The work of change is excruciatingly slow for those who really want it…

old mustang october 2019

written by john c ashworth

old mustang october 2019
Compare this old mustang to those on the road today. Certainly they’ve changed. But very slowly, year to year, and until you looked at this photo you probably had no real awareness of exactly how much.
photo by john c ashworth

The work of change is excruciatingly slow for those who really want it

Real change that lasts often comes in very small increments that are hard to see.

On an idle Friday afternoon halfway into November, you can either check-out for the day, or find a way to focus on something that will keep your own personal desired change moving forward.

What’s it gonna be?

-John

This idea that you don’t like to exercise has NEVER made any sense to me…

john c ashworth pullups october 2019

written by john c ashworth

This idea that you don’t like exercise, or you don’t have time, or you just can’t find a way to get it done has NEVER really made any sense to me.

Here’s why

To me, this is the equivalent of saying, I don’t want to feel good, and more powerful. I don’t want to feel stronger and more energized. I don’t want to age well. I don’t want to look good. I just want to curl up in this little corner over here and pretend that it’s easier to avoid it.

Three to four days per week, I go to the gym at lunch time. Most of the time, I go for a swim. Sometimes I lift weights. No matter what, I go. And I’d go every single day if I didn’t have dog duty one or two days per week when my wife is at work and Allie is home alone.  

One day per week is devoted to my weekly pilgrimage to the chiropractor. Another essential ritual of recovery. Usually on Mondays following a weekend of yard work, more exercise and strength training, and lots of walking. But even on Mondays, I go for a walk after I get adjusted. My blood needs to move. I want to thrive and this is how I do it.

Every single time I go, the experience is cathartic. I walk in one way, and walk out in a completely new dimension of time and space. My own little twilight zone where I emerge as a superhero. An energized human being firing on all neurons again.  

Feeling more alive. More alert. More powerful. More effective. And more influential.

Yeah…I just really don’t understand that idea that you just don’t want to do it.  

Can you see why?

-John

YOU are NOT YOUR mistakes

wilmette illionois fall 2019

written by john c ashworth

Most of us spend far too much time worrying about the mistakes we’ve made, and as a result, expending far too much energy trying to prevent the next one rather than moving on to the next leap. The next idea. The next innovation. After all, what if we fail again? What if we make more mistakes? What if we are unable to free ourselves from the tyranny of our humanness?

Guess what?

You can’t.

Keep going. Keep failing. Keep being human.

Don’t be stupid and blind when it comes to your outcomes. Your results. Because whether you fail or you succeed there is always much to learn.

The real truth reveals itself in your responses to these outcomes. Your choices. Your willingness to keep going and to prevent your mistakes and your failures from ruling over your mind and your next move like a dictator intent on shrouding you in a cloak of fear that is wet and heavy with the weight of your doubt, and the world, and impossible to carry for very long on the road to your success.

-John

Simplify everything and get your dreams back on track…


written by john c ashworth

Simply everything, play the way you’re facing, pick your spot, and explode into that space.

Growing up I had the opportunity to play for one of the top club soccer clubs in the nation. The San Diego Nomads. Back then, we were known as the La Jolla Nomads. That’s where the club’s founders were from. Those individuals had the kind of vision necessary to cultivate a lasting legacy and a club today that develops some of the best talent you can find.

One of the most important decisions they made early on was in hiring Derek Armstrong, who still runs the club today, more than thirty years later.

Derek taught me many important things about the game, about life, and about what it means to be a champion. We had a tremendous amount of success while I was there. We played the kind of game people didn’t even recognize or understand at that time here in the United States, and in fact, we dominated many or our opponents and won many championships.

Our success included two runs at the national championship where we finished second and fourth in the country. A truly amazing and bitter sweet experience. Still, it would be a lot better story if I could tell you we had achieved a national championship.

Here’s my point today, though. Derek used to have a phrase he liked to use often. In many ways, this mantra has fit nicely into many other parts of my life, both day to day, and as I’ve weathered some very tough storms in my career.

“Play the way you’re facing.”

Simple. Straight-forward. Impossible to mis-interpret, and guaranteed to simplify the game you’re playing by simply picking up your head, looking around, and moving the ball in the direction you’re facing right now.

Don’t try to get cute and cut the ball back, and attempt some fancy move that sends you in the opposite direction, hopefully in possession of the ball, and now moving with an entirely different purpose. Sure, there will always be time for that. It will be needed. But for the moment, what might happen in your life, career, or relationships if you simply started focusing on playing in the direction you’re facing right now?

Starting right now, simplify your life. Focus on playing in the direction you face, and keeping your head-up, and your vision keen. For the direction you face still holds a very wide field of view with many opportunities.

When you do this, and you abandon unnecessary complexities and frivolous ideas – especially the stuff that’s holding you back, and the ideas and dreams that don’t seem to be moving ahead – you will create the space you need to open your game in a way that allows you to more clearly and confidently pick your spot and move toward your truest and most important and fulfilling dreams.

What might those be?

I look forward to hearing about them.

-John

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Master your craft. Avoid complacency. Take Action.

written by john c ashworth

Competency is NOT enough. That’s why “Good is so often the enemy of Great.” There is great danger in complacency because once you find yourself living with this mindset, and working daily to justify your choice, change is hard to consider with an open mind. Maybe even impossible.

If you’re not careful, YOUR belief systems will tie you down, hold you back and keep you on a very short leash. Preventing progress.

The results can be devastating, not only for your business but for your life in general.

Sometimes, it leads to a statement like the one I heard yesterday that I believe represents an example of your mind as slayer of your dreams and aspirations.

“I have no desire to learn anything more.”

This comment came from a prospective customer with very little understanding about how to build and cultivate a presence and message online that can help your business grow exponentially.

The opposite of this unfortunate stance, of course, is to embrace the idea of mastering your craft as well as the marketing efforts that will help you share your gifts. It’s clear you’ve already adopted this mindset. You’re here reading this article. The title drew you in for a reason.

In order to master your craft, though, daily action is still vital. YOU MUST always be taking steps to improve, learn, grow, and thrive.

Nothing can happen until you decide to move forward.

Nothing happens, and nothing changes until you take action.

Still, there is likely something you’ve been putting off. A project or pursuit of some kind that very likely has the potential to catapulte your personal or business growth or both.

If only you could find the time…

I realize the timing for your next endeavor for growth might not feel quite right. And it might not be. But what if you just started? What might happen next?

Yes! Your choice might feel like a bigger project than you want to tackle right now. But if it’s the right one, what other things might you choose to move out of the way or off your list entirely once this new and important thing is put in motion.

YOU MUST embrace the belief that starting is that which is most important, and trust that once in motion, you’ll remain committed to following thought – even if it’s just a little at a time. Because once you do this, and once the thing that’s important for you to start today is done, you will likely have an extremely valuable and potentially life-altering asset for your personal and business growth. And very often, completion will come a lot sooner than you anticipated.

Are you Ready?

You may now commence without equivocation.

I’ll wait patiently for your success story 🙂

-John

PS I want to leave you with one more keen insight into this idea. It has to do with the difference between Mastery and Competence and what it truly means to be a master of your craft.

Being competent means you can do the work at high standards.

When you work to become a master, you are on the path to inventing the next level of your work, your life, and your business. This makes you a lot more attractive to better clients, customers, friends, and colleagues.

…my daily walks are an excellent source of inspiration and connection with the ideas and knottiness of my craft that matter to me the most. -john c ashworth