Value Talks Podcast Episode 15: First Lead Yourself

Hosted by Travis Tasset, the Value Talks podcast explores a range of topics that matter to people, including healthcare, leadership, and culture. In this episode, Travis and I discuss the most important quality or characteristic of a leader.  

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Transcript of Episode 15

Dan Tasset: I want to encourage everybody to get rid of your story in the past if it’s not a good story. Get rid of guilt. Get rid of shame. Forget about that, and start building a new story for yourself.  And it’s about where direction you’re headed. It’s not where you are today. So, create a story around yourself, so that you can start talking about who you want to be, and what your story needs to look like 10 years from now. So, that as you look back, you’ve created your story. So, start creating that story today. What do you want your life to be about? And start putting pieces around that. 

Intro: Welcome to another episode of Value Talks with your host Travis Tasset. 

Travis Tasset: All right, welcome to this episode of value talks. This is Travis Tasset. Here today with Dan Tasset. Dan, welcome to this episode.  

Dan: Good morning.  

Travis: So, this is the second episode as part of our 12-month leadership series. And last month, we talked about the six types of leaders. So, for those of you that are listening in today, if you haven’t had a chance, please go back, and listen to that, because each one of these episodes will build on each other. But today, what we’re going to talk about is actually a question that we got from one of the listeners last session, and that is, what is the most important skill or characteristic of a leader. 

Dan: Yeah, that’s a good question. We started off with a bang with the leadership series live streaming that we’re doing. And as you said, I really encourage everybody to go back, and listen to last month’s podcast, regarding the six types of leaders, and that was the first session that we did.  Actually, I would encourage everybody to go back and listen to all the podcasts, because we’ve been really building, we’ve been doing this for over a year now. And again, most of the podcasts are intended for our internal audience, our own employees. We got, thousands of employees across the country. And so, what we’re trying to do is build on that. And we’ve talked last year about a lot of leadership tactics and skills. We talked about innovation. We’ve talked about a lot of different things. Some of them this year are even expanding a little deeper.  

But back to your question, the question was when we talked about the six types of leaders, four unhealthy types of leaders, and those same characteristics would develop into a healthy leader, because a healthy leader produces faithful followers, but what we talked about was we didn’t want just faithful followers. We wanted to have empowering leaders, because empowering leaders develop leaders who can lead leaders, or even better than that, lead teams of leaders.  

Travis: So, let me rephrase that question then. What is the most important quality or characteristic of an empowering healthy leader? 

Dan: Yeah, that’s a great. And again a lot of the a lot of the training that we’re doing on leadership and this podcast are not just our opinions, Travis, and that’s what I think is most important for our audience to know and our people to know, our teammates to know, is that this is from years and years of research, and you and I garnering information from the best minds around the world, and in this particular subject, the best leaders around the world, and in the history of the world about leadership qualities, even tipping tapping into linking on leadership, and all of those kinds of things.  But the most important characteristic of an empowering leader, as you know, is that the ability to lead yourself. The idea behind that is you cannot lead other people if you’re not leading yourself first. You have to have that characteristic and that quality. Sounds simple, but there’s a lot in it, and we’re going to unpack that here this morning in this podcast.  

Travis: I mean, it has to be true, right? I can’t be a great leader to other people unless I’m first applying that to my own life, to myself. So, I guess the question that comes next is, well, how does one go about doing that. How does one lead oneself? What’s the kind of first step? 

Dan: Yeah, so it might be worth us talking about one step at a time. I think that’s where you’re probably going to go with this by hosting the podcast. And thank you by the way for continuing to host these.  t’s been really really good for our organization, as we talked before we got started here, the impact that it’s had on our people, which is who I care about the most. How broad this audience is less important to me. What I’m really interested in is the impact that has on our own people, and is having tremendous impact, not just these podcasts, but the live streaming that we’re doing. 

So, there’s really four steps to leading yourself. The first is first discovering the power of purpose and discovering your own purpose. The second step then is determining who you want to be, the type of person that you want to be. And the third step is discovering how to become that person, putting the habits and systems in place to become that. And then the fourth step is putting that in the form of words, so they’re words that you can repeat every day, live by, so that the habits you form help the person that you want to become, and you’ve just lived your purpose. So, those are the four steps.  

Travis: Okay, so let’s start with step one. How does one go about discovering their purpose? 

Dan: Yeah. A lot of people may say, well, I know what my purpose, I know why I was created, I know what I’m here for, I know what I’m here to do, but there’s a series of questions that you have to ask yourself. I believe that’s kind of an aid to help you discovering your purpose. And I think it’d be worthwhile if we go through those.  

Travis: Okay, we’ll walk through those kind of five questions. And to your earlier point, this is not always something that we’ve come up with ourselves. And there is a quote that if we’ve seen further, it’s because we’ve been able to stand on the shoulders of giants. And so, these are all the great thought leaders that are out there. So, I’m not sure exactly who some of these questions have come from, but anyways, we’ve kind of compiled five of them together.

Dan: And let’s start with – you and I have talked repeatedly in these podcasts about quotes from different people. I know that you’ve got quotes, and why don’t you talk a little bit first. Sounds like I’m interviewing you now, but let’s talk a little bit about, why don’t you give some of those quotes from some famous people.  

Travis: Well, the Mark Twain quote we talked about the last episode, and I couldn’t recall during the recording of that who that quote was from, but you identified that it was Mark Twain, and that quote is, “The two most important days of your of are the day you were born, and the day that you discover and find out why.” 

Dan: Right, that’s really cool. I mean, that’s a great quote.  

Travis: I mean, don’t you believe that we all have a unique purpose that’s unique to us? 

Dan: I do, absolutely. And to me, because of my own belief system and background and upbringing and a certain faith tradition, I might put a little bit different twist on it than what some people, but even if you have no faith tradition or regardless of your faith tradition, I think knowing what you’re here on earth for and what you should be doing. I would put it in terms of knowing why God created me, what that specific purpose for me is. Others might use a little bit different faith tradition to back it up, or not at all. Doesn’t matter, but you just got to believe that each of us is here for a very unique reason. Otherwise, we wouldn’t all have such unique characteristics. Even though we’re blood relatives, your skillsets and your talents are so different from mine. And so, therefore it would only stand to reason that you’re here for a different purpose.  

Travis: Yeah, and to throw another kind of wrinkle into it, something I’ve been pondering a lot lately is, is there anything that even exists in this world that doesn’t have a purpose?  

Dan: Yeah, great question.  

Travis: I mean it’d be hard to maybe identify something, even if it’s not a functional purpose, or a piece of art that the purpose maybe to inspire, to bring beauty, or to bring joy. I can’t think of anything, at least I haven’t been able to as of recently that doesn’t have a purpose, or doesn’t have a reason for existing, so that would be true for all of us.  

So, there’s plenty of quotes out there. There’s a great JFK quote, which I can’t think of verbatim.  And then Michael J. Fox has a great quote. I don’t know if you can—

Dan: Yeah, I mean it was really about—

Travis: Paraphrasing.  

Dan: I believe that not only is one’s purpose in life something that was divinely inspired, but we actually have an obligation to figure out what that is, and to live that purpose.  

Travis: So, in order to do that, we’ve come across five questions that can help us kind of discover our purpose. So, these are questions you can reflect on the listener, talk about with other people, reflect on yourself. And the first question is why are you here. So, what are your thoughts on kind of exploring that question or any comments you have? 

Dan: Right, yeah. I think what you’ve got to look at is you got to say look at yourself, and start getting a sense for who you are, what you’re doing, your talents, and start asking yourself these questions. If I’m here to do a certain thing, or to live a certain way, or to do to do something, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the creator would have given me the talent to do that? So, I think you got to start looking internally, and saying, what am I good at, what could I learn to be good at, or—

Travis: What are my passions? 

Dan: What are you passionate about? What do I get excited about? And all of those little components fit into. And so, there’s so many great people. Rick Warren has written a great book on “Purpose Driven Life.” And you’ve heard great innovators like Steve Jobs talk about, if you get up too many days in a row, and you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, then you probably need to stop, and go do something else. And I just think there’s a whole series of some questions that you can ask yourself. And we should probably unfold on a future podcast at some point, and just really spend 30 minutes talking about one’s purpose. But if we want to get through all four steps here this morning, we won’t be able to do that. But it’s certainly just an innate feeling about what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, and a lot of self-reflection and self-understanding about who you are. 

Travis: And these are questions to your point about knowledge we have, experienced we have, talent, skillsets that we have, where our passions are lying, kind of where those all kind of mix and overlap. Perhaps our purpose is in those areas, but we will absolutely explore that in a future episode.  

Okay, so that’s the first question, kind of why are you here, all those areas to kind of look at, knowledge, experiences et cetera. Second question is what’s my story. So, what are your thoughts on that? 

Dan: I think that people get stuck in discovering their purpose because life generally for everybody is just painful. It’s just the way life is. And it wasn’t meant to be Nirvana here or heaven on earth. It was meant to be earth. So, people get stuck because they make mistakes, and they start heading down a certain path, or life doesn’t turn out the way they would hope it’d turn out. And then I just think for one to discover your purpose, you have to start developing a story. And you see this unfold in kind of interesting ways. The most interesting right now, we’re in a series of politics, because we got a presidential election coming up here in November. And so, it’s just interesting to hear politicians who have created a story for themselves. And then, they do fact check, and they find out, well, that’s not really very accurate. So, in their own minds, they’ve actually convinced themselves that this is their story. And I don’t think that’s all bad necessarily. I know they’re criticized heavily for that. But I just want to encourage everybody to get rid of your story in the past if it’s not a good story. Get rid of guilt, get rid of shame.  

Forget about that, and start building a new story for yourself. And it’s about what direction you’re headed. It’s not where you are today. So, create a story around yourself, so that you can start talking about who you want to be and what your story needs to look like 10 years from now. So, that as you look back, you’ve created your story. So, start creating that story today. What do you want your life to be about? And start putting pieces around that. I just think for you to be able to talk about your life to other people, even if it may be aspirational in nature, is a really really good thing, because now you can start living a different story, and living towards the purpose if you’re just now discovering your purpose, and look back later, and your story has come to life. And I just think that’s a really, really cool way of discovering the power of purpose, is to create a better story than what you have today. 

Travis: And you can possibly use some of the challenges, the trials and tribulations that you’ve had in the past. 

Dan: As part of your story. 

Travis: Part of your story. I mean maybe there’s something that you, or I, or someone else has overcome, and they can use that, because now they’ve worked through that struggle, maybe that’s now part of their purpose and their gift of being a wayshower for other people.  

Dan: I’m glad you brought that up, because one of the things that I think I’ve learned and I’ve learned from other people is when you’ve had challenges in your life, or pain in your life, or failure in your life, use that as an opportunity to hone yourself to become the person that you want to be, and live a different purpose, and have a different story. Don’t view those as all bad things. Embrace those challenges, and say, “Now, it’s helping me become the person I am today.”  

I look back at my life, and with some of the things, I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t, because every single one of those things, even though at the time, I kept asking why me, why is this happening. And when I look back now, I think I know why it happened. And it helped me become the person I am today, and I like who I am today. And others may not, but I like who I am today. I think I’m living my purpose, and those challenges I wished I had looked at the time, and said, “Embrace that pain, embrace that suffering,” and really helped me become who I am. I didn’t really do it that way. It ended up that way. I just work through, it sort of ended up making me who I was. But man, I just really encourage everybody to develop their story. 

Travis: And there is an exercise that’s out there floating around on the internet that’s been used in leadership groups for a long time called Mountains and Valleys. What are the mountains? The peak positive experiences of your life, and the valleys, the negative struggles that we’ve gone through, and you can usually pull some wisdom out of each one of those. So, some people call it Mountains and Valleys, others call it Peaks and Valleys. So, either Google it, or we’ll try to find that exercise, and put it in the show notes, so that people can have it as a takeaway for this. 

Okay, so that’s the second question, what’s my story. Third question is who do I need. Thoughts on that? 

Dan: This is really so important. I don’t think we were created to live life as hermits. And so, we’re created to be social beings, and to help each other, and to live with other people. I’ve heard it said numerous times, if you give me 10 of your friends, and let’s talk about them, and I can tell you, if you keep those friends, I can tell you exactly what you’re going to look like five years from now.  You’ll be the average of those 10 people. And so, our parents used to talk about, well, who you hang out with is really important, who you hang out with is really important. And that wisdom that came from them, although as kids, we didn’t listen much to it, is so important today. So, I think what you have to do is you ask yourself the question, who is helping you become the person you want to become, who’s dragging you down, who’s lifting you up, who are you lifting up, who are you dragging down. Hopefully, nobody, but who your friends are, that’s really important. 

And number two, you need people that are going to be truthful and give you truthful feedback. I think it’s so important. I’ve heard it said that the biggest lies are the lies that we tell ourselves. You need somebody around you that can give you feedback, and you need to create the opportunity for them to give you feedback. You need to select friends. You need to put them in front of you, and you need to sit them down, and say, “I want you to tell me where you think I’m going wrong, where you think I’m going right, I want you to give me criticism and advice, and I need you to be transparent with me, and I need you to be honest with me.” And you can’t get mad at them when they tell you things that you may not want to hear. But you got to have people around. You got to have people to lift you up.  

And the purpose of this question is to identify who those people are, and eliminate those people, if there’s some, that are dragging you down, period. Get them out of your life, and put people in your life that actually lift you up. 

Travis: And to your point, I think that’s a Jim Rohn quote who said, decades ago, 20, 30 years ago, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So, who are those people, take a look at that in your life, and are they people that pull you up, or pull you down, or the type of mentors you have in your life? So, we can do a whole episode, and we may in the future, just about that. But this idea is really about optimizing our environment, so that it’s conducive to what we want, and people are a big part of that. So, that’s the third question, who do I need. 

Fourth question is what’s at stake. What are your thoughts about that? 

Dan: To me, this has to be with, are you happy with everything around, or the world around you? Are things that need to be improved on? Just when you get up in the morning, you just kind of need to have I think a passion for improving something. Maybe it’s the culture of your family, or culture of the organization. Maybe your family has a particular purpose that you want to see advanced, the mission behind your work, behind your job, so that you can have enthusiasm. So, it’s closely connected and an important element of purpose. So, you get up, and so in other words, you have something you want to fight for, something you want to strive for, something to make a difference.  So, you got to identify in the world around you what’s at stake here. If I don’t do anything, if I just live a happenstance blasé life with not really any purpose behind it, who could be hurt? And the opposite is true. If I do the opposite of that, who could be helped. Could I make a difference in the world around me? Could I make a difference in the neighbor across the street? Could I make a difference in my community? Could I make a difference in my spouse, in my child?  

The way I look at it, most of us as parents, particularly fathers – I would hope that if somebody broke into your home, who was going to hurt your children, that you would fight to the death. To me, why does somebody have to break into the home? Because you’re fighting for their lives in this world around us, because there is so much going on in both negative and positive, why not fight to make a positive?  

Travis: I mean the point I think here is that our purpose is usually tied to there being some need in the world, some vacuum, something that’s missing, and in order of making the world a better place, improving people’s lives, your family, your friends, healthcare, making the system better. The idea for us is that there’s a need, if you have a desire, try to connect that, and help tie that into your purpose, because you were put on this earth for a reason. So, let’s think about that, reflect on it.  To me, this is about there’s a need out there, what need are you trying to fulfill, or more importantly, who are you trying to serve? Who do you want to help in this world? So, that’s the fourth question, what’s at stake. 

The fifth and final question of part of this discovery process is how can I help. 

Dan: Yeah, so the true power, the true measurement of purpose, in my opinion, and the true power of purpose is really displayed in itself when you look back on your life. So, I think you asked yourself the question what exactly can I do, and it really has to do with what kind of a legacy am I going to leave. I look back a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now, what does my tombstone say about the life that I lived and the legacy that I left? How did I help? What difference did I make? It’s one thing to say, “I have a talent.” It’s another thing to be able to say, “Okay, here are the people around me who can help me with that talent, and improve lives.” It’s  another thing to be able to identify a need that’s out there, but ultimately, if you do nothing about it, you don’t get off your duff, and get something going and actually make a difference, and you look back, and say, “I knew what it was, and I knew what needed was, I knew the problem, but I didn’t do anything to help with it.” At least look back, and say you may have even failed, but boy, did I give it 100% of a gallant effort to be able to get there.  

And I think that old Vince Lombardi quote that you and I have talked about is that when you end up – or even a Teddy Roosevelt quote, talk about the man in the arena, you end up marred in dust and sweat and blood, even if you failed, you tried valiantly to make a difference, I think that’s what it’s all about, is leaving that legacy that I attempted to do something really well. And I assure you that if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ve discovered your purpose, that you will make a difference.  

Travis: I mean to know and not do is to never know, essentially. 

Dan: Exactly, right. 

Travis: So, if we put and take action based on how we can help people out there, I think that’s the important part. What can we do today, this week, this month, this quarter, this year, and then put a plan in place, so that we are actually taking action on it. So, that’s just those five questions that can help anyone discover their purpose if they take time in kind of reflecting on those questions. And it may be an ongoing reflection. It may change as you kind of discover and get closer and closer to what your purpose is.  

So, that’s really the first step is kind of discovering your purpose. What’s the second step? Let’s say, okay, I’ve defined my purpose. I know how I can help. What then? What’s step two? 

Dan: Yeah, I think it’s the very next step is discovering – now, if I know my purpose, who do I want to become? What sort of father? What sort of husband? What sort of mother? What sort of sibling?  What sort of friend? What sort of boss? What sort of teammate? Who do I want to become? So, if I know my purpose, who I want to become is living that purpose.  

So, step one, discover your purpose. Step two, live your purpose. And living your purpose starts with asking the question, who do I want to become. A year from now, two years from now, three years from now, five years from now, when I look back, who do I want to look back and say that’s the person that I’ve become, in each of those categories or in every category of life, and mostly centered around relationships? 

Travis: And then we have three questions which we’ll quickly run through, and I’ll ask you to give your thoughts on, questions that may be able to help define that for us as well. And this comes from a book called “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind,” by Vishen Lakhiani. And the first question is, how do I want to grow? So, what are your thoughts on that question?  And really you can apply it in multiple areas of our lives. 

Dan: Right. I think the whole thing regarding discovering who you want to become, in my opinion, is about balance. So, the questions that you’re asking are really about taking your life and saying, “Okay, I don’t want to have unbalanced life.” And the who that I want to become isn’t all about just physical health. So, the who I want to become, well, I want to be a guy that has great shape, great condition, and I got big biceps, great body, good cardiovascular shape, and then you stop there. I mean that’s just ignorant, because I think we all, in order to live our purpose, then we have to have some sort of a balance in our life. And those areas of life are obviously mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, all aspects, relational, social, all of those kinds. 

Travis: Family, community. 

Dan: Your marriage or community. So, I think the questions that you have to ask yourself are designed around developing a balance. And then rate those within those categories, and saying this gives me an idea of what I want to start working on, depending on how I rate those various categories.  

Travis: And the three questions that you can ask across all of those categories, and it doesn’t matter exactly what the 10 or 12 categories are. I mean if someone wants to find those exact categories, again, we’ll try to put some things in the show notes, but there’s plenty of areas that you can evaluate yourself, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, family, career, community, et cetera, et cetera.  

But the three questions are number one, how do I want to grow, number two, what experiences do I want to have, and number three, how do I want to contribute. What are your just general thoughts on those three questions? 

Dan: So, if you take those like you said, and you break those, and apply those three questions across all the different aspects of life, as you said, whether they’re emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, whether you apply them to marriage, family, career, so forth, and so on, and you ask those questions and apply it against those, then you start discovering, really where you have not been paying some attention to. So, if you’re really honest with yourself, and this is where the earlier question around having people around you that will give you honest feedback, you start asking them. So, how do you think I’m doing here? How would you grade me? I’ve graded myself as a father. I’ve graded myself as a boss, or a teammate, or co-worker. I’ve graded myself as a husband.  So, how would you grade me and those areas? And then you start talking about, okay, now I want to talk a little bit about my spirituality, and how would you grade me in the way of my creativity? How would you grade that? And so, as you start looking in on each of those three questions, applying it to all areas of life, you start getting an inclination. It will give you some insight on the who you want to become, as opposed to the who you are today.  

And I’ve talked about this repeatedly, we always try to look at people for who they could become, not for who they are today, because when you look at them as they are today, including yourself, you tend to make them worse. If you look at yourself and others for who you could become, you tend to make them better, and you see them as the creator sees them. And I think that’s what we’re trying to do with these questions. And like you said, if you put those in the show notes, it’ll help people discover the areas that maybe they’re not been doing very well in, they’ve been maybe ignoring, that they need to get better at, and maybe to become the who they want to become, so they can live their purpose. It’s that simple. I mean, it really flows nicely.  

Travis: So, would you recommend that people try to tackle all 12, or all 10 at once? I mean, notoriously, people may find themselves being a notorious under-rater. Like, I’m a one, out of a scale of 1 to 10, one bad, 10 being good. I’m a one at everything, or some people, hey, I’m really notoriously an over-rater, I’m 10 at everything, or notice if you do this kind of reflection, and you grade yourself, and you find that you’re a seven at everything, meaning you’re good but not great.  And so, let’s say somebody identifies they have some room for improvement in terms of who they want to be today is not quite aligned with how they’re currently showing up, would your recommendation be to start small, to try to tackle all 10 or 12 at once? What are your thoughts on that? 

Dan: That’s a great question. If you get into the show notes, you’ll see there’s three major questions and four subsets under each one, all going across all aspects of life as we discussed. If you think about that, there’s a total of really 12 if you do a cross section, and grade yourself in all areas of life. That’s meant to give you an insight on areas you might need to improve at most. The other thing you have to look at however, is which ones might be low hanging fruit, even though they’re not necessarily areas I need to improve the most, which one could I maybe tackle the quickest, the earliest, and that could have an exponential impact on some of the others.  

Look, if I grade myself as a father better than I grade myself as a husband, you might want to work on the husband. Even if you grade yourself as husband better than as father, you may still want to improve on the husband first, because that will help you become a better father as well, if you’re in sync with your wife, and so forth and so on. So, the grading on all 12 questions is really meant to be kind of just an aid to help you get started. The most important thing is get started, and only pick a few areas to start, preferably no more than two. Would encourage no one to pick any more than five, but preferably two. 

So, if you think about this, and you just do two each year, or even one each year, and you adopt a habit to improve those, and you actually improve, in 12 years, you will have improved every single area of your life. That’s pretty good. So, you don’t need to do more than a couple in my opinion, and just start, and get started on the areas, and get started right away. A year from now, you can do another one, or do two more a year from now, and you’ve already a third of the way there.  

Travis: Yeah, and if you have a quick win, and some momentum built, then maybe three months from now, turn your attention to another one. So, just going back to the beginning, step one, discovering your purpose, we talked about a series of questions. Step two, kind of defining and grading yourself, evaluating, am I living on purpose in all of the different areas that we just talked about. Step three, and we’re going to try to go through these last step three and step four fairly fast, but you talked about was putting the habits and systems in place. Anything you’d like to quickly say about that.  

Dan: Yeah, so I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, and I’m not actually very big on even goals themselves. I know that is kind of the culture, and everybody set goals. What I am big on is habits.  I’m big on systems. I’m big on processes, on tactics that you put in place to be able to become the who you want to become. So, it works like this. 

Let’s just pull one out of the air here. It could just be marriage. All right. So, if you say I’ve graded myself in marriage not where I want it to be, or have graded myself physically, my physical health where I want to be. Rather than putting a specific goal in mind for physical health, and saying, “Look, I would really like to have a waste of 31, I would like to run a six miles in under 60 minutes, or I would like to have biceps that measure this,” and setting that as a goal, wouldn’t it make more sense to say, “Who I want to become, I want to become somebody who’s actually physical fit that can live my purpose, and become an engaged parent, can keep up with my children, and do certain things with my children, because I am in good physical condition, and that my mind is sharp, because my body is healthy?” 

So, the question then is, in step 3, how do I develop the habits to be able to do that. Rather than the goal, and then have the goal fall by the wayside, start saying that I am somebody who is active, and I am somebody who eats healthy. And so, you start putting the habits in place to be able to become the who you want to become.

Travis: And may be as simple as working out every day, five minutes a day, 10 minutes a day. I mean that is a daily habit you can put in place that may help you reach that goal eventually. 

Dan: Process in place. You can put it on your watch. You’re going to do 10,000 steps. You keep track. All of that, it’s just a habit, it’s a system. You use technology as a system to be able to develop a habit, so that you become who you want to become. Not setting a goal. It’s developing a habit, just like brushing your teeth every single day, it becomes just commonplace of what you do. So, it’s all about habits, processes, systems, tactics that help you become the who you want to be.  And eventually, you’ll have the 31-inch waist without having set that goal, because it’s really about becoming who you want to become, not having a 31-inch waist. It’s about being the who, and the reason behind the who is your purpose. It’s that simple. 

Travis: And quick tip for the listeners is that oftentimes, consistency is more important than intensity. So, if I consistently work out five minutes a day, 10 minutes a day, that’s much better than if I work out 30 minutes one day, and the next day I don’t, because I don’t have 30 minutes. It’s like that consistency, that daily building that habit. We know from science, from research that it takes anywhere from 30 days upwards of 60, 90 days to establish a habit. So, consistency is often more important than intensity. So, that’s step three, habits, systems, processes. The final and fourth step, Dan, is? 

Dan: Is what I just call declarations, daily declarations, or words to live by. And it’s a process that you put in place, or a step you put in place to constantly remind yourself every single day that this is the habit that I’m going to develop. So, let’s just say that you’ve picked up two areas going through the second assessment of who you want to be answering the twelve questions. Those two areas of your physical health, let’s say the other one is your marriage, all right.  

So, every night when you go to bed and every morning when you wake up, you put daily declarations in place. You say, “My body is stronger because of the way I eat, what I eat, and the exercise that I get every single day.” So, I am a person that exercises every single day, and I am a person that eats healthy food. It’s that simple.  I’m also a person who has – I am a devoted loving husband, who is devoted and committed to my marriage, and we are going to talk and spend time with each other one hour every day, whether I’m traveling on the road, I’ll get up on the phone. We’re going to spend one evening every week, and we’re going to spend one weekend a month, and we’re going to spend one week a year vacationing or doing something together for a week, just to have it, simple. Every night one hour, one night a week, one weekend a month, one week a year, a simple habit, you just simply say those things that takes less than 60 seconds to make that declaration every day.  

I would encourage people to declare it in the morning when you wake up, first thing when you’re lying in bed, declare it before you go to sleep at night. That’s my words to live by for 2020. This is my daily declaration, and I’m going to repeat it every morning, until it becomes a habit. You don’t have to tell yourself I’m going to get up and take a shower, you shower. You don’t have tell yourself, I’m going to brush my teeth, or at least I hope you don’t. You just get up and brush your teeth. If you make these daily declarations, and you become somebody that that does exercise as a normal happy habitual routine, that eats healthy food, that is committed to a marriage, spending time an hour a night, a weekend, a week a year, then you can move onto other aspects of your life, because these will become normal routine and a normal habit, and you will become the who you want to become in those aspects living the purpose that you want to live.  

Travis: And if you apply that to leadership, the declaration can be I’m a good leader, I’m a great leader, or hey, I’m getting better at honing my leadership skills and abilities every single day. I’m getting better. I’m heading in the right direction. 

Dan: By doing this, this, and this every single day. I will, today, the areas that I’m weak on in leadership is I’m not good at listening, I’m not good at being proactive, I’m not good at empowering leader, I’m not good at giving people the authority to say yes, I’m not good at engaging my team, I’m not good at meeting. So, whatever those areas are, I am going to conduct meetings that are meaningful, not just FYI meetings.  I’m actually going to have meetings where we make decisions, and we solve problems. And so, when you say, “I’m going to be a better leader, I’m going to be a great leader, I am a great leader, and I’m a great leader by the way I do things today.” Say it again at night. So, you actually have to put actual habits in place. You can’t just say, “I’m going to be a great husband.” You have to say, “What habit am I going to put in place today,” and repeat the exact same thing the next day. You’re going to be an empowering leader, what habit are you going to put in place today to become that empowering leader? 

Travis: Yup, couldn’t agree more. So, there’s steps one through four in terms of how we can first lead ourselves. So, any closing comments? 

Dan: No, just really appreciate everybody taking the time to listen to these. And by the way, I would like for us to start a rating feedback, so that wherever they consume content, they give us some sort of feedback, so that we can constantly be improving content. And by the way, recommend to friends, family, any of the things that we have is meant for anybody to be able to improve their lives around this content. So, be more than thrilled if people would be open to doing that. So, thank you Travis.  

Travis: Yup, thank you, Dan. 

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