clear on the vision, and that enables them to be consistent and focused and disciplined. You have to have that clarity.
[05:06] So this is the why behind this. What if you didn't have that as an athlete? I think about teams, think about — teams that have no chance at making the postseason, right? They get some kind of post-season ban. What do athletes do? They leave. Why? Because there's no end goal there. There's no clear end goal for them, right? It's just having a season as a coach of those teams, it would be hard to keep them motivated. Hard to have them be consistent and focused and disciplined because they don't have that clear goal, that clear vision for what success looks like in the season and in their career. You have to have that, right? What we know athletes have that. What about you?
[05:45] Like when I was wrestling, my first goal at University of Virginia was to start to be a starter on the wrestling team. And then once I became a starter, the next goal is win the ACC championship, qualify for the national championships, become a national champion.
[05:58] There was always a vision, a clear vision. I knew exactly what success looked like. I could go to the national championships and watch guys standing on the podium and see, oh, like, that's what it looks like. It's very clear. I can see them getting their hand raised, standing on the top of the podium, receiving the awards.
[06:16] You have to have that clarity in your own life. If you don't, then you're not going to be stoked to get out of bed in the morning. You're going to hit snooze. You're going to miss your workouts. You're going to not make the sales calls. You're going to back down when it comes time to have that tough conversation. You can have all the work ethic, all the drive, all the energy in the world. But if you don't have that clear target, you're not going to get as far. And sure, you might be saying, yeah, Jim, I got like a luxury car parked in my driveway, or I've already found a lot of success. There's more. Like, what is the next level of success look like for you?
[06:51] I don't care where you're starting from. Whether you're broke right now, or you're rich, or you're jacked and you got the six-pack abs, or you're 40 pounds overweight. If there's more in you — if you don't have that clarity, then there's more in you. There's more in the tank. More impact you can make. Better relationships, improved health, make more money, whatever that is for you, right? If you have all the work ethic and the drive, but you're digging your hole in the wrong spot, what's the point?
[07:17] This is about intention. The why behind doing the work to gain clarity, clarity in your vision and uncover your core values, it's about intention. Not setting goals or worse, New Year's resolutions based upon what a lot of people do. They set those goals or intentions or New Year's resolutions based upon what's parked in their neighbor's driveway, or what they see in the mass media, or what they see on social media, what their parents told them that they should want.
[07:47] This is why my interview with Cameron Herold, this is back in Episode 356. That was back in the Success Through Failure podcast days. We made that transition January 1st, 2024, but back in episode 356 on the Success Through Failure podcast, I interviewed Cameron Herold. He's the author of the popular book, Vivid Vision. It was a popular interview. It's a great book. Why? Because people want to get clear on what that vision is, and you understand that there's value there. Many of my clients tell me after going through my coaching program, in which the first part, the first module, the first exercise is creating that vision and uncovering those core values.
[08:26] I had one guy, Tim Johnson. He said, I got my money's worth during the first week's activity. This helps them take a lot of different ideas that he had and create goals that he wanted to actually accomplish, and he put this framework, put a foundation underneath those goals, so that he could actually achieve those.
[08:41] All right. So that's the why. If you want to maximize your potential, not just in your wealth and your career, but also in every area of your life, you have to have the vision for what success looks like. Okay, now you're saying, okay, Jim, I got it. But how do I do it? what are the steps you actually take to do this?
[08:59] Because listen, this is the second part of the how, okay? So part two. I told you part one is the Y part two is the how. We're moving into part two, the how. Like, how do you actually do this? Here's the deal. This does not come natural for everyone, right? This is strategic work. I'm naturally not wired to be a strategic person, so I have to put this in place. I have to actually logically think about putting time on my calendar to do this kind of work.
[09:25] And that's why this program that I coach and this, sort of system or framework that I rediscovered from my life as a high performing athlete works so well for me and for my clients is, we get very intentional about what we need to do to hedge against our weaknesses. And one of my weaknesses is that I am a detail person. I can get lost in the weeds. You put me on a task, and I'll put my head down and just go to work, but I have a hard time being strategic. So I have to step back, lift my head up, do a productive pause. And for the longtime listeners, you know what I'm talking about here.
[10:02] A productive pause is the single habit there's most responsible for success. The productive pause is defined as this. It's a short period of focus reflection around specific questions that leads to clarity of action and peace of mind.
[10:18] This is your secret to success. It's not working harder and just putting your head down and doubling down on what you've been doing just because you think, if I just work harder, I'll be successful. No, like you have to do the strategic work first. You have to lift your head up, look to the horizon, as opposed to working in the weeds. That's what you do through a productive pause. And now here are the questions, right?
[10:40] I know that some of you — some listeners probably — I've gone to maybe a seminar or done something where you've discovered your core values. And it was like, you got a list of 200 words on a page or a hundred words on a page, and they said, okay, circle the 20 that sound great to you. And you circle 20, and they say, okay, now you got to narrow it down to 10. Okay, you narrow it down to 10. Okay, now you got to narrow it down. Just pick five. And it's, ooh, this is really hard. Do you pick five? That's not going to last, right? It takes you 5, 10 minutes to do that. That's not deep, meaningful work. You're not going to remember your core values 24 hours later.
[11:12] My clients remember their core values forever. I was talking to a client this morning. I'm like, hey, do you remember your core values from doing this, my program, seven years ago? He's yeah, boom. He just rattled him right off. He uses these as a compass to guide his life, the clarity that this kind of work brings you. So how do you do this? It's not just circling words on a page. Here's the process that we use in my coaching program. And I'm going to give this to you so you can understand how to do this on your own right now.
[11:40] What you need to do is this number one, identify. What does your perfect day look like? We call this the ideal day. Now in cognitive behavioral therapy, there's a question called the miracle day, and it goes something like this. You go to sleep one night, you wake up the next morning, and when you open your eyes, you notice something is dramatically different. A miracle happened overnight where you get to wake up and live your miracle life. What do you see when you open your eyes? What do you see? Where are you sleeping? What's the house look like? Who are you sleeping next to? What does your life look like? What's parked in your driveway? Where are you going to work? How do you spend your day? Who do you spend your day with? How do you spend your time? That's a great question.
[12:23] But listen, this doesn't actually work, doesn't bring you any clarity at all if you don't do it, if you just listen to it on a podcast and you go, okay, that sounds like a great idea. But I've got emails to return. I got a meeting to attend and busyness to be busy with. It doesn't work unless you do it. And that's what a coach does. Whether it's us or somebody else, like you have to actually do this work. Okay, so the first question is, that miracle day or that ideal day: what does that look like? That ideal day, that ideal life.
[12:52] Now, number two is — this is a version of a question that I got from Peter Diamandis. Peter Diamandis is an amazing entrepreneur. If you're an entrepreneur, you probably heard of him. He's written some great books, but he has this question where he says, if you were given a billion dollars and told to change the world, what would you do?
[13:11] I think it's an amazing question, but I think it can be a little bit clouded in directing you a certain direction. Like, changing the world. But the way we ask it is, if you were given a billion dollars, what would you do with it? Maybe you change the world. Maybe you dig wells in Africa. And maybe you invest in something that is going to change the world and help people. Maybe you don't.
[13:31] Maybe you say, Jim, I would buy 10 houses and 10 different exotic locations around the world. I'd put a runway landing strip on each one of them and buy 10 jets and have a jet in each one of them. Maybe that's your vision for what you would do with a billion dollars. Awesome. Great. Maybe because you just want to hoard the money and keep it all for yourself and do fun things. Good for you.
[13:49] Or maybe it's because Jim, I would actually take all of my friends to these different places. And I want my friends and my family to experience these amazing locations because I love nature and I love travel and I want others to experience it. So maybe you're like — maybe that's your way of changing the world is like it being,close with people you love, and providing for people you love is providing these amazing experiences. That's awesome too. What would you do with a billion dollars?
[14:16] The third question — so the first one's the miracle day or ideal day, the second one is the billion dollar question. The third one is the funeral exercise. And there's — I won't go into the detail of this, but there's different ways we ask this — but essentially is, you died today and these different people were speaking at your funeral. What would they say? And then also, what would you want them to say? Maybe it's the same, maybe it's different. But all of these questions lead us to uncover your core values. Now we have a unique process that we use to refine the responses to these questions into core values, taking these identifying values and boiling these down to core values. The end result of this is having a compass that you can live your life by, right?
[15:03] You create this vision for your life. You understand what the vision is. You understand what the core values are that is driving this vision. And now you have a compass that you can use in your life to make the decisions — the big ones to the small ones, right? The small decisions, should I eat that donut? Or the big decisions, should I quit my job? Should I buy that house? Should I fill in the blank with any huge decision in your life? And then all the decisions in between.
[15:29] So I host a retreat every year. And what we did a couple of years ago at the retreat was to do this exercise where first we said, okay, look across the field. It was about 50 yards away. I said, look at a tree and put away blindfold them and said, okay, walk towards that tree. And they would invariably like zigzag all around and they would not even come close, not even close to finding that tree. Now I said, okay. Go back to your starting spot. Look at a compass, take a compass bearing, right? Maybe it says go north, northeast. They look at that compass, and they follow. They can — we blindfold them to the point where they can only see the compass now. And if they follow that compass, they hit the mark. Every single time they said they would hit the mark. They couldn't see the tree. They didn't know where they were going, but if they followed that compass, they got there.
[16:13] And that's what these core values do for you. And that's what this vision will do for you. Again, you have to take action on this. You can spend a lot of time doing other things with your day, today and tomorrow. Like I said, you can return emails. You can be busy being busy and doing busy work, but this is the productive pause work. This is the strategic work that will get you that clarity that an elite athlete has. In your life and in your business, in your career, this is the work that you need to do. This is the productive pause.
[16:46] Now here's the deal. None of this works unless you do the work. So this again is part two of a five part series. Part One, Episode 439, where I give you the overview of this whole framework. This is Part Two, where I'm going in through the four different steps. The first step is the vision and values. That's what I just gave you today. Episode 441.
[17:07] Episode 443, we're going to talk about how to create goals that align with that vision and those values, and there's four different areas where we set goals, and then we have something we call micro goals to teach you how to create those so you have a path to actually follow those goals long-term. And then the third part is the environment of excellence. There's four parts to this MAPS: Media, area, people, speech — we'll go deeper into those in Episode 445. And then finally in 447, we're going to talk about how do you actually follow through on this stuff long-term. Consistency and focus and discipline in the long term.
[17:42] Okay. Now it's up to you to take action. You can jump on a call with me, or you can download the Action Plan and get the value out of this. So you actually see the results. You have to do the work to see the results. Take action. Good luck.
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