Jim’s Journal Special Edition: Average or Awesome…The Choice is Yours

January 1, 2013 in Jim's Journal

Just in time for your New Year’s resolutions, Jim’s latest blog post will help you start 2013 off on the right footing.


I sat in my office one evening last year looking at my vision board for answers. My eyes scanned the words/pictures: Discover Leadership’s FOTO (focus on the outcome); TBT (thoughts become things); Start your PhD.; Finish the No Excuses book; Continue to serve God/Jesus; Ian (my six-year-old autistic son) will talk; Speak in Bangkok, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Europe; a photo of Oprah; a photo of a finished basement; and a picture of me at my From Average to Awesome book signing (taken several years and several pounds ago). My iPod was playing music, but I didn’t hear it. I was determined to stay positive, but the sting from a client’s decision to postpone a workshop still smarted. I saw my book From Average to Awesome on the shelf and picked it up.

I reread my book and rededicated my life to being awesome.
Average Or Awesome - The Choice Is YoursI promised myself that I’ll always expect success and continue to make lemonade out of the lemons that come my way. I decided to work on my mindset—to explore the thinking that was going on in my head. Was I ordering more from the awesome side of my menu of life or the average side? A personal slump usually indicates that I’m spending too much time worrying and thinking about what I don’t have rather than what I do have.

Today we easily allow our focus to become clouded and our vision impaired. We’ve become creatures of pessimism and negativity where the slightest hint of rain in the forecast has us rushing to the grocery store to buy milk, bread, water and a generator to weather the storm. When things go wrong we go with them. We focus on everything but an awesome outcome. We focus waaaaaaaay too much on what others think about us, on rumors and innuendo, on what others say, on blame and finding fault, on why the project will fail, on why the interview won’t go well, on why we won’t have a productive day, on why we can’t win.

We focus on everything but being positive and expecting awesome results. The next time you’re heading to the whine cellar with your whine list, consider these tips:

  • Shift your mindset to ward off distractions. Don’t respond to something that you know is wrong or off-base. Or respond in a way that doesn’t prolong the disagreement or conversation. Become mentally impenetrable.
  • Become the CEO of you. Take care of yourself, invest in yourself, protect yourself and take pride in yourself.
  • Avoid fixing everyone’s problems or trying to change someone. People are not always going to do things the way you’d like them to. Their reality is different from your perception of them.
  • Tips For Awesome ResultsBe proactive, not reactive. Challenges come with the territory, ironically, it seems, when you’re on a roll.
  • Keep showing up for life every day. My theory, as it relates to dealing with the world each day, is: Wake up, get up, show up, step up, then shake them up!
  • Own who you are. Stop making excuses (and conjuring up reasons) for your shortcomings. Own your stuff and confront your demons. Stop blaming others.
  • Distinguish between choices and mistakes. Notes Andy Andrews: “If you make a mistake, then an apology is usually sufficient to get things back on an even keel. However, if you made a choice, the only way to repair a relationship is by exhibiting true remorse and seeking forgiveness.”
  • Take good notes on your conversations. Get clarity. Miscommunication causes confusion, confrontation and consternation. Awesome is a way of life—a mindset. You have to understand yourself before you can understand others. Get to the core of what is preventing you from being awesome. To change and improve, to move from average to awesome, become a life-long student and learner. When you feel awesome, you welcome challenge and change.

By Jim Smith, Jr.


Read these motivating, action-oriented books from Jim Smith, Jr. for more on how to put the awesome in your excuse-free life, and join the No Excuse Revolution.