The last thing I want to give you right now is a piece of motivational, feel-good, airy fairy self help stuff. We’ve all read that stuff before, we know what it’s all about and it is generally all the same. I mean how many so-called NLP experts can there be? These are people that do a one or two week certification programme and call themselves the expert on life.

What I aim to do through our conditioning programmes and psychological development tools is only provide you with what works and scrap the garbage and generic crap.

Most of what we do is about elite conditioning. This comes in the form of fitness and athletic training. In this area I have been working for many years and is where my qualifications are mostly based.

During my time as an athletic coach, personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach and the other areas in the field I have worked, I have made certain observations that also pertain to the mental/psychological. Some of this I have shared with you before. Anything purely physical rarely has value, likewise, anything purely intellectual also has little value.

The most fascinating observation I have made is that some people just seem to be larger than life. I mean some people are outstanding at what they do. The ones I am talking about are people with such presence that they are often remembered for many years after their prime, often forever.

There are many people that are consistent in their actions and seem to put in a lot of effort. However why are so many people not exceptional despite this? Why is it that plenty of effort doesn’t automatically translate into outstanding results? This is something I have observed and it prompted me to look into what it is that these exceptional people do that others don’t.

For the past seven years I have been studying people who just seem to excel well above all others in their chosen field. Is it luck? Is it God-given ability? Are they simply born that way?

What I would like to share with you is a few of the insights I have discovered while studying outstanding people. Because these people left clues, there are certain patterns, things they tend to do that others don’t.

1. They decided who they wanted to be. What I mean is that people such as Bruce Lee, the Governator, Mohammed Ali and many others carved out their own profile and built themselves from scratch. They decided they needed certain character traits, skills, attributes etc. They basically designed themselves. How cool is that? Imagine if you were making a movie. What would be the ideal character? Who would be the coolest character? One that you would want to be? Design that character, put together an ideal profile. What skills, traits etc, do you need?

2. Most often people who are exceptional at anything do what they love to do. Do you think Mohammed Ali would have been a great boxer if he found boxing boring? Of course not. He loved boxing. It was what he wanted to do, it wasn’t his backup plan for a career if other things didn’t work out.

3. People who are larger than life don’t follow rules, not pointless ones anyway. Exceptional people do what is necessary, they do what it takes and most of the time they don’t even think twice about it. Someone like David Belle, founder of Parkour (look him up), created something entirely different. What he created is ingrained with a philosophy that runs deep. I mean really who gives a shit if you do something that is not a system? Everyone follows recipes in the modern day and age. It’s been this way since the industrial age. We are told how to live, how to behave, where to work, how to converse with friends etc. Heaven forbid if you were to pass the port from left to right. There is no recipe, no system, it’s different from one day to the next, circumstances change. Don’t follow rules, just be effective and efficient in each moment. Exercise your freedom of thought, freedom of movement and freedom to act on ideas and create.

4. Relating to the last point, outstanding individuals create rather than follow templates. A template for living a certain way or getting a certain result is only a guide. No one knows everything there is to know. There is always a better, faster, more efficient way. Exceptional people decide what it is they want to create, they have a vision. Then they act on that vision. They generally see what they want first and then structure their behaviour and actions towards that. People who end up not living the way they want are the ones that let others decide. They are told what is acceptable and then they simply follow the model that someone else has created.

5. Exceptional people model other exceptional people. No one who does anything outstanding ever completely figures it all out on their own. Everyone who becomes larger than life or the best in the world has role models. They model the traits, skills, attributes, strategies etc, of the people they aspire to.

6. Obsession. Those who excel above all others generally appear obsessed with what they are skilled at. A martial artist that excels is always training, reading martial arts material, spending time with other martial artists etc. This is typical of anyone who does well. This is called concentration of power. When someone is so obsessed with something that they just can’t get enough, you know that it’s genuine. Exceptional people are generally perfectionists, they live and breathe their passions and the consequence is excellence.

7. Do what you do. Remember when you were a kid and you did things just because they were fun or because it appealed to you in some way? When you do this you tend to produce better results than when you stress about something that you think you should be striving for. Just do what you do with enough enthusiasm and things come naturally. Stop striving so much.

Ok, that’s it. For now anyway. It all sounds simple. And what makes me an expert anyway?

What makes me an expert is the time I have spent with outstanding and exceptional people. People who seem almost superhuman. Working with elite athletes, police, military officers, fire fighters and others has let me in on a world that exists in parallel with the lazy, apathetic universe you have witnessed. There are things that you wouldn’t believe unless you seen it. The freedom that some of these exceptional people have, the way they go about attaining excellence.

Be your own person, do what you want for a living, if there isn’t a job then create a new type of career, one that doesn’t even exist yet. But let me tell you, there is a fine line between being free, creative, passionate and happy and being careless. Nothing is entirely unpredictable. Everything can be predicted, it’s just simple physics, simple cause and effect. Having said that, there are endless possibilities, so go for it. Don’t wake up in the morning and go to the same crappy job if you really don’t want to, don’t hang out with people you really don’t like, don’t play it safe, stop listening to socially acceptable music just because you think you should, throw out that stupid ab machine from Danoz Direct, do whatever the hell you want to do as long as it’s ethical and not infringing on the rights of anyone else. That’s what exceptional people do, they invent their life.

Chris Lyons.

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