My Notes: The Heart Of A Beast by Lonnie Gordon Ogulnick

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My notes:

The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt, excerpt from the speech “Citizenship in a Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910 Preface

Individualism is freedom, the free will to make decisions that—for better or for worse—fall on your shoulders.

When our decisions are good, we get rewarded; when they are not, we still get rewarded. Knowledge is the reward for mistakes made and lessons learned.

My philosophy is that you are either part of the solution or part of the problem.

Those who look for solutions are the ones you want on your team because they lift you up when you are down and help you find the answers you are looking for.

I am a soldier on the frontlines dealing with life’s daily battles.

Winning is not everything, wanting to win is.” Vince Lombardi

Entering beast mode is a daily battle of making good choices that propel you forward.

Once you conquer these little battles and reap the rewards, entering beast mode becomes an addiction and, with enough practice, a powerful mind-set.

Almost every driven person I met succeeded because of a work ethic that was at such a high level of intensity,

A beast is an attitude. It’s discipline. It’s entering each daily battle with every ounce of fight you can possibly muster. It’s giving that extra drop of blood, extra bead of sweat, and extra ounce of energy when you want to quit.

It’s running the extra mile, getting up when you get knocked down, and hitting the pillow every night knowing you gave that day everything you had.

A beast is focused on achieving the impossible.

Being around others in beast mode will help you get there. Beasts don’t hold grudges or make others feel bad when they don’t perform to their best ability, either. They understand that it’s a daily struggle and that sometimes, even in a victorious war, everyone loses a battle here or there. Beasts encourage and inspire; you want to surround yourself with them because you’ll rub off on each other, leading to positive growth. When you’re a beast, people gravitate to you because they feed off of your infectious energy and want to be around it. You’ll want to be around people who are focused and have their shit together, too, because you want to gain knowledge from them. You want to figure out what they are doing that makes them so successful.

It’s about being passionate and excelling at whatever you put your mind to.

Those who take time to share their passion and knowledge with others for nonmonetary rewards are beasts.

Career choice, however, is irrelevant in terms of becoming a beast.

What matters is finding what motivates you to push yourself to your highest potential. Entering beast mode and staying there is not temporary—at least is doesn’t have to be. It’s a lifestyle that becomes who you are.

How do I take my first step toward finding my purpose? What do I want to do today, tomorrow, a year from now, ten years from now? These are questions you should always be asking yourself.

Beasts push themselves out of their comfort zone in order to find that purpose, and even when they find it, they continue to push themselves to learn, grow, and overcome fears and challenges. Beasts are a constant work in progress.

We live in a world with more emphasis on individual effort, less guaranteed security, and higher rewards for winners, so entering beast mode is of utmost importance if you want to survive.

Tapping into your maximum potential might sound like a high standard, but it’s something you can achieve—and it all starts in the mind.

You won’t achieve a goal if you don’t have one, however, and a goal is useless unless it has been defined.

Ask yourself the following questions: What am I doing in the morning? Am I springing out of bed or hitting snooze? Am I drinking coffee for a quick energy boost? Am I hitting the gym or doing something to get my blood flowing? Am I spending an hour in bed on Facebook or social media? Your entire day is dictated from the first half hour to hour of waking up, so choose wisely.

Many people settle for mediocrity and don’t achieve the things they want in life. You are unaware of the power you have within yourself to achieve anything you want. And you can achieve it.

I truly believe in the power of the pen—once written down, fuzzy thoughts become firm.

One trait these people shared was they refused to give up, eventually conquering their adversity.

Life’s hardships are inevitable, and it’s okay to be down, to experience low moments, and to have challenging experiences because this is where the motivation to change your life can come from.

When in life was I the happiest? When did I overcome adversity? Who do I look up to or admire? What positive traits from these individuals do I like? (These traits will give you an outline as to what your potential inner beast is.) Who or what distracts, destroys, and saps my energy? What am I unhappy about? (Think of people and/or places you feel are negatively impacting your life right now. Immediately begin extracting everything negative from your life.) How can I change that? What’s my passion? What’s my dream life?

Once you’ve established a vision, start breaking down how you’re going to achieve that vision by setting goals.

Start with a thirty-day challenge. In one month, I will…? My one-year goals are… My five-year goals are… My ten-year goals are…

Before you start your day each morning, write out the goal for that day and cross it off at night.

Along your journey, there will be multiple setbacks; embrace them.

Why are you trying to achieve this vision? Why are you reaching for those goals? Your “why” needs to be powerful because you will return to it repeatedly throughout your journey in becoming a beast. Your “why” will function to keep you on track when you feel defeated or weak. You will undoubtedly have bad days, and returning to your “why” will help you overcome them. You really have to dig into your “why”—and don’t forget to write it down.

Your passion is important because when you believe in something with all you have, it will be tough to stop you.

The vision, the goals, and the why mean absolutely nothing without action.

When you’re in the mind-set of a beast, you take the reins of leadership, and you begin the journey of creating your own destiny.

Becoming a beast means having scars on your back from going through the trenches of life and fighting the good fight, battle after battle. There is no magic formula.

"He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid the pain of being man.” Dr. Samuel Johnson

There is beauty in the grind and the struggle. You just need to embrace it.

Start building your network from day one.

The whole world loves a winner and has no time for a loser.”

The toughest and most difficult obstacles in life are where the biggest growths happen, especially when you surround yourself with people who operate at a high level and motivate you to keep up. It unleashes a power within you: your beast.

Intelligence is focus and intensity;

You’ll find a bit of edginess and feistiness in the majority of beasts.

My dad taught me never to start a fight but always to defend myself if someone was going to start one with me—so I did. And that’s the mind-set I took through life.

Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and who are good at what you are not. Build your team recognizing your weaknesses and your strengths.

Building teams, partnerships, and networks is oftentimes more important than trying to do it all by yourself.

I believe it is to lead by example.

Whoever knocks persistently ends by entering.” Ali, political leader (AD 600–61)

In order to survive in today’s economy, you must be proactive. You’re in charge of transforming your life into something you want it to be—no one else is.

The Heart of a Beast = Vision + Preparation + Persistence + Patience

The three most important keys are preparation, persistence, and patience.

Persistence is waking up every morning and pushing yourself harder than the day before—that

The word patience, in referring to the lone wolf, is your shield, whereas persistence is your sword.

If there is not a clear, defined job description for each person in the partnership, the odds of failure increase.

Anyone you exchange money with is basically a partner.

The point is to fire up your favorite tunes whenever possible.

Don’t do business or engage in a partnership with those who only have eyes for themselves and their bank accounts.

Do business with good people whose goals are to enhance other people’s lives.

Relationships plus salesmanship equals business.

and—the most important currency of all—human capital.

Once you are solely focused on the other person’s needs, and not your own, success follows like the night follows day.

Each team needs to establish a leader who makes all the decisions, and when possible, that leader should be you.

You should form a team to accomplish a goal where each member has a specific job that’s unique to his skill set—that’s when a team can do great things.

The outer layer of your team consists of your allies—people who over time have formed bonds and relationships with you. You look out for them, and they look after you.

Social media has become a lion’s den for future entrepreneurs and beasts who are taking business to a whole new level because the opportunities to connect are exponential.

Work to build a huge Rolodex, grow your Facebook following, grow your connections on LinkedIn, follow people on Twitter, or grow your network through Snapchat and Instagram stories. Don’t be scared to post; be yourself and be bold. People will respect you.

Social media tools can only help you.

Taking care of your body and getting physically stronger, faster, and better is an essential step in entering beast mode and maximizing your full potential.

You start your day mentally strong by exercising.

Working out is just as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one.

There’s a saying in jiu-jitsu: “A black belt is a white belt who did not quit.”

Beasts love other beasts because they feed off each other.

You can’t hide from your fears or negative thoughts. You will need to tackle them. Deal with them.
Part Two: Entering Beast Mode

The highest wisdom is kindness.” Proverb

Nothing in life happens without good social skills.

Sales sometimes gets a bad rap, but everyone—regardless of profession—is a salesman at heart.

The golden rule of social intelligence is the ability to see the situation from the other person’s perspective.

If you can develop the skill of detaching yourself from the situation you’re in and viewing it from the client’s, the friend’s, or the family member’s perspective, you’ll get to the heart of what he or she needs and be able to go from there.

Detaching yourself will save you from wasting energy.

I’ve never met a funny person who I didn’t like. People who make you laugh are good to be around because laughing releases serotonin in your brain, and you want to be around people who make you feel good.

Avoid negative people at all costs.

You are the CEO of your life, and you’ll need a board of directors. Whether you want to tell these people that they have a special role in your life or not is entirely up to you, but they will give you knowledge and guidance in all aspects of life.

Better an honest slap than a false kiss.”

In today’s world, some of my greatest mentors are people I’ve never met.

Don’t be scared to ask someone in a powerful position how he or she got there.

What did they do differently, then? They were the first ones in the office in the morning, they were the last ones to leave at night, and they ran that extra mile instead of quitting. They took extreme risks and didn’t shy away from fear or uncertainty.

By choosing to take on the hardest tasks—the ones no one else wanted to take on—and through discipline and hard work, they put themselves in a position to create their own luck.

The end goal is to stick with people who are moving forward and avoid those who are dragging you down.

People exude a certain type of energy. When you meet someone, you should be able to decipher his or her character early on.

Do things that give you energy; don’t do things that sap it.

Learn to identify people who may not have your best interest at heart, and don’t let them stop you.

What differentiated those who succeeded with those who didn’t was their ability to work hard and persevere.

Leadership to me is defined as action. Leaders create their own space; they take charge of the meeting. No one is going to anoint you king; you must take leadership.

The entrepreneur is the ultimate lone wolf. You must take it upon yourself to be all things. You must find the solution. To succeed you must become the smartest, the most humble, and the most resilient. You must never waiver. You must be willing to do all that it takes, whenever needed, without self-pity or complaining. You must face the odds and know that you will beat them. There is no plan B.

The first is simply to get out there. Get off your couch, even if you don’t want to, and seek people out. Nobody will give you business or hire you if you’re not engaging. This life is a contact sport. The more contacts you make, the better off you’ll be.

Go to conferences and meet like-minded people as often as you can.

Even if you’re going to have fun, be cognizant that you’re always building your brand.

Another social skill is to track your image. The way you dress, the way you look, and the way you carry yourself is the first thing others notice, and they will judge and evaluate you.

Do not underestimate the power of dressing the part, because it makes good impressions, and when you’re meeting people who can potentially contribute to achieving your goals, impressions are important.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or seasoned professional: Dress, speak, and act not for who you are but who you want to be. Regardless of what it is, “act as if.” Act as if you are already successful. Being successful starts in your mind. Act as if you are the best in your line of work. When you exude confidence, people are more receptive to you and what you have to offer.

Whatever you do, put on that uniform and come to win.

Be cognizant of your online persona; it’s just as important as your physical one.

God gave us two ears and one mouth so as to speak rarely and listen often.

The best in business are those who shut up and listen.

People who are good listeners and show interest in others are the ones who leave the best impressions.

Practice asking open-ended questions and then listening;

Your number-one currency is how you make someone else feel.

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” Winston Churchill

Of all the tools you have at your disposal, the mind is the most important.

My favorite books are 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene, Art of War by Sun Tzu, and The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi (the greatest swordsman in Japan). These books lay out the many strategies of war—timeless relics of information that can be applied in any boardroom, business transaction, or decision.

The one thing that can’t be bought is your passion and skill set that you bring to the table.

You can build whatever you want with the right mind-set.

The key in the face of adversity is to remain calm. Defeat is a learning experience.

You are the general in your own war. The best generals in the world lead from the front.

The more you practice being bold, the more it will become second nature.

Be confident in yourself, and don’t let your ego get in the way of your mission.

Try and figure out what makes a person tick.

As you operate on your own battlefield, be sure to constantly meet people, build your team, and seek individuals who have a good heart, have good intentions, and have a positive influence on you.

Having an enemy in your line of work or business is a good thing. We should never create enemies on purpose or actively seek them out, but when they come—and believe me, they will come—be ready to confront those situations and deal with them head-on. Without getting angry and losing your temper, you should strategically outmaneuver this individual or group of individuals.

In the world of business, we don’t fight with fists or guns; we fight with strategy.

You’ll have many encounters that may cause friction. Some of those people might be your best friends, offering friendly criticism to help you improve; and others are just out to hurt you and want you to fail. Enemies can come in different forms. Some come head-on, like my fraternity brother, but the more dangerous ones operate covertly behind the scenes to take you down. Keep your eyes and ears open for those you suspect to have ulterior motives, and steer clear of them.

Success is the greatest revenge for those who might have abandoned you. A winner is a loser who got pissed off and worked to prove everyone wrong.

A beast is always driven.

That red beast is part of who you are. You don’t want to kill the red beast; you just want to tame it like a wild horse—you want to control it.

You cannot run from problems. No one will be there to save or protect you. You’re alone in finding and creating solutions to the problems you face. Sometimes you’ll get it right, and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get it right. And sometimes, your solution will be to call on someone else for help.

The power of the pen and putting it down on paper is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

Believing in what you have to offer is the most important key to success. If I did not believe I had anything to offer to someone reading this book, I wouldn’t write it.

Billionaires are billionaires because of their belief system; nothing will stop them from achieving their goals because they’ve already envisioned reaching them.

Working Hard + Working Smart + Timing = Luck

Remember, you are the CEO of your brand; invest in that brand.

Your good name is everything. Once you establish your reputation, people will naturally gravitate to you.

Becoming a beast is a game that never ends, because you will never let it end. A beast concentrates everything within him—from the minute he wakes up in the morning to the minute he goes to bed at night—to give 100 percent of his potential to live a better life.

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