I’m leaving in a couple days for Canada to do an event with Tony Robbins and The Power of Success. And I remembered a story of my very early days with Tony that I’m inspired to share with you, because it ties into a question the people often ask me.
It was when I was 19. He and I were having lunch and I asked him this question. People ask me this now, all the time. I said, “Tony,” (if you can imagine me at 19, with all this enthusiasm and energy), “what’s the one thing that I can do right now that would take every area of my business, my relationships, and my life to a whole other level?”
I remember what he said to me. He paused and he kind of spread his arms out on the table a little bit, and said, “Do you really want to know? Or are you just asking?”
It was a shocking response, but I think it’s an important point, because I think a lot of times, people ask questions and then the real question is, “Are you ready to take action on the insight, on the wisdom?”
So I looked at him and said, “I really want to know.” He looked at me and said, “Raise your standards.”
When I heard that, at first, I was almost a little bit offended. I was like, “Raise my standards? What are you talking about? I’m 19 years old and I’m the top producer in this company and I’m so far in first place that the person in second place thinks they’re in first place.”
And he pointed at me and he said, “Don’t ever compare yourself to anybody. It will always lower your standards. There’s a negative wisdom, okay? So compare yourself to your own previous best and be on the journey of continuous evolution. It’s not about comparing yourself to others.”
Then he began to explain his thoughts on standards. He said, “Standards work like a hierarchy and all the way at the bottom, there’s a standard called Poor.”
Now, nobody watching this plays at a standard called Poor. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. But there are people in life that play life at a Poor standard. We often see them on these talk shows, like a Jerry Springer Show, right?
So Tony looked at me and he said, “What kind of rewards do you think you get for playing life Poor?” And I said, “Poor.” And he said, “No, life doesn’t give you any rewards for playing Poor. It gives you pain.” He said, “When you do a poor job in your relationship, you get dumped. You do a poor job with work, you get fired or you lose your business. Life does not reward you for playing poor.”
“There’s another jump up. Huge jump from Poor to Good. Now you’re doing a good job.” And he asked me, “What kind of rewards do you think you get for playing good?” I looked at him and I said, “Good?” He said, “No. You do a good job, you get poor rewards.”
And he said to me, “Niurka, I can’t tell you how many times I see someone that says to me, ‘I’m a good parent. Why is my kid on drugs?'”
And he said, “Life doesn’t reward you for being good. There’s another huge jump up. Huge jump from Poor to Good. Huge jump from a standard called Good to Great. Now you’re doing a great job. What type of rewards do you think for playing great?”
At this point, I was catching on. I’m sure you are, too. I was like, “Good?” He said, “Yep. And that’s where most people get frustrated, because they do a great job and they get good rewards. They do a great job to get good rewards. They do a great job to get good rewards.
After a while, they go, ‘You know what? Forget it. Life’s just not fair.’ And they take their foot off the gas and they settle for a lower standard, without realizing that there’s a whole other standard and it’s only about half an inch above Great. And it’s a standard called Outstanding.”
It’s a standard called Outstanding/Excellent. It’s a standard that when you’re living that way, you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, and it’s not just one big huge thing, like you just arrive in the Outstanding realm.
It’s the accumulation and the discipline and the devotion of really focusing on the key moments of life and raising them to an outstanding level.
So it’s like at the end of the day, where you’ve been going hard all day and you really want to take your foot off the gas and go home or go to dinner, but you pause and you make that one final phone call. Or you pause and you invest the moment to write that thoughtful thank you letter, as opposed to just skipping it.
Or it’s those mornings where you wake up in the morning and maybe you’re running out the door, but you pause and you go to your lover or your beloved, “Sweetheart, I love you,” and you give them a hug and you give them a kiss and you say, “I can’t wait to see you tonight.”
Or you drop your child off at school and you take the moment to let them know how much you love them and how grateful you are to be in this reflection with them and how inspired you are to learn what they’ve discovered in school tonight.
These moments accumulate to create this rich and abundant and outstanding life. So today, as we come into this new year right now, I’m gonna inspire you to focus on the little key moments of your life and how you can raise them into a level of excellence, raise them into a level of outstanding and share your gifts with our world.
I’m going to be traveling this week. I’ll be in Edmonton, Canada in a few days, with The Power of Success, where I’m honored and blessed to be sharing the stage with Tony Robbins and some amazing friends.
I’d love to see you soon. We have an awesome calendar of events coming up this year.
With Infinite Love,