Welcome to How Ya' Livin', a transformative podcast featuring bestselling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby. And now, Dr. Rick.
Dr. Rick: Well hello, everyone. I couldn’t wait for this episode today. Thank you for joining me. This is Dr. Rick. The reason why I couldn’t wait for this episode, those of you that are just listening on audio, imagine a 400-pound guy. That was me a couple of years ago. I am now at 290 and I have about 70 more pounds to go and what if I told you that I didn't take a magic formula, I didn't take a magic pill. What if I were to tell you that it's not a special diet as much as it is old fashioned willpower. Mm-hmm. That's what we're talking about today - willpower - and before we get to the end of the show, I will give you one step that will grow your willpower in dramatic ways. [0:01:04.6]
That's really the key. I have had to change some eating. I've had to change some things around, but it all begins with a choice to grow my willpower. What a lot of folks these days are saying, whypower, whypower. I'm giving myself a reason as to why. Think about the willpower of our grandparents and great grandparents and great grandparents just for a second. A lot of our family members found the will to go to war to fight for various countries throughout the world and many of them weren’t of age. They would lie about their age because there was a greater desire to defend their country and in the United States of America, a saying came out of that, where the parents of these underage kids going to fight, their parents would say, "Play the man." And to play the man meant that you had to muster the courage and the willpower to go and to finish strong. [0:02:03.9]
I think about in the United States of America, I think about food companies that grew the United States, food companies like Kellogg, like Post, food companies like Hershey and the willpower that you have to have. Think about Mr. Hershey for a moment. I learned this by watching the History Channel and my producer, Fran, is looking at me, not sure of where I'm going because she doesn’t like me to go off script, but Fran, listen to this - on the History Channel, "The Foods That Built America", Mr. Hershey was so convinced that he could develop a formula for milk chocolate that he actually built the factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania before he developed the recipe for milk chocolate. Fran, that's called willpower. I am going to succeed. I'm not going to try to succeed. I am going to succeed. I got to tell you a story. Many of you know the name Tommy Lasorda. If you don’t, he's a Dodger, through and through. [0:03:03.1]
He started in the Brooklyn Dodger organization and then he really gained fame when the team moved to Los Angeles and he became a manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won a lot of World Series. I didn't like him because I grew up in San Francisco and we were not fond of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Even despite my not liking him, I grew to love him and it started on an airplane flight. Both Mr. Lasorda and I were privileged to speak at the same time at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in the United States, and so we're flying together from Dallas to Colorado Springs. The first thing that really is not on point that sticks out is something that I try to do to this day. Mr. Lasorda spoke to everybody that got on that flight. Keep in mind, 90% of the people didn't know who he was, but he spoke to them and it required a response. That's just an aside. This is what I really want to tell you - a group of cadets on their way from Texas back to the Air Force Academy, all decked out in their Air Force uniforms, looking great, a group of our finest get on that plane and Mr. Lasorda says in a loud voice, "Hey! Will you boys promise me something? That if those pilots get in trouble, will you promise to rescue them and bring this plane down?" [0:04:24.4]
And everybody could hear him, not just in first class, but all the way to the bathroom in the rear, that loud voice. One of the cadets bravely spoke up and said, "We'll try, sir." And Mr. Lasorda went ballistic, "Try?! You'll try?!" And then he said these words, "I didn't win world championships by trying." Oh, baby. You want to eliminate a word in your vocabulary? You'll eliminate the word "try" if you truly are committed to growing your willpower. I really believe that. But it begins with not your vocabulary. Growing your willpower literally begins with the way in which we think. I remember going back to the 400-pound guy that's before you. I had to change my thinking. I literally had to change my thinking and for that, I borrowed a page out of my grandmother's play book. [0:05:16.0]
Think back with me - think about your grandparents. They grew their capacity, not based on the clothing choices, not based on labels. They grew their capacity, not based on material things that they possessed. They didn't even grow their capacity based on what their titles were. I originally learned this from a guy by the name of Andy Stanley. He has a big church in Atlanta and it made sense to me. Stanley said that if you want to grow your capacity, look at your priorities and when you adjust your priorities, you will grow your capacity. So imagine your grandparents - they didn't have titles. They didn't have material things. This is how they grew their capacity for life. They evaluated their priorities. [0:06:02.4]
For many of our grandparents, their priorities were putting a roof over the heads of who would be our parents, providing food on the table, telling the truth, thinking the best of people, doing what they said they were going to do, showing up at work and doing a good job, showing up early at work and outworking everybody else, taking pride in doing a good job. For many of our grandparents and great grandparents, the only thing they had was their name and making sure that they worked and lived in a way that brought integrity to that name, that didn't threaten the integrity of that name whatsoever. In the process, watch this - they grew their capacity for that which they needed. So if you take a page out of that playbook and apply it to us today, how can we grow our capacity for something? We grow our capacity by focusing on the priorities and being willing to adjust those priorities to grow. For example, I took a look at the priorities that support 400 pounds and made some choices. I started moving more. I started eating more plant-based foods. I started drinking more water. [0:07:04.0]
As I tweaked priorities, I began to grow my capacity for better health. What are you saying to us, Rick? You want to talk with greater effectiveness and efficiency - take a look at your priorities and be willing to adjust those. Third grade dropout dad that you always hear me refer to because he had the most profound affect of any human being on this earth - third grade dropout dad - no education, but the wisest man I ever met in my life. In my early 20s, I'm talking a lot. I'm on television. I'm giving speeches. He says to me, "Son, would you like to speak with greater power and authority?" I said, "I sure would." He said, "Try this. Before you open your mouth, watch the words form in the eye of your mind five seconds before you speak them, and when you speak them, you'll speak them with greater power, with greater authority, with greater persuasion, with greater conviction." The words I'm sharing actually with you right now, I've already seen them, which means I can manipulate those words any way I want. [0:08:00.6]
Here's the point. When that becomes your priority and you practice that priority every day, every week, every month, every year for years, guess what happens? You grow your capacity for more effective communication. That requires tremendous willpower and a steadfast desire every single day to attack those priorities. That's what our grandparents and great grandparents did, with conviction, because they were forced to. Listen to me very carefully - in a shallow, superficial culture, we're not forced to exercise willpower. We don’t have to work at something every day, at least we think we don’t, and what happens is our capacity over time becomes very limited. Think about this for a moment- we don’t feel a need to have to learn like a generation ago. We don’t have to open an encyclopedia. We don’t have to learn long division. We don’t have to learn algorithms or multi-variant regression analysis with a pen. [0:09:05.7]
We have machines and we have buttons. You talk to older folks and they'll tell you those machines and devices and buttons have made us dumber because what's happened is we are now depending on our capacity to grow based upon our relationship with a Smart device or a machine. Right? And so, our capacity over time is becoming more and more limited because there is no commitment. There is no need that we see for which to develop the kind of willpower needed to grow it. This is what I'm saying - you have to find a need to develop willpower, especially in a shallow, superficial culture and here's the best reason I can give you to grow your willpower - the thing that you want, the thing that you seek, the thing that you desire most in life is not going to grow in capacity with just a button being pushed. [0:10:02.7]
I wish that I could have pushed a button and lost 100 pounds, oh, baby - I wish that I could just turn a page and lose 94 pounds, but it all begins with willpower and where is willpower initiated? Up here. It's the way in which you think. The Bible says it this way - as a man thinketh, so is he. I like putting hands and feet on that and so I depend on this guy named Frank Outlaw, who among others put it this way: Watch your thoughts. They determine your words. Watch your words. They determine your actions. Watch your actions. They determine your habits. Watch your habits. They shape your character. Watch your character. Your character determines your destiny. It all begins with thoughts. Your thoughts really do determine your words, which really do shape your actions. [0:11:03.6]
Listen to this - I was privileged to be a character coach for a Division I football team. I have a lot of takeaways from all those years at Texas A&M University. I always will be grateful to R.C. Slocum for giving me an opportunity to be on his coaching staff. I saw willpower win out over talent. Mm-hmm. I saw willpower win out over the ability to demonstrate great feats of athleticism. I saw willpower literally win out when everything else died. Gandhi said it this way - listen to this quote - "Strength does not come from physical capacity, but from an indomitable will." Strength does not come from a physical capacity, but from an indomitable will. I remember in the holy scriptures we learned that Jesus walks in to the garden at Gethsemane, not wanting to go on the cross and after adjusting his priorities comes out and says, "I must do the will of Him who sent me." [0:12:14.2]
I remember a tennis player who buy his own words was not the strongest tennis player on the tour. He was not the most gifted athlete. So then how did Bjorn Borg win several Wimbledon titles and several grand slams? I have a friend that played against him. Listen to what my friend said. My friend said that Bjorn Borg had the basics so down he wore his opponents out. How do you get the basics so down? You prioritize what you're going to do. Where does that prioritizing come from? A mindset that says I want to expand my capacity. Where does that mindset come from? How a person thinks. Friend, it's willpower. [0:13:01.7]
It is the kind of willpower that takes uncertainty off the table. Me and my friend, Kevin Breeding, who is a regular on our podcast, we were talking about the late, great Dr. Wayne Dyer and I don’t want to give you his quote word for word, but Dr. Dyer once said, if I can paraphrase, that if you want to take uncertainty off the table, make sure you are convinced of the outcome that you seek. When you know that you know that you know this is the outcome you want for your life, uncertainty must fall off the table. Isn't that good? So, this is what I want to suggest. This is what I want you to do. I opened the show by saying that at the end of the show I'm going to give you a starter step point as how to develop your willpower. Here it is, and I want to thank Tommy Lasorda for this. I want you, this day, to use proactive language and start with this - no more saying, "I can't" as a default, and even more important, no more saying, "I'll try." [0:14:10.8]
I had a conversation with coach Lasorda after he challenged those guys going back to the Air Force Academy and coach Lasorda said, "When you say 'try' that is a polite way of saying, 'I'm not going to do it." I want you to think all through the day about how many times you'll say, "I'll try to get it done. I'll try to get it done." Really? How about this - "I'm going to do it." Or "I'm not going to do it." But be more proactive. Be more passionately proactive in your language choice. I will accomplish this task. I will complete this task. I will finish that report. My producer in this building, in this room right now also happens to double as my executive assistant and I will tell Fran, on a regular basis, I will have this report to you on a specific day. [0:15:05.0]
Why? If I don’t live intentionally, I can forget about willpower. If I don’t place a demand upon myself to get it done, I can forget about willpower. Are y'all tracking what I'm saying to you? You need to be intentional. You must be proactive, not Fran, "I'm going to tryyy to get it done." Oh, hogwash. You're not going to get it done. But if I say, "Fran, I have to have this report done. I will have it done to you by Thursday at 4 o'clock," I've not only placed a demand upon myself, but I am now accountable to her for fulfilling my word and for getting it done. And it all begins with the way in which a winner thinks. It all begins with the way in which a person who exercises willpower every day intentionally thinks. I am going to grow my capacity to get what I want accomplished. That is the way that I think. That means I've got to knock out every barrier. I've got to dismiss every roadblock. [0:16:00.5]
For me, here are the two greatest roadblocks - language that is passive, language that says things like "I can't do that, uhhghhh." Really? Language that says, "I'm going to try." Really? You've just communicated to your mind that you're not going to get it done. So here's my advice. This is the step for today. Go through this day eliminating the phrase "I can't" and eliminating the word "try" from your vocabulary. I will. Trust me, that is the beginning of growing your capacity for greater willpower.
Friends, until we meet again, this is Dr. Rick, asking you the most important question I can ask you today, "How ya' livin'? See you next time.
Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his best-selling book, Lessons From A Third Grade Dropout, absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/freegift to get the print or audio book right now.
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