The Learning Curve of Expecting Greatness

Chapter 14: Expect Greatness

I know it is easy to expect good things when everything is going well.  It is easy to see your success when you are making great grades and such. But what happens when those things don’t lift the fog and you are still wondering if you are on the right path? What happens when you are doing all the right things, and your brain just isn’t producing any new thoughts? What happens when you have taken time off, worked the list, and so on? This is where you just have to have faith that you are on to something and your time will come. You have to expect greatness. I firmly believe this is the only way to live. By expecting greatness, you have a tendency to push really hard in that direction. Why get started on this path if you are going to be just another average person? Expect greatness as it relates to your goals and dreams. It is easy to get caught up in the person that has the yacht and nine-bedroom house. Don’t measure yourself against that guy unless you really want to put in that kind of effort. Everyone is built in different ways. Here is a list of reasons why you should expect and reach for greatness.

  1. Average sucks, no one writes about the average team, person, or accomplishment.
  2. You have a gift that will help humanity.
  3. You should become more than you though you ever could.
  4. You will inspire others by telling your story to them.

Honestly, I don’t know anyone with an average life that really likes it.  Everyone is trying to do something better, whether it be dropping a few pounds, or running a half marathon, no one wants that average life. I believe that it goes against the natural process of human beings.  Think of all the things we do and how we constantly look to improve upon the average of those things. Look at all the companies that spark a new trend by taking the average and making them extraordinary. Starbucks took an average cup of coffee and made it so much better that even non-coffee drinkers, like myself, have had coffee there. That is what taking average and making it better can do. With my business, Firefly, we take the average homecoming, prom, and graduation photo and make it fun, amazing, and memorable.

Now this is where it gets tricky; to each their own. Someone may look at my life as boring because my passion falls in a certain field. It doesn’t matter what the next person says, it matters what you are saying about your life. If you think it is average, then it probably is and this may irk you on your road to success. You also may know that your life isn’t average, but aren’t willing to jump out of an airplane to experience skydiving. Always remember, you are the only person that knows if you are living that average life. You can lie to others, but you can’t lie to yourself. Admittedly, my average life was in the classroom because there was this push in my heart to do more. If you have that push, and you now ignore it, then you are living that average life. I really feel that if I didn’t take the chance and leave the classroom, I wouldn’t be writing this book that you are reading. I think my life now is above average, and I get to challenge myself to do the things I really desire. Now, writers like Stephen King may look at my writings and say, “rookie” because he has written so much. That is ok. The key is that I am working on my above average life according to what is important to me.

I really believe that this book and the series that is planned will help students all over the world. I could never do that from my classroom.  No matter how much time on the Internet, I wouldn’t have been able to put into words what I feel is important without taking a step outside.  With that risk, came the understanding that my words and passion that I used in the classroom for years now gets to be out all over the world. My focus going into teaching was to help as many students as I could. Now, with technology, that isn’t just limited to the classroom, but now I can develop a worldwide audience with my writings. My gift is helping and teaching.  Probably helping more than anything else, but I know now I am giving back to humanity in the way I feel is very important to me, and that gives me all the energy I need to write each word and get this book completed on time.

This is a part of a chapter from my book Learning Curve: How to Prepare For Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going by Pierce Brunson. Every Monday and Thursday for the next 12 weeks I will share parts of the book starting today 3/17/2014.  The next shares will come from my new book Rock The Crowd (Wednesday/ Friday Schedule starting 4/21/2014), a book that helps teachers give the best performances of their life as they teach their students.

Learning Curve: How To Prepare for Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going is dedicated to helping the high school student that desires success in life but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do or how to do it.  During this confusing and stressful time most students just pick a college major or get a job and just hope things work out. Well, that strategy is terrible!  The best strategy includes learning and adding the characteristics in this book to one’s personality so that as the right opportunities come along the student can take hold of them.  Learning Curve is the jumpstart information that helps teens prevent a lifetime of wishing, “if only someone would have told me”, once valuable opportunities have gone away.

Direct Link: https://www.createspace.com/4626501

Follow this blog to enjoy more samples from the book.

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The Learning Curve of Planning

Section III: What’s Your Plan

Your greatness can’t be achieved if you don’t have a plan. A plan can be very detailed, or it can be a general list of actions where the details get filled in as you gain more experience and knowledge. Not having a plan can help you waste valuable time and resources, like money. By having as detailed a plan as possible, you will be able to save yourself time, money, and other resources that come from being unprepared.

So how do you start to make a plan? Well, I think starting a plan is like traveling. You know where you want to go, but how do you get there?  For example, if you wanted to travel from Philadelphia to Miami for a summer trip, you could just hop in the car and follow Interstate 95 South until you got there. That would be a very general plan. I equate that to a person saying they want to be successful in life. I get it, yes success is good, but there is always more detail needed. A few questions that get asked are…

  • What do you want to be successful doing?
  • What do you call success?
  • How are you going to get there?
  • What resources are you going to use to make this happen?
  • What do you need to make it happen?

Just like your road trip, your life has more to it than “I want to be successful.” That has many different meanings for everyone.

Back to the trip from Philadelphia to Miami; what would be some of the questions we would need to know to make our trip happen? Here are a few I came up with.

  • Is this vacation or business?
  • How long do I have to travel?
  • How fast do I need to get there?
  • Am I driving or flying (or taking a train)?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What time of the year am I traveling?

These questions help us to decide how to approach the trip. If we want to go on vacation, and we had only five days, the last thing we would want to do is spend two days driving that long distance. The more we want something, the more the variables change.

This is a part of a chapter from my book Learning Curve: How to Prepare For Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going by Pierce Brunson. Every Monday and Thursday for the next 12 weeks I will share parts of the book starting today 3/17/2014.  The next shares will come from my new book Rock The Crowd (Wednesday/ Friday Schedule starting 4/21/2014), a book that helps teachers give the best performances of their life as they teach their students.

Learning Curve: How To Prepare for Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going is dedicated to helping the high school student that desires success in life but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do or how to do it.  During this confusing and stressful time most students just pick a college major or get a job and just hope things work out. Well, that strategy is terrible!  The best strategy includes learning and adding the characteristics in this book to one’s personality so that as the right opportunities come along the student can take hold of them.  Learning Curve is the jumpstart information that helps teens prevent a lifetime of wishing, “if only someone would have told me”, once valuable opportunities have gone away.

Direct Link: https://www.createspace.com/4626501

Follow this blog to enjoy more samples from the book.

Learn From Failures to Achieve Success

Chapter 13: Learn from Failures

Failure can come to everyone in many different shapes and sizes. No matter what the failure is, you have to remember that you have a big picture goal for your life, and these small setbacks are a part of that journey. No one gets through this life without some setbacks; if we deal with our setbacks the correct way, we have the opportunity to turn the next opportunity into a success.

In order to turn those setbacks into winners the next time, we must take note and understand why we failed this time. Sometimes we fail because the other person is just better, or sometimes because we didn’t do what we needed to and other times it just isn’t in the cards for at that moment. You need to have an honest approach to why you failed to get the result. In my business, we have used the honest approach to make numerous pivots that have helped us create a better product for the students we are going to serve in the future.  Things have changed so much for the better that I am thankful for those failures, as they helped me create a better company.

When dealing with failure the correct way, you will have to be honest with your assessment of you efforts. Also, remember that you are only one person, and you can’t do everything all by yourself, so cut yourself some slack. However, you are a very capable and valuable person. I know it is hard to believe that a person with all the success you desire ever went through any real rough patches, but if you had to live their starter years, you would see that they had to go through all the things that you are going through for their success. When it comes to failure, there are times when you will know why you achieved, or didn’t achieve, your goal and other times you will not know. That is just a part of life. There are times when I am working with my other company that I work hard with a school to make a connection and they say no. They rarely give any real reasons for why they said no, and if I knew the real reason I still probably wouldn’t be able to change their mind. Some failures you just chalk up to “that’s just life.” Work to take what you can learn from the experience and move on.  You have a ton of work to do, and your time is being wasted wondering why a person didn’t. Remember, just like you have the right to pick and choose, so do they.

This is a part of a chapter from my book Learning Curve: How to Prepare For Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going by Pierce Brunson. Every Monday and Thursday for the next 12 weeks I will share parts of the book starting today 3/17/2014.  The next shares will come from my new book Rock The Crowd (Wednesday/ Friday Schedule starting 4/21/2014), a book that helps teachers give the best performances of their life as they teach their students.

Learning Curve: How To Prepare for Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going is dedicated to helping the high school student that desires success in life but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do or how to do it.  During this confusing and stressful time most students just pick a college major or get a job and just hope things work out. Well, that strategy is terrible!  The best strategy includes learning and adding the characteristics in this book to one’s personality so that as the right opportunities come along the student can take hold of them.  Learning Curve is the jumpstart information that helps teens prevent a lifetime of wishing, “if only someone would have told me”, once valuable opportunities have gone away.

Direct Link: https://www.createspace.com/4626501

Follow this blog to enjoy more samples from the book.

Asking Boosts Success

Chapter 11: Ask (The Right People)

Many times we think we are alone in our struggles, however, we are not. It took me until age 40 to meet another person that had to deal with businesses and had the same passion I did for creating companies that solve problems. I don’t want you to take that long so you have to do one simple action; ask!

Here is a list of what to ask if you are stuck:

  1. How did you do it?
  2. What steps did you take?
  3. What books did you read?
  4. What mentors did you use?
  5. What dreams did you share?
  6. What failures did you overcome?
  7. Do you know anyone who…?

These questions are just a starter set. Add some specifics to your questions as needed. Don’t just ask anyone, but ask the right people.  No need to ask your teacher about being a doctor; if they don’t know one personally, that could be a waste of time. Find a high school mentorship program where you can talk with people and businesses that have a similar interest. The key is to ASK!

Asking holds you accountable. Why would asking the people who have come before you in a career or venture be great people to talk with so that you are accountable? One reason is that knowing people in a certain field is a way for you to develop the right skills to be successful in that field. Asking the right people about their struggle, success, and roadmap to their desired outcomes will help you see all of the methods and strategies needed to achieve something similar.  One thing that I have been able to do is sit down with a person and ask them about their multimillion dollar business. There is nothing more intimidating than sitting down with a person that has achieved so much monetary success when you are just starting out. I was able to listen to the things that I was told about how they attained their success, and how I could apply some of their ideas to my business.

As the meeting went on, I hung onto every word that was suggested.  As the meeting ended, all I could think about was implementing the strategies that were suggested. This is where the accountability comes in. If you are looking to become a better basketball player and you have the chance to sit down with the greatest player on earth today in a one on one meeting, and they gave you a few tips to help your game, what would you do? This is the accountability opportunity calling. If that player said MAKE 200 jumpers a day what would you be doing the next day if you wanted to reach where they were? If your answer is anything less than making 200 jumpers a day, then success may not be for you. The moment you think that a successful person’s way may not be for you, and you haven’t developed your own success yet, then you are just plain stupid. You bet I went home and told my team how we would work to add some of these elements to our business processes.

This is a part of a chapter from my book Learning Curve: How to Prepare For Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going by Pierce Brunson. Every Monday and Thursday for the next 12 weeks I will share parts of the book starting today 3/17/2014.  The next shares will come from my new book Rock The Crowd (Wednesday/ Friday Schedule starting 4/21/2014), a book that helps teachers give the best performances of their life as they teach their students.

Learning Curve: How To Prepare for Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going is dedicated to helping the high school student that desires success in life but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do or how to do it.  During this confusing and stressful time most students just pick a college major or get a job and just hope things work out. Well, that strategy is terrible!  The best strategy includes learning and adding the characteristics in this book to one’s personality so that as the right opportunities come along the student can take hold of them.  Learning Curve is the jumpstart information that helps teens prevent a lifetime of wishing, “if only someone would have told me”, once valuable opportunities have gone away.

Direct Link: https://www.createspace.com/4626501

Follow this blog to enjoy more samples from the book.

Share Your Dreams for Success Inspiration

Chapter 10: Share Your Dreams

Share your dreams! Tell someone about all the things you desire to accomplish. Speak to teachers and counselors about all the things you want to take from a dream to a reality.

Here is a list of reasons why sharing your dream is important:

  1. You start to take responsibility for what you speak.
  2. You can see other’s reactions for your idea.
  3. You get criticism or support.
  4. You get over the fear of it being impossible.
  5. Your journey is starting to become a reality.

When I work with students we start by speaking our dreams.  As a coach, I would find out over time what type of player I really had on my teams. I could always tell if we would be successful or not by the way they would talk. Confident talk is important, and at times impressive, but the real words come after the statements of “confidence.” It is easy to just spout a goal as everyone is spouting, I have been there as a high school and college student, but as I started to speak of my real dreams of helping more than 100,000 high school students per year with my various entities, I started to get different looks. Those looks seemed to be attached to the following statements:

  1. Well, how are you going to do that?
  2. How are you going to get paid?
  3. The system is too corrupt; you will never make it.
  4. Good luck (sarcastic tone).
  5. Yeah, you would be good at that (dismissive tone).
  6. Yeah, but teaching is a steady paycheck.

As you can see, there were many that were not onboard with what I desired to do with my life once I could put it into words. You may experience some of this also. If you aren’t, then you may not be challenging yourself enough. There is a silver lining in criticism.

As I continued to speak my dream to others, I found out that some were starting to be receptive to what I was dedicated to working on. I found this list of results as I continued to share my dream with many people.

I was able to refine and stick to my desired purpose. As I would speak to many different people, I noticed that some would ask how it was going.  They would ask questions that made me think deeper about my general goal and direction. The best part is that many would offer some ideas that helped me to move down my path faster. They didn’t become teammates, but for that brief moment they were focused on sharing an idea that may help. At times, I had to be cautious because there would be ideas people were giving that didn’t quite fit what I desired. By knowing exactly where you want to go you can talk of your dreams, but also know when you should pivot toward or away from an idea.

Go Sightseeing for Success Inspiration

Chapter 9: Go Sightseeing

There will be times where all is going wrong and you may feel really lost. There will also be times where life is testing you really hard and difficulties are as regular in your life as breathing. You have to understand one thing about this life. Nothing is guaranteed. I know seeing many successful people make it easy to think that they didn’t have any hard times but I guarantee you this, the bigger the accomplishment, the bigger the chance they had to take. Those times, when all seems to be lost, are when you may have to dig in and do some real soul searching. Where you are during this time may feel lonely. You may feel like the most misunderstood individual in the world. You may have all the proof that your efforts aren’t making any headway. You may have to face missing your goals more than once in spite of working your butt off and being a person with great intentions.  During this mess you will have the best of all reasons to say “I did my best and it is ok to give up.” I ask you to take a step back from all the pressure and go outside. Go for a walk during the day in the sunlight and take a look at all the impossibilities all around you.

There are many things around you, that you use daily, that were created by people that as those things were being created were laughed at. These things at one time or another were “impossible” to everyone else but the person that took the risk to get it done. Take a walk outside to your nearest bridge. When was the last time you thought about it? When was the last time you were amazed by that bridge? Now look at that bridge again with this perspective. At one time in history the only way people crossed waterways was by boat.  Imagine having to take a boat every time instead of just crossing a bridge. Oh, how slow does that sound? What did a bridge do? It helped people cross over water from one land mass to another faster.  But there was a time where there were people that were against such technology. Fast-forward to the home computer; there was a time recently where people were against having a computer in their home. Wow, what does that say about your path? You will have the people that try to take away from your vision. When this happens, it is best to get outside and check out all of the things that people were told it couldn’t be done.

Skyscrapers are a great wonder. Now it seems as if they just build a building with little or no effort. It wasn’t always that way. Someone had to take a step out of their comfort zone and dream of a building that went above two floors.

When you get out into the world around you, your dreams seem possible because you are literally surrounded by dreams that have come into being by the dreamer and their team. Every business that you patron was once just an idea on a piece of paper. Really take a few moments to look at the world like this. Look at all the books in the bookstore. Someone took a chunk of time out of their lives to get that into print. They are people just like you and me that had a dream and got it done.

Your inspiration doesn’t have to be something so profound that you get lost thinking about it. Keep it simple. Look at the things around you and create a mental picture of understanding that there was a person at one time with a dream, and now it is there right in front of you.

This is a part of a chapter from my book Learning Curve: How to Prepare For Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going by Pierce Brunson. Every Monday and Thursday for the next 12 weeks I will share parts of the book starting today 3/17/2014.  The next shares will come from my new book Rock The Crowd (Wednesday/ Friday Schedule starting 4/21/2014), a book that helps teachers give the best performances of their life as they teach their students.

Learning Curve: How To Prepare for Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going is dedicated to helping the high school student that desires success in life but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do or how to do it.  During this confusing and stressful time most students just pick a college major or get a job and just hope things work out. Well, that strategy is terrible!  The best strategy includes learning and adding the characteristics in this book to one’s personality so that as the right opportunities come along the student can take hold of them.  Learning Curve is the jumpstart information that helps teens prevent a lifetime of wishing, “if only someone would have told me”, once valuable opportunities have gone away.

Direct Link: https://www.createspace.com/4626501

Follow this blog to enjoy more samples from the book.

Pivot Toward Success

Chapter 8: Learn to Pivot

Learning to pivot on your road to success doesn’t mean you give up on your goals, or an intended outcome; it means that you may have to slightly adjust your direction in order to get to your final destination. If we take a look at all the things we have in life, there is constant pivoting to get a desired result. If your current course of action isn’t delivering the desired results, you don’t have to make a drastic course change, you may just need to pivot or tweak a few things.

I am writing this book as a pivot on my planned course of success. I didn’t personally plan on writing a book this early, but I met a publisher, Tara Richter, and she had this amazing process for getting a book published for very little cost by using today’s technology. If my plan to write a book was 18 months down the road, but Tara is here to help me accomplish it now, I would be a fool not to take some extra time out of my day and get it done. I already have on my plan that I want to write a series of books to help high school students and teachers. My main goal and focus in life is to make the high school experience more valuable, rewarding, and memorable for students and teachers through quality product and service development. After a long thought process, I know that I can now make a pivot and accomplish my goals way earlier than intended.

I define a pivot this way: a pivot is an action against the actions that aren’t currently working, that has to take place immediately so that you can continue to move in the best direction to reach the desired destination. A pivot makes things better not worse. A pivot may cause you to give up some extra personal play or rest time.

This is a part of a chapter from my book Learning Curve: How to Prepare For Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going by Pierce Brunson. Every Monday and Thursday for the next 12 weeks I will share parts of the book starting today 3/17/2014.  The next shares will come from my new book Rock The Crowd (Wednesday/ Friday Schedule starting 4/21/2014), a book that helps teachers give the best performances of their life as they teach their students.

Learning Curve: How To Prepare for Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going is dedicated to helping the high school student that desires success in life but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do or how to do it.  During this confusing and stressful time most students just pick a college major or get a job and just hope things work out. Well, that strategy is terrible!  The best strategy includes learning and adding the characteristics in this book to one’s personality so that as the right opportunities come along the student can take hold of them.  Learning Curve is the jumpstart information that helps teens prevent a lifetime of wishing, “if only someone would have told me”, once valuable opportunities have gone away.

Direct Link: https://www.createspace.com/4626501

Follow this blog to enjoy more samples from the book.