Part 2: Personal Renaissance - Undo the Undone:
A few weeks ago, in Part 1, I shared with you my concept of a Personal Renaissance and invited you to participate with me in real time as I pursue my own. In case you need a refresher, or didn't receive last month's introduction, below is my definition of a Personal Renaissance, and here's a link to last month's Part 1: http://www.frank-mckinney.com/press.asp?article=168.
Before we go further, be sure to join our Facebook "Personal Renaissance - Undo the Undone" group page. We'll use this interactive forum to share our challenges & progress. I'll post the monthly updates there around the 1st of each month. Any references below to "attached documents" can be found there too: http://www.facebook.com/groups/175655922572499/?fref=ts
Personal Renaissance: Rebrand, Rebuild, Resurrect. It is the remaking of and reconnection with all that was, is and will be great about you, and exceeding your known definition of greatness in the process. Looking at the words in terms of a Renaissance man or woman, you must gain expertise that spans different subject areas, and work to acquire profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field to succeed at the pursuit of a Personal Renaissance. To effect lasting personal growth, going as far as altering your DNA (the moving from inspiration to aspiration) in order to change the mind of fate itself. Focused thought, unswerving commitment.
Undo the Undone: Finishing something significant that you started, began and failed at, thought you had pursued for the last time, or turning a longstanding dream into a reality. Undoing an initiative that is undone simply means reversing or altering an initial outcome and completing it beyond your initial expectations.
Your first step in this Part 2 is to identify the areas or aspects of your life that will benefit from and make up your Personal Renaissance.
This first phase is a very introspective process that you must take your time TYT with. It took me a few months of deep thought, and trial and error, before I could identify the elements that would comprise my Personal Renaissance. As a matter of fact, I only coined the phrase after collecting all the criteria. In no particular order, here is an example of the cascade of business and personal events that transpired and caused me to identify the areas of my life that were in need of and now make up my Personal Renaissance:
I hadn't sold an oceanfront property in 18 months, and hadn't built one in three years. My bank of 25+ years stopped lending to me, and called all of our loans. I was the poster child for all that my bank perceived was wrong with speculative real estate and the related mortgage market. We were out of inventory, and weren't in the position to add to it. A portion of our net worth was impacted during the high-end real estate market collapse in South Florida. I lost touch with all that made me great. I stopped using my Priority Sheets two+ years ago, hadn't visited my Personal Vision Statement in over three. I was struggling to walk in what used to be fearless Faith. I doubted myself for the first time in decades. I turned to saying "no" to opportunities instead of "yes." What started 1,650 consecutive walks-to-school ago when Laura was in pre-kindergarten was now over with her graduation from 8th grade. I was anxious, afraid and even a little withdrawn. I lost discipline with many things. During training I developed a problem with my kidneys, and not listening to my doctor only made it worse. I failed to finish for the first time after 6 successful finishes at the Death Valley Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon - coming in last place - 96th out of 96 entrants. I only made 27 miles...
Wait, I need to stop for a minute! Do you know how difficult it is for me to write these things? Not because I am afraid to share them with you, but because I sound like something I have little tolerance for - a complaining whiner. This wasn't the Frank McKinney you or I know! But they are truths, and all these circumstances resulted in the realization of what would become the pursuit of my Personal Renaissance.
Take a moment and revisit the definition of a Personal Renaissance and some of the challenges I faced. Can you begin to see how some of your own challenges, failures, and lost opportunities can be turned into areas or aspects of your own Personal Renaissance?
After my failure at the Death Valley Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon in July of 2012 I began the process of introspection. What started as a simple "post mortem," or evaluation of my poor race performance, turned into me looking beyond the race at other areas of my life that had been falling short of past performance and current expectations, or failing altogether. See the "failed to finish" link above for a piece titled "Kryptonite Introduced Itself for the 1st Time" to see why I failed at Badwater.
The first thing I came to realize was I hadn't used one of the most important tools that had led to my prior successes in over two and a half years, my Priority Sheets. For those of you who are unaware, I had used these self-styled sheets religiously for nearly 20 years straight - every week, and never told anyone I had stopped using them. They had become too routine, and I felt they had lost their effectiveness. There was nothing wrong with my Priority Sheets. I was the one who had lost his effectiveness!
I'm going to stop me and you once more right here.... What you have read and are about to read shouldn't be skimmed or glossed over. Leave the 140-character Twitter or texter mentality behind - right now. To get the most out of the rest of this installment, and the next 8 months too, you will need to reread sections, some quite a few times. Perhaps consider taking the old fashioned approach, print it and take a green highlighter (why green? green mean "go!") to parts that need to resonate with you. You are embarking on something big. It's serious. Important. Life-changing. Long-lasting. At least that's what we're shooting for. So please don't shortchange yourself by trying to hit just the high points. That's what's wrong with most self-improvement initiatives. Instead, read. Digest. Read again. Do the work. By the way, when you see TYT references in this or future installments, it means I know you are tempted to speed up or move ahead. Don't do it. Pause and Take Your Time. If you find you are in a hurry to go somewhere or do something else, no problem, just stop reading and come back when you can devote focused attention. Okay, now where were we...
By definition my past Priority Sheets identified real estate projects, my books, personal/spiritual growth, Caring House charity work, and other life involvements on a legal sized piece of paper separated by vertical columns (usually 4). I then drew horizontal lines across the page and inserted initiatives into each box based upon their priority in my life, then went to work on executing them. There would typically be 20 small boxes on a sheet. While I may not have filled in all the boxes, each one that was filled in contained one initiative. As I referenced in 4 of my 5 five books (Make it BIG, Frank McKinney's Maverick Approach, Burst This and The Tap) I can say this 20+ year practice likely contributed more to my success than any other conscious effort. And I had stopped doing it!
Remember the part of the Personal Renaissance definition that references"remaking of and reconnection with all that was, is and will be great about you?" Well, it was the "was great" part that I started with, and my Priority Sheet seemed the perfect place to begin, not to resume where I left off 2+ years ago, but completely remake it to now reflect the areas or aspects of what has become my Personal Renaissance. I even changed the longstanding name at the top of the paper from "My Priority Sheet" to "My Renaissance."
I have attached a blank for your reference. The old four columns now reflect three new ones. Instead of a weekly Priority Sheet, I now give myself a month to put into practice and accomplish the initiatives contained therein. This document is ground zero, and in next month's installment I will share my first entries into my blank boxes, and help you begin to fill in your own boxes.
Why wait? Because I want you to take your time and really think about the areas of your life that will make up your Personal Renaissance. I want you to reread this Part 2 a few times this month TYT, even doing so with someone who will be partaking in this process with you, or can help keep you accountable. During that time you will work on your "Vision Statement for My Renaissance." More on that in a minute.
While you will have officially started the process the day you begin to codify the areas of your life that will be subject to your Personal Renaissance, I don't want you to start to actually implement them right away. What I did was set an iron clad date on the calendar, about a month after I had completed my new priority sheet titled "My Renaissance" in order to actually start filling in the blanks and commence implementing the initiatives. Remember, focused thought, unswerving commitment.
By setting a date a month or so in advance I gave myself time to visualize (through the creation of my "Vision Statement for My Renaissance") and prepare for such a significant undertaking, a true life transformation.
By way of illustration, the human cell is 1/1000th of an inch across, yet it contains DNA instructions that would fill a thousand books at 600 pages apiece! Thus, this is not something that should be pursued with haste, lest it will fail like so many other efforts in self-improvement. Those billions of cells have been embedded with DNA containing thoughts, actions and behavior that need to be altered. You've lived a certain way for so long, it takes time to conceive the far reaching impact of a successful Personal Renaissance. I want this to last, and succeed for me and for you, in perpetuity.
The three areas and aspects that have now taken me well into my Personal Renaissance, and that now appear at the head of "My Renaissance" sheet are, in order of priority:
Spiritual/Mental/Physical Integrity & Growth
Minimalist Mansions/Ocean Apple Estate
Undo the Undone (1%)
The first column, that being the most important in my (and your) life, is exactly what it says; spiritual, mental, and physical integrity and growth. It was clear from my long list of shortcomings enumerated above, that each one of these aspects and resulting daily life decisions had to be put through a new "integrity filter" and pass that test before I could move to the growth phase. Your first column should address these three aspects. It doesn't have to reflect the same title, but it should go beyond topical change and shallow solutions. Without the success of this column, the others will be rendered meaningless.
The second column is the re-invention and re-branding of my (and your) professional highest calling - what you do for a living. Your money column. For decades I have been known for the mega-oceanfront mansions I create. "The Real Estate Rock Czar" (Wall Street Journal) and the "King of Ready Made Dream Homes" (USA Today), etc. These pieces of three dimensional art created on a sun drenched canvas known as the Atlantic Ocean have been ten, twenty, even thirty+ thousand square foot homes, priced up to $50 million. Knowing my market, and my buyers' evolving tastes and subliminal desires, I determined that smaller estate homes that actually extolled the virtues of their extremely small size (both by my and market standards) while consciously designing them to accentuate the setting (oceanfront) amenities/finishes (artistic) and exterior landscaping/grounds elements (South Florida tropical tranquility) would sell very well. Minimalist Mansions is certainly an oxymoron, yet it will give the Frank McKinney brand a very new face, and media and marketing attention will follow. While there will be much more of this to come, including photos of the next Frank McKinney "minimalist mansion" project known as "Ocean Apple Estate," the focus for you should be on your professional highest calling, what you do or want to do for a living, whether real or desired, and how you can have it fit into the definition of a Personal Renaissance (go ahead, scroll up and read the definition again).
The third and final column should be very personal for you, as it is for me. The definition of Undo the Undone reads: "Finishing something significant that you started, began and failed at, thought you had pursued for the last time, or turning a longstanding dream into a reality. Undoing an initiative that is undone simply means reversing or altering an initial outcome and completing it beyond your initial expectations." Can you guess what my Undo the Undone is? That's right, I'm not going to let me not finishing the Death Valley Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon in 2012 be my last race there. No way. Sorry, for those of you who think participating in this race is not something I should do, assuming the race director will have me back, I'm goin' back! It is part of who I have become, I had taken it for granted and I have rededicated myself to all that is great about preparing for and participating in this race. Oh, and what is the "1%" about? In reading Daniel Coyle's great book The Little Book of Talent-52 Tips of Improving Your Skills, Coyle suggests that you keep certain lofty goals to yourself, thus improving your chances for success. When we divulge our goals to everyone we trick our brain into thinking we've already accomplished them. So, I am going to heed Coyle's advice and keep the 1% part to myself - for now. Suffice it to say that the 1% reference can be found embedded in the Undo the Undone definition. So, identify just one thing that fits the definition of Undo the Undone and be prepared to have it represent your column three.
Once I completed "My Renaissance" priority sheet with boxes ready to be filled-in under the three criteria, what was going to govern my effort to implement it? What was going to keep me accountable? What was my guiding vision to keep it on track? What was going to keep the passion fire lit when it dimmed? Enter the "Vision Statement for My Renaissance."
This is like a personal constitution of sorts. Like the United States has a constitution, so should every individual have one, and I was going to create an entirely new one that would apply specifically to the three areas referenced above (Spiritual/Mental/ Physical Integrity & Growth, Minimalist Mansions/Ocean Apple Estate, Undo the Undone 1%). Remember, while I had vision statements in the past, it had been 3 years since I revisited mine, and my old one was certainly outdated.
I have attached my "Vision Statement for My Renaissance" for you to see how it relates to my "My Renaissance" priority sheet.
Now you can see why I want you to Take Your Time to first create your priority sheet titled "My Renaissance" addressing the three areas (spiritual/mental/physical integrity & growth, your professional highest calling, undo your undone), then to create your vision statement for it. This is why I don't want you to start filling in any blank boxes or taking any significant actions until you have done both.
So, your action items for this month are simple, but are to be pursued with patience - you want this to work! Always refer to the definitions of Personal Renaissance and Undo the Undone when performing them.
You must do them in this order:
1) Print out and display the definitions of a Personal Renaissance and Undo the Undone in a place or places where you will see them at least 5 times during your day.
2) Create your individual priority sheet titled "My Renaissance" that addresses at least the three areas or aspects of i) spiritual/mental/physical integrity & growth, ii) your professional highest calling, and iii) undo your undone. You can certainly modify your columns as you see fit for your Personal Renaissance. These are simply the three I have chosen.
3) Create your own "Vision Statement for My Renaissance."
Once you have successfully completed these three important tasks, set a date on the calendar to begin implementing them. I suggest waiting until you receive Part 3 late this month or early next so I can help you get off to a start that will give your Personal Renaissance the best chance to succeed.
I encourage you to post your "My Renaissance" sheet (without the boxes filled in), your "Vision Statement for My Renaissance," or any questions or comments on our FaceBook Group "Personal Renaissance - Undo the Undone" for others to comment on: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/175655922572499/
See you next for...
Part 3: Personal Renaissance - Undo the Undone - Filling in your First Blanks & Go!
Feel The Tap,
Order Frank McKinney's bestsellers today!
Burst This! Frank McKinney's Bubble Proof Real Estate Strategies
Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes and the Good Luck Circle
Frank McKinney's Maverick Approach to Real Estate Success
Make it BIG! 49 Secrets for Building a Life of Extreme Success