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The Secret to Getting More Out of Life

Posted on: May 20th, 2012 by Bryan No Comments

I almost died this weekend.

I was cycling. As I crossed a street, a car speeding at 30mph grazed my front tire perpendicular to me.

The impact bent my fork and twisted my headset. Somehow I stayed upright, both feet clipped into my pedals. No damage. Not even a pulled muscle.

Had I been ONE INCH further, my face would have smashed into the passenger’s window–and perhaps sucked me underneath the car.

Had I fought for that inch, I could have been six feet deep. So when do we push for that inch and when do we hang back?

As an executive coach, I think a lot about entrepreneurs and leadership. Like me, they usually fight for an extra inch, getting ahead of themselves, instead of being present in the moment.

They often say yes too much, and run rampant. Friend Gary Vaynerchuk calls it “The YES Virus.” Or they check out when they are with staff, because they are thinking about their next move. As they claw for that inch, they can make the wrong decisions, ones that can come back to bite them—even set the course of their companies towards failure.

But as Al Pacino says in Any Given Sunday: “…the inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second.”

So how do we get more of them?

1.) Say NO – Early-stage entrepreneurs need to be overly involved. But as their companies’ grow, they need to delegate or they will become bottlenecks to growth. This week say NO to three things.

2.) Mindfulness Practices – One secret to getting more inches/ time is to slow down. Instead of allowing your mind to race forward by inches, even miles into the future, do simple “mindful practices” to become present in the moment, where clarity exists and emotions don’t suck you in.

How? By using your senses. Notice how typing feels on your fingers in the moment. Observe the colors of the trees as you walk to your next meeting. Chew your food at lunch and taste what your are eating

Strengthen these “mindfulness” muscles, and challenges won’t knock you down as often—because you can see them coming head on. This week do a mindfulness practice once a day.

3.) Planning – Even great leaders believe they don’t have time to plan. Spend thirty minutes at the end of this week and plan. Be strategic now or wake up in a few months in the same place on key projects.

Please let me know how it goes at or @NeubergBryan.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s “The YES Virus

Thich Nhat Hahn’s “Mindfulness Practices

Al Pacino’s “Any Given Sunday


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