Dan John Now What? Introduction
Dan John Now What?
Excerpted from Now What?
There is a life experience that is hard to explain to some people. If you haven’t yet experienced it, it might be hard to have empathy for this particular feeling. It is a relatively simple thing to ask:
For many, it is the morning after the graduation party, when we roll out of bed without any class schedule or place to be…and then notice the diploma and wonder:
Don’t share this with your partner, but it is a rare spouse who hasn’t taken a moment after the wedding ceremony, the honeymoon, and the return of multiple fondue pots who has not wondered:
For the athlete, for the performer, there comes a time in every career where the goal has been reached—or not reached—and we need to take a moment to ask:
The answer to the question of “now what?” is action.
But, sometimes we sit in front of a mass of papers, a stuffed inbox, and a pile of dirty clothes and wonder: Now what?
I would argue, start the washer first!
The lessons learned about the road to success from elite athletes and performers can make everyone’s life better. From de-cluttering the inbox or letter pile with a shark habit, to applying pirate maps to ongoing health and fitness, most people can free up some mental space to focus on moving ahead with all of life’s goals and dreams.
Elite performers focus on the fundamentals and basics more thoroughly than the hobbyist. Elite performers keep their heads clear, carving out the clutter of life—both the important and the unimportant—with a scalpel. When needed, the elite focus on two- to twelve-week programs to shore up a weakness or some other issue. Elite performance is principle based.
Most of us can learn from this “carving of the clutter.” At times, we can follow a program, but most of the time, we can adopt a simple list of pirate maps for our fitness, health and longevity needs and goals.
The stumbling block of Now what? soon takes on a new meaning. After emptying the inbox and finishing the laundry, we can ask Now what? as the start of a new adventure, a new challenge.
In this book, I outline a simple quadrant showing how I teach elite performers the tools to deal with life, living and high-end achievement. And if you don’t think you’re an elite performer, I would like you to reconsider this.
If you work a job, raise kids, help out in the community, rake your leaves, mow your lawn, strive to eat like an adult and still try to train…well, you are elite! Very few people do the simplest of training regimes, like taking a walk, so by simple math, you are elite.
Studying elite performance and the lessons learned from both success and failure can impact every area of your life. True, some people win lotteries, but most people who are successful in the area of finance used basic tools and principles, over time, to get them there.
I always find insight in this quote from Bob Hope, the late, great comedian and movie star: I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.
In the second half of this book, we will look at a simple formula for raising performance, the APE method. Every step, clue and idea in this formula can be shared, used and adapted to everyone and every goal.
These are the tools to steer yourself “there.” Achieving high-level performance, excellence and success is certainly something great and wonderful. Of course, the next day, after the celebration wears off, you will face the mirror and ask:
And, ideally, you will know what to do.
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