Achieve What You Dream
February 3, 2015
Sometimes people laugh at me. Actually, it would be more truthful if I said 'often people laugh at me.' This time it happened because I suggested to a new, and promising talent, to keep a performance diary.
On reflection I understand. I had only just met this new talent. I bounced into the room, wearing a sky blue velvet jacket that clashed with bright red shoes and I couldn't sit still. I was sitting then standing then sitting again. And I was babbling on about keeping a performance diary. What can I say, I can't help but get over-excited at promising, new talent!
It was after our meeting that I realized I was dealing with someone who truly thought talent was a result of nature and not nurture. That's not what I believe.
Talent isn't a gift of nature. It's like a muscle. The more you work the muscle the bigger and stronger it can grow. Stop working it and it begins to weaken again. Yes, some people naturally have bigger muscles and greater strength, but everyone can grow their muscles if they work at it. Talent should be thought of like a muscle. It takes unimaginable dedication and perseverance, and often personal sacrifice but you can improve performance if you work at it. You can take a good performance and turn it into something great. Something spectacular. If you really want to.
One very small step in that journey that we recommend is the daily performance diary.
There is a belief that if you write your goals down, it is more likely to happen. Once you write a goal down, you bring it to the attention of your subconscious mind. Then the Reticular Activating System in your brain brings relevant information to the attention of your conscious mind. You are bringing the power of your whole mind - both the conscious and subconscious parts - to the achievement of your goals. Sounds scientific, so it must be true!
Jim Carrey is a believer in this. His famous story goes something like this... In the early 1990s when he was a struggling comic trying to make his way in LA, he wrote himself a check for $10 million and dated it Thanksgiving 1995, added the notes "for acting services rendered," and he carried it in his wallet from that day onwards. Every day it was a physical reminder of what his goal was. He looked at it every day. He got the $10 million for his role in Dumb & Dumber in 1995.
The idea is to physically write down what you want to achieve. You focus on capturing your goals. Write down your dreams for the future. Then each time you make an entry you reflect on your progress. Are you getting closer to your goals? What do you need to work on tomorrow to achieve it? Writing things down creates clarity. It keeps you focused on what's important. With every entry you make, you add more clarity to what you want, constantly reminding yourself what it is you're working towards.
Every day we encourage you to make a new entry and re-read your most recent entries.
The daily performance diary is not just for promising new talent but for everyone who wants to improve their performance.
Oh, and why not just spend a few minutes each day thinking about these things before you drift off to sleep? And why can't you capture these notes on your iPhone? Well, there's good evidence that the act of writing itself helps us remember things better.
Building your talent is a mission. This technique helps you focus on the mission. Achieve what you dream. You're worth it.