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Weekly Inspiration From Dan

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1000 Catches

The Power of Daily Discipline

Please watch the Video Presentation of this message by clicking the play button below. To watch full screen, click the arrows in the bottom right corner.

Transcript of the video follows.

To become truly excellent at something – anything at all – requires effort and commitment.

It all comes down to two essential factors: desire and discipline.For me, as a performer and speaker, I use the skill of juggling to discuss and illustrate how we can manage our focus under pressure, staying proactive while handling a multitude of objectives in life. How do I deliver my best on-stage performances, often in front of thousands of people? I work at it, every single day.

One of the things I do on a daily basis is one thousand catches. That’s right. I count them, and I continue until I complete the challenge, without dropping. Every day. Sometimes it is late at night in a hotel room, after a long day of travel. But, still, it gets done.

And this is just the bare minimum. Many days I practice much longer. So do the math! That’s easily ten thousand catches per week. More than a half million per year. That kind of repetition and time develops both confidence and capability. So I take the stage with the knowledge that I’m prepared. I’ve earned the right to be there.

How about you? What are your one thousand catches? What skills and habits are essential to your success, and what daily disciplines are in place and non-negotiable to ensure you are making progress?

Great achievements in life and business do not happen accidentally. Excellence is a habit you must cultivate every day.

How do you ensure you are at your best when it matters the most? Well, you have to pay the price. Put in the time. Become the master of your skills.

Will you be prepared for the opportunities and tests in your future – both the ones you expect and the ones that will catch you completely by surprise and increase the likelihood of a positive result IF you will adopt specific daily disciplines.

One thousand catches doesn’t take all that long – about four minutes, if I don’t drop. But, of course, that’s not all I do. I have other physical disciplines in place, involving stretching and exercise. Then there are disciplines and practices relating to my work, family, and hobbies. It’s challenging to do it all every day, and not always possible. The key is to determine which of your disciplines are in place and non-negotiable. Then, have a plan in place to keep track and hold yourself accountable. You can’t do it all every day and have a “perfectly balanced” life. But you can be Off Balance On Purpose, biased toward what matters most!

So what are your one thousand catches? Your non-negotiables – the things you will do every day, no matter what?

As you consider that question, keep in mind the five spheres of your life pattern, as discussed in my book, Off Balance On Purpose. And remember, the key is to identify important things you can do that don’t take all that long, but have enormous impact over the course of time.

Your Work Sphere – What are you reading, writing, and doing to improve your skills? Identify the essential tasks that will contribute the most to your long term success, then do them every day!

Your Relationships Sphere – What do you say to and do for the ones you love? Tell ’em you love ’em. Communicate. Share a couple minutes of focused conversation.

Your Health – What are you doing to exercise and eat well? Do you adequately rest and relax? Each of these elements contribute to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

Your Spiritual Growth – Prayer, meditation, spiritual readings and practices all fall into this essential category.

Your Personal Interests – What hobbies, interests, or areas of study are you pursuing? Maybe this is more of a weekly discipline than a daily commitment. That’s up to you. But if it’s important, you need to figure out a way to make it happen. Not once, but often.

As my friend, Dr. Nido Qubein, says, “There are two types of pain: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Pick one.”

Pay the price. Cultivate the habit of discipline, and I promise you will soon feel a sense of pride and satisfaction from your efforts. Neglect you essential skills, relationships, and practices, however, and you will pay a different price in the future. And it may be unaffordable.

It is truly up to you.

  • Stu Voeck says:

    I recently saw Dan speak at the Wisconsin Government Technology Summit. I was very impressed with his message and his unique style of using his gymnastic and juggling talents to get his points across. I am happy to see that more valuable information is available via Dan’s Video Mails…What a great reminder to focus on the little things or if need be get started with that focus and commitment daily that adds up to make a big difference. Thanks again, Dan 🙂

  • Penny says:

    Dan, thanks for your inspiration today and a reminder of some of the steps to acheive excellence professionally and personally! Have a wonderful day!

  • Bill Hines says:

    Hi Dan,

    Excellent excellence!


  • Cheryl L says:

    Thank you for reminding me that excellence takes practice – over and over again. I watched your video at a perfect time in my life as I begin a new business. I’m working on my “non-negotiables” list now! You are an inspiration!

  • Thomas Buffington says:

    Great presentation. I can’t wait for the next one. Keep delivering and I will keep listening. Thank you.

  • Dan:

    Funny how your inspiration is there just when I need it. Thanks for the message and the encouragement. It helps a lot.

  • Pam says:

    Dan, Thank you so much for the reminder that we not only have the responsibility but we have the opportunity to make key choices for our lives in all areas, and that living faithfully toward our choices takes commitment and regular and disciplined effort. Most importantly, thank you for leading by your personal example. You continually inspire me with your messages.

  • dan says:

    Thanks all for the great feedback! I am considering taking my newsletter in this direction on a regular basis, offering more videos on specific subjects. I feel that this medium is very effective for my message, in particular, because my style is so visual. Would you find this valuable? Desirable?

  • Dan,
    Great stuff! You hit the nail on the head every time, I really enjoy your advice and the special way you deliver your messages.
    We define ourselves by what we do everyday, it’s important to have good habits and do the things that help us realize our goals.

    Keep up the good work! I will tell my friends and associates to look you up.

    Michael Duffee

  • Diane says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the video. As my boss says: “A picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures, and a story is worth a thousand videos!” These five minutes were very much worth my time. Thank you, Dan

  • Ed Witowski says:

    Hi Dan,

    Another great inspirational message with no drops. Very impressive.
    I have enjoyed all your videos to date and your books were right on target.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Dave Martino says:

    Dan, Like your Dad, Ed I agree, very impressive. You almost make me want to go back into business just for the motivaion. Keep up the good work.

    Dave & Ann Martino
    P. S. I tried to juggle one time and had difficulty with just one ball……………….

  • Cindy says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this message. I have share this with co-workers and friends. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Jim Hogan says:

    Dan, Your message is so simple, clear and totally reachable. Now, I get to choose my “non-negotiables”. Thanks!

  • Dan Thurmon says:

    This month’s message seems to have struck a chord. Thank you all so much for your great comments! And, YES, the key is that YOU GET TO CHOOSE your non-negotiables. They will change over time, depending on your priorities and commitments. So, revisit this idea on a regular basis.

  • Karen says:

    Another timely message, my friend! Makes me want to practice the piano, read my Bible, continue the job search, consistently exercise and diet, etc! Thanks for taking the time to inspire me each month!

    You ROCK!

  • Mike says:

    Just found you from a RT in my timeline on twitter. So glad I took the time to check out the 1000 catches it is a great message. Just picked up your book and I look forward to checking in here for the years to come.

    Keep up the great work and I hope to see you in person someday.


  • John Roop says:

    Pay the price: for discipline or regret!

    How true. That’s as thought provoking as anything I’ve heard.

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