New Beginnings

January 1, 2017 |by vchamp | 0 Comments | Blog | , , ,

All things come to an end and with that end, new beginnings. As we start the New Year, it is imperative that we restart and refresh who we are– mentally, physically and spiritually. We need to refocus and develop ourselves personally and professionally to hit our goals for the New Year, and even more importantly, to meet career milestones, make cost-saving financial purchases, and build stronger relationships. We must also remove bad habits, refine our processes, and develop skillsets to meet the challenges of the unpredictable world and the critical demands of life. This is why I call January, “New Beginnings Month,” because this month focuses on the individual, our personal and professional goals, to find a new way to everyday living. Today, I will share with you a life lesson on taking inventory of lessons learned and experienced that can be applied to three areas of your life– time, finance, and relationships. By learning to take inventory of past experiences and applying them, it will help you in your journey to developing a new way to everyday living.

Take inventory means reviewing what you learned and experienced in the previous years. What lessons were considerably impactful or profound that you can use this year? Can any lessons be applied to how you manage your time and priorities? Can you add or take away activities that will give you more value or create ease to accomplishing your goals. One strategy is to tighten up your schedule and be more detailed with your calendar so you can see how much time you have to allocate for what matters most to you. Set aside time for you and your family including vacations, date nights, children’s events, holiday gatherings, and individual time. Scheduled events aren’t set in stone, but they do keep you on track. Adjust if you need to because some unforeseen life circumstances will come up. The more you plan and detail your calendar early, the further you can forecast, which will allow you to schedule what needs to be done to successfully accomplish your goals. If you don’t schedule important events and milestones, insignificant events will push your life around like a leaf that blows in the wind.

In applying the “take inventory” strategy to the financial aspect of your life, budget according to your needs and what yields the greatest return. Consider investing in things that will improve your well-being, advance your career and personal development, and significantly boost your overall happiness. A strategy is to study the pricing trends for the things that you are in the market to buy like produce, goods, vacation packages, and property. For example, winter brings the lowest fare in flight tickets so now is the time to buy. This is the same for the housing market so take advantage of the winter season. Also, plan ahead and buy tickets early for business trips, personal and professional development conferences, and family vacations, which is a sure way to stretch the dollar. If you own a business, consider what can save you money and what can serve you efficiently and then spend accordingly. Being financially savvy doesn’t mean you have to be cheap, you just have to be smart about where you spend your money and how you spend it so you get the most out of it.

Lastly in taking inventory, we will examine your relationships. I say and believe this quote wholeheartedly, “There’s money in the transaction, but the wealth is in the relationships.” We are who we roll with, assimilate to who we associate with, and become like who are around us. “Show me your network and I’ll show you your future,” is what I always say to people who want to start investing in their success. If there are people in your life that do not contribute to the development of your life, personally or professionally, then remove them from your life. Of course there are those people who you cannot remove from your life because of circumstances, but when you do have the “choice,” choose to distance yourself away from them or remove them from your life. Toxic relationships will bring out the worse in you. Your healthy habits will start to waiver, their ways will become your ways, they will interfere with how you communicate with others, and if they are in your life long enough, they will affect your belief system and mentality for success. Try to meet other like-minded people who are positive and successful at what you want to be successful at whether it is in a skill set, a career path, or financial stability.

Taking inventory on what happened in the past, analyzing the corrections and changes that needed to be made, and applying the changes can help you develop a new way to everyday living. January is the month of new beginnings. Take inventory, believe in yourself, and then work for it. This is a new year for a new you and new beginnings. This is a new way to everyday living. Live it!

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Freedom and Success

November 11, 2016 |by vchamp | 0 Comments | Blog

FREEDOM AND SUCCESS – A Means to Succeed
“Give me liberty, or give me death!” The words of Patrick Henry echoed in 1775, empowering the Thirteen Colonies to break free from British oppression. Much like our founding fathers, it is our individual and collective duty to strive for success by attaining freedom from oppressive fear. I define freedom as the power to dream, believe, plan, work and achieve what one wants without hindrance or restraint from fear of failure, the unknown, criticism, embarrassment and self-doubt. It is more complex than the acquisition of money, prestige, influence, title and power; freedom means knowing joy, peace, happiness, and spiritual fulfillment.

Although freedom is, by definition, a noun, it is most effective when associated with action. Action is how the Thirteen Colonies achieved their independence, and action is the means to achieving one’s goals, dreams, hopes and aspirations. In this blog, we will address the manner in which freedom allows us to take control of our own success despite the oppressive forces pressed against us.

LIFE LESSON ONE – Self-Confidence
Self-confidence is the first life lesson gifted to us through freedom. It allows us to believe we can achieve. Henry Ford says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t–you’re right.” I often have my audiences, from grade school children to industry professionals, repeat my Coach V Belief Code; “I believe in me. What I believe, will be. Respect all. Fear nothing. I will not be bullied. And the bully will not be me. I believe me. What I believe will be.” This is the password punched into the keypad of our minds, reinforced through positive self-talk, which unlocks potential and grants access through the doors of courage.
Reciprocally, a negative self-perception can become an obsession. There are always a number of excuses for failing to act; the goals are too lofty, you’re not good enough, you don’t have the skills, you don’t deserve that, too young, too old, too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too good looking, not enough experience, they won’t like you, they hate you, they won’t help you, they can’t understand you, and so on.

Self-worth is manifested from within one’s own mind. Always know that you are unique and there is no one else on the planet like you; you are the only carrier of your individualized finger print. Special are the abilities, skills, and passions that you have to offer the world. Your finger print, and the destiny set forth by your purpose, are unique, so too will be your journey. You have a purpose, and your destiny calls for you to believe in it.

LIFE LESSON TWO – Self-Growth
The next life lesson granted from freedom is self-growth despite what we might not be familiar with, an expert in, or ready for. There are many universities, trade schools, conferences, and seminars to develop our skills and knowledge within every career field. However, I am a firm believer that struggle, failure, embarrassment, and obstacles are the true cultivators of our progress and growth.

Yes, success breeds success. But only loss teaches us to prioritize our time and value our resources; to respect others, to be more forgiving, to be engaged and fully invested in the process, and to take responsibility for every outcome. Though we all age biologically, that does not equate to a sense of maturity. Maturity develops from experience, thus mistakes are inherently part of the success process.

Mahatma Gandhi says, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” To err is human. No one is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Success is a relative term, and everyone has a different means of interpreting it. This fact remains, there is no progress or growth without mistakes, loss and struggle.

LIFE LESSON THREE – Self-Appreciation
The final life lesson taken from freedom is appreciation. My most respected historical mentor, master speaker and motivator Jim Rohn, says, “If it’s easy to do, it’s easy no to.” I word it slightly different, but the lesson remains the same; easy to, easier not to.

Prior to my success, I was lazy and would not put forth the effort to do better. It wasn’t until 1999 that I finally applied myself to the opportunities presented to me. After graduating high school in 1994, I went to college in Billings, Montana, only to leave after one semester. I then attended a local junior college and transferred to San Bernardino Valley College, only to drop out again. At the age of 22, I decided I had had enough, and it was time to pursue the future I had always seen for myself. I returned to junior college once again, and accepted as a transfer to the University of California, Davis. Finally, at the age of 26, I was able to graduate with a four year degree.

It’s easy to take the steps to become educated, start a business, and earn money, but still easier to accept one’s current state. Contentment is a disease of our freedom. Opportunity is everywhere around us, yet we choose not to reach, choose not to plan, choose not to dream, not to work, choose not to risk, and choose not to do. We easily subscribe to our complacency, feeling stuck, thus perpetuating self-doubt. Ultimately, when you neglect your freedom, you are neglecting your future.

FREEDOM AND SUCCESS – A Final Thought
None of these lessons require super-human power, but they do demand discipline and determination. I was able to bridge the gap between the poverty of my childhood, and the professional that I am today. I didn’t graduate with a four-year degree until I was 26 because it was easier not to. Only once you have the confidence, experience, and appreciation for life’s opportunities will you be able to reap the fortunes of freedom.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” We have the freedom to, so do it.

Release Your Champion,
Viliami Tuivai

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Whatever It Takes for Freedom

November 11, 2016 |by vchamp | 0 Comments | Blog | , , , ,

WHATEVER IT TAKES For FREEDOM

There are underlying similarities between a freedom fighter and a person focused on achieving their respective definition of success.

Both consciously choose to NOT allow fear to govern their choices, the resulting actions and subsequently their lives. Rather they choose to move forward with courage.

Both are passionate, absolutely determined and 100% committed to do whatever it takes to fulfill their cause, which is to achieve success and freedom.

The underlying irony is that for each, there are seemingly constant challenges to deal with, obstacles to overcome and lessons to be learned.

Freedom fighters, such as Nelson Mandela and the signers of the Declaration of Independence, risked their lives and demanded everything of themselves to obtain freedom for their people, for their respective causes that were so much larger than themselves individually.

The same holds true for those who passionately and absolutely commit to achieve the success for which they have a burning desire. Individuals such as Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Schwaab, Abraham Lincoln and so many before and after their time, honed in with true clarity for what they wanted to create in their lives and then did whatever it took to follow through to get to their ultimate destination.

In all of these cases, individually and collectively, every single individual had a never stop, never lose hope, and never quit approach. To switch the perspective to a more positive focus, they each had complete faith that their “cause” was worth it and achievable. They had immense belief in themselves. They developed and implemented a plan of action and then did whatever it took to follow through to actually achieve the success they had dreamed of.

Yes, freedom and success both take effort and there may be blood, sweat and tears along the way… yet when you start living your “definition of success”, the feelings of fulfillment, joy, the ability to give and to make a difference, knowing you have created what you set out to do, makes it worth every second you took a risk, every time you stepped out of your comfort zone, every time you compromised and made the choice to do a bit more.

There is nothing like tasting, feeling, seeing and smelling freedom and success that you have personally created.

 

LIFE LESSON ONE – Freedom is on the Other Side of Fear

There are those who suggest that you shouldn’t fear anything. I believe that this is not 100% true. Every single person has fear of some sort. There are times fear can be used as a mechanism to temper our tendencies toward having a reckless nature. Certain types of fear act as a sensory feeling to preserve your wellbeing. This self-preservation mode of fear helps avoid putting ourselves into positions where we may encounter or endure physical pain or in extreme scenarios even keep us out of literally life-threatening situations.

I think there are different types of fear when it comes to self-preservation. One example would be considering the risk before actually jumping out of a plane with a parachute. This is a higher than normal risk activity where the chances of dying are much greater than most of the things you do on an everyday basis. Yet, I have friends who have gone sky-diving and said it was amazing. One of them actually went sky-diving because it was his single biggest fear and he wanted to experience what was on the other side of his fear. He said it was incredible, but will most likely not do it again. Some people sky-dive regularly and love the sense of the exhilaration, of the thrill. I also know of people who have been paralyzed from sky-diving or hang-gliding accidents.

Personally, I would never attempt to do a high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon. Why? Because walking on a high-wire takes immense skill that is the result of years of practice. I have no desire whatsoever to do something like this where so much risk is involved. (Do note that preparation often decreases the risk).

It is vital to wisely assess your choices, actions and any ultimate decisions to take part and invest in any situation where there may be the possibility of extreme emotional or physical risk.

When it comes to finding freedom and/or creating success, your choices tend to be based upon that which is not real. This includes fear of the unknown, self-doubt, criticism by others, disbelief, or any other type of conditioned fear. Fear must not be allowed to put us into a state of paralysis that results in our doubting that we can achieve or keeps us from jumping into action.

My two favorite acronyms for the word “FEAR” are: “False Evidence Appearing Real” and “False Expectations Appearing Real”. Deep within our subconscious minds we have become ingenious at creating evidence of all of the negative possibilities that may occur if we try to do something outside of our comfort zone, which directly results in our self-creating negative expectations. When we expect something negative, we will always strive to avoid this potential outcome, which in turn leads to hesitation and constant procrastination.

The irony of this is summarized by the two above acronyms for “FEAR“…

Subsequently we make up a constant barrage of excuses and alibis such as, “The goal I have is going to be too hard to achieve”; “It will take too long”; “I do not have anywhere close to enough money so I can’t afford to do this now”; or, “There is no way I will ever be able to find the people or the resources to even get started”.

Having the awareness to acknowledge and assess the realistic possibilities of the negatives, being aware of your fears and understanding that you must leave your comfort zone, being aware of that environment of familiarity which feels so comfortable and good, to have freedom and success you must go ahead and take the proverbial, yet literal, Leap of Faith. Worst case scenario, this is what you must do to gain the experience that it takes to learn and grow so you can achieve and gain.

In order to gain you must work hard and take some level of risk (such as stepping outside of your comfort zone or doing something very unfamiliar). Many people end up worrying and creating stress, which seems quite normal, but which is actually a choice. The all too prevalent worry and stress syndromes are almost always a result of subconscious fear. A huge irony of life is that the more you focus on your fears, the more likely they are to come true. The solution lies in focusing on the process that will get you what you want, take you closer to your ultimate destination, rather than allowing your fears to consume you. Life, leadership, business, sports, relationships, and academics all work this way.

Franklin D Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” As noted earlier, certain types of fear are necessary to help keep us safe. However, for the demands of life, freedom, progress, success and achievement and realizing your incredible inherent potential and for being who you are being called to be, fear creates “false expectations” and “false evidence”. These lead to hesitation, procrastination, heightened self-doubt, worry and all the things that will serve as obstacles to being your best and to getting to where you really want to be in life.

We must intentionally be our best, be courageous to take the steps necessary to live our purpose and achieve our dreams, to be who we believe we are called to be, whatever the cost. We must have the attitude “Whatever it takes!”

I believe fear is the biggest single obstacle to freedom and success on the planet. FEAR also stands for “Forget everything and run”. Fear distracts us from being who we need to be, keeps us from doing what we need to do. It keeps us from creating something better, from aspiring to greatness. It can even lead us to forget our dream. Fear can be powerful beyond belief. The irony is that fear only exists in our head. You can’t smell it, hear it, see it, touch it or taste it… yet it can halt you in your tracks and keep you from achieving your future destiny.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Inc., one of the most successful companies the modern world has seen. Jobs and Wozniak certainly did NOT allow their fears to get in the way. And there had to be many of them such as the fear of not getting funding in the beginning and people saying they were crazy because no one would want a home computer. They did not allow anything to stop them. Their vision was for every home to have a computer and they pursued this dream with everything they had. Theirs is truly an absolutely incredible success story that was fueled by their purpose, belief, commitment, hard work and their constantly taking calculated risks.

Later, Steve Jobs did not allow fear to run him into hiding after Apple Inc. kicked him out of the very company he had founded. Apple ended up asking him to return and he took them to where they are today, to being one of the most recognized brand names in the world, with customer loyalty second to none, and a company with more money than the U.S. government!

In my opinion, Abraham Lincoln was the greatest President in our nation’s history. He led this country through one of the most challenging times we have ever faced, a time filled with extreme differences, prejudice, difficulties and even hatred… all resulting from different opinions regarding slavery.

Throughout the Civil War, Lincoln never allowed his fears to take over. He did not run into hiding when both the North and South suffered huge losses of life from the major battles of the Civil War. Rather, he focused on what he wanted to achieve and on how to make it happen. Abraham Lincoln stood for, fought for, what he believed in with everything he had and as a result, the individuals of our country gained freedom.

As mentioned in the previous blog, Nelson Mandela continued to stand for his beliefs. He carried on, denouncing apartheid and the battle against it, even while being imprisoned for 27 years.

The fear you are experiencing may seem or even feel real because you’ve had terrible experiences and “suffered” failure. No one wants to continue to go through more of the same. Realizing that “failure” actually provides the opportunity to learn and grow is one of the greatest epiphanies anyone can have. Be aware of when fear starts to impact your energy and emotions. Have the courage to gain clarity, to develop a plan and to persistently take action so you can begin to achieve and create your success and your freedom.

The above historical examples of Apple Inc., President Lincoln, and Nelson Mandela are available to everyone as examples of what can happen when you take a stand for a cause or vision you believe in and take courageous action. Just imagine what can happen when instead of unknowingly focusing on your fears, you choose to act on your faith.

 

LIFE LESSON TWO – Be and Do with Intention

What would you actually commit to doing to achieve the success that you want? Your desire and commitment to do whatever it takes is the tuition you must pay to graduate to your success.

First, it is essential to write down the definition of what success means to you. Then you must list the components, the actions, achievements and goals that will lead you to this place.

It takes a plan to map out the journey and to be able to track and measure your progress. Write down your plan of action according to what you believe you can do and taking into account the resources, time and money you have available and then immediately start taking action!

Being consistent and persistent will make the difference. Making a little progress every day has a compounding effect for your plan and the results you get. (The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is an excellent read specifically covering how taking consistent action leads to compounded results).

Those who end up sitting around, wishing for what they want and think they need, will end up going nowhere. This is like going round and round in the proverbial toilet bowl. When you do not step out of your comfort zone by taking empowered action, there is only one place you end up.

When I committed to begin the transformation of my physique, I weighed in at almost 250 lbs. I knew I had to start slowly and be persistent in order to build up my physical fitness and become much more aware of my eating habits. First, I started walking. Then I moved up to playing basketball (now this I got excited about!).

When we could afford it, my wife and I joined a gym and have had access to group, classes, cardio machines, a great swimming pool, both machine and free weights ever since. It was on, and so was I! In addition to the physical activity I learned more about healthy nutrition and started “doing the diet”, becoming much more aware of what types of food I ate and how much. (And I thought I understood healthy eating habits before… wrong!).

Learning was truly a part of the process. Learning what exercises to do, how to do them correctly, how many reps, how many times a day, a week. Variety is important as weight training, resistance, cardio and stretching all play vital roles for balanced fitness.

I did the same with my Coach V LLC business, which is an unbelievable passion for me. I coach Life, Leadership and Business, and speak professionally in these realms. Back in the beginning, I did not have the money to promote the way I am able to now with videos, a great and impacting website, social media, being an author, and so much more.

For my keynote speaking, I realized the importance of “practice” and committed to speak anywhere I could for free and through this actual experience began to promote my speaking services. This in turn led to getting paid speaking gigs… which in turn provided personal life coaching opportunities and actual coaching clients… and the impact I was having with these individuals led to my becoming an executive speaking coach… and this level of courage to do what I dreamed of doing in turn opened doors to tremendous opportunities, some planned and some a wonderful surprise. Now I ask myself, “What next?”

When I founded Invictus Foundation, it all started with just me, 3 other coaches, and free use of a football field. As we started to make progress, we created by-laws, filed for nonprofit status, and started having fundraising events. We now have an annual program with over 60 coaches, on average 170 kids per session at our football programs, and incredible free services including lunch and sport drinks! Every kid gets a free t-shirt, has an experience of a lifetime, receives empowering and potentially life-changing encouragement, and goes through basic life-skills training. We are achieving our mission of impacting today’s youth through one-on-one, integrity and core value based interaction.

These are a few real life examples demonstrating the results that come with taking action. If I had merely hoped and sat around waiting, I would still be doing the same thing… sitting there.

When you want things to happen, you must jump into action. You must be clear on what it is you want, you must design, develop, implement and follow a plan of action. You MUST TAKE ACTION, consistent and persistent action. Then, and only then, will it seem like people will start knocking down the door. When you are BEING the person it takes, you will do what it takes… and you start attracting amazing things and people into your life. These people may simply want to meet you, they may want to join you, they may want to purchase your product or service.

Once the cycle has started, you still can’t simply start sitting on your backside, you’ve got to continue with the persistency. You can build a team of like-minded integrity and core-value based people who are drawn to your passion and energy and who love the process as much as you do. When the process is FUN, it changes everything yet again. Life becomes more and more joyful and fulfilling and you become more and more grateful

Zechariah 4:10 reads, “Don’t despise small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin”. You must START and persistently do whatever it takes to create the compounding effect, and you will start to attract what you need. I know because I’ve been there!

 

LIFE LESSON THREE – There Are Only Two Ways to Fail… Don’t Start or Quit

The most impacting life lesson I can share with you has been proven over and over throughout time and history. Every reaper of success has learned this lesson…

“There Are Only Two Ways to Fail… Don’t Start or Quit”

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who     have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

The two most recent NBA Champion teams in 2015 and 2016 have proven this Life Lesson. They knew that to achieve their dream of being World Champions that it was an all-out, now or never, “Don’t Quit!” scenario.

The 2015 Golden State Warriors and 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers were irrelevant for decades. Yet they set their sights as high as they could go and subsequently proved that WHEN you never quit, it’s possible to achieve your loftiest dreams.

I have a feeling you’ll be seeing these two teams contend again for the NBA Championship in the very near future. They are not guaranteed the success of winning, but because of their “Don’t Quit” mindset, they have created the opportunity to realize their definition of success.

 

To highlight the mentality of a champion, here is an inspiring poem written by Edgar A. Guest (with some Coach V “edits”):


Don’t Quit.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When life is pressing you down a bit –

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is weird with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a fellow turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup;

And he learned too late when the night came down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It might be near when it seems afar;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

As the poem reads, “Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.”

 

WHATEVER IT TAKES for FREEDOM – A Closing Champion Thought

These life lessons will afford you every opportunity to gain the freedom to believe, plan, act and achieve in every phase of your life. Don’t allow fear to guide your actions. Choose courage and hope instead.

Do whatever you can with what you have and pay whatever the cost to achieve. And lastly, don’t ever quit!

When you take action to apply these life lessons, you will transform your life. Not because I say so, but because Life and Success say so. Freedom is vital as it gives you the choice to do whatever is necessary to succeed. Without the freedom to choose, you will be condemned to always chasing contentment, which leads to being mediocre and discontent.

Challenge yourself today! Choose to be the Champion that you’ve been called to be, that you are destined to be.

 

Release your Champion,

Viliami Tuivai

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Complacency and Success

November 11, 2016 |by vchamp | 0 Comments | Blog

COMPLACENCY AND SUCCESS – Your Choice to Make

We are all held captive by something such as the past, relationships, vices, fear, anxiety, and subconsciously self-imposed limitations. Many people are imprisoned in a job they think they need to make ends meet, but doesn’t bring them fulfillment or joy.

Approximately 70% of Americans claim to hate their jobs. Living in such misery is not something anyone would suggest enduring. This doesn’t mean you should simplyquit your job. It is vital to think about what you really want and then create an Action Plan and then make sure you are inspired to the point of action to actually take the necessary steps to improve or change your situation. Know that this will involve some work on yourself, which in the realm of Life Champion Coaching we consider self-growth, which often begins with a shift in your mindset.

Be sure to not be persuaded by naysayers! It is vital to not worry about what others say when you tell them about the change that you want to spark in your life and career. The opinions of others will never define you. It is through your own personal choices that determine your life’s next round of consequences and that can create a more desired outcome for you and your family.

The following life lessons, when learned and applied with consistent action, can absolutely release you from what holds you captive and end up leading you to freedom, all through freedom of choice.

Choose to make self-empowering choices that align with your destiny, so you can truly be the master of your fate, the captain of your soul. (For further inspiration, read Invictus The Inconquerable, by William Ernest Henley).

 

LIFE LESSON ONE – Complacency is a Disempowering Choice

Maybe it’s an ironic choice, but satisfaction is easier than production. As humanitarian Benjamin E. Mays said, “The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities.”

It is a surprise to me that people would rather remain in their downward spiral, continuing to be held captive by self-doubt and excuses, rather than reaching to find the happiness they deserve. You deserve to experience fulfillment and happiness.

Everyone has potential, yet it seems that not that many people truly succeed. The difference is a matter of choice. The choices that you and I make, always have consequences. These can be positive or negative. It is vital to take personal responsibility for our choices as it is our individual decisions alone that shape our future.

To succeed, it takes more than skill or talent, it requires desire, true commitment and initiative. It is past choices that has led us to where we are today and created who we are at this point of our lives.

It is the choices we will make today that will shape our lives tomorrow. William Jennings Bryan stated, “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

For my success, it has been the combination of my choices and my decision to take the risk to leave my comfort zone that has ended up paying huge dividends for me in my personal life and professional career.

It takes courage to make life-changing choices. Some of these courageous choices for me include going back to college as a 23 year old college sophomore to fulfill my dream to play college football; leaving all that was familiar to me and moving to Boise Idaho to become a graduate assistant; proposing to my college sweetheart, Martha; and leaving my career as a college football coach to become a professional keynote speaker.

Determining to take even bigger risks to continue to create the life I wanted for me and my family included choices such as: moving from Boise to Elk Grove CA, just south of Sacramento; founding a community nonprofit called Invictus Foundation that integrates sports and youth passion platforms to teach empowering life-lessons and cores values preparing youth to succeed in their lives; deciding to write a book called Life Champion: Life Lessons That Yield Championship Results, published and released in July, 2015.

These personal choices have led to the realization of one of my biggest dreams, the founding of the Life Champion Conference, to inspire, train, teach and coach audiences around the world to prepare them to achieve their goals, dreams, hopes and aspirations.

My past choices have created a life-transforming platform through my Business and Self-Development Conference where the focus is Purpose, Motivation, Perseverance, and Success, to actualize the calling of my purpose. These very principles are what have driven me towards achieving my individual success.

Some of the most important elements for you to start moving towards your own personal success include: What do you believe in (a belief in something greater than yourself that will consistently inspire you to take empowering action); making family an absolute priority; being aware of who you surround yourself with (determining your innermost circle of people you trust and who believe in you and support you); gaining true clarity for your goals; to become aware of and answer your life’s purpose or calling; how much money you want to make; how you will give back in a monetary sense; daring to take a risk and go for your dreams.

Other components involve figuring out: what you want your legacy to be; attracting the special person you choose as your spouse (in my mind this is the most important choice in adult life); committing to be a champion in learning and constantly pursuing and advancing in knowledge; consistently following a healthy diet and exercising daily; having the awareness and maintaining the self-discipline it takes to avoid your vices; and finally to love and respect yourself unconditionally.

It is essential to have heightened levels of awareness and to take responsibility for whether or not your choices are leading you to create; opportunity, prosperity, joy, peace, happiness, spiritual fulfillment and love.

You will not know what the outcome of every choice is, however when the outcomes is not what you want, make a different choice.

Changing your mind to make a different choice that will take you closer to securing your success and your ultimate freedom is a part of the process.

(By the way, it is vital that you write down with clarity these elements. Putting pen to paper changes fleeting thoughts to something real. This is a game changer).

 

LIFE LESSON TWO – Live Invictus

Success is found through the challenges of adversity. I call it unavoidable suffering as there is always a risk involved and a price to pay.

You must understand it will always be necessary to overcome challenges in order to break free from the rut of contentment. Transformation will never come from within your comfort zone, and opportunity does not present itself to those who are not seeking it.

Matthew 7:7 (NIV) says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

It is better to try and fail than to wonder what could have been. Through my personal experience, I’ve found that having faith leads to certainty. It’s not “if“, it’s “when”.

The New Living translation of this Matthew 7:7 verse is, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” In other words, when you keep going, you will arrive at your desired destination. There are only two ways to fail. Either don’t start, or quit.

Do not ever allow external pressures to lead you to believe that you are incapable of change. Free yourself from the opinions and negative thoughts of others as these only serve to spread the disease of self-doubt.

One of the world’s greatest activists and humanitarians, Nelson Mandela, said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Rather than remaining complacent under the oppressive rule of South Africa, he took a huge risk and stood up for his beliefs and empowered his people to pursue the freedom that was rightfully theirs. He did not concede to the naysayer’s demands, run from the constant stream of threats, or abandon any aspect of the conflict that would rise from the potential uprising and even revolution that could result from his taking a stand in the face of immense adversity and prejudice.

For an astonishing twenty-seven years, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, held captive because of his unwavering commitment to his cause, because he would not cave to the opposing beliefs of his “captors”.

After his release from prison, Mandela became the first democratically elected President of the same nation that had held him captive.

It would have been far easier to submit to the apartheid in South Africa, however Nelson Mandela had absolute belief that the need for freedom was far greater than the danger of death and even a lifetime of captivity. Because of this unwavering faith, Mandela kept going until he got to his destination.

 

Note: While in Robben Island prison, Mandela frequently read the following poem, Invictus, by William Ernest Henley to gain the courage to choose commitment to the cause;

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

 

Believe and Commit

Do the work to figure out with definite clarity what you want. Believe in yourself and in what it is you want to create for yourself and your family. Commit to take action, face your life’s challenges and do the work to change, get better and make progress. Do whatever it takes to live and experience life the way you want it to be. Don’t be complacent.

I’m saying break the rules, break your rules and do whatever it takes. I’m not saying break the law. Short-cuts like breaking the law will only serve to disempower you and bring true negativity into your life, often in an irreversible form.

What I am talking about not doing what everyone else is doing, and that you need to break the rules of complacency. In other words, make choices that matter versus sitting there like a bump on a log and simply wishing things were different. Doing whatever it takes and doing the work is how one achieves, progresses, and succeeds.

One of the world’s most inspirational motivators, Jim Rohn said, “Don’t wish things were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.”

Well said, Jim Rohn! Commit to improving yourself, to getting better, to developing the skills you need, to staying the course and to gaining the invaluable wisdom that only experience can bring.

Like Nelson Mandela’s mindset after being imprisoned for 27 years, the word Invictus means having absolute faith, being unconquerable, unsubdued, invincible, and being 100% committed.

Be determined to overcome any and all obstacles at any cost. Live life making the hard choices, the ones that will lead to real self-growth. When you choose to do whatever it takes, you will feel no regret.

Never settle for less than your best. Freedom isn’t free, and nothing worth having, comes easy. Know, believe, that you deserve to fully experience your definition of success.

 

COMPLACENCY AND SUCCESS – A Final Thought

As the Invictus poem states, you are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your soul. Freedom and success afford many things, but you cannot escape from the responsibility it takes to make the choices, challenging choices it takes to create this very freedom and success.

Many people say that they will do anything for success, until they realize the totality of 100% commitment required to achieve such success. No one has ever said that success, prosperity, joy, peace, happiness, spiritual fulfillment or love were easy.

Anyone who has experienced true success will tell you that it is absolutely worth every ounce of effort, every sacrifice, and every compromise. For when that is done they are living with true freedom.

Your success depends on challenging yourself to make the appropriate and necessary choices, the tough ones, to live the life you’ve always wanted.

Now choose to go live your life the way you want! Choose to be a Life Champion.

 

Release your Champion,

Viliami Tuivai

 

 

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